Recently, I played a couple of Blizzard games such as Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. HotS is in beta and I noticed some minor bugs. I played through the tutorial phase with each character. It's much like Dota 2, which I've only played briefly (it came with my new Alienware PC I got over a year ago). I didn't play the game very much, but I thought it was interesting. The game seems primarily about playing with and against other players (co-op and PVP), although I found out that you can create your own game and include all computer opponents if you wish.

I also found out about Hearthstone, which is much like Magic: The Gathering. I enjoyed it as I've enjoyed Magic, but I came upon an issue that made stop playing it, which brings me to the discussion (purpose) of this post. Hearthstone disappointed me because, even though it's a great game, the purpose of the game is to play against other players. You can play against the computer such as during the tutorial phase and other unlockable areas, but those phases are brief. The purpose of them is pretty much to earn some gold and get some cards to help you play against other players. In Magic: The Gathering games, it seems that PVP is optional, but the game seems more focused on playing against the computer.

So, I've noticed that I don't like PVP (Player Vs. Player) games very much. I most definitely prefer to play against the computer. I attribute this to my lack of competitiveness. If I'm playing a game with other players, I much more prefer to play co-op (co-operative). Although I almost always play single player games, I have enjoyed playing some games with other people, such as when I played Terraria with other Cheerful Ghosts and Minecraft with my son.

It seems to me, though, that PVP games are very popular. I've been following the development of a few games and it seems that many people keep requesting multiplayer and/or PVP modes.

So, I want to ask you what your thoughts are on co-op vs. PVP. Which do you prefer? Are you more like me and less competitive or do you prefer the competitiveness of PVP? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/27/2015 at 10:29pm

"Dota 2, which I've only played briefly (it came with my new Alienware PC I got over a year ago)."

It's also free. I hope they weren't trying to trick people with that one!

But I'm all about the co-op. PvP can be fun too, tons of fun. Quake III Arena, Unreal Tournament, and so on. The reason I didn't like Hearthstone as much as I could is because it's already full of people who know way more about it than I do, and it's hard to get any kind of edge. But generally, yeah, I prefer co-op in almost all situations.

It's one thing I love about Guild Wars 2 so far. You just run into people and can join in with whatever they're doing. There's never any drawback to it, it's just fun with strangers. PvP is all in a separate menu, that you don't ever have to see if you don't want to. I hopped in to grab a pet for my ranger, but that's about it.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 03/27/2015 at 10:51pm

Cool, thanks for sharing. My thought on Hearthstone is similar. I was just beginning, as I'm sure others were, but I knew there would be other players more experienced than I was. The game tries to set you up with opponents that play similarly to you (I guess by tracking wins and losses). I played a bit and lost most games.

Quake 3 Arena was fun, but I still preferred to play against the computer. People really kicked my tail, which is ultimately why I don't like PVP, often losing. Man, I haven't played that game in forever!

That's cool about Guild Wars 2. I'm sorry I missed out on the sale, which was a steal compared to how much it is now.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/07/2015 at 07:10am

I hate that I missed that Guild Wars 2 sale, too. A shame.

It depends on the game, whether I gravitate to PvP or PvE. First person shooters that have a PvP option usually get more attention from me than single player aspects. Halo, CoD, Battlefield, and now Destiny, in my opinion, are more fun on the PvP side. I loved PvP in WoW, but also loved the questing and raiding. I guess the thrill and consequence of having PvP in WoW is what kept me playing. One of my all-time favorite gaming experiences.

Then there are some games that offer PvP, but end up ignoring, because the single player experience is so much better. Games like Uncharted 2 & 3, Far Cry 3, are a few off-hand where PvP didn't interest me near as much as the rest of the game.

If the balance is there and the level design is right, then I can savor the human element, the unpredictability, of what a PvP match can offer.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/07/2015 at 07:53am

That's cool, scrypt, thanks for sharing a different perspective. I haven't played WoW. I know I could play for free up until level 20, but I haven't tried it yet. I played FFXI a bit, but it didn't seem to be right for me as I tried playing solo, which didn't seem to be a very effective way of playing. My other MMORPG experience is with Ragnorak Online. I played it with a group of friends and I believe there was a PVP event once a week, at least. I joined in on some of these, different guilds fighting each other. My problem with that game was that people took my loot. I'd kill a bunch of monsters, as I had a powerful character, but I'd lose my loot to others. That was disappointing.

