Energy - 7

There are a set number of classes in any given MMO, but the combinations of these classes gives variety well beyond just their appearance or abilities.

Players: When combining classes one must look well beyond just what each class can or can’t do. Each class presents a new option to the battlefield, including when and where they are used best.

Additionally, leaders must also look to the heart of the player who plays the character. The person playing the character is the valued asset, not the character itself. A person who can play their character with the full knowledge of MMO war is worth more than any character type the game can present.


Energy - 6

When attacking indirectly, it must be done with the utmost of efficiency in regards to player use, and must be done endlessly.

Players: Objectives are best achieved when the overall goal of the battle (winning) is the objective, rather than killing numerous numbers of the opponent. In the end, the objective is what matters. Those who choose to make indirect attacks that result in accomplishing the objective should smile in the knowledge that the opponent’s reaction was such that their objective was hidden, and the end  result displays their essential nature for victory.


Energy - 5

When fighting in PVE or PVP, direct attack is used to start and join the battle, but often attacking indirectly is the way to win the battle.

Players: In both PVE and PVP, dividing up a force to allow for smaller groups to antagonize the enemy and feint larger attacks may secure victory. In PVP this is often necessary to create weaknesses when taking objectives. One player can be very useful in creating this ruse to draw attention away from the objective, thus allowing the overwhelming power of the large force to destroy the opponent.


Energy - 4

When a group of players engage an enemy, they should attack with such extreme force it is as if hitting an egg with a sledgehammer. To do this a leader must know where to attack, and what points are weak and strong.


Energy - 3

To ensure victory and morale for a group of players, the leader must use direct and indirect maneuvers.

Players: A leader must know how to directly and indirectly engage and enemy force with their group, no matter the size. This may mean indirectly attacking an opposing force (i.e. feinting a large attack) to force battle with a direct attack.


Energy - 2

When leading a large raid it is the same as leading a party, one must use signals to inform either of the leader’s direction.

Players: Guilds should have an ability to communicate effectively. This can be done via an in-game chat or via a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) program. Use of VoIP programs is the best methodology with which to ensure correct and efficient voice communication between players.

Designers: A method for choosing targets and relaying information must be a part of the game mechanics; this allows for information to be relayed quickly and efficiently.


Energy - 1

Controlling raids of players is the same as controlling an individual party. One must simply direct their orders differently.


Tactics - 14

In battle a player must strike in such a way that the heart of the enemy is torn in two, so as to ensure victory.

Players: No quarter should be given in any circumstance be it against a computer generated enemy or another player. Defeat should come with overwhelming power and speed. Battles that are drawn out are those where the opponents are already defeated.


Tactics - 13

A player who can ensure victory is priceless against the worth of a player who is easily defeated.

Players: Weaker players are a liability for other players in battle. One must teach them the art of MMO war, or leave them in the dust of defeat.


Tactics - 12

A player must be able to measure their effectiveness through sound calculations, and be able to remove chance from their calculations to ensure victory. 

Players: Calculating can be done through any metric the game allows including (but not limited to): damage, healing, time, range, line of sight, defense, attributes, and skill levels.


Tactics - 11

The player who wins is the player who fights when the battle is already won. The player who loses fights and hopes victory may be obtained through fighting.

Players: Fighting with the hope of winning ensures defeat. Fighting with the knowledge that the battle is already won through the use of superior tactics, skill, and game knowledge is superior.


Tactics - 10

Excellence is represented by the player who makes his defeat impossible and defeats the enemy at the first moment of victory.

Players: Battles should be ended when victory is certain. Postponing victory beyond the point it is presented shows vanity.


Tactics - 9

When a player makes no mistakes, it ensures victory, and the enemy is already defeated before the battle.

Players: The expert player knows their class so well, that they have acquired the ability to respond to any situation presented to them in the game, from PVE to PVP. The expert can see the situation and the path to victory even before the battle unfolds before them. This is the acme of tactical expertise.


Tactics - 8

The keen player not only wins in battle, but excels at doing so with ease.

Players: One must not mistake overwhelming strength for ease. An expert player makes even the most difficult maneuver appear easy due to extensive practice at their class or profession in the game. The most knowledgeable players appear to win with ease though the battle was hard fought.


