Asshat or PvPer: Which will Warhammer Online have?

I read a recent post from MMOG Nation via MMOWTF today that got me thinking, or rather re-visiting an idea. The post pointed out the differences in PvP mentality going from a PvP server to a PvE one in WoW, with the perhaps surprising result that ganking and asshats were far more common on the PvE server than the PvP one. I say ‘perhaps’ because for longtime PvP fans, this is not that surprising.

Like the rest of the internet, the more anonymous and unaccountable you can be, the further some people are driven into asshat mode. The reason people played nice for the most part in EQ1 was because reputation got around quick, and if you acted like an ass, soon the server would know and you would be blackballed. In Asheron’s Call (Darktide at least) reputation was everything, since at any point anyone could gank you. Instead of outright chaos however, the players on DT generally followed guild rules and limited ganking to marked targets. In Dark Age of Camelot, at the highest RvR level, being respected by your realm meant being a team player, someone who could be relied on. Those who refused to follow orders or play as a team soon found themselves being rejected from group runs and the best parts of RvR.

On a much smaller scale, being a total dick on a PvP server in WoW might make you enough enemies to hamper your gameplay. Perhaps players will remember your name, and go out of their way to kill you whenever you are spotted. It’s not a huge penalty, certainly not anything close to what older games had, but perhaps enough to deter some of the otherwise would-be asshats. On a PvE server, you can be a dick all you want, and with one magic /pvp command, you gain total immunity. It’s not surprising then that those who aim to be dicks, rather than actually enjoying a PvP fight, pick a PvE server.

Moving away from WoW, this raises an interesting question for Warhammer Online. Will we see more of the WoW PvE-server style players, or more of the AC/DAoC style of name recognition and respect? Clearly WAR is a PvP focused game, with the high-end being very group/guild focused. That would lead me to believe players will be less likely to enter asshat mode, with the risk of being shunned by their realm during PQs, RvR skirmishes, and most importantly city raids. On the other hand, EVE aside, most MMO games today do little to limit or punish the bad apples, and who is to say WAR’s PvP focus will be enough to weed them out?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Asheron's Call, EVE Online, MMO design, PvP, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Asshat or PvPer: Which will Warhammer Online have?

  1. Heartless_ says:

    ROFL, you have a very selective memory. EQ1 was just a terrible game, an enigma of timing, so I don’t take much from it other than simply existing as a 3D MMO at the time of 2D isometric dominance.

    Darktide was another joke, full of players that still somehow think that having existed on Darktide is some reason we should all bow down to them as PvP gods. Fact is: Darktide was about ganking the fuck out of those that had no chance to fight back. So, Darktide = asshats.

    DAoC… realm pride… top players….

    I’m not sure what DAoC you played, but after the first six months, it was all about the elitist 8-man group or stealth wars. Asshattery was required to be part of either. Most of the Realm despised top players because they were separatists, rarely helping the realm effort unless it meant they could camp a mile fort, keep, or tower for uber RP. Sure there were some exceptions to the rule, but for the most part the only way to gain the top realm ranks was to be an asshat and forgo the entire “help your realm” mentality.

    There is a lot more I would love to say, but it isn’t worth it right now. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about it….

  2. Hudson says:

    I vote PVP’er. The asshats will quickly realize that PVP in WAR is serious and takes planning and STRATEGERY. They willl get frustrated and go back to their Gatorade sponsored canned WoW PVP within a month and leave us mature folk to storm the castle

  3. syncaine says:

    Whether EQ1 was a good game or not is debatable (I never cared for it being a UO player, but clearly lots of people do/did), but the community aspect is undeniable. It still is to a lesser degree in EQ2.

    About DT you are wrong. Maybe you just got ganked a lot and quit early, but for the year+ I was there (near launch), it was far from a gank fest. Sure easy targets would get taken down at will, but that’s just PvP. Those in respected guilds, within their area of control, did not get ganked often. You would raid enemy territory, compete over certain spots, plan raids, but it was far from the random shit that happens in WoW.

    Separatists… you mean the top players in RvR that operated in their own group knowing they could get more done with a trusted few than running with hundreds of randoms. Again, that’s PvP. Once you move on from PuG’s, you join an established, organized guild and get shit done. Yes DAoC had balance issues regarding roaming 8s, but those were a non-factor during relic raids or DF runs.

    To me Heartless it sounds like you have experienced (or read about) PvP-focused games from the outside, never actually reach the point that most serious players know they need to reach. Yes if you always play the solo gank target, you’re idea of PvP is going to be rather negative. I doubt that will change much in WAR. PvP in an MMO is a team sport. The elite beat on the randoms, and compete with the other elite. Players have a choice, either join the elite, or accept being a random target. At this point, why is that a surprise?

  4. Hudson says:

    It will change in WAR I have seen it happen already, I am the worst PVP’er there is and even in beta I do ok, because people team up and help out, its encouraged in the system they have made. WoW PVP has lowered people’s expectations to the point that they have become mindless drones about what REAL PVP can be like.

