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View Full Version : To PVP or Not to PVP



Avenger Angel
25th October 2011, 8:32 PM
Simple question. Do you prefer RPGs where people take opposing sides and characters confront each other, or do you prefer RPGs where characters controlled by role players are all on the same side and work together?

Personally, I think RPGs with a PVP aspect are a bit better so all sides get as much development and see as much screen time, and no one side is just a punching bag of NPCs to slaughter for the other side with all the main characters in it. People almost never allow their characters to fail against NPCs, and player-controlled characters seem to have an obscene amount of luck against a side that's just NPCs ripe for the picking. Meanwhile, opening up PVP encourages people to be creative and inventive, and challenges both sides rather than gives one side all the benefit of the doubt.

So, what's your preference?

Griff4815
25th October 2011, 8:57 PM
I prefer non-PvP RPGs, but that's not to say the two have to be mutually exclusive. For example, in Digimon: Unholy Crusade, the characters mainly fought agains NPCs, but in a few situations, they fought against each other too. I also don't think that PvP RPGs are immune to the effects of an RPer's arrogance either. In fact, I think that PvP has a larger chance of power playing/godmodding. My reasoning is that, when fighting NPCs, you can make your characters lose on your own terms (and I've seen this a lot), but when fighting another Rper's characters, you both are going to be trying your hardest to make your character win over the other. Competitiveness and arrogance in one's characters can shine through here when one gets determined to make their character win because they don't want to lose to the other person. I have seen this with battles against NPCs too though. It's all about who you're RPing with.

I also don't really like the idea of my characters dying just because another person can spin a battle their way. That's another thing that can encourage somebody not to lose.

Also, with non PvP RPGs, the characters are usually together and this makes things easier plot-wise. If there's an good side and an evil side and all these other characters going off doing their own thing, things can become confusing and messy. It's okay to have evil characters and neutral characters, but if there's no communication and focus than things tend to kind of go down hill.

Monster Guy
25th October 2011, 9:38 PM
Also, with non PvP RPGs, the characters are usually together and this makes things easier plot-wise. If there's an good side and an evil side and all these other characters going off doing their own thing, things can become confusing and messy. It's okay to have evil characters and neutral characters, but if there's no communication and focus than things tend to kind of go down hill.

To some degree, I find it easier when everyone is doing their own thing, at least to start. This way, I don't have several posts of people talking to my character that I now have to respond to while I'm trying to figure out what to do next, and I don't have to wait for someone else to respond before I can make a move while everyone else is miles ahead of me. Plus, being "alone" to begin with lets me develop the character the way I want, and I can follow the plot at my own pace. (I tend to have multiple characters who already know each other, so there is character interaction, just those characters are controlled by me. xD)

A lot of the time when there's player vs. player, battles tend to drag on forever, or always end in a draw, because no one is willing to lose. :/ Plus, god forbid the other person should suddenly disspear from the internet in the middle of a fight, and you're waiting on them to make a move before you can do anything...

That's not to say some player vs. player isn't good, it just depends on the players involved.

Avenger Angel
25th October 2011, 9:38 PM
Well, just because your character is defeated doesn't mean they have to die. Besides retreating, there are a variety of other fates your character could succumb to without being dead. Plus, there's always a possibility of escape and pulling a fast one if you're clever, resourceful, and inventive enough. It's also possible your character could try to heal or repair the damage done to them over time. And worse case scenario, your character dies, but you want to keep going. Do something interesting, like make a new character that swears to avenge the death of your first one because the were a friend or a family member of the character you lost. And/or make a sign up for one of the NPCs you made and take command of them instead. There are plenty of easy and practical solutions to a character dying, enough to the point where losing one shouldn't be such a tragedy.

