There’s been a lot of talk lately about PvP people and there apparent deficiencies lately, I don’t see it that way but it seems that’s the way a lot of people feel about those that enjoy conflict. It does make me a bit sad at times that this is the way it is because, coming from the inside I know a lot of people whom this is so far from the truth to be laughable. They love PvP, some it’s all the do and of course this involves plenty of ganking and what people would call “illegitimate” PvP. Knowing them though, I know their reasoning and I know what they get out of it and yeh at times it’s a good laugh at the other person but not in the mean spirited, make them feel bad kind of way. It’s all for the personal fun I guess and some won’t like that as it puts them out but, that’s the mechanics of the game.
Doone had a great post over at XP chronicles about whether PvP fosters bullies that outlines the feelings of many. Bullying is a funny term here though as it has very, physical and real world connotations that don’t apply as much to the online space. Of course intimidation is real, ostracization happens and it is a very real issue but even then I don’t equate it the style of game. It is a by product of the internet, fostered in a way by the companies themselves. With those that don’t seem to enforce such elements it tends to run riot… Pun intended.
I wouldn’t exactly call twitter a PvP game but yet, it’s been home to say of the worst kind of individuals of late. I see this sort of “bullying, for lack of a better word, on forums in many games, PvE ones included. And besides I’ve seen plenty of deplorable behaviour amongst pve games at least in the PvP ones you have the ability to get a little revenge. To maybe forcible stop the people engaging in assholery. That just seems an unfortunate side effect of the relative infancy of these online times and companies just haven’t caught up. The onus is on them to either control and shape the behaviour within their game spaces or give players the rights to do it on their own.
I also don’t get how some people can call PvP anti-social when what I see is the complete opposite. What I see is a far more social space than any other PvE game. Within these PvP spaces I see people grouping up more often, I see guilds planning play together, inter-guild alliances forming and general just a lot more collaborative styles of play. In every PvE game of played lately it’s just been this solo march to cap and even then your actions are mostly self serving… that’s anti-social. PvP is and always has been about the group and interactions between players.
I do like the term contested that Zubon of Kill ten rats brought up, basically actions that require another reacts too. Something that changes the game space. This is that something that I love about PvP. A basic form of emergent play but a type that is ever present in PvP mmo’s. It’s funny thinking about it that way as I’ve definitely had an impact on many during my play, whether they wanted it or not. I more adhere to the gentlemen (or ladies) code of PvP. A criteria of around equal level opponents and straight up fights, not duels per se but pretty close. But then, those that I have attacked that met such criteria some probably didn’t want to PvP. Did I inhibit their play? There was one person when questing in Hellswamp that I kept killing because they kept coming back to the place I was questing. That was more preemptively killing though. But I killed them a few times so… was that griefing?
You see such simple definitions just aren’t easy even when you do have the inside information, from the outside it’s playing Pin the Tale on the Prick. Your just blindly trying to pin a tag on a target. Whether it fits or not seems immaterial.