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Posts with tag pvp

Does PvP need more queueing options?

WoW Insider received a question to our tip line from a player who's lost their way a little when it comes to PvP:
I greatly enjoyed PvP during Cata, but I just haven't been able to get into it during MoP at all. I'm part of a small guild (4 active players), and none of them enjoy PvP. Since I usually have to go it alone, I have a preference for the larger BGs -- AV and Isle. It's easier to be a part of the crowd where individuals carry less weight, but still feel useful and able to help in the smaller skirmishes along the way.

PvE has several queuing options -- LFR, Flex (with a group), Scenarios, regular dungeons and heroics. There's a size and activity for everyone.

PvP on the other hand has BGs (random or rated) or arena. While not quite adding more options, do you think Blizzard may consider separating out the BGs into different sized-based queues?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

The case against heirlooms

So I've been leveling my lowbie hunter through the fifties, in part because I'm such a fan of Happy Days (note - that's not at all true) and mostly because I got the bow off of Garrosh so it's time to get my hunter to max level. Ironically, it was the fact that I got this heirloom that has me realizing that I hate heirlooms. Why? Why do I hate these bringers of bonus XP, these delightfully powerful pieces that free you from the tyranny of gear upgrades for up to 85 levels? How could I have anything but praise for them? Well, here's how.
  1. The first, and most often cited reason, is that they make dungeon loot unimportant. You end up chaining dungeons, and almost any and all gear that you get is sharded or vendored. When boots or gloves drop it's a party, but helms, shoulders, chests, legs, cloaks and weapons are at best saved for future transmog. (Being a mog addict, that's what I'm doing anyway.)
  2. You can't even reasonably forgo heirlooms - I've actually tried to do so, and switching to the various quest greens and blue drops over my heirlooms means doing markedly less DPS (I'm a hunter, DPS is all I do) and getting crap in my dungeon runs from the heirloom clad tank and even, in some cases, the heirloom clad healer over it. Heirlooms are the expected norm nowadays - if you don't have them it's noticeable.
  3. Doing PvP on an heirloom clad hunter? Trivial. No one can stop me. I've actually stopped going. I tried going heirloomless for a while - all the people I'd annoyed seemed to come out of the woodwork for revenge.
Ultimately, for myself at least, there's two issues with heirlooms - I like and want to preserve the bonus XP they grant, while disliking and wanting to remove the way they grant power and remove the fun of gear acquisition. So what am I suggesting?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Do Battlegrounds need tutorials?

When I first starting doing Battlegrounds way back in vanilla, it was pretty easy to learn exactly what the rules were. Not because I went and researched the individual Battlegrounds, but because I had a team of guildmates that were happily running the new feature over and over for a fun break from raiding. In later years, I joined a guild that was by and large devoted to PvP content over PvE. With the original honor grind being as ruthlessly difficult as it was, I was happy to help heal those in the guild working on that arduous trek to High Warlord -- and I never had to ask what to do in a Battleground. I was well informed from the get-go.

But at some point after Burning Crusade, I simply lost interest in PvP. I think it was after the introduction of arenas. Most of my PvP-oriented friends became absolutely enthralled with the idea of doing arenas, gaining ranks, and more importantly earning those hard-won season's end mount rewards. It wasn't that I didn't have an interest in the mounts, or that I didn't like PvP anymore. It was more that I knew, logistically speaking, that I wasn't particularly good at PvP. It didn't matter so much when the games were just a matter of win or lose, but when it came to arenas, I really didn't want to ruin the carefully-earned rankings my friends had obtained. I came from an era of the original honor grind. Rankings were sacred back then.

Consequentially, I don't really do PvP anymore. Not because I don't enjoy a good Battleground, but because at this stage in the game, I haven't the faintest idea what to do in any of them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Why do we still have separate PvP and PvE gear?

While seeking out questions to a Queue I wrote, I was asked by a Twitter follower why we had separate PvE and PvP gear in the first place. A question I love, and that I wouldn't be able to respond to briefly enough for The Queue. I'm not going to go into a complete, exhaustive history of PvP gear. For starters, I didn't play in Classic, so I can't really comment on the gear then, but I gather that there was a lot more overlap between the two.

Then, with Burning Crusade, back in 2006, the combat rating system and Resilience were both introduced, along with arenas. PvP gear was born. It's been through many different iterations since then -- too easy to get, too hard to get, too bad for PvE, too good for PvE, different effects, stat budgets, you name it. But history, while it merits repetition, shouldn't have too much bearing on this question in today's game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

PvP toggle for PvE realms coming in Warlords of Draenor

Addressing a forum thread about people inadvertently flagging for PvP when cross-realm grouping, Bashiok mentions a welcome change for Warlords of Draenor that I hadn't heard before -- namely, a more robust PvP toggle on/off that will prevent issues like that from occuring.
Bashiok - Re: Stop..ramming..pvp...down...my...throat!!!
Well, I understand where you're coming from, but flagging as a PvE character is based on a player's action to flag themselves (even if it's on accident), so I'm not sure it's us making you PvP. The systems that can cause someone to flag can absolutely at times be involuntary, which is notably frustrating.

