Three 6 Mafia is hip hop. Drill/trillwave/whatever is hip hop. There's actual words you can use to describe certain music within a genre (tempo, melody, lyrics) rather than just making up terms because it's trendy. Then to turn around and lob insults at people for not keeping up with some neet who refers to themselves as an 'audiophile' while listening to music solely through a computer all day is just sad.
all words are defined by usage you genius. all words are made up, not just genre names. genres are applied because a lot of people use it to describe a certain aesthetic.
sure, you could say: "i'm looking for upbeat electronic music in a 4/4 meter at 180 bpm with a hard hitting bass, screeching synths and nonsensical lyrics", but you could also just say "anyone know some good happy hardcore?". which one of the two is more "neet audiophile"?
by the way, there's an insane amount of music that doesn't have lyrics, there's a decent chunk of music that doesn't have a melody. a lot of music is very hard to describe by conventional terms.
you yourself give a very nice example:
Three 6 Mafia is hip hop. Drill/trillwave/whatever is hip hop.
you know what also qualifies as hip hop? all of instrumental hip hop, turntablism, marky mark, the sugar hill gang, the fresh prince of bel air and industrial hip hop. when you google hip hop with three six mafia in mind, but get any of those results, you'll probably be disappointed.
just because this concept is too hard for you to grasp doesn't mean it doesn't make sense - yes, distinction between genres are often arbitrary and discussing what belongs to what genre often doesn't lead anywhere, but that doesn't mean that the entire concept should be abandoned. if anything genres, subgenres and microgenres are needed in the age of the internet, because how the fuck else are you going to find music? people don't go to the record store anymore, people (mostly) don't make each other mixtapes. if you don't want to listen to the radio everyday you better hit up that google search.
Then to turn around and lob insults at people for not keeping up with some neet who refers to themselves as an 'audiophile' while listening to music solely through a computer all day is just sad.
you know what's also sad? you permanently projecting your own insecurities upon others. don't throw out big words when you don't know shit about the other person.
The biggest problem with "scripted pvp" is that almost all damage outside of setup for most of those comps is pretty meaningless. As what was stated earlier the game doesn't really have many decisions to make anymore and you pretty much know your entire game plan before the game starts. A good example of this is mages really only playing around the deep freeze set-up and then just delaying until it's back up.
Personally I think the biggest problem is lack of pressure, especially outside of cooldowns. This game has mainly turned into trading cooldown for cooldown and I think that's really stale game design. In wrath, and also somewhat in MoP, you could force cooldowns with just good swaps and decision making. Another important point is that pressure causes mistakes. People tend to panic under pressure being unable to think clearly and I find it hard to believe that many players nowadays would be able to go through their flowchart pvp while hovering at dangerously low health pools while knowing they have to do something about it. The main thing stopping pressure is just how tanky and self-sufficient too many classes are with dps class healing/damage reduction being way too high and the numerous amount of defensive cooldowns. It's at the point where swapping is usually bad as they'll have all their cooldowns up and the time wasted on trying to kill them will give your main target time to get all their cooldowns back. There's too much of a commitment in hitting a target.
Another problem is also the lack of casting, way too many classes run around spamming instants. Specifically for healers, things like genesis and riptide/unleash having two charges is pretty bad for the game. Deep freeze into polymorph is acceptable but I think it's over the top when they have frost jaw/ring of frost.
Overall, and probably most importantly, the game is just not really that fun anymore for a lot of people. In terms of class balance this expansion has been pretty decent but other than that I can't say I like this expansion more than the others. The three top comps(in my opinion) RMD, turbo, and god comp are all extremely unfun to play against for many of the reasons stated above.
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.
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.
This game was never designed around being an eSport, which is something people seem to forget.
Agreed, and I get your Smash analogy. To clarify: you dont/cant always design for things directly and plan out exactly what kind of gameplay will emerge. A lot of successful games (by many measures) weren't designed from the ground up to cheese the masses and maximize revenues or twitch popularity - they just made it cause the gameplay was fun or novel and it caught on. Current relevant example: agar.io. That game is tremendously popular for something slapped together in a basement on a budget.
Going back to the early days of WoW (i.e. 2005-2006 ish --> beta, vanilla, and maybe s1), it would have been hard to predict pvp-related elements developing into tournaments worth $200,000 USD. To make such a prediction, you'd have to look at the development of the esports scene as a whole, plot the groing trend, and extrapolate: "ok, WoW can probably ride that wave and take a slice of it". WoW pvp in isolation was a joke relative to anything else on the circuits until maybe its golden years (i.e. 2008-2010 --> late tbc to end of wotlk). During that time there was enough hype to actually and legitimately consider it an esport, irregardless of whether it was designed for it or not.
With WoW numbers in decline the esport aspect is going completely niche. Maybe that means, for semantics, you down-rate it from "world popular esport" to "competitive game title". You've still got a lot of tryhard support from Blizz which is to be commended. A lot of other companies would wash their hands of a 10 year old product. But its hard to compare since a lot of other companies haven't charged $15/month to play a game. And since 2011-ish pay-to-play and grind-to-compete have been considered industry no-no's.
I'm glad these WoW/Blizzcon tourneys are still around, and I'm glad Blizz still makes an effort to support the pvp side of its mmorpg pve masterpiece. The game has far exceeded whatever level of esports design WoW originally had. Now factor in 10 years of changing pvp demands, changing esports/spectator expectations, and by 2015 a completely emerged knowledge about the genre and how to compete in it. For all the flak the company gets, it has made some pretty decent efforts to keep up with 10 years of WoW evolution, and evolution of/within the context of esports as a whole.