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MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 11/23/04)  | Pub:Blizzard Entertainment
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World of Warcraft Column: The Buddy System

By Reza Lackey on January 13, 2014

Senior PvP designer Brian Holinka recently announced on Twitter that Blizzard is planning a new PVP season before the release of the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Brians tweet indicated that new gear and rewards will be coming along with this new season and that additional details, including a timeline, will be coming soon. Now’s a good time to try PvP if you haven’t or get back into it if you’ve stepped away - it’s a great way to feel progression while we wait for new PvE content to tear up.

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Now, two things: First, will this new season be as long as previous seasons leading us to believe that Warlords of Draenor is 20 - 30 weeks away? Maybe. But maybe not - a keyword in his tweet was “timeline.” This could be a much shorter season than those that have come before. Let’s not all freak out just yet.

Secondly, for those of you who never step foot into the world of PvP perhaps now would be a good time to start slinging spells at the opposing faction. If you don’t participate in PvP because you’re worried about losing or don’t like the competitive nature of it, perhaps I can offer you a new way of approaching this vast system that shouldn’t go ignored.

Anxiety

For some players, competitive gaming can be a difficult task to partake in even though there is a desire to give it a whirl. For those of you who have played StarCraft or Heathstone you may be familiar with the term “ladder anxiety” which refers to the hard decision of searching for a ranked match while worried about chalking up a loss. This anxiety is perhaps the largest barrier of entry to multiplayer gaming especially when it comes to more competitive forms such as StarCraft or Arenas in World of Warcraft. When you’re a new player starting out there is a good chance you’ll be losing more games than you’ll win and that can make for a very frustrating experience.

When it comes to World of Warcraft, there are two components that make up the PvP experience, Battlegrounds and Arenas. If you’re not familiar, Arenas are essentially deathmatch games where teams of two, three or five take on another team of equal size attempting attempting to outlive and defeat them - very straight forward. Battlegrounds are larger team, objective-based games such as capture the flag and node control.

In World of Warcraft, similar to other MMOs, there is PvP gear that will greatly benefit players in such experiences. However, recent changes to the way PvP gear and the two main PvP stats work (PvP Power and PvP Resilience) make players rocking only PvE gear a bit more viable than they have been in the past. This basically means you don’t need to have the greatest gear in the game to melt the faces of your enemies although it would certainly help. Another recent change to the PvP system was the item level normalization. What this means is that all players will have their gear scaled down to 496 (gear is not scaled up) so it’s less likely that you’ll be out geared from the get go assuming you have acquired some gear at end game.

So the gear and iLevel scaling is all well and good, but it most likely doesn’t solve the core problem of human anxiety when it comes time to hop into the arenas and battlegrounds. So how do I propose you overcome this? It’s simple: Bring a friend.

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