Saturday, March 24, 2012

PvP in Castle Age (How to Cope)

I'm hooked on a game called Castle Age on Facebook. When I first started playing, the game mostly consisted of completing quests and slaying monsters. There was a player vs. player (pvp) element of the game if you wanted--you'd go to the battle page and challenge other Castle Age players to duels (or invasions). If you win, you earn battle points and achieve higher ranks, so people move up through the ranks from things like Soldier to General to Duke to High King. (You really have to win a lot of duels to reach High King.)

You have two options when you play this game. You play it either as your real self, acting in the game as you normally would in real life (bearing in mind that it's a game and not real life); or, you playact your way through the game, taking on the aspects of a heroic character you would like to be and aren't like at all (it's either that, or there are some true sociopaths who play this game, or, alternately, some true angels).

When I first started playing two years ago, I used to meet some people who thoroughly disliked the pvp aspect of the game. They didn't want to hit anybody and did it only if they had to. Their focus was on questing and slaying monsters, so they put most of their skill points into energy and stamina. Consequently, they were the "soft" players without a lot of attack and defense, easily defeated.

Or, there have been players whose main focus has always been the pvp aspect of the game, and they build up quite a bit of attack and defense. If they quest, they do it mainly to get skill points to add to their att/def. If they join monsters, they do it for the loot (stronger armor, better weapons). They are hard, if not impossible, to defeat.

Most players are somewhere between the two extremes, or "hybrids." Pvp is just one element of the game, but you don't want to be a sitting duck, either, so you build up enough attack and defense to hold your own if need be. But most of your time is spent questing and slaying monsters with friends.

However, over the past year, the Castle Age developers have added more pvp aspects to the game. Now, we have not just the battle page, but we have festival duels and conquest duels (not to mention guild battles, festival battles, and the occasional Arena). The result is inevitable: more people are becoming pvp types and everybody is finding themselves continually under attack. So a form of "dueling etiquette" is taking shape; the interesting thing is that since there are no official rules regarding this, everyone makes up their own etiquette about what is reasonable and fair play and what isn't.

The old "softies" are largely a thing of the past, except that every now and then you'll see somebody complaining about being hit, say, ten times in a row and insisting that three times is enough. These are the people I think of as classic oversensitives. Really, if you're going to play a game with a pvp element, you need to expect to get totally smacked down every now and then. It's part of the game; it's not personal--somebody is just after points--so work on building up your defense and grow a thicker skin. Virtually no one is going to back you up in your complaining about a single player hitting you ten times in one isolated instance.

Fifty times in a row, though? Well, many would agree that's excessive. On the other hand, if that happens just one time from a single player, you've clearly run into what I think of as the pvp opportunist; they exist, no point in getting worked up about it; pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on with your life.

But what if that same player comes back and chain attacks you like that a second time? That used to be where I drew the line. Once, okay; twice, they're an asshole. Then you are entitled to a rant. Or, you can get a stronger friend in the game to chain the person back for you so you can feel a little sense of revenge or of helping to teach the bully a lesson in what it feels like to be singled out and picked on. (Though the truth is, these people probably already know perfectly well what it feels like and they just don't care.)

Except, now that there are so many pvp aspects of the game I've honestly found that I've hit the same player more than once totally by mistake. (Then again, I would never hit anybody fifty times. My max is 15 times in a row and that is ONLY IF we're equal in rank and I'm getting lots of points from them.) So, I've adjusted my own rules of etiquette: if someone chains me more than twice, that's excessive, especially if the attacks happens in a short period of time (like a month). The odds of the game pitting you against the same players more than twice within a matter of a few weeks are pretty slim. The time period is also so short that you are likely to recall that you've hit that person before. So not remembering is no excuse. If you do remember hitting them (especially if you've already chained them twice) and you go ahead and chain them again for a third time, then you have reached the level of what I think of as the pvp sociopath.

