Saturday, August 20, 2022

Come Over Here And Say That! PvP In Noah's Heart.

Since it's the weekend, no-one will ever read this, which means I can write about whatever I like! And what I want to write about is... Noah's Heart. Of course it is.

Also, if no-one's going to read this post, I don't have to bother about any of those difficult things like structure, purpose or coherency. Not that I have been bothering much about any of those, lately. Blaugust tends to do that to me. I wonder if anyone's noticed? I doubt it. Blaugust's probably doing the same to us all.

Let me think. There's a ton of odds and ends I've been meaning to to mention but couldn't find a neat way to stitch together into a post that felt like it was going somewhere. Which shall I pick? I know! PvP.

Yes, Noah's Heart has PvP. Are there any mmorpgs these days that don't? It long ago became one of the boxes any mmorpg had to check to be taken seriously, whether it makes any logical sense for the setting or not.

Begining with the usual caveat that, where Noah's Heart is concerned, I have no idea what I'm talking about, it's my current understanding that there's no open-world PvP at all, consensual or otherwise. As far as I can tell, everything happens in instances, under the Arena umbrella. 

(That's not literally under an umbrella, of course, although it could be. One of the most charming things about Noah's Heart is the way NPCs take out umbrellas and open them every time it starts to rain. That's the kind of attention to detail that raises a game to another level.)

There's an Arena tab on the Adventure screen (The other two types of adventure are Exploration and Challenge.), where you can choose from half a dozen different fighting options. I'd list them but you can read the details in the screenshot so it would be a bit redundant, just like the word "bit" is, in this sentence.

Of those six, I have so far only tried two: the two which don't yet exist. Stay with me; I'll explain.

The first I tried was Honor Arena. It's a straightforward death match against a single opponent in which you fight as your own character, using the abilities of whichever phantom currently possesses you. (Just go with it.)

The second was Fantasy Arena. That one's an automated battle between your choice of Phantom team and another player's. (Do you need a glossary? Tough. You're not getting one.) 

As you can see, both of those are flagged "Coming Soon" but for once, soon is now. They're each not only available but have Seasons running.

The reason I did the pair of them was for the dailies. The reason I'm doing dailies is because dailies give Active Points. The reason I need Active Points is because Active Points give Mystery Case Clues and Midnight Intel. The reason I need Mystery Case Clues and Midnight Intel is because that's how you open the next chapter of the Scarlet Mark Mystery Season... and now I'm lost, too.

I was mildly apprehensive about going into a PvP arena, as one is, but it turned out to be fast, simple and fun. Also surprisingly successful, given I have no real idea how to play my character or my phantoms and have made next to no effort to upgrade any of them.

The thing about PvP dailies that reward items needed for non-PvP content, something I've encountered in other games as well, is that they necessarily attract people who don't give a whit about PvP. All those folk want is to get in and out as fast as possible with the least hassle. If that means standing motionless while you kill them then that's what they'll do.

Four wins as Ave. Two wins as Charlie. Four Losses not shown.


Honestly, I've done it myself, although not in Noah's Heart. And so far, in ten matches I've only run across one person who didn't fight back. My own record, on this admittedly miniscule sample, is surprisingly good: 6/10 in fact. 

Absolutely none of those wins involved any skill on my part. I wouldn't even say I'd been lucky, other than in drawing opponents weaker than me in the random matchmaking. If there's any weighting in the algorithm I must be too low in the mix to see it because some matches are against players the same rank as me, others higher. 

I'm currently Bronze II and the highest player I fought was, I think, something like Silver II. I have no idea what these ranks mean other than Silver has to be better than Bronze. Also that the Silver players I've fought very clearly know what they're doing, while most of the Bronze players have either been even more clueless than me or were just trying to get it over with as fast as possible.

No match so far has lasted more than about twenty seconds and matchmaking has been close to instant, so what sounds like a daunting five match requirement for the daily actually takes about three minutes. For that you get a massive 30 Active Points, which means I'm definitely going to keep at it, but there's also a decent reward for the Season Mission that I quite fancy, so I may do more than just the dailies.

Some people whose asses I kicked. I hope none of them see this!


That was Honor Arena. Fantasy Arena is even faster, easier and absolutely unscary in any way, even for PvE players who find the very mention of PvP makes them come over all peculiar.

In Fantasy Arena the only "skill" I can see is in the single choice you make before each match. Unlike Honor, where you have no say in who you get to kill or be killed by, in Fantasy you get to pick your opponents from a list. 

The screen shows you everything you could want to know about your opponents, namely which phantoms are in the four-person team, what levels they are, what elements they use and what the overall Strength of the team is. If you just want to win, all you have to do is pick a team that's weaker than yours. If you want to get as many points for the win as possible, obviously you try to choose the toughest opponents you think you can beat. If you don't like any of the options on offer, you can refresh the list until you get what you want.

Once you've made your choice all that's left is to sit back and watch as your four phantoms battle your opponent's four. You have no control over anything. The little NPCs dash about, dodging and blasting and hacking and dying until one team has no-one left alive. It takes maybe twenty seconds, if that.

I have no idea what most of that means but whatever the scale is, I'm not on it.


