World of Warcraft has always focused most on the ‘Player versus Environment aspect of the game. And seeing as it is by far the most popular that makes a lot of sense.
However, the gap in popularity was not always as large as it is right now and Blizzard needs to make some severe changes if they want to bring ‘Player Versus Player’ back into the mainstream. While it will never be the most popular mode, the game would definitely thrive on having a more healthy balance.
The upcoming expansion, Battle for Azeroth are making some significant changes to the PvP system by adding something called War Mode. This opens up a lot of exciting possibilities for PvP in Battle for Azeroth and today we will look at 5 features that could make PvP in World of Warcraft awesome again.
The introduction of War Mode allows Blizzard to use increased resources on making exciting features for Player versus Player combat without neglecting the players that don’t fancy PvP servers. As any player will now be able to take part in PvP content as long as they have War Mode enabled.
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1. Bounty Hunting
Bounty hunting has already been confirmed for Battle for Azeroth and this feature already makes me so excited. Here is the official concept as it stands now. While this feature is already a great idea, there are plenty of ways to make it even more interesting.
Bounty Hunting – Ways to make it more fun
There are plenty of ways to make bounty hunting incredibly fun, and these are just a few I would personally like to see.
- Most wanted: Leaderboard tab that shows the most wanted players on the server that week. There are many ways to calculate who the most wanted is. Being the most wanted could perhaps reward a title or some bandit like cosmetic gear.
- Top Bounty Hunter: Leaderboard tab that shows the most successful bounty hunters of the server that week. Being the most successful bounty hunter could reward title and fitting cosmetics.
- Head on a spike: When you place a bounty on another players head, you will receive their ‘Head on a Spike’ in the mail once the task is completed. This could just be a cosmetic Toy that would allow the player to place the ‘Head on a Spike’ on the ground with text showing who it belongs to.
- Bounty Affix: Affix buffs are given to players that get a bounty placed on their head. Example: Once a prize is put on a player they also receive a buff if they survive for X amount of time. For every bounty hunter, the player manages to kill the player gain a stack of ‘Bounty.’ Bounty grant an additional X amount of health, damage, and size per stack, as well as increasing the amount of conquest points the player reward other players when killed. I don’t think this should be a constant, but rather a monthly event like Battleground Brawls and such.
World quests were one of the most successful implementations to come out of the Legion Expansion, and I think the game is better for it. This more dynamic type of daily quest presents an exciting opportunity in correlation with the new ‘War mode’ coming in Battle for Azeroth. It would allow us to have world PvP events focused on defending or attacking towns throughout Azeroth which would be a way more purposeful type of player-versus-player world quests. Maybe even make weekly ones that were about sieging Zuldazar and Boralus for great rewards.
This is something Blizzard could potentially invest some time into now as it would still work as a great PVE World quest with NPC’s taking part in the defense and assault of cities. Thus catering to the entire player base.
Faction Defensive/Offensive World Quest
Here is an example of how these quests might work:
- World quests that can spawn at a number of the opposing factions towns throughout Azeroth. This World Quest would let the player know that the defenses at a specific village are weakened and the time to strike is now.
- The defending faction gets a World Quest at the same town which asks them to come to the aid of this defenseless town.
- The world quest itself could contain many tasks and would probably be a simple ”fill the bar” quest that asks you to do many things as well as to kill attacker or defenders. Depending on your faction.
- Defending and attacking NPC’s would spawn at the town. Both to add to the scale but also so it would be doable for people without War Mode activated.
- The towns could be zoned to be maximum level only so that people who are leveling in the zones would not lose quest givers or get killed etc. This would also allow Blizzard to make a burned down version of the town that could become a reality for a few hours if the attackers win.
Weekly Capital Assault/Defense World Quests
- Once a week, each faction would get an elite World Quest, much like with World Bosses.
- This quest would be to either attack or defend a capital city, or maybe just Zuldazar and Boralus.
