PvP Should Die.

February 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm (General, PvP)

(I thought I’d get cute with a “Gank PvP” title, but then my coffee slapped me in the face and I realized I needed to respect myself for the rest of the day.)

That’s it. Right there, up in the headline. You see it? “PvP Should Die.” No exclamation mark for unnecessary drama, no question mark for vague uncertainty. Just a period, stating it as a fact.

I truly and deeply believe that PvP (player vs. player) in World of Warcraft should go the way of the dodo, and be exorcised from the game. I know, I know, I feel you rolling your eyes and getting ready to quickly dismiss this as an uninformed rant — but please stick with me, just for a minute here.

World of Warcraft is an exceptional PvE (player vs. environment) game. From the casual soloer to the hardcore raider, WoW is accessible, fun, and offers a stream of varying challenges and goals to meet. It’s no secret, however, that the PvP aspect was first tacked on, then later shoehorned in to become an integrated part of the game. We now have four battlegrounds, three arenas, two OP classes and welfare epics in a pear tree for all those who love ganking their fellow man, woman or child.

I can admit, PvP makes a lot of sense when the primary purpose of your game is to keep your players chowing down on content as long as possible so they’ll keep reupping their subscriptions. And unlike PvE content, which is solely developer-made, PvP involves the players in the content-making as well. Suddenly, the enemy mobs aren’t predictable beasties who are pulled and attack the same way every. single. time. No two PvP matches are the same, offering unlimited variety and surprises and strategies. PvP rewards — honor and arena — offer PvP players another way to gain coveted gear while playing the type of game they like. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why would I rail against this? Shouldn’t I, I don’t know, live and let frag?

See? There’s the cutsie stuff my coffee is slapping me for.

If World of Warcraft was designed from the top-down to work hand-in-hand between PvP and PvE, I would just shut my mouth and go my way. But that’s not the truth, and in many ways PvP has hurt WoW far more than helped, despite what the devs might say. In the beginning, we had duels and PvP servers with “open world PvP”, both of which offered ultimately futile exercises in unfair matchups. Realizing the imbalance (remember that word, kiddos; it’ll come up again), Blizzard created instanced Battlegrounds and Arenas to supposedly match up players in similar numbers and levels. Yet this didn’t stop the discrepancy between premade groups and randomly assembled groups, not to mention the indignity of a horrible player trouncing a truly skilled player because the aforementioned horrible guy had better gear to cover for his lack of skill.

PvP Truth #1: When gear matters as much or more than skill, something is broken.

Yet this all just concerns those wacky PvP players, you say — it has no impact on Mr. and Ms. Joe Casual, who’s plugging away at the Defias Brotherhood for those tacky bandanas, right?

Okay. If you say so.

What I say is that in their efforts to continuously balance “imbalanced” PvP matchups, Blizzard has taken the PvE players on a rollercoaster of largely unnecessary nerfs and buffs, far more than the PvE game demanded. You might be a warlock who’s never touched foot in a battleground, but if you’ve played the game long enough, you will have witnessed your primary crowd control mechanism — fear — nerfed time and again. Is that because it was too overpowered in PvE? Heck no. It was because something that worked in PvE created a large imbalance in the PvP environment, and Blizzard was forced to change the skills across the board to keep everything in alignment.

PvP Truth #2: To fix the PvP side of the game, often you have to break something in the PvE portion.

In 2.4, shamans will see their top Restoration tree talent — Earth Shield — nerfed from 10 charges to 6. Is this because it was an overpowered healing spell? In PvE, no. In PvP, apparently, yes. So sorry, PvE players, you have to suffer for the sins of PvP!

For another example, take tanks. In theory, these are characters who spend ungodly amounts of time leveling up, speccing their talent tree to attain all sorts of defensive skills, and acquiring tank gear to withstand a pounding so they can protect their teammates in dungeons. Yet in PvP, Blizzard has pronounced tanks as a “useless” spec. Sure, you can defend all the live-long day, but tanks were simply stripped of their ability to taunt enemy players into attacking them instead of their squishy allies. If you’re there to protect your physically weaker teammates and you have no way of protecting them except to damage the enemy faster than they’re damaging your buddy, then why go to the trouble of having tanks in the first place? Therefore, a third of the “holy trinity” of MMOs (tanks, healers, damage) was rendered void where prohibited.

