Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
 
Ganking as a feature

I am not playing ArchAge. Part of that is due to reasons not related to the gameplay itself: The high cost of the founder packs, queues that keep out free players, and so on. But a major part of the decision was made when I read that ArchAge has ganking. Why would I want to play a game in which every activity that I am interested in can be spoiled by somebody having a bad day and deciding to gank me?

While I am aware that ArchAge has some sort of justice system, I don't believe that these sort of systems can ever be effective. People tend to get to a point in every game where they simply aren't interested in what the game has to offer any more. If you are already on the verge of quitting, you can go on a virtual crime spree without any fear of consequences. There are enough examples of people not shying away from bannable offenses in online worlds, so why would they be afraid of a virtual prison sentence?

I simply don't understand why somebody would put ganking as a feature in his game. I understand the interest of other forms of PvP, like dueling, battlegrounds, territorial control, and more. But why would it ever be a good idea to allow one player to attack a random other player with no reason, and no consent of that other player? Isn't it obvious that the net effect of that will always be negative, that the ganker will not gain as much pleasure from the activity as the ganked player will lose? A single player with a bad attitude can drive away multiple paying customers. Why would you want to allow that?

ArchAge has many qualities that would attract casual players, like the ability to live a peaceful virtual life of farming and crafting. It is less combat oriented than many other games. It is the kind of game I would definitively try if it hadn't that ganking feature.

Comments:
As a former player on a PvP server in Lineage there was a certain enjoyment in always having a watchful eye out for a gank however that was a game where death only occurred if I made a mistake.
As long as there is a reliable escape mechanism that can be used by observant players, depriving a ganker of a kill (yourself) can be a fun game mechanic.
 
"ganker" is a derigatory term used against a player who defeated you using valid and balanced game mechanics.

Players aren't entitled to win without being any good or putting in any effort. While Starcraft, MOBA or shooter game players consider it obvious, MMO players tend to be mad at better players defeating them and calling them "griefers" and "gankers".

Would you call an opposing team WoT player "ganker" for destroying your tank?
 
"ganker" is a derigatory term used against a player who defeated you using valid and balanced game mechanics.

Players aren't entitled to win without being any good or putting in any effort. While Starcraft, MOBA or shooter game players consider it obvious, MMO players tend to be mad at better players defeating them and calling them "griefers" and "gankers".

Would you call an opposing team WoT player "ganker" for destroying your tank?
 
Gevlon, ganking has become associated with you taking your level 90 character to the newbie zone and one-shotting somebody's brand new character. From a game play perspective, the only way to "avoid" being ganked is to not ever roll a new toon.

From a gaming company prospective, people avoiding rolling new toons is a bad thing.
 
> Players aren't entitled to win
> without being any good or putting in
> any effort [...] MMO players tend to
> be mad at better players defeating
> them and calling them "griefers" and
> "gankers"



Actually... it's the exact opposite.

A ganker is "one who exploits and underhanded tactics to win a battle to make up for their lack of school". A griefer is "someone, usually in an online game, who intentionally, and usually repeatedly, attempts to degrade anothers experience or torment them".

So it's not a fight where player A is more skilled than player B and wins the battle because he does better. It has nothing to do with that. It's a situation where a strongly armed max-level player can oneshot any random unarmed level 1 player.

Using your example, a ganker/griefer is the typical high-level player who keeps playerkilling lowbies "just because he can do that". The game doesn't prevent you to kill lowbies and that's what Tobold doesn't like, I suppose.

When two WoW teams get involved in a battle and one of the teams gets defeated... well, that has nothing to do with ganking. That's a fight where someone wins and someone loses.

Now... if a max-level team of 20 people keeps harrassing/pking low-level players in the starting zones... That's ganking.
 
Would you call an opposing team WoT player "ganker" for destroying your tank?

If I enter a WoT match with my tank, it is obviously consensual PvP. I am there to fight other people, so other people killing me is just part of the game.

But in ArchAge you can be planting your cabbage or just walking between places transporting goods and be attacked by a player. And depending on circumstances you might not have any chance, neither to fight back effectively, nor to flee. You'll just die for no good reason, while being occupied in some peaceful activity. There is no possible advantage to that.
 
