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[Blizzard] Petition: Bring Back Chess


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#1 Belarin

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:26 PM

I've been wanting to write an open letter/petition to Blizzard for a while now, and because of the policy on the Blizzard boards I can't do it there. I know it's unorthodox, but AJ is a site that they read, and junkies are the people whose opinions I'd like anyways, so I thought I'd post it here (mods please bear with me).

If you agree, I'd like to hear about it. If you disagree I'd like to hear that too (as long as you aren't an arcane mage ;) ). And if you want to sign it, just say so and I'll add your name. Maybe they'll start to listen if they see how many people who actually know competitive pvp hate the current situation.
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#2 Belarin

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:26 PM

Dear Blizzard,

Like many players, I'm frustrated with the current state of PvP. I don't want to get into specific examples here (though they can easily be found if you're interested), but the current state of arenas is way to burst and gib oriented, to the point of being almost unplayable. While I'm sad to see arenas in their current state, it's not something I can't wait out. Those of us who have done our research, run the numbers in spreadsheets, and made use of the PTR knew that this was coming. We knew that 3.0 would be a joke (R.I.P. ESL Philly), and so did you as evidenced by the early cutoff of season 4. We knew that level 80 would not fix it. We knew that getting level 80 pvp gear would not fix it. And we know that the difference between our current 800 resilience and the extra 200 or so we'll be able to get with full deadly gear isn't going to be enough either. We know that in order to balance out new talents and talent points spend on offensive power rather than survivability a game mechanic change is necesary, something to fill the role that adding resilience and increasing stamina had in TBC.

I'm pretty patient, so I'm willing to wait for such changes. Clearly you rarely rush into large scale balance changes. I was expecting pvp to be broken for quite some time before the necesary changes are made. However, I have become very concerned about the comments I've been reading recently and the developer direction they seem to indicate.

Official Blizzard Quote:

Damage-dealers were frustrated because they felt like just beating on someone (which their entire spec may have been designed around) was ineffective.

Official Blizzard Quote:

We are sympathetic to players who don't enjoy a match that revolves entirely (key word) around CC'ing or mana-draining the healer.

Official Blizzard Quote:

Even today you can see players who are glad to no longer have 20+ minute Arenas that feel more like chess matches.


These and other quotes like them give the impression that pvp at level 70 offered too much survivability, that getting kills in the past was somehow too hard, or that the game is better in it's current state. Simply put, that's wrong. Obviously there is a correct balance for survivability. Considering that the top 5v5 comp of S4 was 4dps with bloodlust (JAC) I have a hard time believing that survivability was too strong. Even in 2v2, where druid/x dominated due to the strength of druids in that bracket, double dps comps did fine when compared with all other healers.

Throughout season 4 coordinated burst was always viable for getting a kill. It was true for JAC, Cleave, Euro and 234X. It was true for WLD and RMP. It was even true for Warrior double healer.

The operative word here is "coordinated". Good players know how to coordinate. For a team of players to be able to burst a target doesn't require too much burst from any individual player. In fact, if a single player is able to burst solo then in concert with others that burst becomes simply overpowered and unstoppable. As I've said, burst itself is good and necessary. Burst needs to be able to punish players who are out of position, or in conjunction with cc.

This brings to mind another quote I saw.

Official Blizzard Quote:

Players complained endlessly about being chain feared and stunlocked too. Still do. It's the reason there are so many ways to break CC in the game now. You can't pretend that crowd control was an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.


In fact, I maintain that CC is was a weapon of a more civilized age. When facing cc, players had options like LoS, defensive dispels that actually worked, or very careful defensive play on the part of their team to outlast the cc. Not only was cc more counterable, but setting up a cc chain on an oponent takes more skill than simply dumping damage into them with a big red button (alla pom pyro). Nevertheless, suppose one decided that cc was bad for the game, that it's best to leave healers uncced all the time and create kills solely by bursting before the healer can react, because somehow this is considered more desirable. In that case we'll expect ccs to be reduced or remove. In fact, the opposite is true. We've seen the addition of strangulate, hex, deep freeze, mirror image polymorphs, and others. Not only are there more cc options than ever, but the state of burst has made a certain type of cc way overpowered; silences. Improved Counterspell and Strangulate are instant cast from a long range, AND UNTRINKETABLE. Players who "complained endlessly" about being chain cced at least had the option of trinketing in the past (in addition to the far greater options for avoiding ccs with a cast time), but in the current state of the game as much damage happens in one silence as used to happen in a full duration fear or polymorph, and the recipient has no option to avoid or get out of it except for Divine Shield. Is it any surprise that Mages, DKs, and Pallies are doing so well?

I'd like to make another point about burst if I may, the distinction between good burst and bad burst. The Frost Mages burst mechanic is the paragon of good burst (at least it used to be), because it exhibits the key properties of being both predictable and preventable. Frost mages ran on teams that were designed to set up opportunities for them to cast their burst and played a continual back and forth vs opponents with many options for preventing or mitigating that burst. Similarly elemental shamans burst relied on casting and could be shocked, kicked, grounded, intercepted, etc. Arcane mages on the other hand represent bad burst. They can do incredible damage simply by being in los of an opponent and unsilenced, any time, anywhere, unpreventable, and more or less unpredictable. I don't blame the players, it's simply a matter of poor class design to make a spec like arcane arena viable. It may be fun for the 1500 player who gets to blow up gladiators, but it isn't good for the game.