Tactics - 7

To act when it is obvious is not the sign of great skill.


Tactics - 6

To know when victory is obtained when it is always probable is not excellence in tactical leadership.

Players: When victory is so overwhelming due to outside circumstance, the player has done nothing as the advantage has been handed to them. It does not take great skill for a player to lead a group through a dungeon that is well below their character’s level. Leaders have sound tactics that can work in any situation, most of all the difficult.


Tactics - 5

Defending is done when there is not enough strength, attacking is done when there is overwhelming strength.

Players: When one cannot attack, it is imperative to defend from all sides until strength is built through a player’s life, reinforcements, or abilities. A player should never be in a position of inaction on the battlefield.


Tactics - 4

Defensive tactics provide security against defeat, while offensive tactics are the way of defeating the enemy.

Players: One must be highly skilled in both, ready to switch with each moment between offense and defense.


Tactics - 3

A good player can ensure they are not defeated, but they cannot ensure they will defeat the enemy. 

Players: It is foolish to attack when there is no opportunity for victory, just as it is foolish to attack if the player has not first become undefeatable. Patience in matters of victory is important for all players.


Tactics - 2

Players make themselves undefeatable, but the enemy provides the opportunity of defeating himself.

Players: No player can beat the unbeatable. The enemy will provide the opportunity for victory, and the wise player sees these opportunities immediate and strikes like a lightning bolt.


Tactics - 1

The best players make their defeat impossible, and wait until the right time to defeat the enemy. 

Players: The best offense is worthless if the enemy has been given the advantage of winning in any contest. Players should always strive to ensure they can survive any encounter. If the odds are stacked against the player and defeat is likely, then fighting is not the best option.


Strategic Attack - 10

Each player must know their own capabilities and that of their enemies, throughout all aspects of the game (i.e. race, class, profession.). By knowing these things, a player will be prepared for victory in almost any setting.


Strategic Attack - 9

Four key elements are needed to be victorious in MMO war:

(1)  Know when to fight and when not to fight.
(2)  Know how to lead both strong and weak players and groups.
(3) Have a collective understanding of how to appropriately fight for a given battle and the morale to do so.
(4) Be constantly prepared for battle, and know how to prepare for battle.


Strategic Attack - 8

A leader in PVP or PVE can be defeated by not properly moving the group, administering the group without knowledge of the players in the group, and by having others leaders in the group who are not trained in the art of leadership.

Players: The achievements of a group of players rest upon the shoulders of the leader.


Strategic Attack - 7

A small group of players can defend for a lengthy time because regardless of position, they must be defeated by the larger group before losing.

Players: This should be seen as an advantage. The smaller force only has to defend for enough time until reinforcements arrive to defeat the larger group.


Strategic Attack - 6

In PVP, if the group’s forces vastly outnumber the enemy attack quickly without reprieve. If equal in number, expect an equal outcome. If slightly less in players, avoid the enemy. If unequal run and obtain reinforcements.


Strategic Attack - 5

A skillful leader in PVP knows when to launch an attack without needless movement of other players.

Players: A leader should strive to direct others with constant efficiency of motion. No player should move without the most direct line to attack another player, or without the outcome of an attack already perceived.


Strategic Attack - 4

In both PVE and PVP, the leader who needlessly attacks the enemy has failed in their objective.

Players: The objective is victory, and once obtained, no attack is necessary.


Strategic Attack - 3

Avoid attacking the enemy player when they have the advantage. An enemy who will not attack when they have the advantage has already lost.

Players: One should strive to convince an opposing player they will lose a fight, even though the enemy clearly has the advantage.


Strategic Attack - 2

The best players already know the strategies used by the enemy and can prevent the enemy’s strategy from being used.

Players: The ability to respond (make an educated and deliberate action) versus react (make an action based on the moment) is the difference between a master player and a novice. A novice lives in the moment, while a master has already determined the outcome before the battle has begun.


Strategic Attack - 1

To fight and win is not the ultimate goal in an MMO; to have enemies run when they merely have a glimpse of you is an assured victory.

Players: If the morale of the enemy is such that they run to get aid when they see you in PVP, you have already broken their spirit and will to fight.


