Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Player versus player
Player versus player, or PvP, is a type of combat in MMORPGs, MUDs and other computer role-playing games pitting a player's skill against another's, where the goal is ultimately the death of the opponent's player character. While this can include player killing or PKing, this term is usually used in a narrower sense. It is the antithesis of combating mobs, known as player versus monster (PvM) or player versus environment (PvE).
History and background
PvP combat has its roots in various MUDs like Gemstone III. However, while the ability to kill another player existed in many MUDs, it was usually frowned upon because of general strict adherences and heavy influences from role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. It was not until Ultima Online was released in 1997 that sanctioned PvP became widespread. However with the groundbreaking popularity of EverQuest, primarily consisting of PvM elements (with the exception of PvP between similar levels on one specific server), PvP was not considered to be a major selling point.
PvP slowly started making a resurgence with the release of Asheron's Call in 1999, Diablo II in 2000, Dark Age of Camelot in 2001, Asheron's Call 2 in 2002 and Shadowbane in 2003. While these games included PvP, they still contained large portions of prerequisite PvM, mostly to build characters. Critics argued the comprehensiveness of this type of PvP lacked in comparison to Ultima Online's implementation before the release of the Age of Shadows expansion. The main concerns voiced by critics were lack of a individual's skill involved (primarily reaction time and hand-eye coordination), heavy dependence and reliance on items, and too much prerequisite PvM. Some MMORPGs currently in development are starting to use competitive PvP such as dueling as a main feature. In most MMORPGs, dying results in negative consequences. Therefore being the losing party in PvP combat is undesirable. For example, in Asheron's Call, you lose items upon death.
Player killing, or PKing, is nonconsensual and usually random. An aggressor attacks an opponent without agreement to any set of rules of engagement or combat. This can include raiding spawns, camping towns, and any other action which constitutes griefing another party. It also can be applied to group versus group, or GvG, combat where one group has an advantage usually due to larger in number. In Ultima Online, before the release of the Renaissance expansion which added a Trammel facet where PvP was not allowed, a rift formed of those who enjoyed PKing and the Anti-PKs, who do not and protected Trammies.
Dueling is both consensual and competitive. Both parties agree to a certain set of rules before combat, which can include a specified area and restrictions on items and combat type. Dueling ladders and leagues setup by fans are common for most MMORPGs that have PvP. While no game to date has had an official system implemented, developers have recognized this growing type of PvP. Guild Wars is one of the many upcoming titles that promises nothing but competitive, consensual dueling in a group setting.
EverQuest uses a system that involves a PK flag, where a character has their PK flag set to off by default. However by a small quest they can permanently set their flag to on. Once set to on, there is no way to go back to off and the player is freely attackable by another other player who have their flag set to on. Other games have a similar bounty system where players that kill other players open themselves up to being killed in return.
- GemStone III Dueling Site
- UOGamers - Ultima Online free shard that implemented a dueling ladder system
- Duellliga - German Diablo II dueling site
- Dieirl.com - competitive dueling community
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