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Member Since 23 Sep 2011
Offline Last Active Nov 18 2015 12:13 AM

#4540179 Scripted PvP

Posted flannelsoff on 17 November 2015 - 03:06 AM

View PostPradafiend, on 17 November 2015 - 02:26 AM, said:

shut up moran

#4540158 Scripted PvP

Posted Bigmoran on 17 November 2015 - 02:20 AM

I was originally going to post this article on Skill-capped. After some deliberation, I decided it would be better suited for AJ. I needed something meaningful for my 1000th post on this website. Even if you don't read this entire post, try and think about what you REALLY value in PvP. Consider what makes you happy and what makes you feel rewarded. The future of WoW PvP rests in the ability not to create balance, but instead to make the game into a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

I've mentioned countless times in threads and on social media that WoD PvP feels scripted. My attitude is not uncommon. Plenty of other players have also expressed feelings of redundancy in gameplay. Overall, enjoyment of PvP seems to be at an all time low. While quantification of player satisfaction is often difficult to guage, the drop in sub numbers--down to a point in which Blizzard will no longer report them--suggests that less and less people are enjoying World of Warcraft. The goal of this article is to show how the scripted feeling of PvP and the lack of rewarding gameplay has contributed to the growing sentiment that PvP is not nearly as fun as it used to be.

What IS the Script?

I should first explain what I mean by 'scripted.' In order to do this, consider how a script works. A script is a series of relationships between conditional statements. A conditional statement is a simple if, then relationship. Here is an example of how this 'scripted' PvP paradigm might play out in an arena match:

-If the enemy Mage uses Polymorph, then I will use Counterspell
-If the enemy Mage is Counterspelled on Polymorph, then I will use Polymorph.

While this may not seem damaging at first, consider the fact that nearly all of the important decisions we make during an arena game revolve around this algorithmic way of thinking. For every enemy action, there is an optimal player reaction that is determined by the 'script' of PvP. For every matchup, there is one optimal strategy. This makes winning feel significantly less rewarding and meaningful. The script makes arena wins feel less like an experience full of ingenuity and creativity and more like persistent, monotonous labor. If you know exactly how a game will play out, your experience will ultimately suffer.

As an aside, there is one thing that we often shake our fists at in PvP. Although we tend to hate RNG, it is the only thing that interferes with the normal operations of the script. Consider an arena game where two teams perfectly matched. They have exactly the same gear, play on the same latency, and have the exact same strategy. Assume that either team will try its absolute best to score a kill while preventing deaths of its own teammates. Under these conditions, what would determine the outcome of the match? It would have to be RNG! If one team gets a series of critical strikes or multistrikes at the right time, it will allow the match to deviate from its harmonious scripted balance. I should add that RNG (and specifically critical strikes) actually contribute to our enjoyment of the game. Oftentimes players will suggest removing crits from the game. Doing so would be damaging to our enjoyment of gameplay. While it may seem meaningless, scoring critical strikes is one of the most intrinsically satisfying elements of gameplay. We love seeing the big numbers. We are enamored by our own ability to deal damage that lights up as slightly bigger font on our screen. I am not kidding. Big numbers feel better, and in a game we are wanting to feel good.

Holinka's Pacing Argument

Recently, PvP developer Brian Holinka posted on Twitter that the average length of games during the World Championships was five and a half minutes. Loosely veiled behind this metric is the idea that PvP is improving because the duration of tournament games is getting shorter. It is true that spectators want shorter games. During Cataclysm and especially during Mists of Pandaria, many players argued that tournament matches were exhausting to watch. It was quite common in MoP to see two wizard cleaves battle it out for 10-15 minutes in a series that could potentially last five games. All in all this provided for a very boring viewer experience.
The problem with this argument is that the pacing does not matter if the match itself is painfully predictable. If you carefully watch the final series between SK-Gaming and Skill-Capped, you can see just how repetitive the game is during its 5.5 minute average duration. Every 30 seconds, Skill-Capped's RMD does the following things:

-Uses either Bash or Cheapshot on SK's Warrior
-Cyclones SK's Warrior
-Kidney Shots SK's Shaman (the kill target)
-Deep Freezes SK's Druid
-Polymorphs SK's Druid

While there is some degree of variance to how this setup is executed, the fact remains that every 30 seconds the RMD is doing exactly the same thing. So in a five minute game, you can expect the same exact thing to happen over and over and over until SK-Gaming makes a mistake or Skill-Capped falls to the attrition of dampening. And by all means, I'm not blaming either team for playing the way they do. For the most part there is no flexibility with either team's strat. I had the opportunity to talk to Healingstat (Skill-Capped's Druid) and I asked him why they never tried to kill SK's Warrior despite him sitting in Battle Stance for the majority of the game, sometimes without a PvP trinket. His reply was that they had played thousands of games against each other and that the 30-second setup strat on the Shaman is the only strat the consistently works. In other words, deviating from the script of going Shaman is utterly futile. There is no point in playing creatively because it does not win games. (I should add that I also heard that Boetar raged at Joefernandes for intervening a Blind because he "didn't know what to trinket." If there is anything that grossly reinforces the script, this is certainly it.)