Also, the less you are personnally attached to your character, the better. If you use a beloved character layout you've been using for years, chances are really good you'll give them Mary/Gary Sue aspects in your stubborn efforts not to allow anything truly bad happen to them. A lot of people view their character as their own personal avatar, and that usually results in them being too overpowered in that person's effort to make this character seem powerful in this fantasy world they're in. Point is, if people don't get so personally attached, having a character take the fall every now and then isn't such a bad thing. By all means, enjoy role playing your character and don't make them a wretch you can't stand for five minutes, but don't go and make them so admirable to you that you build a shrine for them. Even so, if you really like the character you're controlling, understand that the failures they endure and the challenges they have to struggle against define their personality way more than their successes do. Smooth waters don't build a strong sailor.

A good PVP battle between two characters should leave them both with injuries and/or loss of assets at the end of it. The best PVP-based RPGs I've been in had RPers willing to take non-lethal blows and injuries all the time, and be willing to allow some of their assets to be destroyed, stolen, or lost. Truth is, you can heal injuries, and you can rebuild the things you lose in most cases. It keeps the storyline compelling, intriguing, and enjoyable more than one where you already know who is going to win because it's the side with all the RPers in it.

Kamotz
25th October 2011, 10:06 PM
While I do agree just about 100% with what you're saying, especially with regards to how to handle a PVP fight, not (and I might even go with "most") everyone has that kind of mature standpoint. Allowing a character to lose, or be injured, or break their prized possessions/weapons/armor doesn't come easy...to say nothing of your dying idea. Like it or not, people become attached to their characters, just as they become attached to characters they're reading...if not more-so because it's their creation. Not only that, but it essentially is their avatar into the world of that RPG. That's what represents them in the story.

That said, I'm not opposed to PVP if the parties involved can handle the situation creatively and maturely. However, from a practical GM's standpoint it's much more difficult to run a PVP RPG. It means that there are at least two different (and competing) storylines to direct and manage. You're essentially running two different RPGs with intersecting storylines at various places. To compensate, or perhaps make it easier to manage, the story often becomes about the characters fighting one another instead of the character development. And each event becomes a "let's fight the other side again" sort of thing. When this doesn't happen, you run the risk that players in one camp might be more or less active, meaning that the different sides move at different paces, and one might greatly outpace the other regardless of how diligent the GM is.

I also have to disagree with your character-death idea. It's very practical, don't get me wrong, and you offer good solutions to a character-death, but death for death's sake or gratuitous violence should never be the reason. A character-death should accomplish something, whether story-wise or development-wise for that character. Remember, these aren't (just/even) "people" who have to follow real-world "rules." They're characters and an element (perhaps the most important element) of the story. To simply cut them out abruptly is actually more detrimental to the story than allowing them to continue (For minor characters and NPCs, yes, there should be much less hesitation when it comes to killing them off. But it shouldn't be done just for the sake of it or it becomes a plot tool and boring). A character's story is much more interesting if the character is confronted by their own failings and faults after the fighting than if the faults lead to their death and removal from the story.

InnerFlame
25th October 2011, 10:13 PM
I could go both ways, personally I find PvP quite fun. It's a battle of two real people and the outcome isn't set in stone. Yet a good amount of time, it seems quite uneven. In many PvP I've been in when there is a defined evil and good, most tends to go to the good side leaving a few 'bad' characters against an outnumbering amount of good guys. Often time they use their sheer numbers to win over them. In one I was the only hunter dog vs. a pack of like 7 wolves and my allies were just NPCs. Of course I couldn't win aganist them as they would help one another and I had no one.

I tend to love my characters to bits whether they a good or bad and I would hate to see them die but I'm not so hung up to them that I think their undefeatable. Even if they are very skilled and tend to win if a stronger opponent comes around or they're simmply not prepare for a battle I'm not going to assume they make it work and win.

CaptainCombusken
26th October 2011, 12:02 AM
Thing is, I find it difficult to RP as anyone who isn't quite similar to me (personality-wise. They can be an albino bear for all I care, but they must act like me.). I often exaggerate certain aspects (I'm not really as reckless as Zack Robertson, for example) but a lot of their personality traits are my personality traits. I just can't pretend to be an idiot or a harsh and ruthless person. I'd make them TOO obviously that personality. So therefore, because they're so much like me, I do get very attached to my characters. I wouldn't ever kill my own character off. A necessary NPC death, perhaps, but not my own PC.

