PvP only occurs in specific zones. Outside of those zones the collars worn by all players use electric shocks to actively prevent players from harming each other. Whatever made the collars doesn't want the players kill each other, but in some regions of the Grand Canyon the radiation and such is so bad that it blocks the collars' sensors.
There are no regen pods in PvP areas. Players always spawn in safe locations. Roughly a third of the territory of most sectors is PvP active. You receive a warning before entering a PvP zone, so if you wish to avoid the area you will be able to do so.
Our PvP combat is not structured to be a never-ending struggle of who can resurrect fastest. Due to the fact players become less effective the more often they die, at least in the short term, players will eventually have to leave battle because they're just not able to keep up. Also, they have to return from a regen pod outside the PvP zone if no one on their team can restore them. Players do not receive death penalties when they are restored by a teammate, only if they go to a regen pod. This means if you're under siege in a conflict town, you get taken out, and no one helps you, you're stuck on the outside of the PvP area, possibly with hostiles between you and your allies. This system benefits players who work as teams, keep each other up, resuscitate each other, and don't go running off by themselves.
Players can alter their faction ratings through the use of a number of mutations or special abilities. For example, many of the Stealth special abilities allow the player to masquerade as a member of another faction. By the same token, players can use other abilities to try and cancel out these disguise powers, and if you're an Enforcer who's whose cover gets blown in a CHOTA town you're in deep trouble.
In short, PvP in our game is not about killing other players. It's about reaching goals that can best be reached by killing other players. A fine distinction, but an important one. Large-scale PvP battles are going to be about securing resources for your guild, controlling territory, and finding rare knowledges.
Forms of PvP
Conflict towns are the most common and most important version of PvP in Fallen Earth. Conflict towns begin appearing in Sector 2 , also known as Northfields, and are present in every sector from then on. There are 5-8 Conflict towns per Sector, with most having 7. This means, statistically, about a third of all towns are conflict towns.
At the start, conflict towns are neutral and anyone may enter them. Folks in the town will have missions for players to complete, sell goods, offer training, etc. Outside the town are camps for each of the major factions where you can get missions to help destabilize the town and take control of the town for that faction. These missions are tailored to the feel of the different factions. For example, the Travelers may have to get into town and bribe the mayor; the Enforcers may have to deal with some troublesome raiders in the area; the CHOTA may have to rough someone up; the Vistas may have to escort a grain shipment into town. All of these missions are done inside the PvP zone, so players can ambush and sabotage the efforts of their enemy factions to take over the town. Some of these missions may also be at exactly cross purposes, such as a Tech mission to take out the grain shipment the Vistas are guarding. These missions are tracked in a series of point totals and once a faction gets over a certain point total, which is checked every few days, the town changes its allegiance to the faction with the most points. We're going to keep the change schedule as mysterious and unpredictable as possible so folks don't feel like there's no point fighting in a town because it won't switch for a few days.
When the town changes allegiance, all of its NPCs change. The guards are now members of the controlling faction, as are the instructors, mission givers, etc. New missions become available, new merchants show up selling goods that may only be available in that town, new instructors appear (including special knowledges only available in that town), etc. The controlling faction now has to keep doing missions in the town to keep their control points up and thus keep control of the town, while the other factions continue to do missions to destabilize the controlling faction and claim the town for themselves. Once a faction controls the town they have to work to keep its guard numbers up, keep supplies coming in, etc.
Conflict towns are structured in such a way that you don't get the rewards for going and killing a bunch of players for no real reason, but if you go out and take out folks of other factions trying to aid their own faction, you can make a huge difference in who controls the town. Also, if your faction controls the town, you've got at least three other factions looking to take it away from you (though you've hopefully got some helping you as well), and an all-out assault certainly can go a long way towards doing that, so you'll need to keep the town defended. Your reward isn't taking their loot, but getting access to all the new missions, equipment, special abilities, mutations, and crafting knowledges you can only get in that town.
In PvP areas there will be goals that players can take possession and fight for control of, such as claiming an oil derrick and being able to get a bunch of petroleum. Whoever can control the area around the objective and keep other factions away from it will get extra resources, money, etc. This also may include more complex tasks like rescuing Enforcer leaders from CHOTA camps, guarding Tech operations from Vista commandos, etc.
Arenas where players can participate in battles with other players will be found in most sectors of the game. These will allow a number of different team structures, such as one-on-one or five-on-five and specific level ranges, and each arena will be an instanced area with only those participating inside. Players can compete for rewards in these battles and will be able to bet on them as well.