Random thoughts on PvP, co-operative play, and fun

There is probably a word for the feeling you get on zoning into a battleground for the first time. Something that encompasses the existential angst of “Where am I?”, together with, “Where is everyone else?”, the panic of “What am I supposed to be doing?” and the frustration of “Argh, those bastards keep killing me! I’m really really bad at this.”

Amazingly, battleground-angst tends to clear up after you’ve run the battleground a few times. It’s amazing how learning your way around the zone and objectives will soon have you playing at a much higher level, even if you genuinely are rubbish at PvP/ duelling (which I am, incidentally). This is especially true in a well designed PvP zone where you’ll be able to use the terrain to your advantage.

Or in other words, the simple pleasure of being able to snipe at someone from cover.

I played a few rounds of PvP in Rift earlier this week with the delectable Hawley, and it was a very quick shift from, “Argh, I suck at this,” to “Let’s defend the flag. Hahaha, got them!” with achievements popping up all over the place. Part of this is due to being able to work together (everything is easier if you have a healer next to you in PvP) but mostly just getting more familiar with the goals and layout.

One of the reasons I like battlegrounds is that you can have fun and help your side win without ever actually having to be good at PvP. This works better if you are not playing against pre-made teams.

Portal 2 and Co-op

I was also able to play Portal 2 at a friend’s place the other week, and it looks great. Definitely on my list of games to buy when I have more time to play during the summer, along with LA Noir and (probably) Witcher 2.

One of the really fun things is that it works brilliantly as a console game. By that I mean when you have several people sitting on the sofa but only one person actually playing. It’s fun to watch people play Portal/2 and you can chime in with suggestions without ruining their fun.

The actual co-op mode involves two people with controllers, which we weren’t doing. But one of us with the controller and the other helping with ideas seemed to work really well as a fun social experience. I’m sure the co-op mode is good too, will look forwards to trying it sometime to see how that works as a social thing as well as a gameplay mechanic.

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5 thoughts on “Random thoughts on PvP, co-operative play, and fun

  1. The co-op mode has several sections where one of the players goes through some sort of a gauntlet and the other has to indirectly help him from behind a glass. Sometimes you push buttons or make actual portals, but you can also use the built-in UI features to highlight portal locations, item dispensers, buttons and so on. There’s also a built-in countdown tool for situations where timing is crucial.

  2. I agree re Rift BGs (At my very low level, anyway). I also find I’m playing better in Rift than I ever did in Warhammer (MY other BG experience). I feel like I have more time to think/react in Rift, rather than just twitch-keyhammering as I did a lot in Warhammer.

  3. Spinks, watch out for stage 3 of your battleground experience – sheer frustration once you understand the objectives and how to win the match and see a large portion of your team ignoring them. Watching 3 of your team chase some elementalist’s pet rock behind a tree while one of their guys holds on to the fang and /dances… :)

  4. the simple pleasure of being able to snipe at someone from cover

    Heh, the general PvP experience you describe definitely applies in World of Tanks, but particularly that bit. After playing a map a few times and getting a bit of a feel for it, there’s much joy to be had setting up in a shrubbery overlooking a likely route for the enemy and plinking ‘em as they go past…

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