Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ganking Revisited

My friend, Tomas, recently posted on his blog a query about our best or worst times involved with Ganking. [HERE(as Tomas would say it)]. I'd also like to pose a question, and hopefully open some discussion, about the moral, ethical, political, social, environmental, and any other -al concerns about Ganking.

For instance, one of the responses I've given in the past when confronted about ganking is: "We're at war, right? When you see an armed enemy combatant in the middle of a war, do you wave at him, smile, and go your merry way? I don't think so."

Or, for short: "If it's red, it's dead."

There is an expansive story line leading up to the time period in which we inhabit Azeroth, and a deep political climate that, I believe, transcends most of our day-to-day understanding of this so-called war.

From what I can tell, these two great factions, the Alliance and the Horde, are in a situation akin to a modified cold war. There are disputed territories that each is trying to obtain either covertly or more forcefully. There are "terrorists" that are loosely connected to the factions, that stage assaults against key targets of the opponent's innermost territory. Of course the leaders of the factions disavow any "orders from above" related to these fanatics.

So, all this is going on with or without you. But, what I want to know is, from a role playing perspective -- your character's perspective, perhaps -- how do you address the opposing faction? In other words, do you see them as people just like you, trying to make a living and survive in a harsh world, who have been thrown into a conflict not of their making? Or do you see them as inherently evil and hostile, and must be stopped at all costs? Or perhaps a combination. When it comes down to it, these deep thinking decisions ultimately affect how you deal with a "ganking" situation. Are you one of those who kills everything on sight? Do you practice some discretion? Do you kill only if attacked or threatened, or by necessity? I assure you that over a certain amount of gameplay time, you have developed your own ideals, whether or not you acknowledge them or even realize they exist. These fundamental ideals (perhaps based on real life experience and ideals) guide your hand at nearly every turn in the game.

So, the underlying questions:

1) What have you observed about your own in-game "ganking/fighting" characteristics, and can you relate them to something more fundamental in your own ideals, or the role-playing ideals of the game?

2) Do you think Blizzard is akin to a passive creator deity that designs a world, and sits back to let us, the players, decide the course of things (as in how violent or peaceful a particular server is based on the resident players), or do you think Blizzard is more manipulative, and seeks to force us to be more violent, finding new and improved ways to encourage ganking, raiding, etc.? Take into consideration the Battlegrounds and Honor patches, and whether the intent was to lessen wanton violence (and concentrate it more on "proving grounds" or keep it more even (less higher vs. lower character ganking)), and whether the results coincide with that intent, or whether the intent was to increase overall the violence in the game?

3) Do you think players should have more influence in the political climate of the game? In other words, do you think Blizzard would be willing to have players take on more political/social roles, and actually affect the conflict (e.g., striking peace accords, trade agreements, etc., perhaps in quests), or is that just too complicated? I allude to Star Wars Galaxies as an example of how players can create and live in their own political communities. It's a bit "too" much in SWG for a game like WoW, but could it / should it be done in WoW to a lesser extent?

Let's leave it at that. I am hoping my loyal readers will address at least question #1, and perhaps ponder the others for the time being. I know it's a lot. I'll be thinking up my own response, as well.

Valete, amici et amicae!

[an extra point if you can guess what battle, time period, opponents, or anything else is depicted in the picture above]


Blogger Theodred said...

Its a game - enjoy it!

I think the picture is something to do with the Turks

Thursday, September 01, 2005 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous windpaw said...

damn turks!

Anyway - good post and deserving of some thought. I've *always* wondered about PK'ing (showing my age again) and ganking in particular.

From a socialogical point of view you gotta wonder how a whole demographic of folk just seem drawn to cheap shot the first person they see that has a different perspective of life than they do.

In some cases "it's just a game" works as a valid excuse. In other words:

"I'll gank your sorry Undead Ass in game so that I don't feel the need to put a cap in you when you cut me off on the commute home."

Bliz' has done a good job of showing the races of the Horde to be a complex group with valid motivations and values. They are not simply *eeeviiilll* (well..maybe the Trolls). I like that Bliz didn't cop out and say "Horde = Evil" and "Alliance = Good" - for them to have done that would have been boring. (Check out the history of the Blood Elves in the WOW history - suxxors to be them!)