In any case we are continuing toward a goal of a PvP on/off toggle for players on PvE realms to be added in Warlords of Draenor, which would absolutely and in all situations allow someone to refrain from becoming flagged regardless of their actions. Heals toward flagged players would fail, coalescing to PvP realms wouldn't be possible, misclicks and AoE's would never damage a flagged opponent, etc. It's actually quite a bit of work because of all the systems involved, but it's still something we think PvE players should have, and how the game should work for them.


I admit I especially like the idea that misclicks and such would never damage a flagged player, thus preventing a host of shenanigans I've seen over the years (mounted flagged players crowding on top of quest givers, stealthed players jumping while flagged in front of melee characters in order to get them to flag so that their friends can kill them, you know the ones I mean) and would put the decision to PvP squarely in the hands of the player in question.

I for one am excited for this. Keeping PvE-focused players able to absolutely refrain from PvP is fundamental to player enjoyment on both sides of the PvE/PvP debate, in my opinion.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Ready Check interviews Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas

Eye of C'Thun
This past week the hosts of EU-based podcast Ready Check were lucky enough to go visit Blizzard's offices in Versailles, where they met up with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas for a lively round of Q&A. The podcast--with attendant full transcript, don't you worry, folks who can't play the podcast--covers a very broad range of topics, and PvPers should be particularly interested in the broad discussion about arenas. Gothiques and Athene bring up some wonderful points about arena queuing, and matching, and the little ways in which the system often results in unexpectedly wasted time, as well as the ways in which not-entirely-honest players can manipulate that system in their favor. Both Holinka and Hazzikostas have insights to offer on these problems, and there's some good back-and-forth about potential solutions and improvements to the existing arena systems.

In addition to the excellent PvP discussions, the interview features some talk of Warlords of Draenor and the future--some of which we've already heard about, but I am so excited for garrisons and a toys tab that I could listen to this stuff all day long. Do you know how many bag spaces I'm going to get back once that toys tab goes live? In the words of the Diablo Templar companion, it will be glorious! There's also some really fun discussion on the philosophy and practice of encounter and mechanics design, and how the WoW team goes about building raids and bosses. This was perhaps my favorite part of the interview, because I am a hopeless PvPer and am much more at home among WoW's raid bosses. In any case, no matter what part of the game you enjoy, there's something in this interview for you. You can check out the full transcript and podcast episode at Ready Check's own website, so make sure to click on over to the whole thing!

Filed under: Podcasting, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Low level PvP balance to be reviewed

PvPers rejoice! Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok has made a post today that is music to our ears. As ever, the whole lengthy ramble is after the break, but let's cherry-pick here for a second. What Bashiok is replying to is a perfectly reasonable post about PvP balance. He starts off with the same thing we're used to hearing, that WoW is a big game, and the devs have to focus their efforts on where the majority of players hang out, which, for PvP, is max level.

But then it gets interesting. He confirms that "some" low-level PvP balance will be addressed in Warlords. Some? What does he mean? Well, he continues on to explain that as a part of the ability removal that's going on, the devs are going to be looking at the ability acquisition pacing -- when you get stuff as you level up. At the same time as doing this, and the stat squish, they are going to be doing a pass on low-level balance, looking to ensure that ability damage is more even than it is now.

He does add that the lower brackets are inherently somewhat imbalanced, but that the devs' goal is to improve that as they work through the abilities. He also notes that they will be fixing "obvious tuning problems", and doing as much fine-tuning as possible. This is fantastic news for low-level PvPers everywhere! Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

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Filed under: PvP

Warlords of Draenor: Base resilience and Battle Fatigue potentially eliminated

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has been tweeting up a storm today on the topic of PvP design plans for Season 15 and Warlords of Draenor, the most interesting of which is the following:

I think this is an admirable goal, base resilience and battle fatigue are confusing to some, and annoying to others, but I'd be really interested to see how they do it. Resilience, although not Battle Fatigue, has been part of the game almost since PvP first got instanced, and it's a valuable option for the devs to tune incoming PvP damage so that it can cope with the ever-inflating stat levels in PvE. Yes, there'll be a squish, but then PvE will still almost certainly scale up.

So I'm pleased they aren't planning on taking the rather bold step of completely removing it, to leave themselves without the option to reintroduce it easily would seem a little foolhardy, and not something they'd be likely to do. I'd imagine that if it were to go, there'd have to be some method to increase player health, or at least effective health, in instanced PvP, and there'd have to be some formula changes to healing, too. I'm looking forward to beta!

Filed under: PvP

My Warlords of Draenor Wish List

It should be noted that these are not features that have been announced, nor even speculated about or teased to my knowledge - if they have, I missed them somehow. It's possible. I'm human, I miss things. But I was thinking about the features announced for Warlords of Draenor (including recent announcements that blood elves and draenei will be among the races who get new models) and I realized that there's all sorts of things I'd like to see that haven't even been mentioned yet, and while I don't expect they'll happen, I might as well share them with you in the hopes that they may end up arriving at some point down the road. After all, transmog and LFR happened in the middle of an expansion, and they both worked out pretty well.

