Funcom, we need to talk about PvP

Hello. I’d like to share some thoughts and concerns about the current state of the game and strange tendencies in the ‘recent’ changes which in a strange way conflict with the activity of admins on official servers.

This is going to be a pretty long post, but I urge you to read it fully and to take the presented suggestions into consideration.

First of all, I need to point out that I’m speaking from a position of a player who prefers to play on Official PvP servers only. I’ll not touch such subjects as PvE, RP (Although, I want speech bubbles back and the ability to emote while walk is toggled. I mean… come on), modding and server admin rights/possibilities.

I, as many other players like me, prefer to play the game in its purest form, without any sliders and stats being altered. Also the charm of official servers lies in the simple fact that no particular players (admin and their friends) have access to unfair advantages and can’t directly decide the fate the server (wipes, shut-downs).

The overall state of the game. The good.

Since the rework on Siptah and to this day there have been a great number of positive changes, additions and balancing. The highly needed nerf to mounted combat, which for a very long time made PvP painfully unfun, finally brought it to a tolerable level.

The decreased damage done by thralls and pets to players is also a highly praised change.

Performance of the official servers has also vastly improved, with exception of some strange FPS drops in certain areas after the latest patch (Which I’m pretty sure you’re already aware of and working on).

But perhaps the most fascinating undocumented change (Maybe I simply miss it somehow) for last several months is the increased activity of admins who punish cheaters and excessive land-claimers. If before it could take weeks for blatant rule-breakers to roam free and to ruin the game for everyone on the server, now punishments are implemented within days and even hours after reports are submitted. Laws and rules mean nothing if there is nobody to enforce them, and I salute you with respect for finally beginning to do that.

However… there are some issues that need to be addressed.

Overall state – Changes that affect PvP in a negative way.

For the last several months there was a number of changes that seem to be great on paper, but in their implementation cause direct harm to PvP. I’m talking of course, about the visible health bars and pick-able building pieces.

The ability to pick building pieces created a meta (as everyone predicted of course) of door-less bases. Basically, this system encourages players to hide their belongings within walls and floors, inaccessible via any doors or hatches. Why bother create such vulnerable and noticeable access points if you can simply pick up a wall, dig through your chests and then simply place the wall back? This is an unhealthy and frustrating system which came from a good intent but which doesn’t belong on PvP servers, where destruction of buildings and smart base layout play the most active role.

Not to mention that this system does not apply to buildings which actually need it the most – animal pens and altars. These two buildings are notoriously difficult to place correctly, and often require several attempts to get right.

As a solution, please, either completely disable this feature on PvP official servers, or at least add a time (like a minute or two) when the piece is pick-able after placement. After the timer runs out it should become solid.

Visible health bars is an even worse problem, which utterly destroys several highly enjoyable and important elements of PvP.

  • Attention to the choice of armor and dyes, so they would make your character blend into surrounding and remain unnoticed.

  • Stealth gameplay, when you sneak into enemy base, hide in plain sight and even pose as a thrall.

  • Getting away from stronger, aggressive opponents by using terrain and environment.

  • Construction of bases in a maze-like manner, where it’s possible to play cat’n’mouse with the opponents.

All of these elements of gameplay are outright killed by this change. Whenever someone is raiding a base, they can see health bars through many layers of walls and throughout any environment. This change makes sense for tracking hp bars of your clan-mates and thralls, it is true. But I don’t understand why does it also affects hostile NPC and enemy players.

It doesn’t just damage PvP, but PvE as well (yes I know, I promised not to touch this theme, but still), buried skeletons’ hp bars are visible from huge distance, completely breaking the immersion and ‘spookiness’ of such places as cellar and Unnamed city.

Of all recent changes this is easily one of the most damaging and hated. Nobody wants it, please, remove it or at least fix, so that it only works for owned thralls and clan-mates. Or if this is too difficult to do, simply disable the visible HP bars on official PvP servers by default. Please.

Decay timers and player list

The decision to make names in player list hidden always seemed bizarre to me. It is supposed to prevent offline raiding, yet all it does is damages the social aspect of the game, as people choose not to speak in global and local in fear of losing the precious anonymity. It also damages the ability to track offenders and cheaters, as without knowing their name, especially if they use foreign letters, it’s increasingly more difficult to report them.

Not to mention that all of the above pointless limitations are easily bypassed by visiting server-tracking sites, which show player names to those who choose to use them.

In other words, please make names in the player list visible again at all times.

Another issue related to this, is the decay timers. If this change to player list was supposed to help against the offline raiding, why do decay timers still show the exact number of seconds left? Don’t you realize that such precise counters help cowardly raiders to choose targets simply by checking the decay timers on buildings?

This issue persisted since the very creation of the game and for some reason hasn’t been fixed. And the solution is so simple – simply don’t show the exact number of seconds and minutes on decay timers. Only show the number of hours, and only after they pass for example half of the total timer. Done. Fixed.

Admin punishments and unclear building rules

So… while I previously praised the growing activity of admins in punishing cheaters and excessive land-claimers, there already have been a number of cases when punishments have been applied unfairly and undeservingly.

