How Blizzard Destroyed PvP In The Name of Casuals (And Why It Was Necessary) Killadrix August 6, 2013 Video Games, World of Warcraft Not only did the evil, hand-wringing, money-grubbing Blizzard Corporation annihilate the sanctity of World of Wacraft PVP in the name of dirty casuals everywhere, but they also ruined it for the entire MMORPG genre. In politics, they call it pandering. Here, we call it what it really is: selling out. Now, I don’t want to name any names, but at some point (*cough* Activision *cough*), World of Warcraft became more about makin’ dem monies, and less about providing the best possible gaming experience for its subscribers. In the process, Blizzard ushered in a new generation of players who expect MMORPG PvP to be nothing more than the meaningless abandoned-fetus-in-the-toilet-bowl PvP they see in WoW today. I mean, we can’t have our cancerous, leprous, plague-ridden PVP’ers spreading their herpely-nerpelys all over the PVE’ers who just want to do dailies, collect pets, and slay dragons, can we? Most definitely not. As such, Blizzard slowly turned into the mother who sits idly by and watches her husband abuse their children, pretending she doesn’t see it. Pretending it’s not happening. Pretending she doesn’t hear the cries. Her inaction makes her complicit in the crime. Image source: RexGetarum DeviantArt We PvPers have been imprisoned, forced to live in our windowless room, sleeping on our pile of hay on the cold, hard concrete floor, getting fed scraps through the metal slit in the door, while big brother PvE Quarterback Hero is throwing touchdown passes and roofying the prom queen. Unfortunately, though, it had to be this way for WoW to become the juggernaut that it has. It’s like the Culling of Stratholme, where us PvPers are the NPCs standing around talking about how we don’t feel so good all of a sudden. We had to be purged. At the end of the day, World of Warcraft is a PVE game with a PVP mini-game. PvP has become no more or less important to Blizzard than Pet Battles, Achievements, The Trading Card Game, or even Transmogging, which is kind of strange for a game with “War” in the title. But if you disagree, just look at the patch notes. Early on, Blizzard took the liberty of redefining PvP as: • Instanced: Battlegrounds, Arena’s, RBG’s • Restricted: Factions, Sanctuaries, Guards in cities, Languages • Unrewarding: Lack of updated and compelling rewards (achievements, titles, pets, loot, etc.,), lame PVP Gear skins, removal of stats from Elite Gear Instanced PvP served to keep us ruffians off the streets of Azeroth where we might actually, you know, stumble upon another player whom we might choose to accost. Restricted PVP was Blizzard’s way of making sure that PvPers wouldn’t hinder or deter other players from partaking in the important parts of the game: leveling, dailies, farming, etc. The lack of rewarding PVP is just Blizzard trolling us. It’s the only reasonable explanation for the Season 13 Shaman skins. Those assholes. Next on their list of funsies was the destruction of World PvP. The introduction of Summoning Stones, Flying Mounts, Arena’s, Battlegrounds and the ability to queue for dungeons all slowly eroded away at the foundation of World PvP, until it finally toppled in Patch 5.3 when dragon slaying gear became superior to people slaying gear. It’s as though the PvEers we’ve been bullying all this time were Gamon, sitting alone and afraid inside the Inn in Orgrimmar, and now that he’s a raid boss, pants have been shat. After that they neutered the competitive spirit of WoW. They knew that competition would be the cancer of a casual friendly game. It ensures that there is always a winner, and always a loser, and apparently players don’t like paying $15 a month to feel like a loser, especially when most of them are qualified to do it more cheaply, more often, and more spectacularly than Blizzard can. As such, Blizzard began giving out rewards just for showing up: • Honor for losing Battlegrounds • Removal of Rating Requirements on PVP gear • Conquest Points for Random Battleground wins • Looking For Raid System Unfortunately, adopting this “everyone is a winner” philosophy spurned the vitriolic, vocal minority of players who believe that we should have to work hard for our accomplishments. Silly Republicans. However, it did nothing to satiate the casuals who flipped Blizzard the bird on rated PvP, and packed up their shit and went home, which resulted in the bottom falling out of the arena ladders. Just like the casuals warned us it would. This relegated all of the 2k rated jerk-offs with a chip on their shoulder to the 1600’s where they currently rub elbows with shitters like me, and live out their days raging in Battleground chat, linking arena achievements from their glory days. But Blizzard wasn’t done there, because next they decided to oversimplify the game: • Six Talent Choices • Dumbed down Glyph Selection • Silly, silly Reforging • CD Stacking With WoW now being developed for baboons to play, we no longer needed the Reckful’s, Neilyo’s, or Hoodrych’s to tell us how to set up our characters, nor how to play them. In The World of Burstcraft, all you have to do close your eyes, push all of your buttons real hard and hope for the best. Skill, finesse, and reflexes need not apply. Without “highly skilled” PvP videos to slow stroke it to, or websites dedicated to teaching us how to play, or larger-than-life PvP Gods to worship and throw our moist panties at, the game lost the hype, lost the excitement, and lost the legions of fan boys who might have been inspired to be the next great WoW PVP’er. By the way, that guy is now playing League of Legends. The coup de grace, if you will, ended up being: Blizzard’s indifference. Blizzard’s neglect of PvP balance was the nail in the coffin for PvP in Season 13. They worked at glacial speeds to correct imbalances with some of the usual suspects (looking at you, Hunters/Frost Mages), and even some of the not-usual suspects (Elemental Shamans), which made a mockery of the game and destroyed what was left, if anything, of their PvP street cred. Oh, and speaking of “mockery of the game”, our good friend “RBGs” stopped by to say hello. Plagued by DDOSing, win-trading, ranged DPS bias, and the Great PvP Tank Debuff Fiasco of 2013, people just stopped giving a shit about them altogether, and quite frankly, I don’t blame them. The sad truth about all of this, is that Blizzard knows they have us by the short and curlies. They know that no other MMORPG can compete with WoW on PvP alone, and they’ve left a trail of rotting corpses in their wake to prove it. Strangely, the secret to the popularity of WoW’s PvP is directly tied to its tenuous relationship with PvE, as the PvE side of the game is what keeps competitors at bay (read: To crush their enemies, to see them driven before them, and to hear the lamentations of their women). Without PvE attracting and/or retaining subs to help fund PvP content (LOLJK!), and without PvE players to help keep the PvP queues popping, WoW PvP would wither, die, and fall off like a giant set of banded bull testicles. Why else do you think they made PvE gear equivalent to PvP gear in instanced PvP, and not the other way around? For more World of Warcraft musings from Killadrix, check out his blog. cvc Nice article. Stopped playing WOW before MoP was released. Still miss it but I do agree with your points. Its been dumbed down way way to much. And for what?..noobs are still noobs and there is less depth for skilled players. Jason couldn’t agree more. Not saying PVP was dumbed down(I’ve never been a PVPer) but the raids became way too easy. Now it’s just sit back and AA all day. No skill required now unlike vanilla where you had to move 40 people to one side of the room at once or else someone dies, onyxia rages, and the raid wipes. CKalb Rage much? Ok I agree with about 50% of your points. But let me guess you were the guy who in full PVP gear hung out in BG’s with PVE’rs? You lived to Stomp “newbs” because you had the gear and they didn’t. You are a hard core PVPer who wasn’t hard core. You wanted to feel god like and Blizzard leet you do that for a while in Cat and LK. You were the one who just had to be the MAN in Wintergrasp, even though you had friends on the opposite faction Coming over and letting you kill them for points. I was there for Vanilla. Back in 2004 when PVP first started. I remember being level 60 and running around with blues and greens and having epic battles in Alterac Valley. We have fun and busted our ass but it was pretty fair all around. Yes those dedicated to PVP had a bit of an advantage in the battle ground but since all the armor was equal, the casual player wasn’t just a speed bump. You had to have skill. And the PVPers I knew did. I was Casual. Could handle a BG, but mostly was just there to PUG Dungeons and hang with people. You see. I think that was where Blizzard was trying to take PVP again. Not to where anyone who did PVP was playing GOD mode against all Casual players like in LK, but to where even Casual players had a chance and the people who were good at PVP and had the skills, still got the kills. Now did they do that, no clue. I haven’t played since Pandora came out. So honestly I don’t care, but seriously. You just raged blaming Blizzard for killing Hard Core PVP. I think you just rage quite because some Casual kicked your ass and you are too much of cry baby to actually go back work your ass off and return to the field and get your honor back. Quit crying, dust your self off and get back in the ring or shut up and go home. fugu42 Wow, that was awful. Relax, obviously they are in it to make money, quit thinking otherwise. That is what everything is about, how much profit can be made. Hell, I work for the “evil” oil companies because the pay me a crap load