'PvP' fights

| Friday, November 20, 2009
Could this explain why so many people dislike arenas?

I'll start off with some facts.
1) People tend to dislike those activities at which they are terrible.
2) I am terrible at arenas. Like, really really bad. If I still did them, I'd be the reason you'd be sitting there wondering how such terrible people got into your bracket. They would be lower, but they're standing on my hunched-over shoulders as I shake in fear/am chain-feared.
3) I don't like arenas much.
4) The champions fight in the ToC raid has been described as a "PvP fight."

What can we get from this?

First off, people apparently think that PvP means a massive zerg rush against an enemy with no clear target. This means that they might potentially attack healers rather than the guy with plate and more health than you can count on thirty thousand fingers. With this in mind, I better understand some of the teams I ran into in arenas or BGs which would go after the absolute wrong person: they learned PvP from NPCs.

Taking this all together we can see a clear conclusion: Many people hate arenas because they are terrible at them.

Part two: The one where I don't launch half-joking attacks on PvErs.
I deceived you. I'm still going to attack PvErs, but I'm very serious this time. Read through some of the comments at Larisa's post.

"In TotGC, I honestly hate limited attempts. Why? I don't like PvP. Nearly no one in my guild is heavily interested in PvP or Arena. In short: We absolutely suck at Faction Champions Heroic. It's a drag every week and I just don't like being punished for not caring about PvP."

"Of course we know how the threat works and we all drag our PvP abilities in our action bar. We send people to get new specs just for this encounter.

BUT, on 25 heroic you will get destroyed if your fellow raiders aren't great at controlling their assigned targets."

"But I absolutely dislike fights, where PvP veterans have a big advantage and many PvP talents will make your life easier... PVE players often don't have those abilities keybound, if they use them only very very rarely."

There's some misguided belief that playing one's full class is a PvP skill. Maybe it is. Maybe only PvP actually draws out the full class. If so, that indicates that PvE is horribly designed and that 'PvP' fights are a step towards fixing that.

However I'm not going to accept this argument. It's giving up and giving it. It is accepting lack of skill and blaming the raid rather than the player.

The fact here is that whether something is a 'PvP' skill or a 'PvE' skill, having or not having this or that aptitude is part of what differentiates good from bad players. It goes beyond just having skills hotkeyed and being used to casting them. It taps into situational awareness. Good PvPers have to know what's gong on everywhere at all times. They watch their backs.

I've been described as a good tank partly due to my fast reactions to adds and other bad situations. How do I do this? Well first off it's just what a good tank does. But I didn't learn that adaptation and awareness from tanking. I learned it from learned paranoia on a PvP server. I learned to judge a pull before I did it: "Can I kill these mobs if I get jumped? Can I somehow kill that guy without aggroing the mobs near him?" I learned to always be aware because other players don't care about whether you're busy, they want you distracted and will take advantage.

PvP and PvE aren't using radically different skill sets. The problem is that in PvE we tend to focus on dumbing things down, on eliminating skill as much as possible. On regular Anub we used to try interrupting the adds so they wouldn't burrow; but that required rogues to keep an energy reserve and to pay attention, for the DKs to do the same, for people in general to do something other than a DPS rotation. We opted to drag them onto the ice instead and let the healers heal a bit more. Can you imagine how stupid it would look to see an arena team trying to fight the other team in a specific spot because they suck at interrupting? I don't mean a place where they can use LoS to screw with damage and heals by moving in and out of cover, but just someplace that they stand and suddenly enemy spells are automatically interrupted.

It's fundamentally a problem of attitude. People don't approach these more open fights as challenges. Instead they're PvP fights and omg we're not PvPers! They decide that a certain set of skills are not the right ones to use in raids and any fight that requires them is bad. This is a ridiculous mindset.

Until the mobs are controlled by a GM, it's not a PvP fight, it's only a more interesting PvE fight.


Hana said...

I think people who don't PvP like to call champions a PvP fight, but it's really not. It just follows a different set of rules and putting on PvP gear (barring maybe a trinket) actually doesn't help. No one needs resilience.

