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#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.

#4534854 Blizzcon

Posted Fedx on 06 November 2015 - 08:38 PM

Posted Image

#4532037 blizzcon championship thread

Posted xndr on 31 October 2015 - 11:52 PM

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#4531938 blizzcon championship thread

Posted flannelsoff on 31 October 2015 - 11:22 PM

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#4531686 blizzcon championship thread

Posted Gekz on 31 October 2015 - 10:41 PM


#4531674 blizzcon championship thread

Posted Structural on 31 October 2015 - 10:37 PM

Did something happen? All the EU mop/wod stars are really going hard.

#4531677 blizzcon championship thread

Posted Gekz on 31 October 2015 - 10:38 PM

View PostStevy, on 31 October 2015 - 10:34 PM, said:

trash has been taken out clean 4-0 sweep ezpz :ph34r:

Who are u?

#4523220 TloT/Blizzcon/Blizzard/WoW Esport

Posted Rungoo10 on 18 October 2015 - 11:56 AM

Theres only one truth about the three language team...

I was coaching them for the qualifiers and for prag, i teached them how to use their cds right, like berserker or bubble, in the beginnings i was horrified from cavyx because he forgot every time to press his bubble, and fritterus just randomly popped berserker and killed one target, only cervantes did good, but thats not a miracle, hes probably the best dk world. so i had a rly hard way to coach this noob team. (in my eyes they had a little bit potential)

So our team qualified for blizzcon, whats not a miracle, because i coached them, i was a little bit frustraded because they archieved only the 3rd place, but it was fine.

So back in my home city, i received a email from blizzard that i got disqualified, because i dont have a coaching license, and they wont let me to the blizzcon.

So my team said, were not going without our coach.

End of the story

#4522323 TloT/Blizzcon/Blizzard/WoW Esport

Posted Bluckstack on 16 October 2015 - 09:45 PM

View PostNicholaes92, on 16 October 2015 - 09:13 PM, said:

I don't know about other countries but here in the USA it takes 3-6 weeks to get your passport if you do not have one.  And in some cases you need to also apply for a visa, that takes time to accept.  And blizzcon is 20 days away so some simple math can show you that the logical solution here is to just take the other team and not have a team at blizzcon have a free buy due to winner by default.

omg its fucking unreal how much bullshit you talk no one here is talking about the fucking passport im pretty sure everyone whos going to blizzcon has his passport ready and towards US you dont need a visa to stay there for 2 weeks being from the europe union, theres something called ESTA:  https://esta.cbp.dhs...s.gov/esta/ that takes maximun 24 HOURS, so stop talking random bullshit 24/7 and get your ass off of your pc so you can at least learn how your country works

On top of that, on blizzcon 2013 thugonomics couldnt attend by the time the rest of us were asked to be there because of exams (thats what novoz told us) and blizzard allowed him to get some days off, so it doesnt make any sense the decision they re taking now, and it makes less sense that they dont allow you to replace people from your team to be able to go, everything is disgusting, im sorry for you guys.


3/8 teams getting fucked by blizzard decisions, if you even think thats anything close to normal on a supposed to be e-sports competitive scene you should move to a different forum so at least those who empathize we can avoid reading certain type of bullshit

#4522236 TloT/Blizzcon/Blizzard/WoW Esport

Posted Cervantes_Eu on 16 October 2015 - 07:17 PM

I am posting this here cause Im geting asked about it all the time what happened with our team after the regionals how blizzard fucked us etc.

First of all for the ppl that didnt watch the eu regionals we finished 3rd place and "Secured" our spot in bizzcon,

team TLOT {Three Languages One Team} playing the most op setupPosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image in the game "Ebola" DK Cervantes,Feral Fritterus,HPala Cavy.

So yea our pala "Cavy" said that 2 weeks it too much time for him to miss school even tho we had school letter and exams can be forwarded hes parents refused to let him goPosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image.

therefore we had to talk to blizzard to ask him if we can make it 1 week for him to attend and be there when we have to play the games to make it less days of missing school they said No.

