Warcraft PvP in Legion Not Looking Good

legion pvp bad

Update: Blizzard has given some clarification. You can check out my update here.

Blizzard May Have Already Shattered My Dreams For Legion

I have always thought World of Warcraft had the best PvP ecosystem. In fact, Warcraft PvP is where it all began. I can remember the exact moment I discovered my love for it. I decided to check out what battlegrounds were all about for the first time. Up pops Warsong Gulch.

The horn. The gates. CHARGE! FOR THE ALLIANCE!  AAAAAAAAAH!

No idea what I was doing, I ran to the middle. ATTACK!

ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK! ATT– dead.

I released, I was in the graveyard, waiting on the rez timer.

My hands were SHAKING. This was freakING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

That’s all she wrote kids. When the PvP ranks first came out, I disappeared from my guild for three months to get as high as I could. My PvP addiction was born, and it was battlegrounds, world PvP, and Arenas for the next 6+ years.

Remembering that moment so vividly is what makes what I have to share with you so sad.

Blizzard Is Regressing It’s PvP Design

I have always seen World of Warcraft development as moving forward. Single server PvP queues to multiserver queues, dynamic questing that changes the landscape with your progress, and now shared realms where you can group up with any friend on any server. Well, in a recent post to the Dev Watercooler series, they mention two huge changes to PvP that are not only backwards-thinking, but shocking. These changes are to how gear is obtained and what stats you can get on that gear.

RNG Gear Drops

Gear is now going to drop randomly at the conclusion of your PvP battleground or Arena. You could get the same gear twice, or even five times. SWTOR had this mechanic initially back in 2012. People absolutely HATED it, so it was changed in their first major PvP update. Blizzard states that they want the same emotional highs and lows PvE players get while obtaining their gear. PvP and PvE have always been, and always will be, two different experiences.  They are completely opposing styles of gameplay, so why would you try to reward players the same way? Some people like working for a paycheck every two weeks, some people like getting paid through commission, others like contract work. It’s different kinds of pay for different kinds of work. Unfortunately, this is the lesser of these two evils.

Gear Disparity Among Players

Back in – I don’t know when – better ranked Arena players had better gear. It mystifies me to this day why you give better skilled players, better gear. In PvE you get better gear to defeat tougher challenges. In PvP, if you’re the top dog, there is no tougher challenger. Luckily, World of Warcraft went away from this absurd mechanic. In PvP, everyone has the same gear. Skill now determines the better player, not gear. Until Legion hits, that is. Blizzard is re-instituting this archaic practice. This is the change that really hurts the most. I could live with RNG, but now if I don’t rank high early in the season, everyone above me is going to have better gear than me. It’s an uphill battle for anyone who can’t do Arenas/Ranked BGs non-stop, for hours on end every day.

The Reaction From Players

Whenever I disagree with a development direction, I always wonder if maybe it’s just me. I’m definitely not, and my followers are LEGION. 782 comments currently sit on the article, more than 30 of which were added while I was writing this. More than two weeks later and it’s STILL getting attention. By and large, the vast majority of players commenting do not want these changes. Perhaps this is just the vocal minority though right? Well let’s take a look at who likes the changes. Facebook likes currently sit at 29. Again, this is after two weeks. Let’s compare this to something pretty tame. The Warcraft movie posts wouldn’t really be fair because I think we all collectively are excited about that. Let’s take the pretty boring post on Extended Draw Distance coming to the game posted not a week ago yet. That has 40 Facebook likes already. There’s 135 comments, which I am not even going to check. More people are excited to see further in game, than they are about the upcoming PvP changes. That’s sad. Really, really sad.

pvp flag

4 Comments

  1. I know this post is a little old, but I have a few things to say!

    Yes. PvP gear is now RNG and comes from boxes (like the lower level PvP gear did in WoD) & I like that. It mirrors the way that bosses drop loot in raids and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I’ve never heard of PvE players complaining that they don’t get to save their PvE points and buy their end-game raid gear. I understand it can be frustrating to potentially get a piece that you don’t need, but I think it’s perfectly ok because it maintains an incentive to keep playing. In the past, your “gear progression,” if you will, has followed a schedule. Every Tuesday, you’ve earned points and you go to spend them (if you have enough), and I really didn’t like that system very much. I’m kind of glad it’s not going to be, “well in 2 weeks I will have enough points to buy X” anymore!

