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Reader Comments (70)

Posted: Oct 16th 2010 9:07AM (Unverified) said

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its just another form of competition. Its in our nature to compete and out perform others. plus killing people online is fun.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:03AM Aganazer said

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I think I am a contradiction. I greatly prefer the PvP oriented sandbox games like EVE and UO, but when I play them I completely avoid PvP. It makes no sense at all. There is just something about the drama that a game like this creates. There are real bad guys and good guys instead of thousands of anonymous clones in the crowd. It seems to give community a meaningful purpose.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:25AM Tom in VA said

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Short answer: I don't.

@Alexis -- I agree with you that competition is a "core value" of most MMOs and is accomplished, if not via PvP then via "out-ubering" other players through the gear and accomplishments you have amassed.

@Angel -- Like you, I haven't felt at all competitive in any MMO I've played. Truth be told, I don't give a rip if another player is adorned in "sparkly purples" (I'll just think "You no-life loser!" [while he thinks, of course, "You Noob Carebear Loser!"!]) and go on my way. Likewise, my reaction to PvP -- or even duel challenges -- is simply "/yawn" and ignore.

It is not the spirit of competition or a desire to prove myself that draws me to MMOs, it is the desire for shared adventure, story, and exploration.

Hence, when it comes to PvP, there is just no itch there that I want to scratch. I liked the way Guild Wars handled this issue, with a separate but equal approach to PvP and PvE.

The only thing I actively dislike about PvP is that game devs are constantly tweaking/ruining/nerfing skills for PvE because of how those skills are used in PvP -- and vice versa.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:33AM (Unverified) said

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I think alotta the comments above have hit the nail on the head as far as why I enjoy PvP, ever since the first time i logged into Darktide(AshersonCall) in 1999 and got ganked with 5minutes and spent the next 30 minutes dieing/chasing and collaborating with other n00bs to take down this all powerful level 10 i was hooked... PvP also forms comradely that simply does not exist or get from a PvE group.

For myself its much more enjoyable perhaps enthralling for me to chase someone waiting for them to make a slip-up to allow me finish them off or at the same time running from someone until I can in some way outsmart them to live another day. MoBs simply dont do this sure PvE can be fun but its just doesent come close for me.. I look at PvE as nothing more then a grind/money/xp/lewt step in between PvP for me.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:43AM (Unverified) said

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Why do I PvP? To fuck with people like the dude who wrote this article.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:44AM Rihahn said

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I'll echo what most of the others here have stated; a real human brain on the other side of the screen beats the pants off of scripted encounters.

That being said, I still need a 'reason' to PvP.

I've tried things like console and FP shooters in the past and, well, there just isn't much to them beyond "here's a gun, go kill someone."

My favorite game of all time is probably Shadowbane... It appealed to me on all levels:

My carebare PvE side was happy building cities... "No no no, that wall goes there and the colors are completely barbaric - how about something in salmon."

My bloodthirsty PvP side was sated with hundred person city sieges, territorial warfare, and merciless ganking.

And it was highly social. I was even able to get my RP on, on occasion. O.C.C. was made of awesome - I miss those folks.

Posted: Nov 7th 2010 1:11AM (Unverified) said

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OCC is still around and kicking. Google 'The Burning Horde' for our website. (Not sure if the bot filters will nix a website URL).


To stay on topic though, PvP gives me a reason to log in. As a veteran Shadowbane player, I built my personal reputation on my Thief killing and stealing from anything from a loan player to a ten man group of active players with hit and run tactics.

After that it was learning siege warfare strategies. Coming up with group compositions and tactics to take an outnumbered handful of people and pull out the win vs superior numbers. Taking over and holding territories that meant something. Playing the political game on the forums to ends that ranged from stifling their recruiting of new members and allies to just having a good time mocking an enemy.

Things like that never end as long as the player base keeps up for the server, and PvE alone just doesn't have what it takes to make for an interesting end game. If you think about it... say you could only make one character ever in an MMO. You hit level cap, and eventually get the top end gear for your toon. Everything is maxed, you have all of the shineys you want. What then? Wait for another patch? It just seems like without competition between players the only point of leveling and getting better gear in an MMO is... to level some more and get even better gear. That's the reason it takes so long to grind everything in non-PvP based games... because there's nothing or little to do once you've reached completion.

- Teer of Lys
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Posted: Oct 14th 2010 10:01AM thebillyman said

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I PvP for the added challenge of fighting something that is not a computer.

I do hope to see one day a sandbox game where there are harsh enough penalties for cold blooded murder that the amount of people running around killing their own race/nation/whatever are a little closer to real life.
I don't walk around in real life in my own country worrying about people trying to fight me. But if I go into the wrong neighborhood, and another nation, yeah, I worry a tad more about it. But I don't worry about it just because I leave the city. I actually feel safe in the country than I do in some parts of the city. I would love to feel this way in a game.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:46AM Pingles said

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I am a hardcore Carebear who avoids all PvP like the plague.

However, I absolutely LOVE the thrill of hunting in a place where I might be stalked by a human opponent.

Scanning surroundings constantly, never standing in one place long enough to get backstabbed, making sure I have an escape plan...All great stuff.

DAoCs Frontiers were the best gaming time I ever had.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:55AM (Unverified) said

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I don't PVP.

