Shark Bait - by Julie Whitefeather
Sep 11, 2007 16:42:14

This week I did something I haven't done in a long time - I "rolled up" a character on a PVP server (*waves hello to Killshot*). Oh yes, I have done quite a bit of PVP in World of Warcraft (WOW). But as anyone who has ever spent any time on a PVP server will tell you, it is not quite the same thing.

There is a common viewpoint of player versus player combat (PVP) that seems to cross server lines and even games. That viewpoint is one that is usually shared by people who have never done any PVP at all. I compare this viewpoint to the attitude someone has about sharks by someone who has never swum in the ocean. People who have never even seen the ocean often seem to have the idea that sharks are "laying in wait" just off shore, just waiting for them to set one toe in the water. The image that people who have never done any PVP seems to be similar - roving gangs of "12 year olds", as is popularly imagined, hunting down people who are just trying to play the game and want to be left alone.

Now, I have never quite figured out why it always seems to be 12 years olds that get picked, but that always seems to be the imagined age bracket.

My own participation in PvP goes back to my days in Ultima Online (UO). In UO if you wanted to do any PVP you lived on what was called the Fellucia side of Britannia. The virtual world of UO, for those who have never played the game before, is divided in to two mirrored continents - Fellucia (the PVP side) and Trammel (the PVE side). Eventually new continents were added beyond the first, but Fellucia and Trammel were the first parts of UO.

One day I decided to go to Yew to do a bit of crafting. Now as anyone who has ever played UO knows, the Yew area has traditionally been one of the more active PvP areas. At the time, I was in what I thought was a relatively remote area of Yew, and so I decided to take a short break - and I stepped away from the keyboard. You can probably already guess where this is going. When I came back from being AFK I was staring at a black and white world and the ghost of my character in the middle of the screen.

Was I upset?

Not a bit. I was the one who was stupid enough to go AFK in the middle of a PVP zone. But that is not where the story ends. It turns out the person who killed me while I was AFK knew someone who knew me. When they found out that I was a nun I got a tell that said "Oh no! I've killed a nun! I'm going to go to hell!" I assured him that it was my fault for being AFK in the first place, but that if it would make him feel better I would hunt him down and kill his character right back.

In the ensuing years my PVP was mostly done in battlegrounds. Oh there were exceptions to this. There was, for instance, the famous raid by my horde guild (*hello Pod People*) on Ironforge. We came up through the subway tunnels. Oh we though we were sneaky. One by one we were summoned into the tram tunnels between Stormwind and Ironforge. It was to be a secret operation. In the end it was a secret that seemed to be shared with most of Ironforge. By the time most of the guild was summoned onto a small platform in the tunnel, our horde guild was about on a 1 to 1 ratio with dancing night elves. We made our way up the tunnel and into the part of Ironforge where the gnomes practice their engineering - only to be slaughtered mercilessly by so many waiting alliance players that it looked like the "D-Day" invasion in World War II. There were so many players in such a small area that we lagged the entire server. I still have pictures. What a fun time that was.

And so it was with some trepidation that I made the move to Nagafen, a PVP server in EQ2. I had heard stories about the many, many times I could expect to be killed on my way to level 18, where a lot of players lock their characters for PVP. I rolled up my character Gnomercee Irontoes (ok so the last name will have to wait until level 20). Starting out on the new player island I immediately received the warning that the PVP range was 8 levels. Before the evening was over with I had completed all of the quests and took the "boat ride" (the boat doesn't actually move) to Qeynos.

I will admit to being a bit disappointed at this point. It wasn't because I had been killed on the starting island, instead it was because the guild I came to Nagafen to join was a Qeynos guild, which meant I couldn't start as a gnome bruiser. I had my heart set on being evil. The main reason for this is that the Darklight Woods zone that is part of the Echoes of Faydwer expansion is probably the best organized, best laid out starting area in any game I have ever played.

Failing my ability to continue playing in the Darklight Woods zone, I chose my next favorite zone - Greater Faydark, and the city of Kelethin. This meant of course, crossing all of Antonica to get to the Thundering Steppes docks where I could take the boat to the Butcherblock Mountains. Did I die a lot? You bet, but only because my aggro range is about five miles at that low of a level, and while wall walking to stay away from the undead I fell off the side of a mountain a few times. But much to my surprise I was not killed once. No roving gangs of players lying in wait. No PVP what so ever. I am guessing that before level 10 I was not worth the effort.

But I am sure that will change.

See you online,

- Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Sep 11, 2007 16:42:14 CST (comments: 0)


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