Just recently a large clan’s base on my server has been deleted for its size. Even though it didn’t cause any lag, it didn’t have any foundation spam around it, it simply took over one of the aqueduct bridges. The issue here lies in the conflict between the unclear rules of what is considered an excessively large base and the ‘economy update’ game design. The economy update spawned a number of work benches which are so needlessly large and require so much space, that building larger bases becomes a simple necessity for a clan that wants to house them all.

Why for example a simple dye station is 2 foundations high and takes 2 by 3 foundations of horizontal space? Why is it so needlessly large? If you don’t want people to build too large bases – don’t make your numerous crafting stations take so much space. Or if you wish to stick to the philosophy of the new economy update, then don’t punish people for building larger than expected bases.

This issue becomes even worse (and the reason why I even decided to make this post) with the recent announcements on 2.8 testlive patch, that it will no longer be possible to foundation stack. Foundation stacking is the core, most important PvP mechanic for proper, compact base defense. If you wish to get rid of it – fine, but take into consideration that this will force people to build even larger bases.

Any PvP base requires several layers of defense, considering how little it takes to blast through t3 building pieces. After this change every PvP-viable base will increase in size at least 3-4 times. It is inevitable because it is necessary.

So every PvPer’s biggest question right now is this – are we going to be punished for building large bases which admins deem ‘too large’ simply because the game design forces us to do so?

All of these questions wouldn’t stand if either the rules of building were more clear or if there was an actual limit of building pieces per player/clan. Please, take into consideration the consequences of the foundation-stacking removal and let know better how we’re allowed to build on official servers and how not.


Wait…you can hide yourself from the player screen? HOW?! I would love to know how to do this because it’s the one thing that makes me cringe…‘they see me on and so now they know I am more active than I let on.’ I’m a stealth player and give a rats behind about social aspects anymore (yea I know…got a bit bitter due to being burned way too often…I actively warn others at how meta-knowledge is used against you when you friend others now because of it. )


I’m not sure what exactly you mean with your question. If you mean the player list then you remain hidden for as long as you don’t post anything in global and local, and if there is nobody on the server who has you in their steam friend list (I heard that this has been ‘fixed’ though, so not sure).

If you mean being hidden in-game - that’s my issue. You don’t anymore. Every player can see your hp bar within certain radius. No matter if you’re behind walls, behind rocks or under their floor. Stealth gameplay is dead and all it takes is to go into settings, to check the ‘visible health bars’ and to increase the distance to the max. There, you got a free, legal wall-hack.

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Ok I’m a console player (long story but I kissed Apple and MS goodbye and yes I know this is under the PC discussion but testlive affects everyone and besides things that happen in PC tend to show up on PS and usually always ends up on Xbox) so the only player list that I know of is the one in the menu screen. If there is a way I can not be on there while…AWESOME!

Yeah the healthbar thing is tricky. It almost promotes offlining more.

No problem with visible hp bars and i dont want that be changed back

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PC has unknown unless you chat in global. I don’t know about consoles anymore.

i recently raised the same suggestion because i also got banned from an aparent “too big” base.
In pvp you HAVE to make some layers of defense to protect everything your clan needs in a war, altars, stables, wheel of pain, all those things requieres some massive space and even bigger layer of defense to protect them. or the t3 benches requieres a lot of space.

A building limit or just CLEAR rules in what you can and cannot build so we don’t get banned just for… having a base.



You PVP people are already having PVE building techniques removed. Can you please, pretty please with a cherry on top, stop asking for a freaking building limit?

How about what @Kilix proposed:

That sounds much better. It won’t stop people from breaking those rules and then complaining about bans, but at least it should help the few people who really didn’t know better, without ■■■■■■■■ up the whole PVE playerbase.


both solutions work, as long as we know exactly what we can, and cannot do.

Another solution would be to add specific limitations that ONLY affects pvp servers.
because the style of gameplay is pretty much incompatible with each other.



Here we go again


No, they don’t. It’s been explained in several recent discussions that building limits won’t solve the problem. Feel free to look around for the explanation, instead of derailing this thread. You can’t swing a cat around these forums without hitting a thread that talks about building limits.

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derailing this thread? xD.
dude, the topic is about The state of pvp. And one of the points is

So tell me, how proposing a solution is “derailing” the thread? XD

we can disagree all day, but the reality is that things need to be done to improve the quality of life of PvP official servers.
And i do agree with the OP that funcom has not been clear enough in their rules on officials
That is why more and more people is complaining of receiving unjust bans.
don’t you think is more than a coincidence and rather something that is actually happening?.

i leave you with this question:


You want absolutes rules when there are too many variables to account for to generate a spec you can follow…how about the simple rule of keeping all other players in mind when building? Seems simple enough…don’t be a jerk in land claim…in building trash… in lagging the system with excessive memory hogging placeables…in playing. That is the spec…don’t be jerks towards each other.


Because no one will talk about anything else but that.


Proposing a solution that doesn’t work, for one small part of what the thread is about, only to repeat the same discussion that has already been done several times, just because you think beating that particular dead horse hasn’t been beaten quite enough? Yeah, can’t see how that would be derailing the thread…

Yes, they do. Just not things that don’t work.