I haven't played any of the other games you mentioned, except for Halo. I played a bit of PVP at a friend's house and I most often got slaughtered, which is usually what happens when I play PVP. That is why I don't often enjoy that aspect of gaming. Back in the Doom and Quake days, I played more FPS games, but it seems I got away from them for quite a long time. I did just recently finish playing Half-Life 2 for the very first time.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/07/2015 at 01:30pm

As in anything, it takes a lot of practice to get to that competitive level, and if you are always getting knocked down then it really doesn't make practice any fun, and if a game isn't going to be fun (or at least educational) then why play, right? I forgot to mention earlier, my nemesis in PvP games: Fighting games. I don't think there has ever been a time that I've been good at them. Against friends or strangers, online our on the couch, I tend to lose a lot. I just haven't put in the time to learn how to be competitive in those types of games. Tekken was the only one that I could hold my own with, and I always played with Paul Phoenix, because I liked his counter-attacks.

I understand that you would rather not engage in actual competition, @GregoPeck, but do you at any point enjoy simply watching competitive play, maybe like in the realm of e-sports?

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/07/2015 at 07:02pm

That's understandable. When it comes to fighting games, I think it varies. The think with those is that I often feel like I'm just button mashing. However, it seems that sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, and that makes it a little more fun.

I don't really watch much of any kind of competitive play. I used to enjoy watching baseball, like when I watched the Braves play on TV when I was in Georgia. I enjoyed watching some basketball briefly with my cousin a long time ago. I did watch some football and basketball with my uncle and grandparents around Thanksgiving. These days, I don't really keep up with sports or anything competitive. As for e-sports, that is something I'm not really familiar with.

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/07/2015 at 07:19pm

You used to love WWE, too, but that's not *real* competition I guess, since it's all scripted. The athleticism is real though, they can do some impressive things.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/07/2015 at 07:41pm

Yeah, I remembered that after posting that comment. I didn't get into watching that until my first year at Radford University, when my first roommate was watching it. Then, I met Edneecas, who also watched it and was a big fan of The Rock, I was, too. I still like The Rock and some of the other people, but haven't watched it in a very long time.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/07/2015 at 09:56pm

That's very interesting. I guess I never entertained the idea that some people might have a general distaste for competition. Thanks for helping to open my mind a bit!

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/08/2015 at 12:12am

We're apparently in the same boat on that, with opposite sides of the perspective. I do have a general distaste for competition, that's very true. I attribute that to my personality and psychology. Just as some people are introverts and some are extroverts, obviously some enjoy competition, while others do not. Of course there are people in the middle ground of all of that, too.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/09/2015 at 01:59am

I don't mind competition if it's fun. Typically speaking most competitive games i've played online I don't find very fun.

The co-op aspect of Guild Wars 2 is well done, I really like that. I've played some co-op games with random strangers with Borderlands and that was fun. Played random Diablo III games that are lots of fun. I do enjoy play Counter-strike and Starcraft II with friends but it's not as much fun with complete strangers.

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/09/2015 at 09:32pm

Speaking of GW2, and this is somewhat off-topic for this discussion but since you've both mentioned that you regret getting GW2 on sale-- It's going on sale again this weekend! Scrypt, Greg, don't miss it this time! :)

We're on Anvil Rock so pick that one if it's available, but that actually only really matters for World-vs-World gameplay. They use megaservers so anyone from any server can play together, as long as it's in the same region (and I assume you'd all choose US).

There's a CG guild and if you get the collectors edition or whatever it's called it comes with a couple of guild influence boosters that can help us build awesome stuff. Finally working on the second tier of the guild vault!

Apparently with the coming expansion we get to make an actual guild hall, so that's something to look forward to.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/09/2015 at 10:17pm

Awesome! Feel free to post a reminder here, in case we forget.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/10/2015 at 02:18am

Thanks for the heads up @Travis!

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/10/2015 at 06:54pm

One concern that I have with PvP, and online multiplayer games in general, is the problem of posterity. Compatibility of older games seems to be much easier to overcome when there isn't a server-side service that's involved. Do you think that's the case, or am I off on that? I suppose that unless the developers implement private server hosting for their game, then it would eventually not be playable due to lack of support, right? Games like the Shadowrun game for the Xbox 360 and PC...

Okay, so remembering Shadowrun for the 360 made me nostalgic. I loved that game, despite it's notorious and unfortunate association with that name. So, I found a cheap copy on Amazon. It'll be here in a week. Curses!

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 04/10/2015 at 08:01pm

I'm very much not a competitive person by nature, so if there is a Co-op mode in a game that will always be my preferred way to play. Like Jon said, I'm not oppose to competitive modes but most on-line games I've played just really aren't that much fun for me. I'll play competitive games if I can still have fun while losing, which is kinda rare. :)

I also have a lot more fun in competitive games when everyone's skill levels are relatively close. I use to play the original Smash Bros. with my high-school friends all the time but it was fun because we were all fairly evenly matched. Even the worst of us (which was probably me, lol) won a match once in awhile. :)

Along the same lines, I tried picking up DoTA2 long after it was already a very popular game and I just got annihilated. That's not fun when you feel like you don't even stand a chance. Also that game has some community problems, but I think we've all talked about that before.