So here we go.

Level scaling

This is one I've wanted for a while. With flexible raiding now a reality, I'm drawn back to the idea of being able to scale your level down to run older content with friends, something the late, lamented City of Heroes had (called mentoring/sidekicking in that game). We've been teased with this potentially existing as recently as October of 2013 and whether or not it was a hoax then (I personally have no idea) it's something I've wanted for years. Sure, it's fun to bring your level 90 to an old dungeon and blow it up sometimes, but I want the option to step myself down and run it at an appropriate level in appropriate gear if I so choose. I'd also like to be able to boost a friend up to my level so that we can run stuff together, although I suspect the free level 90 boost is aimed at handling this same problem. Basically, anything that lets friends do more stuff together, I'm down for.

And speaking of that...

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Filed under: PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Do you do world PvP?

Some players really enjoy the war part of Warcraft, reveling in player versus player combat in battlegrounds, arenas, and in the world at large. And some players would rather focus on their quests without being interrupted by world PvP killing questgivers -- or them -- while they're just trying to do dailies or pick up some reputation. Though there's more disruption to be had on PvP realms, even PvE realms can see the day to day routine of cities interrupted by raids from the opposite faction storming in for fun, achievements, or just a change of pace.

So tell us, fellow players -- do you enjoy a bit (or a lot) of world PvP as a break from the day to day grind? Or would you rather PvP stayed out of your way?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Russian servers to join EU battlegrounds and arenas

Blizzard EU Community Manager Takralus posted today about a change to the Battleground grouping in the EU in patch 5.4.2.

Takralus
The winds of change are blowing across World of Warcraft's European Arenas and Battlegrounds. As the next step in what we started with Patch 5.4 and its changes to region-wide matchmaking, Russian and European players will soon be able to face off against each other.

Every player queuing for a Battleground or Arena will still join a team with players from realms with the same language designation – German with German, English with English, and so on. However, this change means that now a Russian-speaking team might be pitted against a team from anywhere in Europe.

Russian players will still be able to join a cross-realm group with their RealID friends from European realms, and queue with them for Battleground and Arena matches.

And finally, so you'll know who cut you down just as you were capping that flag – players using non-Russian clients are now able to see character names in Cyrillic.

This is great news for EU and Russian servers, it will result in reduction in queue times, and a larger pool of players to draw from. But for both sides, there's quite the language barrier.

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Filed under: PvP

What was the worst of Mists of Pandaria?

I recently posted my list of the best of Mists of Pandaria, so you must have seen it coming. An article discussing what I personally think was the worst of Mists of Pandaria. You will notice that many of the same things crop up on both lists. Well, that's just because there can be both positive and negative sides to any addition. It's all about perspective, you know?

Cross-realm calamities

Let's begin at the beginning. It seems like a logical point. Cross-realm technology, as I stated in my nice list, has been instrumental in allowing of many players' favorite features in the game. The sensationally popular Flex raiding, for example. But it's also responsible, on the downside, for some pretty negative happenings.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Potential for another PvP season before 6.0?

blade's edge arena
As discussed earlier today on Twitter, PvP Designer Brian Holinka responded to an inquiry by saying there may indeed be a chance for an additional PvP season before Warlords of Draenor comes out sometime next year.

Speculation on what "if we feel like we need it" means aside (no points for "if WoD is longer in development than expected"), I'm sure another season would be a welcome opportunity for those PvPers looking for one more chance for their shot at earning their moment of PvP glory. At least before we all have to re-learn our classes again!

Filed under: News items

Community Blog Topic Results: Continuing to mix PvP with PvE

Silvershard Mine
For our last Community Blog Topic, we asked about continuing to mix PvP with PvE.

bengstra would like PvE and PvP completely separated.
I have long held they need to keep their PvP out of my PvE. It is simply impossible to balance and one side or the other is constantly being impacted by the side they want, and have, no part in. This makes for constant ping ponging and frustration (think Stampede for a text book example of ping ponging).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Updates on US Connected Realms

Updates on US Connected Realms
By now, several US realms have been successfully connected with Blizzard's new Connected Realms feature. In case you've been out of the loop, Blizzard released an update in regards to the new feature, which seamlessly connects two realms so that they'll behave as one. That means players on realms that are connected can join the same guilds, use one Auction House, and run raids and dungeons with each other -- a pretty big bonus for realms that have been suffering from lower populations. The list of successfully connected realms is as follows:
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher
  • Aegwynn and Gurubashi
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Burning Blade and Onyxia
  • Chromaggus and Garithos
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Dunemaul, Maiev, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn
  • Rivendare and Firetree
It's a sizeable list -- but if your realm wasn't on the list, not to worry. Blizzard is revving up for more realm connections, and soon. Two new batches of realm connections are on the way, and the first batch of connections will be taking place on Monday, October 28.

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

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