- As a weekly World Quest, it would take a little longer but reward much better rewards than usual.
This would positively promote some fun world Player-versus-player combat and make the faction conflict feel more real.
3. Colosseum – Player versus Player iteration of Brawler’s Guild(Ranked 1v1 PvP)
For too long the duelers have been the unsung heroes of the Warcraft PvP. While not all classes are great at one-on-one combat, this should not ruin it for those that enjoy that type of content.
Imagine a Brawler’s Guild-like arena. You would queue in the same way as you do in brawlers guild and if you survive your fight, you gain rewards and get to fight the next player in line.
First off. No, this game mode would not suit all specializations and would probably be dominated by few specific classes.
- PvP version of Brawler’s Guild: Players can queue up to enter the arena and fight. Precisely like the Brawler’s Guild. Instead of NPC bosses, the players would face other players that joined the queue.
- Are you not entertained!?: If you win a fight you gain X amount of honor and reputation with the Colosseum. Winning also allows you to stay in the arena and fight the next in queue. Winning fights back to back grant an additional bonus to honor rewards.
- Reputation & Rewards: The Colosseum should be a unique reputation faction that grant titles, gear, cosmetics and mounts to victorious gladiators. These rewards should probably be account wide as some classes will struggle in the Colosseum.
- 1v1 Ranked Mode: The Colosseum would efficiently be a ranked dueling mode to give players that enjoy 1-on-1 fights a ranked mode. Special mounts and title rewards should go to the top gladiators of the season just like other ranked modes.
- Betting Spectators: Much like in the Brawler’s Guild, players that are waiting in the queue or merely hanging out in the area will be able to see the fights as they happen. Before every match, spectators would be allowed to place a bet on either of the gladiators or to pass. The amount of gold should probably be a fixed amount and relatively low as to not offset any gambling issues.
Modes: Having rare events that would allow 2v2’s, 3v3, etc. would also be possible and probably a lot of fun with spectators
NOTE: This could also be an instanced mode just like the arena, but I think the Brawler’s Guild-like structure would be the most beneficial.
4. Gurubashi Arena World Quest
Quick recap for the new World of Warcraft players that have never taken part of this glorious event. Every 3 hours a chest spawns in the Gurubashi Arena in Stranglethorn Vale and whoever was the last man standing, or whoever could channel the chest long enough to claim it would win the event and the contents of the treasure. While dropping nothing more than a bit of random rare and uncommon gear as well as the Arena Master trinket, the event still attracts a few people every 3 hours on some servers. The equipment is pretty much only useful to so-called ”Twinks” as the trinket was ‘best in slot’ for low-level twinks, but still, it has been relatively popular over the years, ever since Vanilla Wow.
Now Imagine the spike in popularity if they were to introduce a new event like this with a unique Arena set with a decently high item level. Maybe even a tabard that increases honor points gained or something like that.
World Arena Event Concept
- Every 3 hours a chest will spawn in a specific location which any player allowed to channel can claim. Could be Gurubashi Arena or some new place.
- The chest reward gear and gimmicks specifically useful for player-versus-player activities. Such as gear, world items and buffs, and maybe even a Tabard rewarding additional honor gains.
- Cosmetics and achievements should also be a reward to players that manage to be the victor multiple of times.
This doesn’t have to happen at Gurubashi arena as it is more the gist of it that is important. With improved rewards, the Gurubashi Arena could become an insanely popular world even occurring every 3 hours.
While we did just receive a new Battleground, it had been many years since the last battleground before Seething Shore. In fact, we have to go all the way back to Mist of Pandaria to find the latest Battleground to be added to the game.
Content draught is a significant contributor to players losing interest, and PvP players have indeed seen a LOT of content draughts.
Use the faction war
The battle for Azeroth Expansion is an ideal time to add new and exciting Battlegrounds.
