Greedy Goblin

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why non-consensual PvP MMO is a niche?

Tobold wrote an article about why non-consensual PvP MMO is a niche. His answer is that PvP requires absolutely fair play field, or it's "not fun". In Starcraft there are equal number of players on both sides with identical "gear". My zergling is just as good as yours. On the other hand an MMO is about "constant progression", your character becomes stronger as you play, so the PvP is naturally unfair. A lvl 40 have no chance against a lvl 80, so such PvP is "not fun".

This idea sounds true, however it's completely not. Most obviously there is PvP in WoW. If people would find PvP in an MMO "not fun", no one would queue up for a BG. A BG fight is not fair, even on top level. What chance does an average PvE geared player has against a full S7 player? Or what chance does a PuG has against a premade? Or is it fair that one can AFK or be plain useless obstructing the team? Still the BGs are alive.

Also the "fair" PvP games are absolutely not fair. Do you think a PuG have a chance against a clan in counterstrike? Or would I have a chance in Starcraft 1 vs 1 against someone who won a tournament? Also, most "fair" games don't stop if someone disconnects. How could a 2 vs 1 be fair? (the disconnecting player may deserve a "loss" to prevent losers disconnect, but his teammates don't, nor the other team deserves "win")

People playing PvP games and still reject PvP MMOs has nothing to do with "being fair". So why? The answer is completely social, and also explains why non-consensual PvP games are being created all the time, despite their huge failure.

The answer is "CS for lulz while MMO is srs bsns" (in human language: "Half-Life Counter-Strike is a game we play for fun, while playing an MMO has more important reasons"). A PvP match is a match, a limited time encounter. After the game is over, it is over. There is no consequence no "reward". It was a game. People like to play.

An MMO is a game too, right? For socials, not. For socials it's a deadly competition. For socials, mowing their lawn is deadly competition. For socials buying a car is deadly competition. They must keep up with the Joneses. Why do they "gogogogo"? Why do they farm?

Because they must have better gear. They must have more achievements. They must "progress" their character. It's not playing. It's grinding, farming pixels to have more pixels than the others to show off. Non-consensual PvP has the risk of losing time from grinding more pixels. The problem with being killed is while you are in ghost form, you don't get pixels and the Joneses (somewhere, alive) do! Non-consensual PvP disrupts their essential activity of farming ores or grinding rep or farming some rare drop pet or whatever they are working (in a video game) to get some status symbol, something that will attract peer respect or at least group acceptance. If we add "impact", so one can lose such status symbols, in PvP the game become unplayable to socials.

Of course real people are not "perfect socials". Real people - even terribly social ones - allow themselves some playing. So, after hours of farming emblems or ores or rep or rare pet or whatever pixel nonsense, they queue up to a BG to reward themselves for their hard work. Or they log off and play counterstrike.

Counterstrike, Darkfall, EVE, all have a small, limited playerbase. The other companies cannot copy Blizzard's huge success. They try and try to make better games to attract more players. They think as hard as they can to create "fair" or "fun" or "interesting" or "new" games. They will fail. Blizzard's success is not attracting players to games. It's attracting socials to grind status symbols.

And they could also make them PvP: they give rewards for losing, so it's just another grind. How many times have you heard "I have to lose 10 more matches and I have the last piece"?


PS: the above gave me an idea. A really evil idea. You will love it. It will be posted on Tuesday.

49 comments:

Wildhorn said...

OOOOOO. I cant wait for that evil idea, because I like both, evil and idea >.>
And coming from you, it can only be extremely interesting :)

Kaaterina said...

You are a bit off with your reasoning. I think that your 'social bashing' has left you blind to another (even larger) demographic.

Specifically, achievers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_Test

This page illustrates who is what.

Thing is, there are often anti-social achievers (amongst them, one example is the OCD-suffering gamers, for which achievements are a competition with oneself, not others).

Not only 'socials' or 'socializers' according to Bartle's are put off by non-consensual PvP.

Azzur said...

Your counter-argument to Tobold completely misses the point. You stated that "If people would find PvP in an MMO "not fun", no one would queue up for a BG". Tobold was not arguing that non-consensual PvP will be non-existent. Instead, he claims that it is "niche", i.e. enjoyed by fewer people (or that people will spend a smaller percentage of their time on it). And by the way, queuing for a BG is not "non-concensual" as well. Tobold is concluding that a game like EVE will not become mainstream.

Also, perhaps CounterStrike was not popular in Hungrary. At it's height (I would say around 6-7 years ago), CounterStrike was MASSIVE. I once went to Asia and you'll see internet cafes with scores of people playing CounterStrike. At that time, there was no "subscribers" so you couldn't measure it's success. In addition, there is another game called DOTA which is immensely popular. I have no stats but I'm confident that it is at least as popular as WoW. CounterStrike and DOTA are prime examples of successful "limited time matches" games.

