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MMO-PvP and You: A Guide to Growth

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
MMO-PvP and You: A Guide to Growth

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:52 PM | #1

Quote: Originally Posted by Sirlin
"The first step in becoming a top player is the realization that playing to win means doing whatever most increases your chances of winning. That is true by definition of playing to win. The game knows no rules of “honor” or of “cheapness.” The game only knows winning and losing."
The above quote is an excerpt from a very prominent Street Fighter Champion, Sirlin. His website and book "Playing to Win can be found in the link.

I have chosen to open this topic with a quote and reference to him, because it is his writings that have so profoundly impacted my life as a gamer. That, and the wonderful person who stole my heart, while kicking my *** at just about every game we play.

I will try not to restate Sirlin's words as much as possible. I believe his writings are best discovered by each person in their own reading, so that the lessons they hold can reach to each individual. My words today can and will be debated. Many may be angry, and try to invoke an angered response from me. Some may even be successful in drawing my anger. Yet when reading his words for yourself, you can not invoke retaliation from a book. Whether angered, saddened, humiliated, or justified by your readings you will have nothing to fight, only reflections.

You may read early in what I perceived as Sirlin's distaste for the MMO genre. While he offers sound reasons for such, I will simply say this: MMO's are flawed, but these lessons still apply. We as individuals and as a community have much to learn. Like any student, I agree and disagree with the teacher, and below is my views.

This thread will not cover tips and tricks of 1 vs 1 combat. It is not to teach the secret handshake that will make your operative deal 12k in 3 GCD's. It will not cover WZ maps and strategies, nor is it about what build is the best. No, this thread will address the menality, perception, and ideals that one needs to succeed in MMO-PvP.

2. When does PvP begin?
3. There is no Honor.
4. Know the true enemy.
5. No Man is an Island.
6. Where is the Line?
7. Closing Statements

((Edit: Below I will reserve several posts to fill out this thread.))

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:53 PM | #2
When Does PvP Begin?

Quote: Originally Posted by Orson Scott Card
"Why weren't you ready?" asked Dap. "You had your suits just as long as they did. You had just as many minutes flapping like drunken ducks. Stop moaning and we'll begin." -----Ender's Game.

I find it suiting to cover this topic as the immediate follower to my opening statement. Now, to many I suspect the answer should seem pretty simple. Doesn't PvP begin when the queue pops and you begin zoning into the warzone?

My answer is no. MMO-PvP truely begins at the log in screen. I do not mean this in some spiritual sense of getting in your happy place and how a good attitude will win a fight. Quite literally, PvP begins at the log in screen. From the very moment you log in, choose your server, and click the "Create" button, your fight has started.

A common misconeption is that MMO-PvP is suppose to be fair. While I agree a game should be fair, the very genre of the MMO is a life simulation. In a Non-Progression Shooter, you play a nameless character. When they spawn they have no past, they have no future. A kill or obective reached does not strengthen them, just as in a loss they are not weakened. MMO's are Progression. The fairest point you will ever be at with another player is the beginning and the end. Level 1 to Max Level gear. All encounters inbetween are unfair by design, and are a reflection of every effort you have put forth since your character was born. Log in, type /played, and see just how old your character is. You may be shocked to find your 6 month old character is really only 10 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes. Likewise your opponents 2 Month old character is 15 days, 8 hours, and 57 minutes. Even at level 50, you are not equal by design, your opponents character being 5 days more progressed then yours.

(My WH commando was started 2 or so months ago, and is 13 days old and in WH gear.)

Once you embrace that, you will have a better handle on all things. Everything you have done up until the actual, physical encounter with another player impacts your success. This is true, because you do not begin the game as max level. You do not begin the game with all datacrons, max level gear, all skills, in a guild, in a group, with complete knowledge of your class. Neither does your enemy. You both build your character up from the ground, and when you finally clash your level of preparation will be just as important as your physical "skill."

This is a simple truth that must be understood.

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:54 PM | #3
There is No Honor

Quote: Originally Posted by Sirlin
The scrub would take great issue with this statement for he usually believes that he is playing to win, but he is bound up by an intricate construct of fictitious rules that prevents him from ever truly competing. These made-up rules vary from game to game, of course, but their character remains constant.
I feel this post will be fairly short, but it is the toughest subject I personally faced. I apologize that my words will mirror closely with the text I've asked all to read, but Sirlin perhaps puts it best.

As the title states, there is no honor in PvP. In any game, there are legal moves and illegal moves. A legal move in an MMO can often walk a grey line, considering the buggy nature of such a beast. Simply put though, a legal move in PvP is any tool, ability, or action that the game allows you to make, that has not be explicitly ruled by the Dev's as a bug.

