Caption: This took place inside a Republic base that was supposed to have defenses that should have repelled Imperial players with one-shot deaths from turrets. As you can see, that didn't happen and these players exploited it, and most couldn't even respawn to full health before being killed again.
Disclaimer: This is definitely an opinion piece where there will be some venting from my point of view of what PvP should entail.
For as long as they have been in existence, I would say I am still rather a newbie to the MMORPG scene. Having a couple of years of Star Wars Galaxies, almost two years of both Star Trek Online and Star Wars the Old Republic, a short stint of three months in WoW during the ending days of Burning Crusade, small tastes of different f2p games like Rift, Neverwinter, and Perfect World International, Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, and most recently Final Fantasy XIV, which is, of course, a sub game, I have only really had a total of roughly five years experience in this world of games. While most of those games mentioned seem to have more emphasis on PvE experiences with the PvP that does exist separated in a completely other realm, a couple have implemented the "open world" PvP that has you constantly flagged for battle against players from other factions, regardless of level gap. My first experience was the three months I played WoW, and a big reason it was only three months was I felt like trying to get anything done was nigh impossible. First off, I joined the game by myself, not knowing anyone who I could play with or join a guild, unaware at the time of the difference between servers-of course, that was the fault of my own ignorance, I admit-but regardless, here I was wandering around Azeroth trying to complete low level content with no mount being constantly one-shotted by lvl 70 rogues who for what I guess was kicks and giggles thought it was fun to gank a level 17 who was minding his own business trying to complete content. For those that experienced the game know, when you died in that game, you had to respawn at a point that sometimes was quite a distance away from where you fell, having to run back to your body in a spectral form, resurrect, and suffer a penalty on stats and damage of gear, only for the experience to repeat itself sometimes not moments later.
More recently, Star Wars The Old Republic, which in my opinion gets a worse rap than it should (another discussion for another day), is a game I have enjoyed and stuck with for the almost two years it has been live. However, I joined a PvP server because the guild I was in voted and chose it, so I either leave those I was looking forward to play with, or give a PvP server another shot. And this is where my beef comes from. Somewhere, sometime, there came this unwritten, unspoken rule that anonymity "allows" the worst in people to emerge unashamedly. It took what I experienced in WoW to a completely different level of nausea. There has not been just the experience of being in a lower leveled area and being ganked by a much higher level player, but also in level capped areas, no rules of fairness seem to apply at all, and if you happen to voice your distaste of that at all, the responses are just as rude, elitist, and callous. From "suck it up" to "you can be a (insert expletive or inappropriate name here) and go to a PvE server) to erroneous arguments of "you ever read Sun Tzu's Art of War? Then you should know fighting isn't fair." For starters, is this not a game, but instead "win at all costs" war where the mantra is "they did it to me, so I'm going to do it them" and the cycle continues? I have never understood how it is fun to wait for a player of an opposite faction to finish fighting a mob of NPC's, ending with low health, and swoop in and kill them, and to add insult to injury, stay camped until they respawn and do it again, or port back to a medcenter. Or, groups of three of four hunting around for a single player to harass and kill, and then continue to follow like the group of bullies in school who singled out kids to feel like they were "tough." I'm sorry, but there's nothing "tough" about that. I might not understand PvP then if that is how it works, or since I am still a relative newcomer to the scene. But plenty of other MMO's having separated PvP to arenas, warzones, or WvWvW areas where true, Player versus Player can take place for those who choose to do so.
I recently transferred my main character in SWTOR to an RP-PVE server, and the community is entirely different. Do not misunderstand either. There are some hardcore PvP'ers on that server, but the way the server works if they want to do it in open world areas, they can flag themselves for it, and those who just want to complete the quests and objectives in the area, they can do so unmolested. I mean, several games have offered an open world feel while making the engagements even and battles that are won by skill, not ganking, griefing, and camping. Star Wars Galaxies also had a system where you flagged yourself for PvP where the player understood that when they did so, they should expect to be attacked by anyone else who was flagged. What I really don't understand is how the kind of "PvP" I see on the servers I've mentioned is fun for those who exploit it. Is there really a sense of empowerment or accomplishment when you one-shot a player thirty levels below you or are part of a group who gangs up on a single player and ravages them? Or is it simply a juvenile thrill where the person sits at their computer and snickers at the cheap gratification taking advantage of the system given to them?
If this is seen by any of you as a whining session, remember my disclaimer at the beginning, but I also would like to understand, if anyone can tell me, why so many people find enjoyment in this type of gameplay. I might be acting naive or being too optimistic for people who, given the opportunity to do something undesirable and get away with it, will. Ultimately, though, I do not believe that what goes on in that Open World PvP environment is real PvP. Talking to a friend of mine about this yesterday, being a kindred spirit, he described an example where he came across a player from another faction fighting a mob. Instead of taking advantage of the situation and attacking him unfairly, he helped him take care of the mob, let him heal, then they fought. To me, that sounds like fun PvP. I'm anxious to see the kind of response I will get to this, and the discussion that will come from it. Please, though, I ask everyone to be considerate and not throw any personal attacks based on people's opinions and preferences. So far, the discussions on my posts have been really good about this. I appreciate it from all of you and hope to hear from you soon.