Random world PvP: Asshattery or Adventurism?

Hello all!

In keeping with my tradition of saying whatever the hell is on my mind at the time, let’s talk about world PvP.

I’m not gonna talk about nice, organized, determined armies of players rolling on up to take out the enemy leaders and get Bears to ride. Oh, no.

I’m not even talking about PvP in areas with specific PvP goals and objectives to fight over, such as in Eastern Plaguelands, Silithis, Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh and Nagrand.

I’m talking simply about a small quest hub in a remote location, far from major trade routes or capital cities, guarded by flagged NPCs of low level… and the single level 80 of the opposite faction that comes in, kills everyone, and then camps the respawns until someone comes along, in which case he runs like a terrified rabbit afraid of being thrown in the stew pot.

PvP is an inherent part of World of Warcraft. Even if you’re on a non-PvP realm/server, there are PvP opportunities everywhere you go. How? The NPCs, including quest givers and Flight Masters, are all flagged.

Since they are flagged, the opposing faction can attack them at will, and kill them.

If you don’t like it, presumably you can get off your duff and mount a counter-offensive of your own, driving off the enemy players and defending the exposed village.

It sounds nice, doesn’t it? It sounds quite reasonable.

But let’s paint a picture for a moment, a picture that somewhat resembles reality.

You are on your happy little low level character, exploring a part of the world you’ve most likely seen 10, 20, 50 times before. Maybe it’s actually your first character and you have no idea what’s waiting around the next corner. Maybe it’s your first character of the opposing faction, and you’ve never seen these starting zones before.


There you are, moving along, questing from point to point, playing the game in the way that you want, rolling along.

You complete several quests, doing a circuit of the zone, and then you move on in to the quest hub to turn these in, and either pick up the next set of follow ups, or, if you’re lucky, level up and fly off to train.

As you make your way to the quest hub, the messages start coming in on the World Defense channel; “XXX is under attack.”

Ah, crap.

Sure enough, you arrive in time to see one or two level ??? players of the opposing faction finish off the Flight Master. All the quest givers are dead, and the enemy is mostly ignoring the guards, and they’re all a paltry level 14 anyway. The village guards defending the town aren’t even a mid-afternoon snack to a level 80.

So, you’ve got some choices. Do you have max level toons of the same faction as your alt? If so, you can then log out on that character, log in on your other character, and make your way to the remote region your alt was at to defend the village. You can even call your guild to arms, if some are online, to come help.

Have you ever tried that? I have. What happens? 9/10 I’ve found the little cowards have long since run off.

What about that 1 out of 10? In those cases, the guys seem to head into the surrounding foothills, perhaps, because if you hang out for 15 minutes and then log out, sure enough, as soon as you’re back on your alt, boom, NPCs getting killed again. Only this time, when you log back into your high level character that is just waiting there, you find that they called in stealthed reinforcements that are waiting for you.

Once a few other high level characters of your same faction start showing up, though, it all degenerates into a game of “Try and find where the cowards are hiding, waiting for you to get bored so they can go attack the village NPcs again.”

“Anybody see where they went?”

“Alliance Priest and Warlock south of Crossroads”

“How far?”

“Priest hearthed.”

“Warlock in Crossroads, anybody out there?”

“Coming back in.”

“Warlock heading north.”

You get the idea, and have seen it yourself, I’m sure.

What I have never yet seen is anyone that started killing the NPCs, and then, when equal leveled players come to fight them on an even numbers basis, stand their ground and fight an evenly-matched battle. Ever.


Is the PvP in this situation adventurism as planned by Blizzard? An opportunity for a few players to be the spark that ignites a forest fire of unplanned, out of control PvP?

There was a time when such PvP was frequent. Anybody else remember the insane, awesome battles of Tarren Mill?

I think there were entire months back in the day where, if you were bored, all you had to say in Guild chat was “Tarren Mill?” “Sure, let’s go.”

And when you got there, you were sure to find an out of control battle raging between Horde and Alliance, even on PvE servers.

What’s changed? HAS anything changed?

Are the lone opposing players killing NPCs in remote villages just trying to get some PvP started? Or are they really griefers, looking to feel powerful in their pathetic, powerless real lives by annoying other people too weak to fight back?

I may have phrased that a bit strongly. 🙂

I think the point stands. If you want actual player versus player action, real challenges against real opponents that can fight back, your skill versus theirs, there is no end of opportunity, from Battlegrounds, Arena battles, PvP zone objectives in Silithis or Hellfire Peninsula, Wintergrasp for the highest level, etc.

