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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Jul 10th 2009 10:28AM (Unverified) said

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This is why I can't really stand the modern round of games. My MMO addiction was to Asheron's Call which if played on the PVP server had full looting (where you'd drop items based on value and the number of items dropped based on level). The fact is, dropping things on death made communities strong as you always looked out for your allegiance members. It made your items valuable not because it took a 25 man raid 10 times to get, but because if you messed up it was gone forever.

I brought my girlfriend who'se MMO experience was WoW into Age of Conan and then Asheron's Call, and she'd throw temper tantrums, up until SHE did the killing and took someone's stuff. It took a while for her to realize that the dynamic was completely different. WoW (and many others like it) are always win win win situations. The second you add actual consequences for death, skill becomes involved to stay alive. Communities form to keep eachother safe, and question, dungeon owning, items all become a group effort.

I know the griefing counterpoint to all this, but I'm not out to convince anyone, I just like to show there are people that love the death consequence and that loosing is OK.

Posted: Jul 10th 2009 10:41AM Minofan said

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I'm not actually a bad loser, but playing MMOs with other folks sometimes gives rise to 2 particular scenarios that REALLY make my blood boil...

1] The stupid dang exploit devs don't fix!
I don't mind losing to zergs (for zergs are just a force of nature) or to superior teams (got to admire the ingenuity or skill), but I hate it when I care enough to participate then lose to some senseless frickin' exploit that drags on and on update after update.
Whether it's obscene instakill tricks, supposedly-impossible stat manipulation or simple stacking bugs it just isn't any fun to lose without a chance - and it really sours me on games peddling PvP when this kind of junk isn't top priority.

2] For the love of chocolate LET us lose already!
This phenomenon is entirely down to the players sadly: it really ticks me off when my guild or team just won't accept the completeness of our defeat and insists on dragging out the turtling/grasping for straws for excrutiating lengths of time.
This is an order of magnitude worse in PvE, where defeat is less signifcant and KOd players are at the mercy of optimistic lunatics who forsake all reason for long-winded delusions of personal glory ("yeah it normally takes 8 to beat the boss, but I'm sure we can maybe do it with 2 if dodge the 100 patrols!").
Players on the cusp of victory don't just give up and leave because winning takes X more excrutiating minutes, and monsters never care - when the battle is lost just lose and start over already!

Posted: Jul 10th 2009 11:52AM Jeromai said

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Well said. PvE is normally a 100% win affair with the exception of raiding (where the success/failure ratio varies a little more dramatically, with resultant blame game). In PvP, one side wins at the other's expense, so in the long term, 50% of the time you're going to feel the sting of a loss. (With some adjustments for skill and experience depending on the game. But not even the greatest Starcraft player of all time can keep their throne forever.)

Some people can take it. Some can't. Some like infrequent but significant consequence to a loss. Some prefer less consequences to a loss. Those preferences dictate how competitively one can tolerate playing, and also the type of PvP game one likes.

Posted: Jul 10th 2009 12:35PM archipelagos said

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You do raise an interesting point about loss and the reactions that can cause. For some, as you suggest, it's something unknown, a side of gaming they have perhaps been sheltered from depending on their choice of previous MMO. Once encountered the reaction from the player can be extreme, depending which side of the win/loss ratio you fall.

If your previous experience is in situations that you can ultimately prepare for and overcome in due time - or luck - the experience of being killed by someone that you may never see again, or indeed be able to defeat because they're so far ahead of you on the item/skill scale that you simply can't compete, well, it can be very frustrating. An integral part of competing is knowing that you have a chance and when you're presented with a situation that seems hopeless the loss can be all the more bitter.

One thing to keep in mind though is that the large audience of people who simply dislike any and all forms of PvP are not singular in their reasons why. There are many reasons for why people choose to avoid PvP; the reactionary carebear labelling doesn't do it justice.