In an astonishing number of these cases, people haven’t even bothered to get the information about the ban from Funcom. They just assumed they got banned because of X, Y, or Z. Those who do get information, usually get some bland canned reply along the lines of “abuse of building system” without any useful details from Funcom — which, by the way, is entirely Funcom’s fault — and then come here to complain about how they “got banned for building too big”.

So yeah, I think it’s BS, not to put too fine a point on it.

That’s an excellent question! And I think it’s high time Funcom improved the way they handle bans, wipes, and communication about them, because I’m tired of having the same stupid conversation with the same stubborn people who somehow think that the answer to this question is to implement building limits.

I’m not even going to point out what @erjoh summarized in his reply to you, because that’s trying to reason with you lot, and I don’t care for that anymore. I have now officially changed my stance to “Yes, Funcom should definitely spend as much time as they can writing the most excruciatingly detailed rules about how to not build.” That way the vast majority of us who are neither getting banned nor have any trouble with the rules can point the rest of you towards those rules when you come to the forums to have a temper tantrum about your ban, and give you the legal advice you deserve:


Excellent post. Well thought out, well written and constructive. Excellent work. Nothing I disagree with. I will say that it’s becoming plainly obvious that the fundamental problem everyone keeps dancing around is that raiding as a system is fundamentally broken. I have no clue what Funcom needs to do to fix it, but it’s obviously gone off the rails when the mechanical pressures from the system push players to engage in behaviors that bring them closer to a poorly defined line on which the other side lies banishment from the game. I don’t believe most of the people that come here and complain they were “unfairly banned” as that’s exactly what I expect poor sports to do. That being said, it’s also plainly obvious the game encourages that behavior in its design and that’s just not a good place to be.


Well in pvp thats exactly the issue if you have to build defenses to avoid others players from entering your base you need to have a reasonable size.
you know the size some buildings have and you need to have them because otherwise, why would they even there if we cannot use those buildings to play the damn game?.
(stables, wheel of pain, altars of god and all the t3 benches, fishing traps…ect ect.)

But why we should talk about ONLY the things you or he would like in this specific thread when we are approaching one of the main points?
Why i can’t reply to one specific point when is easier to keep track of what is being discussed?
Sounds like nonsense to me. in fact, it sounds more like some people here don’t like to hear different opinions hell, the fact that you guys made me talk about is derailing the topic, lets just move on.

Well the fact that the QoL of PVP is not better, is actually worse because nothing was done despite all the times it has been discussed and they didn’t even tried a solution, that tells me that yes, it needs to be discussed and yes, it needs to be said until is not longer an issue. because its the only way to actually make it better.

Of course they will because the lack of communiation from funcom is what it has been causing this.
Being too ambigous on the rules or just don’t saying exactly why you got banned when you think you have done everything right.

Then we agree on something at least, that funcom needs to be more clear so we can avoid both this situations and discussions. if it wasn’t an issue we wouln’t be talking about it, hell i would be probably playing instead of writting this.

If you play pvp and you never got banned from anything, i congratulate you and give you 100 good boi points.
But if you are a pve player then of course you are not getting banned because unless you build the chinese wall in a scale of 1.1 there is no reason to break the current rules from funcom that yes, it works for pve.

In Pvp when you are the builder of a clan of 10 people who is at war vs 20 people Then you just have to have a good amount of buildings and a equal amount, if not more of defenses.
No stacking, no blocking resources, just building all you need for your war effort. nothing more.

If funcom doesn’t want me to make a big base, then their buildings should not occupy 8x8 of space
map room, wheel of pain, altar, stables, animal pen… vaults…ect ect.
nothing else to say…


Very true. Most people flat out state they know why they got the boot. But in essence, that is the point of it…we instinctively know what we are doing is crappy or not. Heck I got bases that I question. I bet everyone does. But the ultimate test or it all…does it really matter? Does it mean that I’m not going to have fun rebuilding if FC snaps the infinity gauntlet my direction? Im going to have probably more fun since in know as heck of a lot more than I used to and have the freedom to maybe move to another server…Learn everything to learn on that map an do have an Uber character,. The game is open sandbox. This means whatever you are dealt with…you determine if you are having fun or not.


And that is the issue. The root of PvP strife…you can’t distinguish between player and character. Players are real people in the real world that have lives outside of the game. Are you taking their enjoyment into consideration? Characters are battling for supremacy. Characters are the game tokens of the players that either climb the ladder or slide down the chute…go bankrupt or create monopoly. Do you see the difference? One does not equate to the other although they are linked in the game play.

of course not, our main goal is to make their life in the game as miserable as possible. or at least mine.
But hey, if you choose this gameplay, you are also at risk that someones comes in and destroy you and make your life ingame harder, and if you don’t want to be on side who is miserable, then you need to win.
but that is all part of the game and is a risk we assume when we choose to play this mode.
and all that doesn’t matter.
its one thing having a bad experience in the game because you lost, because it can always happen if you do something wrong. and entirely other because the rules aren’t clear enough, and that is on funcom XD.