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style="font-style: italic;">In the old days, you could cry
for help all you wanted outside town.  Sometimes they showed
up, and sometimes, they showed up too late.  Note this guy
going for the dirt nap.

When we think of PvP, a few things come to mind.

-    Battlegrounds, where even teams fight
over objectives to the death

-    Massive PvP, where entire
armies/guilds/fleets wage war

-    The occasional “this guy needs to die”
impulse on a PvP server.

In the past, we didn’t have any of that.  While instanced PvP
might have put a damper on immediate threats to your survival, it also
makes griefing that much easier.  Ah yes, to grief people on a
regular basis.  The act of making someone’s life miserable,
via multiple deaths, stealing of enemies, and general harassment via
in-game methods as opposed to communication is the griefing way.

If you were doing it, it was the best thing ever. If you were the
victim, you just had to log out and take deep breaths.  Now in
the world of MMORPGs, not only is PvP highly regulated in where it can
be done, but many countermeasures for things such as corpse camping are
in place.  While some games may still have the spirit of
killing each other intact, such as EVE, many other games have taken the
high ground of going strictly PvE with a PvP afterthought, and that PvP
afterthought is non-existent in the zones that you’d like to ambush

So in previous articles of the Nostalgia Destroyer, I’ve taken stances
against the past.  This time though, I’ll say I’m for
it.  A world populated with sissies who only fight when they
have nothing to lose is terrible.

Because it’s when you have something to lose in PvP that you get the
best stories, the most tears, and overall, the most thrilling PvP
experience you’ll ever have.

Looting in PvP – To Gear,
Or Not To Gear.

Every single major MMO is a complete sissy now when it comes to PvP
death.  The biggest names have zero penalties besides a minor
time inconvenience of hustling back to your body after spawning
nearby.  One of the primary draws of early MMO PvP was the
prospect of looting your opponent.  Whether it be a miner in
Ultima Online that is carrying a ton of juicy loot on a nearby mule, or
someone in Everquest that simply had too much coin and needed to have
some liberated from her pockets, the thrill of the kill yielded
tangible results.

Instead of results coming directly from the corpses of your opposition,
we now gain a different currency that is used to buy PvP gear and other
goodies.   The reward is still there, but the joy of
taking something from your slain foe is lost forever.

That is, unless your game is EVE.  In that case, you have a
final judgment you may pass after successfully killing your
opponent.  You can essentially ruin their day by killing their
escape pod.  You can take their most recent progression, as
well as their prized possession, down in smoke.  This is PvP
at its finest, where people realize what is on the line and know that
they shouldn’t bring their fancy tier 10 onto the battlefield if they
aren’t willing to lose it on death.

When GMs were GMs and not Referees

Most of you are going to disagree with me, and most of you were
probably my victims at some point, but the point where player actions
between one another, using completely normal in-game functions, were
regulated heavily by GMs and customer support ruined the world of

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The Dead Branch of
Ragnarok Online enabled you to summon random monsters to your location.
 This could even pull bosses to you if you're extraordinarily
lucky.  And if they were hostile and there were AFK players in
the vicinity... they were food for the beasts.

Do you know who regulated the PvP world before moderators like GMs got
into it?  The players.  We designated a set of rules
that would make Fight Club jealous.   Depending on
the game, you got little things such as Loot and Scoot—meaning don’t
stick around for another kill on a weakened player or harass them for a
set amount of time.   Remember that these MMORPGs had
a much stronger sense of community between the players, so people who
didn’t play by the rules were designated and punished accordingly by
those who did.  Those who set the rules often have the power
to enforce them, so it was nigh impossible to question the unwritten
rule set of a PvP server.

Shenanigans – A Different Kind of PvP

There was a time before the 21st century where you could deceive
people, steal from them, and brag about it. Now people will cry to the
nearest GM about how their subscription entitles them to their online
goodie bag of smelted ores and if someone bought them from you for one
copper instead of one platinum, justice would be had for the poor
merchant.  This is bullshit.  Previously, GMs would
laugh at you and tell you to be careful, and now they magically whisk
gold away from the swindler to the swindled.

What kind of world is this where I can’t take advantage of the foolish?

The world of PvP in the past all had one major thing in
common—awareness.   The idea that you could be killed
at anytime made you aware of all of your surroundings, ready for audio
cues of spellcasts and stealth, and made even the most simple travel
somewhat tense.  Since there was a penalty for PvP death of
some kind typically, there was no ‘push autorun and afk’ travel
involved.  You would take the path less traveled instead of
the straight line, something long forgotten except by
harvesters.   You would have to be especially aware
when dealing with other players, who just like you, are strictly out to
make a profit.   Replacing items with cheap items
that share the same icon, or placing odd amounts of currency or
different size stacks of loot were common distraction techniques that
made players play smart.

And that’s what this is all about.  The old world of PvP made
people play smart.  You were aware that you were mortal, that
there was a risk to doing anything at any given time, and it amplified
the risk vs. reward of any given action when dealing with other players.

Now people just zerg rush commanders in Alterac Valley and call it
Player vs. Player.   Give me a break.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016