Monday, July 27, 2009

The importance of resilience in PvP

I don't play PvP. If there is one topic about Warcraft that makes my eyes glaze over and completely tune out the writer it's a post about PvP. I freely admit that my lack of interest in PvP stems from one key fact: I'm terrible at it. I simply don't see the point of spending time on an activity at which I'm not competent because I don't have an interest in it and which I don't have an interest in because I'm not competent at it. If that logic seems circular it's because it is circular. Sue me.

An incident that happened during the Summer Festival illustrates perfectly well why I fail at PvP. To get the Flame Warden title a requirement is to desecrate or steal Horde flames scattered though out the world. Desecrating the opponent's fire automatically flags you for five minutes of PvP. Surprisingly, during the entire effort to get the achievement I was only attacked three times, all in out of the way places like the Burning Steppes. I actually managed to steal all the flames from the major Horde cities without dying once. The last and final time I got attacked (so I had been killed twice before) was in Mulgore by a Horde mage. I distinctly remember my exact thought process at the time of attack.

Me: Oh look, a pretty green toad. I wonder where that came from?
Me: Hey, that toad is hopping right where my character used to be, what’s up with that?

Polymorph. Somebody just attacked you.
Me. I wonder why they would want to do that?

Me. Maybe because you just desecrated the fire.

Me. Heh. That’s right. I guess I ought to do something about that.

Me. How about fight back?

Computer: “Would you like to play a game of chess”

Well ok, it actually said, "would you like to release your spirit" but it might as well have said that for all the good it does me.

The truth is that I have zero instinct for self-preservation. By the time I get a grasp on the situation and formulate a response I'm dead. Seriously, I don't even bother anymore. I generally make a half-hearted attempt to run away because I feel that in the spirit of the game I ought to do something rather than just stand there getting beaten upon. But I know as soon as I'm jumped I'm gonna die.

The most common time for me to get attacked anymore is in
Wintergrasp when the Horde controls it. WG is the only place where Frost Lotus grows and so I go there sometimes to pick them to make potions. I really don't know what Blizzard was thinking by putting Frost Lotus in a PvP area as it's most annoying. I guess there is just something about picking flowers and raping random strangers that just goes together.

The thing I find most distasteful about PvP is that the reward you get for doing it is called honor. In my limited experience there is nothing honorable about PvP. The most common tactic--no, the only tactic-- I have ever seen employed by the Horde in
WG is to wait until I am getting hammered on by a mob (ideally two) and then begin to wack the heck out of me. I have also been killed by Horde players (back when I was playing Boomkin) who deliberately ran into my area-of-effect spells. Even For the Alliance is basically predicated that you will go rushing into the opponents cities when no one is around and take advantage of superior numbers. I don't really have a problem with the idea that all's fair in war; I don't have to go to WG when it's Horde controlled. But killing someone when they are running away seems the height of dishonor to me. Maybe the programmers at Blizzard are just sardonic little creeps. Although I admit that "token for slime bag tactics" doesn't have much of a marketing ring to it.

The most amusing thing to me about my failure at PvP is that I have both the Black War Bear from doing For The Alliance and the War Mammoth from the Stone Keeper Shards. Every single SKS came from running heroic five mans and when I finally figured out what they were for (by looking on Wowhead) the mount was the only thing that looked interesting to me. When it came time to turn in the shards for the mount it took me twenty minutes just to find the vendor because I had never even been in the fortress before. Truth is that I almost never ride either one of those mounts, partially because I'm partial to my green mechnostrider and partially because I feel like a big fake riding either one. Yeah, look at me, I'm on my uber PvP mount: run away little girls, run away and hide just like I do on the battlefield.

This might be the real reason I'm glad that
PvPers will start getting experience from battlegrounds. Maybe, hopefully, they'll leave the rest of us alone. I kinda doubt that though. When I was getting attacked in the Burning Steppes I kept trying to get away while he kept stunning me. After a few seconds I looked up and realized that I wasn't dying very fast. That's when it dawned on me that the Horde attacking me was only level 50. Whatever. I bet he's still crowing back at the Horde stick shack or whatever hovel the Horde live in about how he took out a level 80. You know what, I don't care. I have enough resilience to handle it.