Going back to the main question, I'd have to say on balance Non PvP. I'd happily RP in a PvP if it was run well, but given the choice, I say non PvP. I tried a PvP before and running it and keeping every side in check was difficult.

AudinoGlitch
26th October 2011, 12:07 AM
Non-PVP. That way the fight doesn't pause for a week because someone has a vacation.

Guywhoiam
26th October 2011, 12:12 AM
I like RPs where players can be on opposing sides, but do not actually meet in combat. If they ARE to meet in a PvP situation, however, I don't mind so long as they both are reasonable in their fight.

Avenger Angel
26th October 2011, 6:01 AM
I also have to disagree with your character-death idea. It's very practical, don't get me wrong, and you offer good solutions to a character-death, but death for death's sake or gratuitous violence should never be the reason. A character-death should accomplish something, whether story-wise or development-wise for that character. Remember, these aren't (just/even) "people" who have to follow real-world "rules." They're characters and an element (perhaps the most important element) of the story. To simply cut them out abruptly is actually more detrimental to the story than allowing them to continue (For minor characters and NPCs, yes, there should be much less hesitation when it comes to killing them off. But it shouldn't be done just for the sake of it or it becomes a plot tool and boring). A character's story is much more interesting if the character is confronted by their own failings and faults after the fighting than if the faults lead to their death and removal from the story.

I totally get what you're saying.

Without a doubt, character death should be very rare, and only happen during carefully timed events where their death would bear some significant value to the storyline. A character should also really only die when they've taken an overwhelming amount of critical damage, and it's just not possible for them to survive. It's possible they were ganged up on, put up a good fight, but evidently fell to their enemies. If they die doing something heroic, meaningful, or die the death of a warrior, even better. That kind of event can really build a storyline, and give the other characters involved something to reflect on. The side that suffers the lost may be out to avenge the death of their beloved comrade, and the enemy side may use it as a morale booster, or a threat to their opposition. The side that loses their ally may also be out to finish the job they sought to do, or make sure their death was not in vain. The RPer commanding that character should recognize the nature of the situation, be realistic and reasonable, and make the call on what they feel would be a fair decision. Sure, a character should be able to retreat a few times after suffering a defeat. But if they should fall and suffer the ultimate price of failure and defeat, it should be done with honor and grace, and not just drop dead unclimatically like their existence meant nothing. But definitely by no means should a character be forced to die, or be killed in one hit without the RPer commanding them consenting to it. That is just grossly unfair, only causes detriment to the story, and makes it extremely unpleasant for the person losing the character. I would also say that during the duration of the RP, no more than two characters should die. It's not a game of Call of Duty where you die every 45 seconds and you just respawn somewhere with a whole new life.

Without a doubt, no one should value their character more than the storyline and be willing to undermine and spoil it for other people just to make their overpowered character look unbeatable thinking they'll actually get respect from other RPers doing that and they'll be hailed as heroes in the RPG storyline itself. That is a very crucial element. If people give their characters big egos and think they're supposed to be unstoppable, that's a big problem, and it can get real ugly, real fast. I understand if people want their characters to mirror their own personality. That's fine, I do that too, sometimes. But don't make your character the fantastical superhero rendition of yourself. Be mature, be willing to take a loss every now and then, and see things from the perspective of your fellow RPers. If you're willing to be mature, so will they. If you let your character get beat up and let a few of their fond belongings get broken and stolen, other RPers will show you the same courtesy for the sake of the storyline and to build character. But the moment you get bullheaded and inflate your ego into being immune to defeat and failure, you can bet your opposition isn't going to tolerate that one bit, and will just counter with the same kind of stubbornness.

