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Casual Thoughts from a Semi-Retired Philosopher

I play MMOs as an alternative to TV. Sometimes it even turns into quality time with the wife and daughter. Most of the time it's a distraction from doing something productive or meaningful.

Author: Hluill

This Rant Started as Post on a PvP Thread.

Posted by Hluill Friday February 10 2012 at 9:24AM
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One of the problems with PvP is game design itself: Levels, Hitpoints, Gear.

The lowbie doesn't stand a chance against even a mediocre PKer.

As I've posted before, in the real combat, anybody can kill anybody.  The kitted-out commando can be killed by a kid with brick.  Combat Helicopters can be brought down with Kmart RPGs.  Seventy-ton Tanks can be flipped by crap surplus cobbled together in a shed.  Skyscrapers can be toppled by guys with a box-cutters.

Depending on perspective, these can be generalized as "Lucky Shots."  The success of such attacks is related to winning the lottery.  There are ways to increase the odds, but it's still a gamble.  Some die because their bootlaces hung-up on a tie-down buckle.  Some survive because a primer miss-fired.

Our Digital and PnP Systems can't cope with the randomn quirkieness of reality.  Even "Skill-based" games still have lowbies unable to effectively fight back or even defend themselves.

And why the heck is the guy decked out like a minor knight even bothering with a peasent in the first place?

Mechanics aside, digital worlds cannot emulate the true nature of violence. Violence, particularly lethal violence, contains severe mental, emotional and abstract dynamics, of which we have no concept.   This is not the place to discuss such things, but maybe it should be.

/tangental rant on

 Like digital games, our civilized worlds have abstracted and trivialized reality.  We have allowed ourselves to ignore the foundation levels of Maslow's Pyramid (  Our forebearers have truly made the world a "better" place.  We don't know what it means to survive or what that includes.  We've seperated ourselves from that which gives our lives meaning or real purpose.  Why else would we waste our time in fantasy worlds where killing is fun?  The fact that we have the "free" time to do such boggles the mind. 

The concept of "Free Time" is ludicrous in itself.  Our time existing in this corporeal form is limited, yet we label our time as work and play, priority and chillin', on or off, busy or free.  But we all know that nothing is free; everything has its price, and we all will pay, one way or another.

Think beyond work and bills, and consider real living.  Consider real things of value, like joy, love, friendship, eye-smiles and uncontrolled laughter.  We've blind-folded ourselves with comfort and safety.  We wonder why narcotics is a trillion-dollar industry.

I'll end my rant with a simple truth I've discovered in my wanderings:  The World Of Man is filled with Greed, Corruption and Pain.  Faith is our only Solace.  Love is our only Hope, and Unending Labor is our only Reward.

/tangental rant off

Like our socio-legal-economic systems, PvP systems are mechanically flawed.  They will always contain the exploiters and the exploited, it's the natural way of things.  And until these games remove the immunities given by levels and skills, PvP will be continue to be silly and aggravating.

StirlingGirl writes:

Well said !  Free time . . . Free gift . . . Free will . . . Freedom of choice . . . You are right these all come with a price.  It is truly always an exchange, you never get anything for nothing. 

PVP:  Since life isn't fair, equal, just, or predictable, why should a PVP game be?  Why not make PVP at least as unfair as life is.  There is always that chance of striking it rich in life.  Nothing is a given or a certain so why should it be in PVP?   Let me just once every now and then beat the level 75 tank with my level 45 healer and vice versa let my 45 healer be taken out by the level 10 noob.  Until there is that chance of striking it rich, I will continue to avoid PVP.

Fri Feb 10 2012 9:54AM Report
Chewybunny writes:

In the real world whether you are a Navy seal, or a whiny little kid, a bullet does the same thing when aimed right. The real world doesn't take into account mechanics like "Hitpoints" "skills" "feats" or "abilities" like magic or super powers. We are walking bags of liquid, with very little resistance to being punctured, slashed, hacked at. And in most games today progression is defined by seeing your character get stronger, and better, and able to handle things that you couldn't before. 


Saying that, I am in constant awe at how black and white, and dumb most mmos handle pvp. It seems more or less all-or-nothing, or area-restricted or nothing. Where as predecessors have done an excellent job of fostering a healthy pvp community.

One such game did it nearly right was EQ1 on it's pvp servers - especially on the 4 team ones.

1) Level restrictions. You can engage in any world pvp at level 5, but you can target and be targeted by people 8 levels (2 magic tiers) above or below you. That means if you're level 20, you can engage people level 12-28, and be engaged by them. Even such a drastic level range gave the one who's disadvantaged at least hope of escaping or surviving.


2) More than 2 factions. The fact that there were 4 factions able to work against or with one another made a huge dynamic in pvp. Factions were based on race, and many guilds welcomed all sorts of races. 


You don't have to follow the EQ formula. But if you're going to introduce levels, at least introduce some sort of reasons to discourage higher levels from killing in mass lower leveld people. Whether that be direct level restrictions, severe "reputation" damage, or even worse, the fact that MMOS refuse to punish this behavior is, to me, absurd.


Pvp is fun. Open world pvp is the best. But creating a system where those that have made it to the top can ruin the fun and game-play for those far far far lower to them without receiving ANY kind of hit is just going to further alienate people into the hardcore care-bears, or hardcore-pvpers.

Thu Jul 31 2014 2:10PM Report writes:
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