Magma said...

I used to have a friend who sounded exactly like this. She was terrified of PvP, despite having rolled on a PvP server. For a couple years she refused to ever try anything, then one day out of the blue and for no good reason she stepped into a BG. After that she fell in love with it more than raiding. And I say all this to say, It is probably not as bad as you make it out to be, so long as you try and give it chance you might like it.

(Unless you're a warlock, then you're fucked.)

Klepsacovic said...

It's called honor because killing your enemy is about the most honorable thing that ever happens in a war. There just isn't a lot of competition for Most Honorable Common Occurrence. How often are soldiers carrying orphans to safety as compared to making those orphans? Besides, dishonorable acts often make the most strategic and tactical sense. If you stand around in Warsong Hold long enough you'll hear Saurfang telling of the evil acts they committed, such as murdering Draenei infants; Hellscream asks if they'd have just grown up to be their enemies.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I know exactly how you feel. As a player, I'm as good av PvP illiterate, if you ever could be such a thing. Whenever I'm ambushed, I'll react with a scream, a polymorph and look filled with such terror you might think I'd be better off without this game. I just don't do PvP. Ain't my thing. I've been playing on a PvP server for my whole lifespan in Azeroth, and yet I don't like it very much when this player interaction actually occurs.

Of the battlegrounds, I remember loving Alterac Valley tho. Why? It was the PvP place with least PvP. Just my thing.

Diktril said...

You can get frost lotus in Storm Peaks & Icecrown as well - Just herb the nodes there.

Dàchéng said...

It's ironic you complaining about how dishonourable is it for the horde to attack you when you choose to go into a PvP area. What's your response? You try to run away. Can there be any more dishonourable response?

Carra said...

The goblin immediately thought "Why would you want to grind flowers, buy them from the AH".

The lovely thing about this game is that you never have to kill a single player. You can play this game without PVP. I remember that my raidleader in my previous guild had 0 HK and was proud of it. Don't like PVP? Don't go into Wintergrasp.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Speaking as a relatively reluctant PvP'er myself, who has 80's in both the Horde and the Alliance (I GM a cross-faction guild) I can state that, at least on my server, it's the Alliance players who are more likely to fall to dishonorable tactics. Also the ones who are more likely to act like NPC's outside the aggro radius when a Horde player attacks one of their own nearby.

Kel said...

The nice thing about PvE servers is that you can choose whether or not you want to do PvP. If you're in a battle ground or doing PvP achievements then you might have unpleasant encounters, but that's a part of what you signed up for. I used to think the same way as you about PvP, because I saw how angry it made my bf and my in-game friends. Now that I've tried it, I've found PvP healing to be a little intriguing. It's nice to meet intelligent opponents from time to time, other than the PvE bosses who can get a little predictable at times.

I do herbalism myself, and I get quite few from Storm Peaks while gathering other herbs.

SolidState said...

Frost Lotus is a random drop from any plant you herb anywhere in the world. You don't have to pick them in WG.

Don't worry about being bad in PvP, you're not alone :)

I had an experience almost exactly like you - I desecrated a Horde flame in Burning Steppes during the Fire Festival (was playing on my priest). Near a low-level quest hub (was trying to get IF rep), a horde rogue saw me PvP flagged and attacked my. He was a Horde. I can still remember my line of thought:

- Oh look there's a Horde rogue, hmm I'm still PvP flagged I hope he doesn't attack me...
- Well I guess I'll be moving now along.. hey why can't my char move? Oh no I'm stun locked and my health is going down...
- Trying to hit fear button so I can get him away from me...
- Done! omg I'm at 10% health better do a big heal... come on.. come on.. damn slow cast time... oh no he's coming back...
- I'm dead. sigh.

At least he wasn't waiting for me when I came back :)

Copernicus said...

I don't particularly like world PvP; I left a PvP server because of horde camping towns while I was trying to quest. (I do realize that Alliance use the same tactics. We have asshats on both sides of the conflict.) However, I find that I like doing battlegrounds, especially after getting my Resilience up past 300. You start to live longer than one or two hits.

I farm saronite and titanium in Wintergrasp, and get ganked occasionally. I'm not really there to PvP, I'm there to mine. Someone killing me just sends me back to the start of my circuit. Thanks!