FFXI was the one MMO I sunk the most time into by far, and a large part of that was because it focused so heavily on co-op. That said it was also because I fell into a really great linkshell (guild) and always had people to play with. :)

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/10/2015 at 09:04pm

As I've said, I'm not a competitive person by nature either. Most of my life I suffered from having a very low self-esteem and self-confidence, so playing competitive games with others more often than not hurt my already crippled ego. That said, when I'd win (which was rare in most cases), I felt really good.

When I played Smash Bros. with friends, I often lost. Since I've most recently played with kids (my son and his friends), I won more often than not. I was playing the new versions of the game (for the 3DS and Wii U), but I ended up quitting after getting frustrated trying to complete some of the challenges. That ties into one of my other forum posts about game difficulty.

I've barely played DoTA2, it came with my PC, which was an unexpected surprise. I don't seem to be interested in it very much. I have played Heroes of the Storm, which is similar, and I definitely enjoyed it more. I still haven't played against or with any other people, just NPCs.

FFXI was very much co-op, which gave me trouble because I'm so used to solo gaming. I did have friends in the game, but even though I joined the right server with them, I ended up being very far away from them. They said they were in Windhurst, so that's where I created my first (Hume) character. They weren't there for long, so I didn't run into most of them. One of them did find me eventually, but their (my fellow friends) home was with the other Humes, Bastok, I think. I did get very fortunate in finding a player that I didn't know, who helped me out very much and helped guide me through the game.

Now that two of us are joining Guild Wars 2, I think it's going to be a really awesome experience, since many other Cheerful Ghosts are there as well. I imagine there's going to be a lot of co-op in the game, which makes me feel good about it. Although I'm used to solo gaming, since many of us are going to be there, I'm sure my experience with GW2 is going to be quite different than my FFXI experience.

Thanks, everyone, for joining in this conversation and sharing. It's cool to see that even though we all share a lot in common, we also have our individual preferences and personalities. =)

This has become one of my most recent Cheerful Ghost experiences, that I've come to think of things for us to discuss in the forums and I'm glad many of you are taking part in that. I guess I'm helping keep the forums (and the site) alive and that feels good.

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/10/2015 at 10:19pm

Guild Wars 2 is great, because a level 1 character can get to any of the cities in the game in less than 5 minutes without paying anything. I hated that about FFXI. And waiting for those damn airships. It's easy as hell to get around in GW2.

I solo'd my Asura Elementalist all the way to 80 (it also doesn't take years to get to max level like FFXI used to), but I've been doing co-op with Katie on my Human Ranger. It works very well as a solo game, and very well as a co-op game. Co-op is just a matter of being in the same place as someone else and fighting the same thing, or you can make parties so you can see where everyone is.

Crafting also comes easier. You don't have to wait for the right day, the right time of day, and face the appropriate cardinal direction to get the best out of crafting. (To those who haven't played FFXI, yeah, that was really a thing. Your crafts would do better if you were facing north, for example).

As for Smash Bros, there's a lot of randomness and chaos in that game. Same as with Mario Kart. You might be the best player but everyone falls to the blue shell. I love that about Nintendo, it seems that even with their competitive games, they're geared so that everyone can have fun.

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 04/11/2015 at 08:30pm

You forgot the moon phase. The moon phase also affected crafting in FFXI. FFXI still holds a special place for me, but the crafting in that game IS THE WORST without a doubt.

The original Smash Bros. is my favorite fighting game ever. I never got into Melee because I never had a Gamecube. Brawl is a lot of fun, but I prefer the slower pace of the original. I felt like the first Smash bros. was a lot more approachable for new players.

And Mario Kart is just always fun no matter how good or bad you are at it. The gameplay itself is fun. Although I hate that Blue Shell with a passion, lol.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/11/2015 at 10:17pm

"Crafting also comes easier. You don't have to wait for the right day, the right time of day, and face the appropriate cardinal direction to get the best out of crafting. (To those who haven't played FFXI, yeah, that was really a thing. Your crafts would do better if you were facing north, for example)."

That sounds really cool! Though probably better in concept than in actual game play, I do love that type of immersion and causality in games. Like the way Demon's Souls had different World Tendencies. Waiting for specific dates or times to accomplish a task is tedious, and can be frustrating if you miss that designation, but in persistent-world games they can be really refreshing and make the game feel less static or formulaic. One of the things that got boring in WoW (after four years, mind you), was the inevitability of the grind in every space. Then the Cataclysm happened...

To bring it back around to the discussion of PvP, Demon's Souls, and the Dark Souls games, allowed "world invasions", as long as you were in certain areas and had the stones (no pun intended) to invade another players game. The way they implemented multi-player aspects into those games is just brilliant anyway, aside from the PvP interactions.

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