Greedy Goblin

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New arena system rewards losing!

One of the most common move in MMOs to support PvP is to reward losing. If you queue up for a random BG, you even get bonus honor for losing. This made boting widespread. However it can be dismissed as "random BGs are for newbies and scrubs, who cares". The top PvP features, arena and rated BG is believed to be zero sum: you gain rating only if your opponent lose.

It is true if your aim is gladiator title or high rating in general. However if you just want PvP gear (to use it in other PvP features or just walk around as a peacock), losing is rewarded. Sometimes even more than winning.

In the old system you got arena currency every week according to your rating, if you played 10 matches. A loss decreased your rating, decreased your reward. Now you get conquest points directly after a win. The trick is that in a rating system you lose half of your matches after you reach your rating. So every loss gives you a win.

But there is more here: the matches become faster at low rating. At high rating teams have healers, able to use CCs, have PvP gear, can LoS. A match can even last half an hour. Around 1000 rating I've yet to see a match taking more than 10 mins. The average is less than 5.

Let's say you are capable to reach 1900 rating. Then your cap is 2160 points. You must win 12 matches for that. And lose another 12. Let's say the average match length is 20 mins including queue. Then you spent 8 hours getting your points. If you got a strong enemy and lost rating, you have to play more to get it back

On the other hand at 1100 rating the cap is 1343 points. 8 wins are enough. You can win in 5 mins. You can lose in 3 by throwing the match, walking out naked (asked a GM he told it's OK). You get your points in one hour and without ever experiencing defeat or the annoyance when you killed one enemy but that damn holy pala refuses to stop and die and runs around for 10 more mins. At 1100 rating, the outcome is completely in your control. If you choose to win, you do, in less than 5 mins. Of course you must throw matches to keep at 1100 rating, but you can save even more time by doing it AFK. You press yes for the call to arena buttons and go AFK do something else, 5 mins later press OK for the loss screen.

So if you collect gear only for TB, rated BGs or one type of arena, you can easily max your points out for no effort. So the goblinish move is to get a 2v2 partner and tank your rating. It's also great to show you how terrible the playerbase is. My favorites are the 2-melee teams that jump on me, I keep casting heals, they just DPS, never interrupt.

Of course Blizzard could fix it easily (if 1900 rating gives 2100 pt, 1500 rating gives 1300, then 1100 rating should give 500 points), but I don't think they want. They want the lolkids to "progress" in PvP.


Andru said...

You're looking at this from the slightly wrong angle.

WoW is currently halfway through a gear-independent system for PvP.

For example, in EvE getting the best 'gear' is time consuming and expensive, and someone is at a distinct disadvantage for having poor stuff.

On the contrary, in Guild Wars, getting top-armor is easy. I mean, it's about as easy as (comparatively) going to a vendor and paying 1500 gold for your top-tier armor. (The more expensive armors all have some stupid stuff like glows and intricate designs.)

There's no easy answer to the 'best' system, but gear independence makes PvP slightly 'fairer.

You're maybe right, but the answer is a half-truth. If you weren't getting points for 'losing' you'd run against a brick wall at some ratings, where opponents might beat you due to superior stats.

Anonymous said...

WoW is not very PvP oriented. If you want tanks, you bribe them. So...

Look at Blizzard's problem. There was a small % of the players who were doing arenas. I did not see how Bliz justified all the developer effort and balance issues for such a small %. And requiring the logistics of getting a ten-person rBG, in addition to the other rBG problems, means rBGs have not been a huge success. If you don't "pay" the incompetent PvPers to Arena, how will they get significant numbers to Arena?

As a PvEer, I remember the "good old days" when you ran AV at 70 for welfare epics. Almost all of that went away. Except that if you start on a Monday evening, lose enough, you can get your Vicious Gladiator's Spellblade in a day of Arena. Considering the BS weapon is a 346 this is probably the best you can get pre-raid.

Azuriel said...

Actually, Rated BGs not rewarding anything on a loss is the #1 reason that very few people run them. In 4.2 Blizzard is using more stick than carrot by capping Conquest at 1000/1500 if you just do Arena, whereas a Rated BG can give 1500/1500.

The current system feels better than in Wrath, but you were actually directly rewarded for losing in Wrath, whereas going 0-10 is a waste of time assuming you weren't just tanking your rating.

Tonight, I went 0-4 in my 2s at ~1600 rating and we both just stopped for the night in frustration - each match lasted ~10 minutes, and Ret/Holy has little synergy to begin with compared to most of the comps we face at this level. It may be worth it to tank ourselves down to reset things, just to get games in. Incidentally, my partner is mainly doing these games for the guild rep; you get ~2700 per 8 wins, without even considering guild tabard bonus.

Paul said...

As a PvEer, I remember the "good old days" when you ran AV at 70 for welfare epics

And let's not forget the premades that were formed for the express purpose of losing EotS as fast as possible, to get a single mark.

Dev said...

PvP is a joke now, you don't even need to PvP to get arena gear. If you run a few random Zandalari heroics each week and exchange your valor points into conquest points you can get full epic pvp gear without ever stepping foot into a BG or Arena.

Grim said...

How does that make PvP a joke? Equalizing gear just makes it more of a skill contest.

Also, Zandalari heroics are a retardedly slow way to gain Conquest Points unless you are already capped on your weekly CP from arenas/rateds.

Xenxu said...

true competitive players of PvP don't play for the gear, and in competitive games everyone should start on equal footing, so the ease of gear is best for them to give them the best game possible.

The scrubs can have their peacock suits, as this let's blizzard continue to get revenue and improve the game. I don't think many top pvp players really care that the 1100 scrubs have the same gear.

Good post though.

Bristal said...

You may say that Blizzard gives rewards for "losing".

I say Blizzard gives rewards for "playing".

As a new player, or a "not very good" player, or even the dreaded "I don't care, it's a game lol" player, if I get no rewards or advancement for just showing up to play, it stands to reason that you will eventually run out of opponents.

You're a businessman (I thought), you have to cultivate new customers to continue to be successful, and new customers are primarily driven by deals, then gradually you may earn "loyalty" and reduce the elasticity of their demand.

Car dealerships do promotions, giving away all kinds of crap and having famous people to get people there to see their cars. The dealership knows that a mojority are just there to see the hot girls and eat free hot dogs, but if they can impress 10% of them and create customers, it pays for itself.

Giving more rewards for just showing up at lower levels of competition is a good business strategy to generate better players that play to win.