PK'ers, and some thoughts on dealing with them

Hey folks, I have to say that I am enjoying the 12th day of the ladder reset, what with all the good times meeting and helping others, but in the last two days, some dirtbags have once again taking to entering public games and trying to force folks to duel with them, whether we want to or not.

Now, even i have had occasional fun, doing the whole pvp thing, but only as dueling, and never as ‘player killing’. The online playing environment is already starting to die off, what with all the botters offering all the free levels you could want, all you have to do is join their games and Pfffttt, instand, free levels in a night.

This of course draws many legit players into such games, as they don’t want to struggle and fall far behind, and seeing yesterdays companion suddenly 20 levels higher than your guy is very disheartening.

So, we don’t want to end PvP entirely, as that is how some folks like to enjoy their D2/LOD time, and that is all fine and good.

OTOH, we do want to entirely end PK’ing, and so I made this thread to spitball some ideas about how this could be done.

On game creation, perhaps there could be a checkbox, that allows/disallows the hostile button? In such a game, as setup by the game creator, hostility could either be allowed, or disabled, and thus anyone wanting to play PvM can do so without some jerk trying to mess things up. Additionally, perhaps when in ‘hostile mode’, a character looses the ability to fight the monsters? The reason for this is to prevent jerks from killing the bosses and storyline critters, to prevent the normal folks from being able too, and thus messing up their game?

Or, in game, perhaps there could be a checkbox that allows players to decide to enable hostility in game with respect to their characters only? Say your in a (normal game, with ppl working together PvM), but a friend joins in and wants too test out their new, nifty PvP weapon/build. Having such a checkbox in game would allow you and your friend to engage in some mutually PvP activity, while leaving everyone else out of it, and able to carry on their own leisure time activities.

I realise, and gully expect, to hear indignante cries from the maladjusted, that this kinda change would make D2 totally unappealing to them, as their fun is going into games and looking for weaker characters, working together and having mutual fun and cooperative games, and then killing/harassing them, but hey…

Any thoughts?

What you’re suggesting will never happen

Perhaps, and perhaps not. What I do know is, if no one asked, it will never happen.

Thanks for the reply

Pking is apart of the game. Max Schaefer has made comments on this in the past. We have passworded games available and you can easily avoid it. Part of the D2 experience is pking. Furthermore, this would stop my enjoyment in killing bots while they MF.

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That is intentional, and by design. The D2 devs have been very clear about that in the past.

Hello Sirian,

I am Max Schaefer, and I am a senior designer of both Diablo II and the Lord of Destruction Expansion pack. I have never posted here before, but I have from time to time in our own forums.

I am the guy you all love to hate. I, along with the rest of the Blizzard North management, deliberately and with clear intent allowed limited PKing in the Diablo universe. However, this current argument has run a bit astray.

Roger Eberhart is a fine member of our QA staff, and does his job with professionalism and talent, but he is not an official spokesperson for what we do and do not encourage. I don’t recall ever discussing the issue of PKing with him. Sure, the Assassin character has a novel method of killing both players and monsters (traps), but the intent of the character was never to be a PK. Traps simply struck us as a fun new way of doing combat, as opposed to traditional melee and ranged attacks. Though it’s irrelevant, I have never heard of an Assassin killing another player with traps. I would guess that it would, in reality, be a fairly akward and inefficient way to PK.

To answer the original question: Do we “encourage” people to PK? Not really. We encourage people to party up, both for strategic and server-efficiency reasons. Other than that, it’s pretty much up to you all to decide what to do. Obviously, we’ve set up and elaborate world of monsters, quests, items, and plot(…) but there is almost no effort given to “encourage” PKing, other than not preventing it.

Although I do not want to enter a prolonged debate about PKing (I’ve done so already for over five years), I will address just a few things.

  1. The entire game is set up to kill your player. Every monster, boss, and trap has as it’s only goal the death of your player. The addition of the occaisional anti-social player only adds to the feeling of tension and fear that makes the rewards of success that much better. Remember this: the world of Diablo II is not a safe, warm place. It is a place of great evil, and even greater good.

  2. In Diablo 1, the cheating and hacking rendered PKing a disproportionately annoying addition to the game, for example the Town-Kill or the Auto-Kill. This is not the case in D2, where the avoidance of PKs is a relatively trivial matter. Other posters have listed all of the ways in which we have made PKing all the more difficult.

  3. Even with a PK switch, there are abundant ways that anti-social people can ruin your game. Believe me, there are far worse things to do than declare hostile and try to attack another player. Without this option, the “jerks” will not go away.

  4. A story about heroes and conquests needs villians. Hordes of identical monsters do not fulfill this requirement in my opinion. Part of what makes the Diablo II community great is the great variety of personalities and styles. The last thing we want is to force people into some idealized regimen of “proper” role-playing. Rather, we sought to make a game where people create their own fantasies and adventures.

and finally,

  1. Diablo II and the expansion are the games that we at Blizzard want to play. That is our formula for success. Companies that design games based on focus groups, marketing opinions, and even fan input do not succeed. Although hearing the opinions of others are valuable to us, every design decision must pass the test of whether or not WE would want it in the game. In many cases, we’ve changed our minds after hearing compelling arguments. But we’ve decided that PKing is part of the Diablo universe. We are well aware that this does not please everyone. However, you are right: we are not apologetic about it. Not at all. Sure, we could implement a PK switch. It’s a trivial coding task. But we wouldn’t be being true to ourselves, and our goals as gamemakers.

We are proud of what we’ve made in the Diablo universe, and the overwhelming success and support of our customers vindicates our core decisions from a business standpoint as well. Sure we’ve made mistakes, after all, we’re just gamers who are fortunate enough to have built a successful game company. We spend each day doing what we love to do: make and play fun computer games. The sales and success are nice, but they are secondary to our goal of making the games that we want to play.

Max Schaefer

Vice President and co-founder, Blizzard North


I love pkers, they either make the cry babies quit or make strong minded individuals better at the game, but what they never do is force players to duel them. In fact, anyone who duels a pker isn’t too bright and deserves to be pked. Hopefully it’s on hardcore, too.

I’ve mentioned this before, I’ll say it again. TL DR;

From title though, just reminding you, make a passworded game. This type of pking behavior has always been and is intentionally made to be part of the game. That is what contributes to this rich world of Diablo. You have these bandit like players, and these great survivor like players who help each other out. Nothing wrong with either play styles, unless cheating is involved.

What you’re suggesting is stupid, and ruins the spirit of Diablo 2. It’s an old school thrasher, where you CAN ruin a game for someone. Best way to avoid it is to make private games. Also, it’s pretty uncommon for people to go into random games and harass folks, you’ll be OK. Terrible idea to ruin Diablo 2 and a core function because you’re whining.

As a hardcore player the easiest and most satisfying solution is to just build a LLDer and kill them. Things like barbs/druids can tank a pk charger and just kill them. Most of it revolves around the art of baiting : Joining games where pk’ers are roaming and asking to do questing etc and getting hostiled and then baiting them obliging them into a fight while it’s assumed you’re a noob. Some seasons past got close to 50+ pker ears doing this.

Too bad blizzard doesn’t make Schaefer’s #5 pint their motto. Probably why he doesn’t work there anymore.

sounds like you’re a pker :smiley:

pk is great glad hostile is a thing. Makes D2 infinitely playable for 20 years.