So, I’ve been watching the server for the last few days. Checking out chat, seeing who talks to whom, what’s being said and who the “cliques” are. From what I can tell there are only a couple of towns so far and they seem to be populated by people who know each other either IRL or from time together on other servers. Such groups are inevitable in any online world, from Minecraft servers all the way to the latest mainstream MMO (*cough* CarebearScrolls Online *cough*). The attitudes of these groups range from completely clique-centric (ie, if we didn’t know you before we don’t want you now) to full open recruitment (ie, we want the biggest group on the server—we take anyone!). Unfortunately, we only seem to have the clique-centric folks owning towns at the moment. People ask every day if there are towns they can join and the answer is “no”—usually repeated multiple times by anyone and everyone actually belonging to one of the towns. Clearly, the players who currently own towns have worked hard to get the money needed to create their protected zones (even the ones who made their money in agriculture, as unfair as the rest of the server labor force may see it). These cash-laden Barons have the right to be as selective as they wish when it comes to who gets citizenship and who doesn’t. If they only want their personal friends or former server mates in their towns then so be it, nobody can begrudge their decision. Yet, amongst all the talk I’ve observed in the last few days there is another prominent theme. Aside from cries of “Where’s a town I can join?!” there is the softer question, perhaps even a lament of “where’s the pvp?” We all came here knowing it was a pvp server, right? We all want a chance to have epic battles, even city vs city raids, don’t we? We all want to see what groups can effectively use the gifts of their chosen classes with the most cohesion, coordination and all around pvp “L33t”-ness (I know nobody uses “L33t” anymore—give an old, nostalgic gamer a break, will ya?) Obviously, some folks aren’t active in pvp yet because they’re doing the all-important rank grind. Some of those early perks, I’ll admit, are far too much of a priority to get to even think of anything other than earning the money for them. I’m guilty of this myself—we all probably are to various degrees. But another thing that’s keeping people from pvp, and thus dampening the pvp vibe we all hoped would be here, is the lack of groups to join and fight with/against. The cliques-centric towns aren’t opening their doors to others—and nobody wants to fight on a pseudo-faction server as a soloist (it’s a) boring and b} suicide). So what’s the answer? How do we jump start pvp here (we all want—come on—you know YOU do too!)? Well, I suppose we can all just wait it out. More people will EVENTUALLY make Baron and start towns. Those folks might not be as clique-centric as the current handful we have. These new towns will form PVP groups (hopefully) and decide to challenge the current towns (and the other new towns). We hope, anyway. How long do you suppose this will take? Personally, I just made Knight. Do you know how far away $10k looks from my currently balance of $595? What about the other Knights out there—how close are you? More importantly, how many of the current Knights aren’t already part of one of the few towns we have? How many will actually want the headache of managing your own town once you do finally earn the coin for Baron? See all the variables? We may have 4 new towns tomorrow-----or none in the next two weeks. The other option, which is INFINITELY easier and almost certain to bring about more pvp sooner rather than later, is for the handful of current towns to start telling the rest of us what it will take to join them. Get more people in your town=more shared resources=more people to help your town out financially and with supplies. Get more people in your town also means more people to party up with you to help you go kick the snot out of the other towns! Aside from the handful of folks playing Assassin, nobody really wants to pvp solo. I personally would rather be playing a cleric—healing my teammates as they crush the skulls of our enemies. It’s far more challenging (and satisfying) to win as an effective team than it is to win 1 v 1. The 3 v 3, 5 v 5, town vs town battles are where the fun is going to happen—let’s all start guiding us (as a community) in that direction!