    I’m also completely baffled by what the author says about “Gear Disparity Among Players.” I actually think he knows nothing about how gear works in PvP now. Yes, it is true that the higher gear you already have, the higher gear you’re likely to get out of boxes; that’s part of the change. It wouldn’t make any sense for your 830 ilvl character to continue to get 810 ilvl loot from boxes. It creates a “progression” so that you continue to get better gear the more you play. BUT this article fails to mention how gear/stats work in pvp now:
    When you enter an arena or battleground your stats become equalized and you’re given a base set of stats for your class/spec. (Pretty sure Duals and wPvP don’t work this way, just as a side note). For example, as a rogue, when I go into a BG I have, say, 50% crit, regardless of whether I have 10% or 80% crit out in the world. However, every 10 points your average ilvl is over 800, you get 1% extra stats. (If you hit L110 right now, you probably have ~800 ilvl). If you’re doing thee toughest of the tough end-game content and you have literally the highest ilvl gear in every slot on your character, you will have 860 ilvl. That’s a 6% increase in stats. So if the rogue base-stats include 50% crit, that means that my Best-Gear-In-The-Game character with 860 ilvl has 56% crit in a BG/arena. That’s like….nothing. That’s only 6% more crit, 6% more haste, 6% more mastery, etc. So the statement “if I don’t rank high early in the season, everyone above me is going to have better gear than me. It’s an uphill battle for anyone who can’t do Arenas/Ranked BGs non-stop, for hours on end every day” is just bogus. It’s an uphill battle cuz your opponent has 6% better stats than you? If you truly want “Skill to determine the better player, not gear,” then you should have absolutely no complaints about the changes.

    The whole goal of these changes is to make PvP not such a daunting task to GET IN to. To illustrate the point: If I’m a PvE player in WoD and I have my raid gear and stuff and I walk into a BG, I get my ass handed to me. Not necessarily cuz I don’t have PvP skills (though that’s probably a big factor), but because PvP gear in WoD scaled up in BG/arena! (700/710 ilvl gear became 730/740 in BG/arena, etc). So with my end-game raid content @ 700/710 fighting 730/740 people, it was like an incredible disparity in stats. However, NOW, when I walk into a BG/arena as a PvE player with my 850 ilvl, I have 5% more than the base stats and I’m competent to at least as far as my skill level will take me. For this purpose, these changes are very functional and make a lot of sense. And keep in mind – that’s only 5% more base stats than a fresh-off-the-boat L110 with only 800 ilvl, not a PvP player who’s doing PvP world quests, BGs, and Arenas and has 820-830 ilvl. In this case, it would only be 2-3% stat difference! It’s seriously nothing to throw a fit about.

    • Hello! You missed the notice at the top of the article, and my response to the person posting above you. There’s an update to this article that I recommend you check out. I’d like to address something you said though:

      “I actually think he knows nothing about how gear works in PvP now.”

      When I wrote this article, NOBODY knew how PvP gear would work. Not to mention this is a needlessly rude statement. You’ve soured my first impression because you rushed to respond without reading the entire article. That’s unfortunate because we can’t have a good, well informed discussion. It kinda feels like you’re just here looking for an opportunity to troll me.

      Also:

      “Every Tuesday, you’ve earned points and you go to spend them (if you have enough), and I really didn’t like that system very much.”

      The system hasn’t worked like that for years. I’m not sure when you PvPed last, but I’d suggest taking the time to do a little research before you offer an opinion based on outdated information.

  2. Extended draw distance is a big deal because it affects all players. The visual eye candy – what we see – is part of how we interact with the game world on a constant basis, influencing EVERYONE’s overall experience and immersion. On the other hand, PvP is a section of the game that only appeals to a portion of the game’s fanbase, so it’s logical why people are more excited about extended draw distance in general.

    Equalizing gear is the best thing they’ve ever done to PvP. PvP should first and foremost be about skill, and by equalizing stats, it will enable the team to balance better than they have ever before. Don’t go by 100. Let’s wait and see what PvP is like at 110 – a month or two after release so things have settled down – before we go jumping to conclusions.

Feel like adding something?