It’s kind of a shocker once you realize that what you think personally and your own beliefs just might be the minority. I still remember my first government class in college...we were discussing the up coming election in 2000 and I jokingly made a statement about liberals...assuming everyone else in the room agreed with me... and I still remember the shocked feeling when 90% of the room looked like they were ready to lynch me. I’m starting to feel that my thoughts on pvp in MMO’s are similar to my thoughts on politics... I might just be in the minority.
So your probably thinking what screwed up form of pvp does this psycho enjoy, and why the hell doesn’t he just shut up and play Counterstrike. Well I do play fps's... but they just don’t have the same draw. It’s not persistent, and it doesn’t give me my "Fix". It’s like handing a crack addict a cigarette to take the edge off... it just doesn’t work.
I started playing MMO's back in 1997 with Ultima Online. At the time I worked in Gamestop and was mainly a RTS gamer. Command and Conquer, Total Annihilation, and Descent 2 were my games. I was happy and content.
I had heard about Ultima Online and thought the idea was insane. Having to pay 50.00 for a game and on top of that a monthly fee? Hah what a crock. The hype was fairly good for it... but not huge. I remember trying to talk most of my customers out of buying it... the idea just didn’t seem to work for me.
Day of release we ended up with an extra copy, and I bought it just so I could shut the customers up and give them the real truth behind this obviously flawed game.
I remember patching the game and getting in for the first time... god it was laggy, horrible launch, but the few minutes I got in every time were interesting.
I spent the majority of my time chopping trees to make bows with and was just fascinated that you could do or be anything. I spent a week working my virtual butt off saving money for a house and still remember the sense of pride when I placed the house for the first time. It was mine, my virtual place in this new world.
Shortly after placing the house and showing it to my friend, a guy came up next to me with a huge axe (executioners axe) and promptly murdered me inside my own house, taking my key (and with it ownership) and all of my items.
I was devastated... the feeling of loss... the rush... My friends and I tried to kill the guy, but we were a bunch of farmers, animal tamers, bowyers, and miners. Our weapons were pitiful and he murdered us all. We finally realized the house was gone. I had lost a weeks worth of work in a few seconds, to some anonymous ahole... I wanted revenge.
My real life buddy and I made new characters. We knew who the guy was, but we didn’t know anything about him. We spent the next 2 days learning how to be "mages" and get our skill up. In our off time we spent hiding outside of trinsic near our old house waiting for him.
He left a rune outside to another house and we located his main "Merchant shop" a large forge, stuffed with loot, probably from other poor bastards like us. We really wanted this guy. We managed to meet a friend of his in the same guild and pretended like we wanted to join. After a few pvp outings to cut our teeth we were accepted into the band of murderers.
We didn’t like killing people... but we had to get close to the guy. Over a period of 2 weeks we got closer to the guy, learning his hang outs, his main house, and what he did for fun. We hunted with him, and chatted with him in ICQ. We were helping him move some regs from his merchant house to his main house when he opened a chest from a looted body that killed him. He instantly died. I remember clicking on his corpse and seeing the key and the rune for his house.
We had less than a minute. I ICQed my buddy who recalled to his house with 5 copper keys. We quickly made a copy of the key, and my friend recalled to his house seconds before he came onto the screen freshly rezed.
I pretended to be guarding his corpse, and laughed with him about how close that had been. He thanked me for not ripping him off. Mean while my friend was hidden outside his house, with a copy of his key. 2 hours later "Akari sucks" logged off for the evening, and my friend and I went to get our revenge.
I remember when we first walked into the house thinking it looked like Wal-Mart... I had never seen so much loot. It took us almost 4 hours to clean the house from top to bottom as it was a large forge. We then took copies of his key and runes marked for his house and deposited them out side of the vesper,
We had finally gotten our revenge on the bastard.
He logged on the next day and I still remember him screaming in ICQ that he had lost everything. I sent him a smiley face, explained who we were, why we did what we did, and that we were even. He was quiet for a good 10 minutes, finally responded with "Nicely done dude, nicely done"
Over time and a few guild wars later we ended up becoming friends with the guy and our tale of vengeance became part of our guild legends.
The problem with games now a days... is there is little if any player driven content. The story I just told you was an in game adventure that my friend and I spent the better part of a month doing. It required no development, no extensive play testing, no level requirements, and no quest to enter... it was a simple game of cops and robbers, good guys and bad guys.
That’s more or less what MMO's are missing now days. Evil people to hate and good people to admire. Games like UO had their evil elements... the evil pks who killed everyone, and people you knew if you saw you had seconds to escape or perish... and then it had its valiant police force of anti pks who would respond to any attack.
These clashes were what made the game great and what made it worth logging into. It wasn’t about slaying the dragon that you have never heard of who ticked off the mayor of your town... it was about getting back at the bastard who killed you while you were working hard, who deserved every slice of your blade and burning of your spells.
Did losing items to him stink? Oh man... it sure did, it pissed me off to no end... but getting vengeance, finally finding him and taking back what was mine and more, it was probably one of the biggest mmo moments I ever had and almost a decade later still sits with me.
I believe this mechanic is the main thing missing from MMO's now a days. Few people work together... because there is no need. There are no roving bands of bandits lurking outside the cities. The excitement has died down as all of the encounters are scripted, predictable, and repetitious... I miss the days of old.
What pvp we do get is pointless... killing for no reason, no drive, and is all about points and gear. Instant respawns, instanced battlegrounds, meaningless battles on meaningless battlefields and for what? I talk to people playing WoW and ask what their most memorable pvp event is... most just stare back at me confused about the question, or respond with a "We rolled this pug with a premade".
Maybe there is something wrong with me... but it just doesn’t seem right, it’s missing something, something that made it real, a purpose.
Am I alone in this?