Paeroka’s Ponderings: Gear and level-advantages in PvP

Paeroka's Ponderings featured image for column

Some time ago, I read a topic in the German section of the Black Desert Online forum where a player suggested that the game’s PvP may be better if there were no level-advantages as a higher level gives better stats, for example. He was laughed at by others and called “carebear” for wanting that. Unfortunately, I cannot find the thread anymore – but it would be in German anyway. But this is apparently how PvP should work and it is good this way: If you spend a lot of time in the game, you should have an advantage over those who play less often or are new to the game – other than the already mentioned increased experience and skill in playing your character, of course!

I admit, I am a carebear. I am a huge big carebear! – Why? Because I think that being able to win against somebody who has no chance whatsoever at all, no matter how skilled that player may be, simply because I am higher level and/or have better gear, is a horrible design flaw of PvP in a lot of MMOs. If some new player comes in and has not played the game much but knows how to play so much better than me, then kudos to him! He should be able to win against me. I, on the other hand, should not win simply because I have been playing longer and managed to get my character in better gear. I was just very surprised to see that somebody asking for an even playing field and letting skill and experience decide a battle rather than stronger gear and higher level, is called a carebear. Some people…

Warhammer Online Chicken in Tier 1

Let’s look at other MMOs, though: Warhammer Online, for example, had four different PvP (here called “RvR”, but I’ll continue using PvP to not mix up the terms all the time) tiers and bolstering up. The first tier was for levels 1 to 11. So right from the start, you had your map with PvE zones and PvP zones. If your low level 1 entered the tier 1 PvP zone, it got bolstered up in stats to level 11. It was still weaker than a “real” level 11, but at least, you got much closer to the other player. The best part, however, was when you were too high level for a given tier – in our example, when your character turned level 12 – that you were turned into a chicken which could be one-shot by other players. You regularly had people in chat say: “Okay, that’s it. See you in tier 2” and then you could see the chicken run out of the PvP zone as fast as their little feet could carry them. I do remember some heated discussions about this feature before the game launched but Mark Jacobs stood by that decision. Of course, simply getting downscaled would have been the better option in my opinion, as that would have freed up the whole game to you once you were max. level instead of restricting you only to the highest tier. But I still think the chicken mechanic is better than having high level players repeatedly kill low level players. Especially when you consider that low level players also may be new players which are kind of important to keep in an MMO… ;)

GW2 sPvP with level 2
All specializations are unlocked, even though my character is only level 2. In PvE, you need to work towards unlocking the specializations first

Guild Wars 2’s sPvP (instanced PvP) goes even further: No “artificial” bolstering up, but being at maximum level with exactly the same stats and exactly the same gear as everybody else! When I heard that they were doing it like that, I got pretty excited! Those who have a lot of time (and who are usually the ones with the highest level and the highest gear in other MMOs) are probably also those who get the most practice and as such they will have an advantage over people like me anyway. However, there are also those who do have a lot of time on their hands, who do get a lot of practice and who may turn out to be worse than somebody with less practice but quicker reflexes or whatever the reason. I ask again: Is this bad? Am I a carebear if I say that this is how it should be? That skill should determine the winner of a battle and not the playtime, the level or the gear that a player acquired?

Thankfully, we have so many games around that I think everybody can find a game that does it the way they prefer. So, I know that even though Black Desert Online looks like an interesting game, it is not the game for me. I do prefer Guild Wars 2 where level and gear don’t matter!


I regularly have rants and ramblings in my mind, but never really know if I should post them, so “Paeroka’s Ponderings” is where I will try to give these rants a place. Sometimes they will make sense, sometimes they won’t.

3 “code bundles” to give away for Atlas Reactor (all codes are gone!)

(Update: All codes are gone!!)

We still have a few codes left for Atlas Reactor and since there is an expiration date attached to them (first Monday in September), of course, we would like to see them get to new owners soon! So this giveaway is a bit different from the ones we usually do. The first three people to comment here stating that they would like the codes will get them.

