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News & Features Discussion  » General: MMOWTF: Don't Hate the Player...

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Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

OP  11/13/06 5:29:54 PM#1

Dan Fortier, our Monday columnist on, returns to talk about PvP in MMORPGs and people's reactions to what goes on. He believes, blame for bad PvP experiences should be placed on the game, not the players.

I find that the real joy in PvP games isn't in simply beating your opponent, but in humiliating them afterwards by dancing, yelling and generally acting like a four year old with too much sugar after you tell him 'No'. There are few things in life as great as zerging a non-combat specialized player with twice as many people and camping their corpse for a several hours afterward just to get them even more upset. Victory over a helpless opponent is all the more sweet when they send you hate mail and threaten to do horrible things if they ever find out where you live in real life.

The whole article is here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios


Novice Member

Joined: 9/21/04
Posts: 355

Dominator of failed writers.

11/13/06 6:03:21 PM#2

So is this guy a giant dick in real life too?

And thank you Dan, because of idiots like you, developers are going more and more the route of boring ride-on-a-rail gameplay design.

Because they don't like it when morons like you, that make up less than 1% of the games population, make 10% or more of their customers quit by using lame ass gameplay and constantly acting like douches.


Ohh, and then go off and write self-agrandizing colomns about how it's not his fault that he acts like a complete douche, but the developers.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/16/03
Posts: 193

Eternal life brings eternal hunger.

11/13/06 6:03:45 PM#3
Easly the most egotistical, self centered bastard I've ever 'listened' to.

The only one thing I have to give you credit for is the fact that you admit to it, while others will pretend not to.

It is my core belief after having read articles from developers of some of the earlier MMO's with pvp, that pvp has been taken way out of context by people as the author. it was deviced as a challange, because fighting a computer is just that, fighting an inhuman thing with no glory or real threat. it wins because of numbers, not because of skill. So pvp was made to fit people together to force them to use skill and strategy to fight off another. But at the time there were more people who followed a code of honor in the battlefield and that is if they have zero chanse of escaping or defending themselves, and they've initiated no hostol action, then they are to be left alone for the sake that they can find a battle they can enjoy. This rule is broken when they are snooping around your faction's property or gear and could somehow contribute to a battle you are currently in. Otherwise, in general, this unwriten rule of the warrior is obayed.

Now, for the sake of RP, I will bite my tongue and accept there being a higher level killing a much lower level, but when it gets to the point of hurrasing that individual, where you decide there's something so special about you that you deserve having a great time more then they do, so you're going to camp their only means of equipment, then you no longer are a part of the comunity and have no business being there. Doing it once is cool, yeah you're a murderer and you can play that out, but even most murderers have some class. There are many arguments as to why people do it, but in the end there's something called logic that kicks in: What you do with yourself in your own time which causes no direct harm on to others is cool. you can smoke, drink, whatever. But the moment you force the action onto others (like smoking in a closed area where they are forced to breath your air) and cause them discumfort for your own pleasure, you no longer show the ability to process logic.

Bottom line is that pvp is ment for a challange, you wanna kill something in one hit, kill a mob, or kill a player who's poaching around or causing issues otherwise. But you cross the line when you hurrase them.

I'm the guy that will go out of my way to balance the scale.
I believe in the golden rule, to such extend that I will make someone's life miserable for their actions till they completely feel like crap. You wanna steal my kills or someone elses kills repeatedly? that's cool, I'll return the favor. You decide to camp lowbie or newbie corpses? That's fine too, but in a few weeks if I still see you in the game, I'll be there to return the favor. I've had someone only a few levels lower than me complain because I was whiping their hide and braught along extra people incase they decide to show up with help. They cried and cursed and acted like they were inocent, but in the end they got the point.