What is the draw, where is the challenge, in seeking out the lowest level yet most remote village possible, and then killing all the NPCs there and running like hell?

I hesitate to label the players who do this asshats, because to be honest, I have no idea if, in my limited understanding of the PvP community, there are real, tangible challenges and risks involved in this.

But I hesitate to label such players as adventurous, because if they had any courage, especially in a game where there is no consequence for character death in PvP, they’d stand their ground and fight instead of running like a scared bunny. 

What is your take on this? What have been your experiences with this kind of thing, and do you know any of the players who do this? Are you one of them? What is their objective? Is there one, beyond pissing off lower level players who can’t fight back?

I think it’s clear that, as far as Blizzard is concerned, the system is intended as it is. But are we using it right?

Once, it cost you Honor to kill an NPC even by accident, if that NPC wasn’t an honorable conbatant. Further, if Blizzard felt there was truly anything wrong with it, they could make the NPCs be Neutral instead of flagged, in keeping with the current sort-of neutrality that the Argent Tournament was supposed to represent.

Obviously the one thing they can’t do is make all NPCs, regardless of location, be max level AND flagged. In some areas, opposing faction players have no choice but to ride perilously close to enemy villages to get to other areas. Intentional enemy choke points are built in, and it’s mighty smart of the factions (and designers responsible for it) to do so. Why command the remote passes out of the way, when you can fortify a position in the middle of the trade routes?

But make those NPCs max level and flagged, and as you run by hoping to resume questing on the other side… squish! 

I really am curious what your experiences with this are. I’m trying like heck to not pass judgment on players that do this without having a much better understanding of why.

Just the other day, I was on my Belf Hawt Biker Chick, in Ghostlands, and running into Tranquillien with a billion quests to turn in, and just like I described, all the NPCs are being killed, every single one, by a single level 80 Retribution Paladin.

As soon as they were all dead… he rode briskly away.

All I could think at the moment, as I waited for respawns, was, “Damn, he went to a lot of work to get all the way up here to kill these NPCs. Even flying to the Troll raiding area FP Alliance have available, that’s a lot of effort to go through, flying through the long zones in between Ironforge and there. What is the payoff? What am I missing? What could he possibly get out of that?”

“Am I supposed to be upset? Time for a Mountain Dew!”

44 thoughts on “Random world PvP: Asshattery or Adventurism?

  1. I think there are probably many ‘whys’ to this. But I really do think it is because all players are not created equal. It is not unusual for a nine or twelve year old kid to have an 80. He (or she) might not have the skills to pvp in a more ‘fair’ setting, and wants to get attention. He gets it when the level 12 spits on him, then when some level 80s show up. Then he runs away, thrilled and scared. Maybe this isn’t an actual kid — maybe he is someone emotionally immature who enjoys making other people’s lives harder. No stores of patience to actually gear up, or level on a pvp realm. Or sometimes I think it is just sheer boredom. “Getting World Explorer … turning in my darkmoon card … chasing quests for loremaster … whatever … is so boring. Wonder what will happen if I just kill everything here, I’m about to log off anyway.”


  2. Oh man, this brings back unhappy memories. I didn’t have strong feelings about the Horde/Alliance rivalry until the summer I spent leveling my second toon (my druid, in fact!). I was at the right level for the Crossroads quests, plus I was trying to get Orgrimmar rep for a wolf, so I did a lot of running all over the Barrens and coming back to find the whole population slaughtered. School was out for the summer, so Crossroads was getting attacked and cleaned out 3-4 times per night, every night. Now, thanks to that entire summer of frustration, I do snarl a little inside when I see Alliance. It’s become a reflex.

    Then there was the time I was going to Ratchet to turn in a quest on my level 25-ish hunter. A level ?? Night Elf was hanging around town, not doing anything…until he saw me heading for a particular NPC to turn in the quest. As soon as I started toward that NPC, the NE killed him and then went back to sitting around and (I’m sure) smirking. As I recall, he sat down as if waiting for the mob to respawn so that he could kill it again if I made a move toward it, but maybe that’s just my angry memory playing tricks on me.

    I suppose all of this might have led to the birth of an enthusiastic PVPer out for blood, but the fact is that not only do I not enjoy PVP, but I also suck at it. Which is why I rolled on a PVE server to start with. (Luckily, I did know what PVP meant from my MUD days.)

    I like the idea of high-level guards showing up eventually. I suppose some would argue that this takes away the possibility of town-raiding practice for those at appropriate level, but maybe they could build in a mechanic so that the new guards’ level would match that of the highest-level player of opposing faction. Or, heck, who needs town-raiding practice? You don’t get to go on dungeon raids until “endgame,” so why not have town raids be the same?