Shamrockgirl said...

I used to feel exactly the same about PvP as you do. Especially world PvP. I started on a PvE server snd the only time I ever died to world PvP was the one time i was noobish enough to attack a flagged horde in the starting area that had a Skull for a number. yea... i was a true noob.

Then i moved all my toons over to a PvP server after wrath. i now have 2 level 80's there as well as some mid 70's and some lower ones. I love it. i used to die every time i was attacked and now i dont. i even beat a pally the other day with my priest. we were both level 70 so i like to think it was a fair fight since he is the one who ganked me.

do i kill horde that do not give honor? no, but i know there are people on both sides who do. usually i will not gank anything lower than me by 1 or 2 levels, but if they are in the area fighting with 80s then you bet i still will kill them. i used to run away too, but now i have become more confident and just heal up a bit and go to town on them. may the best payer win.

oh... and i do try to run around in PVP gear because it is amaxing how much the extra health and resilience help in your survivability. you dont even have to PvP to get the gear anymore, just run VoA and use emblems to buy it from the vendor.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify a point. Yes, I am aware that FL drops from other plants; I was being specific when I said WG is the only place it *grows*. That is, WG is the only place you can find nodes that are FL and FL alone. If I just need FL, it's better to go to WG and get them there than wasting 30 minutes in the Storm Peaks and hoping for that random 15% drop.

While it's cheaper to get regular herbs off the AH, it's typically better to farm for the FL self. Maybe I'm just lucky but normally I get two in the space of a few minutes.

Anonymous said...

"Dàchéng. I'd agree with you that running away would be cowardly if I went to a PvP area looking for PvP. But since I'm not looking for PvP, I don't see it as cowardly. It's the fact that PvPers and I are in the same physical space with two different purposes; sometimes those purposes clash. Unfortunately, they always win.

Fitz said...

I'm surprised the level 50 could even hit you, but then again, rogues are kind of OP in the PVP arena.

Everybody finds something to love about the game, and the PVP crowd is mostly separate from the PVE crowd. I had my PVP video game fun in Halo 2 online and other first person shooter games on consoles, so I don't feel the need to run BG's or WG all the time. I occassionally get in the mood, but let's just say shadow/holy priest is not the best for PVP!

And the best SKS purchases are (1) the mount, (2) heirlooms, and (3) the trinket that frees you from stun or fear. Whenever you know you'll have to go PVP for a holiday achievement or to pick Frost Lotus, it helps to equip that bad boy and have more chance to escape.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

I don't understand the physics of a level 50 killing you...... I mean you hit them once or twice and they die, so it's not that you suck at pvp, you just suck at attacking a toon on screen. It's just like pve, except they move more. I'm actually so disappointed in you, especially after reading so many smart articles. It takes no skill to kill a level 50 mob, they shouldn't even stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

@Pangoria Fallstar. I don't think it's a question of skill at attacking the mob so much as it's a self-defeating attitude. It's not something that I want to do so I basically give up the fight before I'm even started. With the level 50 it was more the case that by the time I realized he was level 50 1/2 my hit points were gone and I figured at that point it time it was just easier to give up and die. I sorta regret that now because I agree, I could have killed him really easily. But that wasn't my mind set at the time. That's what I mean about having no instinct for self-preservation. It's not a question of power or skill but of desire.

Larísa said...

Well, I suspect that I'm about as good as you at PvPing. I imagine a duel between the two of us could be quite a thrilling match! But unlike you I really see the benefit of it. Other players are not predictable like mobs are. And that makes the whole thing quite challenging. Actually I think every now and then "I really should do more PvPing because it would be good for me". I see it as a training ground for my PvEing. If I PvPd enough I'm conviced I'd improve my movability, my situational awareness and my decisiontaking. But yeah, it isn't all that inspiring since I feel kind of useless, especially in Warsong Gulch, running around like a headless chicken. If PvPing only gave xp I'd definitely like to try it out on my druid. It would give me experience from raid healing without too much pressure. (And I suspect people in BGs are grateful for ANY kind of healing they can get. It's always nice to feel appreciated, isn't it?)

