Friday, April 25, 2008

On the Matter of Arena Ratings

Read this comment over on WoW Insider, and thought it does a pretty good job of summing up one angle of the anti-Arena perspective:

Terrible changes. This is what I posted to my raid's forums (and yes, we're high-end raiders working on Sunwell):

I think comparing PvP rewards to PvE rewards is ridiculous. You don't fight other players in the Sunwell, so it doesn't matter how strong your gear is compared to what other people are wearing. It does, very much so, in PvP and according to this system the "rich get richer". Those who already have the perfect spec and the perfect class and the good gear and the perfect team setup (which means being unable to play with friends more often than not) now gain even more of an advantage over the people who lack these things. If the gear was only usable in the arena and people were in the brackets were they were supposed to be it wouldn't be that much of an issue, but when 30% (or more) of the arena games you fight at 1600 rating are against people in full s3 who are supposed to be at 2100, it suddenly matters a -lot-. And that's not getting into the effect on battlegrounds, which is pretty ridiculous already. My ret paladin, who is in mixed S1/S3 gear with very few of the honor rewards, -destroys- many people in the battlegrounds. It can't be much fun to be a fresh 70 and unable to do much of anything.

The point of the arena system was to limit the gear gap in pvp by letting everyone have a chance at the good gear. The reward for being good was getting it much, much faster, and having a shot at the end-of-season rewards. The mistake Blizzard made was making the gear so ridiculously good it upset raiders who based their enjoyment of the game on comparing the arena gear to the gear they get from PvE encounters (yes, an over-simplification, I know). Now people are focused on ilevels and trying to prevent people from having the same quality gear they do because of pride without ever really considering the impact restricting the arena gear has on the game.

Blizzard really destroyed any semblance of PvE/PvP reward balancing by their insane item inflation. That's fairly well established. Trying to balance it at the end of the Burning Crusade serves what purpose, exactly? People already have ilevel 141 epics, what's the point in restricting ilevel 151? All it does is upset the people who are into pvp and have relied on it for personal character progression, but are unable to make it to the higher ratings for some reason or another. And what many skilled pvpers fail to understand is if you take away the incentive for lower rated players to participate, the entire arena ladder shifts down. If 1,000 players who were previously at 1400 rating quit the arena because there is no reason for them to play, then 1,000 players who were ranked above them will shift down to 1400, making the higher ratings that much harder to obtain. If the players who are NOW at 1400 quit playing, then another 1,000 will shift down. And so on, and so on.

All in all it's a terrible decision. Blizzard messed up so badly with the arena for Burning Crusade, that they're trying to "balance" the rewards now when it's already way too late for BC is nothing more than a bad joke.



Anonymous said...

Here, think about some of these posts as opposed to your constant stream of WoW bullshit. Of course you'd have to take your head out of your ass long enough to read them:

Whenever I look back on the past two years, then with regret and shame about how I wasted not only time but effort and emotions for totally nothing. There is absolutely nothing the game gives back to you, not even friends. It absorbse you, is taking the best of you - and at least you stand there with empty hands and an empty brain - nacked, worn out, vunerable.

Whenever I look into the future I am affraid - but I know every thing, really every thing will be better. The effort and emotions I wil have, will not be thrown away to a game and the illusion of having friends that care about you. There's a feeling of loss and failure, still. But thinking of it - it was a journey to hell and back. Back now. Pick up the pieces and move on. Live is still ahead. Don't regret, don't look back. Its not worth even a single thought anymore.

I started playing WoW on release day. I quit WoW 4 months ago with about 250 days /played. In the last 2 years that I played, I'd log between 40 and 60 hours per week. (On top of being a full time engineering student and then having a full time job)

I've personally met over half of the people that were in my guild and a few of them are RL friends now.

It's a testament to the quality of Blizzard products that the game could hold my interest for 3 entire years. Without raiding and pvp I would have lost interest ages ago. The group challenges and never-ending equipment upgrades keep you constantly playing. There's always one more thing you haven't done or one more item that you don't have.

I quit because I wanted my life back. Work, WoW, sleep. Rinse and repeat... for 3 years. I didn't go out, I didn't meet people, I didn't do anything else. WoW was everything.

Some guild drama was my excuse to bail out and I've never looked back. I keep in touch with a couple of them, but I've never re-installed or logged back in. Cold Turkey is the only way to go.

