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Posts with tag PvP-Progression

Ghostcrawler speaks on Arenas and Battlegrounds

Ghostcrawler posted numerous responses in a long thread that referenced the findings that far fewer players were participating in Arenas in Season 5. It's an extremely good thread where he addresses numerous posts, defending Blizzard's treatment of Arenas, attempting to explain the drop in participation, and conceding various points to players sharing their thoughts. Here are a few things that Ghostcrawler mentions that stood out for me:

On Arenas
  • "Players go where the loot is." - on why he thinks Season 5 has less participation, pointing to the fact that it's easier to gear up through PvE
  • "Getting 100% of WoW players into Arenas is not our goal. Getting 100% of players who like to do Arenas into Arenas is a goal."
  • "I hope it's obvious we would not have gone for that new system if we did not think it would offer an enormous improvement over the old one." - on Blizzard's planned move to a new rating system (again) in Season 6, where teams start from 0
On Battlegrounds
  • "It actually takes a great deal of time to make a BG. It isn't the map creation; it is making all of the rules work. We are working on building better tools though to streamline that process." - responding to a post saying that Blizzard can crank out a Battleground every 8 weeks
  • "If we offered epics through BGs, it would basically be (right now at least) some kind of grind fest."
  • "We would LOVE to offer good gear through BGs, don't get me wrong. We just haven't figured out a great way to do it yet."
  • "I think this is fair. We have some BG plans up our sleeve." - on the accusation that Blizzard has focused on Arenas and largely ignored Battlegrounds
He also digresses a little into discussions about raid difficulty, challenging players to get to Algalon. Overall, it's a rather engaging thread where Ghostcrawler explains (as he usually does) Blizzard's philosophy on building things. He also clarifies that "bring the player not the class" is a PvE goal and doesn't necessarily apply to Arenas. Although he continues to defend Arenas by noting that many factors contribute to its lowered popularity in Season 5, it's a good sign that they are starting to give more focus to Battlegrounds. As excited as I am for Season 6, I think the new Battleground has whet my appetite even more.

Filed under: Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

Shorter Arena seasons in the future?

Bornakk announced over at the forums that Arena Season 5 is nearing its end. He notes that the current season is slated to end "with or shortly after" Patch 3.1 is released. Season 5 kicked off in December 16 last year and has run around 12 weeks to date. In comparison, the shortest Arena Season was the pre-Wrath Season 4, which lasted for 17 weeks while the extremely lengthy Season 3 dragged on for 29. Season 1 lasted for 20 weeks and Season 2 lasted for 23, so all seasons thus far except for the Wrath-preempted Season 4 have run for a good length of time.

The reason for the extended Season 3 was because Blizzard had wanted PvP progression to match PvE progression, so were waiting for more guilds to gear up with Sunwell-level items. Considering how difficult Sunwell Plateau was, this took some time, delaying Season 4 considerably. PvE content in Wrath, on the other hand, was so accessible that by the time Season 5 started a month after release of the expansion, players were decked out in the best PvE gear -- which changed the balance of Arena play for the first few weeks.

Blizzard is looking to address that by starting Season 6 simultaneously with the "first tier of raid content" or essentially make PvP gear more accessible to prepare for the next season of Arena play, according to Ghostcrawler. Although Blizzard hasn't given a starting date for either Season 6 or Patch 3.1, the new Arena seasons are looking to match the shortened Season 4 in length and might indicate a trend in PvP season progression. That is an exciting change of pace and a comforting message to PvP enthusiasts that Blizzard is committed to keeping PvE and PvP progression at a similar pace. And if the development of Ulduar is any indication, that seems to be a fast one.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

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