PvP Truth #3: When all talent specs fail to be viable in PvP situations, you’ve unbalanced the game.

I’m honestly sick of the nerf/buff rollercoaster that PvP imposes on the game, and if I had my way, as King of Blizzard, I’d announce that all PvP would be stripped from the game tomorrow. WoW doesn’t have to be great at all things to all people, just really great at something that already appeals to most people — the PvE game.

So the question would become, if we take direct PvP conflict out of WoW, then how do we inject player-created (or controlled) content into the PvE game?  What about co-op instances, where two teams of players race against each other to cross the finish line (beat the end boss)?  Or making the players “Generals” on a battlefield, where they can do quests to recruit NPC troops and send them against their enemy’s fortress while defending their own (I know, AV has an element of this, but who honestly recruits the NPCs anymore?)?  Or what about player-made dungeons, where you could be given an instance template and then fill with mobs, loot and traps that you’d have to find in the PvE side of the game?

I’m not a dev, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  But I am convinced that PvP has to be firmly incorporated into the groundwork of a game to be successful, and it has to offer all players a chance to compete based on skill instead of gear or favored talent specs.


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Hildegarble: Commentary (aka Blathering) on PVP

June 29, 2007 at 5:32 pm (PvP)

melee.jpgFirst off I wanted to say thanks and EXCELLENT JOB to everyone who has been participating in arena, with a special thanks to Tami for taking the initiative to form a 2nd 2v2 team. Boaz, Turtle, Neha, Syp, Glen, Measure, Tami, and even Val (who has since forsworn the arena experience altogether, bless her heart): I want to personally thank all of you for bringing my dream of a lively guild PvP team to vivid life. It was an honor and a blast to fight with you, and to top it off we’re on our way to epic rewards! I think this is a great team / community builder and I’m glad to see all of us communicating so much and just having a good time as a guild.I’m researching some strategies and trying to become a better pvper myself, having recently respecced to the popular 35/23/3 build that the top tier arena warriors are using. I’d also like to post some strategies on the blog here in the next few weeks so that we can experiment and improve. Remember – even though we may have our losing streaks, we’ll still have fun and earn points! I’ll be more than happy to lose every single match we play as long as we have a good time doing it!After some thought, I don’t think that we’ll need to schedule a specific night to pvp each week; it seems that we have a robust enough core group of players on each night to be able to just play as we want. Keep in mind, however, that you need to meet your quota of at least 30% participation by Monday night, as points are rewarded Tuesday. In addition, try to be mindful of your teammates, as playing additional games without them can lower their participation rate and edge them out of points!

I guess that’s all I got for now. More to come soon.

-H. Garde

 PS: We’ve got a new 3v3 team! Big thanks to Brany (Nehalennia) for footing the 120g bill of the new team, called “Murloc Liberation Front”! If you need to be added to a 3v3 team still, please whisper Nehalennia and she will be glad to include you!

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Hildegarde Wants YOU – for the TWW Arena Team!

June 25, 2007 at 2:54 pm (Events, General, PvP)

leon.jpgThe drums of battle are beating.Sinister blood is pumping.The time has come to take up arms.

Swords are about to clash with stuff.

All ye combative folks who wanna hurt people, come get some.

I’m planning to set up a specific evening each week (and maybe a make-up evening depending on interest) during which our core arena team can take an hour or so to meet our 10-game quota and start accumulating points. I’ve found that it generally takes an hour to 90 minutes to get in 10 games, and you only need to participate in at least 30% of the matches to get credit, so time commitment should be minimal, but since we have to have a certain number of members present to participate, it makes sense to schedule a specific night.

If you’re lvl 70 and interested in joining the arena team (even if only on a casual / no commitment basis), please leave a comment to this post with the following information so that I can coordinate the best organization:

  1. What days / times are you available if we set up specific day(s)?
  2. Are you interested for gear or just for some casual fun?
  3. Which Scooby-Doo character are you most like and WHY?