I rather play "with" you then "against" you.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 9:57AM TheGreatMachine said

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Human Intelligence > Artificial Intelligence. That's why.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 11:53AM Tom in VA said

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Human Intelligence > Artificial Intelligence.

For PvP, you bet.

But the fact that, so often, Artificial Intelligence > Human Intelligence (in PvE) is one of the reasons I loved the heroes/henches in Guild Wars. ;)
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Posted: Oct 14th 2010 10:14AM MewmewGrrl said

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It takes almost no skill to PvP in an MMO. It mainly only takes time of being online leveling and getting gear to be better than others. So lots of people who have no lives and little in the way of game skills are able to sit online 16 hours a day and then PK others and feel they've accomplished something or are better than someone for it.

MMO PvP was most accurately shown in the South Park Episode about WoW - despite it being a parody / joke - it was very accurate for MMO PvP. Those with no life in real really are like undead that you can't kill. PvP in MMOs is generally a joke, though a few of them have done it different and interesting, it still almost always boils down to time online as to who is better rather than any real skill.

Despite the number of nerds who will argue they have l33t ski11z - MMO PvP is the most skill lacking PvP there is. When it's not time based with who is online the most, it is many times who abuses some little overpowered power the best, or who has the biggest crowd with them, it's very very rarely skill based. To me it's boring and takes away from the story line most of the time. It's about as fun as letting random level 100 monsters run around in low level zones ganking you that laugh about it and flex.

The hardcore truth is that the hardcore PvP games fail because most players do not want that primarily in their games. Despite the number of loud mouthed people who clammer that PvP is what it's all about - they're not out there keeping the big PvP games popular because there aren't enough people who really feel that way - those loud noisy posters are actually a huge minority of gamers. Most games do well despite their PvP aspect instead of because of it.

Posted: Oct 15th 2010 1:43AM ThePenIsMightier said

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Gear difference I can agree with in some (many) cases. Time spent? No. No, no, no. Simply playing a game doesn't make you good at it, doesn't provide understanding of mechanics through osmosis, doesn't increase your reflexes or reset your playstyle to a more efficient one. I could slaughter any of my friends decked out in welfare PVP gear in my PVE gear. Time spent IMPROVING skills makes one a better player, and if you think there is no "skill" in PVP then do come join me in some game and let's give you many examples of how wrong you are. Hell look at WoW, if there is no "skill" then everyone would be touting Gladiator titles from the arenas.
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Posted: Oct 14th 2010 10:16AM HereticalPenguin said

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I definitely PVP more than PVE. It's simply more rewarding when you're the winner of a PVP engagement than it is when you've completed some dungeon for the umpteenth time.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 10:29AM (Unverified) said

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Just a note to all the comments regarding Humans > AI.

This is true in practice, but only because the devs aren't willing to release a Reaper Bot into their MMO zones. They _know_ how effective they can be.

In any closed/limited skill set, reaction timed, and artificial environment, AI will win every time. It's simply not written that way, currently. A mob that presses 1,2,3 is much easier to predict resource consumption on the server side rather than one that makes decisions. I hope (I really hope) that as CPU becomes more of a commodity, this will change, and NPC AI will rank higher on the priority list of available server resources.

But trust me, if a mob knew everything there was to know about your character (resists, mitigation, stats, timers, location, speed), and had the same tools (potions, gear, spells, abilities) you have, and used them all, it would win every time, one on one.

Be very very very happy developers don't have "smart mobs". Or you'd all be whining (even you supposed PvP hardcore folks) when you'd get your ass handed to you in every one-on-one fight.

Posted: Oct 17th 2010 9:46AM (Unverified) said

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If that occurred, then pve players would complain that it was too hard to sufficiently fight the mobs.

Mobs would start rebuffing and gnaking the healer with assassins, nukes directed at dps, and tanks made uttrly useless. I'm pretty sure there are two sides to that coin.
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Posted: Oct 14th 2010 11:36AM Stormwaltz said

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I'll preface this by admitting I don't PvP, but I find it fascinating to watch and read about.

In my opinion, there are two paths to make PvP popular. You can make it fun, or you can make it matter. And you can't make it do both at the same time.

An FPS is fun PvP. There are no consequences for failure. It's 5-15 minutes running around and blowing off steam. If you get one-shot - hey, no big, you'll respawn and be back to having fun in a few seconds.

EVE and Darkfall are PvP with consequences. Deaths set you back somehow - you lose equipment or money, you respawn far away and lose travel time, you suffer a debuff that makes you level more slowly, or you get XP taken away and have to re-level. In the most extreme cases, you lose you city/space station and are left homeless.

The ideal of PvP with consequences is to allow players to govern themselves. If you're a jerk in a PvP world, life get very difficult for you because other players have the means to police you without appealing to GMs. Did you get scammed in EVE? Gank him in a frigate, or worm your way in through corporate espionage and steal everything they own.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 12:12PM Controlled Chaos said

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What little PvP I do is out of sheer, unadulterated boredom. I tend toward the PvE aspect of things in almost every game I play for the simple fact that I can't stand being around people who take the game entirely too seriously...which encompasses a lot of PvPers. So if I'm running around those zones, it's because I've really got nothing better to do.

Posted: Oct 14th 2010 12:13PM (Unverified) said

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Gonna have to agree completely with Kole. Playing in a game world with open PVP, (ie. PVP or RP/PVP server), gives an added sense of excitement and adventure . . .

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