At last, the first portion of the promised PvP improvements are starting to appear over on Age of Conan. The Testlive server, where new patches are tested out prior to their going live, now has a new patch, and the developers have taken the opportunity to describe the basic elements of the new PvP system. These include PvP experience, gear, and player notoriety.

It's very important to note that this is all currently in testing, and is not guaranteed to make it to live in its current form. With that in mind, we bring you details of the new PvP system after the cut, hot from the Testlive forums. It's not completely implemented yet, but does give an idea of where the AoC developers are going with this.

The notoriety system in brief: players apparently start out Innocent. If you attack an Innocent player, you are temporarily flagged as Criminal whether you kill him or not. (The Criminal flag vanishes after five minutes, so long as you don't do more naughty things.) If you kill an Innocent player, you gain Murder Points. If you kill a Criminal, you don't gain any Murder Points. Accumulating enough Murder Points makes you a murderer, which means guards will attack you on sight, you will be locked out of access to traders and vendors, and other players will get more rewards for killing you.

PVP Levels and XP

* There are 10 PVP levels.
* All players are worth 100 PvP XP when killed by a similar level player.
* When you die in PvP, you lose PvP XP. The amount you lose is static, regardless of the level of player who killed you.
* Losing PVP XP will not de-level you in PvP level.
* In order to prevent abuse of the system, there is a limit set on how many times one player can gain or lose PvP XP from another.
* You gain normal PVE XP when you are involved in a PVP kill. If you or your team get credit for a PVP kill, then you gain a certain amount of PVE experience from that kill. You get 10% of the XP from that player as though he were a monster of that level. You always get a minimum of 1 xp.

PVP Items
You can buy PVP items with normal money (there is no special currency for PVP). However, your PvP level will have to meet the requirements (if any) on any items you wish to use.
* Items are not tradeable
* Sold by PvP vendors

Notoriety System
A player is flagged in three different ways using this system: innocent, criminal, and murderer.

* Criminals and Murderers will have an icon showing their status.
* Innocent : No one can perform hostile actions on you without being flagged as a Criminal.
* Criminal : Performing a hostile action on an Innocent player will flag you as a Criminal for 5 minutes. Any further Criminal acts during the 5 minute time will refresh your Criminal Status.
* Attacking Criminal players and/or killing them will not flag you as Criminal.
* Killing Criminal Players will not cause you to gain murder points.
* Murderer : Players who have attacked and killed innocent players enough times to generate 100 or more points will be flagged as Murderers. Killing lower level players (outside your XP range) will result in a larger penalty towards the murderer limit.
* Murder score is capped at 1750 points.
* For every other real time hour that passes, your murder score is reduced by 1 point.
* If you die in PvP and lose PvP XP, you will receive a 3 point reduction to your total murder score.
* Killing mobs which yield XP will reduce your murder score at a rate of 1 point per 1% of a level worth of XP. Completing quests for XP will NOT contribute.
* Murderers cannot access traders or vendors.
* Guard NPCs will attack murderers on sight.
* Dying while flagged as a murderer results in the following: a. 100% increased loss of PvP XP for the murder b. 100% increased gain of PvP XP for the person killing the murderer c. 100% increased chance of dropping an item.
* Any players interacting with a Criminal or Murderer (that includes grouping with them or trading with them) will be flagged as a Criminal.
* If you group with a Criminal or Murderer, you will be flagged as a Criminal for as long as you are in the team, and 5 minutes after the team disbands (or the Criminal/Murderer leaves the team).
* Any team member performing a criminal act will flag the entire team in the vicinity as a criminal.

One curious aspect of the system that appears to contradict earlier versions: although murdering lower level Innocent players will get you increased murder points, it seems that players who attack and kill innocent players of the same level or higher will still gain murder points, pushing them towards murderer status.

This article was originally published on Massively.