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Dec 05, 2005



Ties in to the recent discussion about embedded e-sports and what it means for them to happen in a VW in some interesting ways... [and if i had more time, i would even explore them ;-) ]


Are you by chance on DarkIron? That's my PvP server of choice and yes, Hillsbrad Foothills, also known as "The Killing Fields" in my guild, is a terrrible place to be in your mid-twenties. You can expect much ganking from the local Alliance and they are typically helped out by higher level Alliance members.

This brings up an interesting subject that I've been thinking about since I started playing. Perhaps it's just a perspective thing, but it seems that the Alliance players are much friendlier with each other. I typically see low level players being escorted by higher level ones in PvP rich environments. I don't see that nearly as much on the Horde side, people seem to be a bit more on their own. Things get better if you are able to find a good guild (go Triad!), but if not your pleas for help may be ignored or scoffed at and never do I see the same kind of protective services offered by the Horde as I see the Alliance doing.


Louis, in my experience, zone ganking profiles are largely similar from server to server, though I'm sure there are exceptions. My feeling on the escort services is that it's due to the fact that Alliance outnumbers of Horde on most servers, at least as far as I can tell. Then again, I haven't played on *that* many different servers, so perhaps there's someone out there with more experience or some numbers. I wonder if PlayOn's software could detect hot Hillsbrad player-on-player action...?


The pvp ranks seems to suggest some sort of command or leadership ability, but mostly it is an indication of the player's willingness to grind in BGs.

Also, the BGs were developed to encourage the sort of player organization that had been so succesful in PVE raids. However, most of the guilds that are organized and capable of doing so have instead chosen to throw a certain number of games to get fast honor points.

But even then, WOW pvp is still one of the better and more well rounded systems out there.


Ian Lim wrote:
>But even then, WOW pvp is still one of the better and more well rounded systems out there.

It's not. It's not. It's not. Wherever did you get this idea?


Fantastic comments on the WOW PVP system. Like you said, the battlegrounds are a lot of fun but have taken the "role playing" aspect out of player versus player combat.

However, its a tough act to balance. Half the player population (those below level 60) wants the battlegrounds to force evenly matched battles with similar level players, where the other half (level 60's) wants open game city raiding to be more important. Where do you draw the line between you defending Ashenvale and somebody running around Ashenvale with their high(er) level character doing the same?

I'd like to see a bonus applied for honorable kills outside of the battlegrounds, but how does that prevent a group of players from just running about Stranglethorn farming honor that way? Every conceivable implementation of aspects of the PVP system has its own unique little way to be 'farmed' or otherwise exploited, its an infinitely recursing balancing act.


Brad > "Every conceivable implementation of aspects of the PVP system has its own unique little way to be 'farmed' or otherwise exploited, its an infinitely recursing balancing act."

Perhaps the problem is in rewarding honor at all. Some games reward player-killing only with dishonor. Hardcore gankers still kill players, and wear their dishonor with pride, but you can't really game the system, especially if high levels of dishonor mean some areas of the game are inaccessible because faction NPCs will kill you on sight -- until you raise your honor again, but by killing mobs, not players.

I'm not a big fan of WoW's PvP system, especially the fact that you get experience points for BGs. There are essentially two games going on, one that takes you out into the world, and one that takes you out of the world completely. I'd be happier with an honor system that tracked BG activity completely differently from questing and adventuring. You'd still have two different games going on, but they wouldn't interfere with each other, and you could pursue both tracks at once.

In the end, I think Blizzard's design decision probably came from a customer-retention perspective. For the most part, all of these things are designed to be as easy as possible on the players. It makes for a remarkably accessible game, but I think it takes a little bit away from the depth.


it’s not that I object to having mini-games within MMOGs/VWs.

You somehow got the problem.

The problem is that these toys happen out of the world, and not really within it.


I was waiting for you to say your sever was Bonchewer the whole time I was reading your post. LoL, it's that bad over here too. I've got NE Priest I'm leveling on another PvP server to see the incidences from that side, as well as a human rogue on an RP Server. My end game strategy is to get to Stranglethorn Vale, complete the Nessigwary quests and not get griefed. I set my sites pretty high, don't I.


The problem of world PvP being dead has been mentioned before and Blizzard have stated that they will be adding world PvP objectives in the expansion. Of course world PvP has its pros and cons (lag, uneven numbers, hard to find a fight) but it should definitly be more rewarded by game mechanics than it is currently.

Also, I would like to point out that before BGs were implemented, Hillsbrad was a staging area for the SS/TM honor farm, where 30-50 players of each faction would zerg each other in order to gain insane amount of honor compared to looking for kills in other areas.

As a side note, a few of the names you mentioned break the Blizzard naming policy, so you could report them.


Abalieno wrote:
"You somehow got the problem.

The problem is that these toys happen out of the world, and not really within it."

How then do you reply to the WoW team's stated goal of tying Battlegrounds results to the status of the overworld? (Admittedly, heretofore this has had the sound of a pipe dream and they haven't been clear about the implementation; even so.)