WoW has turned me off from almost all forms of video games. Sure, I'll log into Team Fortress 2 for an hour a week when I need to headshot noobs, but I'm not getting involved in any sort of game that I can't pickup and drop at a moments notice. No more checking with the guild or changing my RL schedule for a damn game.

Why pour time into a video game? What's it get you in the end? Whooo, Look at these fancy pixels I've earned after devoting months and months of my life to a game.

Was it fun and challenging to earn those pixels? Sure it was.
What'll it be worth to you a year from now? Not a damn thing.

Do something constructive. Pick up a hobby or trade. At least when you pour time into a hobby/trade you have a skill or a finished PHYSICAL product at the end of the day.

Get a dog. Get a cat. Fix up your house. Join a recreational sports team. Plant a garden. Live a little.

I have a roommate that plays constantly. About 6 hours a day. He listens to hardcore metal music when he plays. I just shake my head and leave. It makes me sick that he actually thinks he's cool or hardcore cause he listens to that music while playing an MMORPG. He also has become really moody and it becoming angry for no reason these days. I was watching tv and he wanted to watch his tv program. I had 5 minutes before the hour so I tell him i'll let him watch in five minutes. He then snaps, looks at me with a look of death, and says "give me the remote NOW!" He wasn't joking at all. I just sat there jaw dropped, had this guy honestly become so lost in his virtual world that he's forgetting all social skills? I just left. I want to change rooms now. He makes me sick. He just sits there all day, he barely has a class schedule, and he gets REALLY emotional when he can't play the game. He mopes on the couch and he seems so sullen when he can't play. This game went from a fun experience for both of us to a full blown addiction for him, and a past "meh" game for me.

Apparently he played when he was in highschool and he was very angry that whole time. He wasn't playing the first year we roomed and he was a GREAT roommate. Nice, courteous, and helpful. Now he slams doors, takes the tv remote OUT OF YOUR HAND if he wants to watch something.

I don't want to act on his behavior because he could very well lash out violently because he's totally lost sight of what's acceptable and whats not.

The other day I realized. I have to deal with him like a freaking child. Thats it, I'm done with this guy. I'm not speaking to him (he's already done the whole silent treatment on me...ugh) and I'm just going to live and let live till the end of the year which thankfully is only in 2 months.

I'll be so glad to be away from him. He did a total 360 personality wise as soon as he picked up the game again, and I want nothing to do with him.

Don't let this game change you. If you see these patterns within yourself just force yourself to stop playing the game. If you realize it, people around you sure as hell notice it, and probably despise you for it.

My best friend, who I used to speak to on the phone at least five times a week (and who's 41 years old) basically spends all his time now smoking weed and playing WoW. We don't talk much any more, and when we do I hear lots of stories about his stupid guild and WoW conquests. It's pathetic. He has two kids too. Sad.

Played Wow for almost 2 years, made lots of friends...was GM of a very fun and gd guild...went thru lots of hardship which made guild even stronger...I left it at its highest point...

For some the addiction goes very much with the game design of setting further goal, new gear to get, stuff to grind for..." the carrot on the stick " design....for others it s about competition..." i ll level my lvl 70 alt faster than u can" " i ll level herb and alchem before ya" " i ll beat pple ass in pvp" etc...for most it's a mixture of both...but at the end it all becomes a habit..." "i am full epics why go for more?" "i have 12k gold why still play AH?"...well... through the ingame mechanics of repetitiveness we got into the habit of it so we barely stop at the question ..and as we all know habits are hard to let go of...How to handle boredom when u just need to log on and get into a system that ll lead you to ever new imaginary goals in order to take care of that boredom for ya? ...patch 2,3 ..2,4..2, island ! same old goals different shape and form etc..etc...

But i think those aspects of the addiction tho still hard to let go of aren't the strongest to negate..the hardest one is "Wowfriends" addiction...

After spending lots of time with same pple online everyday, one is bound to create bonding relationships..and with some more than others...

