Takes #1 - PvP vs PvE

By Martuk

There are two distinctive
play styles that always seem to find themselves at odds on the OVF.
Those are the (PvE) Player-vs-Environment and (PvP) Player-vs-Player styles
of play. Everyone who joins a MMORPG world plays one way or the other,
and sometimes both.

PvP means Player versus
Player. These are players who often times seek to join a server world
where players may attack each other at anytime. This is viewed as a form
of open combat and competition. Players on these servers not only contend
with the computer-controlled dangers of the NPC (non-player character),
but also the threat of other players showing up to engage them in battle
when least expected.

PvE or Player versus
Environment servers are communities where players do not engage in open
combat with each other. Instead, these servers favor combat waged against
the virtual environment, where the only enemies are NPCs. Often times
there are options for people to engage in PvP on these servers, be it
the /duel command or PvP designated areas like arenas or battlegrounds.

Both play styles have
a place in the MMO world. Some enjoy the thrill of open combat, while
others simply enjoy the challenge of forming groups with friends, and
engaging the various NPCs, as found in both instanced and non-instanced
zones, in battle. Raids, grouping, Role-Playing and explorations are common
among PvE players. PvP, on the other hand, may engage in these same activities,
but at the same time they leave themselves open to attack from other players,
in the spirit of competition.

The two play styles
are similar, but also very different, and often times on the OVF
tend to find themselves at odds with each other. PvE players will refer
to PvP players as Gankers and Grievers, while PvP players will refer to
PvE players with such names as Carebears. Both groups think their style
and method is the best, but both are wrong. You can find Gankers and Grievers
on both types of servers, so to characterize one play style as belonging
to groups of Grievers and Gankers could probably describe any of a handful
of people on any server, not just the PvP servers.

The MMO worlds we
inhabit are a diverse universe of various play styles ranging from soloing
to grouping, from raiding to tradeskilling, and from PvP to PvE. There
are many play styles and, often times, room for all. What one person enjoys
another despises. This is the case with each, and both sides have a misconception
about the other. Some PvP players think that if you just enjoy PvE you
are weak in skill, and a "Carebear". This is, in most cases,
an inaccurate statement, since PvE players enjoy the same game in a different
way. They live for the challenge of the world as developed by the designers
of the game. Exploration and discovery are two things a PvE player cherishes.
Epic battles, Role-Playing, and adventure are the enjoyment of those who
prefer PvE.

PvE players are not
without their fault. They often times view PvP players as Gankers and
Grievers, also a misconception. PvP players, for the most part, enjoy
the challenge of engaging other players in combat. They essentially like
the see-who's-best aspect of the game. Not only that, PvP servers have
a nice way of dealing with Grievers, which PvE servers cannot enforce.
The PvP community actively will seek out a Griever and kill him. The average
PvP player is just one who enjoys open combat, and the challenge of engaging
other players in the vastness of the landscape.

The two play styles
are very different, but everyone wants the same thing, and that is to
enjoy the world, in one way or another. Some may prefer to be unhindered
by the threat of other players, and others prefer the looming possibility
of someone jumping out at you from the shadows. I am a player who prefers
PvE, but, on occasion, I will roll up a character on a PvP server and
mess around. In the end, it's all about the enjoyment of the game.

Both play styles have
had games made to cater to them specifically, as well as trying to balance,
or at least allow, both. Everquest caters to both styles and is massively
successful. It is the MMO to pretty much put the genre on the map. Lineage
2 was made to cater to PvP and at its peak had somewhere in the neighborhood
of three and a half to four million subscriptions. There are people who
enjoy both styles of play, and that is most evident from the success of
many MMOs. The market is there, and developers will cater to it on both

When Vanguard launches
sometime this year, there will indeed be both PvE and PvP servers. We
all will have a nice selection of whatever type of play style we want
to choose from. We are not so different PvE and PvP: all we truly want
is the enjoyment of the virtual world we inhabit, one way or another.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.