Waging MMO War - 13

The leader of a group is the most essential element of victory in both PVE and PVP.

Players: One competent leader is worth more than a hundred incompetent followers.


Waging MMO War - 12

In both PVP and PVE the desired end state should be victory over the foe. All other things should be secondary to this objective.

Players: The guild that puts victory before rewards is the strongest. Guild members should strive to defeat the enemy, as rewards are a byproduct of all victories. Patience in these matters is essential.


Waging MMO War - 11

Rewards should be given to those who accomplish most of the fighting.

Players: This includes raiding, a common term for large-scale PVE encounters. Those who are consistently doing the majority of playing, supporting, and fighting during these encounters should be the recipients of the majority of rewards. A system needs to be in place that clearly defines how party and guild members will receive rewards during all encounters. Many modern MMOs include “looting systems” as game mechanics that allow for distribution of rewards, but higher levels of organization (guilds in this case) require a system outside of the game to determine who is the best recipient for rewards that are harder to obtain. Without a well-established system, conflict over fair play may result in disharmony and lack of trust between members of guilds. It is essential that guilds determine this system at the earliest time possible during the planning phase for any MMO.

Designers: In modern MMOs, rewards should be given (loot, experience) to those who do the majority of fighting (either by way of damage or damage mitigation) and those who aid in the fight (healing). One should not be able to stand around in a fight and reap rewards or the benefits of being on the battlefield. Systems should be sound enough to avoid exploiting by association or distance to the actual enemy. An example of this would be to not allow a lower level player reap the benefit of having a higher level player kill for them.


Waging MMO War - 10

Players must have purpose behind killing their opponents, both in PVE and PVP. Without a purpose, there is no advantage to killing.

Players: A player’s purpose can be the simple obtainment of rewards, class progression, or personal gratification. All players should find a purpose behind the killing of enemies, attack enemies that fulfill their purpose, and leave behind those that serve no purpose.


Waging MMO War - 9

When able, use what you can off of enemy drops, rather than your own stores.

Waging MMO War - 8

Generally in MMOs, the farther a group is from their base of operations, the higher the prices will be from vendors.


Waging MMO War - 7

All members of a group should bring enough materials for every possible encounter during their time away from their base of operations.

Players: Leaders of a party of any size should impress upon the group to have ready and at their disposal all resources to be used during prolonged encounters. Leadership should plan ahead and have general lists for the campaign to aid their group members. A leader who has every detail planned for their group ensures victory.


Waging MMO War - 6

Only carry what you will possibly use when leaving your base of operations.

Players: One must carefully determine what can be used during an engagement away from resources. At all times a player must be prepared, and having a list of basic necessities to be carried ensures preparedness. The player who is not always prepared is the player who is easily defeated.


Waging MMO War - 5

A group cannot benefit from prolonged engagement.

Players: Resources to include in-game resources, players, player schedules, and guild resources should all be considered when planning for engagements. All resources should be considered as limited to maximize what is available.


Waging MMO War - 4

When making decisions, one must be able to do so quickly, but not so quickly that a hasty decision leads to downfall.

Players: A player who knows their class fully, and other classes fully, is a player who can respond to any situation during PVP or PVE play. Decision time is decreased in relationship to knowledge of a class’ tactics and strategy. One should very rarely have to guess at their next move.


Waging MMO War - 3

If a guild does not progress through content in a MMORPG, some members will take advantage of opportunities to join guilds that are progressing.

Players: Guild leaders must encourage and stress progression through game content as one of the basic goals of the guild. Without progression, players will always gravitate towards a guild that helps them to progress as a player. Even the most loyal players can become distraught at a lack of content progression.


Waging MMO War - 2

When victory requires a large amount of time in PVE or PVP, members will become distraught.

Players: It is crucial for leaders to plan timed breaks to ensure the health and motivation of other players. Even if players are excited to continue on, by having planned breaks of no less than five minutes, players will be refreshed and able to play at their best.

During raids, if members begin to become sullen and distraught, a break will allow them to clear their mind and return with focus. If members begin to show signs of weariness, stopping is often better than continuing without true focus.


Waging MMO War - 1

The cost of running a guild for an MMO will go well beyond just the managing of the guild in the game.

