Let the blood be spilled

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Let the blood be spilled
Let the Blood be Spilled
Blizzard Community Manager Daxxarri has taken again to the forums to weigh in on a thread bemoaning level 90s ganking on PvP servers. While it is hardly news that max-level players will occasionally take the opportunity to grief or gank lower level players, indeed, it's been a state of play that's existed pretty much since the game began, CRZ has likely increased the regularity and severity of these occurrences.

There seem to be two vying camps of opinion on this issue, and it's pretty clear from his posts which one Daxxarri falls into:

This is going to sound weird, and while I do empathize with the frustration that's being expressed in this thread, this conversation still warms the cockles of my black little heart.

Why? Because for too long there was very little distinction between playing on a PvE realm and playing on a PvP realm. We had inadvertently created a situation where there was little risk when leveling in the world on a PvP realm. The experiences were, for all practical purposes, virtually identical, but that wasn't what we had in mind.

Life on a PvP realm can be nasty, brutish and short. Justice is in very short supply. Every action you take in the world carries with it an added level of risk, from questing, to hunting down profession materials, to simply traveling from place to place. You can be attacked at any time, sometimes by an overwhelming force. Of course, the shoe can also be on the other foot, and you'll be able to turn the tables on your attacker, or find clever ways to delay them or escape from them. Some will become roaming slayers, seeking out enemies to destroy.

In short, the experience on a PvP server is different. We want it to be different, and that includes everything from honorable conflict on the field of battle to horribly despicable ganking. It's all part of the fabric that makes a PvP server what it is.

Let the blood be spilled.

Daxxarri likely wasn't surprised at the reaction to his post, which was mixed to say the least, with several readers jumping to his defense with the usual arguments that, if players don't like being ganked, they should move to PvE realms. It's definitely a valid argument, as Daxxarri mentions, and many agree that PvP realms are brutal places to be.

But, as one player says, for Blizzard to condone things like repeated camping of low-level characters, griefing to the extent where people feel they have to log off to escape, is a rather surprising position. WoW Insider recently posted about Daxxarri's very firm position on the removal of pre-mades over 5 people from random battlegrounds. In that post he basically said that the situation where a pre-made team had an unfair advantage over a random team was unacceptable, that it was removing the fun of PvP from the players who were on the receiving end of what he called a "pug stomping". It seems slightly contradictory for Blizzard to want to remove one situation where one side of a PvP conflict has an unfair advantage, yet actively condone another.

Dishonorable Behavior

I make no bones about the fact that I'm a keen PvPer. But I do my utmost to avoid ganking or griefing lower level players of the opposite faction. It seems unsportsmanlike, it seems like bullying, it seems like shooting fish in a barrel. That's not PvP, in my book, PvP is a situation where the opponents are on at least a relatively even footing to begin with. Daxxarri asserts that camping, ganking and the like are "not griefing on a PvP realm" and I can't agree with him.

The question is whether something ought to be done, if not to remove the problem, to at least discourage the behavior. I must admit, I don't know quite what. One poster asserts that, thanks to CRZ, his previous calls for help from friends were useless, as his friends were sent to a different version of the zone he was in. This is not something I've ever experienced, so I'm not sure if it's possible, but if it is, that really ought to be fixed.

Other than that, with WoW's history of borrowing the best bits from other games, something like the scaling found in Guild Wars 2 would be an amazing addition, although likely very hard to do and low on the priority list for Blizzard. There's also the idea of some kind of detriment suffered by the higher-level ganker, perhaps something along the lines of League of Legends' Honor system. Or maybe a debuff that lowers stats the more ganking is done. Something which builds up a debuff similar to resurrection sickness, that makes the ganker ever less and less powerful, until the gankee can retaliate. The more I think about this idea, the more I like it!
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

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