Alongside the games punishing nature, the ability to invade players at any time has always been a crucial component of the Soul’s series, taking the games atmosphere to new heights as players need to keep on their toes, and keep their character viable in-case of a player invasion. Additionally, once the game is beaten for many players its the games player versus player (pvp) elements that keep the experience alive, creating new builds and running new characters through the game so that you can test your skills in high level pvp action is endlessly entertaining, but this is all provided these modes function.Unfortunately, for many this has not been the case. Multiple users report their experiences with the games pvp to predominantly entail searching for other players to invade, but more crucially those that have been able to find opponents appear generally unhappy with the experience.
It’s the bell ringing woman’s fault! …mostly
In Bloodborne, the Bell Ringing woman is what causes the game to be active for player versus player invasions. The problem then is that the bell ringing woman does not appear unless one of two criteria are met; the player is ringing his beaconing bell, playing co-operatively, or the area the player is in naturally features a bell ringing woman. Immediately this makes it impossible to invade in some areas of the game as they do not feature a bell ringing woman or the ability to ring the beaconing bell, and unfortunately locations that naturally feature a bell ringing woman are few and far between.
This then, is a problem because it means that the invading player is generally only going to be able to invade those who can be invaded as a result of playing the co-operative mode, making the typical invasion either a two, or three versus one, against the invading player. Bearing in mind that the invader already has a health disadvantage (reduced simply due to invading), it’s literally impossible to locate a balanced PvP experience within the game.
Additionally, even when the bell ringing woman does exist the player potentially being invaded can merely kill her, to cease the potential threat. This again vastly reduces the players that have the potential to be invaded, and makes it very difficult to find matches. In our own experience it can take 5 to 10 minutes to find a pvp match, even within more popular locations in the game. And to make matters worse, is the games ability to select online and offline play from the start menu, previously players had no such means of evading the perils of internet connectivity, but now being invaded is an option you can simply turn off.
Not enough blood!
The other issue with Bloodborne’s player versus player integration is the manner in which your character needs to resupply his stock of vials (healing potions) and bullets after each encounter. Without teleporting back to The Hunters Dream (your hub world) and incurring a total 60 second load screen to get there and back, the invading player cannot resupply his resources. The problem then is that typically, with all of the searching and resupplying, invading players might spend 10 minutes preparing for every 1 minute they have in an invasion. The ratio really can be that bad, and when the invasions you do find are entirely unbalanced 3 versus 1 encounters it hardly feels as if this excessive expenditure of time has been worthwhile.
As much as some players don’t enjoy the competitive side of the Soul’s series, it’s always been the lifeblood of the community, and without it functioning effectively, Bloodborne will lose a portion of what for many, made the games so enticing. Our suggestions would be to make bell ringing women available everywhere, provided players consoles are connected to the internet and not require them to have already rung their own, beaconing bell. Players should also be provided players with a natural resupply of vials and bullets after each loading screen, similar to the manner in which Bonfire’s worked within the Soul’s series. Whether From Software make an effort to address these concerns will hopefully become apparent in the near future, even some suitable player versus player arenas and means of quickly getting people to play with would go a long way to resolving the gross level of inconvenience invaders have to go through to find a decent match in the game as it exists right now.