of money for a little bit of work. So, yeah, WoW has been dumbed down, nothing good lasts forever, find another game to play. And, yeah, ima casual player, but i generally stay out of the BGs because I always got stomped by people like you. I didn’t rage, i just accepted that I wouldn’t ever have enough patience and dedication to make WoW a full time job. TronSheridan As soon as Crossroads and Tauren Mill PVP dried up…PVP was dead. It lasted a bit longer with the original AV. But it’s been dead a LONG, LONG, LONG time. jason O how I don’t miss the Alliance coming and killing my quest giver in xroads right before I was about to turn it in. But then when I switched to alliance, it was fun to watch the little orcs shout curses at me merwanor I think most of the game has been improved since vanilla, only PvP has taken a turn for the worse. I really miss old Alterac Valley, which felt like a real battle and not some kind of hunger games type of game show. Some battles could take days to finish and if you won it was truly a victory, you did not need any other reward than the feeling of finally beating your opponent. Now at least on my server, alterac valley is the worst BG of the all, everyone just rushes to the boss and the alliance wins like 90% of the time. Wintergrasp and Tol Barad was also pretty fun, I just wish they made them viable at higher levels still. If people want challenge, try doing the challenge mode dungeons, I have heard that they are very challenging, and the rewards really sets you apart from other people. JXE The reward for doing PvP for me is: Fun. If you’re doing it to get an illusionary carrot then maybe it’s time to move on. http://www.gpxgaming.net/ Emanuel Camacho I barely have any power left due to some storms here in South Florida, but what the hell, I’ll nab my wife’s phone and make a post on this topic. I’ve been playing WoW since Alpha Tests (first 100 people to touch the game, when I owned a small gaming company doing market tests for this company…Essentially, I’ve been around the game a long time). I’ve been one of the High Warlord Players leading some of the best players in the highest PvP combat from Vanilla, through Cross Realm. I can agree with you that PvP has changed radically in terms of what it was in 2004. However, you’re pretty much wrong on most of your points. Why? Blizzard is for profit…it’s not here to make pretty games out of the goodness of their hearts, and it is not trying to make a game purely for the highest level of end game content and highest level of competition PvP Only – that would bring the player base down to under 300,000 people…What kind of expectation do you have? With that said, Blizzard has produced some of the greatest games in video gaming history…As an Example, Starcraft is pretty much a national sport in some Asian countries…That game was released in the mid 90’s almost 20 years ago. Let me stick to my point. PvP has changed to benefit the overall players of the game…meaning the bulk % of the players. I can concede that there can be setups to allow for the highest echelon of players to benefit more…and I used to be one of those people that complained that the game did not have a system for upgrading equipment similar to FFXI. Where you are forced to play through all encounters to move forward…In other words. Burning through Raids for the best gear for a new expansion to simply enter the fray and a new player can simply level to max and have gear far superior to yours… I know this sucks…it’s the nature of the beast. Consider simply the benefit. If the game did not adapt to maintain the bulk of it’s players you’d have no one to play with (or against). Blizzard has the correct formula that is maintaining millions of players in terms of balancing PvE, PvP, and End game Content. Sure, we all want more content, faster. We want a better balance of PvP – but in the end if you want PvP to be more fruitful, did you gain Elite Arena Gear? Did you earn any of the specialty awards for each Season? How about the Titles? Well I did…That is how I separated myself from the random casuals. Believe me I can be up there with you arguing and complaining about the varied changes. But in truth I had to stop playing a month or so back because of my work schedule, Yet I was completely destroying other players. It didn’t matter they had gear close to mine, I simply excelled at the game, as did the players I ran with. So it doesn’t matter to me that more casual players were getting geared similarly without the same effort, in the end I had better gear regardless, and it doesn’t mean I couldn’t take advantage of the same tools to elevate my alternate toons without spending so much time doing it. Perhaps when you are this angry over changes that improve the quality of a game for the overall player base, it’s time for you to walk away, take a break and come back – then you will be able to enjoy the tools in place that