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It seems to me that whenever a game is being made that does not feature a 100% safe world wherein PVE is the main focus, the woodwork comes alive with infuriated gamers. Some of them seems to be deeply hurt by the fact that the game in question is not catering to their particular tastes, others just want to vent some frustration about FFA PVP and PVPers in general, and yet others seem to want to teach the devs how to earn more money by adapting to the mainstream market instead of following their own vision.
The same old arguments always return, however, and it's fascinating to see how they're recycled despite being so shallow and baseless. Some of them are based only on prejudices, but are often touted as fact anyway. Most of them are extremely stupid and also insulting.
Let me list my favorites (in no particular order):
"People who play FFA PVP games are sociopaths"
This is a very common misconception, based on a failure to distinguish the difference between a virtual world and the real world. People who think every FFA PVPer is acting out his irl self in the game are beyond delusional; if this argument was valid, you could also claim that PVE players enjoy slaughtering endless amounts of innocent boars and spiders irl, or that someone playing the market in WoW is a shrewd capitalist irl - or simply that so-called carebears are all spineless cowards irl.
I think it's not only stupid but utterly insulting to imply that a whole subset of the MMO community consists of sociopaths, just because they happen to enjoy a different style of games than you.
"People who play FFA PVP games are cowards"
This argument is related the preceeding one, but while the sociopath angle comes from hobby psychologists spouting armchair diagnoses, this one is the result of a more moralist view. Some people seem to be under the illusion that PVP should be somehow "fair" and "balanced", and that anyone who has learned to use tactics, terrain, numbers, abilities, experience or anything else to their advantage, is a coward who are afraid of a "fair" fight.
In short, this is scrub reasoning. The bottom line here is that PVP is about winning the fight, not roleplaying a knight in shining armor. Bringing some friends, knowing the terrain, getting the jump on people, etc, is all part of the game.
Those who use the "coward" argument should just stick to their MOBAS, BGs or WOW duelling.
"FFA PVP games are nothing but gankfests"
This is my personal favorite. Not only does it reek of hurting butts, it also illustrates some people's total lack of understanding of how FFA PVP works. What the hell does "gankfest" even mean?
First of all, the term "ganking" is now widely misused. No longer does it mean a group of people killing a lone adversary, but rather just killing someone in general. In a way, the "gankfest" argument is just as moralistic as the "coward" argument - it's rooted in the idea that open world, non-consensual PVP is somehow unfair and that a game in which unprepared, ungeared, or unexperienced players might die at the hand of another player automatically turn into "gankfests".
The root of the problem here is that many people confuse the FFA logic with the themepark logic. They believe that farming mobs/harvesting/questing in peace is some sort of human right, and that getting killed by another player while doing it constitutes an infringement of this human right. What they fail to realize is that the whole point of a FFA game is that the world is not 100% safe and that the game should be played accordingly.
If that's not your cup of tea, play some other game. You've got plenty to chose from.
"FFA PVP is a griefer's paradise"
While griefing of course happens in FFA games, it would be very naïve to think that PVE games are somehow safe from it. As a matter of fact, griefing can be much worse in games like WOW, where someone can harrass you in many ways without you being able to do anything about it. If the same situation occurs in a FFA game, you have the freedom to kill the harrasser, take his stuff, burn down his house and harrass his guild in multiple ways.
In other words: yes, FFA PVP is a griefer's paradise, but so are all multiplayer games. In FFA games the griefer has to be a competent and dedicated player to get away with his griefing.
"FFA PVP games are not commercially successful, which means they are bad"
Probably the worst argument ever. First of all, it's just false. EVE is one of the most successful MMOs of all time, with a strong player retention and a very active development - despite being an almost ten years old niche FFA game. DayZ, a buggy FFA mod (with permadeath) for a buggy military simulator, has attracted over a million players to date, a standalone is in the works and the WarZ, a simliar game from another dev, is getting loads of attention as we speak. Darkfall: Unholy Wars is another upcoming FFA title with a lot of hype.
So, it seems FFA games can attract quite a substantial audience. But even if the above argument was based on facts, it would be false. All games do not need WoW-like numbers to be successful, and a product can be extremely qualitative without being a mainstream hit - otherwise we would all be eating at McDonald's read Twilight books, and watch Hollywood movies exclusively.
FFA is not for everyone, but its audience is not as small as some people like to claim.
"This game would be great if it had a PVE server"
This argument usually comes from people who claim to be sandbox players. They want "a game like this" just without the FFA PVP, and so they come to the forums of said game clamoring for a PVE server, hoping that the devs will suddenly change their development focus just because these players want them to.
It is a very stupid argument and shows a total lack of understanding for game development. Usually the reasoning goes like this: "adding a PVE server is very easy and would not impact the PVP server in any way, so why are you guys so against it?"
Well, to begin with it's not that easy. A separate PVE server would require a lot of the devs' (often limited) resources, since it would differ in fundamental ways from the PVP server. A FFA game's whole core systems are built around PVP, so just changing them is no trivial matter. Designing and coding a separate ruleset for a game that is not designed for said ruleset would be a terrible waste of time and effort, and for what? So that people who don't even like the game to begin with can play it?
No, some gamers need to realize that games exist that do not cater to them - and never will. If you don't enjoy FFA PVP, don't play FFA PVP games. To each his own. You don't see FFA enthusiasts coming into the LOTRO forums demanding a FFA server, now do you?
"The devs will want to make money, so why don't they just remove the FFA PVP and attract more players?"
This line of reasoning is usually accompanied by some hobby economics bullshit, and just goes to show that sadly, many people believe money is the ultimate be-all end-all and that anyone not pursuing ultimate profit rates is out of his mind. These people can not understand that some devs primarily want to make a good game, a game they want to play, not make shitloads of money.
Of course, most devs need to make some money, or the game will die. But as mentioned above, all games do not need to have WOW-like numbers to be successful. Removing FFA and catering to the mainstream would be contrary to the core philosophy behind a game like DF, DayZ or Salem. It would not be the same game.
Also, it annoys me that some random forum people have the gall to try and tell devs (who have usually spent years developing the game) how to run their business - as if these entitled, spoiled, selfish internet brats knew better what the game in question needs. This of course goes for a lot of badly thought-out, opinionated bullshit floating around the gaming community, not only regarding FFA PVP games but games in general.
Well that's all folks. Please feel free to add your own examples of prejudices, failed reasoning and bad arguments!