Players: Essential elements for a successful guild include a website with a forum, a voice over IP (VoIP) service, a website administrator, and a guild charter. The costs will be well beyond the cost (i.e. subscription) of just playing the game. Time will be the most expensive of all the costs to a guild member and leader.


Planning - 23

It is essential before a player or group of players engages the enemy, they have planned ahead through many calculations, have foreseen many outcomes based on those calculations, and have determined the best course of action for any action made by the enemy. The more time spent planning, the swifter the victory in any MMO battle.

Players: Players should study tactics used in MMOs, and guilds should provide training and guides to teach players on common tactics essential to their chosen MMO. A guild composed of members who are fully trained on tactics and strategy is a deadly and powerful guild indeed.


Planning - 22

If a normal tactic is to use a gate, go through the back entrance.

Players: When attacking an area owned by an opposing force, unless there is no other option, always attack indirectly (from multiple areas if able). Always attack the weakest point of the opposing force’s stronghold. The enemy will changed guard towards the weak points, at that time, strong becomes weak. Players should think on this deeply.


Planning - 21

In PVP, always show weakness to your enemy to draw them in.

Players: In a fight against a single opponent in PVP, always circle the enemy and let them make the foolish move, giving the impression you are weak. If striking first gains the advantage, be like lightning, without warning and without reprieve. If the enemy strikes at you without warning (as in an ambush), retreat and gather your bearings to the situation. The player who excels is the one who knows these things without having to analyze the situation fully, and can act upon instinct. The player who is always ready is the one who cannot be defeated.


Planning - 20

It is always better to go around unnoticed, or run away and live, than to fight a stronger enemy and lose.

Players: It does not show strength to run into battle only to be defeated time and time again in an MMO. It shows only haste and a lack of knowledge about taking the advantage. The good player fights when they can win, runs when defeat is certain, and bides their time when it is necessary.


Planning - 19

Feigning weakness to draw  the enemy in is a common tactic used to bring enemies close for the slaughter. 

Players: The pulling mechanism often employed of bringing a monster to the larger group uses this principle. This can be also used in PVP by having a single player act as bait as a larger group waits in ambush, or having the single player bring the attacker(s) to a larger group that can surround and slaughter them. Only a group with discipline and good communication can use this tactic wisely.
One should always show weakness before an enemy if possible.


Planning - 18

Deceiving other players is essential to gaining the advantage in PVP.

Players: One must keep their opponents always guessing at their next maneuver. When the enemy knows the plan, the advantage is lost.

Planning - 17

Guilds, raids, and players should always modify their strategy to gain the advantage.

Players: Gaining an advantage during any situation is of primary concern during gameplay. Gaining an advantage could be during battle, during collection of items or resources, or during production of items or resources. Once an advantage is gained, all players must ensure they keep the advantage as long as possible. If the advantage is lost, all can be lost.


Planning - 16

Thinking outside the normal context of MMORPGs helps a guild to overcome challenges they may face. While using a known exploit is inappropriate, using game mechanics to one’s advantage is always appropriate.

Players: A player who reports an exploit to the developers is a more trustworthy player than one who uses an exploit and keeps it to themselves or only tells a few others. Guilds should strive to maintain the high road and refuse to allow exploitation of bugs. Guilds that use exploits are frowned upon by developers and in some cases removed from the game.

Exploiting game mechanics that are common to all games (i.e. line of sight, high terrain) is not only acceptable but essential. One should always exploit game mechanics to create an advantage.


Planning - 15

Does the guild have a system to promote fairness in both PVP and PVE? Does the guild have a charter by which it has listed its methods of operations?

Players: One of the most contentious aspects of guilds in an MMO is the distribution of rewards from styles of play. While PVP often rewards individuals via a system built into the game (often rankings determined by number of players killed, battles won), PVE in most MMOs does not have a mechanic built into the game. It is up to the members of the guild to decide on a method to distribute rewards in a fair way. This method should be discussed at length by the members of the guild and a fair, but set way should be implemented. Once implemented, very minor if any changes should be made from that point on to the system. This must be given much consideration.

A charter is the defining document of a guild, and should include how rewards are distributed so that all current and potential members are aware of the system.


