Tuesday, April 29, 2014

3 Things I Would Like to See Addressed in PvP

In an effort to get back into the game some I've decided to do something I don't often do.  That means some PvP.  The last time I had made any attempt to PvP seriously was back in wrath and I even practiced often and had binds just for PvP.  I never got into it because no matter how hard I tried I lost.  I am alliance, it comes with the territory, you have to learn to deal with it.

Player versus player battle has a lot of "just deal with it" moments that you have to adjust to if you want to do it.  That is really where my issues come from.  Learning how to deal with it.  Yes, it is a personal problem but if I want to PvP I am going to need to accept what I can not change, so to speak.

Some things are easier than others to accept.  Other things I would like to see blizzard make a concentrated effort to fix because accepting them should not be necessary.  To anyone out there that has never PvPed the first thing you have to learn to accept is death.  Even if you are the best of the best you will die in PvP and die a lot.  If dying makes you throw a temper tantrum or makes your face turn red and smoke come out of your ears or makes you easily audacious or nervous or upset then you should not PvP.  It was the first thing I learned to accept.  It was not hard.  It has even gotten to the point where there are times in PvP when I die on purpose because it helps me in the long run.  Dying is not a bad thing some times and it happens a lot like it or not.  Once you learn to accept that you can move on and start trying to PvP. 

There is nothing blizzard can do about dying in PvP and there shouldn't need to be anything done about it.  It is part of the game.  But there are some things I am having issues with concerning PvP that I wish blizzard would do something about, or at least I wish I would be willing to accept them as easily as I accept that you will die.  Often.

Faction Imbalance:

I have read many blog posts by many skilled writers, talented investigators, experienced PvPers and over all observers about why there is a faction imbalance yet none of them have ever even come close to touching on the reason I believe there is an imbalance.  Sure, it is only my personal opinion, but being it is my opinion based on how I decided to choose a faction I can speak from the position of absolute fact.  The fact that at least one, most likely many many more, person or people has made this faction imbalance by choice.

When I first started playing (the second time around) and I wanted to really get into the game I looked up online about factions to try and see which one would fit me.  No matter where you go, including this blog and any other place that has ever written about PvP, you read how the horde dominate player vs player.

Being I come from, and really enjoy, single player RPGs I am not exactly into PvP.  So from reading all I did about the game it became abundantly clear that if you want to PvP roll horde, if you want to PvE roll alliance.  So a night elf hunter I would be.

I did not choose the alliance because I wanted to be the good guy.  I did not choose the alliance because I liked blue.  I did not choose the alliance because I wanted to be on the pretty faction.  I did not choose the alliance because I liked their story.  I did not choose the alliance for any reason other than I did not want to PvP and the horde are the PvP faction.

This is the reason for faction imbalance.  This is the reason why I can go 10 battlegrounds in a row without a win on a regular basis.  This is the reason that horde are just better at PvP.  Because they wanted to PvP.  Anyone that wants to do something is going to be better at it.

Not sure what blizzard can do about this to make things balance better.  They could give alliance races better specials but then all the serious PvPers will switch to alliance and the others will slowly follow suit over the years and then it will become an alliance dominated game.

Not much blizzard can do without upsetting the apple cart.  However, I did mention something in my random thoughts that I think has some serious potential.  Just give the individual player an incentive to keep queuing up when they lose instead of getting frustrated and quitting.  Buff them, buff them well, for each loss and sooner or later, if they stick to it, even the worst team will beat a good team through overwhelming buffs they received from getting their asses handed to them so often.

This would be the hardest thing for blizzard to fix and I don't suspect they even care to try to fix it.  They have already proven faction balance means nothing with server merges.  Instead of merging an alliance heavy server with a horde heavy server in an effort to balance them, they merge horde heavy with horde heavy to make it even worse for alliance, as well as the other way around.

So I need to learn to accept that by default I am on the side that loses, always loses, and being I have already learned to accept death maybe I can learn to accept losing.  Sorry, but I do not see that happening.  If I have no chance at winning I have no desire to play.  I am not about to go raid heroic SoO in a raid full of people in 430 quest gear that just hit 90 even if they are the greatest players in the world.  If I have no chance to win, I have no desire to try.  That is why faction imbalance is a problem.


I hate losing control of my character.  Probably more than anything else in the game.  It took a while for me to get used to death.  At first when I died I always thought it was something I did wrong.  That there was something I could have done better.  It was a learning experience.  And at some point it clicked to me, that is exactly what it is.  I started to accept death as something that happens and each time while I was waiting on the graveyard timer I would think about what I could have done better.  If I had trapped the priest or scattered the warrior or hid behind the tree, etc.  And I would go in there the next time knowing that while I might die I might also do a little better next time.