And you can't place the blame on the game, simply because in all games you will find the handfull of disrespectful indivenduals who have no honor. If it were one or two games, wouldn't be half as bad as an issue. The reason most people support open pvp is because of the RP sense, the challange, but a challange they can fight back, or run from. People like motes to cross, not oceans. What is impossible odds (such that a level 5 can get away from a level 50 who's on their heals) kills the fun factor. But if there's a chanse I could kill you, or be killed by you, or that I could get away from you, then I'm having a ball. If you can get away from me, hats off, but if you can't, at least you had a chanse.

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/06
Posts: 1152

[insert witty quote]

11/13/06 6:16:23 PM#4 the author starts off by telling us that he's an asshole and then proceeds to share his opinion?

Aren't columns supposed to be insightful or thought-provoking? This is none of the above.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/02/05
Posts: 278

11/13/06 6:55:10 PM#5
Good article, not exactly offering several points of view, but you get your point across very well :) We're presented with a playground, if the rules don't stop bullies there will be bullies (duh!) and they should then be expected by other players.

Thought I'd just throw in my 2cents after reading your replies. I recognise myself in much of what you say. Anytime I hear there's a new MMO allowing PvP I have these grand visions of claiming my own bridge or something to sit at and kill anyone coming to cross. Problem is I'm not able to keep with my own plan. I'll elaborate.

Having first been introduced to PvP in AO's Notum Wars I'm all with the whole "chase down anyone you see and kill them, the more often the better. Expect zergs to own you and zerg when you can". Fair play is a FPS/RTS staple, not with RPGs, but at WoW in particular I kept getting a bad conscience for PKing without any motive like defending my own patch of notum or whatever. The first kill is good, it's payback for whoever killed you while you were grinding and you already discouraged the other guy from being in your zone, second kill of same guy isn't quite as good cause the other guy knows who's going to get shafted and either legs it or fights and dies again. I know damn well he's there by his own free will, aware of the pvp rules and whatever, but still I feel bad about it so I leave him :P So, usually in those kind of games I end up just PvEing the lvl/item grind till I burn out and quit.

I also love deathmatch FPS games. Not intending to brag (I DO suck ALOT at many of them), but there are certain maps in certain games I play enough to really know inside out and in those situations I usually can't be bothered to play if there isn't a challenge and a chance at being beaten by someone else who knows what he's doing. PlanetSide comes to mind, I'd often go somewhere  to create my hotspot and hope for some pro to see it and come defend his turf. I could punish a squad of newbs for hours experimenting to find new ways to sneak up on them and take them one or all at a time till they left or called in help from someone who could play (ie my goal gets achieved). And that way I spent ages in tense, but extremely rewarding fights once you get a good opponent. I wish MMORPGs were like that too, but to recap my opinion: the PvP focused MMOs are so few and far between that I usually get into the "griefer" role for only like 5% of my total playtime, rest being based on helping out, dungeon crawling with groups as healer/bard, carebearing with giving free endgame items to mid-lvls with manners who don't look like they might quit within the hour, etc.

Many people, and I'm sure you'll see more of that trend in this thread too, can be bitching to no end about griefing, but it's really a trivial issue. When on the recieving side, if I can't get away I'll just keep respawning at the exact same location doing nothing at all and after a random number of deaths the offender usually gets fed up and leaves (unless it's some kind of capture point/flag/ground he needs), at which point I alt-tab back into the game or turn off the tv again to continue playing. I'd compare it with quicksand: Some "whiners" seem to actually _want_ to struggle and get more upset; I have a hard time believing those "victims" didn't have alternatives to get out of the situtation (temporarily logging off included - seeing a name go off /who doesn't leave much reason to sit back and camp more). So, yeah, I like your conclusion alot: Blame the game (or yourself) ;)

Would also like to point out Eve is still going as strong as ever and is build around FFA rules and a player's turf -mindset. It's not my cup of tea, but it's one of those few exceptions to the rule which it wouldn't hurt if there were a few more games taking inspiration from.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/02/05
Posts: 1667

11/13/06 7:47:16 PM#6
I assume someone left their computer on overnight and a member of the cleaning staff posted this crap.

EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests


Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/03
Posts: 957

Pain is fear leaving the body..

