|This guide was last updated in 2009, and may be out of date.
Player vs. Player combat (PvP) is a play style that thousands of players enjoy in almost every Massively Multiplayer Online game. (MMO) Many new players are unfamiliar with the play style, and unintentionally create their first characters on PvP server. As a result they may set themselves up for a shock when another player attacks them. Afterwards they find themselves upset, confused or helpless.
This guide should help de-mystify PvP for new players. And, perhaps even help those players who had never considered PvP because they had a bad experience or had just heard too many negative stories about the play style. PvP can be a fun and rewarding experience with the right knowledge and attitude.
The most important thing one must be aware of when they start out on a PvP server is that you are going to die. And you are going to die a lot. From level 1 - 9 you are immune to PvP attacks. This beginning cushion can throw people off because typically they are in the middle of no where when they hit level 10 and immediately become flagged attackable. And, in high traffic areas such as popular questing zones, outside city walls, etc. be prepared to be attacked before the Level Up announcement disappears from the screen.
New players who are still learning the game, and even veteran players who are adapting to a PvP play style need to keep something in mind. You're not going to win every fight. In fact, you're likely to lose most of them. But, learn from each fight. Study your opponents and eventually, if you are able to stick it out, you'll become a formidable opponent.
Making money on the PvP servers is very similar to doing the same on the PvE servers. It just takes a little more finesse.
Harvest: Harvest everything in sight during your level 1-9 immunity stretch and sell it on the broker. Personally, my bank box was up to 12 platinum coins before I hit level 12 by ignoring quests and just harvesting. Saving the rares I needed for my equipment and spells had me equipped at T3 (Level 22) as soon as I dinged.
Treasured Loot Drops: Don't attune every piece of equipment that drops! There are Transmuters who are paying crazy prices on the broker for Treasured Items. And, in most cases, the Master Crafted items you'll be equipping at level 22 are going to be comparable to what you'll be tossing out from a loot drop in 5 levels.
One of the worst habits a player can make on a PvP server while questing is to follow the beginning quest lines. People look for easy kills in high traffic areas. The Graveyard in Freeport, the fields outside Antonica, Darklight Wood and other new player harvesting grounds for people looking for easy kills.
Get off the beaten path. If you are familiar with EQ2, then avoid the temptation to take those linear quest lines once you hit level 10. The enemy is in your territory waiting for you to show up predictably. So, go to their territory and do your questing. The safest place for me to quest on my alt characters as an Evil player has been Greater Faydark and outside Antonica. All the Qyenosians are in the Commonlands, Darklight Woods and Timerous Deep looking for victims. The only hostiles I encounter on enemy soil are other new players who are much more evenly equipped and probably just as confused as a new player or at least new to PvP.
There are currently three (3) PvP servers available when you create a new character. Your choice of server is very important and will dictate the experience you will have as a new PvP player.
Note: At some yet unannounced time the Venekor and Nagafen servers will be merged. This is a great opportunity to create a character on Venekor and level it up with little distraction due to the low population. The other option is to roll a character on Nagafen right away if you want to avoid the "culture shock" later on.
Nagafen: One of the most populated servers in EQ2. While many new players immediately pick the highest populated server in anticipation of more groups, better raiding and more friends; On a PvP server one must remember that means more enemies around every corner. For non-stop PvP action, Nagafen is an excellent choice. But, for those who are looking to level peacefully or any other non-agressive activity. Keep in mind activities like harvesting, questing and travel are going to take quite a bit more time as there are very few places that won't be occupied with people looking for a fight. Regardless of what you're agenda is.
Venekor: The Venekor server was originally designated the Role Playing (RP) server with PvP. However, over the years, the aspect of Role Play has diminished to a few guilds and some players here and there. It is also one of the most lightly populated servers in EQ2. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially for somebody who is just "getting their feet wet" with PvP. Easier to travel, harvest and quest unmolested. But, when confronted by the enemy all the same PvP rules apply. So, PvP is available and one must still be on their toes. But, your opportunities to enjoy the risk and challenge of a PvP server without having to fight every five minutes makes for a very casual and enjoyable PvP experience for the player brand new to the PvP play style.