Games become successful (or not) due to its accessibility and depth. Accessibility attracts while depth retains. Other factors like "keeping on with the Jones' socialness", contribute only a marginal factor. CounterStrike and DOTA are prime examples of this accessibility and depth. PvP MMORPG failures (e.g. AoC, Warhammer) failed on these accounts.

If a non-consensual MMORPG PvP game can be designed for accessibility and depth, it is going to be a success. However, "an accessible, deep, non-consensual MMORPG PvP game" may be almost impossible.

Terra said...

I was about to point to Team Fortress 2 with the third to last paragraph, but then I read the final sentence.

"Status symbols".

Even TF2 has hats. And people idle for them. You can't even SEE the hats, and people want them. They don't even do anything!

...to be fair though, they are rather fashionable.

Brian said...

I don't think Tobold's argument about "fair play" is correct, but I also don't think Gevlon's argument about MMOs being "serious business" for socials is right. The key is that you're being forced to PvP when you don't want to, or even more broadly, being forced by another player to do something other than what you were doing before.

If you log on to a game like StarCraft or CS, you're obviously doing so with the express intent of competing with other players. If you just want to play with computer players, or even just explore a level, that's incredibly easy to do...just don't play online with people. Joining a game with other humans means it's consensual PvP, if you don't want to PvP at all, there is no equivalent to "non-consensual PvP".

On the other hand, MMOs are one big world, with a lot of non-PvP related things you might enjoy doing. There's nothing "social" about this, the whole point of having a diverse game is that people can do a lot of different things.

In MMOs like Eve, the diversity is still there, except that whatever else you enjoy about the game, you also HAVE to enjoy PvP at any time you're playing the game. The problem isn't enjoying PvP or not, the problem is not getting to choose when you engage in it.

Choice is an extremely important part of the equation, since games are ultimately something we do for fun, and most people don't find it fun for the game (or other people playing the game) to decide what we're going to do. Starcraft, or any other non-MMO, is a bad example because it's completely up to me whether I want to play against other players or not. I imagine most people would find it incredibly annoying if, in the middle of playing a single player mission in SC, you were randomly dumped into a multi-player match.

PvP is fun, being forced to PvP when you don't want to is not fun. Most people spend much of their day being told how to spend their time, they don't want to come home and play an MMO that doesn't give them a choice either. It has nothing to do with taking the game too seriously, quite the opposite in fact.

Gevlon said...

@Kaaterina: my accurate answer would be way too technical for a popular blog. At first, OCD is completely wrong to mention, what you meant is OCPD, what is completely different. OCPD people feel anxiety if thing is not done "right", not because of the material consequences, but the shame. Shame is the internalized fear from others judging you. That's obviously social. The "achiever" (wrongfully and sub-consciously) believes that the others would not respect him if he'd have less achievements. He is not doing it to show off, he is doing it to fit in (to an imaginary standard, that's much higher than the actual standard is).

Brian: people in WoW do lot of non-consensual things. For example practically ALL HC guilds have forced attendance. No matter if you are tired, want to go out with your G/BF or see a DVD, you must log in and raid or you are excluded from your group. Yet there are HC raiders. Also you "must" farm dailies to pay your repairs or consumables.

Gusztav said...

While I can't deny that pvp in WoW _exists_, it's much less favourized by the average player (not the M&S, but players in general), than it was in TBC, and that's because you could do well with 4-5 pvp pieces in Karazhan, but now in the world of random dungeons it's so much easier to gear up any character, and they just want to kick me from a damn heroic UP if I'm in full relentless gear, even if I have like 3400 SP.

Of course I can see, say 2-3 ABs running at the same time but that's only 90 people at best from across 10 servers, which is pretty sad ratio if you ask me.

10-15 min queue times are also there to discourage Average Joe from even trying.

With the rest of the post I can agree

Kaaterina said...

You're wrong Gevlon. And you don't really have insight into what motivates achievers, probably because it's not something that can be conveyed a priori.

I'm an achiever. And an anti-social at that too. Name a CRPG, and I probably power played it. Even if it was singleplayer and even if it had no obvious way of gauging your 'success' against someone else. (Success in a single player game means beating the game) I mean, I'm the kind of guy that played Oblivion to do all quests, join all guilds, max all skills and attributes in the most efficient way. Arcanum, same thing, Wizardry 8, played it with a solo character (that being a game balanced around forming a party of 8 characters). Gothic series, same thing.


It's a competition with myself, not with anyone else. And you're wrong to say that all achievers are looking for validation from social peers. I'm looking for validation from myself, not others.

If I were looking for 'respect' from peers, why would I power-play single player games then?