Planning - 14

Does the guild take the time to teach their leaders how to be leaders?

Players: It is essential that guilds create a leadership training program focusing on elements of leadership common to all leaders, which then focuses on leadership specifics used in MMOs. While many theories exist on leadership it is commonly accepted that all leaders, whether natural or trained, gain substantial benefit from a program to hone their leadership style.


Planning - 13

“Strong” can mean in numbers, as well as having higher level characters and better gear. “Strong” more importantly relates to the cohesiveness and discipline of the group or guild.

Players: A variety of factors makes a guild seem strong in nature to the outsider. The most important of these are cohesiveness and discipline. Without these, the guild will fail.


Planning - 12

Does the guild or group have a high level of discipline? Is good discipline enforced through positive, constructive feedback? Is there a mechanism in place for members of a guild to provide that feedback without fear of retribution for doing so?

Players: Even guilds and their members must instill discipline if they hope to achieve success. The right player needs to be doing the right thing at the right time during both PVP and PVE. If players are not doing the right thing, they need to be trained to do so in a positive way that encourages better play out of the player. By being respectful in one’s critique, one can always create a community of respectful players who are encouraged to offer feedback.


Planning - 11

The player, group, or guild that takes advantage of game time mechanics as well as terrain will be the victor.

Players: One should know all game mechanics as they apply to PVP and PVE to include such things as line of sight, effective attack and defense range, stealth, time of day, high point of terrain, ambush points, buildings and foliage.

Designers: Games must build upon natural terrain as well as physical obstacles that can provide unique advantages and disadvantages for players. Time of day is often overlooked as a method to provide for players a unique disadvantage. Night in a game should always limit the distance a player can perceive while during day, the source of light, should blind the player while looking into it. The more options there are available in the game, the better the experience for the players.


Planning - 10

In PVP, the group with a better leader wins the battle. In PVE, the raid or group with a better leader will defeat the artificial intelligence of the enemies.

Players: Those with a natural ability to lead should do so and never be afraid to speak up when others aren’t properly applying a proven strategy in a PVP encounter. It is never wrong to follow the directions of a player who has a proven strategy for winning.

During PVE play, leaders must know the encounter from start to finish, and there should be no hesitation in their decision making. They must lead the group in a way that even when learning an encounter, victory is ensured.


Planning - 9

The guild, raid, or single group with the better leader(s) will win.

Players: This should be considered carefully. Strength in numbers may result in being defeated in numbers. The better guild, raid, or group has more power with competent leaders than being larger in number.


Planning - 8

Guild, raid, and party leaders should be familiar with the constant factors of terrain.

Players: One must always be aware of their surroundings, and know the probable direction the enemy will come from. Terrain in games will offer clues to the player to be ready such as larger rooms for “boss” enemies, or large areas that offer a great deal of concealment for the enemy around corners, behind buildings, or on top of battlements. The player who is aware of these clues is a player who is always ready for any situation.


Planning - 7

Guilds must create a rank structure, maintain supplies and items, maintain a set form of distribution, and wisely use guild resources to maximize potential.

Players: Guilds whose structure allows for a democratic design (one where all players are involved in the day to day processes) and allows for some semblance of group decision making is more apt to ensure harmony between all members of the guild. This structure should be in writing and available to all members in the form of a charter. The charter should list the guild’s hierarchy, goals, and expected conduct of all members.

Guilds should have a system in place, agreed upon by all members, that determines how items and supplies are distributed. This system should be in writing, and available for all members to refer to in the event of disagreements or grievances about item distribution.

Designers: Guild mechanics should have built-in and customizable rank structure within the game, with abilities to determine levels of control each rank should have. Included in this should be a guild “bank” where associated ranks and selected members of the guild have different levels of access to the bank holding the guild’s items and currency.


Planning - 6

A leader in a MMO is not only the guild leader, but any player who takes charge during a PVP or PVE situation.

Players: Guilds should structure a training program for leaders, not just place them into a position based on tenure. Leadership skills are essential both for running a guild and during gameplay. Only after completing the training program is a player placed in a high-ranking leadership position.

A culture of leadership should be honed by the guild leadership for all players in the guild. This ensures at any time a player can "take the reins" if required.