With loss of control there is nothing you can learn from it.  You are just at the mercy of what happens around you.  It is not a fun or enjoyable part of the game, unless you are the one doing it to someone else of course.  But one stun lock from a rogue and you are dead before you can move again or one 19 second fear from a lock where he continues to pound on you and the CC does not break and you are dead before the fear runs off.  What is fun about that?  What learning experiences can be gained from that?  It is not fun and there is nothing that can be learned from it.

I know they are making efforts to limit CC coming in warlords but they are not even touching the tip of the iceberg here.  A fear should not last 19 seconds and does not break on damage when my trap can only last 8 seconds at most and if I sneeze at my keyboard somehow it breaks?  How is that even possible.

And diminishing returns are a massive pile of horse shit.  There is no such thing.  I've been chain feared for over a minute yet when I am on my lock and cast fear on someone I get immune 90% of the time.  It is all luck, to which I have none.

Control needs to be fixed, really fixed in warlords.  Just like I learned to deal with death I can learn to deal with control but as long as there is something to learn from it.  If a fear lasted 2 seconds with a 30 second cooldown, you can learn from it when it lasts 19 seconds you can't.

They need to rethink control to fix more of a diablo approach where things last for 1 second, 2 seconds and maybe, just maybe, 2 and a half seconds if you are talented into it.  PvP is about fighting.  Casting fear and killing someone is not fighting, it is the exact opposite of fighting.

Blizzard can fix this issue.  Do not remove CC, make it last for a much shorter time and have a longer cooldown and let people fight instead of sitting in a chain CC that could effectively last for 3 minutes.

My trap should freeze for 2 seconds, max.  A fear should be for 2 seconds, max.  A poly or hex should transform for 2 seconds, max.  Make them all 1 second CCs and 2 seconds if talented.  There we go, we fixed CC.  It can be used to break the action and let you regroup.  2 seconds might not seem like a lot but it can be a lifetime.  And 2 seconds CCs can be learned to deal with, 19 seconds ones can not.

I should not have to learn to deal with this issue.  Blizzard can and should fix it.


The only thing more annoying that being feared for 19 seconds while you continue to get beat on is to spend the better part of a minute in an epic battle working down your opponent and finally getting the upper hand and just as he is about to go down 1 second later he is at full health.

Healing is out of control in PvP.  It can take you 20 seconds of full focus attacks to get someone near death it should not take 1 second to get them back to full.  Seriously.  Healing is out of control, it is a full on joke.

Yesterday I was at the blacksmith with a paladin healer when a rogue, a warrior and a shaman came charging in.  I completely man handled them, without PvP gear on, all thanks to a good healer and the ability to peel off him when needed.  He kept me up through CCs, through all three on me, through burst, through steady flow, and his mana never moved and he was never worried about losing me.

One competent healer is all you need if you can keep them protected.  An explosive for the knock back glyphed of course, a frost trap, freezing trap, binding shot, scatter shot, concussive shot, you name it, I gave my healer some room to breath and he kept me alive.

I thank him for that and he was my friend and on vent with me so that helped, but there is no way that one damage dealer, doing damage slowly because they are not wearing their PvP gear should be able to take out three PvP geared players even with the greatest healer that ever lived.

If it takes 20 seconds to get someone down to 10% it should take 20 seconds for a healer to get them back up to 100%.  That would be a fair design to healing. As it is, healing is just over powered.

I guess that explains why I do better on my priest.  As long as I get someone to peel off me I can keep them alive forever.  I held the orb in temple for nearly the entire match and as the only healer kept the entire team up for the whole run as we won.  I died 10 seconds before the end of the match.  I will never get that achievement, blah.  But that goes to show you, healers are too powerful.

Blizzard can fix this one, easily.  There is no reason I should have to learn to accept this as I did with dying.  This should not happen to begin with.  It is bad design and horrible stat inflation with no attention to the PvP aspect of the game that led to this happening and blizzard has made no real efforts to adjust it.  Sure, I love being that over powered healer, but it is wrong.  Healing should not be that powerful.

Those are my biggest issues with PvP really.  There are some other small ones but those ones bug me and I would love to see blizzard do something to fix them.  So far, it doesn't seem like warlords will adjust anything.  The CC changes won't mean shit if CC still lasts forever.  The healing changes might make some difference, I have to play it to see it.  But on paper, it doesn't seem like blizzard is doing anything substantial to help with any of these issues.

Next time, my favorite parts of PvP and the three best things I would like to not change.


  1. Two things:

    1. In WoW, getting into PVP is an absolutely horrible experience. It's better if you have friends who are into PVP, but if not... it's an excercise in frustration. That said, although PVP is permabroken, it's permabroken at the high level, 99% of what you are suffering through pre-1700 is going to go away. How fast? A season. At the very least.

