Honour, and its antonym "No Honour", are expressions you see bandied about a lot wherever PKers talk about their exploits or post screenshots of their kills. But that's not all: the Rants Forum is swarming with PKers complaining about how their prey got away or how Jagex is "helping the noobs": phrases like "safer noob", "prayer noob" and "tele noob" (or more amusingly, "teletubby") abound.
Let's examine the current "honour system" most in evidence in World 18, and see what seems to constitute honour, or more specifically, the lack of it. You appear to have "no honour" if you:
- eat to stay above half health (preventing a quick knockout with DD spec);
- wear any armour other than rune or Barrows – the relatively new proselyte armour, which is brilliant for prayer-intensive duels, is taboo because it doesn't give the winner enough money (though Barbarian Assault fighter torsos are apparently forgivable, a rare occurrence of utility overcoming "honour");
- use protection prayers;
- "farcast" -- using ice magic or entangle to hold someone then attacking them from a distance (which is what the spells are for);
- run or teleport when it becomes obvious you have nothing to gain;
- attack someone before they pot up;
- attack someone without asking their permission;
- return with one item to harass the player who attacked you;
So, in essence, it's "dishonourable" to do anything that keeps you alive and protects your valuable items, or that helps you kill the next player that comes along along and take theirs. It's "dishonourable" to play the game the way it was meant to be played. It's "dishonourable" to go into the wilderness, that (notably lawless) part of the RuneScape world designed specifically for players to kill each other, with the intention of actually keeping your precious items and taking other people's. It's basically "dishonourable" to have fun and do what you want and what Jagex expects you to do.
The idiocy of ritualised Edgeville pking is for another article, so I'll end the comparison there. It's an excellent example, however, of how the obsessive greed of unskilled PKers has made thinking take second place to "honour" in the Wilderness. None of this would have come about if the swarms of fighter-torso-and-fire-cape duellers hanging around at Edgeville these days were good enough to finish their targets before they get away, or brave enough to go deeper and fight where escape isn't so easy. These silly "rules" came from the minds of people who desperately need their victims to stand there, take it and just die already, without using food or prayer to protect themselves or trying to escape if they decide they want to keep their items. A lot of it does seem to be sheer laziness: it's obviously far too much hard work for these people to get a good magic level, then teleblocking and entangling someone before ripping into them...
And this is a running theme in the PKing community, not just duellers – one of the key principles of Clan wars is the motto "stand and die". I can see that standing is important (if half your clan runs off, the stragglers are definitely going to lose), but when was dying ever a good idea? Personally, I play this game for fun, and PK for fun. I work hard for my items, and I don't intend to lose them if I don't have to. There is no shame in running from a fight you don't want to engage in.
These rules and ideas contradict the most important point of the wilderness: anything goes. Well, except maybe for scamming people into venturing into the wilderness in the first place, but that's something else alltogether. There are no restrictions to what you can do in the wilderness. Do these people really expect everyone to play by their little rules? If you want to fight without running, without magic, without PKers, go to the Duel Arena. That's what it's for. If you come to the wilderness, you should expect people to use the mechanics of the game to their advantage.
There's a message you get upon entering the wilderness. It warns you that you might die. People can and do use all the advantages available to them in this game. If you lose to someone who did something you weren't expecting, it doesn't mean they're "dishonourable" - it means they were better prepared than you were. If you come to a fight without packing a teleport, and your opponent suddenly whips out an ancient staff and ices you to death without getting hurt, you may think they're "dishonourable", but you're dead. Which would you rather be? Would you rather have one player – a faceless internet person you'll never meet - thinking you're a "nh noob" while you loot their corpse, or one thinking you're a weakling while they loot yours? Clan warfare is at least slightly more realistic: in fights South of lvl 20 wilderness, clan leaders know to tell their followers to take teleblocks and ancients, but using protection prayers still gets howls of "noob!".
The PK world needs to realise that the wilderness isn't the Duel Arena with dragons. There are no rules. People who don't want to lose their rune armour can wear proselyte. People who don't want to die can teleport. People who just want kicks can get out a Barrelchest anchor and nothing else, and beat the heads of stupid duellers in again and again. I've done it, it's hilarious. And, regardless of whatever insults honour PKers have come up with for people who outsmart them, they can't do anything to stop you.
After all, it's The Wilderness -- anything goes. Anything at all, and if you can't deal with that you shouldn't be PKing in the first place. If you don't want people to teleport, get 85 mage and teleblock them, or stop messing around in low level wild entirely. If you don't want people to pray, Smite them. If you don't want them to run, entangle them. If you don't like them using cheap armour, go down to the Duel Arena and fight with fixed stakes. If you don't want one-itemers to attack you, change worlds.
If you can't kill someone before they get away, it doesn't mean they're a noob or "dishonourable". It means they're craftier than you are and maybe, just maybe, you're just not good enough.
Did You Know...
...rune essence pouches can be repaired without taking them with you to the Abyss? The Zamorak Mage in the centre of the Abyss will still repair your pouches even if you leave them in your bank.
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