  3. Haha, well i apologize. I apparently do fail at reading. I think the first 3 solutions are still valid. However, the tone of my last paragraph was a little much. I guess i was just blowing off a little steam.

    Years of /trade & /General whining + a long work week = Misdirected Elitist Assholish Nerd-rage (M.E.A.N.)

    Anyways, didn’t mean to offend you or anyone else. I’ve leveled up on both PvP and PvE realms. Ganking is pretty easy to avoid (Except at Raid Stones). And i am actually thankful for being Ganked because it led to my love of alts :o)

    There are a lot of classes i never would of tried had it not been for ganking.


  4. This one time, in Auberdine, I came across a level 80 Tauren griefer/warrior busily slaughtering all the NPCs.

    I can’t remember the specifics, because it was a while ago, but I left him alone for most of the time (as I tend to go SQUISH in PVP), but kept a careful eye on him all the same. Then players started showing up, just low level, and he started ganking them too.

    “Right,” said I, rolling up my sleeves, “it’s on!”

    The warrior didn’t even fight back, he just ran for it. Then eventually he’d had enough and started hearthing. I stood back, fully intending to wave goodbye just before he hearthed away –

    – a level 14 player ran up and tried to attack him.

    The Tauren warrior deliberately stopped hearthing and pwnsmashed the poor level 14 player.

    “Oh, you [bleep], it’s on again,” I said, and attacked.

    Once again, he just ran for it… leading to my most amusing PVP kill ever. He dived into the water and tried to swim away. This is an incredibly silly idea against a druid with Aquatic Form. I swam after him, popping in and out of Aquatic form to harass him, used Entangling Roots on him, and then suddenly he died, taking me completely by surprise. It took me a moment or two to remember other classes have to worry about oxygen when underwater.

    I can’t help but wonder if he chose Auberdine due to it being off the beaten path and usually free of level 80s.
    .-= Sukugaru´s last blog ..Update on the WoW hack =-.


  5. Dave, good lord.

    Total reading comprehension fail, I AM on a PvE server.

    To quote the post above; “Even if you’re on a non-PvP realm/server, there are PvP opportunities everywhere you go. How? The NPCs, including quest givers and Flight Masters, are all flagged.”

    If you can’t be bothered to actually read the post before being a pissy little snot, how in the world can you expect anyone to take you seriously?


  6. Does it really matter “why” they’re doing it? The only point is that they CAN/WILL do it. And if the game allows it, then so be it. If you have a problem with it, come up with your own solution.

    Here are some options:

    1.) Log off and play another Toon. I usually find this to be the best solution since it takes the least amount of time for you. And wastes the most amount of time for the Ganker. The Ganker will generally waste 5-10 min looking for you.

    2.) If you enjoy vengeance and think that you can kill the Ganker with one of your other Toons, then Gank the Ganker. Be warned though, this will probably result in hours of wasted searching/killing/ganking/running/hiding/waiting. But can end with awesome stories/memories.

    3.) If you MUST play this toon, quest in another area. By either resurrecting behind a tree or at the spirit healer, you can usually get away from the Ganker. Just hearth or take the closest FP.

    4.) If you are REALLY tired of this Sh*t, transfer to a PvE realm or roll a new toon on a PvE relm.

    There’s really no excuse for persistent whining about being Ganked. YOU have chosen to play on a PvP server. If you don’t like it… go to a PvE server. No one is keeping you there. It’s like staying out in the Sun all day and then complaining that you got sun burnt. Put on some Protection or stay out of the darn Sun.


  7. As I have read through the comments, I have noticed the majority dislike pvp. If you look at it from a perspective of a pvp freak, any kill of a player brings a ‘high’ because most will remember your name and bring a future battle to remember : D

    That is just my reason for ganking. But I am also a pretty nice guy, right BBB! 😀


  8. My server is a PVP server and it was frustrating trying to quest on my first toon. Didn’t understand the concept of PVP when I started playing. I thought it was like dueling where you choose to participate. Imagine my surprise. (This is also my response to those who say “It’s a pvp server – It’s expected” Didn’t know what to expect when I started playing – just started playing.

    Add the zone wide ganking by 2 or 3 Lvl ??? Then add the guilds that were bored. (Holy crap – the Tarren Mill battles I’ve seen) Unable to quest, unable to explore, and without an alt. Almost made me quit the game.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love PVP in battlegrounds. Standing your ground on a flag against all comers – Enjoyable beyond expectations. But as a lowbie questing, it’s a pain.

