PvP Uncensored

This post might send some people into a fit. Just a warning. I’m done with the sugar coating. I was inspired by this post and commentary therein.

The debate that never ends is still ongoing. Being pro-PvP means that I’m always in the minority. The latest smattering of posts is now taking aim at my behavior in real life and my character as a person based on enjoying PvP. I’m going to go on record here that yeah, I’m an asshole. I enjoy ganking people. I enjoy having more skill in combat. I enjoy “feeding on the tears of carebears.” That isn’t to say that I go out of my way to grief people, but if the opportunity arises to take out some of the opposing faction/team/guild/whatever, you bet your ass I’m going to take part. And I’ll probably spew all manner of foul language at the screen while I’m doing it.

That doesn’t mean I’m unhinged or imbalanced in real life. I just spent the last week taking care of my sick father, and my elderly aunt who needs constant care throughout the day. If I was as sick and twisted as the anti-PvP portray us, I’d have left them to die, right? Or stolen their stuff and taken off. Something to that effect, right? Just like an example I read where ganking a level 5 character in an MMO is the equivalent of smacking up a child and taking their lunch money. Are you for real? Get the fuck out of here with that shit.

At the end of the day, a virtual character in a virtual world is still nothing but a bunch of pixels on a screen, and though a real live person is controlling said mass of pixels, if they are so incapable of separating their emotional stability from their avatar, I don’t think its me with the problem. I think they might need to re-evaluate why they play games in the first place. I have absolutely no emotional attachment to avatars in games. I may play them for hours, but in the end it’s just a game and it’s not a big deal if they die a time or two in a play session. It’s not as if the game deletes your character on death (though a hardcore MMO like that would be awesome). Get over yourselves.

I equate PvP in video games to playing sports with the boys. We hate each other on the court/field/whatever. We talk shit, call each other names, get into each others’ heads to try and throw off each others’ game. These are societal norms. I guess being a nerd and a gamer means you don’t approve of those “jock tendencies” but I have been a part of both worlds my whole life, so I can see the similarities. Sports are PvP, but in the physical realm. The acceptance of eSports as a “real thing” must mean my analogy isn’t too far off, right? But at the end of the game, you walk away from it and you’re still friends. You aren’t emotionally scarred by the things your friends said to you on the court.

Here’s some PvP anecdotes where things have gone both ways for me:

In Hearthstone I had a Mage try and “be a jerk” by wasting a Pyroblast on my minion instead of out right killing me (I know it wasn’t a mistake as the arrow pointed to me for a few seconds, then moved to my minion, and a smug “well played” followed). I didn’t have enough on the table to finish them (they were down to 1 health) but I got a taunt minion out. They then played a couple of heal minions and ended turn. I top decked a soulfire and with minions won the game. I relished the fact that I killed someone who was trying to gloat and drag out what they thought was a win, maybe even hoping that I would surrender. (This is how you turn that gloating mentality against itself.)

In League of Legends, I have had several games lately where my team has had a commanding lead and rather than quickly end the game, I’ve enjoyed waiting for the enemy team to respawn just to kill them all over again rinse/repeat. I’ve also had it happen to me that way, and ended up turning the game around because they waited too long and the inbalance of power swung the other way, or vice versa. (An example of me being the gloating type, but it has bitten me in the ass as well.)

In MMOs, I have been griefed. That motivated me to do whatever it took to get more powerful in order to get my revenge. If that meant calling for help from my guild, so be it. If that meant shouting in the zone until some random person handed down a can of whup ass, so be it. If that meant I powered my way through the levels and got some better gear, so be it. In the end I didn’t cry about being griefed, I didn’t write lengthy blog posts about how there has to be a better way and waaaaaaaaa I want a PvE server! I just powered through it.

Is it just me or does it seem like 90% of all the people talking about PvP are the ones who don’t even play PvP in MMOs or other games? Why are you even wasting the time complaining about it when you already avoid it? It makes no sense to me.

I’ve used this example before, I’ll use it again. I dislike harvesting and tradeskilling. I have managed to do some of it; really in every MMO I’ve played I tried it out. But for the most part I don’t care for it and avoid it altogether. I’m not wasting my time talking about how tradeskills need to be eliminated. I’m not calling for bans for tradeskills, or a server that has no economy/tradeskilling, am I? No. That’s your game, you enjoy it, cool. It’s not for me so I skip it, and that’s fully my right, just as it is your right to avoid PvP. But why comment on all these other posts, equate PvP to bullying and say that Gankers are lesser people? Do you gain something from that? All I hear are a bunch of butthurt carebears crying about their feelings, and now attacking the character of people like me for enjoying a particular ruleset. That seems more like griefing and bullying than anything I’ve ever done to someone in a game.

I know this post will probably result in me being flamed, but I needed to vent. Have at it, y’all.

