The New Arena System

June 12, 2008 at 11:42 am (Game Design, PvP, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) ()

Season 4 start has officially been announced, and I couldn’t be less excited. Bliz went totally overboard with the PR system this time around, and IMO has left those on welfare epics out in the dark. What’s wrong with that? Well, if they don’t bring back welfare, I think arenas will die.

Consider these thoughts about the arena:

  • The top group of hardcore arenas hate to lose; if they loose consistently they’ll quit (that’s the definition of competitive: play to win), and move on to something they can win at. The arenas are the reason they play. 2000+ rating? I’m not really sure where it starts to get really competitive.
  • The next group, I’ll call the casual hardcore(CH), wants to play well. Most likely they focus on something else mainly, but like the change of pace with arenas. They want gear to stay competitive with the top people, but don’t mind losing too much if it’s to someone that’s clearly better. 1600+ rating
  • Then there are a certain group of players that are willing to lose if they get something out of it. Some take it more seriously that others, but in the end they don’t really care so long as they get their welfare. Generally < 1600 rating
  • For anyone to increase their rating someone needs to go down. There always needs to be as many points total below 1500 as there is above, that’s the way the system works.

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Release the Hounds

June 10, 2008 at 10:25 am (Hunter, Pets, PvP, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) ()

Last night was one of the best hour long WoW sessions I’ve had in a while.  I finally got SOLupos to hit 69.  Of the 4 SSO supplies I earned, 3 of them had BoJs, and I only got ganked once, but it is a short tale worth telling.

I’m in HP doing the 2 dailies at the throne.  I had finished both quests and was heading to the transporter to drop off my spark and do the turn ins.  One of my rules for leveling a pet is don’t pass an untapped mob and there were two demons spawned.  So I sent my pet and began blasting away.

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Get Me Off

May 23, 2008 at 12:33 pm (PvP, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Good grief do I hate my server.

My wife works 80hrs a week, which leaves me at home with our 2yo alone most nights. Once I finally get her to bed there’s lots of picking up to do before I can actually spend time goofing off. This usually means I get an hour or two to play before I get tired and go to bed. My wife has graciously given me one night a week where I can get out of the house and not worry about her, my daughter, or the house chores, and just enjoy myself.

Last night was my night off.

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What is PvP?

March 27, 2008 at 10:37 am (Game Design, PvP, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) (, , , , , )

Time for a “design for Blizzard even though they will never see it” post.

If you go to the official boards, one of the things you’ll hear over and over again with regard to battlegrounds is that there is “no PvP in PvP.” I disagree. When the horde and alliance raids run past each other in Alterac Valley and rush to the bosses, who is standing in my way of winning? It’s not the archers in the towers. It’s not the pathetic wolves/rams. It’s not even Drek or Vann. It’s the other raid. Just because we’re not killing, them doesn’t mean we are not competing with them. That my friends is Player versus Player. I’d even go so far as to say most gearing, cosmetic upgrades (netherwing drakes), non-combat pets, damage meters are all a form of PvP. Without other players to compare yourself to, there is little point.

What the people are really complaining about is lack of PK, Player Killing. This is a completely different concept. This is where the only objective is victory in battle over another player. The difference between PvP and PK is the difference is easily seen between battlegrounds and arenas. Battle grounds have win-conditions based on non-PK objectives, while arean’s win-conditions are the PKs. If you’re the guy posting “no PvP in PvP” get it out of your head. you don’t want PvP, you want PK. Read the rest of this entry »

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World PvP Z-style

February 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm (Game Design, PvP, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

As I’ve been doing a lot of PvP, I’ve been thinking about what it would take to make world PvP viable.

Bliz has made some valiant attempts. The objectives in EPL and Silithus weren’t very worthwhile to seek out. Buffs are nice, but you can live without them. If you happen to see an opposing player attempting one of the goals you might stop your grind long enough to kill him, but any large group could accomplish most of them unmolested. Five on one isn’t fun and there wasn’t a peanalty for letting them accomplish their goal. Add in that the reward was an intangible, temporary buff, and who wants to do it? Hellfire, Zang, Terrok just continued these traditions.

The one world objective that worked at least a little was Haala. Here a single player could at least have some affect against an opposing group, even if he wouldn’t win. If he could take down at least a single opponent, he’s rewarded. Moreover with real, tangible rewards no some ethereal buff.

There was one last problem with all of these, which is that if there was no opposition there was no reward. At least not in the PvP sense. Honestly, if I single handedly took out all the Halaa guards and capped the town, I deserve something. Read the rest of this entry »

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February 1, 2008 at 1:33 pm (Game Design, PvP, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Here I thought the developers had a clue about what was wrong with WSG.  Though I can’t find it at the moment, I remember a blue posting something along the lines of “we are aware of the time issues in WSG and are trying different ideas on our internal servers, but they are not ready for prime time.”  The thread seems to have disappeared into the nether (links were at

And then they drop this.  “No more diminishing returns on Honor.”

I’m not complaining about the extra honor.  It will definitely increase world PvP and the 3 other BGs will probably be a bit more intense.  However, I can’t see ever doing WSG again.  There have just been too many matches where some epiced out premade goes against my undergeared pug.  They just grab our flag and stand in the center of the field until they’re sure all honor has been used, and then cap the flag 3x in 3 minutes.  I usually just cancel my spirit rez, walk out of range, and hit my space bar until it’s over and I get my mark (that’s the only reason I’d be there).

Now there’s no reason to stop.  They can just stand center field and kill for honor after honor.  They’ll never have to face a premade because even if the opposition /afks out in frustration, it’s one at a time out, one at a time in.  I have a feeling this will be so common as to be the default – if you pug, you’ll be farmed by a premade.
Unless they radically change WSG, they have completely broken it.

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