Now some pvp players don't see it this way. Since there are no rules in the game that say a person can't chain attack someone daily if that person happens to pop up on their battle page, all bets are off, and if they repeatedly beat you up, that's your tough luck. That's why I think of them as sociopaths. They have no conscience, no little inner voice that says: "Don't you think this is wrong?" (It's the same reasoning a con artist uses when they scam a victim: it's your fault you're the victim, dummy; it's what you get for being so gullible.) Of course, it is just a game. But then again, most people still apply their own morals even when they're playing a game. For example, we don't like cheaters. Even in a game, we don't like bullies. We don't like predatory opportunists. In other words, there is still the idea of fair play. The sociopaths have no appreciation of this. So I wind up concluding they're either a true jackass in real life, or they're so pathetic in real life that they "get even" with the world when they're playing a game, assuming the role of "Super Slayer." (I once asked a repeat chainer if the problem wasn't really that he had a tiny penis to be repeatedly chain attacking an almost 50 year-old lady with such viciousness. The humor was lost on him, alas. But clearly he was compensating for something.)

Anyway, I'm happy to say that, by far, the majority of people playing Castle Age are good folks with a solid sense of fair play. Just bear in mind that everybody's ethics are a little different. I've had Level 1200+ people chain attack me but stop at, say, 25 hits and leave me half alive. That doesn't upset me. Their bar is just a little higher than mine (15 hits). The fact that they stopped indicates they do draw a line somewhere. I have a tendency to send friend requests to people like this. They're good allies to have (especially when you come across a genuine bully who doesn't know when to stop).

In fact, these are the kind of people in Castle Age who often turn out to be the angels, guardians of a sort. They are strong enough to retaliate against bullies for the smaller players and they are kind enough to enter monster battles that have gone critical and save them for you, even though they have virtually nothing to gain from doing either of these things. Your best line of defense is often simple kindness, and not immediately assuming the worst of someone. Drop them a quick message and/or a friend request. ("Hi, just asking--did you mean to hit me 50 times in a row twice just this week?" Nine times out of ten, you will get a response that says, "Oh, sorry! I didn't realize I'd already hit you.") It's a great way to meet and make friends.

The other thing that people need to know is that, once you reach Level 300, the game no longer matches you up against people who are roughly your same level. You may get matched up against people two, three, four times higher than you. So don't get upset if someone several levels higher than you hits you, say, a measly five times. The fact that they stopped at five indicates that's a kind person on the other end. You may ask, why did they hit me at all? It's because no one can control who pops up on the battle page or the festival duels page or whatnot. If someone can get a few points from you, they will hit you (you've got to earn points somehow); so, if they kept it to a minimum, they're a good egg.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is this: nothing is worth getting upset by anymore in Castle Age unless you are chained (excessive number of hits in a row) three times or more in a short span of time by the same person. Hopefully this will be a rare experience for you.

And if you happen to be one of the sociopath chainers reading this, why, the only word I have for you is: karma.

Castle Age is a social game. In the long run, you get back what you put out.

Happy dueling!


Giovanny Andres Murillo Montenegro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joyce said...

I think you've made your case very well for yourself. You don't give a shit about anybody else in the game but yourself and you are arrogant, lol.

Of course I wrote this post quite some time ago.

Anymore I don't care when I get hit. I do find that certain people over Level 1000 have their own set of ethics: they tend to stop hitting lower level players at about 10-15 taps and then stop. But not always. PvPvM--those guys will repeatedly chain you, but then again their guild name basically announces that. I know one fella who repeatedly chained somebody in Redemption and that entire guild ganged up on him. He won't hit anybody in Redemption anymore. He learned to not be an asshole.

So yeah, watch out. One day you *will* chain attack the wrong person who belongs to a guild with a lot of high level players who are protective of their guildmates. Your day will come.

Cro Maat!

Joyce said...

Oh, yeah... there's something else you should probably know, though why I'm trying to help you I don't know. There is a group of Level 1000+ players who have joined together to chain people who are reportedly chaining lower level players. They see it as unfair, bullying behavior. So, you don't want to get on their bad side, either.