Finally I'd like to touch on your comment about moving away from chess like matches. Ghostcrawler once said that "arena is not turnbased". In fact that is EXACTLY what arena is. Sure the turns get kind of jumbled, happen at different speeds for different classes, and sometimes get skipped, but at it's heart arena play is a game where every 1.5seconds the player gets a turn to decide what move to use. Lets face it, even mediocre players have been up against the GCD limit for years now. While there are some exceptions that are off the GCD, like vanish or interrupts, for the vast majority actions the speed of performance is neither highly variable nor an indicator of player skill. The skill in this game, just like in chess, comes from which action the player chooses to make each turn. To paraphrase Neilyo "the reason long games are so much better is because it allows time for the little things to add up". The more turns the game lasts and the more choices the player makes, the more they have a chance to influence the game by how well or poorly they play. The opposite is also true, when a player only lives for 3 globals, any options that player has to distinguish himself by playing well or poorly is completely removed. Due to the nature of cooldowns, even those few globals are not really choices. If I'm getting absolutely truckfucked I trinket->PS->PWS->die, it doesn't matter if the player is Hydra or some 1400 scrub, no one has a chance to make any interesting decisions in that amount of time. In an FPS like Counterstrike, fast games work because aiming and getting a headshot takes skill. In arena, pom pyro, CB evisc, bladestorm, or whatever burst you chose doesn't take skill, it eliminates skill by making games too short. Instead of skill you are simply left with an inflated influence of comp/spec (my cooldowns vs. their cooldowns), gear, and rng.

In conclusion, you need to bring back the "chess" or any hope for wow as a competitive game is lost. People who complain about kills being too slow or difficult need to either get the gear, learn to play, or get their kicks in BGs where there are plenty of undergeared alts to stomp. I believe that without at least a S4 level of survivability, wow as a skill based esport is dead. I know a lot of people agree with me.

Sincerely,

Belarin
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#3 Zanny

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:31 PM

I like chess.
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Dont flame me I burn easily.

#4 Belarin

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:31 PM

Edit: Sources added into the original post.
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#5 Hypé

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:40 PM

I totally agree whit this, atm the state of arena is bullshit I do more pve atm then arena and I dislike pve..
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#6 zalae

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:44 PM

I completely agree. I'm somewhat surprised that I didn't find anything in a post that long that I didn't disagree with. Well said.

p.s. I like chess too. Kinda thinking about quitting wow and going back to it.
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#7 Cannigit

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:44 PM

where do i sign this?
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#8 Azgoroth

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:46 PM

i concur.
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#9 Adelise

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:46 PM

Very well written Belarin
I hope Blizzard looks into this.

And maybe the days that arena revolved around skill will rise again
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#10 Vadren

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:53 PM

Sound good.

In a perfect world I would prefer faster paced game play than what was seen in S2 -> S4, but WoW simply isn't designed with that in mind and many classes aren't equipped to deal with fast paced game play, in addition to the fact that many of the bursty classes can do things to prevent you from reacting to their damage.

If Blizzard really wants faster paced game play they need to rethink and redesign just about every class.
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#11 Zexis

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:56 PM

:( Too bad their buffing arcane mages as we speak, proving they know nothing at all of their game.
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I beat dan's LSD (lol you claim its an op comp)


he's saying if it was an OP comp Dan should have beat him you fucking retard



LSD Champions at their finest

#12 Excelia

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:56 PM

Well written post.

I agree, getting bursted down(or bursting down) in a matter of seconds is hardly skill at all. I enjoyed the old arenas far more.
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We took every one of your complaints and requests and started implementing them, everything you asked for to be changed, will be. Soon.


#13 Nust

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:58 PM

Nicely done Belarin, and you can consider this as signed by me as well.
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#14 Kadrix

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:59 PM

Hell yeah
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Posted Image

#15 wisdomcube

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:59 PM

Whenever people asked me what arena was I always described it as fast paced chess without turns.
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#16 bk

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 08:01 PM

didnt read entire post; things i HATED about lvl 70 pvp: healers had mana regen, other casters did not (everyone should have 0 mp/5 in arena while not drinking IMO) healing was too powerful (maybe cut it back to 75-85% of what is was, espcially druids). Rng resists (instead of 50% to resist dispel just make it take two dispel gcds instead or something IMO). and lastly warlocks were far too powerful
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#17 Zeriel

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 08:01 PM

Agree with everything here.

Hopefully Blizzard has the guts to admit they're wrong quickly, rather than drag it out.
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#18 Vadren

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 08:04 PM

Agree with everything here.

Hopefully Blizzard has the guts to admit they're wrong quickly, rather than drag it out.


How long have we been waiting for TM to be a base line ability? But instead of doing the logical thing Blizzard just reduces the rage cost of abilities over and over and makes more abilities usable in multiple stances. Blizzard is really bad at admitting that they were wrong.
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#19 Darkidoe

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 08:05 PM

Very well written.
/sign
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#20 Gladcas

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 08:06 PM

How do I sign!?!!?!
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