This week the PvP/PvE debates finally came to the Rift forums and with a vengeance. There have been no less than four threads in the past couple of days about some aspect of PvP and what is fair and what is not. I knew it was coming, it comes in every MMO with PvP, I was just hoping it would take a little longer. Game forums are so much more pleasant without this endless debate.
If you read HorRIFTic Intentions at all you know what kind of player I am. I am a PvP’er, through and through. Don’t get me wrong, I love PvE but I live for PvP. Always have and always will. I can not count the number of times in WoW that I completely dropped whatever PvE activity I was doing to kill a few Horde. Thats the way I like it.
It’s in my blood.
Further confession…I am a ganker. Blame it on leveling Alliance on a Horde dominated server in WoW. I gank often and will continue to do so, given the opportunity. Now, I tend not to camp players nor do I tend to kill lowbies unless they are of a rival guild or someone who has caused problems for me or friends in the past. Still, I subscribe to the “red=dead” way of thinking.
So, guess what the forums threads were about? Ganking and killing lowbies. A combined 16+ pages of debate on what should be allowed on PvP servers and what should not be. Level limits, safe zones, bounty systems; they were all debated back and forth, back and forth ad nauseam.
So, what do I think?
Leave PvP servers alone.
No level limits, few safe zones and as few anti-PvP measures as possible.
But…..but…..what about the lowbies? What about the poor, defenseless lowbies?
My answer: Who cares about the lowbies? We were all lowbies at one point. PvP servers should be a rite of passage. You level, you get ganked, you dust yourself off and start again. Higher level camping you? You call for help. You don’t rely on some artificial level limit to help you. On a PvP server, if there is a PvP solution to a PvP problem, then that is the solution that should be used. Nothing else works and inhibits play. Let’s take a look at some of the ideas espoused in those threads to protect lowbies.
- A Murder Point system.
This is a pretty simple one and is one used by Age of Conan. Each player has a level limit on players in which he can attack, say ten levels. If he kills someone greater than 10 levels below him, he receives a Murder Point. Gain enough Murder Points and he can no longer go into cities without being attacked. Sounds great, huh?
What happens in this system is reverse griefing. Packs of lowbies running around and attacking higher level people, who can not fight back for fear of getting Murder Points. Lowbies stand in AoE to give higher levels Murder Points. Higher level characters travel with lowbies, who shield them when they are attacked. Again causing the higher level player to get Murder Points. I can tell you from experience, it sucks.
- Can not attack anyone +/- 5 levels from you.
Aaaah, now this sounds reasonable! In this system you are completely unable to attack anyone who is more or less than 5 levels from your level. Can’t touch them at all and they can’t touch you. Now this system sounds like it has all its bases covered, right?
Imagine you are traveling with your lowbie friend. Helping him with quests and you are having a dandy old-time. Then, of course, a group of players attacks your friend. You jump to his aid….but, oh wait….the attackers are too low for you. You can only stand there and helplessly watch as your friend dies.
Let’s take this a step further. You friend who is nearing the level cap, say level 44, asks you to join his Rift group. You jump in and suddenly the Rift is attacked by the opposing faction! Alright! Some PvP action! Except, again, everyone is more than 5 levels from you. You sit and twiddle your thumbs while the opposing force massacres your group. What fun!!!
- The Chicken System
Ahh, the good old chicken system from Warhammer Online. This one is fun. Anytime a high level player enters a lower level PvP enabled zone, he turns into a chicken! Now, I must admit this is funny, unfortunately it also sucks. Badly.
On the Rift PvP servers almost every zone is a PvP zone. This means that you will be completely unable to enter any zone below your level tier. Want to help your friend level? Too bad. Want to go and collect some crafting mats? Nope.
Basically half the game is off-limits for you now. You turn into a chicken any time you enter them.
Whoo-hoo!! Nothing like having over half the zones in the game completely useless for you! I wanna play this game! Where do I sign up?!?!
Look, I understand people want to protect the lowbies. Really, I do. They are so damn cute. But every method to protect them ends up being artificial and problematic. It just does not work. The best thing in the world to protect a lowbie is a tight-knit faction community. That is all you need. Lowbie gets ganked, lowbie calls friends, ganker gets killed. Its pretty simple. And it works.
Want another way to protect your lowbie self? Don’t roll on a PvP server if you don’t want to be ganked. There will be plenty of options for PvP on PvE servers and you never have to worry about getting ganked. PvP will be consensual. No one will gank you, higher levels won’t attack you and everything will be fine. See how easy that was?
But, please….Please!…don’t try to change us. We roll PvP for a reason and, whether it appeals to your sense of fairness or not, it is a valid reason. We like PvP. We don’t want it limited by some artificial, broken system. We want to gank and we even want to be ganked. We can’t help it.
It’s in our blood.