Presumably it's to sell ganking as a feature, to the players who want the opportunity to encounter it or in turn, do it to others.

Personally, I think it's as negative sum a game as Pay 2 Win or Farmville type games.

But y'know, an amazing number (amazing to me, anyway) of people still play 'em and pay for them anyway.

So I guess, whatever works to earn developers some money and makes some players happy.

If you don't like how the game is set up, then don't play or pay for it.

The only losers in this equation are those who still can't evaluate a game up front and decide if they can tolerate what it allows. Some time later - days, weeks, months - they encounter something that makes them cry foul and then end up regretting what they spent.

There's plenty of those types around too, paying sight unseen for Kickstarters, Founder's Packs for Alphas and so on.
 
Personally I don't mind gank type games or sandboxes. But that's because in a true sandbox like UO or EvE taking a lost of gear isn't a huge blow (unless you're really going out in style).

Not only is it not a huge blow but to re-acquire the stuff lost doesn't take a lot of time, effort, or money.

And lastly what I like about a true sandbox is if you were ganked in a particular area, you can always leave that area and go to one of the other dozens of areas to do the activity.

It's not like in themepark MMOs where to do a certain activity you literally only have one zone or a few small areas to choose from which means you're very likely to get ganked again in a relatively short time.
 
In Archeage, you can only be ganked in level 30+ zones, so the chances of a level 1 having an issue is slim. Even in those specific zones, there are times of peace to allow people that aren't interested in pvp a chance to get things done if they have some objectives there. A person interested in primarily farming should not place their farm in one of those zones.
 
I will mention that I too am not too fond of PvP, but I'm giving it a go in AA, for the reasons I'll mention below.

Regarding the jail system, I've seen screenshot of people getting up to 1.500 minutes of jail time. Since the timer doesn't tick down in real time, but only when you're logged in, that person effectively was made to quit unless he fancied smashing virtual rocks for the next 24 hours of his 'game' time.

On the other hand, dieing to a 'gank' is usually consequence free in Archeage, besides having a couple of minutes waisted. Compared to the other Sandbox-y games out there where player looting is the standard, AA is surprisingly casual. And surprisingly, a group of low level characters can fight off higher level ones, since stat progression is linear and not exponential when you level. It is not unusual for 4 level 40s to kill 2 level 50s, depending on specs and such.

And if you want to live peacefully on a farm in the safe areas, that too is an options since tending your farm and crafting will provide good chunks of XP.

The grind on the other hand worries me. After researching on how many loops you have to jump through to get any decent gear from crafting, I'm starting to think that it may prove to be too 'Korean' for me. But we'll see.
 
"In Archeage, you can only be ganked in level 30+ zones, so the chances of a level 1 having an issue is slim. Even in those specific zones, there are times of peace to allow people that aren't interested in pvp a chance to get things done if they have some objectives there."

That sounds reasonable, though there will inevitably be some players who don't like the idea of unsafe zones at all.

The bottom line is that you can't make a game to suit everyone. If a game that tries to cater for all tests is the only way to achieve "success", then I hope there will be more failures in future,
 
I am pretty much totally anti-PvP for personal reasons, so I also worried that AA would not be fore me. So far, at over 100 hours played, and level 32, I have not been put into a position where I have to deal with PvPing in any way.

What I like about AA is that though PvP is a part of the world, it gives you a choice. This may depend on your playstyle, however, as I'm perfectly content to farm, craft, run trade packs and quest in safe areas.

There's a war system that highlighs areas of conflict very clearly on the world map. After these areas go to war, there's a period of forced peace where you are pretty safe to quest and explore during that time (unsure if pirates can still kill folks during a peace time, however).

These are level 30+ areas, with many lower-level zones being perfectly safe in my experience. Yes, that does mean that you may have to quest around war timers if questing is what you're there to do. But for someone like me, who is more into the crafting, trading, and building, I'm leveling doing the various other things besides questing.

So, while there is ganking... the way I see it is that if you get ganked in AA, it's because you chose to put yourself in the path of danger. If you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, it'll happen. On the other hand, you can play it safe, and never step foot into a zone in conflict. I like that trade-off and think that for a game that's PvP oriented, it gives me enough room to play as I please without having the fear of getting ganked.
 
