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PvP in Palworld will be difficult to add, Pocketpair dev explains

The age of Palworld is upon us and if the record-breaking concurrent Steam and sales numbers are any indication, gamers have been fiending for some sort of alternative for the monster collecting genre which has been ruled solely by Pokemon since its inception over 25 years ago.

Although the actual gameplay in Palworld is vastly different from that of Pokemon‘s, how do you measure a game’s worth if you can’t battle other players with the monsters you’ve caught?

Pocketpair, the Japanese development team behind Palworld has already confirmed they’ll be bringing PvP to the game in a future update (in addition to raid boss battles and crossplay) but the addition of PvP in Palworld won’t be as easy to integrate into the game as some might think because of how the smallest changes in a game that is both PvE and PvP alters the balance.

A Lifmunk from Palworld/Pocketpair

“Trying to make PvP and PvE work with each other means developing a game with significant limitations in terms of game design,” Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe explained in an interview with Automaton. “In a multiplayer PvE game, you can easily add a singleplayer mode without making big changes to the game’s system. But for PvP, if you think of it as ‘It’s just players beating each other up, it should be simple,’ and try to implement it without much thought, you’re going to have a hard time.”

“PvP is really difficult,” Mizobe continued. “First of all, we need to think about why we are introducing PvP to Palworld. To begin with, there are many other games that offer a fun PvP experience, so we need to make sure that there is a reason for Palworld players to play PvP. Of course, using Pals you caught in battle is one unique point, but only games that give players a good reason to play can survive in the long term. In this sense, I think it’s a very harsh territory. This is why Pocketpair is not very optimistic about PvP. I said earlier that we have created a great game, but with PvP games, you can’t know if you’ve failed or succeeded until the very end. I think that our chances of success are below 10%. That’s how high the hurdle is to succeed in PvP. When considering the reasons to introduce PvP to Palworld, the first thing that comes to mind is the battle format of pitting Pals against each other. This could involve either Pals fighting alone or alongside humans. Another thing to consider is format, such as a competition format in an arena-like setting, or a format in which players can freely compete anywhere in the entire map in real time. In the case of the arena format, I think that real-time action battles would be the first thing that users would imagine. However, we are also considering an asynchronous battle pattern in which pals fight each other automatically. There are a lot of technical details to be discussed, but we are also considering a format in which pals are registered in the arena and users can freely choose to fight, which would lower the barrier to entry and allow more casual PvP.”

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Mizobe conceded that he made the mistake of assuming that once Palworld had been launched, he and the team would be able to “just casually add PvP later on,” but it was during the very process that they realized how “problematic” such a task would be.

“From that point on, we rushed to make last-minute adjustments so that nothing goes against the game design’s basic premises.”

This Grizzbolt is packing/Pocketpair

Will there be PvP in Palworld eventually? Yes, but Pocketpair still has some work to do.

“Even now, some inconsistencies remain in the game design, and we have to resolve them if we want a PvP mode release,” Mizobe concluded.

Those worried that PvP in Palworld might be too daunting or

Are you looking forward to PvP in Palworld even if it might take a while? Let us know in the comments.

Written By

Ninja Gaiden was my rite of passage at an early age. After finally beating that game (and narrowly dodging carpal tunnel) I decided to write about my gaming exploits. These days I enjoy roguelikes and anything Pokemon but I'll always dust off Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country and StarFox 64 from time to time to bask in their glory.

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