Out in the Ettenmoors in LotRO as my weaver, there is nothing I enjoy more than seeing the name of someone I know running towards me, and then seeing them killed. We laugh about it when not in PvMP (player vs monster player, as it is in that game). I like to think they get the same buzz out of killing me too.
The same happened on DAoC with RvR. Ok, so it’s not quite the same, because we could only play one realm per server (as WAR will be), but it didn’t take long for a few players to become pretty ‘famous’ in the RvR zones. I always preferred being killed by one of these famous people than by someone I’d never heard of, and in the same vein I got an extra buzz from seeing them brought down.
And that seems the mark of a good, healthily competitive server community. Sure there will be whines on either side, complaints about ganking, zergfests and all the other emotive issues that come hand-in-hand with PvP. But there’s also a chance for some friendly banter on server forums (whichever forum you and your server-mates pick out of the ones that are going to spring up as soon as we get the server names). I hope it goes that way, especially on the server I play on!
We were discussing yesterday how much more fun and personal PvP (or RvR) can be when you recognise a lot of the names you see both among your realm mates and the opposing team. Like Arbitrary says, people collect reputations, and it is a buzz to be involved in a fight with one of the top names on the server and their tricked out group. Sure, most of the time you may lose but that one time when you didn’t is the one you will be talking about for a long time. My husband still grins when talking about the time in DaoC when our group managed to surprise and kill one of the top name Hibbie groups on the server and his name went out in the zone-wide kill spam.
In WoW, veteran players will remember that servers used to be like this. You used to only ever see characters from your own server in battlegrounds, and it did give each server a better sense of community. They changed it and allowed cross-server queues and battlegrounds as a fix to realm balance issues. In the ‘old days’ it could take hours (or even days) for some of the battlegrounds to come up, because there just weren’t enough people queueing. These days, your PvP groups will be full of strangers with weird names who you may never see again, but you don’t have to queue very long at all. It changed the feel of battleground PvP immensely and it became a dull impersonal experience that no one really cared about.
Although there are still many questions about population balance that need to be answered, I am sure we won’t be queueing for days to get /some/ PvP action. And there will be a lot of scenarios running, if only because RvR is so engrained into the game (unlike WoW, where a lot of people have no interest) and although not everyone likes the scenario-style mini-game, it is a good way to get a quick fair fight. We’re both looking forwards to killing people we recognise and being killed by them in WAR! How about you?