Running away from the ret pally shouldn't be any different from running from any other untankable add in another fight, or, for that matter, running out of the fire (which will also chase you in Heroic Firefighter just like that pally in FC). It's all situational awareness.

Sure it might make players use different abilities that they normally don't, but it's not any different from say… Instructor Razuvious in Naxx where the priests have to MC. Or back when I ran Zul'Aman and I used Hibernate as a druid to reliably CC one of the Hex Lord adds. Sure I hardly ever used it, but it's part of my class toolkit and it was useful so I did.

As for arenas, I think people dislike them because if all is going well with your rating, that means you're winning 50-50, and people don't want to win half the time. They want to win most of the time. If you want to enjoy arena you have to be willing to accept that you're going to lose, and you're going to lose a lot because there's always someone better than you.

Leah said...

trinket on faction champions if you are not doing it the way Euripides of critical QQ described earlier, can be the matter between life and death. everything else, can also be the matter between life and death, except in an opposite way. pvp gear is just not as suitable for a long term sustained high damage.

I used to hate pvp. I used to hate faction champions. I'm still fairly wary of arena's (but that's more of an issue of practice and terrain knowledge). I still dislike pvping on my shaman and avoid it if I can help it. But funny story. I've gotten significantly better at pve after I started doing a lot more pvp. PVE almost encourages tunnel vision. you watch the damage meters, you watch your cooldowns and sometimes you get so wrapped up in it, you miss crucial parts of the fight. In pvp getting tunnel vision means quick and brutal death. in pvp not being able to think quickly on your feet or knowing how to use ALL of your abilities, can and will mean losing. I've never was one of those people who would stand in a fire until they died and then blame healers for it, not even realizing that they should have just moved. After pvping? I've gotten a lot better and more efficient at it.

that said, people don't like pvp becasue they are not good at it, but they also don't like it becasue its not fair. pvp is like a fight in the back of the alley. if your attackers can outnumber you - they will do so. if they can take you out by kicking you in a groin - they will do it gleefully. pvp pretty much encourages winning at all costs, there's no fairness to it. there's strategy, but no fairness. and rules change all the time. and this lack of fairness this lack of an option where if you learn the rules you win every time and can "farm" the encounter is scary.

Anonymous said...

People are always looking for excuses to explain away their mistakes and shortcomings. If they are struggling on the faction champions they blame it on PvP, and say that since they don't do PvP they can't do this fight. It's the same line of thought as blaming poor gear rather than player performance. I don't care how many purples you have on, if you aren't intelligent enough to stop standing in the fire, gear won't save you.

People like to keep things streamlined and compartmentalized. So when a new(ish) mechanic comes along like the faction champions, those who struggle to overcome it often rail against it.

By the way, I think it would be endlessly amusing if GMs started taking control of the faction champions and really turned it into a PvP, or rather PvGM fight.

Klepsacovic said...

@Hana: Different is so much more difficult. The 50-50 thing is unfortunate for those who might win 90-10 in an unmatched system, but for so many, they are the 90-10 and I imagine they appreciate the 50-50. Or more likely they think they should be 90-10 as well and blame balance for their 50-50.

@Leah: PvE isn't very fair either. Sure our enemies are powerful, but they are artificially stupid. Faction champions is strange in that our enemy is much less powerful but also a bit less stupid. We're used to dealing with unguided power and just a hint of intelligence frightens us.

@crankyoldgnome: Clearly fire is OP and needs a nerf. :)

Fish said...

I don't like pvp because people run around in circles around and through you and stunlock you so you can't do anything. To my knowledge, the NPCs haven't resorted to that. . .

Leah said...

of course in pve our opponents are artificially stupid and its not fair..to them. this is what a lot of people enjoy - an unfair advantage, knowledge that the fight will be a sure win for them. in pvp they are very likely to become a victim of it (I hate you, tenacity, having it does absolutely nothing when there's 5 people taking turns stunning you and whittling you down, and you know that there will be no reinforcements because you are outnumbered 5 to one period), in PVE? raider is the one with unfair advantage.

Klepsacovic said...

@Fish: The trick is to do it right back. Except first.

@Leah: The funny part is how people are so slow to accept the unfair advantage; it's not unfair if they're on the winning side!

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