    2. If you are liking it better on a priest than on a hunter, by all means, PVP on the priest. Similarly to how a lot of people just can't do serious PVE on a particular spec, or at least do much, much better on a different spec or class... it's the same with PVP. It is entirely possible that you will never be as good in PVP on your hunter as on your priest, for example.

    Good to hear from you again.

    1. I have been running with a group of 2 to 4 players each day doing stuff. It makes it a lot easier when starting off. Sucks to start it alone, but at least unlike PvE, you can do it alone.

      I want the achievements on my main and my hunter is my main. Yes, I know they are shared, but to me, I know who got what. I am weird that way.

      I do love PvPing on my priest but that comes down to just being better at it being I leveled my priest through PvP.

  2. - Faction imbalance:
    They are adjusting the racials finally in WoD, so that should give a slight improvement moving forward. They could make the Alliance slightly OP for PvP though and then slowly tune it back down to be balanced. It'd piss off a lot of people though...

    Regarding server mergers, there wasn't much they could do. I dug into the realm pops a lot to try and figure out how they could merge things effectively (I was researching it for AH purposes, but anyway). There weren't really that many imbalanced servers that could be merged together. The vast majority of PvP servers are very horde biased and the vast majority of PvE servers are slightly alliance biased for the exact reason that Grumpy mentioned (Horde=PvP, Alliance=PvE). I experimented with a lot of different mergers but it could never really make a dent in faction imbalance except for a few cases.

    Offering free realm/faction transfers to imbalanced servers would help a little, but wouldn't solve the problem. People want to stay where they are and people generally want to be on the over-populated faction on their server (no one wants to be the underdog).

    - Control:
    We'll have to see how the changes in WoD work out, so I'm remaining skeptical as well. I definitely agree that losing control of your character for more than a couple of seconds is extremely frustrating and does not encourage people to participate.

    - Healing:
    Again, we'll have to see how the changes in WoD work out. Healing is out of control because burst damage is out of control. Hopefully, WoD will address this, but ...

    - Getting into PvP: (PVPanon's topic)
    I agree with PVPanon. It's very hard to get into PvP. Not only do you start out lacking skills, but you start out sorely lacking gear. So it's doubly frustrating for a new player to go into PvP. Ideally, PvP should be totally skill-based. Everyone should be on the same level gear-wise. Blizz can still incentivize players with gear if they want to, but that gear shouldn't give them a benefit in PvP.

    1. I've always been for PvP being completely 100% skill based. Everyone should have the same stats in any instanced PvP and your talent choices are your own choices. That would do wonders for PvP as a sub game.

  3. I was doing the cloak quest on a resto druid of mine, and had to go into kotmogu. Granted, i must not have been playing very good people, but as the only healer in our group, I was able to keep alive all 4 orb carriers, debuff and all for the last several minutes of the fight. We only had 2 orb carriers die, one was well out of range, and one was because I wasn't reacting fast enough. With no pvp gear, with just a little more effort, I'm pretty sure I could have kept alive all of our orb carriers.

    That is ridiculous. That should never happen. Especially in random bgs, a healer is easily worth 3 dps. And by that I mean, one healer heals easily as much as 3 dps can do damage. Those three damage dealers are totally negated.

    Yeah, I'd say healing in pvp needs a little adjustment.

    1. Healing is so sick and over powered in PvP, now just imagine if you had PvP gear to heal more in a PvP setting. If you did that without PvP gear you would have been a god with it. Actually, you were a god without it. Being a healer = win for PvP.

  4. On healers in PVP. They seem out of control for two reasons:

    1. The real problem is on the top level of play. That problem is too much CC. The current meta is such that when the other team in arenas goes for a kill, your healer can do maybe one cast plus one-two instants in something like 30 seconds of chain control. The guy being pressed, of course, uses his defensive CDs and there's cross-control, but that's still quite a lot of pressure, and the healer has to negate half of that pressure with his several emergency heals.

    2. The fake problem is in random BGs. That problem is that when noone knows how to really push for a kill and noone knows how to really defend, with the current numbers the guy who tries to defend wins. It wasn't always like that. In season 5, by default, the win was on the side of a newbie DK who didn't know how to really push for a kill, but was getting kills regardless, because of too easy and too bursty damage. In MOP (and Cata), by default, the win is on the side of a newbie healer. That's it. When the newbie healer meets a skilled guy - AND NOONE else from that skilled guy's team is around to break / pre-DR the CC, which is important - the healer is dead. But until then, the healer lives.

    Healing does need an adjustment, in concert with CC. It isn't clear at all whether what they are doing in WoD will be a step in the right direction, because they tried to tone down CC several times already, but we'll see. On the good side, their plans on PVP gear outlined in today's blog seem fine. Not super-good, but at least it seems things get slightly better rather than worse.