Vox: The Live Gamer, PvP server. Items and characters can be purchased for real life cash. The most important thing to remember about this server is that once you roll a character on it, or transfer to it, your character can never leave it. The PvP activity is similar to Venekor in casual play. However, its important to remember that your opponents can fully equip themselves with gear purchased for real money versus the typical mundane means on PvE servers such as harvesting, tradeskilling or the broker.
At this time there no advantage besides your starting city when choosing a "Side". If you prefer a certain race that is only available as Good or Evil; you can always betray later on keeping both your class and race if you'd like.
Several factors can come in to play when picking your starting city. You can go for the better equipment that Timerous Deep offers. But, expect frequent distractions while questing for those pieces of equipment. Neriak has a lot of very linear and quite simple quest lines. But, the loot drops aren't as great. And, again, Darklight Wood is a hub for Nektulos and Commonlands making it another hot spot for low level and busy PvP.
For a new player who wants to learn the ropes, quest in relative peace and perhaps even find some PvP that is a little more balanced; I'd suggest starting in either Freeport, Keletin or Qyenos. These legacy cities are often overlooked by the veteran players who choose to roll alts in the newer cities because they're currently the new "hot spot".
Picking a class is the same as picking a class on the PvE servers. There is no "best" class that is going to beat all the others. If this were the case, everyone would be playing it. And, if such an overpowered class did exist, don't expect that it will stay that way for more than a game update or two.
Pick a class you enjoy and learn your class. No matter which class you choose, if all you do is smash hotbar buttons without knowing what your abilities/spells do, you are rarely going to walk away from fight without seeing the Revive screen first.
Create 3 or 4 new characters if possible. And, play each of the casually until you find one or two that you enjoy the most. Remember that your equipment, as a new player, will be limited for the first 20 or 30 levels. Don't be discouraged by your class choice because somebody with a well funded alt has beaten you with superior equipment and ability/spell upgrades.
Zone Level Restrictions
Note: These level restrictions only apply to the character or group of greater level. For example, a Level 12 character can attack a character of any level greater than them, regardless of the zone restrictions. But, the opposite is not true except through some rumored and very rarely used exploits.
Carnage Flags typically apply to Cities. When you are visiting an enemy city you are flagged. What this means is that you are attackable by anyone of any level. So, in addition to avoiding the guards, you must avoid other players too. Typically you'll see somebody carnage flagged when they are betraying.
Exile is the phase during Betrayal in which you hold no loyalty to any city. Some people choose to remain in Exile so that they can experience more PvP. The reason being is that Exiles are attackble by both sides and vice versa.
When to begin upgrading your equipment and abilities depends a lot on your play style. For those looking for PvP in the earlier levels it will be necessary to upgrade your equipment and abilities at every tier. If leveling is more important, then it really isn't necessary to upgrade your gear until you've hit the level 30 range where things slow down.
There are three methods to acquiring your equipment. Player made Master Crafted gear will serve you fine for the most part. Keep in mind that there will be people better geared than you who will always have an advantage. Non-Raid loot drops are usually of less quality than Master Crafted. Until you are Raiding or doing high end group content, its not advised that you PvP with loot dropped gear. PvP equipment is available through the PvP City Task system. By completing tasks you collect tokens as well as faction which allows you to purchase PvP gear.
Abilities can be acquired through loot drops or made by players. Sages create spells. Alchemists create Fighter abilities. And, Jewelers create rogue abilities. Loot drops are typically Adept I or Master I. Player made abilities are Adept III.
As mentioned earlier. Your equipment should at least be Master Crafted. Each piece (weapon, shield, armor, jewelry) will require a rare and possibly material to imbue. Upgrading can be expensive if done in one shot, so I recommend harvesting early on to avoid the cost of rares on the broker.
Abilities should always be upgraded to at least Adept III. As soon as you receive a new ability remember to upgrade it asap else you face a very long and expensive laundry list of abilities to upgrade all at once. If you have an expendable income, you can purchase your Master I spells/abilities on the Broker. But, be prepared for quite a bit of sticker shock as many Masters have an extremely low drop rate and are usually distributed amongst raid members for their alt characters to use.