Bring Back Reward

Of all the things that threaten WoW's ability to remain the most successful MMO of all time, its the fact that the game itself feels unrewarding. While I feel like the script has definitely contributed to this, there are numerous other examples in which gameplay itself does not feel like a rewarding experience. One instance of this is the conversion of many abilities into passive perks and set bonuses. Nature's Grasp was removed from the game and instead turned into a set bonus connected with use of Barkskin and Ironbark. Cold Blood was also pruned and converted into the four piece set bonus for Assassination Rogues. The real damage of pruning is that it left many of its removed abilities into mechanics attached to other spells. Two abilities became one. Two globals became one. Passives are not fun in virtue of being passive. You do not actually perform them--they just happen. Mages don't look at their Flameglow reducing damage and say, "Man, this is awesome!"

Another gross example of unrewarding gameplay is the conversion of many hardcasted damaging spells into instant cast burst abilities. Ice Nova is an ability that not only removes 50% of your root control, but also tunnel visions gameplay into managing two charges of a boring spell. Casted spells always feel better than instant casts. Hard casting involves risk and should result in high payoff. While I do think the class has some deep seeded balance and design problems, Destruction Warlocks are a perfect example of well-balanced risk/reward. Chaos Bolt is a long cast time that deals large damage. When it successfully lands, the Warlock feels like they have done something that required diligent effort. Compare this with the feeling of using two Ice Novas. There is little to no risk (outside of breaking CC). The ability is pressed and the damage is dealt. End of story.

The Hybrid Problem

While this has been an important point of discussion for ages, something needs to be done to address the strength and role of hybrid DPS in matchups. Hybrid healing was gutted for Balance Druids, Shadow Priests, and Elemental Shamans but still remains a problem for Feral Druids, Enhancement Shamans, and Retribution Paladins (perhaps WW Monks to an extend as well). These physical DPS classes are able to provide instant cast heals to themselves and their partners and are able to maintain high damage AND healing throughput over the course of a 3v3 match. There is no good reason that an Enhancement Shaman should be able to do 20k DPS in a game while also doing 10k HPS.

Some Nostalgia

Although he is one of the most controversial posters on this site, Bilian's PvP video continues to be one of my favorite PvP videos of all time. The RMP clips remind me of a time where gameplay was creative and each player made unique contributions to scoring kills.

#4496481 a good thread

Posted Twaenkz on 11 September 2015 - 09:40 AM

buy metal gear solid 5 so i can fuckin invade your mother base cunt, 1v1 me , swear ill blow you to SMITHEREENS

#4166650 US - RUIN - 3V3 (S15)

Posted Marshmellow on 11 July 2014 - 12:57 AM

View PostPradafiend, on 10 July 2014 - 04:36 PM, said:

I'm just tryin to get cummed on

my new alt can help with that

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#4151453 US - RUIN - 3V3 (S15)

Posted Capstone on 22 June 2014 - 03:04 AM

new season of orange exceeded all expectations

dan is proud somewhere

#4110339 The Most Overpowered Ability in Game

Posted Regent on 29 April 2014 - 05:05 AM

The only problem with fear is people using it as a stun.

It should break immediately, just like polymorph.

#4110333 The Most Overpowered Ability in Game

Posted Braindance on 29 April 2014 - 04:34 AM

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#4105473 Adventures at 1k MMR

Posted Djandawg on 21 April 2014 - 02:37 PM

Some people are just new to the game and they are learning, or they are simply not good That's why they are at 1k mmr and they play random specs.
What is really impressive is, during the 15th season of this game, the 1k mmr gameplay of the opponent causes you to have orgasms and hysteric laughter of 3 minutes, and you proudly record/share it.

