So why do people continue to play battlegrounds, not enjoy, not participate, yet spend literally hours on them?
Well, as I’ve said before, they do it for currency. Whatever attitude they have, the fact is, they need to and want to be arena viable. That means they have to have the best gear available to them, and since the gear upgrades every single season, they need to do the same.
Which means that these people who only want to do arenas are forced to do hours upon hours of battlegrounds in order to get the honour they need for new boots, bracers, a shiny new belt, and accessories.
This isn’t their fault. I am a very firm believer that people should not have to do things they don’t especially… well, want to do.
Unfortunately, in order to be truly competitive, they don’t have a choice in the matter.
And thusly, we arrive at my one true complaint with World of Warcraft.
If you want raid gear, you go raiding to get this gear. The better gear you have, the better you perform in a raiding environment. A warrior in tier 4 gear won’t perform as well in BT as a warrior in tier 6 gear.
Same holds true for arenas. Sort of.
If you want to do arena, well, you need top of the line arena gear. Thus, it stands to reason you would do arena to get that gear.
Except you can\t. You have to do battlegrounds too, and lots of them.
It would stand to reason, if you didn’t think very hard, that people who enjoy arenas thus enjoy all PvP, and would love to do battlegrounds. Feh.
Quite obviously, this isn’t the case. Not even sort of.
Especially now. The arena’s gear system currently locks a substantial amount of gear behind two barriers: currency earned through the activity itself (the better you perform, the more points you get), and you also need to maintain a certain rating (or rank) in order to unlock the ability to equip that gear.
Sound familiar at all? Perhaps a certain old honour system that was nearly universally loathed by everyone and their grandma?
See. This is what I hate about this game. The whole point behind PvP is that it’s supposed to be a battle of skill. You can shout and complain about class balance all you like, I’ve already stated that WoW is surprisingly well balanced for an MMO of this type. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems, they’re just smaller.
So this whole skill thing kinda gets thrown out the window when you have a gear gap as incredibly wide as it is now.
If you’ve got a team in top of the line current season gear fighting against a team wearing the reputation PvP blues… you’re going to notice a difference in how well these teams perform (read: the rep. blues get rolled).
Imagine trying to play a Starcraft map where both of your opponents’ units have 35% more hitpoints than yours do, simply because they’ve been playing longer. Is that fair? Would battles between these players be competitive?
In an MMO, raiding/grinding/whatever to get new, shiny, better gear is the essence of why you do anything, in a practical sense. Sure, there’s community, some fights are fun, etc; but at its core, the game is all about getting new loots.
Sadly, this runs exactly counter to what a proper competitive environment is supposed to be. If it’s going to be true PvP, the gear gap between players cannot exist. This is why I liked the TTR (Tournament Test Realm) so much. Everyone had free access to the same level of gear, and the only differences were how players min/maxed their characters via gems, enchants, and talent specs.
And most importantly, upon starting an arena, everyone was on equal footing. In other words, true competition could be had.
I’ve long been a firm believer that PvP and PvE should be treated as completely different games. The mechanics between the two different forms of play are far too different to reconcile into something that could be treated as one, unified concept.
The only real way to ameliorate this would be a complete rehaul of the way PvE and/or PvP works.
Something that I, for one, would support, at least in regards to PvP.
PvP in WoW should have been closer to what it is in the Warcraft series. Along the lines of DotA (Defence of the Ancients) is what WoW PvP should be like, not this arena thing they currently have. Sure, the arenas are fun, even if the gear system behind it was abandoned to mass cheering years ago, but it’s the idea behind it that I don’t like.
This is WARCRAFT, not Guild Wars…
I don’t like the format. I don’t like the current gear system. And above all, the idea that these two brutally flawed systems is considered competitive… and they’re handing out cash prizes for it?
This is my biggest disappointment with WoW. I fully expected PvP in this game would be similar to what it was in Warcraft. I hoped this game would feel like the Warcraft universe when it came right down to it, rather than generic PvP in an MMO.
Alterac Valley is what I expected PvP to be like. A big map, lots of players, lots of NPC’s, lots of strategical points, and the idea that superior tactics and communication would always stand victorious.
More like a RTS game.
More like Warcraft.