11/13/06 7:48:22 PM#7

Don't take Dan so seriously. This article is satire to illustrate the point that PvP In most MMORPGS is flawed in the sense they can create problem players by its design.

I chuckled as I pictured Dan next to my 6 year old playing Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat and he pounds my kids avatar endlessly. He jumps up and does a goofy dance after each victory and says "OWNT!" until the kid bursts into tears.

Another image in Senfield  where Kramer takes karate lessons in a kids class. The 6 ft adult spars with kids whose heads touch his belt and he pounds them until he is victorious.

Like Brad McQuaid or not, he put it best by saying

Creating an unrestricted PvP online game isn't that hard, especially when it's a persistent RPG world (yes, making an FPS is hard, no disrespect to those guys).

What's challenging and arguably not totally solved is creating an MMO that is PvP centric but keeps people around, all are entertained at least some of the time, character power is balanced with player knowledge and 'twitch' abilities, etc.

A player can never be allowed to derive his or her fun at the expense of another player's fun, or, worse yet, several or many other player's fun.

As others posted, the type of player who is like a wolf and must prey on sheep really isn't compatible with these games, even if they were dedicated to PvP. The sheep get eaten and go away. It doesn't work. You can't have fun by making someone else not have fun. Well, you can, but you'll have a game with some serious problems, especially with long term retention. Because after the sheep leave, then the wolf does too, having no more sheep to consume.


Now if he was really serious he would post a pic of his avatar with name and the server he was on.. :)


Novice Member

Joined: 7/04/06
Posts: 8

11/13/06 7:57:52 PM#8

This article is nothing but rife with the same logic that exploiters and cheaters use to justify their actions. Blame the developers for not stopping me from doing this. Its the same logic a thief, a murder, and an extortionist uses. Its their fault for not preventing me from doing this.

And if this article is meant to be a satire, sorry I don't see it nor do I believe it. It is far to straight to the opinion with a very agressive tone that he is right and everyone else is wrong. Definately not a comedian waiting to burst forth from this guy.

So far all his articles have been nothing but a spewing forth of opinions and baseless thoughts without any correlation or support by facts, outside opinions. Just soley the opinion of a single individual that seems to have a greater then though complex. Fortunately for me it makes great material to show my class how not to write an article or debate. As this is nothing more then a fluffed up blog.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/15/05
Posts: 1234

11/13/06 8:03:26 PM#9
One of the best articles I've seen written.  If it isn't satire and sarcasm, then that makes it twice as true.

He makes an excellent point about the people that are doing these things that most call disdainful.  If the game supports it, then why not?

The most fun me and two friends ever had in a beta was when Lineage 2 came out and we PK'ed to our hearts content.  We had low-levels running for the hills while we one-shotted newbies and anyone we could.  To hear people yelling that a Pker was near never got old. 

I definitely see where he's coming from.  It's a hell of a lot of fun to kill people over and over, and if the game has no way of curbing this playstyle, then what's the point in stopping if it's more fun than the grind that you're "supposed" to have fun doing.

The reason I play EVE.  It's friendly to Pirates, Carebears, and all those in between. :)

Hooray for Pkers.  They make the games truly fun. :p

EDIT: accidently said I wrote it. hahaha

I live to fight, and fight to live.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/12/04
Posts: 69

11/13/06 9:20:47 PM#10
I agree with the message of this article.  The sad fact is that MMOs are a microcosm of life: there will always be dicks and jackasses who ruin good things for the rest of the population.  In real life, the government writes the law to keep people in check.  In MMOs, the developers need to design the game to keep these people in check.

Sad fact, but true.

Novice Member

Joined: 6/17/06
Posts: 3

11/13/06 9:25:35 PM#11
yea pkers r what makes the mmo world go round so much fun killing the noobs but it dose have one bad thing and thats if u pk the wrong person the stupid idiot that just want stop messing with u alway pming u and then u just have to kill them again and he gets more pissed but its what ever all im saying pking is fair if the game supports it  but what i like is when noobs try to be your friend so u stop pking them i lmao and say no the they call u stupid name its so fun :p

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/19/04
Posts: 701

11/13/06 9:31:44 PM#12

I liked this article. I've played games with this, and i agree this is the most exhilirating playstyle in my opinion.