    These days, it mainly asshats ganking because they think they’re epeen. Notice I said asshats (plural). They never are alone and almost always outnumber or outlevel by a significant amount.


  9. Our realm has its fair share of ganking asshats, but every once in a while, one aptly named guild decides to shake it up and do something different. Alliance, US, Llane held the Crossroads Inn for a goodly while just to encourage some PvP fun like in the old days. It was fully planned out and announced, though. SD is rather known for these kinds of shenanigans about the server, though. (As well as wiping in new and painful ways.)



  10. One of my toons is on a PVP server. I have NEVER been attacked by a single person of near level. Usually its a group, or a level 80 one-shot. Want to fight fair? Sure ,fine, i’ll fight. But the random ganking just for the sake of ganking; yeah that’s just being an asshat.


  11. I think the answer is both. If the number of people involved on one side is >= 3, then it is adventurous, but if if only 1 or 2, then tends to be foolishness.

    My first toon grew up on a PvP server, and I think that it is generally accepted if you see a single max level (it was 70 when I started) or two, that they are just there to grief and will run if any real resistance shows up. It was common for Horde to come to Duskwood, kill the Gryhponmaster and perch on one of the rooftops and snipe off lowbies in one hit. It was really frustrating when this happened because you couldn’t stop it (because by the time you got someone there they’d be gone).

    If there were more than two people causing grief, they were generally looking for a fight and would stay and battle. In our guild, if we wanted to world PvP, we would get a band of 10-15 players (not all max leveled) and head to Tauren Mill and we would fight 10-15 players from the horde, which was fair and fun. If you wanted to quest, you couldn’t do so in Hillsbrad Foothills because of the constant fighting. It was somewhat understood that if you were there it was to PvP.

    I’m not sure that anything can be done about the frustrating/pointless PvP, but do keep in mind that these people are often not liked on their own side of the server. By the way, I am very grateful that you make this site because I have used it to level a bear on a PvE server (so that I didn’t have to worry about being ganked by bored teenagers). I enjoy that you have both helpful and humorous posts!


  12. May I just say, I hate rogues with the fire of a thousand suns. I rarely go into battlegrounds because of them. I find it no fun at all to be on the receiving end of a stunlock, and dead in 3 heartbeats. Outside of pvp zones, I never get into random fights.

    One time, was fishing in barrens for some deviate, and this big ugly cow gets in the water and hovers on my bobber trying to get me to click on him. I waited him out and he eventually grazed off elsewhere.
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..Paw N mouth disease =-.


  13. It’s worth pointing out that what you’re describing is just one aspect of world PvP. I have engaged in, and been attacked by, similar levelled opponents in contested zones in what I would call “fair” or at least “close to fair” . . . within a few levels of each other . . . fights. That has a place in the game on PvP servers. Personally, I like that kind of PvP. It adds an element of tension to the game that’s exciting.

    The aspect of PvP you’re describing though is just griefing. Killing all the questgivers, vendors and flight masters in an area results in no in-game benefit for the perpetrator and can significantly disprupt the game for other players. Even worse is when those level 80s decide to kill and camp actual players significantly lower levelled than they are. That’s just douchebaggery.

    I do know some guys who will attack low level areas, kill the guards et. al. and ride off. They’re a couple of immature teenage punks. I mean . . . nice kids IRL, but in game they get bored with questing and just want to stir things up so, “hey, let’s go attack crossroads.” It’s not a “look how mighty I am!” power trip. It’s just to get a reaction. ‘Cause that’s what teens do. Ideally, more mature adults would talk to them, describe how what they’re doing is wrong. Maybe some guildies? Maybe a parent who plays the game and understands what they’re doing.


  14. Ive destroyed towns, settlements and quest escorts. It is fun. But usually its a prelude to my single manned assault on a major city.

    I attack NPCs in the towns, and I must admit occasionally the flagged lowbie who attacks me. Then I move on to the next town and attack. Then I might kill off the Flight Master and sit and wait for the reinforcements to come. Then depending on how many defenders from the local city turn up I will either attack them or run. Then I move on to the next town and do the same. Then I attack the cities.

    I attack NPCs, get the alarms going and wait. Then again… and again… and again… and any ally thats flagged. Muahahahaha, then on to IF and do the same. (or I might go fishing to try and catch that IF achievement fish).

    I have had ally log onto their level 1 or 2 toons to figure out who’s causing havoc, lol, then they try to find me…

    Then I get bored and hearth out.

    PvP is fun if you are willing to do outrageous things to provoke the other side. Im also prone to taking retribution against the other side for wiping out a little townlet as well. More world PvP needs to happen. random armies everywhere. 😀 Something different in your day 🙂 I will admit I have defended the Crossroads soo many times.