I love when a new pvp focused game comes out, because for a few weeks all the games I play are that much more pleasant and enjoyable for those people's absence. I hope that ArcheAge succeeds so that it can do for the fantasy genre what Eve does for sci/fi, keep the most horrible and evil players safely cordoned off from the rest of us.
 
I just think it is a waste when the owPvP occurs in a game with interesting non-combat aspect.

E.g., CoD, WoT are combat games; killing/getting killed is part of the game.

But a game company puts a lot of effort into systems (crafting, economy, exploration) and then makes them far less interesting to the people who most like them. My opinion is this is not efficient game design.
 
Some of my fondest memories of WoW are running around some zone hunting down someone who dared gank me or a friend, and then hassling them mercilessly until there's four or five people on each side fighting for no reason.

But that aside, ganking adds drama and a sense of real tension between factions.

This sounds silly, but the first time I got on a horde server I was actually surprised that they spoke English and were actually pretty cool people. I was embarrassed that I was surprised, but I was. If everybody had to be nice all the time that wouldn't have happened. Doesn't make much sense that the factions are in eternal war but I can't kill someone from the other side for trying to mine the same node as me.
 
@Hagu: "But a game company puts a lot of effort into systems (crafting, economy, exploration) and then makes them far less interesting to the people who most like them. My opinion is this is not efficient game design."

It is actually the opposite; if the game is designed well, then the open world pvp will complement and enhance the crafting/economy side of things. EVE gets this right; it appears AA does as well. I agree with you, that in many badly designed games, this synergy is not achieved.
 
@Tobold: " But why would it ever be a good idea to allow one player to attack a random other player with no reason, and no consent of that other player? Isn't it obvious that the net effect of that will always be negative, that the ganker will not gain as much pleasure from the activity as the ganked player will lose?"

No, it is not obvious. AA is similar to EVE in this regard; in that this interaction is made into beneficial gameplay through careful game design. The long answer would be much too long here, but the short answer is that I personally am not really into ganking people, but that games with ganking tend to be better balanced and more realistic, and therefore preferable for me to play. I like doing a lot of building/trading in games, and in both EVE and AA, gankers function explicitly as "smart pirates" in the way of trade routes--this is better than dumb pirate NPCs, as it is more interesting/challenging. To the pirates us traders function as "smart traders", replacing dumb trader NPCs. It is a win-win.
 
It's an entirely different mindset. For you, the "quest" is the game. For me, the "quest" is merely something I'm doing to pass the time until I play the real game of competing against other players.

If someone attempts to break that up with some spontaneous PvP, then that ADDS to my experience in a couple of ways.

First, I can't just merrily run around my world completing quests thinking I'm safe. I'm not. I have to watch my surroundings and be aware I could be attacked. For me, this is a more immersive experience.

Second, spontaneous PvP is the best kind of PvP. It's why PvPers always lament over the lack of "open world" PvP. You can't have spontaneous PvP without the possibility of Ganking.

Again, it's a different mindset. Even when I'm attacked in extremely unfavorable situations (low health, low level), the thrill is in winning and sometimes 'winning' isn't beating the other guy but simply escaping. I win the fight when I "should" have been killed by this overpowered beast and I got away.

Now, that aside, I have always maintained there is a difference between Ganking and Griefing. For example, being able to kill someone repeatedly in a "safe area" is clearly Griefing and evidence of bad game design not Ganking.
 
Is camping someone's corpse and repeatedly killing them a 'balanced game mechanic"? How about killing someone 80 level below yours?
 
I don't mind PVP if that's what I'm there for. Being alert, keeping an eye out, being prepared, scoping out the territory before going in, all sounds good. I object to non-consensual or inherently imbalanced PVP. I think it would be funny, if impractical, to have a game implement non-consensual PVE alongside their non-consensual PVP - like if someone ganks you repeatedly you can teleport them into a dungeon that only has one exit and takes a minimum of 15 mins to clear.
 
