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WOW GOLD MVP - WoW Beginners Guides - The Fixs Facing the Arenas

The Fixs Facing the Arenas

Blizzcon is over and so are a lot of the arenas in World of Warcraft. In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade you could find arenas as the focal point in gear. Arena gear was the best, raiding was difficult as snot, and PvP was the “in” thing. Blizzcon ‘08 hailed WoW as a major esport and hailed PvP as the new coming of esports. Now, with World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King the arenas are still going along but a lot of steam has ran out, considering most of the gear now has a rating requirement. Blizzcon ’09 still forced competitive WoW playing on the table, as if it’s an esport, but the question I ask, is it really?

Let’s start at the last in the list. The RNG (or Random Number Generator) determines how much damage you deal each hit. You’ve got a MIN and a MAX that you can do each hit and the RNG determines what that number will be in between. Then you have the RNG on resists which determines if a spell is resisted or not, or if something is dodged/parried. A fight can literally be won by a resist, a dodge, parry, or some other divine luck. Finally, the RNG will determine if a critical strike hits or not. If you get enough critical strikes in a certain amount of time then you can either save someone (in heals) or kill someone (in shear damage).

Blizzard, in their attempts to push the arenas as a serious esport, added in Resilience as part of the new combat system. This reduces the chances you’ll be crit, cut mana drains, and a few other things. Doesn’t help dodges, parries, and resists though nor does it change the fact that crits still hurt and as long as an RNG is part of the game, there is going to be no true fairness to it.

The RNG is the biggest killer to me of arenas as a serious competitive platform. You can’t brag about defeating a team when the game determined a lot of the fight. Sure, skill is important, but the skill required to play some of the cookie cutter teams is about as much as the skill to not stand in the fire in the Vault of Archavon. That’s where we get to classes.

In Starcraft you can choose any race and as long as you’re good at that race you’ll be able to use skill, tactics, and superior planning. This makes it a perfect esport. However, in WoW, if your class combo isn’t the flavor of the month then you’re going to get stomped. There are too many skills, abilities, and other things that players can theorycraft together that’s perfect while others are just inferior. This is a problem that Guild Wars ran into where cookie cutter teams would stomp everyone until a counter cookie cutter team became the new cookie cutter (and a vicious cycle formed).

The last is balance. Some abilities that work wonders in PvE absolutely can either suck or rock in PvP because players aren’t dumb dragons who put fire on the ground for idiots to stand in. They move around and their defenses work differently (5% hit is all you need in PvP for instance). So you’re in a constant war between making classes good in PvE and PvP. Shamans for instance were nerfed at one time because of the arenas and now Fan of Knives is hitting the nerf stick because it’s the only ability Rogues use in the arena thereabouts (but Rogues are currently under represented in the arena, think on that one).

Death in the arena usually ends in a GG right there and there. This can occur when you're not using the flavor of the month build and meet the flavor of the month build.
I haven’t even gotten to the point about arena gear requiring arena rating (there isn’t an open field unless you play on the separate arena tournament servers) or how gear factors into things. Your average player isn’t going to shell out cash or just so happen to have the class that’s in to get a major arena ranking to get all the loot now. So your average player is even kicked out from having a fair, even field of gear and just gets stomped into the ground with people who have lvl 242+ weapons and the best possible gear.

In the end, I see arenas as something fun to do just like the battlegrounds. Winning or losing doesn’t matter, neither does the rating. The RNG, your gear, and the current flavor of the month team all affect your performance so much in my opinion that ratings just don’t matter. I’m sure the people are top 20 or top 40 worldwide compensate for a lot of that and are really skilled players, but I don’t respect it as much as the top 20 or 40 players who play Starcraft orsome other super balanced RTS or FPS game.