Nov 6th 2010 2:44PM One thing to note is that WoW was the first major MMORPG where PvP initially had no purpose. The point of PvP was added with BGs and arenas, but since world PvP was unchanged, to this day it remains pointless. If you want the good rewards, you do arenas. If you want to PvP for the sheer joy of doing it, you do BGs. Those who prefer world PvP are, to an overwhelmingly great extent, grief players whose agenda is to make WoW worse for others. There will be the occasional guy who just likes fighting outside of a carefully constructed environment, they do exist, but they're one in a hundred.
I'm from Ultima Online and EQ1's Sullon Zek (look it up), so griefing and ganking isn't a new concept to me. I grew up with it, it was the way of life in the games I played before WoW. It also had a purpose, and PvP back then managed to be infinitely more meaningful despite there being no rankings or rewards for participation. PvP had a very obvious purpose back then: it was a source of wealth, or a way of controlling your enemy's strength. While this certainly did lead to frustrating situations when an enemy looted everything you owned or prevented you from raiding, what it did was give everyone a reason to participate. Everyone was part of the PvP environment, including the good-natured players and the competitive crowd. When you remove that purpose, you cut away most of that demographic and end up with mostly griefers, so those griefers will have a huge influence on the game, one that I hope any rational individual can agree is a negative one. Griefers and jerks are inevitable, but WoW's PvP environment ensures that they're also massively over-represented to the point where world PvP has become a total joke in almost every conceivable case.
It is very disappointing that Blizzard has left world PvP completely unaffected throughout the years. I don't think they should have been trying to keep it a viable venue of gameplay, but I absolutely think they should have made changes there as the rest of the PvP environment changed. The result of that negligence is the current situation where griefing is so widespread that nobody takes world PvP seriously and PvP servers can be very unpleasant to play on. As the game evolved and removed the real PvPers from world PvP, Blizzard should have adjusted its implementation so that the absence of those real PvPers didn't indirectly damage the game. They did nothing, and that's why you can still attack someone 70 levels lower than you, camp vital NPCs, and basically ruin the game for others if you choose to do so.
Nov 6th 2010 9:38AM World PvP is an environment that caters to the primitive and unsympathetic player. There was a time when world PvP had some merits, but this was mostly because there were no alternatives. People say that battlegrounds and arenas destroyed world PvP; this is of course not incorrect, but the fact is that it destroyed it because the real, competitive PvPers prefer an environment where skill and coordination is the determining factor, not who brough the most people to the zerg or who got the jump on someone currently occupied with fighting mobs and questing. While the rewards gained through BGs and arenas are obviously part of the incentive, most of it really is about PvPing on enjoyable terms.
The thing is that world PvP has no goal. It is, by definition, pure ganking and griefing. You might have the occasional enjoyable match somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, but that's probably one instance in a sea of instant deaths or effortless victories because the game world provides neither the premises for fair fights nor the incentive for mature and competitive players to seek out world PvP.
To me, the biggest issue is that the game's design does little to discourage griefing. There's no level range for PvP, so leveling up means guaranteed frequent deaths to level 80s. There's no real non-player defense measures, so anyone can sneak or charge into the enemy's busiest auction house and kill the auctioneers just so people can't trade. Crucial NPCs are not immune, so griefers can camp class trainers, quest NPCs and other things that players rely on for basic gameplay. There's no point in making these things possible because it serves no purpose other than to worsen the gaming experience of others, the very definition of griefing, and by not discouraging it, you encourage it when your game caters to the less mature and altruistic demographic of the gaming world, as WoW does. You're basically looking for the type of person most likely to be a bully, and giving them directions to the playground. It's unnecessary, and much more than BGs or arenas, this game design kills world PvP because it deters any would-be fair PvPer from participating. There's nothing for the good-natured player who thus seeks out the more meaningful and competitive PvP found in BGs, arenas and other games, so the twits who make up 10% of humanity will represent 90% of the players found engaging in world PvP.
Unfortunately, a lot of players end up on bad servers against their intentions. It's not as simple as saying "just pick a PvE server" (which, by the way, does not prevent all forms of griefing). You might have chosen a PvP server before you knew what it was and now can't afford to move your six characters elsewhere. You might have joined WoW to play with your friends who happened to be on a PvP server. You might have moved to one in order to join an arena team or raid guild and, being a part of that no longer, now find leveling up or doing daily quests absolutely frustrating. You might have joined a balanced PvP server a year ago that has now become a 5:1 ratio server where the enemy is permanently camping your newbie zones, auctioneers, class trainers and Wintergrasp portal room.
