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MMORPG.com Player Columnist Jamie Skelton writes this week on the subject of PKers, anti-PKers and carebears, three groups that started their existence in Pre-Trammel Ultima Online and continue today in games like Mortal Online.
This week, we'll start with a history lesson. Once upon a time, there was a world in which happy-go-lucky gamers lived in fear. The nerf bat was not their tyrant; in fact, it had yet to grow in power. Patch days were dreadful, but sparse enough to endure the wait. Dragons and other beasts were frightening, but could be defeated. No, the worst enemies facing these gamers were their fellow gamers: player-killers. Eventually known as "PKs" or "reds," these players thrilled upon the hunt of player versus player combat, frequently catching many players unaccustomed to such open combat from their fellows with surprise. Two factions then rose up to challenge the PKs. The first were the Anti-PKs, players devoted to the side of "good" who sought out to respond to PK attacks by finding, hunting, and killing known PKers. The second group were tamer creatures in game, but had a vicious bark: they became known as the carebears. This group wanted PvP to be optional, not mandatory; wanted safeguards to prevent griefing and the loss of hours of game time; and, most importantly, wanted the powers that resided over the game to be the hand that offered protection and justice.