Thursday, January 27, 2011

Open PvP doesn't make sense

I’ve played on a Player versus Player, PvP, server on every MMO since I left EverQuest. I like the challenge of fighting other people as they have more unpredictable reactions than most PvE encounters. The problem I have with PvP though is not that I die or am ganked while low on health; it is that I am killed by someone who greatly out levels me. PvP is suppose to be about two people fighting one another, the problem is that is very rarely the case.

Why is it accepted on a PvP server that it is okay to kill someone 15, 30, or 60 levels below you? That isn’t two people fighting. A lower level person has no ability to remain safe or defend themselves and even most guards can’t stop a level 85 from killing you. High level characters ganking low level characters feels more akin to bullying than it does PvP. I understand that in a true combat environment you do not want a fair fight. The object is to sneak up behind your enemy and club them on the head resulting in as little causalities as possible for your side. I can accept this to a degree.

I hate analogies, not because they don’t serve a purpose but because they often cause people to debate the analogy and not the point being made by it. That being said I’m going to try one. Dying to a level 85 character on a PvP server in WoW while on a low level alt is the same as when a little kid, say 5 years old, loses a round of Counter Strike to his friend and has his 17 year old brother come in and beat his friend for him. (Yeah I don’t know why a 5 year old would play Counter Strike either, this is why I don’t like analogies)

Now before people reply with, “well it’s no different than having good gear and killing someone of the same level”… yes it is. I don’t understand how you can’t see that difference either, please explain. I could have the best gear at my level and still have no chance of surviving. Like I said, even guards can’t protect you. With a level 85 character in quest greens I may die, but I also may be able to damage you a little or run and hide by the guards. I have options. As a level 20 alt I have none as I will die in 1 auto attack.


  1. Agreed, and I've noted this several times. Open world PvP with a wide power band inevitably degenerates into a bullying cycle. If the power band is so narrow that a skilled player with a brand new character can defeat a maxxed character in the hands of an unskilled player, then there's some potential for open world PvP. Until then (at the very least; no power differential would be better, making contests rely on skill), it's just a griefer's paradise.

  2. Tesh, it'd depend by what you mean by defeat - what if the weaker player wins something by just chipping 10% off the higher players health, and the lower player does have some capacity to do that? Does defeat have to be kill based?

    Epiny, the thing is, some people enjoy this. Play is for enjoyment. Wait, no, I'm not giving it some green flag - I'm saying that a developer might want to have a game that provides this type of 'fun'. In that way it makes sense. But also a developer might not (an entirely mercenary developer would go with the one which draws the most customers)

  3. As much as I like PvP, I dislike FFA open work PvP too. To me, the best form would be open world but with restrictions and limitations to try and make it more fair.

    So far EQ2 has been the best game I've played at making this happen. Their open world PvP servers had level ranges on zones, meaning you usually had to be within about 4 levels of your opponent to fight them. It made everything so much better and dealt with the issue of extreme ganking.

  4. @Callan
    I'll answer your question to Tesh with a story. I didn't start playing WoW until 2006 because that is when I returned from Iraq. That meant I was far behind in gear and levels. While leveling, on a PvP server as a Priest, I got ganked many times. At the time it didn't bother me, well I was frustrated but that passed. I distinctly remember when I was about level 48 a level 60 mage tried to gank me... well no I saw her coming so kill not gank. Through using all of my spells and abilities I was able to kill her. That was good open world PvP to me even at a 12 level difference. Sure, the mage was probably bad but it felt like a close fight at the time.

    Fast forward to now... or Wrath or even TBC. A 12 level diffence would make it virtually impossible to kill someone, assuming they aren't AFK.

    While leveling my Worgen I ran into a Warlock in STV outside the Alliance quest hub. His pet was set to agressive and he was afk... for 2 hours. This prevented people from questing and was in no way PvP. He didn't even do anything. This is bullying in my eyes and it detracts from the game more than it adds from it.

    That is the system I want. I'm even okay with 15-20 levels even though I know most people at the bottom of that scale don't stand a chance.

    And to inject some irony I loved Darkfall's PvP and ganking.

  5. My first MMO was AC, and my first mmo pvp was on AC:DT. For those who forgot on non familiar with you start in tutorial dungeon and its open pvp right there ,I somehow got lucky and was invited into "gank group" , I was also wise enough to learn controls on pve server, but I witnessed first hand roflstomping of frehsly made lvl1 characters right at their spawn point. The first second experience was a boot in your face!

    The dude who ran my group made specifically twink archer just for that purpose (there wasnt even special word for it then ) . I was and still am pretty hardcore - I dont flinch being on receiving end of this(ohh ac:dt thought me to be very very thick skinned) or being the one giving (red is dead - whether you are same level or not, I will make my best attempt to kill )

    But in the bigger picture its not healthy for the community. It drives off new players. I dont like the ganking of newbies before they even learn controls .There should be safe zone for newbies and time to learn.

    I adont like insane ower curves , gear dependent pvp It mainly is driven by pve treadmills without regard to detrimental impact on player vs player interaction

    I also think part of problem is there should be more separation between pvp ,pvp sometime and pve rulesets and servers. there are people like me who dont mind complete gankfests like early uo ,ac :dt or such. We are minority, we only need few servers without imba guards, teleports and safeguards.

    But there are others- make servers for them with all those things. Keep it separate. Dont let gankers ruin their experience and dont let carebear rules ruin ours

    p.s. and for those who like and endless grind there is darkfall lol