Friday, January 12, 2007

Player vs. Bullies

A few weeks ago, I started
a Warlock character in WoW on a PvP server (Thunderlord).

I though the name Creyve sounded badass for a life-draining master of Demons.

After about a month, I have decided that PvP only exists as a way for players to live out their fantasies of bullying the weak. That's the only explanation. It's clear that Blizzard is uninterested in changing this situation.

I write this post on my blog because in the forums it would only earn me a "L2P (Learn to play) noob!" and "Go to an RP server, fagg0rt."

But this is really just to share my observations and ponder another way. There has to be some kind of middle ground PvP.

For about the first 20 levels everything was fine. This is because most of my quests were in green areas. Green areas are owned by your faction (Horde, in my case) and enemy players cannot engage you in PvP unless you attack first. This is reasonable.

In yellow and red areas, you get flagged for PvP.

Welcome to the Gankfest.

Level 30+ quests are almost uniformly in yellow areas. You might be thinking, "Well, great, all the people of similar levels will be in those zones, ready to fight, gaining PvP skill."

Wrong. Nobody ever attacks unless they have a huge advantage. Fighting three bears of your level? Expect to get backstabbed when your health is at 1/3. Then run to your corpse and hope that some asshole isn't camping the damn thing.

Of course, you're lucky if you get bum-rushed by someone within four levels of yourself.

Typically, it's a level ??? Probably a level 60. Good luck hitting them at all. And you have no defense whatsoever.

In fact, your skills are worthless. There is nothing protecting you from the predations of powerful player-characters.

My Warlock has a detect invisibility spell. But it only detects lesser invisibility. But I don't give a shit about lesser invisibility, because anything that has it doesn't pose a threat.

I've leveled at about half the normal rate, even with bonus XP, because I get constantly ganked while questing. This has nothing to do with my character or how I play, because there's nothing I could have done to prevent my character's death. No time to hearth, my Voidwalker sacrifice doesn't protect me for long, I can't fear higher levels with much chance of success, everything I try to do gets interrupted.

Of course, mention this, and people get defensive. They lash out. "You chose to play on a PvP server. It's your fault."

Right. I'm sorry, I expected some kind of game. Maybe where my input actually mattered. Not a system where I pay money to allow complete strangers to waste my fucking time by forcing me to run to my corpse five times in a row.

It's not as if there are no solutions to the problem of ganking. Dishonor was floated for awhile, but Blizzard decided it wasn't worth the hassle.

Has anybody ever seen a decent PvP system that doesn't encourage a cycle of virtual abuse?

Everyone I know pushes for Level 60 mostly so they can one-shot players twenty levels below their own.

Won't somebody think of the lowbies?


Silvanis said...

About the only solution I can come up with is if you simply can't attack someone who's, say +/- 10 or more levels to you. Course, that's an immersion breaker, but that isn't too big of a problem in WoW.

But have you tried to think of a solution that doesn't create huge exploits? It's not easy...dishonor had holes you could drive a semi through, and by the time you could catch all the exceptions, would drive a server to it's knees trying to process all that in real-time.

The biggest problem is that there simply isn't any reward for someone who's 60+ ganking a level 20 other than the emotional one. And I don't see a way of changing that.

dan said...

And for this reason (and some others) I continue to stay mostly offline.

dan said...

And of course the second I say that, I become sick and have lots of free time lying down. I ended up downloading the free trial (took forever) and now I'm just learning the ropes of WoW. I'm getting annoyed though because it's clearly geared towards groups and I'm not much of team player. Still, it's fun leveling up and doing quests. I don't think I'll be doing any PvP though. Just having some random guy run up and steal a treasure right in front of me is bad enough.