How Blizzard Destroyed PvP In The Name of Casuals (And Why It Was Necessary)
06 Aug, 2013
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.
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.
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.