Jump to content

  • Curse Sites
Help
Rate Article   - - - - -

What is Skill?

The definition of "Skill" is the ability to do something well.

Is WoW a game that takes skill? Does it actually require people to practice? Today I'll go through several aspects in WoW PvP and also my own personal opinion on this topic.

Basics of WoW Arena

The basics of WoW PvP these days are actually somewhat demanding if you're a new player to MMORPGs. This is due to a few factors, but one would be the amount of keybindings required to even function in arenas. Besides that is also understanding the concepts of macros, setting up your character, and more.

Keybindings

When a keybinding is needed to be used in arena, it's essentially the same as having another button or combo to press in a game. Imagine a game with 4 buttons versus 40. While it's true certain abilities are spammed more than others, most classes have 10+ abilities that's frequently used in arenas and should be keybinded. 10+ keybinds which is very little for WoW (many top players have 40 or more) is already much more than the average game. While more keybinds doesn't necessary make a game harder than one with less, it certainly does make the game more challenging and require more practice for a person to adapt to.

Posted Image


Macros

Macros are different for almost every class. WoW is one of the few MMOs that I've ever played requiring a decent amount of knowledge with using macros. In order to function properly in PvP nearly every class needs macros. The knowledge of macros to experienced players is simple, but to beginners they are a hurdle to cross. One example is arena target macros. Arena target macros lets players easily get their crowd controls out without sacrificing time to target others. This makes them act faster. Getting used to macros take experience, and some people get used to advanced macros faster than others.


Gearing / Glyphs / Talents

In WoW, gearing, glyphing, and talents usually has a cookie-cutter build. With the armory being easily accessible most people can find the top level player of their class and copy them. They can also do research by looking up guides or videos. Even experienced players can find something to learn from by using top players as reference.

It's hard to say setting up your character takes "skill", but if you look at the amount of people that sets up their character wrong for PvP or PvE it's quite flabbergasting. While skill might be the wrong word, it definitely takes a lot of time and effort to set up your character correctly. Even after you get the cookie-cutter set-up down, there's still more to it. At higher ratings most players swap glyphs, spec, and gear depending on what they are matching up against or who they are playing with. PvP changes a lot depending on the situation, and "skilled" players know when to change things up to increase their chances of winning.


Posted Image


Video of my 3 Favorite Games this Season



This video shows my 3 favorite games I played in this season. Just by looking at my teammates and opponents you can definitely see "skill" involved. In the first game any regular priest would not have juked that counterspell when I was at 1% HP. In the third game the Rogue Mage Priest despite losing had great coordination in peeling my team's offensive cooldowns. This kind of coordination, in my opinion, shows skill.


The Ability to Predict


In sports and games, one thing that sets apart "skilled" players and regular ones are their ability to predict opponents. In WoW, besides predicting your opponents you also need to understand your teammates. No matter how great your communication between your team is, without understanding what your teammates are going to do your success will be limited. If you can't understand your teammates there's a high chance you'll overlap cooldowns which will cost games.


Predicting your opponents is another huge factor in WoW. Priests that can death blinds frequently, Paladins that can Hand of Sacrifice instant crowd-controls, Death Knights stealing Pain Suppression and more. All of these takes a good amount of ability and skill to predict. You have to understand the game well, understand your opponents, and be able to calmly understand the situation you're in to make these kinds of prediction. In my opinion, this is a great form of showing "skill."


Posted Image


The Mind Games


WoW has it's own little mini mind game when it comes to interrupts. Top healers are almost never interrupted on cast. It's crazy how different it is from a 2200 healer and 1500, or 2600 and 2200. Their ability to calmly juke casts is on another level. This also works the other way around with the player who is interrupting.


Besides the mini game with interrupts, there is also strategies that can play with a team's mind. Thing such as dragging a team into the room in Ruins of Lordaeron, or a Warlock jumping off Blade's Edge. The knowledge to use this positioning for a team's advantage is another huge aspect of this game. When is it right to jump down to catch that Warlock? When is it right to overextend and go in that room?


