After being in the game for a few hours I see that this stage of testing resembles Alpha more than Beta, so if I'm going to test the game for "free" for the next 6 months to a year I'm going to want to play the "finished" product the way "I" want to play it. If I can't, I'd appreciate the developers telling me so I can spend my time differently.
And how do "I" like to play? I like to play a successful game that has staying power and long term appeal for the "majority" of players. No Unrestricted Open PvP game has yet been successful, and no Unrestricted Open PvP game will ever be successful.
What do I mean by success? A game can be a financial success and still suck. STO is a prime example of a game that is a huge financial success and is also one of the worst MMOs out there. Why? Cryptic is great at lying and Star Trek fans don't know when to cut their losses. It's not an Unrestriceted Open PvP game, btw.
EVE-Online (a Semi-Unrestricted Open PvP game) spends a lot on advertizing to make up for the players that leave (and I sold 3 five-year-old accounts so that helps the game have staying power as well). It's a niche game that will fizzle out in two more years. Tredo made a post about it here:
and his reference is the following review of EVE by a player:
I agree with that review 100%.
Eve is a PvP game where there is Unrestricted Open PvP in most areas (generally speaking). There is safe space and usually people would be foolish to try to kill you there, but they can, so there really is no absolutely safe space (therefore it's an Unrestricted Open PVP game at its core). But EVE safe space was good enough for me. As it is, to get the better ores you have to leave safe space, and when you do, you'd better have an armada. Tredo's link to the review explains it.
Dark Age of Camelot is, of course (minus the mez spells and the hacks) the best type of PvP game--RvR in a Frontier Zone. That game is still around (since 2001), and for good reason.
Darkfall has a low population as far as I can see (under 10k players and probably much, much less). I can understand why. Unrestricted Open PvP. While being near your starting area grants you good protection, your newbie fighting areas, where you get your fighting skills up, are often camped by friends and foes alike, usually on the weekends (as I said, it's a low population game for good reason).
One day I decided to get some mediocre "but for me, expensive" gear and fight the goblins just outside the fort but beyond the range of the towers. Now I had been killed before, but it was by reds and they were enemies (of my race and allies). Meh, okay. No big loss. But this time I paid a pretty penny (for me) for gear. I went to the goblins and was killed by an ally helping his buddy level. I thought it was cheesy, but okay, it happens. I went back and behold, he had taken my crappy but "expensive to me" gear. I asked him why. He said it was for his newbie friend. Mind you, this was an ally (me elf--him dwarf). We bantered back and forth, I didn't whine and laughed about it, and he came into town and made me even better gear. Hey, nice. Great.
But you know what, apart from the awful grind that DF is, I realized that this would be a common occurrence (minus the nice guy giving me the gear back). This would happen over and over, just mindless griefing for no reason and with no great consequences, so I decided I'd let them grief someone else. It wasn't a rage quit. It was a logical decision not to continue playing a bad game.
How would you like to go out, get killed, go out, get killed, go out... and so forth? I don't like that. I came to play a reasonable game, not be a punching bag for someone 80 times my level who is too afraid to fight characters his own level. While there are no levels in DF, I'm sure you get my meaning.
And how do I define Unrestricted Open PvP? It's a game that griefers flock to. It's a game where any player, usually the type that likes to kill for mindless fun (his fun) does exactly that, and suffers no meaningful penalty, if any. In the process he ruins the other player's gaming experience and that player usually quits. That's just bad game design. That's a failure of a game before it even starts.
How does this relate to Xsyon? Xsyon is a "building" game. People will build structures, roads and so forth. But it will be a low population game for some time. I go to sleep. People in my tribe will go to sleep (irl). How do we defend in an online game when we're asleep? Let's take a look at WURM (I'm currently playing that as well). Crappy animations (if you can call them that) but a reasonable Semi-Open PvP system (as I call it). As you build your town, or whatever you want to call it, you can build towers that spawn powerful guards that defend the town. As you expand, you can build more towers. Now these guards aren't omnipotent. A large enough force can defeat them. But I'm happy that it deters aggression enough to have the enemy think and plan very hard if they want to attack. Notice the words think and plan as opposed to mindless and meaningless. Also, it simulates the innate advantage a defender would have in an area he knows better than the attacker.
And if you're a student of paleoarchaeology, you know that our ancestors of 170,000 years ago to 12,000 years ago depended on cooperation and shared information. They would have been stupid to kill one another or even attempt it. And for the most part, they didn't. Cooperation worked better, and killing someone else just wasn't worth the risk. It's only when population levels rose dramatically and large groups of people occupied relatively small areas did warfare come into fashion (about 10,000 to 5,000 years ago). This post-apocalyptic game simulates a small population and small bands of people, but I digress to a degree.
Of course, I don't know what plan the developers have. I know they've thought about the options they have. They can have a mediocre game that's a moderate finacncial success. That may be all they want out of this game. Or they could fail. Such is life. They might want to make the game as they see fit regardless of consequences (financial and gamewise). That's their option. It's all okay. Obviously, we all want them to make a good game and we all assume they want to make a good game.
A good game doesn't have Unrestricted Open PvP. The game would deteriorate into a gankfest. A good game doesn't allow an ally to kill you without a penalty (The Eternal City just threw you in jail for some hours if you attacked someone in a protected area--and if you killed them without a good reason in another area, your character was perma killed by the developer after you stood trial).
Why do good games have these protection features? Because there will always be some person with his finger up his nose that likes to cause other people misery. I don't know why they do it. Maybe they have a small member, surely they have a small brain with not much thought going on. They just can't help themselves. Oh look, I can kill someone... chaaarge! No mind, plain and simple.
And because good games protect against this type of nonsense (read "non-sense", "no point"), they are more likely to thrive. They may not thrive forever, but they last for years and they do so with relatively large populations. It makes good business sense.
Of course, perhaps some of the developers want to play the game themselves and they prefer Unrestricted Open PvP. Or they have their own vision. That's all okay too.
However, if that's the case, if the developers intend to make this Unrestricted Open PvP with no meaningful PvP and no meaningful consequences for "grief" attacks, then I'd like them to let me know now so I don't waste my time. I'd like to know the plan. That's not much to ask for.