When Should New Players Start PvP? Right Now, of Course!

PvP is the ultimate online challenge. But should you dive straight in as a new player? Or should you level up first?

The chance to indulge in Player V Player (PvP) combat is one of the greatest aspects of any online game. Here you can pitch your mettle (or  your metal) against the skill, brains and tactics of other real people. These pixels won’t stand still whilst you hit them in the face, and they won’t make it easy for you. They want to pop your ship, smash your body, steal your loot, and add your death to their tally. And they will use every skill, pot, weapon, tactic and dirty trick to make that happen.

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It is the ultimate online challenge and once you get bitten by the PvP bug it can become quite addictive.

But should you start PvPing when you first set out in an MMORPG? Or should you level/skill up first before diving in? Plenty would tell you to wait and I’ve seen a lot of arguments against diving straight in. I would like to explore some of these arguments and explain why I wholeheartedly disagree.

You cannot compete with players who are at higher levels

True, for the most part. But does this actually matter? A new player should never go into battle expecting to take down someone who has all their shiny end-game gear on. You will die, a lot, so accept this and get over it. You are heading into combat to learn and not to come out on top of the scoreboards. Relax and enjoy the experience, even if you are a little bit sore afterwards.

You will contribute nothing

There are plenty of PvP situations where every scrap of heal or point of damage will count for something. In addition, whilst good gear and vital statistics are important, a great PvPer knows that experience, knowledge and the use of good tactics are just as essential. So why not start learning all the tricks you can now? Spending time around other PvPers (even getting pulverised by them) will allow you to learn how they play – that goes for both your allies and your enemies. Take the earliest opportunity to start seeing first-hand what works and what doesn’t. Learn the etiquette expectations such as with loot or coms. Become fluent in areas/maps and how to use the environment around you. The sooner you dive in the sooner you start picking these things up and this knowledge will serve you well in the future.

It is unfair on the other people in your group

Really? That one level five player cost everyone else the whole battle? It is a moan quite popular in battleground type scenarios, particularly where mechanics result in player levels not being divided up particularly well. But if the game mechanics allow it then having a go at people for joining in is pure ignorance. Any such moans should be directed at the developers, not the gung-ho newbies who want to get stuck in.  If you are that cross about it then make your own private group and don’t play with pick-up-groups (PUGs).

You need to be level X/in X gear type before you can take part

Yes there will be times when this is true but, again, if the game mechanics allow you to take part then why should you not? As per my previous point, using a random PUG will always result in a mish-mash of player skills and abilities and you have to run with what you get. Going back to point one again many players fail to see the benefit of experience and tactics – it’s never all about the gear or the level. But if you want a super-twinked shiny group of experienced players then organise your own pre-made.

You will just get farmed

I’ll quote someone far cleverer than I for this point: 

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

That is definitely something to bear in mind here. If you are a new player and you want to start PvPing then you need to be prepared to die. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep doing the same thing over and over again. If your route is blocked, is there another way around? If pre-mades are dominating the battlegrounds perhaps its time for a 30 minute break? If you are getting farmed by someone can you get some friends together and then go back?  Have you considered joining a guild that can help you learn the ropes?

At the end of the day being the noob makes you an easy target, but if you keep going back to the same situation with no new approach or tactic then don’t expect things to change. There are always options open to you it’s just a matter of finding out what they are.

Some final thoughts on why you should go for it
  • Feel the fear and do it anyway – get over those “PvP shakes” whilst you are “young”.
  • Gear/stat losses at lower levels will often be easier to deal with than when you are higher up or wearing later level gear..
  • Being vulnerable makes you work harder and learn more. Easy PvP teaches you nothing!
  • You never know, you might actually enjoy it. So get over that minor issue of death, ignore the haters, get stuck in and enjoy the pewpew.

A few sites for further reading on this subject:

Warhammer Online:

Eve Online:

The Secret World:

GuildWars 2:


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