>I like doing a lot of building/trading in games, and in both EVE and AA, >gankers function explicitly as "smart pirates" in the way of trade routes-->this is better than dumb pirate NPCs, as it is more interesting/challenging. >To the pirates us traders function as "smart traders", replacing dumb trader >NPCs.

This is an interesting point, but I don't think Tobold will buy it. Why does it feel different to get killed by an NPC vs a Player? The consequences are the same (there is no full loot). No one will stop playing because they get killed after venturing into an area of higher level NPCs, but if you do the same by going into a PVP zone - it is suddenly a show-stopper!

I only played to level 16, and haven't encountered any PVP yet. The login wait time is OK after they added 3 new servers. It is fun so far, as the game introduced so lots of new ideas.

 
If someone attempts to break that up with some spontaneous PvP, then that ADDS to my experience in a couple of ways.

I don't see how your willingness to get attacked results in a necessity for everybody to be attackable. In a system of consensual PvP, you could simply turn a PvP flag on, while I leave mine off. Everybody is happy! How could a PvP system without consent ever be better?
 
@pw:

"This is an interesting point, but I don't think Tobold will buy it"

Luckily, I'm not trying to sell Tobold anything. I'm objectively describing facts of game design, with no profit motive involved.

"Why does it feel different to get killed by an NPC vs a Player? The consequences are the same (there is no full loot)."

I don't think it feels different to get killed by either, to me at least. My point was that it's more challenging to AVOID getting killed by a player. NPCs are dumb, if you can evade the encounter with them once, you can evade the encounter every time. by repeating whatever action you took the first time. Humans can learn and adapt.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Took me a while, but I was able to find your post from 10 years ago:

http://tobolds.blogspot.ca/2004/07/trade.html

as close as it gets to AA. Just replace Orcs in your text with Pirates. I think AA developers were reading your post....
 
I don't see how your willingness to get attacked results in a necessity for everybody to be attackable. In a system of consensual PvP, you could simply turn a PvP flag on, while I leave mine off. Everybody is happy!

Do you mean side by side on the same server? That's a ridiculous notion.

But if you mean, some method to opt-in or out of PvP? I see no issue with that provided that it's a "server" choice or a "region/area" choice.

Is camping someone's corpse and repeatedly killing them a 'balanced game mechanic"? How about killing someone 80 level below yours?

Let's not confuse Griefing with Ganking. Even in Darkfall, a full-loot open-world PvP MMO where is Ganking is 100% part of the game, bind-camping is taboo and frequent offenders can get a temp ban.

You can Grief people by spamming in the local area chat channel - does that mean we should eliminate that feature from a game?
 
You can Grief people by spamming in the local area chat channel - does that mean we should eliminate that feature from a game?

That comment sounds as if you are a bit behind your times. Are you aware that there are a number of games that already *did* eliminate local area chat to prevent that sort of griefing? Latest example would be Destiny.
 
My problem isn't really that I consider ganking "evil" or automatically "game ruining," but I do consider it "game changing." It makes everything in the game PvP, all the time, even parts of the game that obviously have nothing inherently to do with that.

The best comparison I can come up with is if WoW made everything involve fishing. Want to do a battleground? Your team needs to fish for 5 minutes before the gates open. Want to kill that raid boss? 10 minutes of fishing before each attempt. The community's reaction would be, "WTF Blizzard? This obviously does not belong here!"

And that's how I feel about ganking/open-PvP. You are putting PvP in parts of the game where it obviously doesn't belong.
 
ArcheAge has a imo incorrect reputation as a ganker game, and it drives me crazy when popular bloggers blindly repeat this misinformation. You can avoid pretty much all PvP if you stick to safe areas, which is NOT true of *real* ganker games like, say, original UO or current Mortal Online.

P.S. a ganker is a high-level player killing defenseless lowbies, unless somebody's redefined it in the last 10 years. The key is that the victim of a gank has NO chance to fight back or even run.
 
"ganker is a high-level player killing defenseless lowbies, unless somebody's redefined it in the last 10 years. The key is that the victim of a gank has NO chance to fight back or even run."

Ganking is much older than 10 years old, and originated before the craze of level-based MMORPG's hit the scene. So no, it is not limited to high-level versus low-level interactions; although it does connote an unequal combat. The meaning has changed over time, not through 'someone' redefining it with the voice of god, but through a complex process of social change, as languages do. Now it is commonly used to denote any nonconsensual pvp.
 