Useful comments. Thanks all. As to the qns about server, no we're not on any of the ones you mention. Hobbesbrad is the same on every PvP server, from what others tell me. Oh, and as to this:

RedWolf>Also, I would like to point out that before BGs were implemented, Hillsbrad was a staging area for the SS/TM honor farm

Right. People who have been playing longer than me are grateful for the BGs, coz it has reduced mindless ganking. For which I'm grateful too. It's not the BGs I object to (I *really* love them). It's just that there are various reputational and other currencies in the game, and I think it's a mistake to conflate various currencies when they are not commensurate. So, HKs in BG != HKs in Stonetalon Mtn. Mushing them together devalues both the PvP in zones and in BGs.


You make the mistake of thinking that the vast majority of players value this reputational currency. High end raiding guilds are not exactly huge fans of Grand Marshalls and high warlords.

On Shattered hand, the first few people we had shoot through the honor system did it entirely via tagging horde bosses. One person would tag cairne and then their guild would help them kill it. Of course this led to countless complaints about exploiting the honor system and so forth.

Anyhow, I think the reputational currency makes sense within WoW's environment, and you're just skipping the fact that the lore makes it make sense. You're not supposed to like High Warlords and Grand Marshalls. From a purely RP pov, they're jerks. As the Burning Legion makes clear, Warcraft is really about a cosmic conflict about the forces of good and evil. Oddly enough, the horde and alliance are both on the same side within this cosmic conflict, they fight the same evils such as Onyxia, Ragnaros, the Burning Legion, et al. but above all else they hate each other.

A better name for WoW, lore wise, would be World of Ruin. Go to any zone in the game and tell me how it's still a pristine location of joy and hope. Ok, maybe Moonglade. Darnassus is becomming corrupted, the defias sit outside the gates of stormwind, and lets not get started on what use to be Loraeron, and thats the eastern kingdoms alone.

The horde and alliance are busy fighting the same battles over and over again. After the Burning Legion is destroyed and Proudmoore's dad comes back with a fleet looking for alliance survivors and sees horde, his reaction isn't "Oh, thank you thrall for helping to protect the world." It's "omg honor kill u now", roughly paraphrased, because fighting the same pointless battles over and over again is what the alliance and horde do.

Also, Grand Marshalls and High Warlords don't usually contribute nearly as much as other people to end game pve raiding -- it takes too much time to get GM/HW. The honor system is really something that's wrong with the world itself, and happens to be marginally fun. The game isn't reallyyyy about honor and ultimate victory for one side, it's just that the two factions think it is, and always will.


I never get too excited about reputation because I know there is always some one out there getting more play time and more HK than me.

I recently read a forum thread on wow.com posted by a Grand Marshall. He got to Grand Marshall by skipping work, taking vacation days and playing 18 hour shifts. In his post he was basically saying goodbye. He reached the top rank and he could not stand even thinking of playing any more. So in this case, I think the honor system actually alientated someone that could have been a loyal, paying customer for years to come.

Thought number 2:
EVE-Online was my first MMOG. After investing months of play, getting ganked by pirates and pod-killed, I heard about Warcraft with its option of PVP or PVE. This was totally foreign to me because everything in EVE revolves around PVP. I realized how stressfull the PCP in EVE was (for me at least) and I quit cold-turkey and never went back. PVE in Wow has been more fun I don't feel any need to PVP whether it's in-world or BG.


If someone is a ?? and kills you, they don't get an HK for that anyway. They are just doing it for kicks. Whats likely is that they are waiting in the queue for a BG and are just killing time :) You did sign up for a PvP server right? Certain areas have content where higher level people cross paths with lower level people - you want to avoid those areas for leveling. That cuts out a decent portion of the content of the game unless you don't mind getting ganked a few times. Not that death really matters, it just sets you back a few minutes.

In the end, I think Blizzard's design decision probably came from a customer-retention perspective. For the most part, all of these things are designed to be as easy as possible on the players. It makes for a remarkably accessible game, but I think it takes a little bit away from the depth.

To me, getting ganked by bored high levels doesn't add much depth to the game. Battling even level people over a quest area can be fun, but again if you add any sort of real reward to winning that battle, then it will be swarmed with high levels. PvP will always mostly be a end-game experience since there are limitations as to what you can provide without allowing higher level characters to dominate the rewards anyway - level limited BGs are a decent compromise here I think. That being said, I do agree that some additional level 60 PvP targets should be added to the outside world in areas that would create conflict but steer people away from low level content areas.


What is a capture-the-flag style battleground doing in WoW anyway? From a game perspective it may be fun way to spend 15 minutes. From a story perspective how do you justify it?


From a story perspective how do you justify it?

Capturing the enemy flag has been a tradional battlefield objective for many centuries right up until the second half of the 20th century. The Warsong Gulch appears in the Warcraft storyline and the battleground based on it is part of a wider conflict over the Ashenvale Forest region.


This discussion explains a lot about the weird Alliance zergs in Arathi Basin on Argent Dawn. Zerging (all moving in one big fat group) will give you honour kills, yes. You will however lose the game, and gain less honour than those who kill less, die more, but stall the zerg long enough for the Horde to hold the flag. This means that the high-ranking officer you face may not necessarily be a crazy battlefield killer, but a decent strategist and reliable partner.