  5. Thallian says:

    To answer your question I think it will have them on the world scale, possibly not the rvr scale so much but if you cant boot them from PQ’s then they will certainly be there too. The problem is if they game is easy to play and fun and easy to get into then it will be like a honey pot for those flies… Just as WoW was… though I don’t know it seems like those people (loot whores, gankers, jerks in general) have mostly stayed in WoW instead of migrating to Lotro and other games I’ve played. Hopefully they will stay there forever and leave WAR alone but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

  6. sid67 says:

    Honestly, I think it’s a bit less about the type of people who are attracted to a game than how the game teaches us to play. As the player learns how to play, the type of acceptable behavior is determined by whatever mixture of positive and negative reinforcements the player experiences. If there is no negative consequences (like in a WoW PVE server) then they have no reason to adjust their behavior. In this sense I agree with you, Syncaine. I only think we differ in that I believe the gameplay of WAR will determine what is acceptable behavior more than the “type” of player that is attracted to the game. If people can be asshats with no consequences, then they will be asshats.

    Having played on a WoW PvE server for a bit (lord help me!), I would say that positive reinforcement plays a bigger role in the asshattery than the type of player who chooses a PvP server. This is because, as Zenke points out, World PvP is a novelty on a PvE server. If you see someone flagged red in a world of blue, it stands out and a player who would have been largely ignored on a PvP server is suddenly, well – a fun new toy. I think one thing that was startling to me was how big a kick PvE players get out of tricking someone to flag themselves. Again, I think this is largely because it’s a novelty and a “fun” way to pass the boredom of waiting outside an instance. On a PvP server, people hide or battle it out over the meeting stone. On a PvE server, they try to trick you into clicking them instead of the summoning portal so that the rest of the group can nuke you.

    WAR will be what the developers make it. If players are rewarded for teaming and behavior can be somewhat tempered by reputation, then the positive and negative reinforcement will encourage the desired behavior.

  7. Bonedead says:

    Well I think the difference between Asshats and PvPers is usually a combo of Maturity/Age.

    Warhammer is going to be drawing most of it’s players from WoW and then a few (in comparison) from DAoC, I think that is a safe bet.

    What kind of people play WoW and what kind of people play DAoC?

    Well I would say that since WoW has the amount of subscribers it does, that we could estimate incredibly roughly that 20-30% are immature kids who, given the opportunities, could turn into an Asshat.

    So lets say that 5% of WoW players try Warhammer on Day 1. That is about 500k people amirite? 20% of 500k is 100k. That seems way too huge for me to be true, I believe my hatred for Asshats and WoW may be skewing this estimate.

    So lets just say that you will be having the older folk who are always less likely to Asshat it up probably being the minority due to the influx of WoW kiddies.

    Shit, I don’t fuckin know. Whoever is the best is going to make the rules. If the young asshats from WoW with more spare time can stake their claim and set up a foundation while also dominating before the more disciplined older folks, then maybe it will be Asshattery.

    But shit, I think the older folk by default will be there longer. I guess inevitably it will be as DAoC is. However, it is going to be chaos the first few months I am sure.

    I hope it ends up like DAoC. I hope the little kids don’t take over the shit. But the undefined variable that could make or break it is the amount of older disciplined folk who play WoW that will switch to Warhammer. Because let’s face it, DAoC has what, 10k players? They’re not all going to War, a lot will, but as with AoC they will slowly come back to DAoC. I just think the young are going to severely outnumber the old.

    I’d like to think the old will persevere and outlast the young, but that doesn’t mean their will to play won’t be zerged to death by the easily defeated yet massive swarm of young rebels.

    IMO

  8. syncaine says:

    Well some of that math fails because I played DAoC, no longer play, and consider myself more of a DAoC player than a WoW player (and I played WoW longer than I played DAoC). Also keep in mind that someone who was a teen when DAoC was released will be in there early-mid 20s now. Same with former UO players, but even older.

    I agree with you Sid that the game rules determine the mentality of the players. That was kind of my point in the post with pointing out games in the past and how they encourage/punished player behavior. WoW’s massive hand holding ‘everyone wins’ rule set is a primary reason most servers are full of a-holes, and why the word PuG is so dreaded. A PuG in LoTRO is more often than not a success, just for comparison, and people go into them with a very positive attitude (just from my experience, of course)

    Assuming WAR will favor the PvPer over the asshat (I trust Mythic to get this right), my prediction is that for the first month or so, many people will try to play WAR like they do WoW, solo and with a total ‘me’ attitude. Slowly however organized groups will show that teamwork and cooperation with others is the key to success, and the mentality will change. The huge hurdle will be overcoming the ‘WoW kiddies’ that will flood WAR initially, as they did with LoTRO.

  9. Snafzg says:

    The fact that they have a feature in game that turns higher level gankers into chickens for preying on the weak, yeah, I believe they will favour PvP over asshatery. :P

  10. Thallian says:

    I hear you on the PUG thing and yeah it does have a lot to do with how the players are rewarded and what they can get away with.

  11. Talyn says:

    In general, PvP seems to attract the asshat crowd by default. They thrive on it. I’m not really following WAR much, but I’ve at least come around to be willing to give it a look 3+ months after launch. (Yes, AoC was the straw that broke my camel’s back on jumping into new MMO’s on launch day) If you guys say WAR is taking efforts to prevent blatant asshattery I’ll take your word for it and hope you’re right. On the other hand, while I’m looking forward to what Earthrise brings to the table, most of the stuff on the forums is asshat PvPers, which is very much concerning me to the point of near-disinterest.

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