Giving Chase Christian the “Care Bear Stare”
This is me:
These are my friends:
This is our guild:
Right, so, in case that wasn’t clear: I don’t play on a PvP server. I really enjoy PvP, but I much prefer for it to be on my own terms and my own time. Somedays I feel like doing arenas or battlegrounds; other days I don’t. I appreciate the freedom I have on a non-PvP realm to choose how I want to spend my time.
So yesterday evening when my RSS reader told me that WoW Insider’s rogue columnist had a new article on world PvP, I almost didn’t give it a second glance. I don’t play a rogue and there’s hardly any world PvP on my server, so very little in the article would have pertained to me. For some reason, I read through it anyway and came out of it pretty appalled.
Chase Christian’s article, “How to Run the Molten Front” (a commenter later suggested that he misspelled “ruin” in the title) is essentially a how-to guide on finding ways to gank as many unsuspecting players as possible while they attempt to complete their Molten Front dailies. Now before you yell at me for being too much of a “care bear” to understand the ins and outs of world PvP on a PvP server, let me show you a few examples of Chase’s helpful hints:
“The first thing you should do in the Molten Front is finish your own daily quests. Once you start blowing up the opposing faction, they’re likely to reciprocate. If you’ve already finished all of your quests, then you have the upper hand … I like to breeze through all of my dailies first, and then I turn my daggers to my enemies.”
“Remember, you’ve already completed your daily quests. Your only objective here is to throw a wrench into your enemies’ plans. You don’t have to kill them to succeed. If you’re doing your job properly, there will be a handful of enemies camping the ramp on the edge of the safe zone, waiting for you to slip up. There will also be a parking lot of enemy players up the ramp, trying to pull mobs into the sanctuary zone so that they don’t have to fear your wrath.
When there are multiple players hiding at the sanctuary out of fear for your blades, you’ve done your job. Every minute that they’re delayed is another minute you’ve stolen of their time. They’ll have to come down eventually to administer their salves and defend their wisps, and you’re preventing them from progressing.”
“Avoid any class that you can’t handle. There’s no shame in picking your targets, as that’s precisely why Stealth was invented. Your goal isn’t to kill every single player ever; it’s to assassinate the most opportune targets as quickly as possible. You’re not looking to get into a long fight here — you’re looking to snipe players who aren’t paying attention and giving you the respect you deserve.”
“By forcing them to hide or to take extra precautions, you’re slowing them all down. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not always about slaying your opponents. Your goal here is to disrupt the flow and to make them waste as much time as possible, and you can do that without killing anyone.”
… Really, WoW Insider?
What’s described here is griefing, pure and simple, and the most viewed unofficial WoW resource on the web just provided a detailed guide on how to grief harder, better, and longer. Unfortunately, this is also the sort of griefing that’s going to be completely unreportable on a PvP server, since one person constantly ganking unsuspecting players isn’t nearly enough to petition a GM for zone disruption. (In general, Blizzard’s position on ganking or other “unfair” practices on PvP realms is ‘Tough Cookies.’ Any type of PvP that can be solved by having more players arrive on the scene to turn the tide is considered fair game. There are no rules and no honor … PvP currencies aside. If several raids full of Hordies decide to camp in Stormwind for a few hours, killing all the NPCs there in the process, then that could be the sort of case in which Blizzard would site those players for zone disruption. Outside of such extreme circumstances however, ganking and corpse-camping are acceptable in that they are problems with can be solved through PvP itself. I just hope those of you on PvP servers have a LOT of friends.)
One of the most interesting arguments I usually see when this sort of issue comes up is a point which Chase himself invokes: “Every single player you encounter who’s flagged for PVP made a conscious decision to allow themselves to be attacked. They either purposefully rolled on a PVP server, knowing the risks, or they flagged themselves or engaged in PVP first.” At first glance this seems completely true: Players who rolled on a PvP server knew that this type of griefing would occur there. If they don’t like it, they should have rolled somewhere else or can simply realm transfer their toon away.
But are you someone who’s interested in cutting-edge raid progression? Do you aspire to be in any of the top US guilds who are working on hardmodes long before the rest of us have even seen Ragnaros? Well then your choices might be a bit more limited. Take a look at the current rankings on WoW Progress for US servers. See any trends there? As of the time this article was posted, 20 of the top 25 US servers are PvP realms. Of the top 50 realms, only 11 of them are PvE. For those players who want to push themselves to someday reach these heights, and for those who choose a guild that fits them rather than a realm, PvP isn’t always something they enter into so willingly.
I find it especially concerning that Chase has a goal of preventing players of the opposing faction from progressing. This argument might make sense in zones like Tol Barad or (more so) Wintergrasp, where preventing the other faction from having control of the zone meant that your faction had access to more vendors, more dailies, and more raid bosses who could provide you with PvP gear. What does preventing people from finishing their Molten Front dailies do, exactly? You deprive them of some gold from quest turn-ins, and slow down their progress towards PvE gear. NOTHING that you can get from the vendors in the Molten Front has resilience on it, so what exactly is the point of slowing down anyone’s progress in this zone aside from being an asshole?
I’m not the only reader to be pretty put off by this article. MMO Melting Pot has an exceptional response available as well, and there are some excellent comments to Chase’s writing on the original post. Most of all, I find myself disappointed that such a popular resource as WoW Insider would publish an article that so clearly is not at all about helping anyone in the Warcraft community. I suppose it’s easy to forget, what with these digital characters we spend so much time on, that there are real people on the other side of those toons. The freedom of anonymity is a scary thing.