  15. Asshatery. For all the reasons stated.

    What makes me giggle are all the “we levelled on a PVP server so we are better at PVP than you carebears” fools.
    I’ve levelled on a PVP server. If the odds looks even, there is very rarely any PVP. But if they outnumber or outlevel you? Dead. I fail to see how always picking the easy targets trains you in anything other than having a chip on your shoulder.

    It’s a power trip for little people. It sure as hell isn’t a display of skill and courage.


  16. I know where I’m heading the next time I get a chance. Although with kids and raiding having time to attack crossroads-draenor-us might take a while to pull off.

    Regarding level difference, I don’t care. I remember trying to defend Sentinel Hill as a lvl 20-ish mage. The area was attacked by ?? Horde but I tried to sheep one anyway. Man was he pissed when the spell finally hit! Level disparities never bothered me. I’d either try to fight back or do something else. I don’t want Blizz trying to bandaid it with bad programming.


  17. It’s always discouraging when this kind of asshattery makes its way out of the playground and off the highways and into our escapist pastimes. I choose to blame the species not the developer when this happens. I thank the developer because he gave us something we don’t have in real life. He gave us a means of revenge with no legal consequences! People can shxt on us in real life with relative impunity. It’s the retaliation that usually gets a person in trouble. I’d like to see the system of revenge improved. You pointed out here all the inherent problems with tracking down these people and giving them what they deserve so I leave them as stated.

    How could we improve the WoW posse? How can we make the badguys stay and fight and how can we get the cavalry to come when needed? What if the aspiring bandit had a global reputation bar that could go up or down? Maybe he can’t buy badge gear today because word is he’s been engaged in unchivalrous behavior. Perhaps none of the factions he’s grinded feel comfortable with him for a day unless he clears his name in more chivalrous combat like say, killing other bandits, maybe even of his own faction? How cool would it be if killing NPCs was programmed in to be so unacceptable that it flagged you for attack from your own faction too. They’ve gotta protect their reputation afterall.

    I think it would be great to have these guys who wanna engage inunacceptable behavior actually be forced out of town until they put things to right by getting killed for it and/or repenting and killing other bandits. I wouldn’t know what to make first, a character that is a serial killer who lives somewhere in the hills as he racks up a bigger price on his head or a lawman who tracks the bums down to collect the bounty’s.


  18. Simple way to fix that is that they can’t attack a flagged character (player or PVPer) more than, say, 5 or 10 levels either directions from them. It’s pure asshattery to gank characters that you can one-shot. There’s no call for it, no honor in it, and without a fighting chance it just breeds contempt, and takes fun out of the game for the people leveling — i.e. cuts into the customer base.


  19. Sometimes it is actually just an attempt to screw around and start a fight–you can tell if they actually want a fight because they’ll be next to a high-population enemy area. The big one is Goldshire, or occasionally Kharanos. On my server (fairly alliance-heavy) it’s fairly common to see a half-dozen horde roll up on Goldshire and start killing stuff. Or, if they’re being bold, come into SW and kill all the auctioneers (which I’ve only seen once or twice). When they’re in Goldshire on a PvE server it’s just kind of fun–they expect people to ride out of the crowded Stormwind and give chase. It’s fun to watch the battle wage as they run closer to Stormwind chasing eachother around and kiting eachother, and then back towards Goldshire. I don’t usually join in because I’m not into PvP, but generally it’s an intentional brawl by people who want to fight something besides ICC every once in a while.

    Killing all the questgivers in Westfall, though, when I’m trying to level my baby gnome–that’s just annoying.


  20. On my server, Draenor(US) my first guild actually made it their mission to defend XR. Our server population has held at a 2.5-1 in the ally favor for the last 6 years so we are always outnumbered. But that is where the honor came from back then. We used to leave our toons logged out in the inn. I still catch people raiding XR when I am leveling alts and helping friends and like always they are huge cowards. I kill the first one and the other 2 or 3 run for the hills.

    I remember when pallies used to try and kill all the npcs and think they were invincible. I would log on my shaman and start beating their face in. They would try to bubble hearth and would promptly be killed when their bubble was purged and they were nuked. How I miss the ability to kill pallies who had cooldowns. Now it’s a sick joke. To kill a pally with a shaman you either have to hope they used their cd’s or u have to hex them before they lol-double-stun you and face roll you to death.


