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Making an MMORPG: PvP

"What makes a good MMORPG?"

I've decided to devote a bit of my time and a few articles to exploring this. In my last few pieces, I wrote about character progression, followed by gameplay mechanics and combat, and in the one before I spoke of story and premise. Today I'll talk about my favorite aspect of any MMORPG: PvP!

I have a confession to make. As a self-described PvP enthusiast in all things MMORPG, I've never played what many consider to be the holy grail of world PvP: Dark Age of Camelot. Even worse, the reason I missed out on those golden days was that I was firmly entrenched in two very distinctly PvE heavy MMORPGs: Ragnarok Online (before War of Emperium) and then Final Fantasy XI. Still, in spite of my transgressions, I'd like to think that I've acquitted myself quite well by delving deep into almost every PvP-oriented game since: Defense of the Ancients, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Bloodline Champions, Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, the short-lived Fury, Atlantica Online, Champions Online, Aion, Rift and World of Warcraft. In other words, I've seen most of what MMORPGs have to offer, so let's just get down to talking about what makes for a thriving PvP system.

Nexon became the North American publisher for Atlantica Online last month, and that certainly hasn't delayed the addition of new content to the game. The massive Three Kingdoms update will launch on April 26 and bring with it a new high level mercenary named General Guan Yu, new quests and dungeons, and the Expedition Team feature.

The new quests reflect the power struggles that occurred during the Three Kingdoms period in China. They will focus primarily on the Battle of Red Cliffs, a decisive battle that signified the end of the Han Dynasty and ultimately laid the foundation for the establishment of the Three Kingdoms: Wu, Wei, and Shu.

For more details, head over to the Atlantica Online site.

Starting March 22, Nexon will take on the publishing duties of Atlantica Online in North America. The service migration will result in the adoption of NX Cash as the currency for purchasing in-game items and add-ons via the Item Mall. Other new features will include an updated website, revamped forums, an overhauled PvP ranking page and more.

For more details on the service switch, check out the official FAQ. For example, players will still be able to log into the game using their Ndoors account through April 19. After that, it will be mandatory to convert your account to a Nexon ID.

In response to player feedback, the Atlantica Online team has removed stamina from the game. Stamina was a "fatigue" system that limited the amount of monsters you could kill, and this change takes that hurdle out of the free-to-play MMO.

“The Atlantica Online team really values the input and feedback we receive from our players”, Assistant Producer Eric Han said. “We’re constantly working to improve the mechanics of the game, and thanks to our active vocal community we are able to make enhancements that keep them engaged and excited to keep playing.”

In celebration of Atlantica Online's second anniversary, Ndoors Interactive has unveiled Carmilla the Vampire Countess, the game's first user-created mercenary! Players can use her to drain enemies' health and cause severe damage or to heal their allies while in battle.

Players can currently purchase Carmilla-themed items from the in-game store. To see Carmilla in action, check out the video after the jump.

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