So we told them that we would like to have a replacement obviously (like we have seen in last blizzcon with lazer joining looni's team).
and 2 weeks agoo in the eu regionals with (Looni joining jamies/niksi) team after laguna/drainy geting disqualified.

Blizzard said they gonna discuss this after that their decision was knocking/fucking us out and inviting the 4th team (Solari Gaming.Yellow) because their rule does not allow us to have replacement, as simple as that our team is gone, even tho we didn't even have 4th player like other teams we are not allowed to have a replacement or 4th player in that situation.

how fair is it when they already went against/broke their own rule in the regionals (2 weeks agoo), the rule is invalid how come this rule is still applied against us? why cant we have a replacement and we just get fucked that way and lose everything oh wait they offered us virtual tickets!

i just love wow esport blizzard

#4521870 Early Morning Wintrading...Again.

Posted Hydroxide on 16 October 2015 - 02:35 AM


Don't even know Why I'm bothering to Write this because nobody at blizzard actually gives a flying fuck and the community is so used to this douchebagery that...well...We don't even give a fuck anymore.



There you will see two Rdruid/Hunter/Dk Teams. Such a sick fotm comp, so I'm not surprised you can see them queuing into each other.

However, As i was casually chilling with my homies and enjoying my early morning games the 0-4 Team were a fly hacking retard team. Even the Dk flyhacked (hilarious part is, they still nearly lost), So yeah, I got outplayed. SO HARD.

But yeah, to the point, Slightly suspicious that this fly hacking team then gets 4-0'd by a mirror team. I think we can all deduce the wintrade is real and that some people REALLY WANT their tabard this season.

Fucking Retards.


Russian + Shit comp + Flyhacks = Tryhard Spastic Vermin Wintrading For Tabard.


Jk It's WoD.

(Sorry for shit gr4mmur).

#4516707 The events of EU Regionals

Posted Capstone on 08 October 2015 - 03:45 PM

oh and the reason i can't ever get gladiator?? because u fucks are always boosting ur fucking customers n beating me and theres nothing i can do. i am a paying custom of blizzard just like u and i deserev a gladiator as much as ur stupid customers

#4516701 The events of EU Regionals

Posted Capstone on 08 October 2015 - 03:39 PM

u guys are fucking cheaters and u deserve to be banned from every LAN.  the integrity of the game is being ruined everytime u help some1 else get rating on the ladder

it has all been shit since the true competitions of pure virtue, when kaska dhorothy and maldiva were all on a team at blizzcon last year. bring back the honest community members. they would never violate the ToS

#4515309 The events of EU Regionals

Posted Infernion on 06 October 2015 - 02:08 PM

Hey everyone!

I've been reading a lot of stuff on the forums about the things that went down at the EU regionals this weekend, and I was thinking people would like some clarification/update from someone who was actually a part of it, instead of all these rumours.

I'd like to start off by debunking the rumour that Nolifers team supposedly reported Xonika for accountsharing to get him disqualified. The team of Reawakened 1 was in no way responsible for what happened to my team, just like we did not report their team in some pathetic attempt of payback. We respect each other as both players and persons, get along really well and just wanted a fair and exciting tournament.

When we arrived at the hotel thursday, Xonika told our team that he had received an e-mail by Blizzard saying he had gotten a 72-hour suspension on his account for account sharing, which put his account in bad standing for the weekend. Remembering that he had logged his own account from his girlfriends computer earlier that week, he asked his girlfriend to check her e-mail aswell, and just as expected she had also received a warning and what I believe was a message saying she would be ineligible to receive any titles this season.

After having discussed this issue as a team, we thought it'd be best to mention it to the ESL staff to make sure there would be no problem, as it was surely all just a misunderstanding caused by the automatic detector system Blizzard is using to prevent account sharing. The ESL staff told us they would contact Blizzard and thought, just like we did, that this wouldn't be a problem. During thursday and friday we had several conversations with the ESL staff, asking if there was any news on the matter. There wasn't, so we assumed that we would be allowed to participate on the same terms as other teams in the tournament.