  21. sometimes they are just bored and looking for ANYTHING to do… my 61 priest was at Honor Hold when 3 80-level Hordees came in and started taking the place apart… well, I’m not on a pvp server, so we emoted back and forth a few times, then I asked them to wait because I wanted to ask one of them about their guild name…. so I hopped sides and whispered the one from Hordeside… and after answering my curiosity regarding the guild name, they proceeded to apologize for ganking the npc’s in Honor Hold, said they only did it because they were bored and they’d stopped so I could get on with my questing… 🙂

    An interesting glimpse into the mind of one low-level ganker… 🙂


  22. That kind of asshattery is what killed Age of Conan for me, mainly because there were mandatory quests that took you through the free-fire zone and there was no way to turn PVP off!


  23. Open world “PvP” in games with a wide power band is simply a cycle of ganking and bullying. It is complete stupidity, enabling the jerks in ways that John Gabriel aptly summarized.


    Now, make it so that the player level cap is level 1 and town guards are level 50, and base combat on player skill instead of gear and grind, and we’ll talk about potentially interesting open world PvP. Until then, it’s an utter train wreck abused by small people with big problems.

    It’s a structural problem that will not change until some core game design tenets change. There will always be people who try to abuse the system, but there’s no need to make it easy for them.
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Dead Again: Five Year Old Noob =-.


  24. Whenever I think something is broken in WoW, I always ponder back to a single question, “what does Blizzard gain by doing it right vs. what does Blizzard gain by doing it wrong?”

    How does this relate? What does blizzard gain / lose from preventing asshats from just plain being annoying dirtbags because they can?

    I think it all boils down to annoyance factor vs. cost of a solution that works.
    .-= jtrack´s last blog ..You Wanna Join My Guild =-.


  25. I am an extreme pvper to the point that i havent seen ulduar+so i can spend the time getting honor or hunting for a good fight. I camp lowbie zones all the time ganking lowbies and NPCs. I play on a pvp server so being ganked is expected and complaining about it is stupid because you chose to be on an always flagged realm.

    I recently went kamikazi in howling fjord to kill a mage. It was worth the NPC death cuzz it was exciting to kill a 78 mage before I die. (im 24/47 resto so not much dps there)


  26. What is the draw, where is the challenge, in seeking out the lowest level yet most remote village possible, and then killing all the NPCs there and running like hell?

    I can only imagine the people who do this must get a sick pleasure out of making life difficult for others, just for the sake of doing it, just because they can. I know PvP is a complex subject, especially world PvP, but I agree with you, Bear, that there are some simple things that Blizzard could do to make the experience a little less frustrating for everyone. Your idea of marking quest-giving NPC’s as “neutral” would help a lot. Personally, I’d love to see the return of a “dishonor” penalty for killing player more than, say, 4 levels lower than yourself.

    Right now, a high-level character gets no honor for ganking some poor lowbie, but there is also no in-game penalty for it either — and it seems clear that causing annoyance to the lowbie is giving them some kind of twisted incentive to spend their time doing it. Could we find some kind of economic solution, whereby it costs them something more meaningful, something they might care about more? Loss of honor, debuffs, or something else to counteract that incentive?

    I’m sure there are lots of devils in the details. Should a high-level character have to put up with flagged lowbies griefing her, just to avoid an honor penalty for killing them? Sure, why not? But even if you don’t like that, the game already keeps track of who attacked first, starting combat. Maybe if you kill a lowbie who hit you first, you don’t suffer any loss. You can still camp their corpse, but maybe you’ll stop doing it after a few tries if you lose a percentage of your honor every time you gank them. There might be some corner cases where you accidentally wind up losing honor anyway, but I think that’s okay, if it makes you more likely to be careful in the future.

    I don’t love PvP, but a good skirmish out in the world can be fun and exciting. What destroys the fun of it, at least for me, is when you engage someone in what appears to be a fair match, and it turns out their max-level friend is hiding in the bushes, just waiting to crush you like a bug. What if they changed it so that PvP flags were not just “all or nothing”, on or off, but also sensitive to your relative levels? What I mean is: You flag up, and you can attack or be attacked by anybody from the opposite faction within some number of levels above or below you. Anyone outside that range, and you look like a normal, unflagged player.


  27. I would rather see a ramp up like in wintergrasp. There are specifically flagged pvp war targets and “innocent” targets which would be flight master, quest givers and vendors. The guards and a few unit/post/town leadership npcs would be war targets and drop some generic war target. But for each innocent that flees combat is killed all friendly PCs in an X radius recieve 1-X stacks of tenacity. I would love to see a level 10 with 100 stacks of tenacity (innocent revenge/justice) kick the crap out of a level cap griefing asshat.
    .-= Lavata´s last blog ..Combo Points have got to Change =-.