Back in Neocron, if you killed a player from an enemy faction..your soullight (kinda like karma..i guess?) would go up (thats a good thing). if you killed a member of your own faction, it'd go down. So it brought a good amount of war in the game...there was huge amounts of PvP, and PvE.

If a player went amok killing innocents or whatnot, their name would be displayed on ever ingame computer system. Therefore hunters could go out on a hunt, and kill the bastard, and maybe the weapon that they've been killing with would be dropped.


So i an OPEN pvp environment, there will be mass killing, but there will also be mass punishment for the killers...and so on. At least from what i saw.




Advanced Member

Joined: 4/19/04
Posts: 701

11/13/06 9:35:45 PM#13

Originally posted by darckviper
yea pkers r what makes the mmo world go round so much fun killing the noobs but it dose have one bad thing and thats if u pk the wrong person the stupid idiot that just want stop messing with u alway pming u and then u just have to kill them again and he gets more pissed but its what ever all im saying pking is fair if the game supports it  but what i like is when noobs try to be your friend so u stop pking them i lmao and say no the they call u stupid name its so fun :p

Not sure what the hell you just said. But you did use a smiley face, which is like punctuation. But when the killer kills the noobs...when the noobs get bigger and stronger they could always get their vengeance.

Idk in a level based game, but in a skillbased im sure it'd be possible.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/05
Posts: 22

11/13/06 9:39:00 PM#14
This is sad, because even though I am diametrically opposed to Dan in how PVP should be, I agree with his thesis to a certain extent that it is the developers fault.

I won't call Dan names cuz he or people like him are the reason I wasted $50 on Lineage II. I was constantly getting grief killed by people way higher level than me, and twinked out to the max.  It was simply no fun trying to establish a character.  So I quit, kissing my $50 goodbye.  Did it have to be that way?  Is there another way?  Would it be difficult to implement?  The answers my friend are No, Yes, and not that hard.

What are the three biggest griefing issues?  1. Camping starter zones
                                                             2. camping bodies
                                                             3. Grief kills by higher level characters.

All of these issues are adressable by coding (Heck, any issue is).  The solutions are:
                                                            1. making starter zones non-pvp areas
                                                            2. giving a "timeout period" of 1-2 min for people coming out of death
                                                                in which that player may not pvp or be pvp'd
                                                            3. Making it impossible for players to initiate pvp with another                                                                             character more than a few levels different from their own. (this                                                                     would vary by game.

None of these issues is insurmountable nor difficult to fix.  That developers don't, indicates that they don't want to, which makes me wonder why, considering how some games with broken pvp systems have simply died or never got off the ground (so to speak).  Go figure, I thought this was a business. 

I like a good pvp fight, and by good I mean challenging.  Getting the drop on someone 10 levels lower than me, whose back is turned, is well...meaningless.

So crappy logic Dan, but a really good point.  It is the developers fault to a certain degree.  But  to say your juvenile behaviour is all thier fault is  like saying to a gun manufacturer "the reason I shot billy joe is because you made that gun".  That logic doesnt stand up in court, and neither does your story.




Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/03/03
Posts: 448

11/13/06 10:09:34 PM#15

Is these articles just meant to cause reaction? I guess they work if so. I accept his points of war and tactics. I totally understand that if this was real. Take out all the trainees and soon there is no enemies left that are a challenge if slowly getting the veterans. This is a game though and about enjoyment. As was pointed out from a developer quote, there is not going to be a game for long if the wolves are not kept in check. That is not the players role. They are playing to have fun and not many want to be the law as well.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/16/05
Posts: 39

11/13/06 10:55:20 PM#16
Jesus Christ, what a terrible article....he does make one valid point though, it is usually poor game design which allows people to ruin others gaming experiences. What you have to remember Dan is not everyone is as much a geek as you blatantly are, not all of us can play 12 hours a day...we have to go out, do things like socialise, get laid, drunk, high, whatever...when people like us log on for our paltry hour or two here and there, its to immerse ourselves in an alternate reality not become teleported back in time to elementary school. And actually, youre wrong about war, if youd ever listened in history class, youd know that...Alexanders campaigns, the battle of marathon, the mongol invasions who were usually out-numbered...etc etc. Guile and skill were more often than not the victor not dull thugery and brute strength. This is why most PvP systems fail to capture my imagination, its simply not realistic. X amount of hours put in to levelling shouldnt equal Y amount of PK points, skill should come into it more than it usually does...

Novice Member

Joined: 5/03/05
Posts: 18

11/14/06 12:57:40 AM#17
this is the same guy that will sit in his basement crying when he gets monkey stomped by some leet toon played by a fat man eating chips in his underwear as was so wonderfully displayed on southpark. why? because... he... takes... the... game... too... seriously.

Novice Member

Joined: 10/10/05
Posts: 1

11/14/06 1:17:33 AM#18

dont forget to mention that you are meant to cheat and exploit too since this is 'what the developers' gave us [/sarcasm]

my only real problem with griefers, gankers and exploiters is that they are the worst whiners when it happens to themself. especially lowbie gankers/campers are in most cases the ones that run as fast as possible as far as possible once they get aware of an almost even, even or higher level enemy ^^

...just to go to the next public area (or chat) and whine about being ganked or to show off how many people they have killed this day.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/05
Posts: 15

11/14/06 1:43:17 AM#19
Wonderful article. Yes, I know players with this playing-style.
I hate the developers for making it possible, but truth is, I hate these players too. Shame on me :)

You are right. It's a very small way between balance and unbalanced fight. And there is no fun in a stupid raiding game. I fear games are like the people behind. If you have a look behind, you can see. If there is a developer whose only fun is raiding, what kind of game he will bring?

If a developer don't care about PvP - fair PvP - there will be none.

And I like to kill these f+++ bastards when they killed my twink with a stronger char and I log in with my main and I can really hear them cry. "mummy" when I make this one-hit-instant-dead-shot and they fell in the sand. And I am here, near by their corpse. Waiting. Yes, I know this feeling.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 722

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

11/14/06 2:18:17 AM#20
uh... i'm dazed and confused I guess... Nearly every reply above is ridiculous imo...most of you people just make me sick.

Concerning this article, I disagree with everything in it.

I say, Hate the player. hate me. I love killing other players, and I love being hated by them after I spit on them... (seems like I could never get /piss to work?)...The whole point of killing people while they are questing is to make their life hard. The whole point of playing on a pvp server is so you can experience the chaos that results from human actions, and get away from the easily predictable behavior of mobs and thier moronic AI where they just stand at some spot, stareing in a northerly direction... do they eat? breed? go crazy and just run after you for 20 minutes? NO... they are dumb mobs, built for dumb, factory-working types who enjoy killing 20 rats and collecting thier tails!

Griefers are the 'true-evil' in MMOs... and anyone who can't see that should just play PVE servers/games. And without some real evil, what do you have really? might as well play with barbie dolls imo.

Also, don't blame the devs, praise them. They turned on a pvp server so people could kill each other with impunity. My only criticism of devs is that they don't go far enough. I wanted a free-for-all server in WoW, but never got it.  ugh.

And finally, because I'm sure some dweeb is gonna whine about how I'm saying all games should be free-for-all pvp, I love playing many pve games. I say we should have both types of games, maybe both types of servers with the same game, and everyone plays what they want when they want it. Freedom. It's ok if people are different; and neither pvp or pve is innately better than the other... different people like different things; and devs should make what people want.... well, if they plan on staying in business, then they will or they will be doing something else...

(just my 2 cents)

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