And I don't like non-consensual PvP. (despite I willingly chose a PvP server. When I did, I knew what it meant and I basically signed an 'Yes, I agree to participate in unfair PvP')

WoW doesn't have any non-consensual PvP (short of a very short stint with the WOTLK zombie invasion, which I avoided by hiding in Desolace and doing quests for Loremaster.)

It's even greater than that. No one is forcing you to play a particular game. If you play a free PvP game, you are CONSENTING to that kind of PvP by 'playing' that game. There's oodles of games, some very similar so you can't claim that lack of choice is pushing you to play that game that forces you to PvP.

Back to my first topic being an achiever is setting standards for yourself and beating them. NOT letting others set standards for you. Can I live without 100 mounts, sure. Do I care whether others know that I have 100 or not? No. (I never ride the Blue Dragonhawk anyway. It's too slow.)

Did I collect 100? Yes. Why? Because I WANTED to.

It's basically like this. When a feature is not officially measured, achievers don't care about it. I never cared about the zulgurub mounts or strat mount or other high prestige mounts that draw respect of socials. (I didn't even bother farming for those, waste of perfectly good time) But as soon as a metric is introduced officially, you'll see achievers flock to beat it even if it's the most meaningless metric possible. (Ok, I don't know anyone actually competing on the 'Deaths from Hogger' statistic, but there's always time to do so.)

Kaaterina said...

<>

Again, I can't stress how wrong this is. If this were the case, surely there wouldn't be any achievers playing single-player games striving to beat them in the most brutal way possible?

Sven said...

@Gevlon

The things you mention in your response to Brian are not non-consensual; they're a deal with a price. The player in question is choosing to raid or farm rather than do other things (either in game or outside) and accepts that deal as part of the cost of doing what they enjoy.

The thing about non-consensual PvP is that you have no such choice. Incidentally, I wouldn't describe EVE as fully non-consensual - you do at least have the option to stay in high security space. However, if there is very little interesting to do there, people will soon grow bored & leave.

In terms of long term subscriptions, an MMO needs to provide interesting things for their subscribers to do (where interesting is what they decide it is, not necessarily what you or I would find entertaining). A game that is only interesting to people who enjoy PvP is necessarily going to be less popular than one that is interesting to many different types of player and hence doomed to be niche.

WOW's "all things to all men" design is part of the secret of its success.

Pazi said...

"And they could also make them PvP: they give rewards for losing, so it's just another grind. How many times have you heard "I have to lose 10 more matches and I have the last piece"?"

It took me 4-5 weeks loosing 3v3 for my s3-axe back then.

Anonymous said...

When a person chooses to raid hardcore, they give consent that sometimes they might not feel like raiding but will log in anyways. They make that choice beforehand, but they still make it. Ergo - its consensual.

When people queue up for battlegrounds, they make a choice to put themselves into potentially unballanced situation. Same with wintergrasp. Its a choice, its consensual.

When a random player is questing along and gets gunked? That's non-consensual. They intended to quest, instead they got killed repeatedly by someone who vastly overpowers them.

Even antisocial, especially antisocial person will not be happy with such predicament, because their time is valuable and random gunker is wasting their play time.

And yes, it has something to do with fairness. An undergeared lvl 74 in a bg might still have a chance against lvl 79, if they are smart. A lvl 20 will have NO chance against lvl 80 who ambushes them. Battleground i.e. consensual pvp might not be 100% fair but it ions more fair then so-called world pvp. Majority of people do not enjoy being on a receiving end of such a vast imbalance. therefore games that focus on it will always be niche, because of their innate unfairness.

Okrane S. said...

These are far fetched affirmations. Non-consentual pvp could just mean you get onto your lowbie char to level and suddenly you're getting corpse camped by 4 max level chars from the opposite faction.

You talk and exaggerate your fables against the socials but you've done very little into proving their existance and pinpointing the behaviour you talk about. How about sceenshotting social behavior and showing it here on the blog, specifically explaining why the person in that case is social and why it is wrong.

Think of it like a "socials of the week" rubric.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: the question is that if lot of people make the choice to play on a BG (what can be unbalanced), why don't the same people make the choice to play a PvP game (that can be unbalanced too). It's the same choice.

@Okrane.S: being corpse-camped is your fault and yours only. A lvl 80 can kill you. But can only corpse-camp you if you are stubborn enough to instantly res, instead of logging to some other char, or God forbid, do something RL.

Devil's Advocate said...

Hey Gevlon, if achievers are socials, then anyone who does anything in a game is a social. By that logic, you're a social for wanting to run all Northrend raids in blues. It may not give you a flashy "Undergeared" achievement, but you clearly are excited about doing it and sharing your accomplishments with others, and it most certainly is an achievement to do so.

Gevlon said...

@Devil's Advocate: I want to show it can be done, while an achiever wants to show (mostly to himself) that HE can do it. I'm not interested in things (like 5/week HC raiding or gladiator) that surely can be done (as others done that). I'm doing it too would not add anything to me.

