Welcome to WTFBBQ-now that we’ve cooled off a bit, I’ll caution you to push back your lawnchairs a bit as I add some more fuel to the fire dumps in ten gallons of lighter fluid. Let’s talk about PvP vs PvE.
PvP gets labeled toxic by a lot of people, and I used to label it so myself, despite having played it. PvEers get called care bears-but I don’t think any PvEer really cares, it’s a pretty mild insult. Being toxic, though, that drives players away and means less money and fewer games. The truth is, the problem really isn’t PvP vs PvE. It’s actually toxic players.
You know them as griefers or gankers, scam artists and cheaters. They’re the people who can’t PvP their way out of a wet paper bag yet sit just outside the newbie zone waiting for fresh meat. They’re the people who shout profanity at you and threats utterly unprovoked. They’re the guy who teleports in, grabs something and teleports out-in a game without teleports. They’re trolls, idiots and basically pathetic malcontents and the gaming equivalent of Incels. They will stalk you, harass you and assault you if they can, because for them, ruining your day is their only way to feel special in their otherwise pitiful lives.
Those aren’t PvPers or PvEers exclusively, they can be on either side, though griefing does get a lot easier in PvP, and most neckbeards haven’t the brain cells to figure out how to do it in PvE, so you’ll find more of that particular breed in PvP (yes it’s possible, no, I’m not telling you how). Griefers can literally disrupt your play, but if they continue to for long enough, either the devs step in or the game’s PvP will die off. No new players mean no more players. Griefers, being the bright bunnies they are, never seem to get that. If a game’s PvP has died, chances are, you have griefers to thank. That doesn’t necessarily mean there are more toxic players in PvP, in fact, it somewhat levels the playing field as PvP games prone to griefers tend to shutter pretty quick. There are still loudmouths, the bigots, the scammers, the cheaters in PvE, and a few-albeit rare-griefers bright enough to know how to roll newbies even on PvE servers.
Let me pause for a PSA: Reporting is a game function, you should absolutely use it. Every time you do, you’re making the community and the game better. I came across a lot of actual educational studies done on this, where they showed that encouraging reporting works better than just having the feature alone, so in the interest of better games for everyone-I encourage you-report them. Griefing can be harder to report, but when all else fails, vote with your wallet. It’s shame if it has to come to that, and we’ve probably lost some good ones as a result, but the devs did have a choice to implement something to offset it, and with the way games are cycling, someone will make something else that will be just as good without the griefers. End PSA.
PvP itself is just competitive play, it’s not a place for ganking and griefing, contrary to what PvE players think. No self-respecting PvP player does this stuff. It’s got no skill and has no point other than driving players out of the game. Trust me, PvP players hate these kinds and look at them with the kind of derision you might normally reserve for whatever your cat hacked up three days ago and hid under the sofa. Yes, even the devs hate them-and I can back it up. They’re talentless skill-less idiots who drive people away. Anyone who brags about this is basically bragging about sucking and wanting to destroy the games they play. That’s a special kind of moron right there. PvP players are PvP because they prefer the chaos of player-driven combat, the kind that no AI out there can begin to emulate for a PvE experience. They want the difficult, the unpredictable and the high risk, high stakes play. They’re there to flex, to stretch, and to shine. You don’t do that waiting outside a newbie zone to kill someone who has little more than a stick and rags, and you sure as hell don’t drive away players from the game you love. PvP players want a high population. They want to have more new players because new players mean a wider variety of experience and a better play experience (not to mention more money to continue to support their game of choice).
PvPers are not, by nature, toxic. They’re certainly more high strung, due to the competitive nature of the games and things can get heated, but they’re by no means inherently toxic. Not any more than raid groups who focus on progression. Does that mean they’ll be abusive or toxic when the stress is on? Yeah, they might be, but that’s not necessarily their sole occupation, unlike toxic players, who are just there to run the servers down until there’s noone left to play with.
How do you tell the difference, then? Well, if you’re grouped with someone and they’re laughing at treating someone else like crap-they’re toxic. If they’re spewing racist comments-yeah they’re toxic. But if you’re down to the wire and someone starts cursing like a drill sergeant? Probably not. They might need something more in their life than gaming if they’re taking it so very seriously, but they’re not necessarily a toxic player. Games are, after all, a hobby (unless you’re in a pro tourney, in which case you don’t need me to tell you any of this, you already know it), if they’re making you redline your blood pressure or do a Mr.Hyde on you, you should probably step back and take up something less demanding. Like gardening.
You will find toxic players no matter where you go. PvE and PvP will have them, that lovely internet anonymity meme comes to mind.
PvP is a viable way to play, so is PvE, that toxic players exist in either has nothing to do with one being superior to another. PvP isn’t any more inherently toxic than PvE. Certain games are. If you really want to avoid toxic players, don’t just tar an entire playstyle with a wide brush, take an extra five minutes and browse the game’s forums and scan for what the community is like. That will probably tell you all you need to know.
Don’t just assume because someone plays PvP that they’re toxic, or that a game is toxic because it’s PvP. You don’t have to enjoy PvP, or even play it if you don’t want to, but once you take out the third wheel of toxic players themselves, it becomes just as viable as any other form of play. Similarly, don’t assume because it’s PvE it’ll be free of toxicity. There’s a reason most veterans almost always turn off the general chat channels, and it isn’t to save on space. Trust me, toxic can be found everywhere.