After i quitted, I kept lots of wow friends on msn and I could see that the ones that i would get whispers from the most were the pple that played the game in a more social way, leveled many alts, raided little, logged on to chat mainly...unfortunately those werent the pple i created the biggest bond with...the pple that i had bonded with played the game in the same more hardcore "goal" oriented way i did....and that means little time for socializing outside wow...
I would start to w/ my friends from Msn just to say hello...but i knew they d be logged onto wow doing wow things...So i' d get a hello bck 2-3 hrs laters after the midnight raid...then we could finally manage a 5 min conversation in between the next heroic they had to go to... and off they had to leave again...what a bummer: /

The reality is I wasnt any more part of them, part of that community...and it struck harder than i thought it other words : It hurted.

I recall one of my rly close friend last words from our last conv after finally managing to get a hold of: " well...we need dps...respecc Dps and come to the heroic with us :P "

After i said " No, for the 100th time, explaining that i quit the game for good.etc..that i was bored to death with heroics" ....the unevitable silence followed due to their being busy instancing...i felt the " Ouch"...I m not part of that community any longer. I am "Forsaken" now ..the Light, The Love, The warmth turned away...My friends words just meant " come play with us..! then u ll enjoy our company.." ....Thats the Wow evil right there, the Succubus that drags u right bck in....
It s clear that the pples company that u enjoyed within wow, won t be avail for you outside of s imposs...pple in wow put Wow > Conv with friends 90 percent of time...
so unless u are a wow friend u barely exist...and that s how Wow is the ultimate escape from RL...

that s the harsch reality...

At least when u re still in WoW u kno ur friends whereabouts and activity...whether they re in SW, Shatt or gathering herb or busy instancing...then can struck a conversation when u feell it' s appropriate...
The Best time for casual chat with me was late night after raid, It was time to mellow out after the stress of Raid leading, i wud do an instance with best friends or just sit in SW to mellow out, and i wud usually uncork a bottle of wine at home and it made conversation even more rich, sometimes it was emotional..edging on the personal....other times plain fun...but in any case always memorable...It was the fun after the labor in wow...

Now the wine never felt so bitter...the only choice was to either get back on or to cut it all out...meaning cutting even " Wowfriends", even if we related to stuff outside of wow, the common ground of discussion was WoW stuff, it was always the starting point to break the ice in conversation to go on further after about different subjects of RL, and in that way u were more interrelated and more in their " Reality" of things ....u shared griefs, pain, concerns, gossips all related to Wow...then sometimes moved onto more meaningful conversation about RL with ur close Wow friends...
So i decided more "WoW" no more "WoWfriends" ... and experienced a second Death....I left my MSn account, moved onto a new yahoo messenger where I transfered all My RL friends from there...and limited contact to "wowfriends" via email or forum only..

Lesson : Wow is still not over after u decided upon be prepared...

Feel free to think about these, Mr. Psychologist. I cant wait to see you defend your precious more-important-than-your-family game after this post.

Jagoex said...

@anon: It's not your fault.

Zyphre said...

Zÿ is 70 and on malorne! I've left the mage behind. Locks ftw!

@ Emo anonymous guy-

Jago, myself and many others have felt that way. We are well aware of the consequences of this game. Not everyone lets it consume their existence to such a point. There are things to be had here, mostly social satisfaction.

Honestly, we have quit and come back to the game several times and have achieved a nice balance of liesure and real life priority. Jago uses this blog as an outlet and entertainment to those of us who have sexed him up on vent. Ease up.

B of A said...

LOL! perfect response Jag!

SN said...

"Last updated: March 14, 2008"

A good troll does his research.

Fuhsnuh said...

I'm really starting to find that the easier thing to do, is to play the game less, lol.

OP Battlegrounds Hunter > Undergeared lock when facing double rogue + druid T_T

Jagoex said...

Zy speaks the truth. He and I have talked about balancing RL and our gaming countless times. Personally, I am in a great place with that issue.

I'm not actively playing right now -- there is honestly no reason for me to. The game itself just isn't challenging anymore... in PvE, the hardest part is finding a good guild. In PvP, it's all about spec and gear. Where is the real skill factor? Where is the challenge?

And with Blizzard messing up the game as much as they are (allowing an unbalanced Arena to alter every other corner of the game), I'm not sure I will ever again be taking this game seriously.

@B: You like them apples? Heheh.

@SN: Heheh, it doesn't sound like much, but if you think about it, 6 weeks is an eternity in WoW-time.

@Fuhs: It's all about moderation... and eventually, extinction. ;)