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Should free-for-all PvP be applied to battlegrounds?

Anne Stickney

Yesterday, I finished gathering valor points for Wrathion, and moved on to the next step of the legendary chain. Unfortunately, this included winning two battlegrounds. I say unfortunately because while I enjoyed PvP back in the days of vanilla and Burning Crusade, I really haven't focused on PvP all that much since then. In fact, other than some excursions into Wintergrasp and Tol Barad, I tend to avoid it altogether.

It's not that I don't enjoy PvP, honestly -- it's that I know, deep down in my heart, that I'm not terribly good at it. So I stay out of the battlegrounds and let those that know what they are doing excel at it. But last night's excursion into the Temple of Kotmogu and the Silvershard Mines were eye-opening, to say the least. Temple of Kotmogu was an incredibly fun frenzy of grabbing orbs and killing players, and escorting carts in the Silvershard Mines was pretty entertaining, too.

Still, sometimes I miss the days where PvP was all about killing other players. It turns out, I'm not alone.

Should freeforall PvP be applied to battlegrounds
Big Bear Butt made a post the other day that mentioned reading about the new PvP quests and zone in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Unlike the battlegrounds we have in WoW, the new zone is a free-for-all area -- meaning you can attack anyone. Including groups of your own faction. Or, you know, your friends and guildmates. World of Warcraft has always had that faction barrier there -- sure, you can kill Horde if you're Alliance, but you can't kill Alliance. After all, they're on your team! Big Bear Butt wondered if this would be something that could work for WoW, too.

In fact, there's already something very much like it in game already. Both the Gurubashi Arena and the Darkmoon Faire cage match allow players to attack anyone, regardless of faction. But there's no real battleground with that mechanic in place. Instead, we're set into teams, and those teams are set against each other. And the more Big Bear Butt talked about the possibility of a whole battleground centered around this free-for-all idea, the more entertaining it sounded.

He did give a specific, plausible example of something that could work -- taking the part of mercenaries recruited as a team, intent on hunting priceless artifacts and claiming them before anyone else could. In that case, because we're all playing the part of mercenaries, fighting teams made up of your own faction would actually be plausible. Get to the treasure and claim it first, and you win.

Should freeforall PvP be applied to battlegrounds
But I'm curious if it would be more fun to take it a step or two further. Patch 5.2 is introducing solo scenarios where players can nab treasure and other goodies while making their way through a mogu vault. The idea sounds ridiculously fun, and the thought of having some solo challenges thrown in the mix with everything else is pretty good. What if the same idea were implemented into a free-for-all PvP battleground?

Solo PvP is a nuisance, and it's nice to have teammates around. So what if instead of two teams of 15 fighting in a battleground, you had five teams of three players each? The object being to get to the treasure first, but offer a multitude of different paths you could take to get to it? Heck, if you wanted to make it really interesting, throw in some active environment that you could click to help keep other players out of the way -- cause a rockslide, cut a bridge, force the other teams to take an alternate path.

A race, yes, but a PvP race, one that had several different options for getting to that treasure first, and allowed free-for-all PvP at its finest. I really liked both the enthusiasm and the ideas in that post by Big Bear Butt, and I recommend giving it a read -- it made me really think about battlegrounds and their future for the first time in years. What do you think the future is for battlegrounds? What kind of things would you like to see implemented? Do you think a free-for-all battleground would be ridiculous amounts of fun, or a nightmare? And if such a battleground existed, would you give it a play? Let's hear it!

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