Developer quotes[]

There will be PvP in many forms on release as PvP is important for these types of multiplayer games, and they are increasing in importance with the increasing number of players flocking to participate in the online experience.

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

I've always been of the opinion that PvP should be voluntary, fun and available for everyone in an online game. Some players prefer to PvP all the time, others never. The majority of players, though, are in between these two extremes. Our goal is to create a system where you can PvP with your main character when you want to, without any permanent penalties. There won't be dedicated PvP servers in Conan. PvP will be available to your character if you want to participate -- or you could shy away altogether.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

You can roughly divide (Age of Conan's) PvP into three categories. First, you have one-on-one PvP traditionally found in arenas. Second, you have team based "mini-game" type of combat. The essence here is a GUI-driven match-making system which will allow you to form teams with players from all over Hyboria. You will fight it out in instanced "mini-areas" with concrete goals. Goals include, capturing the flag, annihilating the opposing team, razing a building with light siege weapons or "Kill the Lord" in which you must kill the PvP boss of the opposing team.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

PvP is consensual. Our aim is that you will never be killed unless you ant to participate. PvP should be fun and exciting, not filled with griefers and exploiters. In the darkness of Hyboria, though, and its hidden alleys and grim battlefields everything should be seen as a legal tactic to crush your enemy!

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

I would like to point out that PvP is but one part of the game, and not the be-all, end-all of the game. What we want more than anything else is to give you that feeling of being in the unique Hyborian Universe, where the gods are cruel and uncaring…

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Basically, there are four types of PvP. Naturally, they all have the same types of basic rule set for the player - except one. If you have learned PvP in one part of the game, it should be easy to take it to another. Let me start on this topic by talking a bit about Age of Conan's PvP concept first.

No other fantasy license lends itself so well to bloody battle and bloody PvP as the saga of Conan the Barbarian. Here, crushing your enemy is the definition of the soul of the license, and it has grown on us how profoundly that should influence the in-game battles. We are really thankful for having such a clear combat vision to guide us, and it will be something we know will be more brutal and honest than anything you have seen before!

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

It is hard to compare this to any non-multiplayer RPGs as there is nothing like PvP there, naturally - so I am going to refer to the first generation of western MMOs, and looking at what they did to our expectations for PvP. With all due respect to my colleagues, it seems to me as if the early games made PvP unpredictable for the players. Could it be that they hadn't put PvP in the forefront when designing the games - that it was added more as an afterthought?

Those games made killing other players too easy, too unbalanced or too crude - no depth. This led to a high degree of unpredictability for the player - or so it seems - and it made PvP into something you either had to do all the time, or not at all. It wasn't until we got Dark Age of Camelot with Realm vs. Realm, and Anarchy Online's Notum War that PvP really grew into its own. After that, all modern MMOs have seemed to address PvP as something important.

The unpredictability of early MMOs led to a dichotomy in player perception of PvP. You either loved it, or you hated it. Luckily this is now fading, and PvP is in most new MMOs, becoming something you do for fun and purpose, but always in addition to whichever other activities you participate in.

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

  1. These four lines of thinking became the guides for the Conan team when designing PvP: - PvP should be available to everyone, if they want it - not only on special PvP servers. - There shouldn't be a harsh penalty should you die in PvP. No permanent loss of items or other hard-won valuables. There should be multiple forms of PvP, many which will serve as different mini-games. PvP should be available at all levels after the very first few.

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The first system is indeed massive battles. This technology was used for building player-made cities in Anarchy Online - Alien Invasion, and is simply reused and improved in Age of Conan.

King Conan has opened Aquilonia up for expansion into the bothersome Border Kingdoms. Several individuals in his court will thus sponsor settlements in this region. This means that the players can choose a side and set up their own castles in these instantiated areas. The castles must be defended against other guilds that want these highly lucrative areas.

This form of PvP will provide large-scale battles where a set number of defenders and attackers can clash together at predefined, regulated, intervals. To aid in these battles, the players can use hirelings, siege engines and all the tricks in the books to fight their way to the glory of King Conan's court.

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The second type of PvP is the team-focused mini-games. Here, the players are fighting king of the hill, capture the flag and other types of team-oriented mini-games. To facilitate a "just" system in PvP games like these, we have included an auto-leveling feature where the players are divided into four different tiers; each 20 levels are grouped together. Each tier enables the player to auto-level to the highest level in it.