I deliberately picked the closest Strength team below mine every time and so far my win/loss ratio is 5/0. The fights appeared to go pretty much exactly as the relative difference in numbers would suggest. The one fight that was touch and go was the only one where our numbers were almost identical. It might be possible for there to be unexpected results but I have no evidence to that effect - then again, I've only had five fights. It's not a statistically meaningful sample.

This one also has Season rewards and they also look interesting. As usual, even after I read the details of what was required, I didn't fully understand them but the Fantasy Arena is so easy, fast and genuinely entertaining I might just do it over and over and see how far I get.

That leaves... well, most of the PvP in the game. There are no dailies for the other four types of Arena so I haven't even looked at them. I probably should do that now... 

Okay... I don't really understand any of them. One involves taking a four person team to "a new planet", one looks like it might be a Battle Royale, one looks like some kind of three-round Phantom v Phantom affair that could be similar to the way I understand Pokemon battles to work, not ever having played Pokemon, and the last is an elimination battle between four-person teams, which I think means four players, not four Phantoms.

I'll have to give them all a try and see if I'm close. I'm confident now that there's little to no chance of any PvP in Noah's Heart turning into anything scary, disturbing or tediously long and drawn out, so what have I got to lose?

Only my dignity and that I lost long ago.


  1. /cough

    I'm still here! I guess I'm nobody, right? ;-)

    Sorry, couldn't resist. At least you have stats that show you have readership that diminishes on the weekend, you know. The number of active readers that I have is... under 30? I'm probably being generous with that assessment, because the number of search engine crawlers is kind of nuts. It seems that every MMO blogger who created a watering hole that garnered attention of more than just the blogger crowd --Righteous Orbs, The Pink Pigtail Inn, MMO Melting Pot, etc.-- moved on years ago. Even the biggest mover of them all, WoW Insider's weekly blog review, was killed off by WoW Insider long before they migrated to Blizzard Watch.

    1. Active readers is a difficult one to parse. About the only halfway-reliable indicator is probably the monthly Search Console Insight report I get from Google and on that Saturday is definitely the lowest day for visits, running at around two-thirds the tally for midweek. That's counting page views, which are currently averaging around 150 a day with an average duration of 30 seconds, which I think suggests those are genuine visitors not bots.

      There was a huge spike on August 3rd, which was the post on this month's free games on Amazon Prime, and the average read-time for that day also trebled to more than a minute and a half but when I dig into it, that post actually total page view count of only 80 in the whole time it's been up so the other 340 people who visited the site that day must have been looking at something else.

      The actual lifetime page views per post are quite sobering. Most posts don't make three figures in the month they were posted. If you assume even regular readers don't look at every post, I would still be surprised if there are more than a hundred of them. On the other hand, most posts get 300-400 views eventually and the odd one gets more than that.

      August isn't a great month for traffic, though. My figures consistently decline during Blaugust for the obvious reason that there's a huge surplus of posts in this part of the blogosphere. We'll get back to normal in a few weeks!

  2. Of course I read all of your witty posts, weekend or not. Even one on PVP, that most boring of MMO topics! Atheren

    1. Heh! I'm glad you think they're witty. I thought it was just me!

  3. I don't catch them all, but I do lurk regularly. Even on the odd weekend.

    (and perhaps posting this little banality will serve as some kind of infinitesimal contribution to algorithm-pleasing engagement metrics)

    1. Yay! Not that I care about stats, obviously...

  4. Since I'm not completely done with Chimeraland (yet), I've been reading what you post on Noah's Heart. Looks like Chimerland in the meaning of being built on the foundation of DO NOT BOTHER THE PLAYER.

    I mean, I still cringe a little when I see yet another Update Compensation from Chimeraland... "we updated our servers at 4 AM so maybe you couldn't log in (at 4 AM!!), please take this meaningful reward for free". And don't get me started on Return Rewards. They're embarrasingly high (250,000 EXP points right out of the door) for an old fart who spent 7 years playing EVE "here's a ship. fuck you" Online. Did I mention the "return reward" can be collected TWICE? (Or more. It really was an accident).

    So yes, I am keeping an eye on Noah's Heart, just in case. And as far as I am concerned, these Asian new generation Don't Bother The Player three-monthers are cool. Waste your time without wasting your time on uncool shit like being curbstomped by someone's wish for inflicting "PvP" on people not willing to PvP.

    1. That's a really good take on just what's so appealing about these games. The monetization might be problematic - I wouldn't know, I never give them any money - but the regular gameplay is entirely centered around making the player feel welcome, valued and important. It's a very different take from the "You'll play the way we want you to play and we don't care if you like it" attitude of so many Western developers.

      Noah's Heart is similar to Chimeraland in many ways, only much, much slicker and more polished and minus the astonishing variety of bizarre cretures, playable and capturable. I have a feeling it will be Chimeraland that holds a (Niche, cult.) Western audience for longer, though. I've seen a few grudging "This game's not totally useless" reviews for Chimeraland since it launched and I feel it might be building some kind of sleeper rep, whereas Noah's Heart might as well not exist for all the coverage it's getting.

      I'll be back in Chimeraland eventually. There's nowhere else I can build a home in quite that way.


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