Welcome to the war, comrades. You have been selected to receive the latest training and tactics fresh from the warfront. The tried-and-true strategies you are about to hear are extremely effective and CLASSIFIED. Let’s get to the briefing. Today, we discuss Ganking vs. Initiating PvP.
More after the Jump…
I love to do what some people call “ganking.” I call it “initiating PvP.” Ganking is generally looked down upon, while “initiating PvP” is the cornerstone of Open World PvP interactions. Let me talk about the differences between “initiating PvP” and “ganking.”
When you gank someone, it has two components. The first component is that the “ganker” is of a greater power level than the “gankee.” This can be achieved in a number of ways, the most common of which is being of a literally higher character level. Other examples include bringing a group to kill one person and attacking people who are AFK. The second component of ganking people is surprising them, specifically by attacking them in areas that they are doing normal PvE questing. The idea here is that the PvP is undesired and unexpected by the party getting ganked.
A ganking situation is made even worse when they “camp” you, where they kill you over and over again without letting you escape or progress.
So how can we avoid ganking people, but still have a fun Open World PvP (OWPvP) experience? There are a few ways where initiating PvP is different from ganking.
Whereas ganking occurs when the parties are vastly different in power level, when you initiate PvP properly on a fair basis, you try to do so only against targets that are relatively equal to you. In other words, even though lower-level players can come to the Outlaw’s Den, I do not attack them when I am at level-cap. They are too easy to kill, which isn’t really fun for me, and it is definitely not fun for them. Another way to keep power-level equal is to not roam with full groups, or at least don’t gank solos with your group.
Because the second element of ganking is where the PvP is surprising and unsolicited, try to avoid attacking people in non-PvP areas when they are doing normal PvE quests and especially who are fighting NPCs. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is because they are at a disadvantage, and you are effectively doing the same thing as attacking with a group. The second reason is because when they die in PvP, they don’t take repair damage; if they are in combat with an NPC, however, they still take repair damage even if the killing blow is from a player.
This is my code of honor in a few bullet points:
- Are they in combat with an NPC? Then don’t attack them.
- Are they currently low in health from a previous fight? Then don’t attack them.
- Are they a lower-level player? Then don’t attack them if you are level-capped, or if you are more than 5 levels above them while leveling.
- Are they same faction (in an group free-for-all area)? Then don’t attack them. (NOTE: I know this one is hotly-debated. This is my personal code of honor.)
- Did they attack you? Then absolutely fight back. This basically supersedes all previous rules.
Special Notes for the Gree Event
Because the Gree event is split into two areas, both PvP and PvE, there are special considerations. The event is high-level, and there is Bolster in place. If a player from the enemy faction is in the PvP area of the Gree event, they are fair game, no matter the level. If they don’t want to PvP, they shouldn’t venture to that area to complete [PvP] quests. I still don’t attack same-faction players, unless they attack me first, and I still avoid attacking players if they are fighting NPCs.
I have gotten a lot of flack for attacking players that have the orb. I see these players as fair game, because again, they are completing a [PvP] quest. They need to take that into consideration when they enter a group free-for-all area. You can progress your reputation just fine by sticking to the [PvE] quests if you don’t want to participate in OWPvP. Again, I don’t consider this ganking, because the two conditions of ganking are 1) the player is weaker than you, and 2) the PvP is unsolicited. Because they are in the PvP area, they are literally asking for it, and they are Bolstered to your level even if they are underleveled in general. Therefore, it is hunting season on the Western Ice Shelf!
What to do when you are ganked
So what happens if you are ganked? How should a low-level player handle this? Most importantly, don’t give up. They will eventually get bored, and you can try some of these tricks to play their game better than they do.
- Get some friends! Get a guild that is willing to protect their lower level players. I know that if my guildies said they were being hounded by an enemy player, I would come defend them ASAP!
- Bring your main to destroy them. This is always fun. You have someone who is harassing you? Get on your PvP-geared main and come wreck them. Sometimes, you have to get a friend to keep an eye on them while you get your main, but it is so very satisfying to let ’em have it!
- Do something else. Queue up for a warzone, and by the time you finish it, they might have gotten bored and moved on. Never underestimate the power of boredom.
- Don’t feed the trolls! You know how when you were eight your mom told you to stop giving your siblings satisfaction when they bothered you? Did you ever try it? Well, when I stopped retaliating and started ignoring my brother when he was being annoying, he would just lose interest and wander away. Do that with gankers. Don’t show your face for a bit (by doing something different), then they will probably go away.
These are just some thoughts on ganking and codes of honor in Open World PvP. Let me know what your thoughts are about ganking in the comments!