Another matter is ganking and corpse-sitting. Some intelligent strategies invite others to do that - send out one low-level char PVP enabled, wait until two or three slightly higher level kill them and become PVP enabled (only on normal and RP servers I guess), in move the level 60-ies and slaughter all - so gank the gankers. That is an easy way to accumulate kills as well, and would be exploited happily whether the battlegrounds were there or not. I have even seen versions in the battlegrounds: rather than try to grab the flag and the resources, Alliance players wait by the graveyard to kill recently resurrected characters. More kills, less honour.

I am starting to think this is the reason why the Alliance always loses in Arathi Basin (on Argent dawn, EU).


While, in general, I enjoy PVP combat, I find the WOW system very broken, for as someone used to FPS combat, I find the whole idea of giving totally unfair advantages to players just because they've played longer absurd. Furthermore, on my PVE server, Icecrown, the Alliance wait times for the BG's are absurd, partially due to the lack of Horde and partially due to the fact that a very organized Horde guild fully decked out in PVP gear (the leader has a legendary weapon) rapes the pick up groups of alliance players in 2 minutes. On Icecrown, alliance players have to wait an hour every time they want to enter a BG, but the Horde get to play game after game--and, of course, the gear rewards of honor in WOW amplifies their unfair practice advantage ten-fold. I've seen this situation in other games: when you make playing time a precious commodity (CS with its permadeath for every round) or divide a game up into different roles (Battlefield with its air vehicles), the already skilled players get far more practice than others which just compounds their advantage.

In short, I imagine Blizzard hasn't addressed the problem of getting into BG's faster because they assume only the PVP server players really want to do PVP, but that just isn't true: I want to do end-game PVP but not zone PVP because I hate being ganked, and I shouldn't have to level another character to 60 just to do PVP.

One solution would be to tie server queues together, so that BG's would incorporate players from multiple servers. Another solution would be to decouple the BG mini-games from the character development game. I know this corrupts the whole idea of a virtual world, but as it stands, the BG's are fun mini-games but have no justifiable world-tie other than giving time-sink players even greater advantage over their opponents. As I see it, players should be able to server-browse all available instances of a BG, choose a class, and enter the game with a standard gear load-out, perhaps picking talents. I enjoy WOW for its player ability differentiation, not for the uneven balance of gear and levels.

As for ganking itself, the simplest solution would be to disallow a player to attack or even hit any player ~3 levels higher or lower than themselves; also, a player shouldn't be able to buff or heal their allies ~3 levels higher or lower than themselves (except perhaps in instances) to prevent players from getting assistance from allies whom their opponents can't touch.

In the sequel to WOW in my head, gear, levels, and grinding are all greatly de-emphasized in deference to a shorter, more involving, virtually grindless character development (though even Diablo had grinding). In short, this would mean fewer and much deeper quests (avoiding grinding and excessive, redundant travel) and fewer levels to reach end-game; perhaps players would be given artificial shortcuts to level secondary toons faster after they max out their first toon (you're paying for the game, so why can't you have a 60 of every class?). IMO, It took about twice as long as it should have to get my first toon, an NE priest, to 60. Having now lvl'd a to 45 and a mage to 53 (though in far less time: I do all my lvl'ing on rest), I can say that the lvl'n experience of WOW, while I'm told is far less tedious than in other games, is just not acceptable: I want to play the other classes, and the only REAL playing is done at lvl 60, but I'll never get all classes to 60, let alone gear them all. It's like a huge barrier placed before me before I get to really play the game.

As for PVP, I would prefer a game which didn't give advantages to time-investment and actually handicapped the more skilled players. The endgame, as I see it, would be an extension in depth of the current BG and large-raid instance games. (On the other hand, it would be nice to somehow capitalize upon WOW's continuous game world, which is a sad thing to see not utilized.)

This still leaves for something to be done about the casual players (defined as those who usually never reach end-game in a typical MMORPG). I'm guessing that a big worry is how to keep casual players if you shorten the toon leveling time: they need something to do when they hit end-game that they can do solo and requires little to no time investment (and certainly no time obligation), so that rules out 40-man raids and probably even 10-man raids; these players also need something to do which isn't frustrating, so this rules out PVP (assuming the typical 'casual player' lacks the skill to compete). I think the answer has something to do with mini-games. Being my first MMORPG, I was very surprised that WOW wasn't made up of many mini-games, for having heard it brought in many 'non-games', I assumed the game had many carnival-like features...so I was surprised that what I found instead is that the game is essentially an overly long single-player game with a raiding end-game.

Well forgive my disorganized rant. In short, I agree that tieing BG rewards to zone PVP rewards ruins zone PVP, but I find both aspects of the game broken, at least on PVE servers.


pantomineHorse>Another solution would be to decouple the BG mini-games from the character development game.

Just like "Guild Wars" which has separate toons/skillsets/armor for PvP. And which I think works better than WoW.

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