Ever notice how angry tortoises look when they have sex? Kind of look a bit like a cross between Norman Tebbit and a daily mail reader at a Polish gay pride parade. I mean it’s demonic and quite upsetting.
I know how upsetting as a kindly lady complained angrily about her child seeing such horrors in the garden centre today. In fact she felt that this shouldn’t happen and she certainly didn’t expect for her child to see Norman Tebbits sex face when she came out today.
What does this have to do with PVP? Well the phrase ‘I didn’t consent to PVP’ or ‘I don’t want PvP in my game’ comes up internet and much like that lady who was didn’t ask for Norman the tortoises love making, they don’t want it to be there. Be it EvE online players new to the game and feel they should be safe, LARPers who feel that they don’t want to take part in that bit of the game, to role players who feel that a party should work together towards a common goal.
Much like Norman the tortoises leering face they would rather not have it thank you very much. Who would blame them, they turned up to play a game and they should be able to play it the way they want to, it’s not down to some elitist twat to tell them how to play right? Well it depends, did you sign up for a game that is a PvP game? Are your expectations realistic?
A good example is EvE online, a game created by notorious Ultima player killers as a a PvP game based around player space battles and economic warfare. Is it fair to expect going into it to expect to avoid PvP? Not really, go play a game where you have to opt in and out of PvP instead, it’s pretty easy with computer games. It’s cut and dry. LARP however is a very different beast, It’s more like a very angry tortoise gang bang, filled with lots of different opinions on ‘the right way to play’. Lots of people who think their way is right.
In LARP, especially fest systems, you are at the mercy of other people in a largely social setting with people not constrained by artificial game boundaries. People by and large suck and need legislation in the real world not to be tossers, let alone when they are being ‘Barry the power fantasy barbarian’.
There is an argument to stop PvP as some people are just going out and killing people for a laugh, however apparently your not allowed to stamp on other peoples throats. This kind of behavior isn’t PvP, it’s being a tosser and is what causes PvP to get a bad name.
Games like Fools and Heros have a very strict set of rules on PvP, don’t do it unless you have been given the go ahead by a NPC and your an assassin you wont be getting your murder on. You know what your getting going in. It’s in the rules. However it could be described as artificial, and what are the consequences for calling someones mum a whore? Seriously, are you telling me Barry is going to put up with that?
Try something like Curious Pastimes though where there is a chance you can actually get murdered on the path on the way to the toilet by another player and possible have your soul T-bagged. Do you have the right to complain about this if you don’t want to take part? All you want to do is play the game your way after all.
Well no you don’t. Here’s why. You agreed to it by taking part. Your taking part in a Drama and bring a character to life, therefore there will be conflict. In Curious Pastimes your joined a fantasy world with competing factions where people get killed. and life is quite cheap. At night the paths are unsafe, hell during the day a CP game can be bloody scary just from roaming monster crews let alone a Drow going ‘shopping’. These are well know parts of the CP game along with some of the most audacious assassinations and the ability to get away from it if you want (and you know what your doing). However the consequences for getting caught generally wont end with a trial, you will probably killed and chucked in a ditch. Risk and reward at it’s best. Now don’t get the idea that CP is full of mass murdering players looking to add notches to their belts, but death is a fact of CP life. Murdering alchemists to drive prices up and corner the market on a recipe is a valid tactic. There is a genuine sense of threat in the CP universe and that there are consequences for shooting your mouth off.
More importantly than that though your engaging in PvP every time you do something to follow your agenda, if that agenda doesn’t meet with someone else’s. Be it a political goal, an attempt at power, or just getting cash. Every time you get some cash, someone else doesn’t. You rise in political power? Guess what, someone else doesn’t. PvP isn’t just killing people, it’s part of life, it’s what people do to each other. In a game like Empire this is brought into stark reality where there are limited resources and a system that allows for legal/religious and political power plays. In fact this social PvP gives the game it’s teeth, without it to be you would be sitting in a field counting your resources waiting for a battle to turn up.
One of the things that drives a story better than anything else is conflict, human conflict is the source of most of our great fiction. Be that the arguments in Battle of the planets or how well everyone gets on in Reservoir Dogs. Conflict is important to drama, and PvP adds to that and gives a consequence or reason to your shouty role play. PvP gives risk to your actions and you can’t complain the refs have got it in for you when there is a consequence for your actions as it’s a player responding to your role-play. The world is more alive as cause and effect is at play.
I for one smiled inside when Hart almost stabbed me up at a CP game because i wouldn’t roll over and agree with him, it meant that what i said had mattered, yeah we could have argued and no-one gets hurt, but then it’s just words and it meant nothing. There should be consequences within the context of player interactions. This no different to going onto the battlefield when you know your character can’t die due to Ming. I’m sure it’s good for you when your fapping in the mirror, but your actions are less important than second spod on the left who has no vet picks, as that spod is actually taking a risk. That battle matters to the character.
I’m not saying get out there and go on a killing spree, just accept that PvP can bring something to a game more than just some dead bodies and that player interactions should have consequences more than two people shouting and then touching themselves about how great their role play was.
So next time your playing get your tortoise sex face on.