Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fight the Power

In any case we are continuing toward a goal of a PvP on/off toggle for players on PvE realms to be added in Warlords of Draenor, which would absolutely and in all situations allow someone to refrain from becoming flagged regardless of their actions. Heals toward flagged players would fail, coalescing to PvP realms wouldn't be possible, misclicks and AoE's would never damage a flagged opponent, etc. It's actually quite a bit of work because of all the systems involved, but it's still something we think PvE players should have, and how the game should work for them.

I grew up on a PvP Realm, on Southshore/Tarran Mill runs, in the days before battlegrounds even existed. I have the 50,000 Honor Kills Achievement. I even did Arena for nearly two years when it was introduced. PvP is not a problem for me. I'm on a PvE Realm because when my husband first rolled his Paladin, he was very specific in his desire. No PvP.  He wasn't playing to die every five minutes in a levelling zone He didn't want griefing. His concern was simply to play without hindrance. Ironically, that's never truly been possible on our PvE realm, but if the above statement is to be taken at face value, that may well change with Warlords.

This is actually quite a big deal after a decade.

Does this mean therefore that I can stroll into Orgrimmar the next time a Festival rolls around on my PvE Realm and steal/extinguish/chat to whoever I need without the worry of being attacked? I really hope it doesn't, because that would negate such a basic and fundamental part of the game for me it wouldn't be funny. The Enemy become pretty much toothless with the 'always off' button in place, and fear is almost totally negated. There actually NEEDS to be a way for people to accidentally die like this once in a while, I'd argue, as it's an essential part of the learning process for every player who interacts with the opposing faction. If we are to be given a toggle it needs to be useless in Enemy Cities to simply remain the illusion of lore, and people need to learn that there are places you simply don't go, and there is no Invulnerability mode.

Because honestly, this is the World Of WARCRAFT, people. Even I get that bit.

Old picture. Still fun

I do understand the rationale behind giving people the ability to ignore certain players, which is what this is, in essence. Take the guy who was griefing my son in Hellfire Peninsula last night for an hour: he just wanted to quest, but this DK decided he was going to kill every questgiver in sight, making this impossible. For a lot of players who choose PvE as their default this is something they hope to avoid when rolling to begin with, and making this kind of interaction impossible does have a measure of merit. However, when you consider the amount of PvP content placed over the last four expansions, it becomes in some places quite difficult to simply set the slider to OFF and leave it at that. There's also the possibility of missing events that could, quite conceivably, make you a better player. YES I SAID IT. PvP can improve your ability to play or, more significantly, it can expose your inability to do the same, and this is where there's a big hole that Blizzard know they can cover, and perhaps gain subscribers in the process. The title of the thread that original quote came from?!!!

It does seem like that sometimes especially when PvE abilities get screwed because of it, and even I'm prepared to admit that maybe it is time for a bit of distance between the adventure game and the combat side.

If I have screenies of this, it used to matter :D

If you are no good at something it can be really rather difficult to take the first steps towards self-improvement. Often, as this is a GAME we're talking about, there's no desire to try anyway, you just go and play somewhere else, and this is another part of the same hole I suspect Blizzard have identified as needing filling on PvE realms. However, bringing up two kids I find myself not wanting to be the parent who tells them not to try something because they may not succeed, but to do so PRECISELY because that could happen. This is the Bruce Wayne Mantra: we fail, so we can pick ourselves up and try again. That life skill is absolutely crucial for any child making their way in the world, that failure is not to be walked away from unless you KNOW you've tried the best you can. Having a PvE toggle means, at least for me that the world around me may be far better defined, more black and white indeed, but it is a lot less fun as a result. It also means there could be no need to try and be better either.

I'm really quite sad about that, at this moment.

However, as is becoming increasingly apparent as time goes on, I'm not the Target Audience [TM], and if the focus groups and the surveys say this is what people want... well, I can only assume many people will be very happy about this change. Look, there's one of them now. The fact remains, I think the key to a successful game isn't simply giving players what they ask for, it's educating them in the process, enlightening them and expanding their abilities, often without them even realising. However, as I read the stream of responses to no new content and paid toons on the PTR I see on some of the news sites I frequent, I think that maybe people just aren't happy unless there's something to moan about. Maybe if Blizzard takes this complaint away, those people might be happier. Who am I kidding.

Sometimes, you shouldn't get what you wish for. This might be one of those moments.


Raymond Hafner II said...

There is nothing wrong with pve players wanting to be able to choose the time and manner of their participation in pvp. To many abilities are broken in a way that they flag you without permission.

There is also a problem with blue flagging as it's commonly called where someone who's not pvp flagged uses their biggest hitting ability on someone who is to start pvp combat.

I agree pvp can help you become a better pve player, I routinely suggest to people that they go to BG's to brush up on various things that affect pve. This doesn't mean though they should be randomly flagged in the over world.

Flagging should never happen to a player in the course of normal game play. Weather it be looting or their rotation be it single target or aoeing.

Blackdemon said...

I think one of the things overlooked a lot in this discussion is how well suited your class/spec is to PvP. When I'm on my PVE Holy Paladin main, I'm not interested in one-on-one PvP since it's generally not fun for me, so I don't expect to be flagged when trying to turn in a quest or some other harmless activity.
On the other side of that, if I wonder into Orgrimmar with my alliance toon, I would absolutely expect to be flagged, but that is a choice to go there.
The big issue is choice. I chose a PVE realm so I could choose when I wanted to participate in PvP (if at all).
It sounds like the changes coming in Warlords are to fix some scenarios where that choice was taken away from me.