Using a matchmaking interface, the players are quickly grouped together into equally sized teams, and then their levels are equaled out. This auto-leveling feature lasts the length of the battle, and means that your current abilities are boosted to be almost as good as they would have been if you had gained the level the normal way. Going the distance is naturally preferable as you will gain totally new abilities that are not available to the auto-leveled. This auto-leveling system will also be in place in the massive PvP, with a set number of units in each category.

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Except for the brawling, all PvP kills will give PvP knowledge that slowly trains you in the game's 20 PvP levels. These gives you access to certain PvP-only feats, empowering abilities that can only be used in PvP situations. Though it is unlikely that much armor, quests or other PvP content will be available at launch, this system will allow us to make content updates focusing on giving the best PvPers the kudos they are due.

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

To summarize, PvP grew much more important to the development team as the full, deep understanding of the demands of the license dawned on us. We need to give the players as much variety and depth in PvP as we can since this will make the game alive in a way we cannot do by simply making quests and content.

Finally, I would like to mention that PvP is voluntary and will never be forced on the player. It should never encourage griefing, allowing a high-level player to gank a lower-level one, nor should the glee of winning be based on the loss of time and effort on the side of the loser.

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The game will have PvP. There are three basic forms of PvP in Conan. First off there is something we call ‘massive battle.’ This features Guilds protecting the structures, walls, towers etc, they have built in certain PvP areas. Here the different player sides (at least the defenders) will be able to employ guards to help with the fight. How exactly they are to be controlled, is left to be seen.

Secondly there are group-focused mini-games. They use a match-making system to pitch groups of fighters against each other.

Finally we have a very special, Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures exclusive--: Drunken Brawling. This is a fun, free-for-all system (specifically only found in bars) where players do not fight with their normal level, but rather with a system where how drunk you are defines how hard you hit, and to which degree you hit. We hope this will lure even the most avid PvP opponent into some stool smashing and table bashing in the essence of Conan.

PC.Gamezone, 22nd September 2005 (Gaute Godager)

I think it is an inherent flaw in these systems that bases your "rank" of quantity of PvP participation/kills. The systems themselves are designed to recognize "PvPers" and their abilities but in the end its just a time sink in the current implementations.

I think it was a big mistake to put items/gear as a PvP reward that rivaled or was better than gear gained in raids. It made PvP into a treadmill instead of recognizing the true champions.

In Conan our PvP rewards will be based around PvP so they will be useful to a PvP player but will not imbalance the rest of the game for everyone else.

Forums, 11th October 2005 (Athelan)

No, the players can not be a Pict in the game at launch. We feature 3 races, Stygian, Aquilonian and Cimmerian. There will be 3 distinct different types of PvP available to the players at launch. First off, there is the massive siege battle, as you mention. Secondly, there is a group focused system where match-making will pitch player teams against each other. Finally, there is a fun focused “Drunken Brawling”, where players don’t fight with their normal levels, but rather with a combination of random behavior and their degree of drunkenness., 14th October 2005 (Gaute Godager)

There will be various effects of PvP levels including potentially unique PvP feats and combos.

Forums, 22nd November 2005 (Athelan)

We have stated that PvP will be consentual even if that consent is by you selecting to play on a PvP server. Consent doesnt mean "can I kill you?" "no" it means you actively choose to engage yourself in an area or areas where PvP is available. It is your choice to enter into that situation not mandated by the game.

Forums, 16th December 2005 (Athelan)

Resources and territorial control are part of the Massive PvP/Siege system.

Forums, 5th January 2006 (Athelan)

I dont see why we need to debate open PvP as being a must when we have already stated we would like to see a PvP server with more open PvP options. The only tenants we have made are that people will have a choice even if that choice is the server they choose to play on.

Forums, 5th January 2006 (Athelan)

This (editor: unwanted fights agains another player) would only be possible on a PvP server or in a PvP siege area. Given you are not a PvP player there would be no reason for you to CHOOSE to go there. So no it won't be an issue. Even on said PvP servers griefing behavior will have consequences.

Forums, 5th January 2006 (Athelan)

In the outside world, however, players will find that things are very different. That's because every player will, in effect, be two different characters. Players will have two different level and experience point totals that track PvE and PvP experience. Combat moves and behaviors will be different in PvP fights, and damage output will be modified to make fights between players last longer and be more even. There will even be separate equipment tables for PvP and PvE weapons and armor. While no weapon will ever be completely ineffective, it goes a long way toward reducing the chronic problem of PvP fights being based on eies.

Gamespy, 25th April 2006 (Gaute Godager)