WoW PvP: crowd control gone wild

WoW Arena.

I’ve been spending a good bit of my game time playing World of Warcraft and I’ve been enjoying the expansion so far. Yes, it is more of the same, but my favorite class (hunter) has been reworked and feels like he did in early BC when I learned to love him. It’s been good to see Blizzard speed up some of the more tedious aspects of the game, and it’s nice having populated worlds again.

My main focus in the game now is PvP. I did the raiding thing for a while, but I just don’t have those big chunks of time to put toward a single dungeon any more. I want to jump in some BGs, go work on my Archaeology, go bleed some gold from the auction house, and work on my professions in a play session. PvP is a lot more conducive to that. PvP in WoW has always disappointed me a bit. There are just too many different skills to worry about from the different classes, and without thorough study, it can be tough to know what happened to you in a fight. I often find myself looking at the combat log (a feature League of Legends desperately needs) and then googling the various effects to see what the hell they are.

The biggest problem, though, is CC. Crowd Control in WoW is one of the worst active game systems on the market today. It is entirely plausible that you will be unable to control your character for stretches as long as 30 seconds, during which you will most definitely die. Blizzard woefully tries to address this with diminishing returns, but those returns are player specific, so you can get chain-disabled by a group of 2-3 players without them incurring much penalty.

There are a lot of good ideas out there for fixing this, but I thought I’d share my own variation, from a post on the Battleground forums:

The CC in WoW always brings me back to a simple game design principle: is the anti-fun generated by the mechanic greater than the fun generated by the mechanic. The answer is overwhelmingly yes.

Someone in the thread mentioned that the goal of WoW PvP is to deny your opponent the ability to fight instead of outfighting them. It’s unfortunately true, and again, really not fun for either side. Do I get a sense of accomplishment when I kill a target that doesn’t move and I just shred away for 15 seconds? No. And the guy getting killed is obviously having very little fun. Loss of character control will always be a crap mechanic for the receiving player. The fact that it can last as long as 20-30 seconds (with disables from a couple toons) is just absurd.

To all the people saying the equivalent to “get cleansed bro,” players don’t always have a cleanse nearby, and suggesting they should get one doesn’t at all address the problem. Nerf the CCs, and nerf cleanse with them so it doesn’t get to the point that you can’t lock that warrior down.

A [global diminishing returns system] would be awesome, but I’d also love to see some system where CC breaks when you take some percentage of your health in damage – let’s say 10 percent for the sake of argument. You get stunned, as soon as your health is reduced by 10 percent of it’s max, the CC breaks and you become immune for X amount of time. I say reduced because heals could prolong it – this would hopefully remind people to kill the damn healer. Fights would have so much more back and forth and be infinitely more interesting. It would also rightly encourage people to use CCs against their off-target for spell interrupts. Put that kind of system with a GDR and PvP is instantly more interesting. You’d probably have to move the damage/healing slider a bit, but any change would require some across the board tweaking.

Even though WoW is the rampaging juggernaut of the video game world, it could learn a lot from burgeoning fields, like the MOBA world. I’ll let you know how it feels when I have a couple hundred games under my belt, but for now I feel like I’m either getting disabled to death or doing the disabling. It’s not very often that I’m hitting someone who’s hitting me back.


All Roads Return to WoW: Kicking off a PvP set

Moonkin druid.I’ve transferred back to my original server and finally convinced a friend to do the same. We’re going to be starting up an arena team over the next couple weeks, so I’ve been working on kickstarting my PvP set. If you’ve just hit 80, there are a couple things to consider.

First, you can get really nice PvP stuff with heroic badges. Playing a tank means I have free badges whenever I want them, pretty much as fast as I can get them. That’s a good thing, especially because the gear is more expensive than the T9 set pieces. You can also considering using some badges to get trinkets for your DPS spec or healing spec if you’ve been doing something other than that in the heroic runs. Heroics also get you lots and lots of Stone Keeper’s Shards for picking up the cheap PvP gear from the Wintergrasp vendor.

Next, make sure you’re running Wintergrasp. I still think the design behind Wintergrasp is fairly crappy, and when I was just getting started I had no idea what I was doing. Frankly, I still don’t really know, but I try to contribute as best as I can. My time in LoL has actually given me better sensibility about when to fight and when to get out of dodge. Racking up your HKs in Wintergrasp gives you good honor and more importantly bonus WG marks, which you can redeem for some nice trinkets. I was shocked to find so many quests offering up honor when I first joined. I came out of my first WG with 35k honor and a few marks. I bought my set pants on the spot. Not a bad start.

The last thing I’ll have to start doing is dueling. Dueling is at the heart of PvP in WoW, and can actually be a lot of fun. It always helped me learn to manage my pet, my traps and my cooldowns when I was playing my hunter, and I’m hoping it can provide the same insight on the druid.

If you’re in the Stormstrike battlegroup, keep an eye out for “The Wugglers.” We’ll be wuggling fools from coast to coast.


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