Divina PvP Preview
Last week, Divina held its second beta event, the PvP Beta. This five day event gave players the chance to continue where they left off from the first closed beta event, but it also gave players the chance to experience open world PvP – a hallmark of Divina’s gameplay – for the first time. MMOHut was given the chance to experience this – along with the guild domains – to share with you just what it’s like on the battlefield.
That thing is gonna need a big diaper.
Building a Domain
Before we get into the good stuff, let’s do a return look at the guild domain system. When we got our first look at Divina in our last preview, we touched on how guilds offered a special mini-game in which all guild members helped contribute to a larger guild domain. These contributions can, in turn, be exchanged for special bonuses and buffs inside the world’s zones at large, usable by any guild member once they’ve been activated.
Our time in Divina this past weekend included access to a special domain that let us get a first-hand grab at how exactly the system works. The process begins with individual guild members, who can place the buildings they think will help their overall guild production. These resources are then channeled to the guild domain, where more buildings and resources can be produced for the good of the guild. Finally, guild leadership can take the points produced and activate bases on the guild hinterland, which come with special bonuses such as guild-only dungeons and buffs related directly to the zone they’re in.
The one trouble we have with the guild domain system currently is simple: it isn’t explained well in game. Anyone who’s ever played a strategy game before will generally be familiar with the concept of building resource and production buildings in the domain, true. But take the fact that time, itself, is a resource for a guild: that is, guilds are limited by a certain amount of time (shown in the interface) which is consumed in the same way lumber is. The nuances, like time, in this system need better explanation for guild leaders and members alike.
It’s a little like chess…
Life Begins at 30
For all the cute graphics and playful storyline, Divina is serious when it comes to player versus player interaction. When we describe Divina as an “open-world PvP MMO,” we mean it: PvP is not optional past level 30.
The basics of PvP are this: at level 30, you’ll be able to change your PvP status from Normal to Attack. Normal mode flags your name as white, meaning (presumably) that you are peaceful and do not wish to be attacked. Attack mode flags you as interested in PvP and colors your name purple. In both modes, you can be attacked by flagged players; however, white-named players can only attack those players flagged for PvP. If a player decides to attack a white-named player, they will turn their name flag red, meaning they are player-killers. The final difference is that white-named players will not drop items when they are killed, meaning their valuables are safe.
While staying in “normal mode” is great for questing (and for showing your intent), you’re not safe. Many players found this out the hard way in Auma Trail, the first PvP-enabled area. A few player-killers – most notoriously, one named Kamina – decided to haul their higher-level butts and hang out to kill lower level players. It was up to the lower levels to fight back, or call for help from player-killer hunters (anti-PKs or PKKs), in order to resume their questing in peace. (If you’re having Ultima Online flashbacks now, you’re not alone.)
The taste of victory… and defeat.
Unfortunately, most of the player versus player we saw over Divina’s PvP event was just this kind of event: a single savior (or two) coming to rescue lower level players from the evil-PKer haunting the zone entrance of Auma Trail. While this may not sound like a good sign, keep in mind that this was a limited beta in which few people had high enough level to fight back against the PKers. Thanks to our media access, however, we were one of the few who did.
Thankfully, the final event in the last wee hours of the beta was a revenge hunt, in which players gathered together to hunt down and fight against Kamina, the notorious player-killer (who gained the assistance of the GMs for this event). This event brought the blood back to the battlefield, and gave us an intense hour of brawling to pay back for all the innocent lives taken.
This time, Kamina wasn’t stabbing us to death.
What’s it like, anyway?
Describing PvP in any game can be difficult, especially in first impressions. After all, PvP is a heart-pounding, adrenaline –raising task, and the first few battles in any game are often haphazard at best. Still, there were a few things we gleaned.
First of all, PvP is fast-paced in Divina. Most battles are over before anyone has time to quick-change to their other class for a secondary health bar. This also leads to our second lesson: generally, the aggressor wins the battle. This isn’t always the case, of course, but usually the person who gets the first attack in has an advantage in the battle that might be hard to beat.
A third lesson we learned is that PvP is very centered on instant-use abilities. Casting spells or channeled abilities just don’t get the job done in the precious time available before one of you falls dead. This means that for ranged classes especially, keeping your enemy at bay – or plucking them off as a friend fights them – is extremely important. Meanwhile, melee classes can go in and hit very hard and very fast. Knights and Assassins seem to lead the way in PvP power-housing, but we’re sure that other classes will keep them in balance if they are well played. For more ideas about what classes may work well together in PvP, check out Divina’s Class Guide.
The final get-together.
On a parting note, it’s important to note that the Divina community will be a big part of how PvP ends up defined in the game. With a free, open-world PvP system, it relies on the community to police against player-killers (or endorse them). While there will inevitably be some griefing found from time to time, we believe that the positive community that already supports Gamania’s current games will provide an energizing, entertaining experience for PvPers and peaceful players alike.