Sunday, February 28, 2010

PvP Standards

mortal_combat Alrighty, a fresh cup of coffee and some thoughts to conclude and record. I chose the title because, to me, it seems the stardards in PvP have dropped and in fact been low for a long time now. Blizzard themselves have emitted that their design in WotLK to boost the game play in PvE, where as the roles were reversed in TBC; PvP was dominant, with easy loot to gain, and PvE suffered.

So what do I mean by, low standards. Anyone who runs PvP has had issued with this, increasingly so. Now, I am not talking about arena here. Arena does not really suffer from this because there is very little RNG factor in it; you get to choose those you play with, make sure they know what they are doing, have decent gear, etc. But battlegrounds are another story entirely.

I was thrilled when I read the news about the next minor patch, where Blizzard released that they will be adding a random battleground finder. Think of all the applications it could have? It could match you even teams; no more 6v10 WSG or 10v15 AB. It could also make sure there were healers on both teams and that everyone had at least minimal PvP gear. Could even go as far as create brackets in gear, matching those who just run PvP for fun without the gear, those who have started to gear up but are not quite there yet, etc.

But as it seems, Blizzard has dismissed all of these. So far my PTR testing has yielded no such benefits and the teams tend to still run rampart. Truly, the only benefit so  far seems to be extra honor and the fact that we can now queue for all the battlegrounds at the same time. Actually, the one thing that the random finder is going to do is hinder premades, because you can only queue five players for a random match at the time.

It is fine to queue in for a battleground here and there, with or without gear, and just have fun but the painful lesson of that is that you will just be excess baggage. Any properly geared PvPer will walk right over you and rest of your team will essentially be outnumbered. The equation only gets more complicated by the fact that many people are not even motivated to get PvP gear because it is so ridiculously difficult.

You can get the tier equivalent set from emblem vendors yes, but the costs are usually double what they are for the same level PvE set and that set will not actually take you very far. It only makes up for about 1/3 of the gear you need, which needs to be farmed by doing battlegrounds. From these pieces, an average item costs about 30k honor and atm, a successful match will give you between 1k-1.5k honor, which equals to 30-20 matches per piece, and only assuming you win every single match, which you won’t.

I am pleased that Blizzard is taking an effort to raise the honor rewards gained from battlegrounds, but the biggest problem still remains, which is that it takes way longer and is way more painful to even put your gear together for PvP, while you can start on heroics in instant green/blue gear. And once you actually have your gear, it is often an unpleasant experience, resembling more a wipe fest for the opposing team than anything else, because in the end, it is not about how good or geared one person is, but how good or geared the entire team is, plus the team setup issues (like having zero healers).

So do I think this can be revived? Absolutely, and Blizzard is continually taking action to up PvP, at this very moment. However, it is happening in Blizzard’s annoyingly slow pace. While I appreciate the random finder, easier honor farming, the coming rated battlegrounds in Cataclysm, and so forth, I would like to see them address the issue of team balance because that is where most of the matches are currently being lost. Yes, PvP is essentially incalculable, but we can still do certain things to at least give the teams some proper setups. Firstly, include role checks, include team number balancing (to make sure teams are at least close to even), and gear checks.

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