But first, a short reminder of what these codes are about:

“Atlas Reactor is a turn-based battle arena. It has the obligatory PvP mode, but it also has a nice PvE mode where you can either play against bots with other players or purely with and against NPCs. So even if you like such a game but do not like PvP at all, Atlas Reactor offers you the chance to enjoy it anyway.” (quoting myself here)

If you belong to the first three people, you will get an email with three codes (for this, please make sure to enter a valid email address into the “email” field):

  1. Grey’s Citadel Skin
  2. Two loot matrices (after entering this code, you will receive two loot matrices again once the game has launched as there will be a wipe in between)
  3. A beta code (to be used by yourself or given away to a friend).

One word again about the beta: Everybody can sign up and play the game right away!  However, there are some restrictions. If you buy the game, there are no further restrictions. If you get a beta code, there will also be no restrictions for as long as the beta is taking place!

The end of this giveaway is obviously when three people have commented or when the first Monday of September has come as the codes expire then!

Winners of the Rift Giveaway (August)

I prepared the list of participants earlier today, so that I can roll for the winners fast now. As always, we use to choose the winners. We had a couple of people who left several comments, but those were only counted once, of course, so that everybody gets the same chance to win!

Without further ado, here are the winners (in alphabetical order). Congratulations to everybody! If you haven’t won, come again the next time we have a giveaway. Maybe you’ll win then. :)

  1. Annie
  2. Christa Pizzicato
  3. Christina sweat
  4. Dianne Melahn
  5. Jennifer Anderson
  6. Kristina
  7. Martin
  8. Sylvain
  9. Trav
  10. Usain Bolt

You will receive your codes through the email address you provided, so there is nothing you need to do. If you don’t receive an email, then contact us (by using the email you left in the comment field, so we know it’s really you! ;) ).

The end of Blaugust 2016 (Blaugust Post 18)

I have decided to “stop” with Blaugust. As always, it is a great initiative, but as I initially wrote, I will have to see if it interferes with my other duties, most of all my Real Life. The good news is: It’s not really interfering. The bad news is: There’s this pressure on my mind and the constant thought of “what could I blog about next?” and “I still need to do x amount of blog posts.”

The most important thing for me to do is to reduce the amount of “must do”-tasks in my head. Unfortunately, Blaugust is such a thing and it is also one of the few tasks that I do not have to do, but chose to do. Still, this is the 18th post, so I did more than half of what I had aimed for. :)

In the end, I still really love blogging months as they do encourage me to write blog posts and think about what I could put here in this blog. It is just not the time to focus on writing one blog post per day and that’s why I decide to throw out that (voluntary) goal. I also still have several more topics to write about this month (announcing the winners of the current two open giveaways, for example). So this will definitely not be the last post this month! However, saying that I “stop” with Blaugust takes away the pressure on my mind and that will be a relief. It is supposed to be fun, after all!

We are also doing some planning “behind the scenes”. For example, we want to use our YouTube channel more often (as opposed to not at all currently :p). Though this isn’t my field of expertise. This will be bookahnerk’s little corner who has enough of being be “man for everything” in the background and wants to get creative as well!

Currently, I am also trying to play too many games and this, of course, also interferes with my time I could spend blogging. On the other hand, I cannot blog about games if I don’t actually play them! I just bought Sengoku for bookahnerk and for myself (Paradox is having a summer sale) where I have no clue what I’m doing and I want to give Path of Exile a serious try this time. If anybody can point me at a good templar build, by the way… :p I also don’t really know how I ended up in The Secret World again. This one is definitely not a game that I will play a lot, but something reminded me of the game recently and I want to take another look and see if I can explore a bit more. The setting is so intriguing and fascinating! I just kind of wish it was a single player RPG.

And I also sorted my Steam games library, as there is always this large list of games tempting me. I made a new category where I put all the games that I have no interest in playing. Some because I already finished them and don’t want to re-play them or they became obsolete (Anno 1404, as the launcher is Anno 1404: Venice). Others were part of a bundle and I am not interested in playing them and then there are – fortunately – just a handful of games that I bought and then found out that I did not like them at all! The latter really is the smallest section of games.

I was considering maybe trying out the ones that I did not sort “away”, because I may be interested in trying them but that I have never played and writing about my impressions about them here. That way, I do actually play them and don’t feel like I wasted money (even if they were part of a bundle), but I still do not commit to playing them for a long time. I usually don’t even start most of these games, after all, as it feels silly just to start a game and play for an hour if I then never even want to continue. But this way, they have a purpose. ;)