Yaseen titi said...

Am I the only one who goes into battlegrounds for fun? that feeling of 'enjoyment' you get while playing a video game?

Anonymous said...

You can also see that some of the good online shooters were dumbed down to cater for the whinning casuals and the crap players.

BF2, AA, JOPS etc, both teamed based shooters were great when they came out, but the whinning started that the casuals were getting owned, the 24/7 players where getting the good unlock gear and the casuals were at an unfair advantage.

So its not just MMO's. What really kills the online shooters, is the hacks and cheats. At least that hasnt invaded WoW afaik.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand how PVP in WoW or any other game can be unfair. Every game has the same rules and choices open to everyone so how can this be unfair? Someone might have the best PVP gear available while someone else only has PVE gear in the same BG, but surely the one who has the PVP gear has it because they put more time, effort or skill into getting it. They only have the advantage because they worked to get it. That same advantage is open to everyone to try and gain.
You wouldn't say a football game was unfair because one side has better players, so how can you say it about a computer game? Unbalanced maybe, but certainly not unfair.
Having said all that however, I do think PVP in WoW is a bit too gear dependant. I'd prefer it if gear had less importance and skill more than what it currently is.

Neil said...

There are degrees of fairness. For example, Starcraft 1v1 matches are fair in that everyone starts out with equal units. Skill and some luck decides who wins the match - so if you lose, you know it was because the other player is better, not because the other player had spent hours grinding out pixels that made him unbeatable. I do not think skill gap is unfair, because skill gap will exist in any game other than guessing coin toss.

I know quite a few socials, and I see them displaying a very different logic when losing. They don't think "this is waste of my time, I could do something else!" when they lose. Socials usually do not think about what they accomplish versus how long they spend. That is how goblins think! I think you maybe are too goblinish to realize that most socials have little care for efficiency.

Socials think "I hate that this person makes me look bad in BG! Even though he only won because of XYZ class imbalance!" But class imbalance is inherent to MMORPG design, and devs said 1v1 will always be imbalanced, so this is somewhat acceptable.

Socials think "I hate that this person makes me look bad in BG! Even though he only won because of grinding Furious pixels!" But spending time grinding in response is no problem for socials, so this is somewhat acceptable.

What socials REALLY hate is "I hate that this person stops me from questing when I want to! Even though he only won because of level 80 and I'm level 20."

Level 80 in full S7 versus Level 80 in blues is considered more "fair" to socials than level 80 versus level 20. I don't know why. The chances of the latter winning are usually about the same. It probably takes similar amounts of time to attain each level of achievement (guessing as I've never gotten full PvP gear). But that's just the logic they use.

The reason I do not like being ganked is that if I choose to play a game, I do not want another person to be able to say "no, you may not play this game!" This is why I raid with PuGs instead of a guild that requires attendance, so no officer can make demands. This is why I quest on PvE servers, so that no Alliance can gank me.

I pay $14/mo for ~30 hours of play time because it is fun. So I want to get my money's best worth, i.e. the most fun for the money. This is why I do not participate in the "world PvP" of being vulnerable to ganking.

Analogue said...

I played on a PVP server exclusively until recently when I transferred to a PVE server but I was disappointed that the server was PVE. Sure you got ganked a lot in PVP but it felt a lot more like there was an actual war going on, made you more aware of your environment and there were always ways around it. Like you said in the comments you can only get corpse camped if you allow it.

That said, PVP has one advantage over PVE; it changes. Yes, herd mentality means that one AV is going to be pretty much like the last six AV battles, but what you do in the battle may change. You might face a rogue and a hunter in one, a paladin the next time. The skills you need to use may be different. When I've been into pvp, it's been for that challenge.

Living on a pve server has dulled my instincts and I rarely pvp any more.

Winsome said...

Your theory feels both simplistic (all socials care about is pixel gathering!) and needlessly complex.

No great thought is required here: People typically don't like non-consensual *anything,* especially in matters of leisure. Try starting an unsolicited conversation with someone during a movie. Or go to your local minature golf course and try to engage in the players in paintball fights. Even though both converstaion and paintball are fun when consenual, I suspect you'll get a poor reaction in those scenarios.

I have no doubt that the arena community would take it quite badly if PvE players were able to interrupt their matches by sending in random boss mobs for a little "non-consensual PvE."

While MMOs are a social game, it doesn't take much insight to think about why people don't like non-consensual interference in their leisure activity. Whether the game should allow it is another matter. I chose a PvE server for some toons, PvP servers for others. I don't always love non-consensual PvP, but I am far more accepting of it in the sandbox where it is part of the 'rules of the game.'

sam said...

