World PvP – ganking or vanilla PvP?

What is world PvP anyway? To me, world PvP was always about large groups of people coming together somewhere in the world to fight. It could be anywhere from an Island off Azshara to a patch of grassland out side of Crossroads. However, regardless of location, it was the only reason both parties were there. As for ganking, that’s what 80 rogues steathing around Nesingwary’s do.

A new guild have recently transferred to my server, claiming they are bringing back world PvP to the masses. I must admit when I read their first few forum posts I was vaguely excited, imagining massive battles over Halaa, Southshore and the like. After all in vanilla I had lots of fun fighting over Southshore/Tarren Mill and visiting Crossroads.  There was a real sense of community between both sides and often when the fighting was over, we would have parties with naked fist fighting competitions and picnics. However that was a long time ago, a time before battlegrounds and arenas. If you wanted any form of PvP, you had to go hunting for people to fight and so you met lots of like minded people. Now things have changed, if I want PvP we (as Alliance) have close to instant battleground queues.

This guild have been with us for a few weeks now and the scope of the world PvP they offer? Invading our cities and killing auctioneers. Not one single event has been organised or even mentioned. So they bring their raid group of 25ish complete with healers and set up home in the Stormwind Auction House. The majority of people just don’t care so they sit there PvP disabled. The people wanting to use the Auction House just naturally drift elsewhere, whether its using engineering alts in Dalaran or hanging out in deserted Darnassus. Sometimes they visit the Mage quarters in our various cities and kill people portaling in, of course you’re dead before the loading screen fades. One shotting low levels who hearthstoned from PvP zones seems to be another favourite hobby of theirs.

All of this they claim is a great success. As soon as we manage to mobilise a decent defence, i.e. people who aren’t one by one loading into a city, or 2 going up against 30, we manage to kick them out but that takes time. There is no incentive for people to defend their cities so the majority don’t enable. So there you are, a ragtag handful of idiots, usually not in the same party attempting to go up against a raid complete with healers. Maybe I have weird idealistic principles but to me, world PvP was always about consent. Both raid groups wanted to be there, they were there for that sole purpose. Ganking on the other hand, implies a lack of consent. If my druid is stealthing around and I see someone doing their dailies, happily killing mobs and I pounce, I gank.

I’ve never believed the argument about rolling on PvP servers being consent enough, it’s like saying if I wear a mini skirt I’m asking for it. There are plenty of factors why people who don’t necessarily like PvP end up calling a  PvP server home, whether it’s guilds, friends or just picked at random. I also think the last two expansions have given people a false sense of security. We share our cities with the Horde, both factions can share tables in the Legerdemain Lounge or sunbathe on the wall at the landing together. That hardly implies bitter enemies.

Don’t get me wrong, I gank. I know I do, I don’t sugar coat it in any way. I have great fun killing people in amusing ways, parachuting past Horde sitting on their flying mounts and showing them some squawk and awe or sneaking up on them when they are grinding. I just don’t like the principle of ganking whilst claiming it’s something better. I can understand what they are trying to do, but encouraging people to fight by killing the auctioneers over and over and over again or by killing them as they are loading in, 25 v 1 to me removes the consensual element. I would think by now, if they actually tried to organise a world event the majority of the Alliance wouldn’t show up because most of the server seems hate them. When you add into the mix the fact that these same people are equally fond of name-calling on the forums and you basically  have the biggest turn off from world PvP I’ve ever seen. When we beat them, we always had three times their numbers (I wish), we’re skilless (possibly), we’re cowards (nope, going one or two versus an organised raid group isn’t a sign of cowardice, insanity perhaps) and so on.

As far as I’m concerned they are little more than bullies, having tantrums and throwing their toys out of the pram. Plus any fun you could have, with the tide of battle going backwards and forwards just doesn’t happen with this bunch because as soon as they die, they either take res- sickness or all dive through portals or wait as a ghost until they get battlegrounds. For example, a deathknight looking to “world PvP” in the portal room at VoA whilst we controlled it. The Gnomeling attacks him one v one, no guards, no other players and as soon as it starts going bad he leaps through the portal. One v one versus another deathknight in Ironforge, he dies and doesn’t res. Seven minutes later he pops up and instantly disappears into a battleground (I stalked him on the Horde side).

I just don’t understand why people who claim to be after world PvP, run away so quickly when we give them what they want. Could it possibly be because they don’t want world PvP at all, they just want easy ganking?  I’m not complaining about their actions, I just wish they would stop pretending to be after one thing, when its clear they just want to grief and gank. We maybe die 10 or 20 times, outnumbered and zerged but we don’t slink away and res in a corner. We keep fighting after all world PvP has always involved dying a lot, but you kill this lot any more than a couple of times and they are off, portaling, hearthstoning and taking res sickness. These world PvP heroes even prefer entering battlegrounds to escape, yet their whole premise is based around returning to the halcyon days of vanilla WoW pre-battlegrounds.

I really wish Blizzard would make the city guards lv 80 and more like the ones at the Isle of Quel’danas, so they actually present an issue to people wandering in. Cataclysm is going to be fun.


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