Age of Conan PvP Guide
Age of Conan PvP Guide by Whelm
Authors intent: I’m putting this page up for the PvP curious. I intend to explain the differences between PvP, Pk, griefing, and spawnkilling. I will also explain the three different server types, and then wrap it up with beginner level PvP strategy and etiquette.
0.1) About the author. I’ve played a huge list of MMOs out there, always with PvP/PK as the goal. Asheron’s Call, AC2, DAoC, EQ2, Anarchy Online, Eve, and a larger number of others I’ve completely forgotten in my old age. Back when I was a kid, PvP consisted of hitting your brother in the ribs so he’d drop his coleco-vision controller so you would win. I’ve a ton of experience on the subject of PvP/PK. That being said, I’m also extremely one-sided, opinionated, and stupid, so don’t take the below to be the gospel. Season my advice to your own tastes.
1.) PvP subtypes
1-a.)PvP (Player versus Player).
PvP is, in general, combat between two or more players with the intent of killing the other player/team. Both sides are aware of the combat happening beforehand, and adopt strategies that reflect this. I.E. having a spread of classes in the team (damage dealers, ranged/casters, healers). Duelers are the main population that comprise this group.
1-b.)Pk (Player killing, also known as “hunting”)
Pk is the practice of entering an open are with the intent of finding a suitable victim, and attacking them unawares. The purpose of this is to simply dispatch another player, with or without his or her consent. There’s two types of players that populate this group, Body-counters, and trophy hunters. Body-counters are in the business of taking down as many other players as possible (same player multiple times, if they are a griefer as well). Trophy hunters are a rarer population, their objective is to locate and take down opponents stronger than they are. This includes your humble author.
1-c.)Griefing. (large number of unlisted expletives)
These are they guys that are simply out to give people a hard time. They’ll kill you over and over again, camp your body, and generally be a large pain in the arse. Primarily body-counters. A favorite of trophy hunters as well, I myself am more than happy to answer the OOC report of a griefer in progress. Another notch on my belt waiting to happen.
1-d.)Spawnkillers. (Also a long list of four-letter words)
These are the laziest and unskilled of griefers and body-counters. They will remain immobile, and simply use their higher level or large numbers to stay in one spot and rack up body count. 99% of the time, they can simply be dealt with by engaging them directly when they are busy with someone else. Spawnkillers abhor a direct fight, and tend to flee if backstabbed/root shotted/casted on from a distance.
These are the guys that want a game with the difficulty severely ramped up in a way that approaches insanity. Most MMOs that implement hard-core rules dictate that death is permanent, or at minimum total gear loss. Your author here is a fan of this type.
Carebears are folks who either think PvP/PK is stupid and do not partake, or claim to be PvPers but don’t seek to improve themselves. They tend to believe that they cannot lose unless there is something either wrong with the game, the other player is cheating, or an exploit has been used. A normal PvP/Pker, upon losing a battle, will consider counters, new strategies, and will often at great length, consult forums, game wikis, and additional data sources to formulate a new plan of attack. Carebears do none of these things, and simply pray that if they complain loudly enough on the servers, that the developers will heed their plight and “nerf” the game to cover the weakness in their strategy that they will refuse to spend the time or effort into correcting themselves. General PvP/PKer reaction towards carebears is undeniably hostile; History shows a good number of games where PvP has been damaged or ruin due to carebear griping. In all but a few rare exceptions, Carebears do not have the proper PvP mindset to be truly effective at any level.
1-g.) “Gank”. Not so much a PvP type or player style, Gank is a term which simply means initiating combat on someone else without their consent. Gank can mean an Assassin popping out of nowhere to backstab someone, a mage suddenly opening up all kinds of trouble on your from afar, a team of higher level players attacking lowbies out alone, or someone interfering in a duel to give one side an unfair advantage.
2.) Server types
2-a.) PvE (Player versus Environment)
This server type is primarily cooperatively designed. You can quest solo or with a team without fear of of being attacked by other players. PvP does exist in the forms of duels and PvP minigames. Carebears should be directed here at each opportunity. _This_ is the server you go to for PvP, purely by definition. Here you can carefully arrange one-on-one matches to your heart’s content, and have maximum control over how and when you do PvP.
2-b.) PvP:Culture (Player versus Player, realm-style)
PvP is only enabled in public areas for the three separate races. If you are teamed with a mix of races, be warned: They may be attacked, and you may not be able to protect or assist them if the attacker shares your specific race. This may change in the future. PK oriented, but realm-level PvP available as well. Interesting mix.
2-c.) PvP (Player versus Player, Free-for-all. The only current choice leaning towards a hardcore rule set)
If you want to PvP, do not come to this server. Seriously. This server isn’t about standard PvP, it’s all about Pk and severe difficulty. Join one of these servers only if you’re looking for the maximum level of difficulty possible. Do not come to FFA if you want to become a level 80 with top-notch gear as soon as possible. Do not come if you just want to “pwn nubs”, as this will likely see you perma-spawncamped and being beaten to obliteration. DO come if you are a bodycount, griefer, spawnkiller, or trophy hunter. PK here flourishes.