You wouldn't say a football game was unfair because one side has better players

Except in WOW 80's can pvp against 10's. That would be like peewee football teams going against Pro teams. In real life if the Pro players went to the schoolyard and beat up all the kids just because they could they'd be removed from society problem solved.

In wow they just get to be griefers with no penalty.

Taemojitsu said...

It isn't a niche. The tag may not mean anything anymore, but half the population of original WoW chose a PvP server because world PvP was fun. Watch old PvP movies if you never played back then, tho it really only gives you an idea of what it was like at the level cap.

Armond said...

Guild Wars was an extremely successful PvP-focused MMO (technically COORPG, but that's ANet's bullshit) before the new campaigns ruined its balance. It was fun for many to queue up against other teams in a variety of maps with a variety of objectives and use your own team and strategy against another team's strategy.

Anonymous said...

'Except in WOW 80's can pvp against 10's. That would be like peewee football teams going against Pro teams. In real life if the Pro players went to the schoolyard and beat up all the kids just because they could they'd be removed from society problem solved.'

Except at level 10 a player has to leave the starting areas or turn pvp on to get ganked. But yeah, I get your point, that's not something I would say is fair. When I made my last comment I was thinking more of BGs and arena, and still don't see how these can be described as unfair.
Also, if high level players ganking lowbies is unfair, is it not also unfair having high level elites roaming about certain areas killing lower level players on sight? The Fel Reavers in Hellfire for example.

Coeur-de-fer said...

Anyone ganked, harassed, or otherwise molested out in the world while questing or farming gave their consent the second they chose a PvP server. The game even suggests a Normal (PvE) server by default when you create your first character. It wasn't a special contract, allowing you to gank or be ganked only when you personally give permission; it's open season, 24/7. If you can't live with this reality, it's no ones fault but your own. The transfer option is always there. Don't want to pay? Suck it up, or reroll. Stupidity does occasionally have a cost.

In a game that links most peoples daily in-game activity to that of countless other people, the idea that no one should be able to disrupt your itinerary via PvP is absolutely ludicrous. I might want to sell silk cloth for 500g per stack. Is it unfair when I'm undercut? Is it unfair when no one buys it? I may want to do [Zombifest] during my random daily, which just happens to be CoS. Is it unfair if the other random group members are disinterested? I might fancy taming Loque'nahak. Is it unfair if someone kills him for their Frostbitten achievement? Why are these encroachments upon one's personal "freedoms" not bemoaned with the same fervor?

You're not in your own private instance when out in the world, doing whatever non-PvP activity you do. It's one big continent-sized dungeon+battleground, and any other player in the given zone are potential competitors. It may be your $15/month, but it only buys you the privilege of playing the game, not playing it however you might like. You actually have more control over PvP in WoW (by way of server choice) than you do over most other player interactions. It's a problem that's easily "fixed" for oneself.

Kaaterina said...

@sam

The level 10 signed a contract when they clicked YES I WANT TO PLAY ON A PvP SERVER.

They have no one to blame but themselves. I've leveled 5 or so characters on PvP servers (on an underpopulated side, no less), and it's not like low levels are helpless.

Nobody can be everywhere at the same time, not even the most hardcore of gankers. Know your surroundings helps infinitely more than gear or level difference.

Bristal said...

MMO's, even as a "game", more reflect real life, and our expectations of it, than any discrete "game".

We want flexible but enforced rules of behavior, that allow for an emphasis on personal freedoms.

We want to be able to own things without them being easily taken from us, or have the value of those things change without some logical basis.

We want variety, and the freedom to do what we want when we want within certain social boundaries.

And we certainly want to be able to interact with others in some meaningful way.

Gevlon, your constant struggle against the WoW "socials" flies in the face of what MMO's are becoming.

Of course people hate non-consensual PvP in MMO's. We hate it in real life.

That's what makes WoW as a "game" so compelling. If I want to work (grind or play AH), I can work. If I want to play a PvP game, (battleground), I can play. I can shop, work with others toward a specific goal, achieve some obscure combination of time consuming activities, or just chat with people and get to know them.

Your focus within the game is your focus. Raiding and "end game" may have originally been the ultimate goal of most high-end, long-term MMO players, but there is much more going on now.

WoW and the future of MMO content are clearly on a collision course with social networking.

I'm sorry to break it to you, Gevlon, but the most valuable thing about the game you love is it's SOCIAL aspect. The M&S shall inherit the dearth, as they say.

Ratshag said...

If the overwhelming majority of WoW subscribers aren't here to have fun, but instead are here to grind in order to improve their social standing, then how do you explain alts? An alt is a time sink which does not contribute to your main's epic gear, or mounts, or pets, or achievements, or arena rating, or any other metric. And yet, almost everyone has one or two or twelve.

Matt said...

Note, he said non-consensual pvp, queueing up for a battleground is consensual.

Bjorn Hegstad said...

