Friday, 11 June 2010

Honourable combat: pixels at dawn

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?


  1. The other side of that argument is that ORvR is not about having a fair fight. You get that in instanced PvP like scenarios and city sieges. ORvR is about being in a war zone where the side that has the higher numbers, the better coordination and the better tactics wins. The appeal of ORvR at least to me is that there anything can happen unlike in scenarios etc.

  2. That is a good point and one I actually completely agree with. When roaming I fully accept that it is my own rule set and nothing more. I think if it were official then it would actually get dull fast, the uncertainty of seeing what situation will arise adds a great deal of drama. And makes the honourable moments stand out from the norm.

  3. I'd never leave a fight just due to someone on my side adding (probably just wanting to help). It probably isn't "fair play" to fight 2 vs 1 at once but neither is letting your realmmate down. On the other side if some order player adds me while fighting a 1 vs 1 and due to that i lose - who cares? I know I was outnumberes so I don't have to feel bad and I still got the good fight before.
    I remember my DAoC times where at some point I no longer had fun running into RvR as everyone was about their "fair fights" and "group vs group". If you were running alone you were probably ganked by one of those groups and if you tried to follow your own realm's groups they got the enemies to get rid of you without attacking your other "realmmates". Destroyed the game for me and many others and I'm quite happy that this doesn't happen in WAR due to missing roaming etc.
    Also if you'd like fair fights, meet somewhere off the heat of the battle in some locked area - not where everyone roams. ;)

  4. Yeah I have to agree, that was really cool of you to back out.

    However, I've never really understood those looking for the 1 on 1 fights. The point of the gameis RvR, complete imbalance. If you get upset that your 1 on 1 is ruined, you are really in the wrong game. WAR isn't fair. It tries, but it's not.

    Especially if you have classes made to kill others. A WH /laughing over the zealots body he just killed shows about as much class as a redneck laughing at that fish he taped to the front of his gun. Congrats, you can button smash effectively.

    If I'm running down the street and I see combat, I'm a healer, my interest is there. I'm going to assist.

  5. Was this DJJOLLE? He is a great guy and fun to have on the team.

    I think in a one versus one situation it's okay to back off if someone else jumps in but only if it is a isolated fight. If it is just part of a wider fight and the order guy is loosing then yeah I step in.


  6. I have to agree with Ayleen, for me it is more honorable to make sure my realm-mate survives the battle than to give order a straight up 1 on 1 fight. Not sure what I would feel if I rushed in to aid a fellow combatant only to see them back out of the fight. If you want to do straight up then you should probably say so to the person coming to your "aid." If they continue to fight then you would be free to back off. That's just my opinion though and almost everyone's opinion is valid. Almost.

  7. Hi Von - nah it wad Santsu, though I must say I have a lot of time for Djolle. One of the best IBs out there and we've had many great fights.

    Others ;) - oh don't get me wrong I don't think WAR is a soloing game, I probably spend most of my time grouped. Though I do think a similar mindset for group play can lead to some great group v group fighting, it's one of the reasons KF try to fight away from the zergs. More fun and more of a challenge.

    As for my solo roaming, I think it's down to how I judge it situationally really, when we're properly attacking or defending a zone then I'm less likely to be looking for solo fights, it's more when roaming in locked or quiet zones. I think I need a macro for asking to be left to try them solo, as typing will result in death anyway. ;)

    And there is definately an argument against backing out, if people are just trying to help.

  8. actually backing off is a good and quick way of showing that you want the fight to be 1v1, most players either knows what it means or become confused, stop attacking and learn what it means. about 90% of the time i wil shortly afterwards recieve a tell along the lines of "sorry didn't realise you where dueling".

    That being said, one of the main reasons why i back off is because i want fair or unfair fights to the other persons advantage. the joy of winning a fight is really about how hard i think the fight wil be, going into it. similar i'll rarely engage a foe who's grey or who didn't stand a chance during the first fight.

    Though as with boots if we're acctaully trying to lock a zone there's no mercy. Though then engageing soloers is ussaly a waste of time since you should always either be defending/attacking something or heading somewhere to defend/attack something.


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.