    1. Even a healer against a skilled guy will still pull out ahead. All the healer needs to do is spam keys, as long as they get one heal off once in a blue moon they will keep going back to full health and the skilled guy will get bored with wasting their time and move along. No use killing a healer that is all alone unless you are doing it to keep them from going to heal others.

      I do know how to PvP on my priest but I would say I am not skilled and even in I were healing a BG against a full premade, as long as I had at least 2 people peeling for me, I would never die and neither would that. It has nothing to do with skill, it has to do with healing being OP.

      Now, out a skilled healer in the same situation. No team will ever be able to beat a team with a good healer as long as they protect them.

      So it is not the time of the newbie healer, it is the time of any healer.

      One BG yesterday I asked my friend, who is the damn healer, every time I get this guy close to death he is at full again. He said, there is no healer here, the boomkin seems to be spot healing him.

      That is the problem with healing. When a boomkin can offheal and continuously get someone from 0-100 instantly, there is something really wrong with healing.

    2. Well, try going to the gates of Orgrimmar or Stormwind as a healer, and ask someone with 1700+ in any bracket for a war game (that's important, duels in the world use PVE rules, duels in war games use PVP rules), for 500g. You'll see that you will fall quite reliably. And that's disregarding that the meta in arenas has always been to *two*-man a healer (either before or after their dps friend).

      The problem is entirely that "mashing buttons" as a healer is much more profitable than doing the same as a dps. Currently.

    3. That is the key, mashing as a healer can get the job done. Even more so against a damage dealer mashing trying to get you down.

      It takes me 20 seconds or more to even dent someone in health and that is uninterrupted. It takes a healer 1 second to get to max. That is of course, at my gear and skill level.

      A 1700 player would destroy me no matter what side I am on just on the strength that they are a 1700 player and I am not.

      I would however be willing to accept that bet if I got to choose a healer of my choice to put against a 1700 player. I know a few that could give any damage dealer fits of rage.

      In the end however it comes down to the fact you should not need a herculian effort of chain CC, stuns, knockbacks, interrupts and the such to keep a healer from getting one heal off that gets someone to full health.

      As I have said, if it takes 20 seconds for someone to get a person down it should take 20 seconds to get them back up.

      I would not be adverse to removing all healing from PvP completely. No healing and no CC, now that would be wonderful. Let people actually fight.

  5. Dude, if you think healing is the be all and end all of the game, roll a healer, and get the Gladiator title (top 0.5% of the region).

    There are healers, and there are healers, just as there are DPS and there are DPS. Healers are designed to be able to hold off 1 DPS indefinitely. If 2 DPS can't bring 1 healer down then the problem is with the DPS. Our Rated team used to audition DPS by placing 1 healer versus 2 DPS in a War Game, and if the healer was still alive after 30-40 seconds then the DPS did not make the cut.

    Best way to practice is to challenge high rated players to duels or War Games. Maybe in randoms BGs healers might appear like unkillable gods, but speaking as a healer in Rateds I get focused down pretty fast when playing teams at 1800+ or higher. But yeah in randoms I can hold off 3-4 guys, sometimes more, because i) they don't have gear; ii) they lack coordination, and iii) they're not very good. In Rated play it's a totally different story, and it is at this level of play that heals are balanced at. Currently the vast majority of teams run with 3 healers, and they believe me, they die. Target Caller says swap to healer, CC his partner, and BOOM, they're dead.

    Download OQueue and play some PuG Rateds, and you will see a different side to this argument. :)

    1. I am not skilled enough to get glad on my main, so I will not be able to on a healer. But I can tell you absolutely with 100% certainty that I would do better ranking wise on a healer than my main. Surely not glad either, but I would do much better with it.

      I have have every class that can heal at 90. Multiples of priests and shamans, both of whom I only heal on. I enjoy healing on my priest. I leveled thorough PvP but only up to 60. Since then I've quested with each expansion to level but I made it there doing PvP only. I guess that is why I am so comfortable PvPing with it, even if I am not that good.

      I agree with what you say however. A skilled player, more so 2 skilled players, on a healer will be able to take them out. I am talking my skill level, which is beginner. And at my skill level healers are so OP it is insane.

      You can not compare people just starting PvP with gladiators. Just as you can not compare heroic raiders with LFR people. They are two completely different things with a completely different set of rules.

      Perhaps in time I will play more on my healer but I want to play on my main. Who wouldn't?

      I am in the gearing up process now as all my PvP gear is 496 or 483. Once I get all 522s and maybe a conquest piece or two I will start going after bigger game in the learning (or relearning) process. Until then battlegrounds are where I belong.