Basically, Giovanny, nobody likes a bully. At the end of the day, it *is* just a game, but when we see people quitting the game because they're sick of finding themselves dead every time they sign on, other people want to act to prevent that because those people being picked on are their friends. Castle Age to so many people is more about friendships and teamwork and having fun--not about getting points for beating the crap out of the same people over and over. Do as you please (and I'm sure you will), but just be aware there are many, many high level people in the game who don't like chainers any more than they like taggers. Peace out.

Poeta said...

Hey! I understand u, and I'm not against pvp, that's considerble, I mean chain attack someone more than 10 x is just sick and no ethics at wall, and that's a reflection who u are in real life, a sick bastard!
Unfortunally I'm having a problem of that kind, and I believe it is to the CA support to stop this kind of thing, and put limitations like in conquest and guild festivals.
After 2years playing I'm considering quit th game for once for all. And it's bad 'cause I really enjoyed that game. So if u can get me the name of that guild that kicks ass of stupid players like that, I would appreciate!

Poeta said...

Sorry for my grammar mistakes, I wrote this during a guild festival!

Joyce said...

I don't know that they have an official "name," because it's not a guild, it's just a group of 1000+ Level players who find it "unsportsmanslike," shall we say, to repeatedly chain attack low level players. I think if you ask around or post to the Forum somebody can probably connect you with one or some of them. Usually if you ask the chainer nicely if they're aware they've hit you to zero health over 10 times, they'll stop. Another thing you can do is contact the guild master of the person chaining you. Some guilds totally frown on that behavior and will kick chainers out of their guild.

Anonymous said...

I've been guilty of hitting people until I'm unable to, I don't hit lower levels or lower ranks and if I recognise a player I've already hit I'll by pass him/her, but what I hate is when people chain lower levels, that happened to me I was level 204 at the time I was high king from level 180 so I got attacked a lot but this level 440+ attacked me day after day, I wrote to the guild master as I thought this was unfair if he was my level I wouldn't mind but over 200 levels higher! This continued for a month until I got some of my higher guild members to intervene, but I don't see battling your own levels as being a sociopath, if some1 my level hits me and wins it just drives me to get stronger.

Giovanny Andres Murillo Montenegro said...

I really dont see the problem abbout chaining, game allows it, if you want to play pvp you must understand is open fire, in real life i avoid problems and I am very kind to others, but this is a game, I am a serial clicker killer then lol, I get chained, I chain, I dont see it as a problem, in this last arena i was hitting a guy many times, he sent his big friends on me, I healed myself so many times as possible, they got tired and stopped, being chained is not a problem to me, clicks cant hurt me, I have most of the ranks in game so couldnt care less to loose points in the different ranks, just relax in game, you cannot be chained if you hide yourself, the game allows you to protect yourself, so instead of complaining about being chained, just go and hide, and ask for help to big friends I think IMO makes you look like a crying baby

Joyce said...

Well, this is a pretty old post. I wasn't being a cry baby--really I was trying to offer advice to peeps who are new to the game ("how to cope," because seriously I've gotten lots of inbox messages from people who will complain to me if I just tap them 10 times.) Or peeps who started early on, when the game first started, and so much focus wasn't on pvp....they feel like the game has gotten vicious. I think I said above that everybody in the game has their own personal set of ethics and fair play. When I get chained, quite often it's just a matter of switching generals, and if the person is ranked higher than me (eg, in festy duels nowadays), I actually win more points back than they get from me. But I just feel weird about going back and hitting them and going back and hitting them again and again and again as long as they're in my battle log. Seems unsportsmanlike to keep hitting somebody I already know I can beat. And I think hiding is for cowards. And that's just MHO. Shrug. Everybody's mileage varies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharimg your views.

1. From my 10 weeks on CA (I am a leveler that reached 576 lvls, as much as going up 50 levels on a good day), my experience is 95% of the people on CA play nice (mostly 1 or 2 hits) and the remaining 5% are total a-holes.