Since the game and the servers have changed so much over the years, I'm very disheartened that the only way for me to get off my horribly unbalanced and nearly unplayable PvP server is to pay the better part of a hundred dollars. Well, I could do that, but my six other real-life friends won't. We started on a balanced PvP server at a time when world PvP wasn't an utter joke, and now we're on the above-mentioned 3:1ish hell server where our NPCs are being camped and we have no hope of winning Wintergrasp. I frankly dread the thought of playing through Cataclysm on this server, because the enemy on this server has long ago proven that they can and will do anything in their power to completely ruin the fun for our side in the most idiotic display of griefing ever witnessed in MMORPG history, and I would not be surprised if they make a concerted effort to prevent us from really playing Cataclysm. They can do it, and judging by their behaviour throughout WotLK, it seems likely that they will. My one hope is that Blizzard will provide free transfers to somewhere else, but they have shown no inclination to do so yet.
I have seen quest hubs cleared of NPCs for long periods of time. I have seen the Wintergrasp portal room camped by 50+ enemies for the entire duration of the VoA raid window, and the ICC tunnel blocked off for consecutive evenings. Name any form of griefing and you will see it on a daily basis, constantly, everywhere on my server. When a server has grown too imbalanced and the larger side has grown a griefer mentality, the underdog pretty much can't play the game. We were lucky that it only started to become serious towards the latter half of WotLK when everyone had had a chance to level up and most content could be accessed in safety. With Cataclysm, despite its occasional phasing mechanics, the game WILL be unplayable if the enemy out-numbers you several to one and has deliberate intentions of preventing you from having fun. Griefers and idiots tend to gravitate towards these unbalanced servers because it has what they seek.
I personally think it's time to put an official end to world PvP, or make it generally avoidable when one does not wish to participate. There's no point in it, there's no gain or incentive, there can't be many players with good intentions who treasure it significantly, and it dose make the game a good deal worse for a fair amount of people.
Nov 5th 2010 4:24AM Yes, but if you want to be anything remotely resembling competitive, spamming trade chat for members is not the way to do it. Everyone knows that. With the presented system, you cannot be a competitive rated BG team of less than 25 people, because if you were to try with anything less, you wouldn't be able to compete on the weeks where the higher-capacity bracket is rotated in. Raids don't rotate so that there's only access to 10-man one week and only 25-man the next, otherwise it would be the same problem: you wouldn't be able to run a 10-man raiding guild as you could only raid every other week and nobody would appreciate that. The same problem occurs if you've set up a 25-man BG team and it's a 10-man or 15-man week; what do you tell the rest of the team? Do you draw straws to see who gets to fight this week? This is stupid, especially with the very limited number of rated BG games you can actually play per week.
I certainly hope I'm misunderstanding the system, or that this will change.
Nov 5th 2010 1:50AM Hang on, so the battleground brackets will rotate weekly? So one week you can only do rated in 10v10, next week it's only 25v25? So in order for a guild to be a consistent rated BG team, they must be 25+ active players? That seems ridiculous. You effectively can't have a 10v10 team, because you'll be able to do rated BGs only a third of the time? What? Last I heard, you can do only six rated BGs a week as well, so this is in no way a viable alternative to arenas. I frankly don't see how this will ever work out.
Oct 20th 2010 12:43PM I don't play a rogue, but I can certainly sympathize with this. Ret paladin mastery is terrible as well, being the bar-none worst stat at best and an actual potential DPS loss at worst. It's really odd that they would implement these in the first place, because anyone with the most basic knowledge of the game mechanics can see what's wrong. I don't want to blatantly insult WoW's developers, but this is frankly amateurish and starkly against the game's proud tradition of mechanics making sense in most ways. The unfortunate truth is that those responsible for coding Combat Rogue mastery (and a few others, like the general Ret Paladin RNG-reliance) must be either bad at doing their job, or did not care to do it very well. I certainly can't see any other possible reason, and it's an uncomfortable situation to be in as a player of a problematic class, because if THAT was the best thing the class designers could come up with, hope is hard to find.