I got a message on WHA the other day from a well known Order player, he was thanking me for how I handled a little situation we’d got into and mentioned it was rare to see such sportmanship. I’d been walking through a quiet area in Praag when the infamous Ironbreaker attacked me and we instantly went at it one on one. I think I was going to lose the fight, but I wasn’t getting horrifically spanked or anything, it was a good fight. Anyway, a passing Destruction player randomly charged in and so I backed out and let the Ironbreaker deal with him, rather than have it turn into a ganking and tarnish what had been a fair fight.
His post about it has got me wondering; is it really that rare for people to show sportsmanship in WAR?
I guess it depends on your own standards, people will have different expectations of what is fair or not, their own definition of sportsmanship. You could say we all write our own Bushido code of honourable pixel based combat. I suppose by my own personal code it is pretty rare. I will always take people on 1v1, will tell guildies to “leave them to me” and in general will make a choice over whether I join in other people’s fights based upon how fair I think the fight is. Unless of course the enemy is well known for being a twat or merciless ganker, they can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. So that backing out when others pile in wasn’t an unusual moment for me. I know I’m possibly a bit odd, playing a computer game against faceless opposition and giving a toss about being fair, but for me it adds to the game experience. This whole honour lark is not because I’m a roleplayer or anything (nothing against them, I’m just too lazy), but I love the atmosphere of it in MMOs. Two enemy warriors roaming the land looking for challenges, randomly meeting in some desolated battlefield and going at it in some testosterone fuelled duel. I think my MMO baptism in Ultima Online and the “Eternal Knights of the Circle” guild made a long-term impression, it was a brilliant guild with a very strict code of conduct and was a bit of a roleplaying chivalric type affair.
However I’m very aware most people don’t give a rats arse about fair fights, certainly when solo it’s not often other people don’t take the opportunity to try and gank me. And actually I don’t care at all, they are under no obligation to play by my rules and it just gives me a chance to try and embarrass them by killing all of them at once. I remember a fight in Reikland recently where a Witch Hunter who jumped me was losing badly, so his 3 guild mates (that at first were just watching) decided to join in and gank me. Unfortunately (for them) a combination of my stagger, other crowd control, sword & shield set up and their being… well… not great, it led to them all respawning hopefully rather red faced. Moments like that make the many times I get brutally ganked worth it.
Not that I’m saying playing with honour makes you a better player or person. There is an argument about your in-game actions reflecting your real life personality, but I don’t entirely buy that. The anonymity of the internet, plus the fact we’re talking about games and the death of pixels, twists people’s behaviour and I don’t think its as straight-forward as saying all gankers are wankers in real life. Though readers of Karak Norn’s WHA server forum have seen the line crossed recently, with online behaviour (thankfully not in game) that I’ll make no such excuses for. Utterly despicable behaviour and anyone justifying it is either a child or morally deficient. I’ll not link it; people will know what I’m talking about.
So how do you play? Is it pure red is dead and nothing else matters? Are there situations you will let play out? Or are you as anally retentive about playing fair as I am?