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The Rant: Getting Ganked

By Guest Writer on February 01, 2011 | Columns | Comments

Getting Ganked

It’s bound to happen sooner or later if you’re playing an MMORPG and you happen to be on a PVP server. You’re going to get ganked, it is inevitable.  If you don’t know what it is to be ganked or how you could gank someone, you probably have no business being on this website. I’m going to explain it to you anyway, mostly out of pity. As a matter of fact, here is the (urban) dictionary definition of it.

Gank – verb

  1. To kill another player using a group of players
  2. To kill another player using any means that places the player to be killed at a substantial disadvantage.
  3. Any player kill where the killed player had little chance to avoid death.
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That was the fourth definition down, but I felt it was the best one so that’s the what you get. It really encompasses everything that “gank” stands for in my opinion. Every aspect of it is covered (at least for the purpose of this column).

For those of you that have never been ganked, it’s really something you need to experience. You will be walking around, farming, trying to get to a quest objective, exploring, or just generally minding your own business. When, just for the fun of it, another player who is marginally higher level will swoop in and beat the crap out of you or it will be a whole group of people beating you up.  It usually happens right near a quest objective that you need to get to and they will just hang our around that area for the next half hour or so. It is, by far, one of the most frustrating experiences of all time.  I would put it in my top five list of “things that piss me off in MMORPGs”. 

There are some bright sides to getting ganked. First, it makes you a better player. You know what they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. It is totally true, well partly true because you have actually died… but only in the game.  Now you have to figure out how to get to that objective or rally some troops to gank the ganker who just ganked you (that is the best sentence I have ever written). Either way you choose you have learned a valuable lesson. Battle tactics and social skills are both very helpful skills.

The second thing that being a gankee does for you is give you an adrenaline rush. Seeing that enemy player rolling up to me on screen gets my blood pumping! I never know what’s actually going to happen, because sometimes they just leave you alone, but most of the time they don’t. If they see you, chances are you are going to die. That’s why if I know it’s going to happen I just go all out… at least for the first encounter. Anything after that first time I run away scared like a wee little girl. I just feel like it is my duty to give it my all at least once.  Attacking someone who is twenty levels higher than you over and over again is just lunacy. Although… maybe after a few waves they would just get tired of beating you up. Would someone just let you run around them in circles whaling on them because you’re not really doing any damage?  I think that’s a theory that could use some testing. 

Really, if any of you commenters have done that throw it in the comments. I really want to know now. My money is on them just killing you every time they see you run up to them. It still might be fun to do regardless.

But I digress.

The third best thing about getting ganked is building up obscene amounts of hatred for whatever side is killing you. In most MMORPGs, there is a “bad guy” or some kind of yin to your yang. PVP just makes that struggle between the two forces so much stronger.  If you are constantly getting ganked by, let’s say the Horde (because WoW references are easy and understood by all), naturally your attitude is going to be:

“The horde sucks and I hate them, not even because the game told me to hate them. It is an actual hatred that has spawned from them ganking me many, many times.”

When that kind of emotion is involved it is hard to not become obsessed. It becomes hard to not get your character as strong as you possibly can, so you can get revenge against the people who have killed you so many times.  Being the one dealing out the ganks, becoming The Ganker, is something that has to be tried by every MMORPG player or you don’t know what it feels like to be alive. Every single time you have been killed unjustly is worth it when you kill a player character for the first time. Especially if that character is a much lower level than you.

Ganking is the perfect pick me up on a bad day. Did your boss give you a hard time today?  Did your teacher give you a lot of homework? Did your girlfriend or boyfriend just dump you? Hop on to your favorite MMORPG and gank the living crap out of some people. Make them suffer as you have suffered.  If they could they would thank you (or gank you) later.