I believe this is why Blizzard removed the old PvP system. Socials wouldn't like to lose their pvp rank, would they.

Jujee said...

PVP is only fun when it's a fair and competitive fight. In which case win or loss is not important. We know this case to be extremely rare.

PVP is also fun, although to a leser extent than first scenario, when I am owning people. This means against really poor skilled player or undergeared player. Note that owning a bot or afk player is not as satisfying.

Blizzard strives to make BGs balanced and competitive. However too often, pugs are up against premades and there are predominant wins in certain BGs for Horde or Alliance. The Horde on my server just cannot win Eye of The Storm but our chances of victory in WSG are very good.

Anonymous said...

I regard BGs on a PvE realm as consensual PvP; Nobody forced me to enter, nobody forces me to stay.

The thing that makes EVE so much less convenient is the constant attention that it requires. Take 5 minutes for a phone call, finish the TV show, bathroom/Mountain Dew/Hot Pockets break, and you could lose a US$7,000 ship in EVE. In WoW, outside of raids, there is little downside to RL interruptions. Does EVE require more skill? Or is it just a hassle?

Unless you are in a PvP only area like BGs, then non-consensual PvP is really about ambush/gank; finding an unsuspecting easy target and killing them. Non-consensual PvP rarely involves the level 10 sneaking up on the level 80 and attacking. it is almost always about unfair fights for the lolz.




QTF @Kaaterina

The business of renting ongoing subscriptions is a fundamentally different business than selling one-time games like old console games. It is the the corporate interest if your past subscriptions and efforts benefitted you, but not so much that new customers wont join.

Ah Yao said...

Gevlon I think there is another point regarding fairness you missed. In most non-consensual pvp, the attack usually gets the first strike (whether they succeed is another thing).

In real life terms it is like starting a footbal match when one teams says "ok we start now" and kicks off regardless of whether the other team is on the field or now.

With regards to level/gear differences it is like university teams Vs Under-7s or Pro vs amateur teams. While your argument that both will have about the same chances of winning is probably correct but the chance of running away/surviving is significantly different (in soccer terms "draw").

A level 20 can easily get 1 shoted by a geared lvl 80, and most of their attacks will miss/dodged/resisted. While a lvl 80 blue gear can still use their abilities to counter-punch or at least try to get away. your stuns/freeze/knock with standard chance of hit (before calculating mitigation based on gear which really should not come into the equation becuase it is not an inherently "unfair" element). Unless stunlocked that is.h

Kurt said...

@Ratshag:

Alts are a good example, there are two replies. Firstly, I do see people who brag/take pride in the number of leveled alts that they possess. People make fun of them, saying that only your main matters, when really either standard is arbitrary and unimportant.

Secondly, at lower levels you level professions, skills, areas, and most everything very quickly. Gevlon's theory explains alts perfectly, socials who become discouraged with the slowing down of the reward process make an alt to revisit that glorious time when that *ding* sound was fast and freqent.

You could make a similar counterargument to that which Kaaterina has been making: some people are trying to *achieve* something, not reach some predetermined reward threshold, so why are you guys lumping them together like this? The answer is that we are lumping them together because they are incredibly similar, the difference between someone who plays an extremely difficult single player game and someone who excels at an aspect of WoW is not extremely great. They each can set goals for themselves, and they each are playing a game designed by others, with predetermined challenges and reward increments. Donkey Kong, WoW, they both share that same structure. Similarly, someone who plays wow to achieve certain personal goals, while avoiding most incidental personal conversation ingame, is still a social, in the way Gevlon has defined it, even though in a more generic sense of the word they may be antisocial.

Examine this section of his article:
"An MMO is a game too, right? For socials, not. For socials it's a deadly competition. For socials, mowing their lawn is deadly competition. For socials buying a car is deadly competition. They must keep up with the Joneses. Why do they "gogogogo"? Why do they farm?"

This definition of social applies equally well to voluble and snobbish wealthy suburban social climbers, as it does to highly famous yet personally reserved hypercompetitive famous athletes. I would say that in WoW, this definition, if you replaced the word social with "category A", would make the average person think of Ensidia, not the people that I had --previous to this column-- been thinking of when Gevlon used the word social.

Perhaps this is a sign that our terminology here is in need of reexamination.

Carra said...

"Also the "fair" PvP games are absolutely not fair. Do you think a PuG have a chance against a clan in counterstrike? Or would I have a chance in Starcraft 1 vs 1 against someone who won a tournament?".

Yes it's fair as you both have the same resources. The other players are just more skilled than you.

WoW PVE adds luck to the game which makes things unfair. You can both raid for a month and one player can end up decked in epics while the second one hasn't seen a single item.

WoW PVP tries to remove luck from the game to keep things fair. If you both get x kills you'll have the same gear.

