There seems to be this thought going around in the general Riftspace that the game isn't shipping with any support for world PvP as a result of there being no keeps, or no world objectives. There isn't any reason to be out in the world for PvP because you'll get less favor for PvP gear than if you simply ground Warfronts which aren't everyone's cup of tea if what they're really jonesing for is some sweet sweet open world PvP.
What are you people thinking?
I ask that quite sincerely, because I'd like to know why the world itself, isn't relevant when it comes to issues over which players can fight. I'm talking about the commonly known interest in fighting over rifts, wardstones, resources, instances, and picking a fight because you feel like it and someone is going to be getting your boot printed onto their tongue because you're going to shove it that far up their rear end.
Now, let me talk geography for a little bit.
Hopefully it'll provide a basis of understanding.
The world as we've seen it so far is generally bracketed for PvE the same way Warfronts have their brackets. That is to say each contested zone is a hotbed of activity simply by the amount of people that are there. The other faction isn't off leveling in a corner somewhere you can't get to. People aren't gathering for their crafts down in a hole where no one else can see. The adventures of Defiants and Guardians will cross paths, and they will do so all the time. CB5 will give us a taste of that, as well as another instance.
I remember when people were hoping the instances were a little closer together, instead of just one every 10 levels to 50. Well, we saw one in CB4, and we're seeing another one now in CB5 with a level increase of only 3. So hopefully that silences that.
Now imagine coming onto the scene at level 40-45ish somewhere. Everyone in that area is either somewhere around your level, or probably 50. And in this world, you have to go and get your exp, and you have to go and gather your stuff, and run your instances, and battle the rifts that spawn on top of you, and the quests that have you running all over the place.
Well guess what?
The other faction is doing that too.
In that area.
And they'll also either be around your level or probably 50.
So I ask again.
What makes you think there won't be any world PvP in this game?
There are far more important things to fight over than a keep out in the middle of nowhere, for a buff or percentage increase. These features have only weighed down the two faction games that had them. The keeps could be fun, but if it was more effective to gather whatever PvP points by just swapping them, that's what people ended up doing. My memorable fights in those games only involved the keep to the point of it being off in the background somewhere because of its size. The fights weren't about the keep. The fights were about the fights. That doesn't stop people from simply gimping the system and sucking the fun right out of it.
Dark Age of Camelot worked because it had 3 factions. Period. Two faction games cannot support the idea of keeps. None of them have done it well. If Rift allowed the races to belong to factions by individual choice, and allowed them to form their own factions through player politics, then Rift would be perfect. From what I heard in today's Riftpodcast, even if the previous idea will never be a reality, what is there is pretty damned close to being the equivalent of eating your cake too. World objectives do exist in this game. And they are there in a way that might actually do it pretty close to the mark of what many could consider right. You really have to listen to it to understand what it will be like. All the same, Rift has two factions. Hopefully what they're doing is close enough to the mark, without falling prey to the same perils that every other two faction game before it has suffered as a result of attempting world objectives.
World of Warcraft's PvP was quite stellar in the summer months of 05. Right before the Battle Grounds were even introduced, all the PvP generally happened in places like Stranglethorn, or Hillsbrad (so close to my heart that place), or another favorite, Tyr's Hand. Rogues got to know Stormwind and Ironforge very well (Undead Rogue ID#: 89824602362342623). We got to pull off all kinds of fun things in capital cities, just for the hell of it.
World objectives weren't necessary, and some would argue, neither were the Battle Grounds. They just spiraled off into this idea that has become a persistent attachment to the majority of fantasy MMOs that have come after it. They're fun, don't get me wrong. But it's kind of like playing Need for Speed: Underground or Most Wanted if anyone remembers those games. The freedom to cruise around and do what you liked made those games so much fun. You knew the maps so well after a while. Midnight Club is another one made of pretty fantastic stuff. "Tag" wasn't even in the game, it was just something added to it by friends to do against each other while cruising around in the open world on the same screen.
Anyway, the size of Rift's zones so far pretty much guarantee that they'll be populated with people doing different things across fairly broad level ranges. Those things involve wardstones (quest hubs), those things involve rifts (exp, currency for planar items, drops), instances (exp, drops), and gathering (crafting, profiteering).
You mean to tell me you don't want to pick a fight with someone on the other side doing one of those things?
Come on now.
PS: If you haven't heard this fantastic PvP podcast yet, then you need to hear it. Rift is more than just a PvE game. So much more, and that so much more is PvP. Everything is explained, such as Valor being something built into your character's stats as they level. Anyone interested in PvP needs to hear that man talk.World PvP objectives are in the game. So that should silence all that noise too.
PPS: Weekly 5v5 Nights. Open world PvP chosen to happen in a particular contested zone each week, where people cruise around with their friends in groups of 5, and engage other people doing the same thing. I'd like to hope people wouldn't interfere with a 5v5 if they saw it happening, and would allow themselves to cross the paths of other people on their side, perhaps chat about where the other side might be, and then move on again rather than just cruise around as a pack of 10. Basically just keeping the spirit of fierce but respectful 5v5s and allowing it to simply exist as it is.
Which doesn't mean the 5v5 Night probably won't end up as one big ass brawl anyway.
This happened in DAoC too, so hopefully people who enjoyed it there, can appreciate the world for being a source of PvP even if there isn't a keep to fight over. It also happened in WoW. So you new school folks who may not have experienced "the glory of DAoC", should also be able to jive with it too.
If we establish this as a weekly thing once enough people interested have all reached a certain level (like 40-45ish) then we'll have a great way to enjoy open world PvP regularly as we make our way to 50, and continue doing as we're all at 50 and doing all the other fun things being 50 lets us do.
There's no reason for us not to, especially with all the things you can make through the soul system.