2-d.) PvP:RP Same as above, except you earnestly behave as if you were the critter you’re playing as.
3.) Beginner level strategy and advice.
3-a.) How to begin?
3-a-1.)PvP. My advice to you, in order to get your feet wet, is to join a PvE or PvP: social server and get into as many duels and free-range brawls as you can. If you have a sufficiently powerful computer, get a video recorder program and record some matches. It may be painful to watch, but review it and learn what the enemy used to defeat you. Watch them counter your moves. If your opponent is a jerk, ask them afterwords what you could have done different. If I personally gank someone, and they send me a tell asking for advice, I will, without exception, drop what I am doing and give it to them. They have the proper mindset to want to learn to improve, and this should be rewarded. In short, get your feet wet as often as possible, and you’ll learn the tricks of the trade far quicker than someone just reading stupid guides like mine.
3-a-2.)PK. I advice practicing trophy hunting here, as it’ll generate the least amount of “Aggro” from your fellow players. If I am attacked when alone by someone lower level than me, I’ll simply think “Ballsy little chap!” and be on my way. If I get killed by someone higher level than me, then I’m going to take some time out to try to find them and cut them down. I do not advise practicing PK by griefing or spawnkilling, as the skills needed to do these properly will not help you much when you do go out for the body-count or trophy hunt.
3-a-3.)Body count. This is simple enough, go to a free-range area and try to cut down as many people as possible before you die, regardless of your targets’ level. Use superior equipment or huge gaps in your level difference to facilitate this. Watch out for trophy hunters.
3-a-4.)Griefer. This one requires no thought, just do whatever you can to make people miserable. Watch out for trophy hunters. I’ll be gunning for ya.
[/b]3-a-5.)Spawnkillers.[/b] Another given. Get at least ten levels above the prey you want, then camp the lowbie spawn. Get a group of people together if you can to do it. Watch out for Trophy hunters. Spawnkillers are usually considered a big “prize”.
3-b-1-a.)After a bad fight. When you lose, don’t send annoying tells or cry in the OOC channel. This shows lack of resolve and intent on self-improvement. You will only be told “Cry moar.” If you do want to send a tell, simply ask the other person what you did wrong, or what else you could have done. Heck, feel free to ask the winner how to counter a technique of his! Most of us will gladly teach you something. There are exception: If you are being griefed or spawnkilled, feel free to let the whole world know over the OOC channel. As a trophy hunter, I will likely drop what I am doing and make a beeline for the griefer/spawnkiller if I am in the area. Spawnkiller tears are delicious.
3-b-1-b.) GloatingArrogance. Bread and butter for the PK and associated subtypes, or the socially immature. As a trophy hunter, I will gladly boast to all and sundry which camper or griefer I just took down, or gleefully tell everyone in range how I just offed someone a few levels above me. Considered a matter of form to the more hard-core PvP/PKers, care must be taken with this, as oftentimes will make you a nice fat target for people looking to take you down a peg. Can also be used prior to an attack, against a more permanent adversary. One of my more morbid lines goes like this: “I’m gonna sew you back into your mother’s womb, then kick her in the stomach.”
3-b-2.) Forum etiquette
3-b-2-a.)Avoid the nerf bat. If you lost in a legit fight, don’t beg the devs to “fix” something to cover a weakness. Instead, use the PvP and class forums to ask people for assistance in countering what you just dealt with. You will be gleefully advised. At length.
3-b-2-b.) E-peen wars. I will not explain the term, due to forum rules. Simply put, don’t bother getting into a “This class is better than this class.” “Nuh-uh!”. It’s taking time away you could be using to hone your skills.
3-b-2-c.) The target- Stay on it! Don’t attack the poster, attack the stupid remark they just made, then throroughly explain why and how it is stupid, and what could be done instead. Always offer an alternative.
4.) The epic myth of the theory of “Fairness” on a FFA server.
4-a.) Allow me to be perfectly blunt, here. No matter what you do, someone out there already thought of it, and a very good way to counter it. You WILL encounter people who seem to have an almost magical ability to take everything you have to throw at them, laugh as you do it, then quickly respond by annihilating you so badly that your first response will be to curl up in the fetal position. We’ve all been there. You will too, without exception. Also, there will be times where multiple people will all attack you, and they will be higher level than you and have better gear. You will also be killed, many times, at various spawn points where it seems impossible to escape. There *are* ways of getting out. (stealthing at the right time, calling backup, know a good trophy hunter, ect.) If you go on a FFA server expecting the elusive fairness fairy to follow you Link-style, you’re going to be branded a Carebear and be soundly disappointed. The point of a FFA server isn’t to become a god-like badass. It will never happen. The point of a FFA server is to say to the world, “Even with massive adversary, challenges, and a near zero survival rate, I thrived and held my own.”
Well, that about wraps it up. Please feel free to correct/add information/flame the bejezus outta me. If your comment is stupid, I will call it stupid. If you call me stupid, I will agree with you. If you like this guide, petition for a sticky for me, and I’ll take time outta my day to keep it shiny and new for the masses about to come in the next few days and weeks.