Sep 252012

DDOGamer Series: Saving PvP

Part One: We Need to Save PvP
Part Two: A Comprehensive Look at the Current PvP System
Part Three: How Will We Know When PvP is Fixed?
Part Four: Balance the PvP Contest, Not the Game
Part Five: Understanding PvP Hate
Part Six: PvP Dreams: 30+ Ideas For Saving PvP

Understanding PvP Hate

I remember seeing my corpse surrounded by monsters and griefers on some deep level of Hell. Most of my gear had already “fallen off” my character and been looted. I remember the frustration as I realized I would never be able to recover any of it, the rares and sets I’d meticulously acquired were gone for good, and I was going to have to re-gear my character from nothing. All because of obnoxious people who were not better players than I was, but were better cheaters, and got their jollies at the expense of other players. I remember hating this so much that I put away Diablo once and for all and never went back to any Battle.Net game again, ever.

PvP does not have to be like this.

When I asked my Gamer Girl how she felt about PvP, she got a rather horrified look on her face and went on to tell me how PvPers – or player-killers (PKs) as they were once known and she still calls them – ruined several of the early MMOs. She relates how in one game, a PK used some kind of cheat exploit to steal her housing and all of the equipment she had stored there. It is clear that she still feels anger and pain from this event; this is a wound that remains fresh to this day.

But PvP does not have to be like this.

Read through the comments that this series has been getting, especially on the forums, and one can feel the pain there too. Lots of people have lots of angst from events that they blame on PvP. They’ve been bullied, plain and simple, and we gamers as a group of people may be even more sensitive to bullying than the general populace. After all, we are the nerdcore. We know bullying. The last thing we want is to include even more bullying in our gaming, we get enough of that in real life.

Except, PvP does not have to be like this either.

All of these stories are talking about griefing, not PvP. There is nothing about PvP intrinsically that requires the ability to bully other players; but it has often been implemented that way by a variety of games and MMOs going back to the very beginnings of online interactions. And there is undeniably a type of person that seeks out the ability to hurt others in-game and thrives on it. Or as my Gamer Girl put it: “PvP can be fun but griefing is never fun. Too often, PvPers are griefers”.

Okay, got it. No griefing. And I suspect Turbine gets it too. The single most important aspect of any changes to PvP has to be: No Griefing, None, Not Even a Little.

PvP can also extend the life of a game. Consider Dark Age of Camelot, an MMO from 2001. It essentially stopped getting content updates years ago but remains an active (albeit very small) community solely because of PvP.

Me personally, I rarely play PvP. I am not good at it, and the current implementation does nothing to encourage me to improve. We’ve had guild nights in the brawling pits, and now and then I will drop in at the Lobster long enough to remember, oh yeah, I am bad at PvP.

But I like DDO and I’d like to have even more fun things to do in DDO. Even if that is PvP.

Tomorrow I intend to wrap up the Saving PvP series with a compilation of all the existing ideas for improving PvP.

See you there.

🙂 😀 🙂

What do you think?

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