Additional details and scheduling to come – I’m hard at work orchestrating all of this, and I’d love any feedback or suggestions! Be sure to take a look at my arena post below to learn more about what arena is all about, and drop me a comment if you’ve got anything to add!

I look forward to fighting beside y’all!

-H. Garde


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Before You Step into the Sand: 10 Things You Need to Know About Arena PvP

June 25, 2007 at 2:19 pm (PvP, Strategy)

russel1.jpgArena PvP is one of the most rewarding aspects of World of Warcraft, but it can also be one of the most frustrating and confusing. For those of us who don’t know much about arena but are curious or interested, I’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most important things you should know about this challenging aspect of the game, so hopefully if you decide you want to strap on your sandals and get to pwning some noobeez, you’ll be well-informed and know what to expect.

In case you didn’t know, Arena is a team-based player vs. player component in which teams of 2, 3, or 5 are pitted against like-numbered teams in all-out deathmatches; the team with the last member standing is declared the winner, and points are awarded to participating teams each week that can be cashed in for epic armor sets and weapons.

OK, without further adieu…

1. You must be level 70 to join an arena team and reap its benefits. Though you can play in unranked matches to your heart’s content beforehand, you won’t be able to get into the real meat-and-potatoes of arena pvp until endgame.

2. Your team must play at least 10 games during the week to get credit for that week. In order to be listed among the rankings, your arena team must play a minimum of 10 matches for any given week. If you play less, you will get no arena points whatsoever at the end of that week. Even if you perform poorly you can still get a decent point reward at the end of the week, so even if you’re on a losing streak, it’s important to get in those 10 matches to get credit for your efforts. Also note that it may or may not be beneficial to play more than 10 games. Your point reward for each week is based on your team’s rating, which shifts up or down depending on whether you win or lose.

3. You must participate in at least 30% of your team’s matches during the week to receive points that week. It doesn’t matter how well your team does, if you aren’t in on at least 3 of 10 matches you will get no points. This is extremely important, as if a team does not coordinate matches well, some teams (especially larger teams) may leave some players out even if they participate. It’s vital to think of your teammates when deciding how many matches to play!

4. The larger the team bracket, the heftier the point rewards. According to Blizzard, when calculating point rewards at the end of the week, 2v2 teams by default earn 30% less points than 5v5 teams, and 3v3 teams earn 20% less than 5v5. If you’re serious about earning PvP rewards, the easiest way to achieve that goal is to do it on a 5v5 team! A very important thing to know is that you can participate in teams in all three brackets, and you’ll automatically receive the largest reward of the three, so it may be wise to meet your quota in all three brackets! 5. Arena gear is epic and comparable to middle- to upper-tier raiding gear! I may do an actual hard-number comparison later this week, but if you put an arena reward piece up next to a raiding epic, they’re going to be very similar.

6. Battleground honor rewards complement the arena sets very well! The arena rewards feature a head, shoulder, chest, hand, and leg reward, plus weapons; to complement these, you can get epic wrist, waist, foot, back, ring and neck pieces from battleground rewards, and they’re even designed to coordinate visually – Blizz definitely intended these rewards to go hand-in-hand. With both arena and bg rewards, you can deck yourself out entirely in glorious purples.

7. Strategy is key! A good, cohesive team can easily take out a team. Be sure to support your other team members – help them survive and focus DPS on one foe at a time whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your role, as your PvP role can be completely different than your role in PVE (and often if you switch it up, your foes won’t expect it)! Unranked matches can be a good warmup, especially for a team that has never worked together.

8. Strategy is key… but not the only factor! Yes, arena PvP is skill-based to a degree, but many other factors are involved. All QQing aside, it’s hard to deny that there are some balancing issues with some of the classes, and it may be very difficult to overcome some teams just by the sheer nature of their composition. In addition, gear is a huge factor, and can easily slide the balance into one teams favor. Don’t get discouraged! It can be easy to get frustrated, but once you start earning the rewards and your team starts to gel with strategy and teamwork, arena becomes not a grind but a challenging, enjoyable aspect of the game.