Posted Image


Strategies


Strategies is something teams talk about almost a little before every game. When I play with my team, we always have set strategies for openers so we know what to do when the gates open. Forming strategies and countering it is another part of WoW that requires "skill." The effectiveness of a strategy is something that experience and a person's ability determine. Teams who use the wrong strategies such as hitting the wrong targets will find themselves losing a lot more than a team doing it correctly. Basic strategies are always simple, which mainly include what targets to hit.


Strategies in WoW however especially at higher levels get more and more complicated. For example, a Rogue Mage Priest opening strategy versus a Retribution Paladin Death Knight Priest could be sap the Paladin, set up, open on Priest, and fear when the Priest is stunned by the rogue. After Priest uses Pain Suppression or gets Hand of Protection swap on the Retribution Paladin to force bubble, then Mass Dispel since there won't be Pain Suppression and instantly kill him. A solid strategy like this is much better than go on the Priest and do whatever you guys want. By having more valuable strategies a team can succeed more often because things will merely line up better that way.

On Demand Thinking


On demand thinking and changing strategies mid-game is very common. Lets take the Paladin Death Knight Priest for example, lets say the Death Knight Unholy Frenzies himself and the Paladin Hand of Sacrifices the Death Knight to not get sapped and charges in. What are you going to do now as the Rogue Mage Priest? You would have to adapt, try to go for a Sap on Priest and open Paladin instead. Once teams are more experienced with this Paladin Death Knight Priest, they may even make branch strategies of changing their openers around depending on how the opponents play which is what PvP is exactly about!


Playing the game, predict your opponents, know your own stuff, and do your best to win. It gets more and more complicated down the road but that's the fun of it. That's how a player improves and gets more "skilled."

Teamwork and Communication


Communication has always been hard with human beings. People have been having difficulty communicating with each other since forever. That's why it's amazing when you see a team with great coordination and synergy. Players that can understand each other really well, and communicate the rest of the gaps.


Check out this previous article I wrote on communication for some more analysis from me:


Communication and Dealing with Losses

EQ


EQ and skill is two completely different things, but in some ways they do relate with each other. EQ is after all, the reason of success to many things for human beings. Being able to maintain composure even in tight situations and making the right call is not something every player can do. In fact, many players lose it when they lose a game! I'm sure all of us have at least played with that one negative guy before who just won't stop complaining. He just loves blaming everything on someone but never himself. These are the people NO ONE wants to play with, and probably won't do well in the end either.

Personal Opinion


I personally feel WoW does take skill to play. Most if not all of this ability can be acquired through practice and a right state of mind which I feel is a good thing. There are certainly other games that require more "skill" than WoW in certain elements such as Starcraft 2. Starcraft 2 requires a player to be absolutely insane at predicting, and strategies plays an even more important role. APM in Starcraft 2 is also much higher. However at the same time I'm playing WoW because to me I feel a much stronger attachment to the game. WoW is an MMORPG before PvP, meaning you get to build your character from scratch. Starting from level 1, you're already building your character to the way you envision it, and when it caps out on level you start gearing it towards your needs. PvP nowadays has a much more set rule in gears etc, but there's still a lot of room for creativity and "skill" in how to do gearing, glyphs, reforging, gems, and more. It makes PvPers not only research on how to PvP properly, but how to make their character a proper fitting for it. For me, being attached to the game is something important when I play, and WoW has done this quite well which is why I've sticked with it for so long.


What do you guys think?
Posted in: News
Promoted from Skill and WoW

Comments

#1 Rod

Rod
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 304

Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:01 PM

these 2 dont combine

#2 ardnut

ardnut
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 3298

Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:51 PM

I would agree there is skill involved in the game.  Also thanks for the great guide.  The only problem is that skill isn't the only factor with gear and class imbalances playing a huge role also.
* RBG/PvP Guild * Stormscale EU * Recruitment Thread * Click Below *
Posted Image

#3 Epzyxo

Epzyxo
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 550

Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:34 PM

eq = equalizer xd

Posted Image


#4 zenton

zenton
  • Members
  • Posts: 107

Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:34 PM

Pre-cataclysm rogue vs rogue duels, with all the [i]reactive[/i] (and yes, sometimes predictive) vanish - countering vanish minigames.. (vanish the blind - blind the vanish etc..)