  28. On the Gurubashi server the Crossroads is the favorite camping place of Starsky and Hutch. They were the scourge of the realm for leveling Hoardies. They would camp Xroads for hours or until any other 70-80’s showed up and made the fight equal. Sadly Starsky has not been seen for a long while but Hutch does make an appearance still.


  29. A simple way to deal with this would be guard spam, same as in the cities. It could start out lower level and fewer, but by the time a village was three quarters dead there should be some level 80-ish guards coming to look at why the town is dying. These high level guards could stick around well after until the quest-givers respawned. This might not stop the initial ganking, but it would hopefully quell repeated slaughter.
    .-= Teltanara´s last blog ..we were doing so well… =-.


  30. I do wonder about this too.

    As a newish player (PVE realm) finding flight path folks or quest givers wiped out is not only not fun, it can really ruin your evening of play or trap you sitting around twiddling your thumbs for quite a while. I can only imagine how much worse it could be on a PVP realm where your level 15-25 lowbie is also getting ganked on top of it. Recently, I’ve noticed 2-3 hordies ganking away in Goldshire on my server for hours at end.

    It’s also just some of how WoW works though too so I’m not sure how mad to be at the individuals vs. Blizzard for not better balancing the system.


  31. …griefers, looking to feel powerful in their pathetic, powerless real lives by annoying other people too weak to fight back…

    The above. If someone is really honestly trying to ‘get some PvP started’ then there are plenty of ways to do it. My choice would be a lvl 1 alt on the opposite faction and some quick smack talk in their /2, it really isn’t hard to pick a fight in this game.

    This is all assuming you’re on a PvE server of course – there are plenty of people who like random (and generally unfair) PvP, and there are likewise plenty of realms for them to go to where more or less anything can (and should) be allowed!

    And it could be easily fixed by making the useless ‘guard’ NPCs outside of major cities an actual challenge* for lvl 80, then we’ll see who really wants a fair fight…

    *this would probably require upgrading them every new raid tier as well


  32. Well, I’ve done this a couple of times, mostly out of revenge for the times Goldshire has been attacked and poor Marshal Dugan killed. Wiped out Crossroads once, killed the lvl 80 Shaman that objected, then left because it wasn’t all that exciting and didn’t want the Shaman to think I was going to camp him. While I do believe in ganking even the lowest of levels if I come across them in the world (out of revenge for all the times I’ve been killed), I have a 1 kill policy and move on, camping is stupid. I only kill twice if they rezz in front of me then attack me again.

    Only other time I can think of I went to that town in Ghostlands (you could have been talking about me in that part, though I doubt the server was the same) and was just passing through heading north, just killed the npc’s for grins and giggles on the way through. I think I was just bored and was riding up to Silvermoon looking for signs of life.

    I think for some, it is just being an asshat, for others it’s revenge for stuff that happened when they were leveling because those of us who’ve not been in the game for years still remember the sting of higher level players making our questing inconvenient. I can tell you it’s that memory that has prompted me to have the PVP gear that I have now for traipsing around in the world. I’m not a pvper but I’ll go defend Lakeshire, Goldshire and some of the other places I remember from my “youth”.


  33. And I confess to having wiped out Crossroads… once, during the Zombie Plague. I couldn’t resist the irony of attacking Crossroads as a Horde character.


  34. You did not overstate it. The ones that do this are asshats. They are. They have no lives, no penises, and live only for the joy that comes with pissing off every soul that is in the entire region. Hmm, did I join you in saying that a bit strongly?

    Really, there is zero benefit to killing enemy NPCs. Blizzard made sure of it. The only times I kill enemy NPCs is getting my bear, or if I get aggro accidentally and can’t just keep going, knowing that they will turn back soon. Since you get zero honor, zero cash, and zero loot from them – what is the only thing left? Personal glory? Nope. Rank? Nope. Satisfaction at being a scum griefer that needs to die a horrible and painful death at the hands of killer bunnies while drowning is a sea of soggy Fruit Loops.

    “Back in the day” we used to love Tarren Mill. That was fun because it was standing your ground against (usually) horrible odds. Defending Crossroads with a level 41 rogue when it is assaulted by a couple of 50s was challenging as well.

    Sneezing to kill the town guards and yawning as they tickle you with their featherswords, then running like a bitch when any kind of real resistance arrives is the act of a cowardly child.

    I shall begin soaking my Fruit Loops and awaiting their arrival.


