Well, gang, it has been a year since the post that showed promise of some resounding PvP updates to come. What exactly has happened since the November 2021 PvP Dev Blog?
HWM (Expertise), aka Player Gear Progression
Per the above quote, this promised feature still has not come into fruition. Instead of having a purpose to be in the world and encounter players, you are better off just not even engaging as these encounters are not valued by AGS whatsoever due to the fact that players only receive 500-505 Gear Score items off of PvP kills. PvP experience, tokens, and azoth salt alone are not enough to attract people to duke it out in the Open World neither is fighting for the sake of fighting. To everyone’s collective surprise, PvP players want to be rewarded for their time much like any PvE player is rewarded for their time. It is a “PvX” game, but everyone who is not delusional knows where the game has been heavily skewing since January 2022.
To continue, the 500-600 grind is nearly inexistent as a PvP only player. OPR boxes guarantee expertise bumps, but it is not advised to open them whatsoever until you are 600 expertise in just about every slot. 2 Rubies and 2 Garnets are the extent you will get gypsums if you are solely doing PvP as of this post. While there are some ways to progress your gear past 600 GS with shards you get from the gypsum caches, you will be greatly disappointed with how few you receive and even more disturbed by how many you now need to get to 611 (was 111 before BS patch) or even 618. The PvP Track offers options for Umbrals at 1000 when starting off, but 100 shards per OPR win and 50 on a loss is not enough to keep you afloat as your gear gets better and better each day. The newest addition in Heartgems, well, you run a dungeon to get them whether you like it or lump it.
Per Gear, you only receive BoP drops from all forms of content to include OPR, Wars, PvP Reward Tracks and even the crafting mods from the PvP Reward Track. A pretty big slap in the face, but not as much as the fact that the only BoE drops you can receive from PvP are the laughably inane low-500 GS drops you get when killing other players in the Open World. A recent revelation I have observed is how Tier 5 Named items within the PvP Reward Track do not get rewarded to you at 590 GS, instead they are rewarded to you at your expertise CONTRARY to how they are rewarded to you at 590 per PvE content. So, if you luckily get Champion’s Amulet, Frontline Point, Sword of the Champion, Berserker’s Axe, Champion’s Ring, etc. you are SoL and you better hope your RNG returns when you get 600 Expertise across the board. Needless to say, PvP needs a serious overhaul in this department.
Open World PvP
Despite our best efforts to tell AGS to make anything happen in the open world, there is simply nothing to show. With Wars and Invasions finally becoming instanced in August, the Forts were no longer gated for one to two days between subsequent declaration or corruption insurgency. Nonetheless, with a majority of Forts offering nothing substantive per capture (Free Fast Travel and Free Camping…) while remaining vulnerable to recapture 10 minutes later, the entire charade feels lack luster. Needless to say, there is no grand prize for congregating in the first place (fort bonuses), you will not receive Legendary gear from PvP, and your compensation for a fort capture ultimately amounts to 1,000 PvP Exp and some Azoth Salt. They need to make some 1-to-2-hour fort lock events between the varying territories, remove the Fort doors, and remove the population cap inside of the forts.
Overall, Open World PvP is fairly inexistent and those who say it exists in some fashion, I honestly find it to be a cope. To the extent of War pushes, you understandably get those bouts and fights which are worthwhile and engaging, fun on the other hand I must hesitate to say. Per PvP Missions, fast traveling and unbreakable camps puts the ball squarely in the defender’s favor if you do not have enough players to swarm and zerg progress up with a steady trickle to the point of disincentivizing a defense altogether. The Luck Bonus was alright, but short-lived, considering how many unchecked Bots have laid siege on nodes which ultimately pushed people away from gathering altogether. I would say it has been on life support for a while, but the plug has been pulled long before.
War and Territory Control
Finally instanced, yet still fairly drab. Honestly, I have been off the War market for a while, but I think it is fair to say that a lot of people feel some kind of way about it whether you are profiting off of it or not. Pushes are boring and lengthy, often unrewarding in themselves apart from the war dec. Sure, a couple of engagements keeps the process feeling lively and not as tedious, but with missions getting reset back to 3 total (Warcamp, Stay in Area, and Two Boxes) from 5 with this patch, the entire thing is ultimately a running sim. The War decs are suspect and a crapshoot at times.
Finally, when you do get into the War, you will continue to have awful interactions, bugs/exploits, and laggy gameplay that makes you hesitant to try again. It is a learning experience with every War as you never will have the same 50 on your side, but by not having a serious means by which to approach Wars other than constantly being in them is pretty shot. The Territory Money/Gains are what make Wars critical and awesome per PvP, but lately I cannot really be too hard pressed to argue that the winner does not deserve the spoils. Nonetheless, crowding out players in war via Mercing, War Limits, Deck Sniping, Company Swaps, and Shell Companies finally seems to be getting deserved attention.
Apart from the topics listed above, there are some honorable mentions that rightfully deserve attention, applause, and condemnation.
Pretty inexcusable at this point. Lot of good fellas on the Forums constantly bump posts about this, perhaps the biggest detriment for medium/large scale while making the game feel like a laughingstock since such a mechanic has not been addressed. Popping a health potion in a friendly sacred as opposed to an enemy sacred can be life or death much like you walking into a friend vs. enemy Ice Shower. Gravity Well, Ice Storm, Oblivion, etc. are all par for the course. How much longer should we expect to wait for this?
3v3 PvP Arenas
Fun and salient content, a big part of why myself among others stuck around between the March and May while sticking it out this far into the year. Yet, no ranked accolades, MMR, and 0 cross-server compatibility makes for stale games. Does function as a nice testing ground for different builds in small scale that can perhaps translate to OPR, but overall, still lacking rewards to play. Needs a constant rotation of bodies to maintain life blood into the matches while not feeling stuck with the same opposition game after game through all hours of the day. 5v5’s also need to be in the pipeline soon.
No tie-in to the world, remains an instanced PvP mode in a game gearing towards having all fun, engaging content being instanced. You are not rewarded (at all) for playing lengthy, back-and-forth games; better to just get your 500 points, stomp and rinse and repeat. Boxes are far better than before, but compare your time played with PvE and you are not making out well whatsoever. Not having a serious ranked mode also allows this game mode to suffer as having unserious PUGs just play ARAM is not enough to win the game. Also, we are still lacking serious flare for OPR as there is no indication as to which individual player secured the last hit, no new maps, nor is there any effort to point out who is massacring the crowds. Touches like that with an announcer even would make the mode excel.
PvE and split pushes are great ways to manage when against better team fight comps, but that fact is not actualized enough when people are playing for their own gain rather than for a dub. I am glad AGS pulled back from the brink with the Brutes, but the MOBA-esque layout of OPR cannot be actualized unless everyone is made to take the mode seriously. Cross server needed badly, too.
That is all I have to say, thank you for your time.