#PvPsideup #gankers #nosugarcoating #carebears #flamewars

17 thoughts on “PvP Uncensored

  1. LOL izzy… you know I feel the same way. WHy complain about something you don’t want to be part of anyway. Personally I didn’t like the hyper competitiveness of the LoL crowd and the extent of the trash talking so I don’t really bother with it. Others like it and that’s good but it’s not a game for me.

    The bit where I’m different is that I kind of do have a little bit of a connection to my characters. It isn’t distanced like you but in a way that makes me want to fight more. Someone beats me and I want to get that back. Someone attacks our guild and I want us to get a little revenge…. and then more. That emotionality to my characters is often the fire that drives me onwards.

    And all the unhinged stuff. SUch BS. I’m in childcare, my work is to nurture and love with I do intently each and every day. I teach, respect and care for the children in my care. I protect them and want nothing but the best and I think that’s why the whole psychopath stuff gets to me as well. I just think how fucking dare they. You don’t know me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah I think when people (like Doone) call you a psychopath it’s in good fun. But after a while I can see where that would grate on your nerves. I know you’re in childcare so you of all people are more likely a very thoughtful and kind person in real life. Doesn’t mean you can’t gank some fools in your down time!

      I’m cooled off now but some of those comments on your post got me fired up and I had to say something about it. I feel better now 🙂


  2. As one of the fluffiest of carebears, I’m inclined to agree with your sentiments–being attacked for your playstyle is never fun. To wit, I’ll thank you to not assume “butthurt waa waa” about mine. Meeting like for like might feel good in the short-term, but everyone ends up with their faces covered in shit. And nobody looks good with a shitty face.

    Just ask Steven Tyler.

    On point, though, it’s up to everyone, both on the PvP and PvE side to rise above the wriggling worms and go topside to enjoy the sun of your playstyle. Assholes are everywhere, and the loudest of the lot on both sides make belittle everyone.

    Just try to have fun and filter the signal through the noise where you can. ❤


    • I don’t make judgments about people without getting to know them a little, unless of course they blatantly say that I’m an unhinged individual based on my gameplay preference. The reputation games have gotten for being “toxic” sometimes just equates to people being unwilling to join in that type of game, and thus labeling it before knowing anyone involved. Had they some friends that played, perhaps they’d hear about the emergent gameplay and the social nature of PvP, despite the fact that it’s labeled as anti-social.

      I’m a loud asshole, but at least I can admit it 😛

      Btw, that Steven Tyler joke was gold.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You love to rant. But in doing so you kinda missed the conversation. Or else you side-stepped it and focused instead on just expressing yourself. Whichever it was, let me put the questions to you that we’re talking about:

    Is there such a thing as unacceptable behavior in OWPVP? If so, what are some things YOU find unacceptable? Where do we draw the line between trash talk and abuse?

    Then there’s the question of being allowed to experiment with behavior. One of the greatest things about games is that I can adopt any persona I want and experiment with personality. Should I be punished for that? Are there safe ways to do this, ways that don’t harm other people? I personally believe we’re all entitled to our *personal* fantasies. But the moment they begin to affect others, that freedom ends. We have no right to invade the space and safety of another. So that seems to me a problem with OWPVP, that it allows these unwanted invasions of space without penalty.

    I like the contrasting examples between you and Eri, because they so perfectly illustrate how our real lives absolutely show up in our games, even while in-character. J3w3l is a teacher, but shes a rabid combat specialist by night. Still, her combat style is totally non-confrontational. She’s in it for the fun and doesn’t like crossing any ethical lines, though she LOVES to get as close to those lines as she can. That’s fun and exciting and I can relate.

    Then there’s you! You like the occasional grief (within absolute limits, I don’t care what you say, you do not enjoy ruining someone’s day). You feel you should not only be allowed these slips into ethical gray zones, but you should be forgiven. Maybe you should. Still, I do not believe that you disagree with me or anyone else in this conversation about unacceptable behavior. You just don’t want the things you like to be dumped on and we can all respect and relate to that feeling.

    I know I don’t intend to dump on PvP. That’s why I really want to write a post about the upsides of PvP. They are many and awesome, with players I enjoy fighting with and against. I’ve also met my share of assholes on the PvE side of the world. It is NOT exempt, not by a long shot.

    Glad you got your rant out of your system 🙂 Now come back to the conversation and tell us what you DO find toxic or unacceptable, and whether you think games can solve those problems.


    • As we discussed last night, I do have some limitations and do find certain behaviors unacceptable. But, I do agree with enjoying those grey areas at times, and not feeling like a horrible person for enjoying them. I can find the humor in the grief sometimes, but I do have a morbid sense of humor.

      I think purposely targeting one particular individual and harassing them to no end is a bit much. Ganking a passerby is one thing, following them around until they log off is another. I guess I am defending the right for people to have that as an option, even if I don’t partake. If you talk enough shit to one person for long enough, I imagine that could dampen their self-esteem. For someone like me the revenge becomes a motivator, for others I can understand their frustration and retreat.

