Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Crazy Dream: PvE Arenas

The more that I play 2v2 arenas, the more my issues with the current PvE gearing solidify.  It seems strange to find PvE clarity through PvP, but I suppose it simply serves to highlight that Blizz can still do things completely right.  And make no mistake, I think the current gearing path for PvP is completely right.  Sure we had that slight snafu during the transition from season 9 to season 10.  But if you throw that bit of confusion out (which we were probably over-compensated for anyway), it's really proven to be a pretty good system.

I wish I could say the same for PvE.  The word painful comes to mind, and that's it.  What I think Blizzard forgot is that we enjoy getting new gear.  That's part of the... what's that word?  Oh yeah.  Fun.  Gearing is fun.  Yet, the whole expansion has been focused on limiting the speed of gearing.  We've been forced to throttle our fun, lest we exhaust it too soon.

I understand why they slowed us down, but I'm not sure that it's been done evenly.  The more I play arenas, the more I believe that PvP has hit the nail on the head, while PvE has missed the mark... by about a week.  I would conjecture that what takes me one night of casual play to accomplish in PvP, takes me a week in PvE.

I guess my main complaint is simply that PvE gearing is too slow and arduous.  That is to say, I don't feel like I'm adequately rewarded for my time and effort spent.  Spend two hours playing arenas, and you can cap your CP for the week.  Spend two hours running dungeons, and you can get two done... if you're lucky.  And what is that?  ~300 VP on a good day?  Compared to ~1200 CP.  And we're not even "killing it" in arenas.  We lose as much as we win.  I'm sure we could cap a lot faster.

The difference, as I see it, is that I can put in a good two hours of playing, cap out for the week, and net myself a gear upgrade (Or significantly closer to one.  Some are more expensive.  Like weapons.  And I'm totally okay with that).  To get the same treatment from PvE, I basically need to run each day of the week for two hours.  Hardly equivalent.

And I know, we're supposed to be raiding to get gear upgrades.  But the VP isn't exactly falling from the sky there either.  Also, the loot tables seem horribly tuned.  We routinely get drops we can't use.  Or the same drops we got last night.  Or the same slot that dropped from the last boss.  I mean I'm sure it's not "by design," but it certainly feels that way a lot more, doesn't it?

In Wrath, there were always one or two slots (I would argue now there are like 4 or 5, but let's throw that one out for the moment) that were hard to get.  And you could chain run the super-quick heroics, be rewarded with a good (it seemed) number of token points, and fill a lot of your slots with purchased gear.  Now, I can agree that it led to some crazy patterns of running and gearing out super quick.  So I'm fine with capping.  I just want a fun way to reach the cap, and the current answer of heroics are not it.  Raids aren't really cutting either, though maybe they're working on that with all the nerfs.

Here's what I know.  As a player and long time customer, I'm really looking forward to arenas tonight.  I've been capped all week, and that has simply built my anticipation.  They're getting the same money from me whether I log on Tuesday excited, or log on Saturday frustrated with the same troll-roics I've been running each day.  Wouldn't you rather have an excited customer?  And I have to believe a lot of that is simply due to the feeling that I can get somewhere in PvP.  It has been tuned correctly, in my opinion (as far as gearing goes... class balance is a whole 'nother post).

So what would I like to see?  I do have an idea.  I always try to have an idea when I whine.  Try this one on for size...

While we all hated the idea of a one room raid (ToC), I don't think we similarly hated the idea of one room dungeons (think Violet Hold, but there really hasn't been one of these in each expansion).  Let's take that assumption and run with it.  Arena-ize it, if you will.  Arenas are fun because you can queue up, be thrown right in to the mix, be done in 10-15 with a moderate reward.  They're a quick fix, balanced nicely with other, longer options.

I think we need that option on the PvE side.  We need a PvE arena.  Want to be radical?  Make it 2vB, or 3vB, or 5vB options.  Throw in a random boss.  Scale the health depending on the players, but don't change the mechanics.  Part of the fun might be: do we go in with two DPS and try to burn and kite?  Do we need a tank?  How about a healer?  It breaks away from the holy trinity... and that's what I love about this idea.