Now that was a skillcap with an equal to any of the most "skillcapped" games.


And while reaction has now much less meaning than it had in f.e. S5 it's still a factor, just as maning your posioton, your movements and your cds.

As a sum, skill is certeainly a huge part of WoW, even if it's a bit different from lets say Quake3.

#5 Saru93

Saru93
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 929

Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:46 PM

2 + rep for Vanguards thread

3 + rep for Minpojkes "first xx xx"

[img]http://i2.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/002/611/close_enough.png[/img]

anyways g00d post

#6 Maitopurkki

Maitopurkki
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 157

Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:04 PM

[quote name='Enteyjin' timestamp='1343789213' post='3737269']
wow wont ever be a skill based game, always depends what comp u  run and what gear u have. u barely play against a team where it comes to who has more skill except mirror with equal gear. for example backpaddling tripple dps wins against multi r1 rls... completely retarded. so banning pve gear from arena wud take us a big step forward. but i guess there will always be teams which are getting hardcountered by other teams...
just my  2 cents

btw playing chess besides wow calms down ur nerves
[/quote]

WoW will never be balanced game, but saying it doesn´t require skill is just ignorant. Yeah you are in disadvantage sometimes when enemy have better gear or counter your comp, but you can most of the time outcome that by outplaying / outcoordinating them. Sure if you play tsg and your coordination is "Go priest" "yEaH" "Priest didn't die, i guess we lose now" i can see how you think like that.
Posted Image

View PostÁlex1296683699, on 24 April 2012 - 10:08 AM, said:

sadly pve in this season can carry u easily :(

#7 Enteyjin

Enteyjin
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 134

Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:24 PM

[quote name='Maitopurkki' timestamp='1343833470' post='3737402']
WoW will never be balanced game, but saying it doesn´t require skill is just ignorant. Yeah you are in disadvantage sometimes when enemy have better gear or counter your comp, but you can most of the time outcome that by outplaying / outcoordinating them. Sure if you play tsg and your coordination is "Go priest" "yEaH" "Priest didn't die, i guess we lose now" i can see how you think like that.
[/quote]

seems like u know how tsg works these days

#8 NiNLeX

NiNLeX
  • Members
  • Posts: 272

Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:50 PM

[quote name='Hackattack3' timestamp='1343801561' post='3737326']
To the OP,

Although I enjoy your videos and effort with the website, i feel you are giving yourself a bit too much credit for pushing buttons by overly generalizing "skill".  Let's try to make some comparisons between a football quarterback and a wow player.

A quarterback can improve strength and speed through dedicated weight training.
A wow player can improve a character's base capabilities by farming the best enchants, gems, and gear.

A quarterback can greatly improve strength and speed through the use of steriods.
A wow player can go above and beyond and collect heroic gear.

A quarterback can improve on preparation by studying and planning the plays and audibles vs certain defenses.
A wow player can improve preparation by developing strategies and forumulas for beating certain compositions/opponents.  He/she can also familiarize themselves with crucial abilities and cooldowns of all classes.

A quarterback develops "skills", passing accuracy, a quick release, and footwork.
A wow player can optimize keybinds, macros, and reflexes.
[/quote]

Your comparison makes no sense in this context, because none of those comparisons are related to the actual "skill" which is being explained in topic, you don't make a valid point in the end neither. Term "skill" is a way to measure how well something is done. Just like a quarterback requires certain skills to execute a play, a wow player needs certain skills as well to be successful in pvp which are explained in the topic. Using steroids to build up a stronger body, farming heroic gear or playing a FOTM comp are just means to stack the odds in your favor, which makes "skill" become a less effective factor in determining the outcome. I can't think of any other game except chess where opponents are playing against each other in completely equal environment and outcome is only determined by being more skilled than your opponent.

What some here on these forums say about some comps taking zero skill (triple dps for example) are of course not right, but the truth is, certain comps have better odds to beat others (taking less skill to be successful), and they would always unless there was certain amount of skill involved. A fully epic geared RMP has better odds beating RMP without full epic gear, but there is still no guarantee that they will. This is because both teams have individuals with different level of skill. Like vanguards said in topic, another healer can be better at juking interrupts so he doesn't get school locked. This is an example of how a players can complete equally in wow arena environment, because their gear doesn't effect at how well they can juke interrupts and neither does their class or comp or pc. And even if two players are both equally skilled at one certain thing, they might not be on another, like predicting opponents moves for example.

