Ganking, Bluewall, Gray-kill, Camping… and PvP
“A Horde just ganked me”, “I hate campers”, “He wasn’t able to gray-kill me, that nab!”… This are the kind of sentences you might sometimes read in chat. But what do they mean? And are they all right? Are there rules for PvP in World of Warcraft?
First, you have to be familiar with the Blizzard expression of “griefing”. We use this expression when a player is ruining the gaming experience of another player on purpose: Stalking a player (following him for no reason, whispering insults, repeatedly sending invitations that they decline, etc.) is forbidden by Blizzard.
Now, Ganking, Bluewalling, camping, etc., are not (without a few exceptions) considered as griefing by Blizzard and a Game Master will not do anything if you complain about that. Let’s see in details these expressions and what they mean.
“Ganking” is a word made of the words “Gang Kill”. Originally, that meant when a gang of players attacked, and killed, an isolated player. Nowadays, that means a lot of things: Killing a player who is much lower level than you, killing a player who is low on health and busy fighting one or more mobs (monsters), be more than one on one player, killing a player who is handing in a quest or somehow unavailable for fight, etc. On a PvP or RPPvP realm, these actions are not considered as griefing. It is PvP and these are the rules. You will have to band up with friends or to find some solution yourself.
You can see the level of players like the levels of different mobs: A skull means that they are at least 10 levels higher than you, you will not survive the meeting (exception is some elite mobs in different dungeons). Dark red, the player is much higher level than you. You will probably not survive this encounter. Yellow, the player is around the same level than you, you have equal chances. Green, the player is lower level than you, it should be an easy kill. Gray, the player is so much lower level than you, that he won’t even give you honor. Just like a gray mob won’t give you experience points.
Attacking a player who is much lower level than you, so his level is gray, is ganking. On French servers, where they use many English words, they call it a “gray kill” (in English). Meaning: You killed a low level. They use the word ganking too in the other cases, but, in this precise case, they use the more precise expression: “to gray-kill someone”.
Even though it is not honorable, even though it is considered as “low-life” and even though it is not appreciated by other players, it is not considered as griefing on PvP realms. If you are fond of ganking or of gray-kill, be warned, though. After a while, you will be recognized and killed on sight almost everywhere you go. Your alts can be camped (we’ll see later for this expression), and the game can become a very unpleasant place to be.
Depending on server and on the guild you belong, there might be different rules for ganking. In our guild, the guild I was guild master for, we never wanted gankers or alike and if we got warned that one of our members had done ganking, he was warned or eventually kicked out of the guild.
Some other guilds accept and promote ganking. There can be a lot on some servers (for example Stormscale (EU) or Sylvanas (EU)) and less on some others (Defias Brotherhood (EU)).
Originally, Blizzard had a new expansion every 10 levels. The original game (Vanilla) was going from 1 to 60, next came The Burning Crusade, which rose the levels to 70, after that, Wrath of the Lich King to 80. From Cataclysm, for some reasons (maybe to take more expansions out?), the levels rose only of 5 levels at the time: Cataclysm went to 85 and now, Mist of Pandaria raises the level cap to 90. That means that there is a very, very big difference between a level 85, or 84 and a level 80 and a very very big difference between a level 90 (or even 89) and a level 85. The level 80 or 81, 85 or 86 are easy kill for a level 90… As easy as a gray kill, but, since there aren’t 9 levels of difference, they still give honor. In this way, a ganker can get honor from a not so honorable kill.
Even on one on one, this will be considered as ganking or gray-kill by most players.
What about Bluewall?
Bluewall, or “bluewalling” is not considered as griefing from Blizzard and some players consider it as honorable, some others (like me) do not. A Bluewall is when you are on a non-pvp realm, on a Normal or Role Playing server, where players name are in blue and where we, normally, can’t attack each other. If you meet a player of the opposite faction who is flagged for PvP and you attack him. He may be flagged for PvP for numerous reasons, maybe he comes back from a battleground or he has buffed, healed or had a duel against another player who was flagged for PvP. There can be many reasons. Killing him is generally easy because the you have the advantage of the first move.
It is considered honorless for some players because the player who is not flagged for PvP has this advantage. The flagged player cannot do anything before he gets attacked.
Only exception is if the other player is in one of your main cities: He will get flagged by entering it and you will not (necessarily) be. But in this case, you are asking for it.
Some other players consider such an attack as legitimate because they believe that when you are flagged for PvP (in 5 minutes on a non-PvP realm), then you must expect this kind of things.
Note that since patch 6.0.3 you cannot bluewall anymore. You have to put on the PvP-flag before you attack.
Camping (or Corpse Camping)
When you kill a player and instead of going your way, you stay around, wait for him to resurrect and then attack him again before he has time to walk away or get health or anything else, it is called Camping, or Corpse Camping.
This is not considered as griefing by Blizzard but it is considered as honorless and poor game-play by most players. It gives a bit the impression that you are too bad to kill any player so since it now miraculously succeeded for you ( I got one! I got one!), you stay here to kill the poor guy again and again.
In case people did that to me, or to other, it generally ends very badly. Often, the victim will call on his guild channel or in the /general chat and others will come and help. He will resurrect enough time to keep you busy and in place to give others the time to arrive and take care of you. And if you first have a reputation of camper, you might get into difficulties with your faction as well as with the other.
PvP, yes, but remember to be fair and honorable. It is right, sometimes, things go wrong, and you might get smashed. However, most of the time, you will be respected as an honorable fighter by your faction as well as by the opposite faction and it is worth a lot.