So yeah - I'm clueless like you, but still not uninterested in PvPing. I've got some 3 k kills, which isn't much compared to the average lvl 80 player, but I guess I can't claim that I'm a pacifist with all that blood on my little hands. Most of the kills were probably related to my gatherings of achievements or hps to buy the PvP trinket (necessary for Archimonde). But it wasn't too bad. AV even has some epic feeling and is kind of fun from time to time. But it's of course a matter of taste. as always.

cheers and greetings from your innkeeper (back from Paris, but currently with a pc that has broken once again, so you'll probably have to keep this place going for another week while I sort the machine out and get some mountain air as well.)

PS and about the frost lotuses in wg and the awesome fishing as well - it's working as intended. It's lures Blizzard uses to get the dedicated PvEers go there and suddenly discover that they have a taste for PvP even though they didn't know it from the beginning.

We Fly Spitfires said...

I actually enjoy PvP. I'm not a hardcore PvPer but it gives me something to do with when I'm grinding through quests. I like being able to explore every side of a game too.

Anonymous said...

I hate pvp. once in a while i try it again, because I forgot how much I hated it and once in a blue moon, if I luck out with a situation/people - I actually enjoy it. 99% of the time though? it makes me want to uninstall wow and never log into one of my characters ever again.

I don't have flame warden becasue after my experiences with elder title, I never want to enter alliance city ever again, unless I'm on alliance character of course :P

I HAVE developed a system for successfully looting opposite faction flames with a minimal risk to myself. it takes a little longer, but I haven't been caught yet. its especially good in outland and northrend :) unfortunately - it only works on pve servers (fortunately - its the only kind of servers I play on :P ).

anyways - what you do is you take the quest from the flame, but don't hit accept yet (this is what flags you) mount up. accept the quest and immediately start riding/flying away. don't stop until you are at a safe distance, preferably by your own factions flightpoint. if you are at a neutral town - honor the flame first, then desecrate the other one and run like the wind for the flight point. make sure you know exactly where your next destination is - it is imperative that you can fly away before you are attacked.

lol - yes, I'm a big huge abysmal at pvp coward :P but it works and its almost like cat and mouse game :)

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@leah, also currently on PVE servers, going into an instance, or getting a flight path, takes off your PVP flag.

@Elnia, what I'm saying is, why view them as a player at all? If a mob was sitting there stunning you, wouldn't you just kill it so you could move on?

Darraxus said...

Even at half health, you could have turned around and killed the level 50 in one shot. They usually have around 2k HP at that level maybe. You could probably one shot them with a smite.

I am no PvP expert, but that would be quite embarrasing.

Also, being turned into a toad is a Shaman form of CC I believe.

PvP is not for everyone, but when someone tries to gank you and you spank them, it can be very rewarding.

Poco-Skywall said...

I don't like PVP, and I don't like Bliz cramming it down our throats. They purposely put the most lucrative farming area in an area that flags you for PVP combat because they want to encourage more "World PVP" -- which, 9 times out of 10, is PVP combat where one side has initiative and the other side just wants to be left alone doing something completely unrelated. You see a similar theme with the holiday achievements... completely non-competitive ppl, with zero resilience and zero PVP experience, forced to run around doing stuff they have little interest in, for the sake of a title and a mount.

And I'm not even half bad at PVP. I did some arena in BC, was a sub in S1 in an 1800's 5's team, and the team rating went up during my stay. Made Knight-something-or-another on my druid in vanilla, because that the only feral gear I could get my hands on. More recently, I escorted some of my friends to the Orgimmar flame where we got jumped by a bunch of horde (plus guards); I spent the next 15 minutes making sure the offenders spent more time as a ghost than my friends did ;) But you know what, it's just not fun 'cause it's just not in my blood. I wish Bliz would stop forcing it on us in the guise of casual PvE content.

Carra said...

@Larissa. Yes, PvP is a good training field. Keyturning or clicking your spells won't cut it against a half decent, human opponent. And you'll have to use a lot more spells. Suddenly that blink, frost nova, sheep,... are very useful. And even skills you'd never use like amplify magic have their uses in PvP. It's certainly good to become a better player.