There's still a luck factor. Each spell you do is randomized. Weapons do random damage.

A game like Starcraft has the luck factor removed. There's nothing random in that game. You both have the same access to resources.

So yes, if there is no luck involved then it's a fair game. If you can't win against a trained player then that only proves this point.

Brian Inman said...

I heard it all the time in Warcraft. You could lose every game, and still end up getting your full season gear.

I never found a group that just enjoyed doing arenas. It was forbidden to ever do more than 10 games a week.

I would like to see a progressive arena rating somehow. The more games you played compared to people playing the minimum 10 games gave you a better overall rating.

A person with a 50-50 record for the week was actually better than a team with a 5-5 record.

Anonymous said...

seriously you people commenting are completely clueless or have not enough mmo experience to really even be posting. Mmo's developed from the most hardcore pvp environment. The MUD. Anyone here play trade wars and log in to find yourbase raped and your defenses destroyed? Not only was it not fair.... You bloody weren't even logged in to defend yourself. The grand daddy of all mmo's is not wow... Sorry there fanbois. UO started it all... Was incredibly successful... And even during the hayday of pve garbage aka. EQ, Uo maintained and grew their 2d sub base.
Wow is a game who primary conflict is the struggle between alliance and horde. By buying the game you are consenting to participate in a war. Ok... Just like in real life, maybe u just want to sit behind the front lines and shuffle papers. Well guess what... Even pogs better pick up their rifles and fight if they get attacked. Same in wow. U wanna craft.. U wanna raid.. U wanna ERP in goldshire. No one gives a crap. Do what you want... Just know that u might have to defend yourself if you are outside yourmain city. Playing on a non pvp server is disgusting and insulting to the idea of the game u are playing. Go get on a pvp server and you'll find a perfectly acceptable environment to play. It's not like every alliance city is camped by gangs if horde in full wrathful 24/7.
Which brings me to my conclusion. The reason you all claim non consent pvp is bad is not bc it's fair... It's bc you suck at pvp. All this ganking talk. It's thecrutch of every crap mmo player since eq. Goblins don't camp Greyson bc it makes them no money. It's time wasted. Pvpers play pvp games fir the challenge. Camping Greys is not fun. High lvl yards that camp bring out hordes of other hig lvl players to kill said retards for fun and the reward/ excitement. For example... See the murder system in UO in lvl 3 of Destard dungeon. Pk killers has been around longer than you all have been playing mmo's. Unlike some of you said.... No game focuses around ganking. No game rewards u for killing low lvl people. I have no idea where you get this idea. I have played every pvp game made, and all of them are more fun and have better communities than WOW. Wow's accessibilty brought the masses to the mmo world and the masses suck. They claim unfair.. They claim gank.. Blizzard wants money so they cater. Just remember. No matter if a pvp game will never be as popular as wow.. The reason is not bc the pvp is not a viable theme. It's bc the masses that came to the mmo genre bc of wow suck.

Anonymous said...

@Sam

in wow u get greifers with no penalty.


Wow... This kind of stuff really pisses me off. You have zero clue what you are talking about. Wow had quite severe penalties for ganking grays. You get so many dishonorable kills... You start to lose honor. Back in the rank system... You would get demoted and actually lose your shot at gear for this behavior. Actually you know what I saw... I saw tard lowbies trying to greif high lvl players by running into their AOEs to give them DKs. In fact... Now that I think about it... In every big pvp game all the way back to UO... Greifing wasn't a problem. The biggest problem was the lowbies trying to greif high lvl players by forcing them into killing them. This is why players complain so much when anti pk rules are introduced. Bc the system is abused by the people it's designed to protect. See going red in factions UO... See DK exploit in wow, see dropping gear in L2.

Ratshag said...

@Kurt - "Gevlon's theory explains alts perfectly, socials who become discouraged with the slowing down of the reward process make an alt to revisit that glorious time when that *ding* sound was fast and freqent."

You can't have it both ways. Is a social someone who wants easy rewards for little work, or is a social someone who mindlessly grinds for hours day after day to achieve a goal? If you're going to expand the term "social" to mean almost anybody who does almost anything for almost any reason, then it is utterly meaningless.

Anonymous said...

'Note, he said non-consensual pvp, queueing up for a battleground is consensual.'

You mean people get put on pvp servers without their consent?

Wiggin said...

Unfortunately you set up your entire argument only after a fallacious rebuttal of Tobold's post.

Gevlon: "This idea sounds true, however it's completely not...If people would find PvP in an MMO "not fun", no one would queue up for a BG."

Tobold's intention was to explain his "personal" reasons for why he doesn't see non-consensual PVP as fun:

Tobold: "...there was a question why some people, and me in specific, don't like PvP. Well, I can give you my reasons, and some general considerations. And while I don't claim to speak for everybody..."

