After last E3 it became clear to me that way to many people don’t know the difference between being “ganked” and being “pwned.” These are two completely different ways of getting your butt kicked online, they do not mean the same thing.
For example in my upcoming game Fury, we advertise there is no “ganking.” But that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get “pwned.” So let’s see if we can straighten this out.
First off let me preface this by say that for the purpose of this discussion I don’t care about the origin of the terms, who is credited with first coining them or what other uses they have besides how they are applied to gaming. I just want to stop them from blurring together and becoming synonymous when applied to being defeated.
That being said lets look at ganked and pwned on Urban Dictionary. You can kind of see the difference in the two words but there is way to much signal to noise on that site.
So now let’s try Wikipedia where we find ganked and pwned. Those are much better definitions.
Do you see the difference?
“Ganking” is when a player or players use a massive and unfair advantage to defeat another player. The defeated player wasn’t expecting to be in a fight and didn’t really stand a chance.
“Pwned” is soundly defeating a prepared opponent. The loser may have been caught by a surprise tactic, he may not really have stood a chance against the better player that defeated him, but he knew he would be in for a fight and got beat bad.
Examples of being Ganked: (Edited after I put up next post)
• You are jumped and killed and killed by a much more powerful character in a place where you thought you were safe from PvP.
• You are defeated while AFK (edit: very grey area, if you left your character somewhere he was vulnerable and that means you don't have the 'unexpected' excuse. But killing somebody who is AFK is pretty lame so I'll go ahead and say you were ganked. You deserved it though.)
• You opponent takes advantage of a exploit to defeat you
• You are attacked by surprise and caught completely unprepared and are defeated before you even knew what was going on
• You are tricked into performing what the game thinks is a hostile action in an area where NPCs will kill you if you do hostile actions
• You are attacked while you are already fighting another player or NPC and defeated
Examples of being Pwned:
• You duel somebody and they defeat you without taking much damage
• You jump out of the bushes in an attempt to gank a lower level player and he kills you instead
• You do something really stupid and your opponent defeats you.
• You talk a lot of smack about how you are going to defeat your opponent and he beats you
I guess it is important to mention some examples that are neither ganked or pwned. These are just cases where you won and dancing around saying pwned them will just make you look stupid and if he starts whining that you ganked him makes him an idiot:
• You are dueling somebody and beat them but not by a lot nor by any superior playing on your part
• You are fighting another player and defeat him by accident caused by some advantage that neither of you was aware of
• You defeat a more powerful opponent who was already just about dead from another fight
Now let’s have a quiz.
1. You have a group of high level players hiding out at the crossroads and along comes a lower level player picking flowers. Your “gank” group leaps out and starts smacking him around when suddenly his allies who were just using him as bait teleport in and kill you and your team. Were you ganked or pwned?
2. You sneak into the other team’s tower and go to grab their flag when 6 opponents who were hiding behind the door fill you full of holes. Were you ganked or pwned?
3. You are tooling around in the game when you wife walks by wearing that skimpy outfit she wore on the honeymoon. You chase her off into the bedroom and return to the keyboard 3 minutes later to find you were killed. Were you ganked or pwned?
4. You are dueling another player when suddenly he does something that causes the game to bug out and kill you. Were you ganked or pwned?
5. A game master is in the game doing a story event of some sort. You decide to attack him with your meteor showers of instant death. But it doesn’t have any effect on his character and he turns and kills you with a developer command. Were you ganked or pwned?
Post your answers in the comments.