Are you aware that there are a number of games that already *did* eliminate local area chat to prevent that sort of griefing? Latest example would be Destiny.

LOL, no I wasn't aware but I can't say I'm surprised. Let's just get rid of chat completely so we can just emote at each other. This is the road you travel when you try to protect people from everything where "experiences may vary with online play".
 
Okay, this is how it goes in a well-designed OWPvP game:

You have the people who are mostly there for the PvP, the people who are mostly/only there for the building/crafting, and the people who enjoy both.

With the economy at the heart of the game, you come to a point where access to certain materials needed for building/crafting is only available through venturing into dangerous (i.e. PvP) areas. This creates a decision for everyone. For the first group, they have to decide whether to participate in the PvE side of the game in order to gain access to the rare goods. Usually they will. The second and third groups have to decide whether they want to risk themselves in those areas. If they do, they provide opportunities for the first group. If they don't, they have to acquire the goods through trading, or hiring someone else to collect the goods for them. This provides content for the first and third groups.

Aywren's experiment is going to be interesting to watch. I think it's possible to play entirely in the PvE zones, but I wonder how easy it will be for her to reach the upper echelons of whatever crafting vocations she is going to do. I suspect that she'll have to either spend a lot of gold on the AH, or develop contacts with suppliers - either way, that's the price of refusing to engage in the complete game.
 
Aywren's experiment is going to be interesting to watch. I think it's possible to play entirely in the PvE zones, but I wonder how easy it will be for her to reach the upper echelons of whatever crafting vocations she is going to do. I suspect that she'll have to either spend a lot of gold on the AH, or develop contacts with suppliers - either way, that's the price of refusing to engage in the complete game.

*laugh* Actually, I don't expect to reach the upper echelon of anything -- I rarely do in most games, and I'm content with that. I realize when I choose not to PVP/Raid/GroupDungeon/WhateverContentHere that means the trade off is something else.

I don't really see it as an experiment -- it's just my chosen play style. I've made those kinds of choices in MMOs most of my life. Never do I expect to have the full reward of someone who risks much more than I do. Most the time, I don't need those rewards to enjoy myself in a game.

At this point in AA, I admit I don't even know what the upper levels of crafting look like. It seems like leveling a craft is extremely slow. Of course, I know very little, and I'm still learning as I go along.

What I really want to do, to be honest, is farm and fish! And yeah, I understand that advanced fishing may put me in harm's way eventually. I'll cross that bridge when/if it comes.

I'll be sure to keep posting about my progress. I don't think it'll be the PVP that pushes me away from this game as much as it might be the Labor Points, to be totally honest.
 
I don't know hey, i think you don't have all the info about AA.

AA is very much set up like EVE. You got protected zones that are 100% safe to operate in and then you got contested zones which has periods of safety and then there are the equivalent of nullsec which is just free for all (the open seas and the islands examples of this).

So far i felt it is entirely possible to operate , much like EVE, in "safe space". The rewards are not as good as if you took the risk entering contested/pvp spots, but that's what makes for a good economy?
 
I don't know hey, i think you don't have all the info about AA.

I have the information. But saying "Hey, ganking is not so bad, because you can't be ganked everywhere!" isn't a good argument in my eyes. The comparison with EVE isn't valid, because in EVE you can actually establish territorial control over the non-safe areas. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't found that feature listed for ArchAge.

I simply don't see how allowing somebody to randomly gank a stranger for no reason in certain zones adds to "the economy" or anything else. And if safe zones are such a good idea, then why aren't all zones safe?
 
With the many apparent definitions of "ganking", it would be noteworthy to establish just exactly what you mean with its usage in the context of this post, Tobold.

That aside, I dont play AA. But I have to wonder if AA is really designed as a solo-centric game, especially with the way Guilds and housing are implemented? I especially find it hard to believe that the developers designed the PvP to allow players to attack players from the SAME faction. From reading the official game site forums, it seems there is no real "endgame" discernable by the majority of players.
 
