Friday, June 19, 2009

PvP Servers: Why they suck and how to fix them

I spent my first few months in WoW playing several Alliance characters on a "normal" (non-PvP) server. Then one day I decided to try playing a Horde toon (Death Knight, of course) on a PvP server, just to see what it was like.

It sucked. I played for less than a week before I paid Blizzard $25 to transfer my character to a normal realm. (Yes, I could've just started again from scratch, but at that point I had invested enough playing time that starting over would have seemed painful, and a week of my time is worth a lot more than $25.)

A PvP server is an interesting idea, but Blizzard has totally screwed up the implementation. If you aren't familiar with PvP servers, essentially you are flagged for PvP at all times and can be attacked by players of the opposing faction at all times. There are a few "sanctuaries", such as the major cities and low-level starter zones, but go anywhere else and you are fair game.

On my normal server, I generally enjoyed the PvP aspects of the game. So the idea that I might fall into a PvP battle at any time sounded like fun, and I thought it would make for a more exciting experience. That was until I realized that this allows level 80s to attack level 30s, and suddenly the stupidity of it shines through.

Trying to do quests and level a character on a PvP server is simply ridiculous. There are far too many a--holes and morons who for some reason get great joy in ganking players way below their level. I did the normal DK starter zone stuff in a few hours without trouble. Then I went to Hellfire Peninsula. I can't count the number of times a level 70-80 character came and killed my 59. I can only assume that they all had small penises that they were trying to compensate for, because I can't think of any other logical reason for attacking a player 20 levels lower than you. These are probably the same idiots who cause their groups to wipe on trash pulls in heroic dungeons. So they need to find some other way to make themselves feel less stupid than they actually are, and attacking low-level players is the easiest way for them to do it.

There is a reason the WoW battlegrounds group players in the same 10-level range: because PvP between players with greater separation is just stupid. I would even argue that beyond about 5 levels, the higher player is so OP'd that he's going to win a PvP encounter 99% of the time.

How to Fix PvP Servers

A couple of very simple changes would make PvP servers palatable:

  1. You can't attack a player more than 3 levels below you unless they attack you first. You can still request a "duel", in case someone really really wants to fight you. (You can attack any player that is above your level. If you think your 60 can take out that 75, go for it. And good luck.)
  2. 80's can only attack other 80's (again, unless attacked first). This rule is needed because a well-geared 80 is so vastly superior to even a 79
  3. You can't attack the same player more than once a day, or at least once an hour. This would solve the problem I kept running into where I would run back, rez, and get killed again by the same asshole. Several times I either just had to take the rez sickness, or log out for an hour and hope the person got bored and went away. Either way I couldn't continue on the quests I was doing, which was beyond annoying.

Additionally or alternately, you could have a "questing" mode. This would be sort of like the ability to turn your PvP flag on and off on normal servers, except that it would be more restrictive. When in questing mode:

  • A) You can't be attacked.
  • B) You cannot attack other players, regardless of their level or PvP status.
  • C) If you turn off questing mode (entering PvP mode), you can't turn it back on again for at least an hour... maybe a full day.

I would never ever recommend a PvP server unless some of these changes got implemented. Unless of course you enjoy running from graveyard to corpse, which is probably how I spent about 50% of my time on the PvP server.

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