PvP Quote of the Day

Muckbeast says,

In the real world, I am not in constant risk of some dickhead driving by and blowing up my house for kicks.

: Zubon

Update: I’m adding to this one because people have already managed to piss me off. The basic inability to tell the difference between freakishly unlikely threats and ones that happen every few minutes is a regular part of my work, and it kills people every day because they are worrying about the 0.01% chance while doing things that put themselves at greater risk for a 5% chance. People worry about swine flu while it is apparently less severe than the normal flu that kills thousands of people each year. The disasters you hear about on the news are news because they are odd and unlikely. I have this huge list of things that people do or avoid doing in perverse defiance of all probability because one risk sounds scarier while the other quietly kills lots of people.

If you live in Iraq, yes, worry about your house blowing up. Do you know several people in your country who have had their houses intentionally blown up in the past few years? Have you personally been ganked in-game for no apparent reason several times in an hour? Please try to understand that “1 in a million” is a smaller chance than “1 in ten.”

13 thoughts on “PvP Quote of the Day”

    1. And would you call that an unusual occurrence, or something to be expected every 10-15 minutes? And that sounds a lot more like an accident than “for kicks.”

      1. I took the quote for what it was: rhetoric. I just followed the same pattern and do not claim to invalidate the thought of the other person. Just putting a spotlight on another point of view.

        Trying to argue on rhetoric wouldn’t get us very far here.

  1. For me, the differences between the real world and online worlds are part of the appeal of online worlds. (I’m speaking as a moderate ‘carebear’ here.)

  2. It’s like a perfect storm of psychology – bad news gets more attention than good news; we’re lay scientists and if we see something happen once, we assume it’ll happen again; people are more motivated by negative emotions than positive (did you know we have twice as many words to describe negative emotions than positive?).

    I see the result all the time in the media. In fact, one particularly odious radio presenter on our national broadcaster will, without fail, take an extraordinary occurrence (tsunami; mega-bushfire; shark attack; racist attack – all things Australia seems to be known for, btw, but are actually very rare occurrences here) and ask the question “what are we doing to stop these tragedies from occurring”, like they happen every day – and like the volume of effort needed to prevent them would be worth the cost. Bah.

  3. “In the real world, I am not in constant risk of some dickhead driving by and blowing up my house for kicks. That’s basically what you have in Eve. Eve is a cool game, but it is not even close to a “virtual world.””

    Couple of comments. In the real world, almost anyone is perfectly capable of blowing up your house for kicks – what stops them is consequences, not incapability. These consequences can be empathic (ie, guilt) or simple fear of punishment (social rejection, incarceration) – but they always exist.

    The problem with PVP in most games is that the systems have been built to eliminate any potential consequences to players by the game’s mechanics – as this is seen as more desirable. Griefing, then, comes from poor design choices only – such as letting people kill all the low level quest givers, holding up tens of people for hours, while the only consequence is a 5 minute run from respawn and back should they happen to somehow get killed.

    EVE is probably the worst example he could of used here, since quite like the real world almost anyone is capable of [attempting] to blow up your ‘house’ (ship, stuff, ect.). What stops this is consequences. In high security space, attempting to blow up another player will result in police spawning within 10-30s and blowing you up. Being destroyed by the police is unavoidable (bannable, if you manage it). Basically, if your in any position that the ‘suicide ganking’ of your ship by a group* of enemy ships will result in a profit for them, you should be well aware of the risks associated and the ways of eliminating them – unless your buying your in game money. In either case, I have no sympathy.

    I won’t delve too much into EVE mechanics, but suffice to say that it’s really not possible to grief anyone.
    *it takes a group – a single ship can’t blow up anything worth having let alone killing within the time you’ve got.

  4. Actually yeah, I have been ganked in a game several times an hour. It was in a fluffy little f2p game called Mabinogi. They have a mode called elf/giant war in which you pick a side to support and fight the other side when you flag up, anywheres.

    I am a giant supporter, and we usually are outnumbered. I’ve been attacked by about 5 people or more on 1, and camped for quite a long period of time. Of course, technically if you put your flag up you accept the risk, just like rolling on a pvp server, but ganking there is quite common, and its possible very easily to be unable to even get up due to the mechanics. I’ve forced a /logout or had to continent warp to escape many times.

    I’m not seeing your point though, if you play FFA pvp, are you telling me camping/ganking is a very rare occurrence compared to fair fights and you shouldn’t hold it against the genre? I’m not sure that is the case. Griefing may be, in which someone tries to ruin your day, but I seriously expect in any pvp game I play to get outnumbered and ganked quite frequently.

  5. I’m not saying that every fight has to be fair, or that most will be. Being ganked, however, is not being griefed – you should have brought more friends or been more careful.

    My point is that griefing is only possible due to faults in game design – it’s not a natural consequence of pvp. I’ve never heard of your game, but from what you’ve written it seems the problem is not that you were killed – it’s that you were spawn camped. Clearly, the designers fucked the mechanics on that one. The idea is to have mechanics which never allow players to prevent you from playing and having fun and to allow you to choose the level of risk you want to take, and reward it appropriately.

  6. Yeah, the mechanics aren’t very good on it. You revive in place with only a fraction of hit points, and can’t really defend against magic or ranged attacks because of it. It’s an optional flagged mode though, so you can’t really expect high levels of polish. However, even if it weren’t possible to be spawn camped, ganking would still be an issue, because of population trends, and because not every guild is going to have enough allied people to back you up in a fight. Sometimes the best they can do is send someone to send you a duel invite to give you the few seconds to turn your flag off.

    Your solutions though are kind of why people dislike PvP games. “bring more friends” is one of the biggest problems with it, fights tend to be equalizing numbers more than real skill. “be more careful”… well, you can’t always control your environment enough without removing risks and staying in empire space, if you get my meaning. You have to not be careful and make yourself a target just by participating. In Mabi people who are careful just leave the elf/giant flag off in the first place.

  7. I understand completely that those are reasons a lot of people don’t like pvp. Thing is, it’s unavoidable*. The only way to completely prevent escalating numbers and ganks is to make grouping up not advantageous – which simply isn’t reasonable in an MMO. This isn’t insurmountable though, but game mechanics need to be designed from the ground up for pvp – it can’t be simply an afterthought.

    In EVE, if I want to pvp solo I take a small, maneuverable ship and simply dodge large groups or find ways to isolate members of their gang, kill them, and get out before the rest can catch me. If I want to travel in a small group of large ships, I have a scout in a small, fast ship precede us so that we don’t blunder into a more powerful gang.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible to follow EVE’s model in a fantasy MMO – it depends too heavily on spaceships.

    *I suppose you could set up some kind of battlegrounds – but at that point I’d just as soon play Halo.

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