The importance of tradeskills and harvesting is a simple matter of time vs. money. Most new players who do not already have an existing established and wealthy character on the same server are forced with deciding whether to run about under equipped or putting the time in to harvesting and working the tradeskills to supply their character's equipment and ability/spell needs.
Its recommended that you level your tradeskills at the same pace or faster than your adventure level so that you are not playing catch up when you're adventure level surpasses your tradeskill level. Ideally you want your tradeskill level to be at least 10 levels higher so that they can make the full spectrum of recipes necessary to upgrade the character.
The other option, which is not quite as time consuming, is to begin harvesting right away and always be harvesting the zones that are one tier above your current adventure level tier. This strategy provides you with the rares you'll need ahead of time when you are ready to upgrade your gear.
Finally, if you are in an active established guild, you will probably have members of every tradeskill in your ranks. This is helpful because many people will not charge or charge no more than the cost of fuel for producing upgrades for their guild mates.
AA points are spell/ability/stats boosts to your existing abilities, etc. Picking an AA tree is very important in PvP because choosing the wrong AA path could essentially cripple your character with buffed up abilities that do not compliment the character. Check your class forums for tips on recommended AA paths for your class.
AA points can easily determine whether you lose or win a fight against an evenly or even lesser geared enemy. Rarely are you going to win a fight with somebody who hits harder with massive crits, heals faster, or runs faster. Unlike a PvE server, where natural accumulation of AA points is acceptable; PvP requires that you try to max out your AA points (1.5 x Level) as best you can. Fighting on a PvP server with less than suitable gear, abilities and AA points is the equivalent to fighting wearing a paper bag and wielding a plastic straw.
Exploring new areas aka Points of Interest (POI) and harvesting shinies and completing collection quests is the most popular method of increasing AA. Completing quests is a slower method and will in no way max out your AA trees by itself. For every new character I create, I travel to every area of the game I can often dying to mobs simply to get a free Revive-Ride to somewhere I am unable to reach on foot. Once I've covered all the areas I can get to myself, I usually have a guild mate or friend that has a T8 character "escort" me to the unreachable areas or tag a long on raids that are within 10 levels of my adventure level in order to pick up the AA from Named Mobs.
Note: You do not receive AA points until you reach Level 10. So, from level 1-9, try to stick to one area to level up. At level 10, visit all the other T1 areas you haven't visited before moving on the T2 content. If you get a quest that sends you to an area you haven't been before prior to level 10, save it in your quest journal until you have achieved level 10 even if the quest goes gray for you in the meantime. The AA experience is much more valuable to you than the quest level, cash or useless drops you might receive.
The Recent Kill List (RKL) is a game mechanic which keeps tracks of who you've killed or has killed you for 30 minutes. During this time 30 minutes you will receive no reward for killing somebody on your RKL. Nor will they receive any reward if they kill you and you are currently on their RKL.
This does not make you immune nor does it mean that somebody won't attack you again for strategic reasons such as keeping you from rejoining a group fight. And, some people simply enjoy the fight and are more than happy to fight you over and over again for the fun of it. Also, if you are attacked by a group, they may return to your revive point so that other members of the group can get updates for their writs.
While a very viable play style, the player who solos needs to keep one thing in mind. Groups are going to roll you, and do so frequently.
Best class type for the solo PvP is one of the Rogues. One who solos PvP is going to need to be a predator and the tracking skill is the best tool available. Not only does tracking let you find your prey before they know you're there, but it allows you to avoid groups.
One mistake that new rogues make is that they remain stealthed under the impression that nobody can see them. First of all, Stealth cancels all speed bonuses. Secondly, everybody can see you. The only advantage Stealth grants to a rogue is the ability to avoid mobs and NPC's. This is useful when approaching a target who is beyond or surrounded by an aggro mob. Its also an excellent escape tactic by running in to an aggro mob after hitting stealth. The mob will hopefully target your pursuer and give you an opportunity to escape.
