There are a lot of posts about PvP and stuff on the blogosphere lately and while I have no intention to touch on the “balance” debate, it has got me thinking a little about PvP in general and how my personal feelings towards it have sort of changed.
When I was leveling my first character, I liked battlegrounds, a lot. Anytime I got to a level that ended in 7, 8, or 9, I would effectively stop leveling for a good few weeks so I could spend lots of quality time in battlegrounds. It was fun. Alliance always lost. I loved it anyway. I did Alterac Valley over and over and over again for Ice Barbed Spear, it took like twelve games before Alliance actually won. It was exhilarating.
I got to 70 and while I was mostly doing instances at this point, I decided that I was sick of staring at Valanos’ Longbow and decided to grind honor and marks for a super shiny PvP bow. Later I found out that the bow didn’t have particularly good stats for PvE, but no matter, it was pretty and I was a noob, and I wanted it.
This is where my experience with PvP started to sour. See, not only does Alliance on Bloodlust absolutely suck at BGs (or did, back then, I dunno if they still do), but premades were rampant. 99% of the time you got into a game, you were against a premade, being camped in the graveyard or the little floaty island in Eye of the Storm. Now, because I was super stubborn and thought premades ruined the PvP experience, I never participated in them. Unfortunately, everybody else, well, did.
I got that bow. I got it after weeks of drearily being graveyard camped by premades. Weeks of dreading queuing up for another resounding AV loss that consisted of me repeatedly being demolished by people that were decked out in five million resilience. Weeks of queuing in and randomly winding up as the sole Silver Hand player in an otherwise “hardcore PvP server” premade and being taunted and spammed the entire time with “LOL RP SERVAR” which would often even segue into sexist remarks. It was an awful experience. I longed for the days of pre-70 battlegrounds which were fun and exciting. I actually did a lot of battlegrounds on low-level characters to make up for it, but it wasn’t the same somehow, because I knew that those characters would eventually hit level 70 and battlegrounds would die again.
I can’t remember when the new anti-premade change (aka BEST CHANGE EVER) came about. But I’m pretty sure it encouraged me to do enough PvP that I wound up with some Merciless Gladiator gear, for the express purpose of having PvP gear when I wanted to PvP. I figured, hey, if you can’t beat the people with five million resilience, join ’em! But by that point it was sorta too late. I was tired of PvP. My friends and I were having a blast in heroics and Kara and that sort of eclipsed battlegrounds as “my thing”. Once I had all my PvP gear, I actually PvP’d, like… twice, maybe. Once was in an arena and I hated it so never went back. But yeah, it was silly. All dressed up and no interest in going anywhere.
So then we get this expansion. I get to 80. I do a ton of Heroics and Naxx a million times. My “PvP gear set” was woefully outdated but I had absolutely zero motivation to grind for PvP gear again. But one day, I realized that I had tons of extra badges. I pondered what to do with them. Then, on a lark, I bought some entry level PvP gear, donned them and some pants I’d won out of VoA, and headed into Alterac Valley.
Much to my surprise, in the long, long months it’d been since I’d been in AV on that battlegroup… Alliance had figured out how to win. Back when I had been into Battlegrounds, this would have been the happiest day ever. But no… it was just “meh” to me. The magic had somehow gone out of AV. It was actually quite a tragic realization… it depressed me a little. Healing it on my druid was a little more fun and kept my interest for a few hours but then it just became “meh” again.
I’ve never been into Wintergrasp (other than for VoA) or any of the new battlegrounds; I’ve no interest. I know I’m going to get the overwhelming “OMG WINTERGRASP IS SO DIFFERENT, YOU’LL LOVE IT” comments, and it’s probably true, but… I dunno. I just can’t motivate myself to get in there.
Now I want to make one thing very clear, I don’t have anything against PvP, or people who are primarily PvP players, or anything like that. I respect good PvPers and wish I was among them, cause I’m not. And ya know what, the occasional battleground on my lowbie is still fun, especially now that you can get XP for it. World PvP I’m iffy on– I enjoy it if it’s a fair fight, and the whole “contested territory” thing is fun in a prickly-feeling-on-the-back-of-your-neck kind of way, but I don’t and never will understand “ganking”.
But yeah, I figured you all deserved an explanation on why I used to talk about PvP a lot back in the day on this blog, and don’t really anymore.
Someday, though, I maintain hope that battlegrounds will get that “spark” back. I have very fond memories of Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, Alterac Valley… and lots of lessons that helped shape me into the hunter I am today. Someday I’m going to go back and they’ll all be just as fun as they were the first time a scrappy little band of underdogs won AV. The first time we had 0/3 flags capped in WSG and Horde had 2/3, and somehow, an hour later, we’d won. The first time an AB game went down to the wire.
I’m eagerly awaiting that day…