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The Beatnik Box

Examining the concepts behind "meaningful play."

Author: Beatnik59

Free-for-All PvP: What are You Willing to Do for It?

Posted by Beatnik59 Saturday July 5 2008 at 8:25PM
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Okay you PKers, you griefers, you 8v8ers,  you realize that your PvP sucks today.  I feel for you.  Now I don't consider myself a hardcore gangsta ganka like you all, but I like a good open-world PvP rush every now and then.

But here's the thing that we've forgotten: the game has got to be more than PvP to make it a good PvP game.  In other words, you aren't going to have the sort of PvP you want and need without giving roleplayers something in the game, crafter/industrialist types something, the explorer-types something, the enchanter/buffers something, and the social-types something.

In other words, the game--and everyone in the game--needs to make the game a worthwhile place for everyone to be.  This is even more important when we talk about FFA PvP with or without full looting.  Because if nobody is going to respect anybody else's playstyle, there's no reason for players to subject themselves to your ganks.

See, I suspect that the reason PvP got hammered in recent years is because PvPers saw no use for things that weren't PvP related.  In other words, they didn't play in character, they used scripts, bots, and multiboxes, and the only characters they interacted with outside of their guild were at the tips of their swords.  In short, they didn't play to make the game work, but only played to make the game work for them and their guilds.

Now of course, there is no rule that requires anyone to roleplay, refrain from unattended bot use, and type to people using /say instead of sticking with the T/S and Vent set.  Then again, there's no rule that publishers have to give us FFA PvP.  So I guess I'm asking you PvP folks what you are willing to do to make a FFA PvP game work?  Or rather, what are you willing to do in order to get a FFA PvP game?

Are you willing to refrain from unattended bot and script use?  In other words, are you going to forego your buffs and enchants on demand in order to help make the game work for the enchanters and buffers?  If not, why should the enchanters and buffers support your FFA PvP?

Are you willing to engage in light roleplay when in town or in taverns and homes?  Now we aren't talking about "thee" and "thou," but are you going to at least make the attempt to make your responses something immersive rather than "me and my high school buddies were grinding and getting drunk at our computers...you should have heard what we did over Teamspeak?"  If not, then why should the roleplayers support your FFA PvP?

Are you willing to interact with people outside your guilds, participate in town life, and help out strangers?  If not, then why should people outside your guild, the people trying to build the server community, and the strangers support your FFA PvP?

Because in my experience, the PKers were some of the biggest violators of the spirit of the game, and the suspension of disbelief in the UO, AC1, DAoC, and Pre-CU SWG days.  They ran bots, powerground, outright refused to engage in any "IC" play, and didn't have any dealings with anybody outside of their guild.

In other words, the PKers were like loggers felling trees left and right without ever replenishing the forest.  Eventually, not too many trees were left, and the wardens (the publishers) started placing restrictions on logging.  That's what happens when we assert our right to clear cut everything in sight.

So how do we replenish the soil?  We have to do things that we don't ordinarily do, or aren't comfortable with, so that all the other folks have reasons to stay.  That means everybody makes the attempt to maintain the suspension of disbelief, which means trying to stay "IC" as much as possible.  That means not marginalizing other professions by using bots and scripts.  That means participating in the server community more than simply participating in PvP.

And why am I asking you PKers to do this?  Because you are asking other players to do things they don't like to make your game better (PvP), and with FFA PvP with full looting, you are asking them to tolerate an awful lot for the sake of your enjoyment.  Therefore, it seems only fair that we PKers be just as tolerant for the sake of our victims' fun.

We have forgotten that, not only as PKers, but as gamers generally.