Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games are designed to create a persistent world that can be experienced and interacted with. There are a number of war MMOs that are developed around the idea that conflict is a major component in the game world, often including the ability for players to combat each other. Many of these games can be enjoyed by someone who creates a single character which is used to take part in the war; this is a central part of the storyline for the game. There are also some war MMOs that are designed to be played through a web browser, or as a standalone application, in which a player controls an army and fights against other opponents.
As the name of this sub-genre suggests, war MMOs are largely designed around the idea of conflict and battles between different forces. In a game, this is often represented by two different types of play. Player vs. Environment (PvE) content refers to activities in which participants fight against computer-controlled opponents, such as the monsters and enemies created by the game’s developers and placed within the environment. In contrast to this, Player vs. Player (PvP) describes combat in which individuals battle against each other through their avatars.
Many war MMOs are designed as games in which the player creates a single avatar that is used to experience the conflict within the game world. This character is often made and used to explore the environment and battle against enemies. These types of war MMOs are often designed with a storyline or gameplay in which conflict is a major element. Two factions might be at war with each other, for example, and the characters that are made belong to one of them. While enjoying the game, participants can then engage in PvE content to further the goals of their faction, or go into PvP to directly combat enemy players on the other side.
Other war MMOs allow players to control a country or military that is able to attack other individuals and areas of the game world. These games are often designed around expansionist and aggressive playstyles that are popular among some players, especially those that often enjoy PvP gameplay. Rather than controlling individual characters, these types of war MMOs typically give control over an entire army or groups of characters to an individual. Different actions can then be taken to expand the territory a player controls, and aggression against both computer-controlled characters and other people playing the game is often rewarded.