Tag Archives: pvp

Max Level PvP

8 Jul

I’ve written several posts in the past about lowbie pvp and twinking and things like that. There’s been a big discussion on twitter this morning about max-level pvp, and I mentioned that none of my max-level toons have any pvp gear. This seemed a bit strange to me, considering my recent spazzmoid of lowbie pvp posts lately, so I sat for a bit and thought about *why* i didn’t get into capped pvp.

I actually tried to get into pvp on my druid back in Wrath. It was the end of the expansion, and while we were still actively raiding, we had ICC on farm and were mostly going back for achievements like Ulduar drakes and things of that nature. So, in my downtime between raids, I decided to go into BGs to see what that was like. Sure, I didn’t have any pvp gear, but i was a damn good geared tank, and I felt like I could be pretty survivable like that, meanwhile going into kitty and doing some pretty good damage (because agility conversions for ferals are win). And I did okay. I wasn’t spectacular, and I *definitely* wasn’t topping charts for KBs/HKs/Damage or anything of that nature, but I did… modestly well. I also found out that I absolutely LOVE Strand of the Ancients… but that’s beside the point.

To me, the problem with getting into max level pvp has always been the gating system. You need pvp gear to perform well in pvp. You *could* argue that the same is true for pve (whether it be heroics or raiding or whatever), and you would be right, but the gating system is a lot more severe into pvp than it is to pve. Let me put this another way. When you first ding 85 on your toon, if you want to go the PvE path, you’ve already got a bit of JP saved up (most likely) from doing 5 man randoms, and probably some halfway-decent dungeon gear. You may or may not be able to get into level 85 heroics as soon as you ding, but if you CAN’T, then it’s a pretty easy fix. Run a couple more regulars hoping for good drops, or go buy some BoEs off of the auction house. You then run heroics for Valor points and heroic drops, working your way into LFR level, which you run for LFR-raid drops, and take THOSE into normal raids (some people can bypass the LFR altogether, if their raid team isn’t overly picky. It just depends I suppose).

So that progression looks something like: Ding 85 > Normal 5-mans > Heroics 5-mans > LFR (optional) > Raiding

Now, let’s take this SAME fresh 85, and decide we want to pvp with him instead. Naturally, your first instinct is to just queue into BGs and run them until your head falls off. Or you get enough Honor/Conquest for some good gear, whichever comes first (to me, they’re almost parallel). You may be able to buy some BoEs off of the AH for some blue 372 (i think?) ilvl crafted pvp gear, and you may convert some of your saved up JP from running dungeons to honor (AT A LOSS mind you) to buy a piece or two of gear. Hell, you may even have some honor saved up from just doing BGs at the lower level queues, so you might be able to get yourself a good 3-4 pieces between honor, jp converted to honor, and boe crafted shit on the AH. So you step into your first BG with your horridly mismatched gear.

Now here’s where the roads start to pull apart, pretty heavily. See, the pve person knows what he’s getting into. He’s facing a normal/heroic 5-man boss, which is attuned to right around his gear level. The pvp person, on the other hand, has NO CLUE what he would be getting into when he steps into that bg. He may run across a couple other people who are similarly geared, but at the same time he may run into a raid-boss equivalent DK with full Cataclysmic Gladiator gear, and the top weapon from Dragon Soul raid, who will basically laugh at your attempts to stab/shoot/cast him, and blow you up like an old M-80. So your pvp toon needs to deal with all difficulties, gear levels, and all kinds of shit running the gamut from other fresh 85s to arena masters, and in doing so, scraping up enough honor for himself in between massive amounts of dying to buy himself some pvp gear and eventually stepping into arenas or rated BGs.

So the pvp progression looks something like: Ding 85 > Run BGs > Run moar BGs > Arenas = Rated BGs.

Are you starting to see the discrepancy here? Your pve 85 can’t step into Dragon Soul and expect to meaningfully contribute, but you also won’t be seeing Ultraxion when you queue up for Heroic SFK either. Conversely, your pvp 85 can’t step into any BGs and expect to meaningfully contribute, but there’s a VERY real chance that you WILL see an arena-geared individual… or several. Hell, if you’re really unlucky, you’ll step in and face a full on premade and at this point you might as well just expect to get blown up a lot and hope you can take a few of them down for some honor until they decide to win.

