March 11, 2008

Blizzard: Another Reason To Dump Arenas

Another reason has surfaced that convinces me that Arenas are having a horrible effect on World of Warcarft. It seems that every month a new exploit is unveiled regarding Arenas, the latest being queue dodging, which allows teams to pick and choose whether or not to fight a match and in turn wasting their opponent's time. I have no doubt Blizzard will remedy the situation, but it doesn't matter.

Arenas, and the rewards gained from them, are destroying the game.

It is simple to understand why the Arenas are booming in popularity. The rewards are awesome, gained from one single activity, and for the most part fairly easy to attain (if you are willing to put in the time). The top-end rewards are now being restricted, but Personal and Team Ratings (along with Arena points) are just a few thousand gold pieces away these days.

I've crusaded my entire WoW career for balanced rewards in PvE and PvP. Some would say that is where Arena rewards currently stand, but that does not justify how exploitive the system has become where people are more likely to abuse or buy their way to the top rather than earn it themselves.

The question that comes to my mind is whether these exploits would exist if there was no rewards, aside from bragging rights, to be gained in Arenas. I'm sure some of them would exist, as people still hate to lose, but the widespread exploitation that we currently see would not. There simply wouldn't be the drive to exploit the system for essentially no gain.

Without the gear rewards, arenas would also be far less popular and end up pushing out a lot of the lower skilled teams as there would be fewer equally ranked teams to match them with.

Personally, I think that may be the way to go, as Blizzard preps Arenas for a more professional e-sport presentation which naturally pushes out the lower skilled teams. Blizzard has proven that PvE is their strong point and as a die hard PvPer, I can live with that.

Move the PvP focus back to battlegrounds and world objectives. Vary the rewards across each battleground and world PvP objective, instead of bottling all the great rewards into a single system (ala Arenas currently). Spread the PvP population out instead of forcing everyone into queues to line up for their next Professor Plum.

As a side note, as I leveled up through the Outlands, I couldn't help but feel disgusted at what a waste the world PvP objectives have become. I ignored pretty much every single one, as there was rarely an enemy to fight or challenge and I knew that the real rewards (Season 1 Arena gear) were at 70 and easily gained through the honor grind. Honestly Blizzard, why waste the development time on the world PvP objectives if their rewards are going to be made obsolete?

Oh and did I mention I'm debating quitting WoW again? Guess I did now :P