But yes, PVP does have to be closely monitored and handled maturely, or else it just doesn't work. A GM has to referee it like a tug of war. One side can look like they're gaining an edge every now and then, but it shouldn't get to the point where one side completely thrashes the other to pieces before the storyline reaches its climax and people are willing to negotiate a proper epilogue.

PVP can be fun, but people have to be in the right mindset and know ahead of time how to be mature and how to show good sportsmanship about it. If people behave this way, the RPG can and will be very rewarding, interesting, and a whole lot of fun for both sides.

Psychic
28th October 2011, 3:07 AM
For some reason, the SPPf RPG community just evolved this way.

I simply haven't seen many RPs here that ended up working with a PVP battle system. I'd say it's due to a lot of things, most of which have already been pointed out. Additionally, however, I think there's also something to be said about the idea of "yeah, we're all banding together against a force!" This way, RPers all work together to stop X or Y without having to feel divided. They also have the freedom to create their own conflicts, or even separate and do their own thing if they so choose. They don't have to worry that their side will fall to pieces if they do so, or that they'll fall majorly behind if they're a little inactive.

PVP battles do not, it seems to me, tend to play out very well, or at least not as well as a battle against an NPC. Either way, I think a GM is needed in any battle to ensure everybody plays fairly. But as others have said, the issue is that in any battle, even if it's not a fight to the death, players will do their very best to not get beat, no matter how much they have to twist. The higher the stakes, the more irritating it's going to be, because RPers will do whatever it takes to not turn up the loser.


The main issue is that though you bring up good points, PVP RPing here just...isn't everybody's cup of tea. I don't blame you for finding that a little frustrating, because it really is rather silly. I can understand the mindset of not wanting your character to die, and either having to leave an RP you were enjoying or be forced to start an entirely new character from scratch. But yes, it would be nice if PVP could work without people getting upset or taking defeat personally.



Without a doubt, no one should value their character more than the storyline and be willing to undermine and spoil it for other people just to make their overpowered character look unbeatable thinking they'll actually get respect from other RPers doing that and they'll be hailed as heroes in the RPG storyline itself.
Unfortunately, there's a difference between what people should do and what actually happens. Your point is perfectly logical and entirely makes sense. But I've seen enough RPers who want their characters to be special little snowflakes. These are the characters who can't be one-upped, and won't soon forget it if they are. An RP where every character is like that is just irritating.



That is a very crucial element. If people give their characters big egos and think they're supposed to be unstoppable, that's a big problem, and it can get real ugly, real fast.
Oh, it's not just a matter of the characters having big egos - RPers are the same, at least with their character. It's the idea that "oh snaps, my character will be less cool if they lose." That's the problem. It's a silly, immature mindset, but it seems to be prevalent.



Be mature, be willing to take a loss every now and then, and see things from the perspective of your fellow RPers. If you're willing to be mature, so will they. If you let your character get beat up and let a few of their fond belongings get broken and stolen, other RPers will show you the same courtesy for the sake of the storyline and to build character. But the moment you get bullheaded and inflate your ego into being immune to defeat and failure, you can bet your opposition isn't going to tolerate that one bit, and will just counter with the same kind of stubbornness.
This is an excellent point. It would be marvellous if we could start seeing this within RPs. We have to start somewhere, I suppose.


Your post reminds me of a thread from ages ago, where members posted the dying scene for their characters. That was a neat, fun little OOC thread, and could be a good way to get RPers thinking about character death. Just a thought.

~Psychic

Griff4815
28th October 2011, 4:25 AM
Yeah, there's what should be and then there's what often is. My outlook light be on the more cynical side though.


Your post reminds me of a thread from ages ago, where members posted the dying scene for their characters. That was a neat, fun little OOC thread, and could be a good way to get RPers thinking about character death. Just a thought.


What sort of thread was that, exactly? Is it taking a character death scene from a previous RPG? Or coming up with a random situation where your character dies? Is it out of context from whatever RPG they're in?