Planning - 5

Terrain in an MMORPG includes vast open areas, areas with funneling features, areas of concealment both outside and in structures inside of towns and cities.

Players: The ability to know the line of sight (LOS) of the character and the enemy is an essential skill when participating in PVE and PVP. One should always consider the LOS towards the rear of their character, as this is the primary point of attack in a MMO because of limited camera angles (though some MMOs may include an auto-facing feature or a backwards-looking camera mechanic to help battle this). Many players work around this tactic by using a circular path.

While in a structure, there are normally only one or two lanes of LOS that a player can be attacked from in either PVE or PVP. These areas should be focused upon at all times for potential danger.


Planning - 4

Many MMORPGs include both day and night as well as seasons in different areas of the game. It is crucial to use these mechanics to the player’s and guild’s advantage in both PVP and PVE. One can literally have the sun at their back in many MMORPGs. An advanced technique is to use “stealth” when it is an available game mechanic to maintain the advantage of surprise.

Players: Having the sun at one’s back is reminiscent of the advice given by the Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. It provides that one is blinded by the sun when facing it, rather than having a clear view of their enemy. Also, night provides concealment from light which casts a clear view of things. Using both to one’s advantage in PVP, a player can often gain a clear advantage over their enemy during the beginning of a fight.

Many modern games use a “stealth” mechanic to allow for surprise as an advantage and to avoid fighting. Players who are over-reliant on the use of stealth are weaker players than those who use stealth to gain the advantage quickly and always win. To have this advantage and use it poorly shows a weak player.

Designers: Modern MMOs should always include day and night mechanics as part of the persistent world, along with seasons and seasonal occurrences based on terrain features (i.e. mountains having snowstorms, beaches having morning fog).

"Stealth" if used in game design must be balanced to provide only an initial advantage, not a complete advantage giving players too much power over each other and the artificial intelligence of enemies.


Planning - 3

Guild members must be confident in not only the leaders of the guild, but in the structure of the guild as well. A weak structure will cause ruin for a guild as much as a poor guild leader will.

Players: A guild requires three elements to be successful in today’s MMOs; a website with a forum, a charter that defines the guild, defines the guild's goals, and defines it's structure, and a program that allows voice communication. These three elements are essential to a successful guild.

The leadership of a guild must strive to not only recruit players who want to succeed in the game but want to help further the overall goals of the guild. These overall goals should be specifically addressed in the guild's charter. This charter should be displayed publically for all potential recruits, so there is no question about the validity of the guild's structure. This also gives insight to the rest of the gaming community on the values the guild is based on.

While factions in a game may be describes as “good” or “bad”, if the guild’s charter upholds a set of values, the game’s meanings are not as important as to what values the guild upholds. If a guild doesn’t uphold any values, players who have no values will be attracted to the guild, just as much as a guild that has a defining set of values will attract players who also uphold those values. This law of attraction is apparent when applied to the most successful guilds in the most popular MMOs.


Planning - 2

It is important for a guild to be thoroughly versed in both PVP and PVE matters within the game. The guild’s success is derived by knowing how to manipulate factors in an MMORPG to their advantage, and to study the game’s dimensions fully.

Players: One should strive to become familiar with all aspects of the game to include knowing their own and other’s classes. The more players know about each class, each way to play the classes, and the common variables for each class, the better the player will be in any game environment. Guilds should instruct both new and veteran players on aspects of the game they are playing, along with tactics common to all MMOs.

Planning - 1

War in a MMORPG (MMO) can be defined in two combative modes; player versus environment (PVE) and player versus player (PVP). All outcomes in MMOs are defined by these two modes.

Players: The most successful players in MMOs strive first to be the best in one class and in both combat settings. They thoroughly study both PVP and PVE elements to the game they play. While some games may cater specific routes of progression for either element for those who wish to specialize in the modes they prefer, it is still essential to understand and excel at both.

Designers: Current and future generation MMOs must cater to players who enjoy both PVE and PVP. Games must include both elements with balance; no one element must overshadow the other in a balanced MMO. Game design may articulate which element is more important, and if this is the case, the game must follow that path to its end. Games that add an element at a later date fail to realize the importance of MMO expansive design.