How to create active PvP Zones
One of the core design goals for Albion Online is to provide exciting, full loot PvP and GvG on a constant basis. This will largely happen in the unrestricted red zones of the game.
If you are a hardcore PvP player, you will want those zones to be populated and active - not just at launch, but also years later.
As it stands, there have been many hardcore full loot PvP games that never really got their feet of the ground or stagnate at a very low player population. (such as Mortal Online or Darkfall). Yet, on the other hand, you have a game such as Eve Online that has tens of thousands of active players at any point in time.
So why is that?
Safe zones and PvP zones are synergistic and not contradictory
In order for a full loot PvP game with a player driven economy to work in the long term, you need a large underlying foundation of players that take part in the player driven economy and that provide a constant flow of new players wanting to try PvP.
That underlying foundations of players needs to be able to properly play the game without being forced into PvP and without getting totally bored if they don't. If you try and force players into PvP, they will just quit the game. If however, you provide them with a great experience, allowing them to gradually learn and the game a progress, chance are that a large proportion of them will move to PvP permanently or at least occassionally give it a try. This is exactly why Eve Online is still thriving after 10 years and Mortal Online suffer from extremely low player populations.
Have an attractive safe zone experience for newer players (while being aware that we will never compete with themepark games such as World of Warcraft here)
Provide a soft transition for safe zone players to move into PvP, and incentive that transition with the right risk vs reward ratio. See the discussion regarding yellow zones
Ensure that the rewards offered by a zone are based on how risky it is: the best gear and dungeons will only be in the red zones.
We are fully convinced that the above approach is truly a win-win situation for all player types.
For newer or more safety-minded players, it means that they have an easier entry into the game and are not forced into PvP when they do not feel ready
For hardcore players looking for PvP all the time, it means that the game's population will be large, with enough action happening in the PvP zones.
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