Care Bear STARE!

August 12, 2008

As people scurry to and fro, preparing themselves for the September 18 “Day of Pudding”, there are vital decisions to be made. Which guild will I join? Which side: Destruction or Order? Will I be the one tank on our entire server? How can I take time off in the middle of the week and justify it to the boss/wife/husband/parents without coming across as justifiably insane? And, of course, the crucial decision of rolling on a Core or Open server.

For some, they won’t have a choice. They’re already allied with a guild that’s made that decision for them, unless they disagree and want to up and quit the guild for greenskin pastures. For others, it represents the critical philosophy behind their playstyle. And, if past MMOs with similar rulesets are of any indication, this will become a point of honor for some, and a launchpad for put-downs, arguments and disparaging remarks for many.

While we don’t know all the details, we do know that the “Core” ruleset will have both RvR (PvP) areas in the game world, as well as non-RvR sections where players can PvE in relative peace, knowing that they’re not about to be ganked by a level 40 Shadow Warrior. The “Open” ruleset says “forget that!” and essentially turns the entire world into a PvP playground. Or nightmare, depending on your perspective.

Now, I am overwhelmingly drawn to the Core ruleset for WAR. Although the Open people will claim otherwise, this isn’t because I’m against PvPing, or because I’m so terrified of non-predictive combat that I need to retreat to my “happy place” as a stereotypical Care Bear. I like the idea for the ruleset first of all because it is “Core”. It’s the way the game was first envisioned and designed by Mythic, the way that they see most players using. I don’t care if you call me weak or noobsauce or whatever for rolling on that type of server, I just need some time in my gameplay to be PvE oriented. Seeing as how Warhammer Online does have a very strong, solid PvE experience, why would I want to try to put a huge dent into that with the possibility that some 12-year-old Chaos Marauder will lurk in the trees behind me, wait until I’m at half health, and then finish me off as another notch goes on his Pokémon belt?

I see it a bit like how horror movies function. There’s a definite pattern to most horror movies, a rise and fall of tension and scares. Directors know that the audience needs to have breathers to calm down a bit in order to stick it out to the end credits, so they throw in humor and more peaceful scenes and whatnot. Then they pop in a scare and make the viewers wet themselves. Some horror filmmakers, however, don’t buy this theory, and choose instead to make their film constantly unrelenting, a string of horrific, gory peaks that only link to each other and never look back down. Some people like unrelenting tension in their entertainment. Some like a bit of relenting. And as such, I see how the Core/Open thing will appeal to different types of players. Some will like unrelenting gameplay that’s tension-filled, start to finish. Some will need to know they can take a break from getting beatdown by the enemy once in a while.

For others, the Open ruleset appeals because they are going into WAR with 0% interest in playing the PvE game. The idea that you can level entirely to 40 through PvP and spend all of your time thereafter engaging player-controlled enemies is a selling point to PvP freaks, like Snafzg. Yet on a Core server, players will always have a choice, and one of the choices can be entirely leveling to 40 through nothing but PvE — quests, grinding, PQs and dungeons. Mythic is banking on most players choosing to do a mix — a little RvR here, a little PvE there — and is facing a difficult struggle on multiple fronts to win people in the extreme regions to experience the other side a bit.

My only issue with all of this is the inevitable name-calling that comes with any style of play that’s seen as more hardcore or elite than others. It’s here I get a bit sick of people in general, because there’s a nasty undercurrent of “I’m better than you and this proves it!” that just keeps growing and swelling to obnoxious volume. What’s worse is that it generally just goes in one direction: Raiders against Casuals, PvPers against PvE “Care Bears”, Monkeys against Kittens. My only response to that is that just because you’ve deliberately made something more difficult doesn’t mean that you’re better for having dealt with it. Maybe so but probably not. It just means you’re a bit masochistic. And if that’s enjoyable for you, so be it — but I better not see any nose hairs as you look down on me for not doing the same thing.


  1. Yeah great article. Indeed I am going to have a character on core even if that’s Care Bear for someone. I will tell you something.