To assert that PVP is fun for some, therefore it cant be NOT fun for some others, is incorrect reasoning. On top of that, I don't see how you can quantify a "fun" variable.

And then we have typical "socials like to brag with pixels" argument, that does have merit, but sells itself short by not looking at other reasons for why PVP is fun for some and not fun for others.

Not to mention, by your own argument, PVP doesn't need to be fun so long as it yields better pixels for casuals to care about and brag about. Ultimately "fun" isn't important at all, only how much time or difficulty it takes to obtain items that socials care about.

Also, your starcraft or counterstrike examples don't actually contradict Tobold but enforce his own argument. I commented on his post about what people do desire is to have PVP in an environment in which skill is the only deciding factor of a game.

Skill, made up of individual skill, team skill (teamwork), and tactics are all "fair" reasons for someone winning a match. Failing to realize this is the failure to accept personal responsibility for simply not being as good or as prepared. Gear progression, on the other hand, introduces another uncontrollable variable.

a "fair" PVP game has only 1 uncontrolled variable, that being skill, to introduce "gear" as another uncontrollable variable only dimishes how much "skill" is necessary to win.

Not saying your argument doesn't have its merits, but there needed to be some things cleaned up a bit.

Kurt said...

@anonymous who wrote "Wow... This kind of stuff really pisses me off. You have zero clue what you are talking about. Wow had quite severe penalties for ganking grays."

Yes, "HAD". You are responding to a comment in the present tense with a long angry rant about the past, leaving you as the only person lacking a clue.

@Ratshag

"You can't have it both ways. ... If you're going to expand the term "social" to mean almost anybody who does almost anything for almost any reason, then it is utterly meaningless."

Did you even read my post? Your criticism of my post means the same thing as the last sentence of my post, almost exactly. That is really quite annoying.

@anonymous who wrote "
You mean people get put on pvp servers without their consent?"

To you and all in this thread who have made this exact same point--imagine a businessman who goes to a 3rd world country to make an extremely lucrative but highly risky deal, a few of these deals and he will retire. Sadly, on the last such deal before his early retirement, he is murdered for the relatively small amount of cash he was carrying on him.

You would say that he wasn't murdered, that he consented to go to that country which he knew was dangerous? Nonsense.

Yes, we are left with the situation where clicking on a pvp server means that you are consenting to future nonconsensual pvp, an awkward formulation but one which ultimately describes the situation well.

Anonymous said...

'To you and all in this thread who have made this exact same point--imagine a businessman who goes to a 3rd world country to make an extremely lucrative but highly risky deal, a few of these deals and he will retire. Sadly, on the last such deal before his early retirement, he is murdered for the relatively small amount of cash he was carrying on him.

You would say that he wasn't murdered, that he consented to go to that country which he knew was dangerous? Nonsense.'

I agree it would be nonsense to say that. Just like your ridiculous analogy and putting words into peoples mouths is nonsense.

By playing on a pvp server you are consenting to play by the rules that are applicable to the game. One of those rules is that people are allowed to initiate combat against you. This is what you are consenting to. Its not real life and its not murder. But it is consensual.

Bristal said...

TOTALLY agree that buying WoW, creating a character on a PvP server, and logging in is implicit consent for PvP.

Period.

sam said...

dishonorable kills are not an punishment for gankers. No harm, none of the actual strict penalties that were promised.

Gankers like to gank and the wet noodle of dishonarable kills that have no measurable impact on thier game don't count.

Ratshag said...

@Kurt - I interpreted the portions of your earlier comment that explained Gevlon's definition to indicate at least partial support for it. If I was incorrect in that, then I apologize.

Kurt said...

@same anonymous

"I agree it would be nonsense to say that. Just like your ridiculous analogy and putting words into peoples mouths is nonsense."

Insults instead of argument? Guess that explains your anonymity.

"By playing on a pvp server you are consenting to play by the rules that are applicable to the game. One of those rules is that people are allowed to initiate combat against you. This is what you are consenting to. Its not real life and its not murder. But it is consensual."

By living in a nation, you are consenting to live by the rules of that nation. One of the rules of the nation I live in is that some crimes are punishable by death. This is what I am consenting to. It is real life, and it's not murder. But it is consensual. /sarcasm.

I'm sorry that analogies to real life offend you, perhaps if you try a different blog, where the author doesn't constantly make analogies between WoW and real life, you will find a different audience who will respond to you with trenchant analogies between WoW and Candyland. Good luck with that.

@Ratshag: I support many of his ideas on this topic, I neither support nor don't support his definitions because I'm not concerned with semantics except inasmuch as is necessary for clarity. Why not try rereading this post, mentally replacing the term "socials" with the phrase "some wow players"? We all have a little 'social' in us, with any of the conceivable defintions of the word, and I find his posts more insightful read in that way.