The term PvP stands for Player versus Player. This can mean anything from a friendly spar to a disagreement that elevates to the point of physical conflict.
Some players use the term CvC (Character vs Character) to differentiate between conflicts confined to the two characters (such as a friendly spar or role-playing) and conflicts that revolve around actual enmity between two players.
From Policy 11:
"It is understood that there are elements of combat in DragonRealms, which will promote a competitive environment. DragonRealms has been designed to promote competition as player vs. creature, or player vs. puzzle, and not generally player vs. player. Some events (such as the Gladiatorial Games), encourage player vs. player combat in a structured setting. Also, some players will choose to roleplay a competitive situation between themselves, and will combat each other, which is acceptable. What is not acceptable is to initiate combat against unsuspecting victims. Anyone exhibiting such behavior, especially one who chooses to prey upon weaker players for his or her own enjoyment, may be in violation of DragonRealms policy.
There are many gray areas in terms of defining what is acceptable competition, and what is abusive behavior. In general, Simutronics will not get involved in any player vs. player conflict which is confined to a small group of players. However, if such conflict overlaps to other players, or causes a generally disruptive influence on DragonRealms in general, the participants will be warned. Simutronics reserves the right to determine which behavior is considered abusive."
A Guide to PvP
Character versus Character combat can be an extremely entertaining part of the game, if approached with the right attitude. Policy is shifting -- not to be more permissive of unwarranted PvP, but to foster an environment where players can publicly choose their level of involvement. That said, it can still be a confusing subject. Below are some general guidelines.
- Don't just gank people because they're open, unless you have a history with them. It's annoying, especially if they like to roleplay. You're violently jerking them out of that mindset for no reason other than boredom. And there are better ways to have fun. If you want a fight, try to stir one up in-character -- bump into someone on the street, act offended, and demand a challenge. Steal. Make a passing insult about a character. Act like your character is drunk and belligerent. If you aren't skilled enough to kill them while they know you're out there somewhere, then find someone else to play with.
- When somebody dies on either side, it is probably time to end the conflict. Let the deceased gather their things, or take yours and go home. Using DEPART ITEM will prevent you from being graverobbed, though you may lose your weapon. 99% of PvP problems arise when someone decides to push things after this point. Usually, it's the loser -- calling in other characters, reporting, or finding some other way to vent their frustration. None of this is cool. If you die, just depart and go back to training, or yell at the other guy. In either case, if dying really upsets you all that much, you need to change your profile to PvP Closed and avoid in-game conflicts, physical or otherwise.
- Just because you are fighting with a character does not mean you are fighting with the player. This is a game and it exists to be fun. If you are not having fun, then run away. Hide. Respectfully bow out with RP, or OOC the person and say, "Good game, truce?" There is no reason to become angry or frustrated in real life. If things get overheated, you can always walk away.
In short, don't. It's an easy way to waste a GM's time, and there are a lot of ways to slip up and get hit with a mech abuse charge. Still, there are times when someone pushes you a little too far, and you decide they should pay a tangible price. If you go this route, know this:
- Graverobbing will almost always get you reported.
- While graverobbing isn't against the rules, it's an especially mean thing to do and may put any GM that gets called down at odds with you.
- Other players, previously uninvolved, may come gunning for you. In fact, I've never seen this NOT happen.
- Policy on graverobbing is a little funny. Familiarize yourself with the rules before you try it.
Reporting and Assisting
REPORTing (or ASSISTing) over a conflict is frowned upon by most of the DragonRealms community. You are taking what has so far been an in-game issue between two people, and turning it into a much larger out-of-game conflict between several. Whether or not the GMs capitulate and lay down a warning on your opponent, this sort of behavior can reflect negatively on you as a player. Remember: If someone kills your character, you have lost nothing. If you get him locked out, he loses the right to play. Who's the bigger jerk?
Assisting over a conflict becomes acceptable (in a social sense) when your ability to play is being compromised by the other player for far longer than is reasonable (spawn camped, repeatedly killed for no reason, etc.), if you have been attacked with absolutely no cause while set to PvP closed, or he is using some form of mechanics abuse to uneven the playing field. Even then, think long and hard before you hit that report button. You're about to make life miserable for a lot of people, and the guy you're reporting probably isn't one of them.
Being Polite and Classy
- Give the loser a chance to get away with his stuff.
- If someone clearly isn't interested in interacting with you, don't push it.
- Try not to use "leave or I'll kill you," especially if the person has some cause to be where they are. Say instead, "Don't talk to me or I'll kill you."
- Try to fight with characters around your level range or above. If the small fry act up, smack them down, but give them ample warning first. A thump usually does it.
Hunting for Necromancers
Necromancers are a fairly new guild, and are designed specifically to be at high risk for PvP and other consequences.
Inquisitorial equipment has been made available to all players, and any cleric of sufficient skill has access to a few relevant titles. Typically, the Inquisition is staffed by any who have the courage and idealism to stand against the necromantic threat, and requires no NPC recognition or title.
What Not to Do
- Not everyone with a belt knife is a Necromancer.
- Not everyone casting Ease Burden is a Necromancer.
- Not everyone that hides their guild affiliation is a Necromancer.
- Your character has no training as a Necromancer and shouldn't know anything beyond what sorcery looks like (Acid Splash, Calcified Hide) and that zombies and mudmen (earthen constructs) are bad.
- Bothering low-level characters is a fruitless pursuit.
- Don't ask for someone to prove they aren't a Necromancer. Get a Cleric or a Moon Mage, or tell the guards. If none of this works, the character has been behaving anyway.
- Don't harass people. ACCUSE them if they're in town. Watch them go open, and chase them away. If you kill them once, let it lie unless they come after you or refuse to leave the city.
What to Do
- Set yourself to PvP open. If you are going to go looking for a fight, it's the least you can do.
- If a character is way lower level than you, just tell the guards. If they're not in town, let it go. There are bigger fish to fry.
- If a character around your level, ACCUSE them. If they don't get caught, they get flagged open. Chase them around, kill them if you can and want to, but don't be a jerk about it. Let them flee into the hills. Just make sure those filthy gravediggers don't sneak back into town while your back is turned.
- Let the bad guy get away - Just because you have access to Locate, a familiar, riftal summons, or a huge network of friends doesn't mean you have to use any of that. If the Necromancer is making an earnest effort to escape, call it a win and move on.
- If they're at your level but outside of town, kill their zombies or constructs and check their profile. If they're open, go ahead and pop 'em one for being dumb. If they're guarded, tell them to repent and see if they take the bait. If not, move on.
- If they're over your head, leave them alone, unless you really want to accuse them. If they're outside of town, go quietly tell the Inquisitors that you suspect this person and let it go.
- Hunting for heretics is a really fun roleplaying opportunity. Your character finally has the chance to do some good in the world. Let it shine.
- Arc Light, fire spells, burn, and flaming logs and vines will ignite naphtha.
- Read the lore, or at least skim it on Elanthipedia. Ask questions.
Hunting the Hunters
If you are a Necromancer, or at least support their right to freely practice magic, the Inquisition can be pretty damn annoying, especially if the player isn't following the rules listed above.
- If you're not a Necromancer, people are going to wonder why you're killing Inquisitors. Come up with a reason.
- Check their profile EVERY TIME. In a perfect world, we'd all be open, but you never know.
- Be loud on the gweth and in person. Call people out. Make yourself a mustache-twirling villain, but again, don't be a jerk. If someone doesn't want to play with you, move on.