When we woke up Friday, we ate some quick breakfast and went to the O2 Arena around 8.30 I believe, as we had to help Blizzard promote the teams better by taking pictures and shooting videos of everyone. This whole process was very poorly organized, and instead of just telling each team when they had to be at the different filming locations so everyone could practice while waiting, we all had to sit and wait in a locker room for several hours.

By the time all teams was done with this entire process consisting of individual and group photos, individual and group filming, filming of the team leaving a limousine, filming of the team walking around and lastly an interview, the time was around 16-17, and we could finally start setting up our characters on the tournament realm and get some practice in.

There was just one big problem with this process though. While the teams this year consisted of 4 players, there was only 3 computers per team. This meant you had to "sacrifice" one player, and basicly prioritize practising your main setup, needless to say that my team prioritized our shatter over our MLS. All the teams played a lot of wargames against each other, and when the clock hit 21, we were told that we had to leave. We left feeling pretty confident that we would place amongst the top 3, as long as we wouldn't choke on stage.

The games saturday was scheduled to start around 12 I believe, which made most teams wake up around 8-9 to get some good practice in before the actual tournament. Blizzard fixed taxis for us to the O2 arena, and upon the arrival we were all pretty pumped for the event, as the amount of people standing in line outside was pretty big (I'm sure people came to watch Heroes of the Storm or Hearthstone). Skipping the line was pretty awesome, and once we got settled we got quite a few of wargames in, once again feeling pretty confident.

Around 11.45, 15 minutes before we were scheduled to play, the top Blizzard employee present came to tell us, that Xonika could possibly be disqualified from the tournament. We tried to explain him the issue, and that it was all just a big misunderstanding, since none of us had been boosting  in the period between the 1st qualifier and regionals. He was super stubborn on the matter, but wanted to make sure no actions was taken that would punish an innocent team, so he decided to double check. 5 minutes before we were supposed to play Blizzard confirmed that Xonika was indeed disqualified, and his pro player badge was confiscated and he was escorted out of the arena. He wasn't even allowed to stay in the arena and watch his team and everyone else play!

While I was explaining to the other teams what was happening, I was told to shut the fuck up, as apparantly I wasn't allowed to do so. The admin was obviously really stressed out and frustrated by the situation aswell, and did come to apologize to me later after the tournament, which I respect him for. It was obviously a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing.

After several players failed attempts at challenging the decision that was made, including our opponents Fewen, Souken, Wafflez and Pyrocta, we realized nothing could be done. At this time me, Froffsy and Livin was pretty demotivated and mad, and Froffsy and Livin didn't even want to try to compete, which I fully understood. We did however go through the options we had, and due to Livin not wanting to set up his druid, we decided for me to set up a holy paladin to play shatter, which I have never played before. Blizzard gave me 20 minutes to do this, meaning I forgot to bind abilities like execution sentence.

The games started, and we lost our first game as shatter vs jungle. A fun fact to mention is that everyone actually lagged out in the end of the game for around 5-10 seconds, but there was no referee behind us to see this, so Blizzard claimed that no one disconnected. People could have used add-ons while playing at the backstage, and Blizzard wouldn't have noticed. The second game Froffsy and Livin wanted to play RMPala with arcane mage, due to no one actually caring at this point, which we obviously lost aswell.

In the meantime of our series, Nolifers team had knocked Fritterus, Cervantes & Cavyx to the losers bracket, meaning that we now had to face them.  We lost in a close series (Kappa) 2-0, and was thrown out of the tournament as 7-8th place. Nolifer now had to face Solari Gaming Yellow, and after having won the first game and being ahead in the series 1-0, there was a break that was prolonged several times. It ended up being around 25 minutes, whereafter Reawakened 1 was told to come meet Blizzard backstage. At this point the tournament was kind of a joke, and people didn't think it could get much worse - They were wrong! Nolifer was told that he was also disqualified. Apparantly Blizzard had been having a meeting since disqualifying Xonika, with some of the heads of their eSports department, and gone through every single player to find out that Nolifer was the only other player who had also done boosts in the time period between the 1st qualifiers and regionals.

