What is a PvPer?

| Friday, January 31, 2014
The everlasting conflict between PVErs and PVPers is that the second group is quite happy to gank the first but there's no vice versa. - Syl on Twitter
 Pshaw, I say.

PvP and PvE are not separate groups. I usually do PvE. Sometimes I do PvP. The latter has about 95% of my gaming-related profanity. Strangely, in PvP my profanity is usually aimed at developers, while in PvP it is aimed at other players. As they say, "don't hate the player; hate the game developer who created such an unbalanced piece of total bullshit." Maybe that's relevant.

When I am in a PvP mood I do not gank. Just yesterday I was on my way to a mote cloud when I saw a level 80 fly toward it. He'd have beaten me to it, but he flew away. I was sad that I'd scared him off. Granted, I might have stunned him and taken the cloud for myself, but I wasn't going to press the entire extra button needed to kill him. Gear inflation is insane.

I take that back. I have ganked. Once upon a time that was a way to draw out the 60s. Swoop in and kill a quest giver or two, kill a few lowbies, and you've got yourself a battleground. Sadly, that no longer works.

In PvP I am often looking for a reasonably fair fight, or a fight that has a reasonable expectation of being fair. Those aren't the same, as anyone can tell from your average random BG that, despite being based essentially on random draws from both factions, has one failing in an almost impressive manner. I'd even claim that ganking and PvP are different activities, despite falling under the same mechanical umbrella.

Getting back to my pshaw, I suggest that Syl has drawn the lines all wrong. Since PvP and PvE are not separate categories of players, then what is the division? I propose decent human beings and bad people.

PvP has an obvious appeal for the bad people. They can directly inflict harm upon others.

Yet, is PvE immune? Is the loot ninja not a harmful jerk as well? How about the person who wipes the raid? What about the person who abuses the limits of vote-kicking to act as a parasite on a group, contributing nothing yet getting all the rewards for success? And surely the people who make glyphs are a universally awful group.

The problem is not PvPers vs. PvPers, but of horrible people vs. decent people. Maybe PvP has a higher percentage of horrible people. Fine. But do not stereotype an entire group because of that, or else you, Syl, will be in that group.

I'm saying you're a horrible person.


Clockwork said...

"And surely the people who make glyphs are a universally awful group."

My sides, that was a spit-laugh take right there.

I like your division but I think it is in part because PvP affords the "bad people" more opportunities to grief. A person trying to grief LFR has to wait in the queue, calculate their moves, etc. In PvP, especially in the open world, they just need to descend on a hapless adventurer and press 1-3 buttons to send them on a corpse run; basically your story with the mote cloud, plus a button.

Syl said...

I'm not sure I like the good people bad people / players approach much; for me, there's no value judgement attached to pvping - not even to those pvpers that are generally considered jerks, I guess. my general answer to pvp grief is - don't roll on a pvp server. I don't like pvp to have too many rules.

My comment on twitter was liked by quite a few people so it must have struck a chord somehow. my own thinking there was going to DayZ, the whole kill on sight culture atm and a more philosophical discussion. there 'are' pure pvpers and pvers - there are players who are killers and there are socializers who won't ever go there. but the killer profile is special in the sense that it relies on having others around for killing that need not be consensual; sure, it's more fun to be on equal footing, but many players in DayZ get kicks out of KoS at the moment, even ganking fresh spawns. you can get annoyed at that for sure but what intrigues me is how 'the good guys' / white hats or whatever you call them, essentially have no way to respond to killers without killing themselves. and that's the eternal dilemma; if you wanna stick to the 'good' side you gotta play by the rules and your only tool might be to try and endure and outlast. you can't fight the bad guys without well...fighting them. there's no way to enforce "leave me alone" in games with pvp (unless ofc via game design). and that's why the conflict is always skewed in favor of the pvper.

Klepsacovic said...

"there's no way to enforce "leave me alone" in games with pvp (unless ofc via game design)."
Whether players can or cannot freely attack each other is game design. The senseless killing is as artificial as the enforced peace.

Syl said...

Well, speaking in terms of moderation, it isn't. and coming from a place of simulation not either.

Freedom is the basic state of being before artificial acts try to restrict it or take it away. it's a different matter if acts are enforced on a dev level or player level. the second is the sociological and psychologically intriguing environment that DayZ is currently going for. and there's a lot of merit in watching that for me personally, once we interpret deeper. it also far from just KoS culture - that's just the most visible and vocal side we get to see of it in the media. I might write my own volume yet about why the 'harsh' freedom in DayZ (which comes down to PvP ONLY because players make it so) is worthy of preservation. not every game needs to be a PVE game.

Syl said...

Addendum: I like to cite Postal's old slogan here too: "It's only as violent as you are" - only in DayZ we have the added layer of the MMO which suddenly changes everything most drastically.

Klepsacovic said...

"Freedom is the basic state of being before artificial acts try to restrict it or take it away."
But we're already talking about an artificial world. Why should the zombies be universally hostile, except to each other? Why can't they be trained as pets? Maybe that's the fix: a mechanic that allows a player to attract to themselves zombies which are not hostile to the player.

"It's only as violent as you are"
And I'm only as violent as I need to be, as dictated by the violence around me.

j3w3l said...

spot on. There are bad people in both PvE and PvP as well as bad people that do everything else in between.

Personally I just think they are part of the ecosystem. A needed part in a way that creates some interesting open world conflict and binds people together in their hate.

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