>With the economy at the heart of the game, you come to a point where access to certain materials needed for building/crafting is only available through venturing into dangerous (i.e. PvP) areas

This is one of the problems with pvp games. They feel deceitful. All the work they do to try to provide a simultaneously interesting pve side of the game doesn't feel like an honest attempt to please a segment of their customers, but instead feels like a lure, a trick to get pve people to stick around so that the pvp people can victimize them.

Even EVE has some very interesting game mechanics like planetary interaction, exploration, etc, but they all seem designed to throw you out into null if you want to progress.
 
open world pvp is for losers that have zero possibilities to win in a structured pvp environment. They try to make it appear as something that require skill or something immersive e.t.c. but the truth is that they are just losers.

You can usually find those people hide in large ganging team, attacking players in a huge disadvantage, either being in low health when they just completed another activity or they are in a numerical disadvantage.

Not surprised those games have failed. All ffa pvp in the west, except eve but eve is unique, does not have competition. Even in Themeparks games, over the years, all pvp server lean toward a single faction. PvP servers are either get empty or have 90% of 1 faction.
 
EVE is unique in that has the kill-count overlay on the map. You can decide to go around or just wait if a system seems iffy. Heck, the counter itself is a nice big marker for bounty hunters and anti-pirate gangs turning gate campers into prey at times.

All other MMOs lack that dynamic, hence why bankers outside of EVE don't garner any respect and are treated as cowards.
 
> I have the information.

You don't. Territorial control is part of AA.

Based on my experience, the behavior you describe is handled really well in the game, either by the notorious ganker being exiled into the pirate faction with very severe limitations or the players around you taking care of the situation and pushing these players to the fringe of the server population.

With your mindset I imagine it is very hard to grasp the concept of these kind of games. Mainly that all decisions you make will have consequences, whether you want it or not. With a proper balance of risk and reward, the total freedom of choice adds a tremendous amount of enjoyment to sandbox fans as it creates immersion.

What you want to do here is to remove the ability for others to make decisions about you. Now if this would be allowed in a sandbox like this I'm sure you can see how it would break the fundamental contract between players which the game like this is based on.

A game environment with only 'artifical' hazards is completely meaningless and boring to me and by your example I could say that I can't understand why on earth anybody would want to play a game like that :)
 
I have always enjoyed the unknown variable of player interaction in mmo's, be it nice or ugly. Hopefully the add a feature spell you can cast on yourself that puts a rainbow or glitter icon above your head or any friendly icon that makes you impervious to someone malicious intent.
 
I'm not sure how it's supposed to be good gameplay that someone ganks you...and maybe they get sent away. But you get nothing out of it and you're left waiting for the next idiot who'll gank you.

Unless you stand to gain something from the event, it's not gameplay.

Sounds like a semi autistic simulatinist fetish rearing it's head - just enabling a behaviour not in order to make a game, but because like someone with OCD has to have all mug handles facing the same way, the developer just has to have randoms be able to gank because 'that's how it was'. It's autistic because if how it is or was was so good, no one would play a mmorpg, would they?
 
I think the problem with ganking is that it's stupidly out of sync with real life risk in being a bandit - ie, you lose your life. Not temporarily!

While in game it's the person who's being attacked who loses the most if they die, the attacker risks nothing but a jog that doesn't actually interupt what they were doing.

I think some system of having to earn your gank first - you have to do certain activities for a period of real life time, during which you are flagged as prepping to gank, and people can attack you without consequence. So you have to earn the right to gank. Get killed yourself and the time resets.

That way the ganker has to invest something in order to do it - and knows the feeling of vulnerability before being able to do so.
 
Callan, these are all present in AA. It is not beneficial to gank just for the sake of ganking, this is why it does not happen often and most of the time there is a valid reason behind it (protecting resources, locking down an area, etc.).

And how ganking enchances your gameplay? It's simple: you have to take action, plan ahead, etc. Be it getting better gear or more pvp experience to not be an easy target anymore or planning carefully ahead to avoid such experiences .. these all comes with a sense of accomplishment type that you do not get from safe games.