2. I don't like PVP and will only hit once (if I have Zin) or twice at the most. If I get a-holes that like to wipe out my health (repeatedly within days), then we start our slugfeast. I taunt the effen f*ck out of them and I use the "frog in a pot" treatment -- I go up 10 levels a day until it is too late for them. Some PvPer's are over 250+ levels lower than me and are still getting through (they are persistant a-holes). After I go up 50 levels, most "smart" PvP just walk away and never come back (so they can continue to be opportunist or seek the path of least resistance). Advising someone in no uncertain terms that you are going to chain them back sets the stage when you start winning the exchanges. My favorite 2 sayings on CA are (1) why is it okay for you to attack me, but it is not okay for me to attack you back and (2) I don't recall asking *you* for mercy when you were pounding the f*ck out of me. From my experience, the secret of beating these a-holes is making them have more losses than wins. Again, the smart ones start pleading for mercy when it is clear I am not going to stop any time soon. The good news is I stop once they apologize and rethink their bullying ways. I am a very reasonable person.

3. It sucks when a lvl 1,400+ wipes out my health as I am only lvl 150

4. Getting chained by numerous people from the same Guild was the worst -- it's not called bullying, it's called mobbing.

5. In iOS, you can only heal so many times with gold, then you MUST use favor points. This is the part the a-holes DO NOT GET. They are actually harming me if they keep hitting me such that I can't play (unless I want to squander favor points). If I have no health, I can't play except for quests. I had one bully (a lvl 595 when I was lvl 371) bragging in a monster hunt how she was trying to stop me from playing the game by constantly depleting my health (she's level 605 now, and I am so close to her level).

6. The one thing I learn is that LEVELS are poor predictor of a player's stats. I have been here 10 weeks so I only got 70 demi-prayer points. Each year of play is about 465 demi-player points (on 2 days each week, you can get double demi-prayer benefits on special characters). That means a PvP with a year of experience has 93 levels of skill point equivalency (465/5 = 93) advantage over me. That is to say I have to be 93 levels higher to compensate for each year that my opponents has been on CA, respectively.

All in all, the "devs" knew that the PvP aspects of the game would increase revenues as people like me who hate to lose will spend money buying iTune cards to level up or refill stamina on monster hunts to get key equipment.

Joyce said...

Wow, I didn't know that about IOS. That kinda sucks. I just play on my laptop. Actually the game has changed even more since I originally posted this two years ago.

Now that the original developers have sold the game to another gaming company, some people are leaving the game in droves because to stay caught up, you *have* to buy FPs. More power to the people who can afford to spend thousands on a Facebook game, but I've lately taken to just helping out my own guild and ignoring the game otherwise. There's just no way I'll ever catch up to or be able to beat someone who is a thousand levels higher than me. I've been putting all my skill points for two years now into attack and defense, and my bsi is over 7 (not even counting the runes), and yet I will *never* be able to beat someone a thousand levels higher than me. A hundred? Sure. Sometimes two hundred. And now the game is so full of pvp minis that it's kind of a giggle.

There's a guy in my own guild who repeatedly goes back to hit the same people in his battle log that lose to him. He freely admits he'll hit people over the course of days, more than a hundred times. Me, I can't do that. His rationale is that "that person didn't get to that level by not doing the same thing." Me, I disagree because I have gotten to my level without doing that. It's called patience and finding different targets. It takes longer to level up but anymore, the rewards in festy duels are crap anyway and just 5 measly skill points. I think when I get to Avenger I'm gonna stop bothering with festy duels, especially since it appears that once a month now, for $20, you can just BUY 20 skill points. LOL

I dunno. I find the game is getting boring. If it weren't for my guildies, I probably wouldn't even play. But we have only a few unicorns so I'll stay mostly just to be a stone wall so everybody else can get coins.

I still think Castle Age is an interesting study in psychology, haha. I guess I'm just a softie with a conscience, even in a game. I'd be a terrible stock broker. ;-)