Bravo25 said...

I would fully expect a warning to come up as a non-flagged player is entering an enemy city, or about to dos a town guard, flight master or quest giver, and if you go ahead you get flagged.

Here's the main part where I disagree with you, though. Griefing is NOT PvP. How did your son improve as a player when a griefer is taking out quest givers left and right?

Yes, PvP can make you a better player. But again, we are not talking about PvP. We are talking about players grieving other people, That stealthed rouge on a mining node or flagged warrior on a quest giver is not PvP. It's just a a-hole getting his kicks by ruining someone else's play.

You may lament the lack of PvP content, but PvP has always been an afterthought of the rest of the PvE content. That hasn't changed. But if I want to go looking for PvP, I am two simple buttons away from it (H - then queue). I get all the PvP I could want and then go back to doing the things I want in my non-PvP world.

I, too, cut my teeth on a PvP realm. Participated in Tauren Mill vs Southshore fights (which seemed more productive than AV), and participated in lots of guild vs guild PvP in front of Karazhan. But I moved to a non-PvP realm for a reason. And it is past time for creative use of game mechanics to stop flagging people that don't want to PvP.

Jonathan said...

Godmother, you should actually be claiming the credit here. You did, after all, suggest this very thing over a year ago!

I still think it's an excellent idea, as I did back then.

R said...

I like the idea in general and I've often wished it was the case in-game. Regarding things like holiday city raids (old school definition, not 10- / 25-man type), I'd expect that will be an exception to the flag or you just won't be able to interact with whatever is necessary. Or they'll just put a big-ass invisible box over enemy cities if you won't allow a PvP flag... not sure it makes much sense for an unflagged hordie to be walking around /spitting on players in Stormwind.

marathal said...

Had a comment, but it apparently got lost to the nether.


If you invite me to your sandbox and I know we will fight, I do so knowingly, if you come unasked into mine and pee in it, I will just leave.

Aeliel said...

I agree PVP can make you a better player, but... there's a time and place. If I'm trying to, say, farm Timeless Coins or get the Bigger Bag drops, I don't want to PVP, especially not because some flagged jerk decided he'll go stand on the mob and hope somebody mistargets or AOEs so he can kill them unopposed. That's not PVP, that's griefing.

I do agree, though, that it shouldn't let you waltz into enemy cities unopposed. Also, if there are PVP-based quests (I'm thinking of the ones in Grizzly Hills, Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh and Terokkar, for instance), you either flag up or you don't do the quest.

hatter said...

I'd expect opposition cities would work like the quarters in Dalaran if you're not flagged - get too far in and you're dropped back out. Getting flagged somewhere like Nalak because I'm healing and one of the players is PVPd was never helpful, and I suspect I learned the same way as everyone else that joining a group in the Timeless Isle can get you onto a PVP realm - but joining, dying totally unexpectedly, then figuring out why.

I'm not particularly a PVP fan but I've done a little on most of my toons, and found it most useful for honing survival/defensive skills, which is priceless in progress raiding. All the moreso now more and more classes have a silence or especially a disspell/decurse/etc that we didn't level with, so mostly saw it in the patch notes then forgot about it.

Yamael said...

In my case, I feel physically sick whenever I engage in PvP. It doesn't matter if I win or lose, or if I entered it voluntarily or not, or for how long it went. Once I'm done I just feel exhausted and sick. I've ended like that in WoW, in Hearthstone, or even playing a game of Magic the Gathering against a friend at home.

So since I know I'll end up feeling like shit afterwards, I really hope that whatever game I play lets me choose when, and specially if I want to engage in PvP.

James Flinders said...

I welcome this potential change to PvP flagging honestly.

I don't play (nor have I ever played) WoW for the player to player faction war aspect. I play it for the storytelling, I play it for the dungeon delving, the exploring, crafting moderately powerful (yet entirely wasteful of my crafting materials) shiny things.

I've had too many instances in my almost 9 years of playing this game of being forced into PvP with never an intention of doing so. Usually by someone 10 or more levels higher than me so they can gank me (and then in some cases corpse camp me forcing me to log off the character i was actually enjoying playing - in order to carry on playing the game).

If the ability to participate in PvP has a toggle (and it does), that you choose to activate. Then it must be a real choice - if it's off, it should stay off unless YOU personally flag it on. Otherwise it's not a choice, it's an arbitrary thing that can be exploited (and frequently is).

I chose to play on a PvE realm - that should tell you enough. I am not interested in PvP in any way shape or form, I even have add on settings that automatically refuse duels with a polite message. If I was, I probably would have rolled on a PvP realm instead.

Maybe for those who want that risk - it could be a slider instead of on-off.

* Set to on - and all your actions and abilities that can flag you for pvp, will (including aoe healing someone who is PvP flagged while doing a world boss etc)

* Set to Active and attacking another flagged target, or healing a pvp flagged target directly will flag it, but aoe abilities will not (nor will they have any effect at all on the flagged targets). You have to specifically participate.

* set to off and nothing you do will affect a pvp flagged target. your spells won't heal or do any damage, and you will never be flagged for PvP unless you change the toggle manually.

That would be a balance that would accommodate us all. Those who want that full risk, those who want to be able to jump right in when they feel like it, and those like me who just don't want to get involved unless they specifically flag themselves on purpose.