It's totally ok to have preferences and tastes in games, but dismissing an entire game concept and it's fans because you do not see reason behind them is not ok in my book :)
 
It's totally ok to have preferences and tastes in games, but dismissing an entire game concept and it's fans because you do not see reason behind them is not ok in my book

Your statement would make perfect sense if the feature we are discussing here was "housing" or "crafting". It is perfectly possible to play a game which has one of those features, and completely ignore that feature with no negative impact to yourself.

Ganking is different. It is a feature that is forced upon players whether they want it or not. Thus it is a completely valid position to refuse playing a game that has this feature.
 
>>It is a feature that is forced upon >>players whether they want it or not

I am sitting on my donkey, loaded with a tradepack just few meters from the border to Ynystere. Ynystere is in Crisis (Danger Level 5). I am reporting that no one is forcing me to enter the zone. Reporting for whoever is interested, this is Claudius, live from Haranya on server Lucius.
 
This just in, live from Haranya on server Lucius: Trader forced to stop at the border to Ynystere, which is in Crisis (Danger Level 5)!

You aren't forced to enter the zone, but you are sure forced to modify your behavior because of it.
 
Open-PvP isn't a feature, it's a game type. Every other feature in the game is that of an open-PvP game. When going out to quest, you don't wear your best questing gear, you wear disposable gear, because you might get ganked. When gathering or transporting resources, you don't make plans for the resources, you make plans to not get ganked. Everything you do is about not getting ganked, the actual task is secondary.

And so yes, it IS perfectly valid to dismiss that game type, just like any other. If I say I don't like FPS games, don't try to sell me the latest Call of Duty game, telling me "this one is different" or "it's actually not that hard."
 
Callan, these are all present in AA. It is not beneficial to gank just for the sake of ganking, this is why it does not happen often and most of the time there is a valid reason behind it (protecting resources, locking down an area, etc.).

And how ganking enchances your gameplay? It's simple: you have to take action, plan ahead, etc. Be it getting better gear or more pvp experience to not be an easy target anymore or planning carefully ahead to avoid such experiences .. these all comes with a sense of accomplishment type that you do not get from safe games.

It's totally ok to have preferences and tastes in games, but dismissing an entire game concept and it's fans because you do not see reason behind them is not ok in my book :)


That insists my seeing no reason is definately false. What if I happen to be right and there is no reason?

How many PVP matches have you played? These days they tend to give even the losing side something. There's reasons for that - gameplay mostly.

And that gameplay is missing from these gank mechanics. If it were somewhat like a spontanious PVP match, I'd see more reason behind it. But have a look at PVP matches and consider how very different the gank system is. Why the disparity?

How about this - would you play a PVP game that has basically no gear/level matchmaking and no fixed side amounts (generally as a noob you'll start out alone) and they just come at some random time, so you'll be sitting around bored if you want combat OR you'll be interupted if you try to do something else.

You'd probably call that a fail PVP game. But that's what you're championing here.




 
/pw

It seems odd one area is danger level five and the one you're in is perfectly safe from ganking? Is that the case or were you already having to head into gank territory? And you're just pausing at an even higher gank chance area?
 
> Thus it is a completely valid position to refuse playing a game that has this feature.

Oh, I totally agree on that it is a valid position to refuse to play a game like this or any other. Your time, your taste, obviously your choice what you play and like, no questions about that.

What I was saying though is that the 'why would anyone want to play something like this, there should be an option to exempt' is not a valid position because it would defeat the fundamental purpose of games of this type.

That there is no exempt is the single, most important feature for a lot of us who plays games like this.

> 'How many PVP matches have you played? These days they tend to give even the losing side something. There's reasons for that - gameplay mostly.'

I had my fair share. As you say, when you lose a pvp match in safe games, you still get something out of it nowadays. It is true, however I find this to be bad game design for my taste. It does takes away the edge of losing, it softens the blow.

I understand and I accept that for some people this is desirable. It is the opposite for me, however.

What I want to get out from lost pvp encounters is the feeling of loss. I don't want sugarcoating. It is that feeling of defeat what motivates me to take action by improving my own gameplay, finding new ways to beat the opposite side.

Ganking for no reason is a very simple minded way of asserting power for some. It is totally unfair, it has absolutely no advantages, there is no upside to it. I do agree with this and this is why I personally don't ever do it.