To elaborate:

1. Grouping up to 4 is a legal move. Game mechanics do not prohibit it.
2. Consumables are a legal move. Game mechanics do not prohibit it.
3. Gear is a legal move. Game mechanics do not prohibit it.
4. Running away from a fight is a legal move. Game Mechanics do not prohibit it.
5. etc...

Illegal moves will be covered in a future section.

The most crucial thing any player can take from this concept is that there are no "cheap moves." If the game allows, players will use it. Not using it is gimping yourself.

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:54 PM | #4
Know the True Enemy

Quote: Originally Posted by Doomsdaycomes
I was once playing on a young toon, a Merc, during a Voidstar match many, many months ago. I found myself victim to a higher level Shadow named Dist. Dist killed me over and over again, taking me out of combat within moments of my arrival. My blood boiled, my sense of foul played flared. Shamefully hit /say and cussed them out, called them a coward, told them they would be nothing without their levels/gear/stealth/coolsoundingname. Naturally they laughed, and continued to remove me from combat again and again. This blood fued lasted days, my sense of pride hurt by what had seemed such a vicious and unprovoked attack. On further incident, the attacks became provoked from my constant verbal abuses to this player.

I finally logged over to the other side to confront Dist and apologize for my childish behavior in the hopes they would lighten up on me. When I spoke to the faceless killer finally, I found a fun loving, polite person and not the ******e I had expected. I truely... utterly did not know what to make of it.

This theme ties as heavily into sportsmanship as it does empathy. It also relies heavily on a sense of reality, and that reality is; The other players are not your Enemy.

Another player will always be your opponent in PvP, it is the nature of the beast. Rarely though, is another player truely your enemy. It is rare that someone is out to get you for anything but strategic reasons, unless something has caused this bad blood. It could be an issue of bad communication, or the other player could be immature and take your actions seriously. In those cases, it is important to understand their aggression is misguided.

It was taught, and I hope it still is, that Sportsmanship is a virtue. Win or lose, teams conduct themselves with respect and maturity. As a human being, empathy is also a virtue. Yet, even though we may feel and understand another's suffering, we must hold enough realism and self preservation to not take their suffering unto ourselves needlessly.

You might give a beggar a dollar, but you're not going to give him your rent and become homeless too. Likewise, it is important to know that someone defeating you in PvP is not doing so from malice. They may fully understand their time and effort has given them an advantage of you, but like the beggar they wouldn't give their rent to, they will not give away their earned advantage to you. Nor should you expect them to, or hate them for not doing so.

Who is the true enemy?

The true enemy is forgetting that the other player is just like you, human.

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:55 PM | #5
No Man is an Island

This section is being reworked to provide a more in context theory, rather than what most would deem a "L2P posting."

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:56 PM | #6
Where is the Line?

A very simple rules:

The Line is:

When it becomes Illegal moves. Explicitly stated bugs/exploits are cheating as seen by Bioware. Hacking is cheating. It has no place in a Play to Win mentality. (And in case someone actually thinks of it, breaking someone's hands to stop them from winning inside the game is not only over the line, but possibly a federal offense.)

The line is also when it gets personal. The most important thing to remember is that while you should always be trying to win, your opponent is only trying to do the same. At the end of the day, you both log off, breath the same air, and hopefully get some sleep. When PvP becomes personal, everyone suffers.

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:56 PM | #7
Closing Statements

I want to thank all who stuck with me on this long text. As someone mentioned, it may seem preachy, lofty, and way -too- serious for something like a game.

It is my solid hope though, that if it has not changed your mentality, it has atleast given you some thoughts. I see alot of anger, I see alot of accusations and personal insults flying. I have sent some myself, since I'm human. We are not enemies here, whether we differ on opinions or not. We are not bound to any law in game but the game mechanics. We are human, we are real and this game is fake. We must all learn that suffering, anger, humiliation, and despair are all products of a mentality that takes ruthlessness personally. It is not personal.

Play to Win, fun will follow in victory or defeat.


Update/Change log.

11/6/12: First Post, incomplete secondary posts.
11/7/12: No Man is an Island removed. Where does PvP begin lengthened. Closing Statements updated.

DaedalusV's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 11:58 PM | #8
The cake is a lie
"you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
Aërwyn Sage Blitzkrieger Sentinel Sk'ye Guardian

DrewFromPhilly's Avatar

11.07.2012 , 12:18 AM | #9
1. Grind War Hero and exploit your gear advantage.

There is no step 2.

Doomsdaycomes's Avatar

11.07.2012 , 01:11 AM | #10
Error in Posting.