Wasteland Diaries: RP-PvP

In Fallen Earth, I spend most of my time PvPing. Well, actually, I probably spend most of my time waiting or preparing to PvP. I engage in PvE content out of necessity. In order to be effective in PvP, one needs levels and chips and gear. If this stuff could be earned through PvP alone, then that's all I would ever do. The situation has gotten better with the FCP rewards and XP for PvP, but it still isn't really enough. The other prominent playstyle in Fallen Earth, one I usually shy away from, is roleplaying. Some people will never do it, and some people are always in character. Most of us fall somewhere in between. This week I dipped my toe into the RP field.

I would normally never decide to attend a roleplaying event, but lately I've been trying to broaden my horizons. Knowing there was a possibility of some PvP action solidified my decision to head down to New Flagstaff for Rowdy's Bunker of Blues. This is an event held every Wednesday night at the bunker bar by the pond in the center of the city. There was a live DJ and free drinks (plus the aforementioned possibility of a fight), so why not? After the cut, I'll describe what happened there and how I did when I threw my hat into the RP arena.

In the past, many of these roleplaying events have been crashed by members of a certain omni-factional clan that will go unnamed in this particular post. Its members take pride in things that most of us would consider cowardly or depraved, so I won't give them any recognition here. Oftentimes, roleplayers will flag for open-world PvP to settle their disputes amongst themselves. This is precisely the opportunity that our omni "friends" like to take advantage of. They swoop in for some easy kills. In response, the other roleplayers join in to defend their friends against a group of PvPers, and usually, the RPers don't fare too well. I'm not saying that all RPers are terrible PvPers, but against a group of seasoned PvPers, they don't have much chance.

So we gathered a small security detail consisting of a few travelers from Saints and a few CHOTA warriors from KAOS. We went to New Flagstaff, hoping to see something similar happen. We only expected small problems since lately we haven't run into much opposition. KAOS still firmly controls Park City, and Saints still holds dominion over Haietta. Both towns have been the subject of guerrilla actions but not major attacks. It's as if the Enforcer side of the wheel is content to let us keep the towns. If the Enforcers change their minds, we will still be here, patiently waiting for them to knock us off our perch. And if they never decide they want to take the towns from us, a new clan with new blood will take their place on the front line.

I can't get mad over the hit-and-run tactics employed by our enemies, because in the past, I've done the same. I have invested in a couple of combat buggies because of the increased number of car chases in PvP zones these days. It's a plus to have twin machine guns mounted on your car, but dune buggies aren't the fastest vehicles in the wasteland. Still, anything beats standing there and watching an enemy zip away unscathed in an Interceptor. I digress. Here I am droning on about clan politics and PvP tactics. Let me get back to the roleplaying.

I am very much out of my element in a roleplaying environment, but I am learning. Most of the roleplayers are very helpful, not to mention that most are great dancers! One thing I noticed about them is that they walk everywhere. As a PvPer, I always run. Not only do I always run, but I also have a variety of speed buffs while I do so. Walking is slow, and holding down the shift key kills my pinky finger. Whenever there were no roleplayers in sight, I ran. I'll admit it. Moving that slow made me feel as if I'd been hit with a permanent snare. I'm sure it's something that I would eventually get used to, but I didn't in that short time.

Another thing that roleplayers do that goes against everything I am used to doing is wear social clothing. I usually wear the same gear all the time. I wear the stuff that protects me the best and gives me the greatest advantage in combat. Roleplayers go for looks, for pure aesthetics. Damage mitigation and ranged defense mean nothing to them; it's all about looking good. I managed to cobble together a passable outfit with some Death Toll armor and some various odds and ends among my gear. The only pants I had were armored leggings, so I had to make a quick trip to the armor merchant to pick up a pair. I didn't want my first RP experience to start off pants-less.

Everything about roleplaying just seems awkward to me, but I gave it a shot. I ordered a couple of drinks at the bar and slow-walked around the room, being careful not to block anyone's view of his blackjack machine. You would think that after about seven years of playing Neverwinter Nights, I would have some RPing skills, but I don't. I was mainly a hack and slash and PvP-type player, who only dabbled in RP-PvP (i.e., I was an evil Half-Orc standing on the bridge and accosting passersby for toll money). Awkward as I feel, I really enjoy the company of the RP crowd. And there were a couple of weak attacks by the previously mentioned omni-clan, but they were uncoordinated and half-hearted. I got to kill a few of them, so it was all worth it.

Even if I don't expect a visit by opportunistic party-crashers, I may still make this my regular Wednesday night thing. As a bonus, after the official event, elements of the Freedom Defense Corps attacked us. They are part of an Enforcer group, and KAOS is, after all, a CHOTA group. We also had a couple of Saints, a group that is also not very popular with the local Enforcers. They opened fire on us, and it turned into a battle on the streets of New Flagstaff. We haven't seen much of these guys yet, but they look to be an up-and-coming Enforcer clan that might one day battle us for control of Park City or Haietta. They certainly have the will to fight against us, and that is the first step. Remember the new blood I mentioned earlier? These guys and their ilk are it.

It's nice to fight a factional enemy. Both sides benefit by gaining faction reputation. Gaining faction reputation for killing enemies is always preferred to fighting an omni-clan. It is the way the game was meant to be played. The faction grind isn't such a grind when you earn 40-60 thousand faction rep for a night of PvP. The devs have a good design, but they just need to goad the players into playing the game the way it was meant to be played: factionally. So if you are in an omni-clan and you want to get your hands on some GlobalTech circuits, you had better not be a member of a certain omni-clan that likes to beat up on RPers. KAOS is watching Office Park. See you here next week, or out in the wastes, whichever comes first. CHOTA!!!

Ed Marshall has been playing Fallen Earth since beta and leads the KAOS clan. Wasteland Diaries is his weekly column that covers all aspects of Fallen Earth: PvE, RP and PvP. To contact Ed, send an email to edward@massively.com, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.
This article was originally published on Massively.