Monday, April 17, 2006

Further comments on the PVP system

There's a great discussion going on over at Blessing of Kings about how to improve the PVP system in World of Warcraft. I've chipped in my suggestion; remove the concept of "Honor" from Battlegrounds and shift everything over to a faction-based system. I'm sure that I'm missing something, but the theorycraft makes sense to me. My example was for Warsong Gulch and suggested faction gains for the following:
  1. Winning the match
  2. Turning in the flag
  3. Capturing the flag
  4. Killing a flag carrier
  5. Killing an opponent inside your base
The only exception would be for winning: you could only get honor for winning if you've made at least one point of faction otherwise. Since the focus would be on winning instead of just killing, teamwork would be important, but so would individual skill. Hopefully, this would dissuade graveyard camping and instead shift the goals back towards an actual competitive match. I doubt this would cut down on the amount of twinking taking place, but since emphasis is taken away from simply steamrolling over the opponents, it would still give the advantage to an organized team. Althought I'm still just getting started with Battlegrounds, I can already see that teamwork definitely pays off, that some people just want a free ride and that the honor system rewards the investment of time over actual skill. I may not be able to see the whole picture with my limited experience (so far), but I do think my proposed change would address these three main points. Of course, if we're talking about eliminiating the whole Honor system, something has to replace it. A second level of faction could be offered, a generic PVP faction that is independant of the battlegrounds, but WoW already has so much faction grinding in it already, I'm not sure if this is the best way to go. Perhaps ranks could be quest-based, getting progressivly harder and valid for a certain period of in-game time once completed. For example, to get first rank, you just had to win one WSG match. To get second, you had to win three consecutive WSG matches and so on, with the goals being progressivly harder as you go on. I'm not sure how this would scale or how ranks would deteriorate, but it would focus more on skill, rather than just the amount of time you can invest and the number of people who you can get to help you.


Blogger GSH said...

I think that you are looking at PvP ranks slightly differently than I am.

I view the PvP ranks more like a ladder from first-person shooters. The person at the top of the ladder is the most skilled person, and skill goes down from there. People move up and down the ladder as they demonstrate more or less skill than others. The ranks are just incidental to this system. Person at the top is GM, next few are Rank 13, and so on.

For your second idea, while you demonstrate skill to get rank, it's not *relative* skill. It's like the Tier 0.5 quests. Sure it takes skill, but the skill needed is independent of other people. You could have a lot of people complete the quests or you could have few people.

To me, it's the relative ranking that's important, and not so much how you attain the rank. Grand Marshals should be the best players on the server. But the requirement of best player changes. If someone better comes along, the bar is raised. Under a quest system, as long as you meet the minimum for the rank, you get the rank, and the qualifications are static.

As for the first idea, while it would be better than kill counts, it still suffers from the fact that someone who plays more games ends up ahead of someone who plays less. Someone who goes 5-0 is probably more skilled than someone who goes 5-20.

4/22/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Maintain said...

I see what you're saying, someone who's 5-0 may be better than someone who's 5-20, but since Battlegrounds are team-based, how can you take the team-factor into consideration? I may join a WSG game, return the flag twice myself and rack up 100 kills, but if the rest of my team is just terrible, should that really count against me if we lose? In this regard, I see the current system as being more capable of measuring skill.

If your BG ranking was determined by how well your whole group did, games certainly would be more competitive, but I think the queues to get into them would be even longer than they are now. If I'm honestly trying to grind my PVP ranking under this suggested system, I'm not going to waste my time and possibly lose points joining by myself, I'd gather a group of skilled, like-minded people and we'd join as a group, to ensure we'd have a good chance at winning. I'd try to schedule times to play with my preferred PVP group, but if they're not online, I probably wouldn't risk the penalty if I lost.

Trust me, the last thing I would like to see is 500 GMs running around Ironforge, but I also don't think that GM or HW should only be obtainable to someone who plays upwards of 12 hours a day. I most certainly don't want it to be easy to accomplish, but I'd like to see skill be more of a determining factor, rather than time invested.

4/24/2006 11:30:00 AM  

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