If Project Universe Were Multiplayer I Would…

The one thing I’m always thinking about, in a sad way, is what I’d like to do with Project Universe if it were a multiplayer game. Technically, I guess, if it were an MMO-esque game, or even just a host your own game like ARK: Survival Evolved.

I’m not a PvPer, but I know that people do like that thing, and not having it excludes people who might otherwise be interested. But PvEers can be horrible anti-PvP, especially when they see opportunities for themselves to be taken advantage of (aka griefing) even if it never happens. Dividing PvE from PvP is an age old requirement if you’re going to have both side by side, but dividing them too much makes a game essentially two different games under one umbrella, and that’s difficult to balance and I’m sure difficult to run and maintain.

I like the idea of putting the PvPers out where they can pew pew one another, and letting the PvEers do their gardening or whatever in a safe zone, but also letting people cross bounds if they so choose. Being a space sim, I always think of EVE Online as a touchstone, and I think they do the mix pretty OK, although you can sense that CCP really believes in pushing the envelope of PvP into PvE territory by allowing criminal acts that really only amount to griefing.

If I could set up Project Universe with multiplayer, I was thinking of allowing players to “corp up” as a player structure, but require them to select a faction under which to incorporate. Corporations would do corporation things, like make resources available to members and dedicated chat etc. PvP minded corps could head out to the zones beyond the lawful periphery and duke it out with other faction corporations in order to lay claim to the sector.

But corps wouldn’t claim the sector for themselves; they’d claim it for the faction. The corp would gain the rights to administer the sector, levying taxes and setting jumpgate fees and so on. The bulk goes to the faction, but the corporation keeps a percentage.

What this means is that PvPers can PvP all they want, but they’re also “making sectors safe” for PvEers because players can only fire on other factional members. Once a PvP corp takes over a system and plants a flag, PvEers can drift in and mine, build, and trade.

Of course, if another faction drifts in to re-take the sector, or takes a hallway sector, PvErs can either turtle up or run like hell to get out of that zone. Or jump into the fray alongside friendly faction corporations.

The purpose, really, is to make it so PvPers can fight, and have something to fight over, but at the same time make it so that not every PvPer can be hostile to everyone. PvEers would want PvPers to fight on their behalf, and PvPers would want to open more space for PvEers so they could provide them with more goods and services.

Granted, this is just “throw it on the wall and see if it sticks” talking out loud, and I’m well aware that A) there’s holes, B) might have been done somewhere/will be done somewhere (like maybe Crowfall), but I think finding an interdependence between PvPers and PvEers is something that not a lot of games have made real efforts to integrate, preferring to keep the totally apart, or cater to one or the other.

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2 Responses to “If Project Universe Were Multiplayer I Would…”

  1. Pete S says:

    What I like about this idea, and ideas similar to it, is that it makes what the PVP players do have a positive benefit for the PVE players in the same faction. That means the PVE players are more apt to support the PVP players and be happy they’re around, rather then spending all their time talking about how PVP is ruining the game.

    • Chris Smith says:

      See? Pete gets it! I think too many designers treat PvE and PvP as totally different universes. While they have different vehicles and traditionally have different goals, they don’t HAVE to have totally divergent goals. So long as each can do what it wants, there’s no reason why there can’t be some common ground and/or interplay that benefits both.

What do you think?