Why I hate arenas

| Tuesday, May 18, 2010
It was sarcastically suggested in my Sunday thread that I write about arenas. Well, here we go.

I'm bad at arenas. I get tunnel vision far too easily. I feel as if I'm being attacked from 20 directions at once and cannot escape or survive. My enemies do not die no matter how much I hurt them. If I go after the healer, they still don't die. I cannot out-damage the healing and I cannot out-heal the damage.

This isn't really the worst part.

My first PvP was long before I'd heard of MMOs, play some FPS of some sort or other. I think it was a demo of Medal of Honor. There's no gear. Only reactions, aim, and knowledge of the map so you know how to sneak around or where it is easiest to defend. No achievements, nothing unlocked, just shoot the other side and then disconnect if you want to play something else.

WoW PvP needs gear. You just wont survive without it. Except for extreme skill gaps, there's no way to skill away the gap between no resilience and lots of resilience. Same for damage, health, healing, and so on. So PvP requires a bit of a grind to get started. Get your honor and some arena points and spend some emblems carefully and you can close the gap and start to actually play. But it's not like a PvE grind. In PvE you tend to get a lot of insignificant wins which add up to a result: add up emblems or drop chances or reputation. PvP has this too. Except the enemies are the other players, the ones with better gear, and they will beat you. So the grind isn't one of victory, but of defeat. You will eventually get to a bracket of your gear and skill, but can you imagine if running heroics required you to first wipe a few times in Ulduar?

This isn't the worst part.

The true worst part is that PvP exposes me as an idiot. I keep advocating more dynamic encounters in PvE, claiming they would be more interesting, more fun, less repetitive. That's the sort of thing you can find in PvP, where even the same composition will not play exactly the same. But I suck at PvP. The very dynamic PvE encounters I claim to want are the very same ones that make me fail at PvP.

PvP makes me look dumb, and that is why I hate it.

9 comments:

Xbalanque said...

The thing is, it's much easier to go from being a PVE player to adding in some PVP than the other way around. Triumph badges will get you furious gear, and frost will get you relentless. But you can't spend honor and arena points to get decent PVE gear -- just to get PVP gear.

I only really started PVPing in February or so. I'd PVP'ed a bit while leveling between 70 and 80, but that's really it. I had absolutely no gear, but had been thinking about starting to PVP, and got lucky on some Wrathful resto legs in VOA, and figured, why not start now? I've recently spent some extra triumph on balance, and started playing around with that for PVP as well. I die more, but, well, that's not that surprising, resto is kind of insanely durable, and my glad pieces are a season ahead for resto.

Anyway, the point is, yes, you'll die a lot, but you'll also learn a lot of little tricks, *especially* while you're less geared. Arenas are a very harsh environment, so you need to have fun whether you win or lose, just based on the process. And I think that's true for PVE as well.

You're saying, oh, PVE is based on slowly getting better on victories, but PVP is about getting better from defeats, but I disagree. PVE is *also* about getting better from defeats. When you really improve isn't from gearing up, it's from learning how to deal with mechanics. And my ICC 10 group isn't improving our Sindra kills or working on learning LK from how we do on Gunship or Fester or what have you: it's improving from our attempts on the bosses that fail, that show us what *doesn't* work. Getting better PVE gear *does* make some mechanics easier to deal with, just like better PVP gear will enable you to deal with some opponents more effectively. And in both cases, there is a massive difference between having the completely wrong gear and having at least an entry level set. But the key is to learn mechanics and techniques: of your class, of mobs, of other players (your allies for both, and your opponents for PVP).

In other words, I think the only real difference and problem is related to your last one: you seem to be very failure-adverse in PVP based on what you're describing, and that makes you feel hypocritical.

But really, what does it matter if you're bad at something as long as you still have fun doing it? And if you don't still have fun doing it, why are you trying to make yourself do it?

*shrugs* Just an opinion from somebody who sucks at arenas, and hasn't seen a heroic mode of any sort in ICC, but has fun with both PVE and PVP anyway.

SlikRX said...

I'm in pretty much the exact same boat as Klep, with the exception that I haven't dipped a toe into arena yet. (I'm trying to gear first)

My start in gaming is on the 360: Halo, CoD, GoW and a plethora of first person shooters (FPSs)

Tunnel vision, lack of twitch reflexes and good hand-eye coordination can make it a nightmare.

Combine that with the crazy skillset needed to play well in PvP, and arena is daunting.

Is part of it deth aversion? TO a point, but here's the big difference:

In PvE, there are no impossible encounters. The game is designed to be beaten.

In PvP, there are a MULTITUDE of no-win situations. Assuming equal skill, the first basic limiter is gear. Someone in Furious gear has zero chance against someone if full Wrathful.

Then there's group composition and (even worse) some 1v1 matchups.

Going into a fight KNOWING you will lose is VERY different from the PvE world. Painful.

Anonymous said...

I am puzzled by the assumption you cant fight in full pve gear as I have been doing that for a couple of months in WG and I am also doing a dailey BG for my arena points. My kill/deaths is approx 1.2:1.

Basically 1000 resil takes away 10% of my incoming damage while lowering the damage I do, but If I am being hit I am dead anyway. My chance to win comes from my intial burst damage, or in wg on nuking that lock or warrior BEFORE he finishs that siege engine/other guy and turns on me.

