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An Earthbound Perspective

Practical perspective on MMO play and practice.

Author: Dengar

Please Stop Crying: A Mature Defense of PvP Servers

Posted by Dengar Saturday July 30 2011 at 1:14PM
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So there was a recent article about world pvp tactics for griefing in WoW that caused a bit of a stir. I could say I was shocked by what people wrote but, I wasn't. For some reason, there are a lot of people who go to pvp servers who honestly shouldn't be there. No, I'm not trying to sound elitist, or bully people around. Let me be very clear about a few common misconceptions about PvPers and PvP servers.

First of all, if you went to a pvp server, you essentially agreed to the idea of players policing each other. Anything that people can do to mess you up will happen (I will admit that I dislike meta-gaming via spies and thieves since that's more of a real world thing, but I know some games have it, and if I can't take it, I avoid it). Game mechanics can do quite a bit, but you've agreed to give your fellow players the option to kill you at any possible chance. Imagine going into an arcade (do they still exist?) and asking a bunch of people at the latest Street Fighter machine not to fight you because you want to play against the game. To use another analogy, it'd be like if you were playing basketball with a bunch of people and suddenly started kicking the ball claiming you just wanted to play soccer. The tools for that may be available, but the community probably isn't aiming for that activity.

That's really how this works. We're not all jerks. We know what we want from our game, and when you say something like, "I just want to quest" we get confused. Where is a PvPer supposed to play if people on the PvP servers aren't actually there to pvp? There are PvE servers for a reason! It's a similar situation to non-RPers on an RP server. There's a specific game play style we're looking for, and when you ignore your server type and get upset at us doing what the server is set up for, you've made a big mistake. It's your fault if you got ganked on a pvp server and only want to do quests. I'm not being mean when I say this, but trying to save you some grief and the rest of the PvP community some time dealing with someone who doesn't want to play. Please, for everyone's sake, if you can't stand being ganked and don't want to learn to deal with it, play on another server!

Assuming we can both agree on the idea that pvp server's first priority is on PvP, let's emphasize a few other things. We're not "bored losers" with "nothing better to do." Again, a PvP server is for PvPing. Yes, the game has quests, raids, maybe a built in puzzle game. Whatever. We're looking for player versus player action. If you got ganked, it's because we want to play. Even a person going for the easy kills is essentially saying "Get your friends to kill me!" PvP game play is about people, not quests. If we're stopping you from questing, it's only so we can get some pvp going on. Your prize for winning is being able to do whatever grind the game developers tossed you. If you think fighting things programmed to lose and give you purple pixels is more fun than trying to beat another player, you probably shouldn't be on a pvp server. People are supposed to come first.

I've got a bit of a reputation among my guildies as a "nice griefer." I know it sounds odd, but hear me out: I really, really, really want you to bring your friends. I want you to bring your guild. Heck, I want you to bring your whole faction if that's available! I'll kill you a few times, maybe bring some friends so you think you need to bring yours, but if after awhile I can tell you don't have any connections, I'll give up. I honestly kill people so we can get something happening in the game world where people can build a reputation and, hopefully, have some long term effects on the community. World of Warcraft and Rift may not be as hardcore as Darkfall, but I remember a time when you looked at a guild tag and had an idea about if you were going to be attacked or someone on your side was going to run away at the first sign of PvP. If you don't do that on a pvp server, then something's wrong in my opinion, and sadly, more and more often this is becoming the norm.

This brings me to my final point: PvP is community driven. It's not just killing each other, even in a game like WoW where, for some reason, they don't want us talking to each other. Sure, there's trash talkers. Suck it up. Either joke with a trash talker or put them on ignore- all games give you that option. If you hate dying to a trash talker, make some friends and, pardon my French, "push his shit in." Nothing feels as good as punishing a player who doesn't seem like a good person. It's the counter balance to the griefing- people lamers in their place. You don't get that kind of high from PvE. The best RPGs fail to give me that feeling, even if the boss killed my girlfriend, family, and dog. PvP not only allows you to kill people with swords etc, but you can kill them with words. You can convert enemies to friends, friends to enemies if you or they lack social skills, earn the respect of a long time rival, declare a certain part of the game world for your friends/guild, etc. I've sold weapons to enemies so that, in future battles, maybe I can get them to help me for a few moments if need be. FFA pvp is much more conducive to this, but my guild works with some cross faction allies. We can't always talk to each other, but I love seeing them around, even when they gank me 3 to 1 when I'm questing. I'm on a pvp server. I can take my lumps. It's why I joined.