Now, I grant that that would be a pretty ambitious projects so deep into an MMO's life-cycle.  It may not be worth it, from a business sense, to commit so many resources to a project.  So here's the lazy version: One random dungeon (maybe even a scaled raid?) boss, 5 players enter.  You get one shot.  If you wipe, you are awarded no points and my the Light have mercy on your soul.  Otherwise, you get a nice little hit of points.  No gold.  No drops.  Simply VP.  Maybe like 50 with a ~1200 cap.  It'd still be somewhat slower than arenas, but boy would I think that'd be fun.  And it'd give us a quick fix option that it seems we're lacking.

Is this a horrible idea?  Would it ruin some aspect that I'm not thinking off?  Let me know what you think.


  1. ZOMG this is an awesome idea. I am completely on-board with you here.

  2. Thanks. I like it. My wife also came up with a good side idea: Short instanced quests for VP. Thus, it doesn't even have to be a boss. Could be fight off these waves of things or an escort quest or something.

  3. Interesting idea Ful. Last night, I just started arena with a guild feral druid. After the raid, I popped on my 2 pieces of PVP gear and proceeded to be slaughtered for 7 of the 8 battles we fought. At least my partner was decked out in full PVP gear, with max'd out resilience, so not a total loss, but still dreadful.

    I like the idea of a PVE arena, but in that I could use my PVE gear to fight NPCs and get PVP points!! This with the future plans to participate in more regular PVP arena's but need resilience gear BADLY.

    Back to my BGs to get 100 more honor..

  4. They already have conversions for the lower end of tokens. I'm sure they could figure out a similar conversion for the high end that wouldn't break the game. I think the whole reason they don't have it right now is for exactly the reason I mention: gearing PvP is fun and quick, while PvE is hard and painful. People would stop doing PvE stuff...

  5. hehe, people would stop doing PVE.

    You're funny!

    That's why we don't see many violet proto-drakes; people HATE pvp so much, they can't complete this children's week achievements, hence no long strange trip achieves....

  6. Right, but that was the argument Blizz made right? Can't have CP convert to VP because people would abuse it.

  7. Heh. Kinda like me taking my army of alts to Coren Direbrew damn near every night of Brewfest.
    25JP, a shot at a trinket, and some other assorted fun stuff. You know... as in fun.

    I'll do it again when Hallow's End starts up. My alts could use the rings that drop and the other fun stuff is... fun.

    Something like this would be an altoholic's dream.

    So 25JP, once a day, and a random piece of JP gear (non tier pieces). I'd hit it like a fat kid on cake. I know I do when the holiday bosses roll around and they seem to be a hit as the queue times for them are generally very short.

    There might be a case made for this hurting the LFD for the rest of the instances. During Brewfest I don't think I took a single alt to a heroic dungeon during the event.

  8. If it hurts dungeons... it's because we don't (collectively) find them very fun. After the novelty has worn off, who really wants to run them randomly anyway? I'll run the new ones some and enjoy it... but after time 27 (or whatever), they get old. Anything would. The saving grace of holiday bosses is that they're quick. It's a lot easier to tolerate quicker things. Also, I just have a hard time doing anything where I'm not sure how long it'll take. A dungeon turning into two hours of wiping is just terribad.

  9. You know it would open up the whole casual versus hardcore can of worms. Again.

    Casuals: so easy an alt could do it!
    Hardcores: these noobs get gear for nuthin and then show up to raids and fail.


  10. lol. Probably. I hate freak gasoline fight accidents.

  11. I believe that Rift added this in their last patch (1.5): Solo/Duo dungeons called "Chronicles". Which I think reward dungeon gear.

  12. Ha. Add that of my list of reasons to try Rift. I've heard a lot of great things about the game.

    The big things that are holding me back right now:
    Solo games coming out in Nov I want to play: Skyrim and AC:Revelations.
    SW:TOR coming out in Dec.
    Continuing to raid with my friends in WoW.
    Coaching football until the HS season ends.

    Football ends with just enough time to anticipate those solo games. There's no way I'll finish them before SW:TOR, and then I'll be involved with two MMO's, which is really the limit of my time.

    In short, Rift just doesn't fit, sadly. Though if my whole guild moved there, or SW:TOR is a bust, or when I finish all those solo games and some time frees up... well, then I owe it a try.

    That's a long answer, but I have to keep reminding myself of it. There's a lot enticing to Rift right now, but I can't justify the time/money to play it "right" right now. :-(