Obviously their team was also not satisfied with this decision, and tried to challenge it with no luck. There was actually a lot of teams that tried to have the disqualified teams play in the tournament with no luck. Wafflez, Souken and Fewen even asked the Blizzard admin if all the teams could vote for it, and have them play if the teams would agree. All ideas was shut down.

They chose to drop out of the tournament instead of playing RPD, meaning that Three Languages One Team was no longer in the losers bracket. They had now advanced to the winners Bracket, and had  to face Solari Gaming Yellow. This also meant, that my team was supposed to face Reawakened 1 in the losers bracket instead of TLOT, which we got a free win for as they dropped out. As TLOT won Solari Gaming Yellow in the winners bracket, we had to face Solari Gaming Yellow on the mainstage.

I convinced Livin to set up his druid for us to play MLD, as I figured we maybe had a chance with that setup. This is where it got really funny. Blizzard didn't even show our promotional videos, probably because Xonika was in them. They didn't even mention the disqualification, and actually said that we had been practising MLD for the tournament. I'm sure Venruki, Vhell and Lore was told that it had to be this way, they had to do what they were told of course. I'm pretty sure they even tried to challenge the decision made by Blizzard off-screen, so props to them!

As we didn't really have much time to set up our characters, I forgot to track all enemy debuffs, meaning I couldn't chain any CC in the first game. Livin also forgot glyphs in the first game, aswell as forgetting to bind dispell for both games. It was kind of a disaster, and we ended up losing once again.


On the entire ban situation, I can say with 100% certainty, that Xonika logging his account from his girlfriends computer trigged the investigation of his account. He might not have gotten disqualified only because of him doing this, but it's what caused the investigation. Xonika didn't boost from the 1st qualifier to regionals. We knew that Lagyna had already been disqualified for doing this, why would we take the chance?

The Blizzard admin kept mentioning the fact that they looked into the accounts from the timeperiod between the 1st qualifier and regionals, but Xonika got the suspension for having boosted since the account creation. The rules was very inconsistent, just as they have been during the online qualifications. He was disqualified based on the fact that his account was in bad standing during the tournament.

It amazes me how Blizzard can say that they are 100% sure no other teams boosted in this time period, as we know for a fact that they did. Xonika didn't account share in the time period that was in the rules. If Blizzard was gonna disqualify people for having accountshared since the creation of their accounts, no teams would have been playing at regionals. Literally everyone there has done boosts, and does them every season, meaning they should find some other way to punish the players,  instead of disqualifying them from the only tournament that is held every year.

The question is - What will happen next year? What will happen at Blizzcon? Surely they will have to actually CLEAR players now, else ANYONE could get disqualified the next tournament for having boosted since account  creation.


I know I might sound super salty, and yes, this does indeed suck. But I'm happy for the teams that made it, and I enjoyed the weekend a lot. It was nice to finally get to meet all the players, and we all had a lot of fun, even though the mood took a big hit for some players saturday.

I thought I just wanted to clear all of this up, as Blizzard seems to be trying to hide what happened from everyone. The community deserves to know exactly what went down, which is why I wrote this wall of text that most people will probably not care about.

Once again, congratulations to all the 3 teams that made it, no one should have any hard feelings towards them, this is Blizzards fault. No teams reported each other for account sharing. Remember the fact that they could've qualified either way, it wasn't set in stone who was gonna qualify.

If you have any questions ask them here, and I'll answer them as fast as I can :)

#4507167 Progressive Wotlk Server Launched Today

Posted ROKMODE on 26 September 2015 - 12:22 AM

obligatory rokmode post (y)