Even in a BG I had a great little scrap against a pvp specced/geared rogue yesterday. (forgive my tale theres a point to it) Strand of ancients defending the beach, he stealthed out and killed me. I ran back in time to see him finishing off another hordie and stuck a wyvern sting in him for time to assess the situation. He didnt trinket out so his trink was on cd? hes at 40% health? ok droped a frost trap hit with concussive shot then the sting, he dodged left around the trap ofc, so i strafed right and hit with an aimed shot then exy shot as trap goes off and l&l proced. I think he sprinted over the ice or something as he reached me and stunned me, so trinket and disengage, exyshot and he reached me again and I died. He had about 5% health left. If I had had a barrow ticking instead of that last exy shot maybe he would have follwed me to a graveyard?

The key here isnt that I need pvp gear. He got to melee its game over. The key here is I need to learn to kite better and get a better bow/gun to increase my burst damage.

Anonymous said...

Also in case wondering why I put a serp sting over the top of the wyvern, it had already ticked twice and if that rogue had vanished i would have been toast:P Perhaps i should have used fd to leave combat then mount up and look for an easier foe...

Klepsacovic said...

PvP gear isn't so bad for PvE. It won't work on the same tier as PvE gear, but if you're trying to start out t the top, you're going it worng.

PvE used to be about learning from defeats. I remember a time when we'd wipe endlessly, and not complain a bit. Times changed, and now we expect a boss to die in a few attempts, or it's a "fail raid" and we leave. In PvP I often find that I don't have any time to learn; I'm just dead. Learning won't increase my health.

Some of it may be the way PvP and PvE are organized. If I die I can still get loot in PvE, whereas in PvP dead people aren't getting honor. Or a battle res.


I am not talking about Wintergrasp. I love that place. Some would say it's not real PvP, but I won't. However it is definitely a much different type of PvP than arenas, and frankly is irrelevant to a discussion of arenas except for comparison.

PvP gear would have bought time, perhaps for another CD to come up, or a sting to tick. Certainly skill matters, and with perfect skill maybe he could never even touch you, but no one is perfect, so gear will matter.

SlikRX said...

@anon You raise a couple points, but you are in a unique position

1) Rogue (of any spec) vs a good ranged player is going to be meat if he can't stealth (which is what happened after he killed you and you came back)

I play a Ret, and ANY ranged player that knows how to kite will eat me for lunch.

2)Resilience doesn't work: 1% resil /= 1% dmg reduction. Depending on how much crit stacked the attacking player is, it can easily be 1% resil = 3% dmg reduction.

In a crazy outer limits situation, it can be 2% resil = 9% dmg red.

http://www.wowwiki.com/Resilience

Also, there is the small detail of PvP talent specs, and a player with a PvP spec will have significant advantages over a similar geared player in PvE spec.

Lastly, fundamentally, Arena is not like any of the BGs. Even if you die in a BG, you can be helping your side out hugely. But dieing in Arena means your team just lost 20%-50% of the damage/heals/CC/survivability.

But your point is very well taken (by me at least :) )

Hana said...

Arenas aren't for everyone. More than battlegrounds, it's extreme an exercise in team coordination. If you listen to a good team on vent it's about picking the right target to pressure, CCing the healer, picking who to swap to and when.

When I got my Challenger title our DK was the team leader calling out the kill targets, the switch (burn the ret paladin to force him to bubble, then swap to the warrior, switch back to the paladin once his bubble is gone), and I pretty much would only open my mouth if I was CCed or the other team was focusing on me beyond my ability to heal myself.

Gear helps, just like in PvE, but a CCed healer in Wrathful is just as effective as one in Furious (which is to say, not very). We got roflstomped sometimes, but the majority of our losses we admitted we were outplayed rather than outgeared.

We Fly Spitfires said...

LOL, loved this post :)

I quite enjoy PvP and I think I'm quite good at it although I get very annoyed when I'm beaten by someone just because they have better gear. In that instance I get incredibly worked up and rant like a drunken sailor at a brothel.

Anonymous said...

@Slik:
Right on about how resilience works. I am at a little over 1k now and I think it says like 24% damage reduction and a 20+% reduced chance to be crit and crit damage. I play a DK and I think resilience is very, very important for melee classes. I get hit from damage on all sides repeatedly. I accidently pvped in my tanking gear a few days ago… yeah I was dropping like a bitch right and left. On my ranged classes/healer I don’t see resilience as being as large of an issue. For sure if you are focused you are dead, but since you don’t need to be close to do damage you can LOS a lot and “pillar hump” in order to avoid being targeted while still doing significant damage. On that note my resto druid has no resilience whatsoever and a hunter dropped me in the time he had distracting shot on me… yeah three seconds of walking aimlessly and then dead. He was quite well geared, but yeah ouch.
While saying I love being geared with resilience and how difficult it makes me to kill, I do hate how the extremely well geared can just own you completely. Case in point while in AB a single Ret pally did more damage (#1 overall in the entire BG) then the #2 and #3 people (which were me and someone else) combined. It took five of us over 3 minutes to kill him when he attacked the GM by himself. Granted it is AB, but he pretty much single handedly won that BG for the horde because no one could even come close to killing him one on one. I don’t know that it should take 3 min to kill any individual 5 on 1, unless those people are woefully under geared (which could have possibly been the case with the other 4 there and truth to be told I am only decently geared).

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