Posted: Jul 10th 2009 1:23PM Teppotastic said

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That's a verrry interesting little tangle you've mentioned there. It sounds awfully the entitlement to success that "Generation Y" suffers from greatly. I wonder if gaming did this to them or they to the gaming? O.o

Posted: Jul 10th 2009 1:29PM happyfish said

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I dont think I'm sheltered from losing, having played several thousand games of starcraft. Losing in a game of starcraft is fairly straight forward, I was beat by an opponent with superior skill/tactics and we started at the same place. In an MMO, however, I was probably beat by a spawn camper 15 levels ahead of me with exploited gear or someone who has been playing the game since beta. I think my response to a MMO death vs any other game is the idea of fairness. Skill is just one part of many in PvP so in that sense losing is less easy to accept, because a myriad of other factors like gear, levels, class balancing, etc. determine the outcome. In essence there is hardly ever a fair fight in PvP, which isnt necessarily bad, but takes a lot of maturity/patience to handle.

Posted: Jul 10th 2009 1:52PM (Unverified) said

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The barriers for winning in GW's PvP arena is pretty high. You can't expect to be a tyke and win everytime. Which can be shock, especially if you have come primarily from the PvE oriented MMO.

One of the unique things about GW, is that your lvl, gears and weapons are all capped when you enter PvP arena. They provide no additional hidden stats or bonus. And you are only limited to only 8 skills. Given that all things being equal, the only thing that matters in winning the game is your skill. The same cannot be said of WoW or War or even Eve.

It's one of the most enduring thing about GW. And its the only MMO that I still play to this day on a frequent basis, even after 3+ years. The adrenaline rush is just too addictive, its better than coffee.

If you come to the GW's PvP arena with expectation that you will be screamed at, yelled at, griefed at, which btw is part of any competitive game (virtual MMO or real life), and you are there to practice, do your best, and have fun with your guild mates or just by yourself, then you are more likely to enjoy it.

If you went in there, thinking that your super L33t skills can pwned it all. Then expect to be ready for a rude awakening by the opposing team.





Posted: Jul 10th 2009 6:43PM Dblade said

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I think the problem is that there is no real positive aspect to pvp presented to a newbie. Take the OP, he is excited to play, but soon gets curb stomped so badly he feels he should stop playing entirely to not be a burden to his team.Worse, he sees his team advance, which reinforces that he sucks. (No offense man, believe me I've had the exact same thing happen to me.)

There's no way to spin that into an enjoyable experience, even with losing. So either he decides not to bother with pvp, or he tries to get better because of negative reasons, so that he won't suck, or that he will pay back the cheap-ass bastards who camped him non stop.

It's not a good foundation. You can still rise up to excel, and eventually enjoy pvp for itself, but it's no wonder that so many people have antipathy towards it. What's worse is that there is no sporting code to pvp which mitigates the worse aspects of competition, so if you lose, chances are the act of losing is made worse because of the unsportsmanship of the winners.

There needs to be some kind of way to mitigate the problems of competition not just in MMOs but in every game.

Posted: Jul 11th 2009 10:17AM Samael said

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You are absolutely right in the fact that when you play a game of soccer on the field or any sort of physical game, the chances are after loosing the game the other team will not be idiots about the whole ordeal. Hence at the end of the game you will not feel as bad. Now I guess the anonymity of the MMOs allow people to be idiots, hence it brings out the worst in human competitive behavior.
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Posted: Jul 11th 2009 11:35AM wjowski said

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They can start talking about winning and losing in MMOs when said winning and losing revolves around skill, rather than ground-out levels/stats.

Posted: Jul 11th 2009 11:37AM wjowski said

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They can start talking about winning and losing in MMOs when said winning and losing starts revolving around skill, as opposed to ground out levels or stats.

Posted: Jul 11th 2009 11:38AM wjowski said

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Damned double-posting.
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Posted: Jul 12th 2009 8:04AM Xocolatl said

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I'm definitely among the minority that likes losing. I derive my enjoyment from a heroic defeat, from putting up a good last stand. That's why I usually join the losing team. There isn't nearly as much pressure, and I can afford to pull crazy stunts that sometimes turn the game around. It's all the better when your team is also willing to participate in these crazy plans and daring explorations. Most of all, I just like to annoy people. I find that sheer tenacity against all odd ticks off a lot of net goers.

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