Here’s the first of, I suspect many responses to the story below, from UOSS’ Rainman. More will be posted as they come in.

In truth, I consider the statement that “PvPers are excluded from quests” to be a poorly-reached conclusion. The best events I’ve ever been too included tons of PvP, and I’ve been to several (during the ZOG/FoA story). IMO, OSI hasn’t really discriminated between the PvPer and the Roleplayer in terms of quests/events held. Yes, it is much more common to see Green Robes hanging around roleplaying cliques/circles, of that there can be no doubt.

The best conclusion for me, and I’ve stated this several dozen times, is that there simply aren’t enough quests to go around. There has been nearly nothing happening since early January of this year, and before that, bumping into a storyline quest took hours of waiting, and a quite bit of luck. In all likelihood the best reason for feeling excluded has little to do with the nature, location, and/or fiction involved with a quest, and more to do with the fact that there simply hasn’t been all that much going on. (read: NOTHING)

For those who have seen the quests given, and have noticed a tendency to shun PvP, I have a different answer…

PvP, in it’s most common forms in UO, is disruptive to the fiction most seers and IGM’s attempt to provide. PvP in UO commonly involves waiting until that person 5 steps away from you is near death, then throwing that last energy bolt and looting them. It involves waiting until someone accidentally goes grey, and then gang-banging them for their stuff. It involves a plethora of underhanded yet effective ways to relieve people of their items. This is not something that I necessarily scorn or hate. But one fact remains:

These effective (and common) tactics destroy one persons inability to simply go along with the quest, attempt to survive whatever evil is involved with the quest, and see the fiction through to the end. It instead forces the non-PvP’er to worry more about protecting themselves and avoiding becoming a potential target to the point where they cannot enjoy the fiction. For the PvP’er, this is hardly worth consideration. This is because UO to them is something akin to Tribes (not bashing Tribes, I love Tribes, I play it all the time). And there simply is no denying the fact that UO provides AN EVEN BETTER PvP experience than tribes does. UO, as has been said many times, provides the closest thing to reality when it comes to waging organized warfare than any game ever created. Yes, it involves a fantasy setting. But nowhere in any other game do you worry about where your enemies are located on a map, whether they’ve moved their ‘base’ or not, what they store in their buildings, attempting to steal what they store, etc..etc..etc.. All of that strategy combined with the down’n’dirty tactical team-based fighting that guildwars can provide makes UO probably the premiere PvP game in all of computer gaming at this point in time.

So, back to the Roleplayer… why should they have to worry about protecting themselves when all they want to do is complete the quest? I’m not going to answer that question, but I’ll leave that question there as an ample reason as to perhaps why the Interest group (perhaps subconsciously) diverted their quests away from PvP. If you want player types to mix in quests, you need some method of protecting the people who’d rather not be backstabbed from the extremely effective PK’s who’d sooner kill someone for their character name than finish a possibly boring quest themselves. Perhaps you weren’t referring to mixing player types in fiction… perhaps you were referring to fiction that was molded along the lines of PvP.

I do believe there is room for mixing the two. And as I said before, NOT ALL of the quests thus far in UO have been specifically NON-PVP… There was a huge battle against 5 heavily modified mage characters(roleplayed and PvP’ed by seers) in the hedge maze at the height of the Zog Cabal Story. Ask nearly any PvP’er who was there (and there were thousands across all the shards) and they’ll tell you that they had a good time. In fact, as a ghost, I was absolutely THRILLED when I saw a team of 4-5 guildmates actually survive (thru effective teamwork) a battle with two of these evil mages (these mages had at least 1000 in each stat). Even better, One of the final quests in the Zog/FOA story involved the summoning of several black wisps. There is a roleplaying guild on called the Order of the Ebon Skull (OES). They fought to protect the wisp (being evil), and decided to attack any player attempting to attack/kill the black wisps. What ended up transpiring was a large PvP battle fought right on the spot where the wisp was summoned, entire groups of people turned grey in the fight. It was great fun, and for the most part, noone turned red over the affair, and few people were targeted for turning grey (*you see the IGM sigh in relief*). It worked, it involved some well-roleplayed PvP, and everyone had fun…. That was nearly 10 months ago now.

It’s not because roleplayers don’t want them. It’s not because seers/roleplayers believe they play the game the “right” way. It may be because some of the seers have taken sides in the Roleplayer-PvP “war”. But if that’s the case, then I’d suggest that if the Seer’s hadn’t sided with the roleplayers, then every single roleplayer would’ve quit UO long ago. PvP’ers will ALWAYS have PvP to fall back on, Roleplayers won’t always have quests. A PvP’er can always log in, find a grey and fight it out. A roleplayer waits weeks/months for an official quest/event. A PvP’er can always find a good PvP guild with good guildwars going on, A roleplayer needs time and work and patience to even so much as run a successful WEDDING. Given those sets of circumstances, It wouldn’t be surprising to me if some exclusivism has developed. I do not believe such favoritism exists right now. I do believe that the seers are looking for “PvP-oriented” (another buzzword for you) quests just as much as the next person, but I can also tell you from all I know about the seer program… is that the Seer’s right now are just lucky they can do monster spawns. Can you imagine a Seer trying to run a large PvP quest without the proper tools? I’d guess it would be extremely difficult to prevent such an event from becoming little more than complete anarchy.

The bottom line is, the lack of PvP-oriented quests has more to do with the fact that seers have long been little more than men in green robes than they’ve been facilitators of in-game interest. Supposedly that is changing as we speak. I’ve received recent e-mail from seers who are literally jumping for joy at the limited tools they’re now being given, and the quests they’ve been able to run (all of them are basically small special monster-spawns). But I don’t think it’s a fair assessment to conclude that the Seers have turned their back on PK’s/PvP’ers. Although, with all the anti-red rules in this game, It’s not surprising that people might think that.