Another good class type to solo PvP is one of the Priest classes. Preferably one with DPS. I prefer the Fury personally. The healers can usually handle 2-3 attackers if they manage their power pool well with constant healing and distributing of DPS & Roots.
Personal class choice is irrelevant here. But, when choosing your group members its always good to have 1-2 healers present in case you encounter another group. A Rogue in the group will give you the advantage of finding targets easier in a zone with their Tracking and the buffs (Dirge, Troubadour) help as well. Pet classes can be handy for positioning a target strategically for the rogues (Brigand, Assassin) to get their most powerful blows in.
Contrary to some people, running away is a very solid tactic. When you lose a fight, somebody is gaining something. A portion of the coin in your purse, a random item or more importantly a PvP Writ update. Deny them that satisfaction by getting away!
In order to run away and survive you're going to use several tactics. The First is the environment. They can't target or land an attack if they don't have line of sight. Run behind rocks, trees and into mobs. Second, Make sure you're buffed up on speed including sprinting. It may drain your power, but you're running for your life so who cares? If they can outrun you your effort is futile. Get to a Zone point if possible. Most people camping a zone will turn around as soon as you Zone out. Not always, but its a last ditch effort to deprive them of a Writ Update.
This is a Rogue ability gained at T4 that allows you to escape to the nearest revive point and avoid a fight. Note that if you initiate an attack and are unable to break combat you will not be able to use this ability. This is ideal for avoiding groups that surprise you or you see ahead of time on your tracking window. In a group, it will evacuate the entire group to the nearest revive point unless a member of your group initiated the attack.
There are various items that also allow for escape/evacuate by non-Rogue classes via Quest rewards and LoN.
Suicide was made popular during the introduction of Kingdom of the Sky. Then it was referred to as "Cloud Jumping". Primarily a form of self-preservation for those who had gained a PvP Title and didn't wish to lose it. So, jumping to their death kept their title in place as there was no fame loss from dying to "natural causes" so to speak.
There are several forms of Immunity in PvP. The 30 seconds of immunity when you zone in to a zone or out of a city or instance. There is Revive Immunity which is permanent unless you leave the Revive Point. And finally area immunity. This is a designated in a zone such as a dock where you are immune until you leave the designated area. Outside the Area of Immunity, you receive the 30 minute countdown timer until you are no longer immune. Note: Re-entering an Area of Immunity will reset the timer and it will be 30 seconds until you once again Immune. Many new players make the mistake that if they run in to an Area of Immunity they will immediately be safe from attack.
At the time that this guide was published, there are several known exploits in the game which allow players to attack and kill somebody in Immunity. Standing in Immunity, unless in a city, does not guarantee that somebody won't kill you. When this happens, you can target the player that attacked you and /report the player. Be sure to have your chat log displaying that you were both attacked and in Immunity.
Looting another player is an automatic process when you kill them. You may receive one random non-attuned/equipped item from your victims backpack. And, if the player is carrying any coin you will receive between 20-50% of their coin.
Unlike the PvE servers, where one can carry their entire wealth on their persons without fear of losing a single coin; On the PvP servers it is very important to bank before you leave a city. When leaving an instance it is important to get back to a city ASAP and bank your rewards. Instances are often camped by groups of players because those leaving are typically carrying a substantial amount of coin and rares.
Coming Soon. Awaiting input on the exact numbers which constitute the current fame system mechanics.
With each successful Kill or Death, you either gain or lose Fame (Reputation). As your Fame increases you will eventually gain a Title. If you lose a fight to somebody, you lose Fame and possibly your current Title.
After a recent update it is uncertain exactly how the Fame/Title system works at the moment. You still gain fame by killing other players with Titles. But, by dying you will no longer lose Fame it seems. So, once you achieve a Title you keep it forever as long as you are actively participating in PvP.
Fame Decay is a recent addition to the game to encourage people to PvP more frequently. As long as you are logged in to the game, you will not lose any Fame. However, you will lose Fame if you log out of the game. The longer you are logged out, the more Fame you will lose.
However, since the recent changes, you will not lose Fame if you die in a PvP fight.