Unless you've been living in the little cave on Darkmoon Island for the past few months (and frankly, if you have, well done -- that must be one awesome time machine!), you'll have heard about the impending expansion. I previously posted a short plea for WoW Insider readers to head over to Blizzard MVP Eldacar's thread asking for PvP feedback over on the official forums, and it got me thinking about what I would love to see from PvP in Mists of Pandaria.
Now, I'm excited about the upcoming changes that Blizzard is talking about; you've no doubt seen the information over on Battle.net. Resilience as a baseline stat sounds pretty great to me and will make PvP at lower-level brackets a bit more fun, but I'm curious to see how Blizzard's going to scale it within those brackets. If it scales with level, then a level 64 is going to have an even easier time beating up a level 60 and basically being a one-toon killing machine. And this won't serve to help PvP at lower levels at all, although it will make entry into max-level PvP a lot easier.
And the new Battlegrounds look interesting, the proposed Valley of Power BG especially, because the premise is pretty simple. I don't think overcomplicated Battlegrounds that require complex player-environment interaction are the most fun. I prefer simple maps that place the emphasis on, you know, killing the opposite faction. There's a term for that, I'm sure ... Oh, yeah. PvP!
But I'm thinking big, ladies and gentlemen, really big -- Azerothian-moon-on-a-stick big. Now, a brief disclaimer: This is fantasy from the deranged mind of an Englishwoman and certainly not a scoop of exciting early news. I'm just throwing this out there!
So, what do I want to see?
Leveling via PvP
This is an area where I'd love to see huge changes. Bashiok said the following in November of 2011 regarding the patch 4.3 changes to conquest points:
This notion of approaching the content how you want to is something I'd really like to see taken up in a big way as far as PvP goes. I want to see leveling via PvP taken from being something that only dedicated, incredibly patient and marginally insane people do to being something that's on a par with questing and even -- although this is possibly a little too crazy -- the Dungeon Finder.
I was intending to write a guide to PvP leveling, but while carrying out the research, it occurred to me not only how hard it is to level via PvP but how hard it is to level predictably. This is something I'd love to see changed.
Are you experienced?
For a start, I want more transparency about XP gains from Battlegrounds. It seems from testing that a Battleground loss or draw will award around 5% XP -- that is to say, if you go in with around 10% of your total XP requirement to level up, you'll come out with around 15%. Some Battlegrounds will award you more, some less, but 5% seems a reasonable mean. This is very low for something that could take up 30 minutes of your time. So, let's up the XP gain from longer games and issue a base block of XP to the first seven wins per week -- just like dungeons do.
Battleground wins are a whole different matter. A fast win in a small battleground like Warsong Gulch will award around the 17% mark, apparently depending on whether you're rested, whether it's your first win that day, and how long that win took you. You also get XP from capturing flags, being in the vicinity of a captured flag, and so on. A win in the dreaded Alterac Valley could award up to 26% -- this is the highest XP gain I've ever received from a Battleground, and I was there for all the deaths of all the opposite faction's relevant people and various captures in what was a very drawn-out match lasting almost to the timer. I was a level 62 warlock with rested XP in a level 25 guild and wearing full heirlooms. I'm not sure how much of this information is relevant, but I suspect from research that level and rested XP are the big factors.
What else? Well, I want Battleground quests, like you see in dungeons. And I don't want to have to pick flowers or collect gnoll hearts or something; I want to have to (honorably) kill five priests or five draenei or something along those lines. And I want them repeated by Battleground bracket. I want the quest givers in the holding pen at the start of the Battleground, just like in dungeons. I don't want short-distance FedEx quests that require me to run around the village near my faction base (like in Alterac Valley) when I could be making with the stabby. I want a bit more time added after the Battleground ends to hand those quests in.
I want those quests to award not only XP on par with dungeon quests, but I want resilience gear that's level-appropriate and upgrades by bracket. I also want resilience gear to be more easily obtained at lower levels, although I think the resilience changes I mention above may help with this if they're done thoughtfully. I want leveling quests to pop PvP ones into the mix somewhere, ones that send you to Battlegrounds just like some send you to dungeons now. I'm aware of a few quests that do this already, such as those in Hellfire Peninsula, but in all honesty, on my main server there's precious little PvP taking place in Outland. Send levelling characters into Battlegrounds with orders to take out a tauren ... or a night elf. They're so smug with those backflips.
Once you're at the top
So, I've talked a lot about PvP leveling and my thoughts on that. What about PvP at max level? I have actually enjoyed PvP this season a great deal, with some minor exceptions, so my criticisms are fairly limited. However, I do still have some.
In random Battlegrounds, I'd love to see some kind of matchmaking happening. Gear disparity in groups can make for very frustrating games if your faction happens by chance to be the one in all crafted blue gear while the opposite faction is all in full Cataclysmic purples. I'd also like to see something done to mitigate the possibility of premade groups taking on completely random groups -- perhaps something like Luck of the Draw.
Also, some kind of role balancing. If players intending to heal could queue as healers, a system could be put in place to try and ensure that there are even numbers of both on each side. I wouldn't, however, support a Dungeon-Finder-esque requirement for healers/DPS, as that would no doubt lengthen queue times for DPS. And if we're talking real moon-on-a-stick territory, I'd love it to be set up so that one team wasn't nine rogues and one priest (or, at level 19, eight hunters, a rogue, and one confused shaman!). Maybe some kind of work could be done towards balancing DPS and health across classes at lower levels, too.
Of course, anything that is viable to beat the bots would also be fantastic.
Into the Arena
I have been having a big internal debate about this, so I'm throwing it out there to the readership to see what you think. If you're playing 2v2, and team A has killed one member of team B but can't take down the second player, and the match times out, should team A win? Or should it remain a draw, as it is now? I can see that winning a 2v2 should be done by killing both of the opposing team's players, but on the other hand, surely being one player down should result in a loss? What do you think?
I agree with Eldacar when he says that CC has got a bit out of control, especially with burst damage having made quite the resurgence toward the end of the expansion. It is hugely frustrating being chain CCed in the open, and of course, it is avoidable, but spammable CC like Polymorph or Cyclone is incredibly frustrating sometimes (especially Cyclone, as it is not dispellable).
And speaking of burst damage, this was a lot better this expansion than last, bar a few little glitches, but I still don't think it's OK that certain classes can burst targets down in a few globals. That is a return to the latter days of the last expansion, and not a welcome one! Resilience maybe needs to scale with burst a bit better. And perhaps certain PvE items' effects should be removed from PvP, like the Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest proc.
So that's my PvP wish list so far. I'd love to hear what you think, what you'd add and what you might take away.
Do you want to capture flags, invade cities, attack towers, and dominate the enemy for your faction? Do you dream of riding your War Bear with pride? We'll steer you to victory with secrets of Battlegrounds and Arena, prepping you with proven addons and keybindings that win! Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.