- Use Warfronts: Warfronts uses brand new(overhauled) zones to depict the Battlegrounds of the war between the Horde and the Alliance. Why not use these instanced zones to make new Battlegrounds. Add a flag to each town hall, and you got yourself a brand new Battleground.
- Battle Royale: Blizzard’s latest April’s Fool for World of Warcraft included a Battle Royale mode for the game. Now, this would require some work, but we did a deep-dive into how they might make this work.
- Make Alterec Valley Great again: With 40 man Battlegrounds such as Alterec Valley being put in a separate queue, Blizzard now has an opportunity to make it interesting again. While I don’t think they should go full-on Vanilla Wow and make it a 40-hour long battle, a middle-ground would be great. Making the bigger Battlegrounds last a few hours and make the old Alterec Valley quests relevant again would be great.
- More Brawls: Brawls, while not anything groundbreaking, is a nice addition to the game and adds some variety to the mix. Give us more!
What is ”War Mode”?
In Battle for Azeroth, there will no longer be specific ”Player versus Player and Player versus Environment” servers. Instead, all players have the choice to enable or disable themselves for ‘War Mode’ whenever they are in a capital city.
Players with War Mode toggled on will be put together on the same ”shard” as other players that have it on as well. These players will be able to freely PvP in the open world and will effectively be playing on a ”Player versus Player” server as long as it is enabled.
And you guessed it. With War Mode toggled off you will not be eligible for PvP combat out in the open world.
- War Mode can only be toggled on and off in specific zones(Capital cities)
- There will be bonuses for players with War Mode active to make up for the less effective playstyle. This includes bonuses to experience gains as well as PvP talents being enabled out in the world.
- Players with War Mode toggled off will still be eligible for PvP if they visit the other factions capital cities.
Overall PvP Overhaul – Templates, nerfs to tanks, defensive cooldowns, and self-healing
There are a few glaring issues with Player-versus-player combat in World of Warcraft right now, and they need to be fixed if PvP is to thrive again.
- Tanks: First off, tanks are way too powerful. It is not uncommon for tanks to solo several opponents in PvP. This could be fixed by either reducing the effectiveness of defensive cooldowns in a Player-versus-player environment or by reducing the damage they do. Likely the best fix would be a mixture of both.
- Assassins: Damage dealing roles have way too much survivability and self-heals. Sometimes a fight between two damage dealers can take ages, which really shouldn’t be the case.
- Healers: Nerfing damage dealers’ survivability would likely also mean that healers would need a nerf not to become too powerful and necessary for success.
- Alter templates: Generally speaking, PvP combat takes too long as it is right now. So a minor buff to general damage and a nerf to overall health and defensive cooldowns would be welcomed in my opinion. I realize some might disagree with this point.
- Focus on fun rather than perfect balance: World of Warcraft have almost 40 different specializations, and all of those have a LOT of abilities, even after pruning. The hard truth is that this game will never be well balanced. However, by focusing on enforcing the uniqueness and strengths of all the specializations you might achieve a situation where every class is overpowered and underpowered at the same time. A frost mage might tear apart warriors but lose to most rogues, while warriors might destroy them. Having this kind of rock-paper-scissors balance is a more realistic and healthy route to take PvP balance, and total and utter chaos in the balance department might make the game fairer. Let every specialization have very effective strengths and more harsh weaknesses.
- Rock-paper-scissor PvP: Just to clarify, this does not mean that certain classes should always beat some specific classes. Focusing on making classes strengths stronger and weaknesses bigger also increase the importance of player skills.
These are just a few of the changes Blizzard could make, but I feel this general shift in mindset would be huge for World of Warcraft Player-versus-Player combat.
PvP in World of Warcraft have potential to become incredibly fun and be a more prominent game mode in Wow. However, this will never happen if Blizzard keeps treating it on par with Pet-battles. (Although pet battlers generally see more new content that PvP’ers).
These are just my 2 cents, I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comment section.