will allow you to catch up to everyone else at that point in time. Making this argumentative and attempt at persuasion moot. Xaer I think most of the commenters missed the point of the article. The author is pointing out that for PVP to exist, and for PVP’ers to enjoy it, Blizzard had to abuse it for the sake of the casual player so the game would be popular (especially from a PVE perspective), and Blizzard could make money. Telling the OP that he’s wrong, when you are telling him the same thing he’s telling you is kind of silly. Also, accusing him of raging is a bit of a stretch. While he and I don’t necessarily agree, it seems he intended the piece to have a certain “caustic” style to make his point. Shane Walker Actually, the over the top language in the article is what led me to believe he was a raging has been, crying for the old glory days. Blizzard is a company, companies make money. It’s unreasonable to assume that they would not build their game to reflect the desires of the majority. The OP would be getting a very different response had he made the same points in a rational, intelligent manner. But he didn’t. lolgetfucked QQ more faggot. Like PvP is serious Anti WoW didn’t ruin PvP. PvP ruined WoW. They tried to make a game do too many things. It was great fun when you were actually worried about whether or not you’d stumble across an enemy in world exploration on a PvP server. Hot-spots of PvP action in certain zones was exciting and made you feel like you were part of a faction that actually fought another faction due to animosity instead of rewards. Then they added BGs. Not bad, was a new slant on PvP and didn’t outright kill world PvP. In fact, it spawned a new type of cross-faction rivalry. Then they added arenas. This is where it goes downhill, because now they’re tweaking PvE and PvP specs and abilities to try to balance both worlds. Then they start tweaking gear – so that if you’re caught by someone in PvP gear out in the world, you’re screwed. That’s where it fell apart. Arenas, tweaking specs and gear, all in the sake of adding PvP arenas to a game that didn’t need them. PvP servers were great as they were. If you wanted PvP, that’s where you went. If you didn’t want PvP, you went to a PvE server and that was fine too. Trying to make EVERYTHING work is what screwed WoW. Arenas were the beginning of the end. D Cry moar. Your tears are like candy to me. Kill All PvE Naabcakes SHUT DA FUCK UP YOU PVE NOOB. FAGGGOTS LIKE YOU AND THE OTHER NOOB OVER UR POST,THEY PAY JUST TO DO CRAP PVE AND FARM PETS 24/7 LOL -.- U JUST PAY BLIZZARD,INSTEAD TO FEED UR FAMILY U TWAT. FUCK OFF ALL PVErs.IF U WANT PVE,FUCK OFF AND GO PLAY SINGLE PLAYER GAMES. Astonished “As such, Blizzard slowly turned into the mother who sits idly by and watches her husband abuse their children, pretending she doesn’t see it. Pretending it’s not happening. Pretending she doesn’t hear the cries. Her inaction makes her complicit in the crime.” Wow. I’ve read some…impressive…rage posts before, but that was the most pathetic one I’ve read thus far. Whether or not you agree with the changes to PvP, the very fact that you have compared the changes to a parent allowing their child to be abused, is beyond pathetic. It shows that you are a sad, childish man who really needs to grow up & realise that WoW is just a *game*, and the changes can NEVER be compared with a situation like that. If you genuinely believe that comparison, then maybe you should take a break from WoW, and try to re-establish contact with reality before you feel the need for tin foil hats to protect you from the nasty meanies at Blizzard. Xdawgg Everyone seems to forget that this is a mmorpg and not call of duty. It’s suppose to be grindy and long and not focus just on the pvp aspect. In the past, I felt like that pvp was over-shadowing what the game was built around. PVP was killing the genre of mmorpg. People who complain that they hate to level, or hate that it’s grindy need to jump off of an mmorg and go play a fps. OPisafaggot You’re basically mad because gear is no longer OP and unobtainable. This is where skill + gear = results, instead of your preferred formula; gear = results. The game does market and appeal to casuals more than people who claim to be “hardcore” gamers – but its a business… its there to make money. And appealing to a larger audience generates more cash flow and keeps player population high, so you’re not waiting in que for 15 minutes. If anything, this should be a positive thing for you. You speak on this matter as if you’re a pro, so that would imply you know your class/classes, and gear equality should not be an issue. Pr1m4x You should be ashamed to even call yourselef a pvper for playing wow… I stopped reading first paragraph. Fucking carebears… BLOWBEAR FUCK OFF ALL OF PVERS. ONLY WORTH TO PLAY EVERY ONLINE GAME,IS THE PVP ASPECT. U WANT PVE?PLAY UR FUCKIN SINGLE PLAYER GAMES AND GTFO.