I did especially enjoy duelling. One on one and the best player wins. It was often done outside the IF gates. I can see how arenas can be a lot of fun with some good friends but I never got into it.

Battlegrounds however bore me rather quickly. The same old, handful of maps? And there's very little strategy involved. Especially in pugs... Playing a few rounds of Team Fortress 2 is a lot more fun if I want to do some PVP.

Anonymous said...

@ Pangoria Fallstar - exactly :) which is why its imperative to get on a flight point quickly and know where you are going next. its probably exceptionally obsessive of me, but I had a route laid out before I started on the flames, so it was the shortest possible flights with the most ground covered the safest possible way.

Kristine said...

If you want to try PvP, but just find it frustrating and simply impossible to understand at 80 - try it at a lower level.

Spend a bit of gold gearing up a level 19, have it dragged through an instance or two - and try some BGs.

At lower levels there are fewer abilities to keep track of, both for yourself and from your opponents. It means you dont have to spend as much time going "omg what to press now?", and you can focus more on the flow and ebb of the battle. You will also face a bunch of people in no terms could be labelled Masters Of PvP.

I have much love for twinks, and I am not saying they are unskilled players (twink vs twinks is just as much about CD management, movement and fast thinking as any PvP) - but a light twink in a 19 BG might give you a chance to just try the part of PvP which is fun: unpredictable opponents and a "hoorah" when you win a tough match :)

Good luck!

Yeshua said...

As a person who kills Alliance to pass the time, this amuses me. Now don't get me wrong; I won't kill another player while I'm questing or doing dailies unless they initiate the encounter, but if I randomly run into another lvl 80 character somewhere in the world you better believe I'm going for the kill.

Real world pvp is by far the most fun for me: the days of Tarren Mill vs. South Shore are fond memories of frustration at being camped and jubilation of turning the tide of the battle and razing South Shore to the ground. There isn't as much of that these days unfortunately but we do our best to bring it back.

All in all, sorry to make you walk back from the graveyard so much but you knew better than to travel alone. ;-)

thelyse said...

i don't like pvp too. i suck at pvp. that's why i'll never play on a pvp realm. i think i'll quit game long ago if i play there.

but i go to pvp because i have a goal (which i have mentioned in one of my posts).

pre-tbc, i took my cute gnome mage to pvp so that she could get a kitty mount (without the pain of donating rune cloths).

now i took her to gear up. i only took her to wg on and off for about a month or so and she's fully epic-geared!

Hatch said...

Clever post! I could really stand to have more of that kind of resilience, rather than getting mad when I pvp.

Zaphind said...

A wise man (who happens to be me) once wrote about how great "elective PVP" is (such as Battlegrounds, Arena, Wintergrasp)

... but how stupid "non-elective PVP" is (i.e. getting ganked on a PVP server while totally minding your own business)

Hana said...

I used to hate PvP, that's why I rolled on a PvE server. To this day, my main has exact zero HKs. She has no black war bear, has never stepped in a BG, and can't duel her way out of a paper bag.

But, I do have an alt on a PvP server and I regularly PvP on my paladin alt.

I've grown to take this view. On a PvP server I generally will not attack Alliance (I play Horde) in world PvP unless provoked. If they are minding their own business I will leave them alone.

However, on a PvE server, where flagging is a choice, I assume that the person is flagged because they wanted to be and thus are willing to deal with the consequences.

As a result, my PvE server paladin is much more likely to engage a flagged Alliance (under the assumption that it's a mutual desire for world PvP) than my PvP server druid (because she knows there's no choice).

As for the honor in it, I don't gank scrubs. If somebody is a level 50 Alliance killing quest givers in Crossroads I don't think it's dishonorable for my 80 to stomp on them (I'm doing a service for the lowbies who can't), but if I see a flagged 50 running through Burning Steppes while I'm on my 80 I'll leave them alone. It all depends on provocation.

Anonymous said...

PvP isn't for everyone though.

I personally love the break going from raiding (do this then that then this x 50 = epic loots) to trying to figure out what the person I'm fighting is going to do (this class x these spells x oh damn i hope he's a noob x my low skill = honor for maybe new loot to survive my next random alliance encounter).

It shakes up the game a little for me and keeps me coming back wanting more.