9. Respect your teammates! If you decide to reprimand another team member based on skill, gear choices, etc. in my team, not only will you earn a free /tkick (and possibly /gkick depending on the severity), but you will also be missing out on one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. All of us come to the table with our own playing styles, and if you see yourself as “better” than your teammates, then you don’t belong on a team at all. Suggesting team strategies is one thing, but scolding a teammate for their performance in the arena is unacceptable. The goal is teamwork!

10. Come for the cameraderie, stay for the epics! Have fun! If you’re not having fun, it’s never worth it, no matter how epic the rewards are, and I personally would rather see you doing something you enjoy. Remember that there is never obligation to anyone for this.

I personally am very excited about this arena season and I’m happy to see many of you are excited as well. I’ll be planning some arena events very soon, and I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say as well.

-H. Garde

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WANTED: Arena Team Name!

June 13, 2007 at 3:55 pm (PvP)

I need a name for the new 5v5 arena team, and I’ve been thinking about renaming the ol’ 2v2 and 3v3 as well. I’ve been brainstorming, trying to come up with some sinister names to strike fear into the hearts of our foes; I thought I’d share some of these masterpieces.

“Taco Belf”
“Cast of TVs Friends”
“Riverview Bridge Club”
“Kick That Noob”
“Rematch Us IRL”
“WTF Taunt Not Working”
“Dollar Menu Heroes”
“Rez Pls”
“We PvP in Rehab”
“Disbanding As We Speak”
“Dont Queue Im AFK”
“Our Bots Are Kittens”
“High School Musical”
“Dang Priest Wont Heal” (<3 Neha)
“Plz Change That Diaper”
“Ah We Hate Ur Belf”
“Ha We Ate Ur Belf”
“Yall Sucked”
“Teh Abattoir of Distress”
“Preschool Heroics”
“We Lose Cuz Hilde Sux”

(Brany really likes that last one)

What about you? Got any write-ins to share?

 -H. Garde

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Those Who Are About to Rez, We Salute You

June 13, 2007 at 12:57 am (General, PvP)

hildeab1.jpgGood evening, friends!

I am Hildegarde, otherwise known by the name Hilde, teh Dorf of Legned, or other glorious monikers. I am your PvP GM, and if you do decide to show some spine and muster up alongside me in the battlegrounds or arena, I expect nothing but the finest showing of valor and skill – you’d better be good enough to make the most stalwart haxxors /yell for their mommas.

Or if not… it’s all good too.

Like anyone else who should join Time Well Wasted, I’m here for fun and friendship. I’m a casual gamer and I enjoy PvP as my preferred level 70 activity. I don’t consider myself a top-tier player in any way, but I’ve done plenty of time in the battlegrounds since turning 60, and I do take the time to keep up on my strategy and theorycraft in regards to the PvP scene. I love a good fight, whether it be a truly competitive arena match or just a belf-smearing HK fest in Eye of the Storm.

In regards to our guild, historically, Time Well Wasted has not had much in the way of a hardcore PvP community, but we’ve had some great casual PvP sessions and if there is interest, a more involved PvP community could be great for the guild. In fact, now’s a great time to get into the PvP scene, particular endgame – Arena Season 2 is slated to start June 19th, and that means a fresh arena rating for every team, hot new epic rewards and cheaper existing rewards for both the battlegrounds and arena. For those of us who don’t have the time or interest in raiding, endgame PvP can be just as rewarding in many ways.

I hold charters on both a 2v2 and 3v3 team and will soon charter a 5v5 – let me know if you’d like to join up, and we’ll get it going. In addition, I’d like to start planning PvP nights, maybe once or twice a month starting out (depending on interest) and may even try to organize some special events, such as guild duel tourneys or some world PvP events. I’d love any input as we get things started.  In the meantime, if I can provide any advice on gear, spec or strategy, I’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

Later everyone, thanks for watching, and don’t forget to trinket, ya noobs. More to come soon.


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