    Care bears are sometimes really pissed off ^^

  2. I was considering rolling on an Open server, but the author has a lot of good points in this article. It’s all about fun factor. Is the game fun for you playing it a certain way? I’ve never been a ganker or a griefer so Open would only be fun for me if I had a bunch of friends who were into that. The chicken rule, while great in design, only promotes 1 v 2+ combat. I can see Open servers having ganking squads, if you will, who roam PvE areas looking for fights from generally unorganized riff-raff. If you confine people’s ability to grief, they will find a way to do so given the parameters you set. Does anyone know if it’s been said how much of the world is “pve only”?

  3. You forgot about people who insist that anyone who wants to play on an Open ruleset server must be a 12 year old with social issues in need of an outlet.

    In my experience we’re well into the time when the pendulum swings the other way and carebears who’ve developed a persecution complex insist that anyone who doesn’t play THEIR way is wrong.

  4. I think it’s pretty easy to break down really. Mythic is offering up these two server types because they realize there are two different kinds of MMO gamers. To each his own, imho.

    I’ve actually been wanting to write about this because I’ve recently had second thoughts on my initial gut reaction to pick an Open-RvR server.

  5. @Staarkhand – Oh snap! Nice rebuttal. 🙂

  6. Open server for me. I will try to pvp as much as possible when levelling (because honestly, grinding pigs suck), throwing my purple hearts at your face.

  7. Honestly, having played on a core ruleset server I can say that the impact on this aspect is minimal. The core ruleset works very well and facilitates all styles of game play. It really seems like the Open rvr ruleset creates more problems than it solves from what I can tell. I’ve played WoW on PVP servers exclusively, so I’m used to the always on type of PVP. I haven’t really missed it in beta one bit. If you see someone who is unattackable, it just means they don’t wanna play right now, and you move on…pretty simple.

  8. I choose ‘choice’. And to not insult people back. I’ll prolly try both server types out and decide that Core has more real choice in it. Excellent write up and I enjoyed the horror film comparison. 🙂

  9. I may try an Open server, but I don’t have high hopes for it and will likely end up on Core permanently. It’s how the game was designed, and if I have to go AFK for 5 minutes I don’t want to come back to a gank-squad standing over my body.

    To be fair, most of the visciousness towards those on PvP servers is a result of being ganked. Some folks can vent their rage by getting even in-game… others (like myself) are better served staying on a Core server. 😉

    AND at this point we still don’t know how the chicken mechanic is going to work on Open servers. If it inhibits my ability to go back and help lowbies or complete tome unlocks, then Open servers are automatically out for me.

  10. I’m big on having the choice on when I want to PvP. Cos some days I’ll log in and not be in the mood for it, or know that I’ll be idle a lot and want to be able to afk for a few minutes at a time without being ganked.

    If I was on an Open RvR server then I might as well not log on if I didn’t feel like PvPing. But on a Core one, I can choose to spend the night in PvE instead. I like that.

    Also I don’t think the server community is as friendly.

  11. I know you can’t tell me but if there is cross faction communication… ugh.. Even in the Core rule set all the trash talking will get old quick.

  12. SNAFGZ!!! PLAY CORE! Then we can throw down. And schedule chicken raids =) ❤

    I’ve made my stance on this clear already. I agree 100% with Syp, though I am a bit more hostile in my own thoughts on it. =) Core ftw. I love PVP, but I love the game too…and just because I want a break from PVP doesn’t mean I want a break from the game.

    Tome unlocks and PVE content are part of what I’m paying for. I want to experience them without a constant need to look over my shoulder.

  13. Being an EVE Online Carebear so I can understand the whole Core/vs/Open system. I’ll do my PVP on my terms and when I want to, not of the terms of some 14 year old. I’m sure the Goon type players will create some crazy headaches for Mythic on Open servers like they did in Age of Conan.

  14. This seems to be a big discussion all around.
    I am with Thallian.

    I prefer a choice to my PvP needs. I do not mind playing it. I just don’t want to fight a mob and get ganked from behind..

    Makes my butt hurt.