Blizzard has tried, and probably will continue to try, to make gating into PvP less and less painful, and to a point i’m sure they WILL succeed, but it’s always going to be the same way, because there is no logical “pre-heroic” step. The best way to get pvp gear is to just jump in and pvp, and get kicked around a lot until you can scrape together enough points to buy stuff that make you effective. It’s kind of a flawed system, and honestly I don’t have any legitimate way to fix it. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that just any shmuck should be able to dive right into BGs at level cap and be able to own face the minute they hit 85, but I do feel like there should be another step *somewhere* in there, that doesn’t require saving up 4k honor, and 4k jp (to convert to MORE honor) before you ding 85. It’s a punishing system, and that’s mainly why I don’t get into pvp at max level.

Lowbie PvP – Take 2

25 Jun

I’ve been spending a lot of time in lowbie battlegrounds on various toons. You may remember a few months back when I mentioned that I was twinking in BGs with a friend of mine on the horde side. Well, that ended up not lasting too much longer, sadly. I kinda lost interest in WoW for a while, and then I got back into it with other things in mind. You may also remember that I mentioned about a year ago that I levelled a warlock strictly through pvp a good chunk of the ways. (I would link the post, but damned if I remember WHEN it was, or what I might’ve titled it)  Since i’m not made of money, I only took 2 toons with me to Rexxar, and everything else is kinda getting shunted to the side. I may eventually bring another toon over, but right now I don’t have any plans to do so.

Before the server move was complete, I found myself levelling a hunter almost unexpectedly. Initially it was just a toon to check out Rexxar and see what it’s people were like, but I found myself really enjoying it. A wild hair crossed my brain and next thing I know, I am level  70 and XP locking him for some still-unknown reason and taking him into battlegrounds to see how I would fare (not well, I should say).

See, here’s a dirty little secret folks… I kinda like PvP.

Now i’m not a fan of world pvp, and I am still 110% in support of our move to a non-pvp realm. Ganking while questing and being attacked by someone in excess of 50 levels above me is not my idea of a good time. Blizz is trying to make world pvp MORE of a thing by putting in dismounting weapons and lowering the levels of city guards on pvp realms, and that’s just not for me. But battlegrounds? Controlled chaos, as it were… well NOW we’re talking.

I think I picked the hunter, at the start, because I know they can be pretty damn devastating at low levels. But then, level 70 is NOT “low level” anymore really. It didn’t take long before I had a full set of Brutal Gladiator pvp gear on my hunter (minus weapon and a couple offset pieces) and then I was in the battlegrounds… doing absolute bupkiss. I felt like a waste of space, even in spite of my gear. Well, that was frustrating. It wasn’t fun for me. I know i was CAPABLE of having fun in BGs, and my fun isn’t even always dependent on me being top of the leaderboard (although, I will freely admit, that DOES make things better.)

There was a little nagging coming from the back of my something-I-couldn’t-pin-down. And then it happened. That masterful wordsmith sonofabitch Cynwise made a short (for him) post on his tumblr. After reading this, I could finally pinpoint where that nagging came from… It was one of my (many) toons back on Azgalor that I had levelled some time ago, and gave up on shortly after hitting 85, Reloran my warlock. See, as I mentioned earlier, this guy was levelled up mostly through PvP. Well… all told it was about half and half. He made it up until somewhere close to the Outlands levels (I think I gave up PvP on him somewhere around 55) almost exclusively through BGs. That was by far one of the most fun levelling experiences I have *ever* had.

After reading, and re-reading Cyn’s post, that nagging in the back of my brain got louder and more persistent. “Remember how much fun you had doing those BGs?” “Remember how AWESOME it felt when you got your Wrecking Ball achieve? Or when you crossed 5000 HKs? Remember how much FUN you had just being a little ball of CHAOS out there, fearbombing, peeling, nuking, dotting, being generally underestimated and wreaking havoc across the levelling brackets?”

I do remember. I remember it fondly. And thus, Crakelbur was born, and I have been having a BLAST with him (although I do kinda wish I had gone with human again instead of gnome, but alas). Right now, he’s sitting at level 18, and it is officially too late for me to reroll him because he just crossed a pretty big threshold.

