Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Low-level BGs

I’m currently playing warlock BG-PvP at level 40 in WoW. And I love it.

And that’s a surprise because these BGs are terribly unbalanced – and certainly not in favor of warlocks. My warlock has about 4k life right now. Def-warriors do up to 3800 crit-hits on players(!) with their shields! While my soulfire, a 4 second cast during which I need to stand still - does about 500 if I am lucky.

At the same time warriors have significant self healing and easily 5k health - I have seen some with 7k+. A warrior is – without superstition – a boss monster. And I love fighting them. Of course I can’t do this on my own. I need other players to help. Unless the warrior charges me and one-hits me, which does happen, I can help my team by chain-fearing, demon-stunning or death-coiling him when I feel that other players (especially my team’s warriors) are ready for their burst.
And it’s a massive amount of fun – for me – and, actually, also for the warriors, I am sure!

My first point: Forget balancing in PvP. Unless one class starts to be played by a majority of the players it’s just not a problem for the game because PvP can still be lots of fun.

My second point: Don’t give players so many abilities. I love playing level 25-45 BGs in WoW because you have lots of time to observe the battle and don’t have to look at your UI all the time. And the tactics of the battle provide so many interesting decisions that I almost never become bored.

My third point: Don’t professionalize PvP! Once again I agree with Keen. I’m not a fan of rated BGs because they are too .. boring. While I absolutely love meeting players again – which does happen in low-level PvP in WoW! – I don’t want to play professionally.

I also enjoy playing Badminton for many years by now. On several occasions I have been asked to join a team. I did this once but quit soon after. Some things are best enjoyed as an amateur even if you spend many, many hours playing. Improving when you feel like it, is sometimes more fun than the pressure to be as competitive as possible.

And, more importantly, very few games have the strategic depth to be lots of fun after min-maxing. But often this isn't a problem unless the developers make it one by pushing the players towards professionalism.


  1. > Don’t give players so many abilities.

    After playing GW2 for some time I do not agree. Combat is incredible boring if all you have is 3 PvE abilities on your weapon (and 2 are probably PvP which you don't use in PvE).

    1. I guess that's really too few abilities. I'd guess about some 5 frequent abilities + some 5 less frequent + 5 rarely used abilities is about right.

  2. I couldn't agree more..The most fun I had from pvp was in late vanilla wow bgs with no resillience and completely unbalance pvp. Enemies could one-shot me, I could one-shot enemies and that was all. And of course the abilities was not too few and not too many.

    Then the whole pvp became about 20-30 min arena matches and cc-cc-cc-cc-cc-cc-cc-cc-cc-cc-cc and forgot to say cc.

  3. A good deal of my three months in WoW was spent playing a then-mid-level Warlock in Battlegrounds. I loved it too. I also loved playing my Hunter in BGs all the way up to 70 or so, which was when I decided I'd had enough WoW.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed playing a whole range of classes in T1 and T2 scenarios in Warhammer, several sub-50 souls in Rift Warfronts and my Necro and Beastlord level-locked at 39 in EQ2 Battelgrounds before they changed the rules and then throughout their leveling thereafter.

    At the cap, when everyone begins to take themselves seriously and it starts to become all about gear and/or rank progression, all the fun just drains out of the whole experience. Low/mid level battlegrounds are where it's at. And yes, class balance is totally irrelevant in most circumstances. The odd extreme case may need tweaking but that's it.

  4. Nils you keep forgetting that the ONLY QQ there is out there regards only the pvp content.
    They are simply the only negative vocal part of the community (in general not in wow specifically).

    Yes there maybe some extreme cases where pve players become vocal but even then the majority of the grief goes towards pvp related activities (one case comes to mind regarding warrior juggernaut talent being nerfed for pvp reasons that ultimately affected pve fun as well).

    I really think it's THAT hard for the developer to weigh things right and ignore forums AND press (especially the later).

    Ultimately pvp was indeed serious fun back in the old days mainly due to lack of professionalism and that most people felt no pressure doing it. I just think nowadays if balance is ignored the consequences are not entirely predictable and definitely not risk free...