A good comparison between American Football and wow arena would be that in American Football, players are competing in more equal environment than in wow arena, meaning skill becomes a bigger factor in determining the outcome of a football game than a single arena match.

Btw nice read.

#9 Vanguards

Vanguards
  • Administrators
  • Curse Premium
  • Posts: 1129

Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:00 AM

The EQ I used in this case was emotional quotient. Basically a person's ability to control their emotions.
http://twitch.tv/VanguardsTV- Stream (Follow to know when I'm live!)
http://twitter.com/VanguardsTV- Twitter
http://facebook.com/Samk920 - Facebook

http://youtube.com/SamK920 - YouTube Videos

#10 ROKMODE

ROKMODE
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 1696

Posted 02 August 2012 - 03:40 AM

Most of the skill in wow comes from teamwork. A lot of you guys have a fucked up mentality about skill. A game can be incredibly unbalanced and still take a significant amount of skill. The problem with wow arena is that it's a matchup based game. Certain teams shit on others unless said team makes a lot of mistakes. It's completely matchup based beyond a certain point. Now this wouldn't be a problem if it was like a normal game where you could change your character (class) depending on the situation to counterpick their counterpick except wow is an mmo, so the only feasible way to do that is to spend numerous hours learning/leveling/gearing a new character, and by that point a new patch might come out that will nerf the class you spent years leveling.
Expect bias in posts because
Wotlk is the best thing since sliced bread

#11 Ctuhlu

Ctuhlu
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 2730

Posted 02 August 2012 - 04:36 AM

Of course WoW takes skill to a certain extent. That being said there are still tons of ways that unskilled players can be "successful", such as:

1. PVE gear
2. OP comp
3. Networking / knowing the right people. For instance, any Moonkin player with a couple of brain cells can succeed if he is partnered with a skilled shaman or warlock. There are a lot of specs / classes like this. Resto shaman with a skilled lock and rogue, for example. And so on.

Here's the thing though.yo If you can point to a single WoW player who is highly skilled, then the game is a "skilled" game, even if 99.5% of the playerbase is awful.

Fourreur said:

we have to switch to them making the decision to pop reck or not to pop reck

#12 Seu

Seu
  • Junkies
  • Posts: 1439

Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:25 AM

I think people underestimate the skill it takes to play wow arena at a top level - and its especially evident when you look at other games.

If you are going to talk about the most difficult competitive game to be good at right now you are generally gonna talk about sc2 (rip broodwar), and I thought it was pretty impressive early on how well WoW players competed with players who came from rts backgrounds. There are quite a few top WoW players who have been in/are in grandmasters right now and I feel like that is a testament to how skilled the top end of our playerbase is (or was).

#13 Vanguards

Vanguards
  • Administrators
  • Curse Premium
  • Posts: 1129

Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:59 PM

[quote name='Seu' timestamp='1343885138' post='3737641']
I think people underestimate the skill it takes to play wow arena at a top level - and its especially evident when you look at other games.

If you are going to talk about the most difficult competitive game to be good at right now you are generally gonna talk about sc2 (rip broodwar), and I thought it was pretty impressive early on how well WoW players competed with players who came from rts backgrounds. There are quite a few top WoW players who have been in/are in grandmasters right now and I feel like that is a testament to how skilled the top end of our playerbase is (or was).
[/quote]

Wasn't Nadagast in the MLG for SC2?
http://twitch.tv/VanguardsTV- Stream (Follow to know when I'm live!)
http://twitter.com/VanguardsTV- Twitter
http://facebook.com/Samk920 - Facebook

http://youtube.com/SamK920 - YouTube Videos

#14 Zelis

Zelis
  • Members
  • Posts: 33

Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:28 PM

I can only smile when I see dobule melee training one caster :)

#15 graceoconnor59

graceoconnor59
  • Members
  • Posts: 31

Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:28 PM

Can you explain again

<