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"Regardless of what game devs would have you believe, PvP is NEVER about two equal sides seeing who really IS the best PvPer out there. Its all about some higher level character PKing a lower level character, often times over and over. PvP in a game means that someone can repeatedly abuse a Player vs Player system and INTENTIONALLY ruin someone else's fun just so they can get their
jollies. PvP is never about skill, its about being a bully. Period." - Sarnath http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion/load/forums/loadforum/51/loadthread/29717/setstart/1/loadclass/35
I think this a very common misconception among MMORPG players. Its also completely untrue. PvP and greifing are NOT related. Ill explain why.
What is PvP?
Player vs Player. It's that's. Rather than killing a AI your choosing to compete against another human. While this sounds scary, let's consider some other PvP activities.
Chess, Football, Soccer, Darts, Ping Pong, Poker (free for all PvP), Racing, Golf, X-Prize, getting a Job, Promotions, Hot Dog eating contests, getting a good parking spot and the list goes on.
You compete with others either directly or indirectly nearly every day. If you try to win a game of Parcheesi is it to grief someone? You are trying to ruin someone shopping experience if you take a good shopping spot? Are sports based on nothing more than hurting other people? Of course, not.
I can understand people that enjoy a constant and steady gameplay experience from living in chaotic world, but that hardly means those that choice to compete are out to cause others unnecessary pain.
"I think you been camping the same mob for to long and are going brain numb, selecting a parking space isn't PvP" You say.
Let's look at a simple example. Hockey is direct competition. You must prevent a person from getting the urinal deodorizer into the net by knocking out there teeth. Golf is indirect competition, you can't physically block your opponent from scoring, but you are competition with other.
If you have two people you'll get some form of competition, its human nature. Even "A Tale in the Desert" has indirect competition. There is only one person that can be number one at something, just like the parking space, once its taken, its gone.
People that can't deal with indirection competition well are people that say things like "Well I have a life, so I can't be level XX in YYYY time" or "The game is better before people get high level"
Nothing can be done about this, you will have to grow enough personally to release what other people achieve has no effect on what you can achieve.
While some stumble over indirection competition, Most will not consider that PvP. PvP is when you make a direct action that will have an effect (negative or positive) on someone else. For example: You land on their piece and move them back to home, you pick up their money in the pot, You pop them in the head, so they fall over and you can take the ball to score, and so on.
You play a game, it has rules. If you play poker you can expect you lose a hand. Yes, youre expected to not like it, if you can't stand to lose, don't play. Much is the same with all sports and other directly competitive events.
Game have rules, playing with the scope of the rules is not causing hardship on others. No one likes to lose however, we dont demand the rules be changed when our team loses a sporting game?
PvP has had a rocky start. 1st gen games allowed PvP to be shallow, even overly profitable. Little more that people ganking n00bs as they stepped out of town, then talked smack. This has created the direct mental link in peoples mind that PvP means pain. Its to bad Pavlon was before MMORPGs, Im sure he would have gotten a equally accurate result.
However, blaming PvP for grief is like blaming theft on stores. After all if stores didn't have things to steal people wouldn't be thieves.
Do you correct the problem by banning stores? Or by dealing with thieves in a negative manner?
What can be done?
Many games have come up with new innovative ideas on how to get the benefits from direct competitions without the grief elements. However is outside the scope of this post, and I've briefly addressed this previously:
I'll speak more on this in upcomming posts.
Competition exists all around us, it brings out the best and the worst in people. The same is true with PvP. However greifing and PvP are not the same, they are completely different. To say those that want to PvP just want to kill people unfairly is to say all Chess players will try to win by poking out your eyes, then calling your mother names.
People wanting to compete directly with other players is natural, this desire is not the same as being an asshole.
To be Contunied...
Dispelling the myth of "hardcore"
MMORPG's are like a first love, your compare every new relationship in the future to it. And even if a new game is better, it'll never be the same.