Ganking is also very easily countered and this is exactly the emergent gameplay you get out of it. It is very hard to do solo, but a lot easier if you take part of the social aspects of these games. Good guilds, friends, allies which actually work really well because of the strong, shared interests and motivations (just look at EVE for example). And this brings me to your last point:

> 'would you play a PVP game that has basically no gear/level matchmaking and no fixed side amounts (generally as a noob you'll start out alone) and they just come at some random time, so you'll be sitting around bored if you want combat OR you'll be interupted if you try to do something else'

What I'm championing here is not at all what you described. The concepts I'm talking about make no sense on their own. You have to combine them into a well balanced foundation for them to start making sense.

This is what you call a sandbox or simulation, when the game does not or just very mildly interfere with your decisions and actions, be what they may be.

The game just provides the means, everything else is left to the players to build, organize, regulate or deal with. If the game is well designed, it can be a very good experience for the fans of this genre.



 
> Everything you do is about not getting ganked, the actual task is secondary.

This is only true for the most hardcore games of this type. For the game in question (AA) the emphasis is on managing your labor, commerce and crafting.

The only time when organizing protection is necessary is when you do high value trade runs, the rest is as safe as you want it to be and can be completed solo without any of non-consensual pvp with just a bit of planning ahead.

I see your point though and I also do not play these hardcore open pvp games, but only because they get very very tedious, not because I might be killed anytime and anywhere :)
 
> You aren't forced to enter the zone, but you are sure forced to modify your behavior because of it.

And that is exactly the point of these kind of games. Decisions, whether you want them or not, because not everything is under your control.

 
I think one of the reasons this is so hotly contested is that for opponents of ganking it isn't just about a game mechanic, but an entire world view.

We like to think that most everyone decides that it's wrong to hurt other people. That most people are good people who behave ethically. In real life, few people hurt each other and those who do are more often seen as damaged or insane, not immoral or unethical.

Seeing people in a pvp game shatters this world view. When placed in a reduced consequences environment, suddenly a lot of people start attacking each other, not in duels or matches or anything sought out, but instead attacking random strangers they don't know who aren't doing anything to threaten the attacker.

You look at the game and then you look at your real life community and it makes you wonder. How many of the people you know are well behaved not because it's the good/moral thing to do, but because they fear getting caught? Is your neighbor constantly wishing that he could break into your home, kill you and rape your wife, but refraining from it because he's worried about the police finding out and coming after him?

I prefer to live in a world where I feel most people don't care about what I'm doing and just ignore me, rather than in one where half the people I know are eager for a chance to victimize me, if only they could get away with it. Perhaps I'm wrong about what world I live in, but I can pretend. Games that promote ganking make it harder to live in that more pleasant pretend world.
 
tarsolya,

It is that feeling of defeat what motivates me to take action by improving my own gameplay, finding new ways to beat the opposite side.

Ganking is also very easily countered

If it's very easily countered then there is no improving your own gameplay. Just easily counter it.

What I'm championing here is not at all what you described. The concepts I'm talking about make no sense on their own. You have to combine them into a well balanced foundation for them to start making sense.

I think you're evangelicising nothing at all - it's just a dream of what could exist (possibly, assuming it can be programmed), but doesn't actually exist.

What is the game involved in it? If I asked about any of the PVP matches, you'd be able to tell me all the game components of those, including win conditions, I'm sure. But here with ganking - a mystery!

If ganking matched up more with the gameplay of a game. Like say if NPC monsters jumped out of nowhere, with random power so some just demolish you instantly, then I'd get that as a game when other players can do the same. When you want to play a game where that can happen, A: it can happe and B: the ganking is much like the rest of the game, rather than being another type of game entirely suddenly foisted onto the player.

Ganking is like putting a jumping puzzle in a FPS - it's just jarring and stops the actual game (the game we came for) dead. Though most FPS'ers don't dare have more than one jumping puzzle level, let alone they pop out at you whenever you want.
 
I really don't care about the reasons, the psychology, whatever...

As long as sandbox devs persist with this deluded idea that sandbox = open PVP, their games are going to remain unpopular and die the death of obscurity.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool