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E308: PvP in The Agency

One of the many things people have been looking for in an MMOFPS environment is the ability to engage in some hardcore PvP. Shooter fans seem to absolutely love the thrill of fragging others straight off the map. While we weren't able to nail down all of the specifics from our talk with Matt Wilson, Executive Director of Development from SOE Seattle, we did manage to wrangle a few juicy tidbits from him. Some of the answers we got regarding the things they are considering for The Agency may prove to be welcome news to FPS PvP devotees.

Massively: Is The Agency going to be open to a PvP type of environment?

In the example we see in the video, the only thing you can do is actually blow up the bombs and kill yourself, that kind of thing. In PvP we'll have to flag friendly fire on or off -- if you want to shoot your team, you can. If you don't, you won't. In PvE, we're really focused on friendly fire being off most of the time because of players joining ad-hoc groups. We don't want to make the game a griefer's paradise.

We were thinking more of the ability to combat each other in a situation like the example mission we saw in the trailer. One group would be trying to destroy the support pillars in an embassy, and another group attempting to save them.

Yeah, we'll definitely have that. [laughs] In fact, you've actually hit one of the PvP maps that we're playing in the office now. We have "blow things up and prevent the blow up" maps.

Also, in the tail end of the video we saw at E3, we were introduced to the ParaGON base. During one scene, we saw people fighting in a boxing ring. This seems like it would be another perfect PvP element. Are you looking to incorporate that as well?

Oh yeah, that's dueling. Sometimes it will be worth something, but a lot of cases it will just be entertainment. I don't know how many times I've dueled in other games just for the fact that I was bored, and it was just fun to see who was better. We want to give players lots of different ways to have fun.

Considering the heavy shooter elements in The Agency, are you looking into getting into some of the e-sports circuits along with games like CS and TF2?

You know, I hope we can do that. We actually had some people come up just recently who are part of what we're calling a 'shooter advisory board.' You'll hear more about this towards Fan Faire and after that. But we gathered a group of people who basically make their livings off of these events, and we're asking them what systems they need to play, how to run tournaments, that kind of thing. Hopefully we'll be able to help them succeed with it.

Primarily, it is up to us to make a game that's good enough that people will really want to compete. If we're successful in that, we then need to make sure we have the systems in place to help the community. Ultimately, the cool part about shooters is that they are largely community supported when it comes to tournaments. We'll have our own supported tournaments, but there's no reason we wouldn't want people to run their own tournaments as well.

Sounds good to us!

It certainly seems like there's a great deal of promise for the FPS fans who have been looking for something with a bit more depth in regards to the combination of PvP and PvE content in an MMO setting. The FPS fans around the virtual Massively offices are certainly oohing and aahing at some of the great information we've managed to get at E3 -- especially the revelation that SOE is looking into holding their own Agency tournaments! Be sure to keep an eye out as we release even more hot news on The Agency along with the rest of our E3 coverage in the next couple of days.

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