Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why do you fight?

So as of late I've been in a funk. Got my Druid to the late 40s, but it's been a long time since anyone's done an arena match, which slowed down my desire to level the job. Since then I've been watching and reading a lot of the information on Warhammer Online (WAR) and it's got me really jonesing to play it.

This has gotten me thinking about why I suddenly lack such a strong enthusiasm to level up my druid for PvP, but really want to PvP in WAR. They are both just PvP, right? Not really, at least for me. For me, it's a matter of why do I fight?

In WoW, one PvPs to get gear, so you can PvP more (either more easily or at higher ranks in Arena if that's your cup of tea). There are two types of players that this model of PvP really appeals to:
  • The Loot as Reward playerbase. You do PvP, you get epics. In fact it is one of the most surefire ways to gear yourself up. There may be some luck involved but you know by a certain time frame you will be decked out in all Season 1 epics, ignoring the potential gear from doing Arenas.
  • The "I just like to PvP" playerbase. These are the players for whom fighting human opponents is the ultimate thrill and is where it's at. As detailed in Rohan's post here, the gear is merely there as a reward for the LaR players. For those who just like to PvP, you get gear to equalize everything else, and leave only skill and personal choices (like class and talent builds) to differentiate the great from the good. Challenging people and fighting in an arena match or in battlegrounds is the fun itself.
Now, for players of these types, WoW gives them everything they want, and plans on expanding that with the release of WotLK and the implementation of Lake Wintergrasp.

But that's not enough for me. I need a reason to fight beyond just fighting and beyond better gear. Let's take raiding for example. I go into Karazhan, and lead my guild on a merry killing spree through the whole thing. We get loot and kill more and get loot, but why? Ah, there's a good "why" here. I kill and get loot to see more.

As of right now I've beaten about 10 bosses more than I ever figured I'd see in this expansion. Going in, I decided I wouldn't worry about leaving my guild and joining a big raiding guild. I was fine with seeing what ever it is I could see. If I never stepped foot in Kara, so be it. The fact that my guild was able to push through Karazhan, and will some day probably move onto Zul'Aman and possibly 25-man raids is just gravy.

Anyway, watching the information on WAR, like how all the scenarios (the WAR equivalent of Battlegrounds) and quests and everything will add to the war effort of trying to capture the next zone, which all leads up to making an attack on your opponent's city. Realizing that things inside BGs and the like can have an amazing effect on the game at large makes all my efforts grinding honor and the like seem hollow and pointless.

So at this point I'm at a dividing point. Either way, it'll just be a time filler until WAR comes out. Either I continue to PvP in WoW as filler, or I work on playing DAoC and PvP there. Now, DAoC may be somewhat outdated, but conceptually it has the closest to what I want in PvP. The (so-called) RvR has fighting over keeps and relics and stuff. I haven't decided which way I'll go, but I'm thinking about both.

Anyway, whatever I decide, it's just a matter of time until I can play WAR and get what I really want. (Oh yeah, and the Tome of Knowledge looks ridiculously delicious.)

So as a final question to any of my readers, why do you fight? For gear? For the thrill of battle? To see more? Just to be with friends? There is no right or wrong answer, just different ones.


Kuroshiro said...

Welcome to being an Explorer. :)

Seriously, though. While the PvP mechanics of WAR interest me, the fact that they've delayed things, plus my general pessimism regarding MMOs and individual server destiny (see: Ultima Online) leads me to believe that it will probably turn out like Planetside, where objectives mean nothing in the grand scheme of things and the time of day decides who's "winning", by virtue of which faction has the most people on.

For me, PvP is about the only thing I have. Even though I'm in a "cas-core" guild that is getting ready to move into SSC, my play schedule pretty much leaves me out of that. Even 5mans take scheduling so my only real shot at "high-end" gear anymore is Arenas and BGs. So I guess I started PvPing because of Loot as Reward.
Now, having done it for awhile, I have to say that I do enjoy it a lot. My 3v3 arena team (2 BM hunters and a resto shaman) are far from the best, but we do decent, and I find developing strategies versus different team types very challenging and fun.
Would I be interested in the grand PvP goals of WAR? Sure. But the other problem is inertia. I've got a lot of friends here, and keeping that in mind, WoW PvP is "good enough" to keep me around. I think that, more than anything, is the biggest problems new MMOs have to overcome.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm rather like you, Kaz, although I haven't played a game where I can experience it yet. I always thought RvR sounded like a really good idea - PvPing to actually affect the game world, woohoo!

