Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PvP Isn't Dead... It's Just Being Tortured

Things have been ridiculously hectic around here lately, and I apologize for the lack of posts that I've completed over the last few days. But as busy as I've been, I feel like I just have to say something about a post Drysc made on the official WoW PvP Forums today, where he announced that some "honor" items would have an Arena point requirement during Season 4.

It's garbage. Absolute garbage.

In a time when they are supposedly cracking down on point selling and other illegal activities, they are willing to saturate the system with unmotivated, low-ranked, farm-able players? That makes no sense whatsoever!

For some reason, perhaps e-sport motivated, Blizzard is making everything about Warcraft PvP centered around Arena play. With this S4 change, it is essentially forcing all PvP'ers to engage in the Arena, even if we've never had the desire to and for goals we have never had to enter the Arena for, ever. Total B.S, if you ask me.

Way to pigeon-hole players into doing your bidding.

Just stop already, for the love of the game.


Zyphre said...


But, if they start banning or making it not possible to sell points I'll take this as a standable trade.

Anonymous said...

This is wrong. They shouldn't punish an unrelated party for illegal stuff in the arena. It's not fair to people who do the battleground pvp for fun.

Fuhsnuh said...

I think this will work out fine in the end - people claim to want access over every aspect of the game with minimal effort, and that's frankly unfair.

At the core of gaming, there is a spirit of competition, some sort of oneupmanship. If that wasn't the case, PVP wouldn't exist. In order for this spirit of competition to exist, you must install a system where there is an incentive in the form of gear difference between those that have, and those that have not. This can be skill or time spent, or a mixture of both - this is what the new Personal Rating + Honor system provides.

Battlegrounds are essentially games of chess with a lottery element. In the simplest format of WSG, you're pitting yourself against not only 10 opposing players, but up to 9 unknown players on your end as well. It encourages proper teamwork and communication on a larger scale than arena games, and due to the number of participants involved, gear difference is negligible, as long as you've put some skill or effort or both into the game. A good team of S2 players can easily compete with a team of S4 point-buyers. The argument comes in the form of a team of S4 good players, in which case, well, their investments in player ability and time have paid off, and you simply haven't put as much into it as they have.

On the other hand, arena is a (I would think it as imperfect) way to quantify your relative skill. It is a min-max environment that is based as much on the setup as player skill involved. Those that invest the time into learning it deserve some separation from those that don't. There are less unknown factors in each match, and you are more in control of your outcome than any battleground. If you wish to compete in the arena, you must min/max and use the best combinations available in the game, and this is just an extension of real life - you can't expect the grocer to earn as much money as the lawyer, if the lawyer had to work his tail off for it. Not all combos are designed to be equal and should not be treated as such.

The difference between the two systems will always exist, but they both represent the spirit of competition, and to be successful in either, you need to put in either the time to grind out the honor, or the ability to play at a high level. Combining both is how you become the top-tiered player that apparently everyone else hates - and to be honest, what you want to be.

What I would love to see though, and what Blizzard has for some odd reason avoided doing, would be the creation of Ladder Warsong Gulch/Arathi Basin. It gives a chance for those that love the old BG's an alternative to PVP, and segregate the honor farmers from spoiling the game they'd like to play. Rewards can be given out in the form of group buffs, or faster boots/berserker hut respawn times, or it can be just plain good old bragging rights.

At the end of the day though, petty people will be elitist/freeloaders no matter what level they're at. Well-rounded individuals will be humble regardless as well. The important thing is to keep a level head and enjoy the spirit of competition for what it is, no matter what your rank or rating is. This new change will just allow those that are open-minded to explore another part of the game that they may have been reluctant to enjoy previously.

Fuhsnuh said...

Iiiiiin retrospect, wall of text lol.

Thud said...

This is a very bad idea for one obvious reason. Casuals that want to farm gear will be stuck with a lower than average arena rating, which is fine, except that they will be judged by it. Like me for example, I hate the arena but I would have to put up with it to fill out my pvp set with the newest stuff. But I would never care to get good at it so I'd probably have a newb rating and people would think less of me for it. I don't think that unfair judgment is okay.

Jagoex said...

@Fuhs: Holy wall of crit-worthy text dude! Lol, very good points bud -- I'll respond to them in the morning when I'm not totally exhausted and unable to make any sense. :)

Blawle said...

Pretty fail.

Like your face Jago. :P

Blawle said...

Oh, and I forgot, AoC inc!

Jagoex said...

@Fuhs: I'm not sure this change is motivated by an issue of "access" or a "spirit of competition." If it were, Bliz simply could have bumped up the rating requirements on ARENA gear, or started charging more honor for non-Arena items. Placing Arena requirements on Honor items has but one purpose: to push the Arena. Nothing more.

And I still have an issue making this an issue of rewarding skill or passively punishing the unskilled. The mechanisms involved in the Arena are so imbalanced that it is hardly just a matter of a player's level of play, but is also a matter of class composition and some luck (getting matched to your rock's scissors, etc.). And lets not forget about the gear spread, which in reality isn't all that major, but is still a significant variable none-the-less.

For example: I hate the Arena. Always have. I have never played it seriously, and I have never specced my 'lock SL/SL. One of my students is an Arena fanatic and has a 2300-rated Warlock. He is SL/SL-spec, and decked out in 5/5 S3 gear. He let me PvP with his toon (we had a Rank 14 vs. Gladiator argument) and I went 17-0 with his Druid (also 5/5 S3) partner. HOW IN THE HELL SHOULD THAT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN? Yes, I know how to play and PvP with a Warlock, having played one for a long time, but still...

Something is very wrong when ish like that can happen -- when the classes you choose and the gear you have is a greater factor in your win than your Arena experience and skill. And reward dispersal is becoming more widely based on such imbalance??? Not a good thing.

@Blawle: AoC better be everything WoW is turning out not to be. High hopes!

SN said...

Jag, don't sell yourself short. Going undefeated in that bracket has to do more with your skill level than your gear. Unless of course you were paired with teams rated much lower than yourself.

Jagoex said...

We did get a few teams that only gave us like 2-5 points, but there were a good number that gave us double-digit rating increases too.

It really came down to our OP specs and composition. SL/SL is ridiculously OP and takes almost no skill to play, and Druid heals are just hard to out DPS when coupled with Siphon Life and Drain Life. The strat of that comp is so basic and so easy... I felt dirty playing it.

But it's interesting you bring up the matching system, Shadow. That is indeed a problem, and taking it a step further, why not also look at the overall Battlegroup?

A PvP guild on Alexstrasza that did well but not good enough for Glad ratings xferred just because their destination realm was in an easier Battlegroup. And guess what? They'll all be getting Glad this season!

Skill has very little to do with the Arena. It is all of those other variables -- the ones that shouldn't matter -- that do.

Anonymous said...

"Skill has very little to do with the Arena. It is all of those other variables -- the ones that shouldn't matter -- that do."

I agree. Gladiators are just players who milk those "other variables" better than everyone else.

Warcraft PvP is broken. More than it has ever been. The only way to fix it would be to separate the arena from the rest of the game. Then give everyone in it the best gear and get rid of the counter class dependent 2v2 bracket. It's the only way it'll ever be fair and esport worthy.