  15. I’m disappointed by no RP/RvR servers as I know lots of people who would prefer to go there than either Core or RvR.

    As it stands, my guild from WoW (RP server) have almost unanimously decided never to roll on a PvE server again. The vast majority of us are RPers, but being permaflagged we also spent the last 3 years being attacked from blue by people who waited until they outnumbered us 3:1 and then spammed the /chicken emote after their flag dropped again.

    I’ll be playing on both RvR and Core as the majority of them want to play Destruction and I’m more interested in Order. So they’re making a Destruction guild on an RvR server and I’m making an RP/RvR Order guild on a RP-Core server as a “sister” guild for those in the guild who want to play Order and/or RP.

  16. I’m going Core as well. Did the open pvp thing back in WoW till lower 40s (card ran out). Didn’t have much of a problem with getting ganked, I even remember stalking a warlock in Ashenvale and letting lose an Aimed Shot on him the *second* he got aggro on an infernal. Now thinking about it I probably caused more ruckus then I received with my cousin as backup. Wandered to the alliance flight paths and killed skull-leveled players that were afk on landing. Until one of them wasn’t afk. But the time it took to run back to our bodies was definately worth it.

    Though, I would like to say that when I read: “but I better not see any nose hairs as you look down on me” I instantly invisioned a pug playing WAR. With a wizard’s hat for some reason. Probably was an Elf mut.

  17. Some people like Coke, some like Pepsi. Its always been part of human nature to say “Coke is better,” or “Pepsi is better,” because it adds to the identity that the person involved has created. That being said, Open-RvR and Core-RvR will be treated in the same way. We can’t assume that one’s better than the other. We can only assume that one’s better for us as an individual.

    /end attempt at being zen

  18. Hmmm I think I might be going Core ruleset just because the fact that “It’s the way the game was first envisioned and designed by Mythic.” I never thought about it that way. I played on an PvP server in WoW and it was really fun until the “other faction” (I don’t wanna start conflicts lol) would end up having 8 people camping you. While it didn’t last for a dreadfully long time the fact that people go to those limits is annoying. **Turns off the RANT button**

  19. […] blog today when I came across his article regarding open world PvP vs. stricter rulesets (https://waaagh.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/care-bear-stare) and after reading through the piece and the comments, I felt so strongly that those who actively […]

  20. I think I am more interested in the Core ruleset because it focuses the PvP battle into a specific region of the map. I think this will allow for more epic scale battles in the contested region as opposed to diffuse fighting all over the map. Second, I assume that the environment designers designed these contested lanscapes with bottlenecks and choke-points and other features to make tactical PvP more interesting.

  21. I for one will be going to Core. Because I want to have a CHOICE whether I actively do PvP or not.

    Either way doing PvP is inevitable in Warhammer because that’s what it’s all about.

    If ones join Warhammer to espace, say for example, WoW with the expectation to fin another PvE game. Well then they are in for some serious surprise.

    I like PvP, no question asked. I’m not a great pvp player, I’m more of a pve player, yet I do like the occasional clash-in with my enemies.

    But does that mean I have to be forced to be 24/7 in constant awareness of my enemies?

    I want to play, I want to relax, I want to choose.

    That’s how I roll. If that’s “care bear” to the elitists so be it.

  22. I’m undecided as to which ruleset I might prefer between Core or Open, pending further explicit details about differences and Chicken mechanics.

    I do agree about Core being the intended initial focus – “how it was meant to be played”

    And if people had paid attention you know that as you level through each tier there is less and less “safe” pve area anyway and more RVR territory.

    Lastly I think it’s funny and ludicrous – but I know it will still happen – that some doofi out there will call you Carebear for playing on Core…

    when WAR is inherently a PVP/RVR game… duh.

    yes with a good chunk of PVE thrown in, as opposed to WoW which at it’s heart was PVE with PVP later mashed in – much like jamming a square peg in a round hole. The vast majority of WoW’s major issues have been reconciling PVE and PVE content.

  23. I’ll be going Open. I enjoy having to constantly look over my back, the unpredictability of play, and the added intensity. I also really enjoy ganking people, so yeah, Open for me.

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