      Swatting is unacceptable. Doxxing and finding someone in real life to exact a physical revenge would also be unacceptable. Telling people to kill themselves (especially if it was followed through on) is ridiculous.

      I’d like a virtual world that mirrors the real world, in that there is complete freedom to do what you want, but doing things outside of the norm that are deemed unacceptable are punished, in-game. So if you take things to the extreme you are discouraged from doing so, but the action can still occur. Does that make sense? I just don’t want more rules and restrictions added to PvP, especially in games where it is a focal point. I’d rather the games stay niche and the people who don’t enjoy it stay away if that’s the case. I don’t want the vocal majority of PvE players who want games like AA carebear-ified to win that fight. They already have most other MMOs to themselves (because PvP is relegated to the sidelines), let everyone have their playstyle, and not every MMO has to cater to one side or the other (or both).


      • “I’d like a virtual world that mirrors the real world, in that there is complete freedom to do what you want, but doing things outside of the norm that are deemed unacceptable are punished, in-game. So if you take things to the extreme you are discouraged from doing so, but the action can still occur.”

        This is very close to exactly the way I see it too. You’ll never be able to prevent all unacceptable behaviour mechanically, so the only option is to discourage it with sufficiently powerful penalties. Currently, no OWPvP game offers penalties powerful enough to discourage a lot of the behaviours most people would find unacceptable. I’d like to see the return of constantly active in-game GMs that can act as judges for unacceptable behaviour, so that those who transgress can be suitably punished in a timely manner. That would go a long way towards gaining the trust of those people who are really only put off by player behaviour rather than PvP itself.


      • i would honestly like to see a bit of that as well but personally, i think the rule creation and enforcement would be better placed in the players hands. Have elected councils that can actually encode rules into the game. Have player mayors of towns that control the status.. pvp or not, and kill on sight lists for players. Bounty boards and such.. actually prison sentences and not some lame half hour deal for rampaging across a map.

        I think the biggest issue right now is that the consequences for such actions, especially extreme and ongoing ones aren’t really that severe. t would be cool to skirt the line of an in game created morality.


      • Or make it to where if you are an outlaw and want to live that life style you are KOS to all NPCs in that area and flagged for PvP from both your and opposing factions. Then if you get killed (or surrender) you do the jail time. Eventually everyone gets caught.


  4. Just as an aside, there are a number of points in this post where I straddle both perspectives, where others exist staunchly on one side or the other (which tends to lead to conflict and misunderstanding and nonacceptance of another’s POV):

    Viewing avatars as tools or seeing beyond them as people: I personally tend to do both, I never fully take on one character as an extension of me, but also view them as all a part of me, but I also use different classes for different tasks, etc.

    In a more sporty, competitive game, I try to treat things in a more throwaway fashion, but in MMOs and before that MUDs, I am generally aware that emotions do leak past the character onto the person and back again – being fueled by revenge to get back at someone IS an emotion leak, the same as being frustrated or whiny about being killed.

    Thing is, people choose different responses. Some choose to enjoy the whole cycle or vengeance and revenge, and others stay avoidant or find other means of dealing with conflict. And these responses can be different depending on if they view the game as nonserious and ephemeral, or a virtual world they intend to stay in for years, or simply due to personality.

    Then there’s the whole boys club ideal of calling each other names to show friendship. I’ll tell you honestly that I did not get it at first. Girls are generally taught to be nice outwardly to everyone. When girls fight, it gets -very- politcal and backstabby and manipulative. It may be a cultural thing, but I suspect it’s more a gender difference than Asian vs American, except Asians are also generally taught to mask emotions for the sake of conformity more.

    It took a lot of interaction online to realize that males do enjoy an outward show of power/dominance/hierarchy and that at the end of the day, this is how everything falls into place, there’s an alpha, beta, omega but everyone becomes part of the pack and the gang. To successfully pass as one or the other, I got past my initial hesitance and did the same, though I probably come across as a very effeminate or omega male most of the time.

    I’d like to touch on more of these topics but I haven’t the time this week at all. Maybe later.


    • As Doone pointed out to me last night, I do cling to some old ideals. Your alpha/beta/omega analogy is exactly how it works, though even the omegas were sometimes better at certain things or would still wittily lash us with verbal assaults. At the end of the game we would go back to being good friends and life would go on.

      I understand everyone has a different viewpoint on this, really there was just one inflammatory comment that set me off and after writing this I was over it. Even Dahakha’s post that was a pretty direct response and could have furthered my anger just rolled off my back cause I had said my piece. I like to think I’m really an easy going person, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, and entitled to disagree. In the end I hope these discussion posts further our understanding of each other rather than cause more fighting.


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