Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Non-Consensual PvP thoughts

Read this, then come back to here:

I find this is a very common line of thought by players who seem to come from other games and look outwardly at eve, and non-consensual pvp as a whole.  I have had some experience in both WoW, Warhammer in realms that were both open pvp or RvR, so pvp all the time to the PvE groups that were only if flagged could you pvp or pvp in instances.

I think that the main cross seen in many games is the comparison between Consentual, risk free pvp, to non-consentual, asset loss pvp.

Here we have the ends of what I call the extreme.  PvP in WoW is mostly (on non PVP servers) on a consensual basis, barring noob mistakes.  The other end of what I call the common gaming line is Eve Online.

In Eve when one engages in PvP there is the obvious fight as well as the chance at asset loss, meaning your ship, money if ransomed, etc, where in WoW you just lose the time it takes to run back to the fight.

The line connecting them represents the path that most games take between the extremes.  FPS are closer to Eve on the scale of non-consensual, where they also have almost no loss of assets.  Warhammer had repair costs associated with dying in PvP to another player so that puts it lower on the loss of assets list where WoW you don't take item damage from PvP, or at least not as a result of dying.

Another blogger, SERIAL GANKER posted on the subject as well, providing another image akin to mine.  His was a chart of types of pvp however, it is still good material.

Honestly, nobody really enjoys losing, but for some, most of us Eve players for example; pirates and PvPers tend to like the rush associated with the fight, and not with the gank.  Most ganks in Eve are carried out either for monetary gain, griefing, or in the hopes of a "good fight."  Or at least some kind of response from the target.  PvP in a consensual/non-consensual basis is way more than just simple gank vs fair fight.

Even in WoW you will never find a fair fight, classes are designed to be good against one class and bad against another, say a Hunter vs a Paladin, or a Hunter vs a clothie, button pushing skills, as well as timing and knowing your characters weaknesses as well as skill-set can spell the difference between winning or losing, as can gear, level, lag and experience in PvP. 

The same factors are true for Eve.  Skill in a ship, fitting of the ship, allies, location, knowing the role of your ship, how to fly it, what to look for, be on the lookout for, as well as how to fight in your ship will provide the difference between winning or losing.  Sure there will be unfair fights, but that is common amongst all types of PvP, and claiming that is a hallmark of JUST non-consensual PvP is a huge misnomer.

For example, Even in a FPS there are unfair fights all the time, such as turning a corner and getting sniped, grenaded, or ambushed by 4 people around the corner.  Or on a more global basis, when you join a side and they are currently outnumbered by the other side by virtue of server admin, skill or just random server placement.  Truth is there are still fights of 20 vs 10 in a FPS or even in WoW!  Thanks to instanced combat, there are common fights of 8 on 3 or 40 on 20 in AV or Warsong Gulch, or even the one in the middle of Northrend who's name escapes me right now.

PvP isn't best when it is fair, PvP is best when you are matching wits against an enemy focused on your destruction.  Sure non-consensual PvP is different than consensual PvP.  The ever present threat of being attacked simulates the environment suggested by a cruel and uncaring world or universe.  That mirrors the one we live in as well as the one presented in Eve.  The key is providing such an environment while still providing some type of protection or retribution means for the ganked.  No matter how small the chance.  Eve is successful because they have balanced that well, with high, low and null sec, Concord, Wardecs, Wars and space holding.  Many other Non-Consensual games failed because they did not properly address this balance and left no recourse for the ganked to gain any revenge or even the chance of revenge.

I think there will be more games like Eve, where non-consensual PvP is the norm and not the exception.  Or at least there should be!


  1. Well put. It's the rush. Not just of the hunt, but of the evading the predators as well.

    A fair fight is boring, predictable, and fantasy.

  2. With a game as vast as eve I find it a shame that there is not 'somewhere for everyone'. Since it seems whenever a 'peaceful' corp region appears it seems to always get war-decced. It's just a shame the universe has to be eternally at war, there is plenty of room for both PvP'ers and PvE.

    I don't exactly want PvP to be concensual only, but I would like to be able to explore, trade, mine in lower sec environments without having to either a) join a corp, or b) get podded.