I didn’t want to tarnish my own blog by stepping in this steaming pile of fire druid poo, but I got up early, I’m cranky, I had to re-read two comments directed (even indirectly) at me to establish their tone, and frankly, I’m pissy because the last of jobs I applied for called me and said no thanks, dooming me back to part-time land for another year. It’s been a bad few days, so now I’m going to address something I otherwise wasn’t going to address: PvP attitudes.
I commented on Cynwise’s blog yesterday – that was my first mistake – after seeing MMO Melting Pot being fair enough to link the pro-pvp blogs. The message I tried to convey was that the real problem was the lack of empathy and intelligent debate that went on between the two factions, while admitting that I understand why PvPers want to PvP on a PvP server (repeated for grumpy emphasis). Read for yourselves:
Note that this comment is as much to the other comments as to Cyn’s write up.
What bothers me most about this debate is the lack of empathy shown for other players. I despise world PvP but ended up on a PvP server before I was aware of the difference so that I could play with my friends. Despite the fact that you may think this shows my friends don’t care about me, what it shows is that I do care about my friends and am not going to ask them to lay down hundreds of dollars to move all their toons to another server.
Now, I’m aware of my personal responsibility in this matter, and I don’t gripe too much about it (no more than an ordinary person, I’d think). I don’t like that people advocate ganking, but that’s the spirit of the server, so fine. I understand that I’m the one out of place, not the PvPers.
What bothers me is that so many people out there who clearly get a kick out of this sort of thing will sit by and pass judgment on others, suggesting their friendships are invalid, that their spouses and friends – who may of course have jobs and lives and not play at the same time – have abandoned them, that the only solution to the problem is becoming a pvper yourself or leaving (typical argument, by the way; love it or leave it. There’s few stupider arguments in the world).
I can appreciate another player’s right on a PvP server that I signed up for to engage in PvP. I can’t fathom why, though, such a complete intellectual and emotional void exists in discussions over the matter.
Most of this was in response to the typically stupid “If you don’t like PvP, leave our server,” or “Where are your friends? Why don’t they help you PvP?” type argument, though I was irritated by one – and only one – small part of Cyn’s argument, which was that if your friends “make” you play on a PvP server, they’re not really your friends. I feel I did a pretty good job taking responsibility for my situation and making my point. Two more comments came in afterwards, and while I don’t remember signing up for follow ups via email (I never do; I just go check myself a day or two later), I found them in my inbox this morning.
I had to read them a few times, but chalk that up to my early morning, pissy state of mind more than anything else. The best I can gather from them is that they have no sympathy for me and I should just leave my server. They were both politely and eloquently written, but what they both failed to grasp was that was exactly my point. There is no empathy or middle-ground seeking thought in that argument.
So we’re clear about my otherwise private situation, I’m on this server because I joined my friends there. While they certainly wouldn’t “hate” me if I moved to another server (hell I play on 4 servers now anyway), I would lose touch with them if I moved. They were friends I had in New York – not in the town in which I live, which kudos to you if you’re that lucky – neither particularly well off financially. One is unemployed as he takes care of children his mother and father adopted before they passed away who have many and varied special needs, so he lives off the small stipend the government pays his family for taking these kids in. Essentially, his entire life had to get put on hold for these kids that he didn’t even have a choice in the adoption of, or he “sends them back,” which of course would be a guilt-ridden, soul-destroying decision. The other still lives with his parents (it’s pretty common in New York, actually, since real estate and rents are so expensive) and works a part time job because, honestly, he’s a commitment-phobe. He’s a nice guy, don’t get me wrong, but that’s the deal. They don’t have tons of disposable income to spread around, which of course, nor do I, since I seem to be unhirable.
We don’t see each other at all outside of the game, so the suggestion that I simply leave the server is really out of the question, as is the suggestion that we’re in a Bad Friendship because I won’t ask them to spend a lot of money to move toons. So I gripe about PvP from time to time, though pretty rarely overall, but grin and bear it.
Sure, we could use real ID, and I’m sure that’d suffice for a while, but like all relationships, time and distance work hard against them, and without the digital geography available in WoW, we’ve all said that we’d probably not speak anymore. It’s the nature of living apart, which any of you college-age youngsters out there will learn ALL ABOUT in a few years.
I don’t think it’s so mind-blowing that I’d expect a little empathy from others over the situation. I clearly stated I understood that I’m the one out of place, but the only meaningful responses I got boiled down to, “So leave.” I appreciate the kindness of the tone of “Don’t do that to yourself,” but you see, it’s yet another choice to do that to myself because I don’t really see another way this situation works out. It’s great when you’re in a guild with all your friends and you get to shoot the shit all the time, but I’m a 30+ year old man who’s moved over 1000 miles twice in the last 7 years, whose friends are all becoming “adults” and are moving away from silly things like “games” to more adult interests like “lawns,” “sports,” and “Barbeques” (shudder) which makes keeping in touch with them nearly impossible as we no longer have things in common, so I cherish the few friendships I have and am not willing to risk them. I have a hard time understanding how that’s a problem to others.
I’m not sure whether the debate has just raged so hot that it’s impossible to come to any middle ground any more. I only started blogging a few months ago. I wrote on the other “pro-pvp” post that MMO linked that I thought his post was absolutely excellent and was a step in the right direction. He suggested simple tactics that non-pvpers might not be aware of to help defend yourself. He was trying to teach those who were out of place how to survive. That neither apologizes for pvping nor treats carebears like children (or worse), which the condescending tone of several of the comments did.
Of course, the irony is that I do PvP from time to time. I took expansive part in season 9 to really make sure I felt the way I thought I felt about PvP. Being a pally, I went holy, and have plenty of gear for it (about 3k resil). “Defend yourself,” a lot of commentators suggest. Sure thing. I can choose between my holy pvp set or my tank set. Of course, neither can win in a solo PvP battle with a dps, so really it’s just about delaying the inevitable as much as possible, but I guess that’s my fault, too. Silly me for stepping up and doing the hard jobs instead of just being a pvp Dps so I could maim others. How stupid of me.
The writer of that blog, Cryptic, responded to my comment with this:
Thanks. I know no one is going to change their minds over this, but I also understand both sides. It sucks getting camped, sometimes for hours, or being prevented from doing dailies. Sometimes individuals take it so far that even most PvPers would frown on it.
I don’t know why such a nice, sympathetic thought is otherwise so foreign in this debate. This is how we come to a middle ground. This is how we can all go home feeling good.
Unfortunately, I’ve not seen any of the PvPers that he mentions; you know, dear reader, the thinking, feeling kind.
Stubborn (who’s putting on his fire suit)