The basis for conflict in WoW
"The solution to warfare is simple in essence:
When fear is removed from conflict, conflict becomes choice.
Just as when a person's mind is in a state of conflict, it can cause sickness, powerlessness, and depression.
When a person's mind is in a state of choice, it can cause health, clarity, power, and joy.
When a conflict in a person's mind is transmuted into choice, it becomes the basis of self-expression."
What does this mean for the ultimate fate of world PvP in WoW?
On my mage, I don't gank. I never did. I thought maybe this had something to do with the fact that I'm in the military IRL; casually killing people isn't something you want to get into the habit of, even if it "isn't real". I never even went to the battlegrounds, because they were and still are such a cheap and adulterated imitation of true PvP.
I stopped playing my mage on live. On the PTR for 2.0, I finally was able to play in and understand the meanings of the various BGs, and discovered that some of them weren't that bad, as long as you weren't PvPing just to farm gear. As we found out in December, when the only reason people play in BGs is to farm gear, the BGs suck horribly.
But I still had questions about why me and everyone else did what they did in terms of PvP. Why do some people gank, and others don't? Why are half the servers in this game "PvE" servers that avoid world PvP almost entirely? What is the "bloodlust" that causes people to say, Red = dead, and kill anyone and everyone of the opposite faction they encounter without provocation? This is an essential element of world PvP, but why does it exist, and why didn't I feel that way myself?
I think I found the answer. Why do we gank? "Because otherwise they'll kill me instead." "Because if I don't prove myself against them, why am I playing this game?" "Because everyone expects me to, and I'll look like a carebear if I don't at least try."
The basis for conflict, both in the world and inside one's mind, is lack of choice, which results from fear. Is it possible for world PvP to exist in WoW without fear? I say it is.
25 Nov 2011
1) increase in society's ability to measure things, simultaneously with decrease in obvious problems that cause a unifying sense of purpose and common goal (historical/cultural)
2) differing ability to perceive remaining problems and 'residual' variation in measurement accuracy lead to separation in priorities and 'countersignalling', or growth of hidden value, by entities with higher intelligence and unusual circumstances
3) encoding hidden value based on understanding of ideal measures of achievement, not on a flawed sample of values existing in a population
4) prediction of low error rate in accomplishing goals means that changes in hidden value have negligible cost, and inaccurate values in population do not need to be corrected immediately without an identifiable negative result
5) timing error: situation where communication does not convey adequate range of information. frequency of occurrence in population is unknown
6) unexpected change in importance of errors in value of a population that seems to indicate misplaced priorities and incorrect evaluation of benefit from countersignalling, due to unexpected conflict with truth value due to situation that results from previous assumptions.
7) search for solution in immediate environment leads to inconclusive results, which causes contradictions with any previous understanding of designed systems working as expected and the feasibility of common goals in society. prediction of importance of goal accomplishment in similar situation has broad significance for both the possible existence of solutions in the non-local scope and also for the accuracy and verifiability of possible local solutions, both for the individual and for the general population
8) promotion of values and strategies that are perceived to lead to avoidance of the problem in the optimal case and goal accomplishment when the problem cannot be avoided. awareness of problem in population is unknown; conclusions on optimal local or global strategies are also unknown, but directly affects understanding and prediction of ideal values in society.
Resulting values can include "It is important to avoid countersignalling", "Dishonesty is acceptable if it does not lead to an identifiable victim", "People cannot be trusted", "The true incidence of 'avoidance of conflict' strategy is low enough to assume any given sample of opinions is not biased based on benefit to society", with the actual rate of occurrence of these values in the general population subject to large deviations from what is predicted due to the complexity of the situations from which predictions of incidence rate are derived.