I recently came back to the game from a break during which I played the almost equally empty Darkfall - I decided in the end that while Darkfall had the pvp side of a sandbox well done, it would never have the crafting and gathering side as well as Xsyon does. And while Xsyon will hopefully implement pvp, Darkfall will probably never implement a much better crafting/gathering system.
But now I hear from the recent interview with Jordi that the game is going to appease both carebears and pvpers eventually by having the option of a safezone but with some unspecified disadvantages compared to the tribes that are not safe.
Assuming that the devs have made this decision while listening to the playerbase, it sounds like these forums have been overrun by carebears speculating about what pvpers would like while they're taking a break from the game. This has led to the ridiculous idea that it is actually possible to appease both carebears and pvpers in the same sandbox game, which it is not, and I will explain why. (Please bear in mind that this post is not meant as an attack on carebears, and if that is the direction the game must go in, so be it)
When you think of the term 'pvper', you might think we just want the opportunity to bash some heads in, but that is not the case with the 'pvpers' who come to Xsyon. Those 'bashing pvpers' have much better games to play - games that are designed specifically for the pvp experience. The pvpers who are attracted to Xsyon, on the other hand, are generally an entirely different kind of pvper. They come to play a certain type of sandbox, and for them, 'pvp' is just a necessary ingredient of the kind of world that they would like to play in.
This certain type of sandbox is a virtual world that is truly alive. We are here to experience a world that is alive with the conflict and tensions that a real world is. We want to look out at the landscape and see the reflection of a complex political history. We want to be able to make a mark on this world and see the ripples of our actions flow through the rest of the world. We want to experience fear when we have angered the local powers and know that we must go into hiding because the surrounding towns do want want to harbor an outlaw. We want to experience pride when we have conquered a region and can look out and see all of the settlements that know we are now in charge.
Such a world cannot exist while there are safezones scattered throughout. We feel no fear when we only have to run to the nearest one. We do not feel that the world is alive when we conquer a region but some settlements are not threatened at all by our presence. The PvP sandbox world cannot exist while it caters also to carebears.
The Carebear sandbox game, however, may exist alongside the 'bashing pvper', which has been, I suspect, the source of confusion. You can have a safezone while allowing pvp outside the walls, but it is fundamentally not the kind of game I am here for. And as I have said, most pvpers who will settle for this kind of game have games that are much more suited to them.
This game must choose: do we want a world that is alive, or do we want a world that is ultimately a complex version of Lego? I mean no disrespect to the latter kind of game - it is a very interesting genre. But this game cannot be both.
My name in-game is Toratha by the way.