Problem is - a lot of gamers *prefer* this Black v. White scenario of Good v. Evil and thus imoliment this mindset *in game*

They gank as they feel it's expected of them.

For *my* part - I wish there were more interaction between Horde and Alliance. The Tauren are an excellent example of a Horde race that could co-exist with many races on both sides.

If anything - I wish there were a third faction "The Un-Damn-Decided" who could freely move between factions (though at risk.)

I like the complexity of the backstory - diluting it via gankfest seems a waste. At the same time -

we are at war.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Well, two and a half of you have guessed.

Theo: Turks
Windpaw: Copycat
Anorn: Waterloo

The correct answer is:

The Battle of Vienna, in 1683.

It was the first large-scale battle of the Habsburg-Ottoman Wars.

Ooh, isn't history fun!

Thursday, September 01, 2005 2:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anorn said...

Psyae, this is directed towards you so i thought i'd post it in YOUR blog.

Do have any idea for the knight commander reqs for my guilds rank system? Going off the help/join guildies in instance thing i got goin on, what could you reccommend?

Im only 50, so dont know what is a reasonable req.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Anorn, nice of you to join us. ;)

Let me think over your question for a bit before I blurt out an answer. I promise to have one tonight.


Thursday, September 01, 2005 6:49:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Well, first of all, you need to make sure that the scale is set so that getting from Lieutenant to Commander is harder than getting from Master Sergeant to Lieutenant. I think the Knight Commander rank should be even more challenging than normal, so here are my suggestions.

- Lead 1 Lieutenant and 2 Master Sergeants through all of Scarlet Monastery (Twice) / Lead 2 Lieutenants through at least the temple portion of Zul Farrak


- Lead 4 Master Sergeants through all of Scarlet Monastery (Twice) / Lead 2 Lieutenants through at least the temple portion of Zul Farrak


- Lead any portion of Lieutenant/Master Sergeants through SM (Twice) / Lead at least 2 Lieutenants through the entirety of Zul Farrak

[any total party wipes (without SS or other near-immediate recovery) will not count toward total]

What I would do is allow any one of these suggestions to become Knight Commander. I believe it's balanced, but feel free to tweak it. Of course, when I use the word "lead," I'm understanding it to really mean lead, as in give orders, make plans and strategies, decide on looting rules, and not just to go along for the ride. Really really lead. Hope this helps some.

Friday, September 02, 2005 8:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anorn said...

Hey, i like it!

I also agree with you on lead. You'll notice in my orignal plan on Wind's site, that i have reqs that are "join" and "lead". I plan on checking with the guild members that were led through to make sure the candidate is up to snuff.

Thanks, Psyae. I may tweak it a bit, but i like the difficulty.

Friday, September 02, 2005 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Any time.

oh, you should add that the candidate for promotion must supply the entire guild with cookies to even be considered.


Friday, September 02, 2005 9:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm absolutely against the "if its red, its dead" type attitude. I only ever shoot for those who could pose a challenge. Of course, If I'm attacked, or I see someone else being attacked, I'll step in. I love ganking gankers ^^.

Monday, September 05, 2005 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Ganking gankers is one of my most fun pasttimes. What I especially like to do is sneak around till I find someone on my own side who is just grinding or questing or whatever, but who looks like they'd be the perfect ganking victim. I don't let them know I'm there, but I wait till the enemy comes and tries to gank, then I pounce. It's so fun to imagine the looks on the faces of the victims (shock, ack, I'm getting ganked, wha? I'm not dead? how'd that happen), and the looks on the faces of the would-be gankers (hah, look at this turd, ready to die, hah, take that, and that, and, hey, why is my HP at half, at 1/5, at, damn, I'm dead!). Hah!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Jed said...

Haha, I love doing that, just being the guardian in the shadows of some lowbie. There was actually one time that I was part of a rogue anti- ganking squad in WPL, twas one of my most fun moments in WoW.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it doesn't bother me if some horde guy happens to go through redridge and ganks me while i'm doing whatever. but its the ones who kill the gryphon master and camp there waiting for low level alliance toons to kill. that's just lame.

Friday, September 22, 2006 10:09:00 PM  

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