#4089589 US - RUIN - 3V3 (S15)

Posted stalebagel on 30 March 2014 - 09:56 PM

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#4086331 US - RUIN - 3V3 (S15)

Posted Marshmellow on 25 March 2014 - 12:21 AM

sometimes when I talk to Siri I pretend that it's Pradafiend

Siri is so understanding

#4075564 US - RUIN - 3V3 (S15)

Posted Deeklol on 10 March 2014 - 06:05 AM

I watch Pretty Little Liars

#4066343 US - RUIN - 3V3 (S15)

Posted Capstone on 27 February 2014 - 03:56 AM

quit for 3 months people stop returning your calls only badbitchdan is nice

#4063991 US - RUIN - 3V3 (S15)

Posted Marshmellow on 24 February 2014 - 08:43 PM

for Prada

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#4050344 Best players of every class on vind

Posted BalanceRexxar on 08 February 2014 - 02:39 AM

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#4056233 Tryhards of Season 14 Awards

Posted Bigmoran on 18 February 2014 - 04:26 PM

It's that time of the year again boys and girls. Last night marked the end of the season and unfortunately I spent my last 3v3 game offline. Oddly enough this is the second season in a row that my last arena game of the season ended in me being DDOSed. Exumbra probably hasn't given up his hatred and jealousy of me. Poor guy.

Anyway, just like last season here is the list of the TRYHARDS of SEASON 14.

Death Knight

Winning the title for two years in a row is HEUHEUEHUEHUE Brasil DK Vigaboy. Previously known as Vigarista and Vigaboyswag, this DK (who honestly plays like an Honorbuddy profile) farmed 1-2 point wins from 2470~ to safe Rank 1 rating.
Once again, this clever little bastard has backpeddled his way to another rank one title.


If this were the Olympics, Brasil would have a huge lead over everyone at this point. I say this because the tryhard druid of s14 is also a HEUHEUEHUEHEUHE BRBRRBRBRBRasil. If it wasn't obvious enough at this point, I am of course talking about Rynd. This emotional train wreck of a human being has five druids, most of which are getting rank 1. You trying to compensate for something there buddy? I hope it's your inability to grow a mustache.


Claiming the title of tryhard hunter is bucktooth Shaman Goat cleaver Tonystyle. At the beginning of the season he would queue Ret/Hunter/Shaman for literally hours every day. This guy had nearly 1500 games played at the START of the season running only ONE comp.


When he's not making donuts at Tim Hortons or yelling "DUDE DISPELL ME WHAT THE FUCK" to his teammates, Snaregodx is actually a pretty swell dude. This high calibur frost mage made it big this season, climbing his way to rank 1 of the ladder. I hear from some of my colleagues that his success in arena is due to him gemming full dodge and speccing into blazing speed when some other mage ques arena. Well praise Jahllah, because Snaregodx won his race against to Kwok to achieve rank 1 on multiple mages.


I couldn't really think of anyone relevant to put in this category. So instead I am opting to give this award to Ssjwindgodx aka Ssjwindvipx. If you don't hate him already because of his name, this black guy runs double monk (MW/WW) in 2s for multiple hours at a time. Cmon man, it's black history month. Live the dream and queue some 3v3.


It's been a while since he graduated from Bongwater University with a degree in Wind Raiding, but Eliteqt has certainly made a splash on the ladders this season. I'm sure it had nothing to do with playing with Jahmilli, but Elite climbed high on the ladders on three paladins (not to mention some obvious carries, but hustle over bitches amirite?)


I'm not sure if he is even capable of reading, but winning the tryhard award for priest is Dibbz. When he's not taking vodka shots off his bros' bellybuttons, he is spam queuing fire mage godcomp with Hansol, lord of fire. If you need some insight into the life of a sexually confused rich kid who pops his collar, drop by his stream every once  in a while. Ignore the subpar shadow priest play and focus on the two shirtless dudes in the background playing ping pong.


Jax. Not much to say here.


It's a bit ironic that the tryhard shaman comes from a server commonly abbreviated ED, because this guy certainly has a big dick with the moves he pulls against streamers. Playing four shamans, each with a unique kickbot profile is Kallis, some idiot that got high ratings running Honorbuddy cleave.


Winning the title once again is Dota. It seems he has gated in and out of ~3 online relationships during this season, causing him to name change every time. His names this season went from Juliaxo to Cleanupxo to Marilynxo to Marixo. Either he is just copying the lyrics of Mambo #5 or he genuinley has been the victim of some serious /cast seduction. (jesus christ i feel like Perez hilton at this point - hold me, dan)


The tryhard warrior of this season goes to 40 year old Korean father Irub. He played multiple warriors this season, each time running KFC with some of his other squinty eye friends. The main reason he is a tryhard tho is because of his ability to create a Great Wall of Texts on AJ, none of which people give a single fuck about.

Subsribe to my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/bobrosslol

Bigmoran Out

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