[MUD-Dev] Re: [Mud-Dev] Playerkilling website

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed Jun 3 12:36:40 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Mon, 1 Jun 1998 17:35:16 -0500  
Koster, Raph<rkoster at origin.ea.com> wrote:

> Very interesting site here. Check out the interviews/poll part.
> http://www.pk-hq.com/

Fascinating!  Especially the anti-PK side...

>From <URL:http://www.pk-hq.com/apk-hq/news/news.htm>:

EQ vault Pk editorial

Player killing is one of the most talked about aspects of Everquest,
and the debate over whether you should or shouldn't, whether it's fair
or not, and the character and age of the people who do or not player
kill seems to rekindle itself every other day.  Everquest provides
something that Ultima Online does not - a chance to decide whether you
are able to kill and be killed by others, and this PvP "switch" is
also fuel for vigorous debate. Allowing both options provides us with
an opportunity to play Everquest the way we want to, with others
facing challenges they *opt* to face.

MUDs have had this "switch" for almost a decade. The typical MUD has
the player decide upon character creation whether they wish to be able
to kill and be killed by players.  Some MUDs will further restrict
player killing with a level block, such as being limited to fighting
against players 5 levels or less different, or by allowing player
killing only after a certain level has been obtained. Players who aid
PvP players usually are forced to become PvP characters themselves, to
maintain a level playing field. You can often switch from non PvP to
PvP, but never back.

Everquest's "switch" is not a toggle, it is a selected characteristic
of your character at creation. If you want to have the thrill of
logging in and having to be wary of foes at all times, the opportunity
to boast of your skills, or the challenge of outwitting a real enemy,
as opposed to a computer one, you can decide at creation.  Like many
MUDs, Everquest also allows you to change your PvP orientation from
Non-PvP to PvP, but going back is difficult, if not impossible. This
is a very important feature, and subject to a lot of debate, since it
seems to allow players to "beef" up their characters as non-PvP, then
switch and go on a rampage when their character is strong enough.

It does. Those who wish to do that are welcome to, and probably
should. Is this unfair? No, not really, since everyone has the choice
to do it or not do it. You have that choice. I would tend to say that
"Pure" PvP could use other characters' PvP change to give them a
really hard time, call them weak, and claim that they were not "true"
PvP. I'm all for that. An important point is that once you go PvP you
can't go back. This stops someone from helping a PvP friend obtain
revenge, and then switch back to avoid retaliation. One thing I will
note is that those who start as PvP will have a big advantage over
"switchers", because the skills, abilities, and mindset needed to
succeed as non PvP might be different than those of a PvP player. I
once played a MUD where PvP players used to love newbie PvP's who
thought they knew everything, and give them a quick dose of 4 or 5
different ways to die. They learned, eventually.

For those who wish to not PvP, it gives breathing room to allow for
more social interaction, exploration, and role-playing
opportunities. I remember seeing the picture sequence of Pl8tDewd and
Bon3d00d, with the hilarious encounter between two hardened PKs and a
"role-player". While I laughed at the scene, I also remembered that
the role-player had taken obvious pains to dress her character as she
wished, with careful attention to her presentation when she interacted
with the Doods, and felt a little sad. The world needs the creativity
and color offered by such a player, and it takes the wind out of such
a player when hours of work is callously destroyed. Not everyone has
30 hours online a week, and the playing field is in no way level when
a character with 400+ hours of experience encounters one with 5, and
kills them. For those who say that PvP is "realistic" and therefore
better, I'd like to ask them to describe a "real" elf, or how you can
"really" cast a fireball. We are all participating in a shared
fantasy, so why not make it fun for everyone?

The main thing I find heartening is that Everquest is using a method
that has worked for years in MUDs. They considered this issue, and
it's game effect. They have more experience as a group of role-players
and MUDers than the great majority of us, and want to make a game
where everyone has a place and part to play. You can have the danger
and excitement of PvP, in addition to being able to choose to NOT
advance your level and just be a part of the tapestry that is
Norrath. I am also encouraged by their attitude towards bug
exploiters, which is concurrent with many MUDs. They do not want the
money of someone who will exploit the system and hurt it.

- Oghma, Bard, mailto:merlin at bv.net


<Oghma seems to be wearing rather rosy glasses>

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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