  35. I would say most of it is griefing. I wish Blizzard would bring back a “dishonorable combat” system, where you lose honor/get a debuff that makes you easier to kill. There’s no point (as a level 80) to sit around Tarren Mill (or Southshore) killing any flagged low-level player and all of the NPCs. It doesn’t get you honor, and sticking around to camp the area is just a dick move. You may be “bored”, but I’m not sure how being 80 and corpse camping or NPC camping a bunch of stuff you can one-shot would make you less bored.

    Random world PvP is a lot more fun when the level disparity and number of people are close. On my PvP servers I won’t kill any flagged opposite faction members that are grey to me unless they attack me first and don’t back off after a warning shot (but if you’re sub-72 attacking my 80 and you don’t stop after I’ve smited you, then I will kill you and not feel remorse), and I generally leave NPC non-guards alone–I hate questing just to come back to a bunch of dead quest givers, so I don’t see the point in doing it to someone else.
    .-= Ndiayne´s last blog ..For the …wait, what? =-.


  36. I have done as Iceveiled suggested, and ganked a village for a diversion from some mind-numbing task, but I find it … equally mind-numbing. No challenge, no fun whatsoever. I get bored of that too, and go back to something that’s actually productive in game.

    I think the biggest draw is the power trip. I find that when I log my feral tank (5700 gs, so not amazing, but definitely capable) and go pvp against people that were ganking my lowbie, I always win. Always. So I presume that they just get frustrated losing in PvP, or getting ganked themselves, and decide to return the favor by seeking out a lowbie to grief.

    That said, I once got ganked in Thrallmar five times by some L?? guys causing trouble, and when I logged mah bear to take em out, they were gone. Logged back to my hunter, got ganked twice more, logged mah bear, and they were gone again. There’s no way to fight that as you’ve observed, so what I decided to do was go gank Honor Hold; not out of a desire to prove my superiority or feel powerful ganking the allied lowbies, but because I was hoping to draw the 80s in the zone away from Thrallmar, and make them focus on defending their own town. It worked, I got 3 80s attacking me. Being a well geared feral tank, I took all 3 of them down and continued killing their NPCs. They finally got 5 80s to coordinate their attack, and they finally took me down. But when I logged back to my hunter, our NPCs were respawning, and they left us alone after that.


  37. It might not be entirely random. One time (back before LFD) my guildie was running my low level Horde alt through Deadmines. It involved a trip to Westfall, and after we were done, he said “Hey, let’s go over to Sentinel Hill.” So he wrecked a little havoc on the NPCs there. Other max levels started trickling in from SW. He managed to kill the first one that came after him, then a second arrived. Both of us got killed. A couple more Alliance showed up, and we were outnumbered by then (I was only level 18 or 19!) so we ninja-rezzed as best we could and then hearthed.

    It was a minor diversion since we were already there, and for my guildie it was entirely with the point of getting some higher level Alliance to come over, but it wasn’t practical to stay and fight once there were more of them than us.
    .-= Hana´s last blog ..[Paladin] While the Preview’s Not Up =-.


  38. Guess it is part of the game unless your in a PVE realm. My lvl75 got ganked by an 80 priest like 8 times the other night. What’s the point? I mean 1 dot and I am dead and he is levitating to the ground nice and soft. No guildies were on. No 80’s were in the zone. Finally I just waited him out… after I figured out he was leaving and flying back I waited for him to fly back a couple times then he got bored and I could play again. Kinda sucked but it’s a PVP realm so I can not complain.
    .-= sirfwalgman´s last blog ..So ends my great love affair with Chloe =-.


  39. Asshattery. Definitely.

    I just don’t *get* that kind of behaviour. Well I’m not a massive pvp fan in any case but I get why people do it. However, steamrolling through killing a large number of much lower level NPCs which you know will just cause hassle to low level players who have no chance of fighting back (unless they have alts) is just pathetic. If that’s all you can find to quell your boredom you need to step outside and find something non-WoW related to do.

    IF the person is doing it as a strategy to draw out appropriate level players from the opposing faction for some proper world PVP then fine – it’s annoying and frustrating but I get it. Most of the time they do it until other people show up and then bugger off.

    I guess I just never understand how people get kicks/enjoyment from behaviour purely designed to piss other people off.


  40. I did this once, the day before they removed dishonorable kills so I could say I had some. I’m not sure what the point of it is now, other than intentional griefing, with the exception being doing this for factions with rep (Booty Bwy for Bloodsail, becoming Hated with the Argent Dawn for fun, etc).


  41. Boredom possibly? As in a level 80 is in, say Arathi Highlands farming mats for a prof he/she is leveling, happens upon southshore and decides to participate in a fun diversion to the naseauting activity that is grinding professions.


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