PvE

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    What is PvE?

    PvE stands for Player versus Environment. In text-based roleplaying games, it refers to scenarios where players interact with the game’s world and its non-player characters (NPCs), rather than competing against other players.

    The focus is on overcoming challenges presented by the game itself, like solving puzzles, battling monsters, or completing quests. PvE emphasizes storytelling, exploration, and cooperation among players to achieve common goals within the game world.

    A brief history of the term

    The term Player versus Environment (PvE) originated in the early days of multiplayer online gaming. It emerged as a way to differentiate between player-focused competition and interactions with the game’s challenges.

    Over time, the use of PvE has expanded from its initial association with early text-based games to a wide range of video games. Its popularity has grown as developers have created more complex and engaging environments for players to explore.

    Modern usage

    PvE is commonly used in various gaming communities and types of games where players cooperate to overcome challenges set by the game itself. It includes both cooperative multiplayer games and single-player experiences where the environment presents the primary challenge.

    Types of games that feature PvE include but are not limited to:

    MMORPG, RPG, FPS, survival games, strategy games, sandbox games, adventure games, hack and slash, and their respective communities.


    PvE examples

    • In a text-based multi-user (MU*) game, solving a complex labyrinth filled with traps and puzzles to retrieve a legendary artifact.
    • Battling a high-level dragon using a combination of skills, strategies, and team coordination in a MMORPG.
    • Completing a quest in a tabletop game that involves overcoming a series of guard patrols and environmental hazards, such as slick ice or vats of acid, to rescue a captive ally.
    • Engaging in a storyline mission that involves piecing together ancient relics to prevent a catastrophic event orchestrated by AI-controlled antagonists.

    Myths about PvE

    PvE is easier than PvP: PvE often involves complex strategies and can be designed to challenge even the most skilled players, especially in high-level content like raids or elite dungeons.

    PvE doesn’t require as much skill as PvP: While PvE and PvP require different skills, PvE also demands significant strategic planning, quick reflexes, and a thorough understanding of game mechanics.

    PvE is only for casual players: PvE content varies widely in difficulty, including extremely challenging dungeons and raids that are respected in the gaming community for their complexity and the skill required to complete them.

    PvE FAQs

    How is PvE different from PvP?

    PvE focuses on challenges created by the game’s environment, such as AI-controlled opponents and obstacles, while PvP (player versus player) involves competition against other players. PvE allows for cooperative play against the game setting, fostering teamwork and strategy against predetermined scenarios.

    How do PvE elements enhance a roleplaying game?

    PvE elements such as quests, monsters, and puzzles provide structured challenges that help develop a character’s story and abilities within the game. They add depth and complexity to the game world, making it more engaging and immersive for players.

    Can PvE scenarios be found in all types of roleplaying games?

    Yes, PvE scenarios are common in nearly all types of roleplaying games, including text-based games, massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs), and tabletop games. They are integral to the narrative and gameplay, providing a wide range of challenges that help in character development and plot advancement.

    What are some common features of PvE gameplay?

    Common features of PvE gameplay include quests, dungeons, raids, and story missions. These elements are designed to challenge players with puzzles, combat, and strategic play that require understanding of the game mechanics and teamwork in cases of multiplayer scenarios.

    How does PvE impact player strategy and development?

    PvE gameplay requires players to strategically develop their characters, choosing appropriate skills and equipment to overcome challenges. It promotes understanding of game mechanics and teamwork, particularly in environments like raids or dungeons where multiple players must cooperate to succeed.

    Can you play PvE solo?

    Yes, many PvE games allow solo play, where a player can experience the game’s content on their own. However, some games are designed to be more enjoyable and manageable with a group, offering cooperative gameplay elements that encourage teamwork and social interaction.

    What are some popular PvE games?

    Popular PvE games include MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy Online, action RPGs like The Witcher 3 and Skyrim, and cooperative shooters like Destiny 2 and Borderlands. These games offer rich narratives, engaging gameplay, and expansive worlds to explore.

    An example of a popular text-based PvE game is Alter Aeon, a multi-user dungeon game. Another is StickMUD. Both of these games are accessible-friendly and offer features to assist players with visual impairments or disabilities.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."