1000 Little Indians, lying at my feetI know 1000 isn’t all that big in the grand scheme of things, but for someone who is decidedly NOT a big PvP’er, it’s a pretty big deal.

Never thought I would see the day

27 Feb

So I have started a new project for my down times, and if you follow me on twitter, you’ve probably heard me discussing it some.

Be afraid...

Meet Skulrazz, a level 24 goblin rogue (although, at the time of that screenshot he was probably about level 6).

Scary, isn’t he? I have to admit, i’ve dabbled on horde side here and there. I even levelled a belf pally all the way up to 80 back in Wrath (a few months before I got back into the raiding game), and then proceeded to server/faction transfer (and sex change) him (now her). I didn’t, however, pick horde for this toon completely arbitrarily as I have done in the past. See, a few days ago there had been a lot of buzz about low level twinks, and a friend of mine, Icedragon, has spent large amounts of time in gigglefits over the level 20-24 twink bracket. This is mostly because everybody who does wow’s F2P accounts ends up locked at level 20, and when they queue for battlegrounds, they get thrown into the experience-locked bracket. So, anybody with a paid account, and a mind to do so, can level a character up to 24 and willingly lock themselves into that same bracket, with a modest 4 level advantage. 4 levels, at that point, grants a modicum of health, 2 talent points, and at *least* one extra abilities over everyone else. Also, it grants you access to some better gear that is common for twinking. After spending some time arguing with myself about the benefits of twinking, I created Skulrazz, the goblin rogue. Together, myself and Icedragon’s hunter Sternum, combined with the miracle of Real ID battlegrounds and Twitter Mumble, have cut a swath of devastation across the alliance twinks… and had quite a few laughs (read: gigglefits) in the process.

Sometime in the near future, you can probably expect to see fraps’d videos, or possibly even livestreams of this happening in real time. To be sure, it’ll be *epically hilarious*. Once we get a livestream going, or any recorded videos posted, I will be sure to link them in here.

In other news, my guild has successfully put Deathwing to bed something like 4 times in a row now, and it’s starting to feel like Blizzard just kind of phoned in this raid. I don’t mean in a sense of difficulty (although I do feel it was a bit lacking in that department too… at least as far as the normal modes go, but that’s a COMPLETELY different topic.), but as far as the story goes. I am going to quote Derevka, from Tales of a Priest, who captured my sentiment on “caring about killing Deathwing” much better than I ever could:

I will admit, I entered this final tier not caring who Deathwing was. Yeah, he made Stormwind’s front gates crumble, and the structures between the Mage Quarter and the Docks are in cinders… but I didn’t care. I only chased him down at the launch of 4.0 to get my Achievement Points for being killed by him– Guild chat being spammed by “Deathwing is in Hyjal! Get to the zone if you need the Achievement!”. (Ironically, this was unnecessary as you got the achievement if you died to him during one of his encounters in DS). Blizzard, in my eyes, really fell short at making us feel engaged with Deathwing early on in 4.0. They should have made us want to kill him. Want to right the wrongs. Want to reset the balance with the other Dragon Aspects…

And when I was trying to remember just WHO said that, I was discussing it on twitter, and Rades at Orcish Army Knife put it far more succinctly as well. “Yeah, Cata DW was nothing more than a Godzilla. No personality, motivation, or empathy.”

And that’s what I felt. I didn’t feel any drive or determination to kill Deathwing other than just another raid boss to kill for lewts. Call my a cynic, but there it is. After having killed him 3 or 4 times in normal, I can safely say that I feel no differently. Now, in contrast, Derevka *did* go on to say how actually being IN the Dragon Soul raid had helped change his mind, in that the NPCs (Thrall and the dragon aspects) conveyed a sense of urgency quite well, and to a point I agree. However, I feel this sense of urgency should have been building from 4.1 onward. I felt far more drive to kill Cho’gall in Bastion of Twilight than I ever have to kill Deathwing… Personally, I think Cho’gall could have made a *fantastic* end boss as well, because there certainly seemed to be a lot more early development from him (as well as the pre-shattering events pointed towards him a lot more).

It really matters little what my opinion is, in the grand scheme of things, so I won’t spend any more time spouting my hot air about the topic. In the end, I will continue to play WoW because they DO have some amazing storylines, and where one falls short, another one is hiding in the background waiting to take your breath away. Sometimes that is just the way of things.