This may have something to do with why I prefer World PvP to Arenas or BGs. There's just something more "real" about throwing down outside of the sterile, safe environments of the latter two. Even though I'm on a PvE server, I keep an eye out for flagged Hordies, and periodically join or organize a World PvP group.

Anonymous said...

Also, would you mind doing a post where you elaborate on your interest in WAR? I'd love to hear more about what attracts you to that game.


Fedaykin98 (same as anon above)

Galoheart said...

I like the topic. In some ways i share the same view especially like you WAR has struck a interest with me to at least try it out. Will it be better that WoW who knows and that will be debatable i'm sure. However the Thing is as you say "Why Do I Fight" in WoW? That right there goes to the hard of why i even play. So will answer it on my blog in my own post.

But as for WAR since i also gets the newsletter monthly and i do read and watch the podcasts and have commented on it before I already know which side i will be on whenever it finally comes "Destruction" of course, LoL. In a game meant to be fun and enjoyable its just fun to be evil. And i've narrowed it down to 2 classes already being either of order of "Chaos" a Chosen seems more appealing.

The other that interests me is of the order of the "Dark Elfs" being a "Black Guard". So so far reading through the newsletters thats the ones that most appealing to me though some the others have interests also as curiosity later on to try. But as a MMO i'm willing to give the game a try. After playing WoW over a year its just appealing to give something else a try.

I guess what appeals to me in WAR is not really per say because its Realm RvR or PvP. I dont do PvP much in WoW but what appeals to me which is missing to me in WoW is that what you do in actions make seems like it will make a difference in WAR. Capturing the enemy city will affect things in game play and make a difference which seem like dynamic game play. Which goes back to "Why We Fight". Yeah in a game like that I will choose to fight because what i do makes a difference to my faction or game friends. That can seen to be fun. We don't have much of that in WoW.

Honors Code said...

I PvP because I enjoy the tactical challenge. There is nothing I've experienced quite like a 15v15 PreMade v PreMade Arathi Basin. All the planning and coordination of a Raid is there. The sense of excitement and satification as you win a 2000 to 1950 game, virtually high fiving your teams, is awesome.

Outside of those times, it's mostly for gear, like to save myself 75 Badges for the Battlemaster Trinket.

Vaerlin said...

IT all boils down to WoW being a PvE game.

PvP in WoW is really a bloated minigame that appeals to so many people that it has become a focus. But WoW just isn't a PvP game. The PvP spin they've put on it really has more to do with keeping subscribers. Many people are LaR players and love the Diabloesque nature of collecting purples.

The Battlegrounds, Arenas, PvP gear... all an afterthought. I remember back in the beta that there were plans to make contested/neutral zones actually contested and city leaders actually worth killing... they have removed all incentives for true world PvP.

While more and more complex content has been added to PvE, the battlegrounds and arenas have been relatively slow to evolve. (only 4 battlegrounds and 3 arenas... with not a single original armor model since lvl 60 items -> all the Arena reward models are based on PvE dungeon themes)

Players truly interested in tactical PvP will be drawn towards a more balanced implementation. Like Team Fortress (for example) where everyone has access to every gear/class combo without having to level 9 characters 70 levels and grind honor with all of them to get gear... Or even games where more advanced classes/skills/gear are unlocked. Given a relatively short amount of time, everyone has unlocked everything and all it boils down to is strategic choice and tactical implementation... eliminating the 'grind'.

MMOs are really a poor medium for PvP content. On my server, back at 60, if WoW were truly a PvP game, the world would have been controlled by the Horde... they simply outnumberd the Alliance on my server nearly 2 to 1. All the players who were motivated by 'winning' would delete their Alliance toons, roll horde, stomp the Alliance to dust, get bored, and cancel. An MMO built from the ground up to deal with the issues of a fluctuating playerbase, to allow the underdogs to have a chance, to level the playing field on talents/classes/gear... That would be a PvP MMO. WoW is not... Maybe Blizz will make their next MMO PvP based. It's just very challenging.