Yotaan wrote up a post a couple of days ago about how the changes to PvP in Legion had rekindled a love for that style of gameplay. I have to agree with a lot of the points he made: PvP talents and the equalized gear really did make PvP both a lot more approachable and a lot more fun. However, my takeaway from our little jaunt into the battlefield was radically different than my father’s.
No matter how accessible and even the playing field may be, I don’t think PvP will ever be my jam.
That’s not to say that I don’t find the occasional battleground exciting. On the contrary, the PvP that I did with Yotaan and my guildie proved that I do still find enjoyment in the competitive person to person fight. I like going up against players of the enemy faction, capturing bases, and stealing flags. And, after years of raiding at a pretty high level, my reaction times are super fast so that’s not the issue.
The problem, for me, is I don’t feel the same pull of the rewards.
Legion PvP, at the casual level in which I participate, offers two big rewards that I am interested in. The first is the wealth of old gear appearances, purchased by Marks of Honor. The second is the artifact weapons locked behind Prestige levels, the sort of Paragon leveling of PvP. Of these two rewards, the first is definitely the more appealing (as the Marks of Honor are Bind on Account), but I will admit, I have solely run battlegrounds on my paladin in order to gain Prestige on only one character.
This gear though, for as much as a transmog junkie as I might be, isn’t enough of a pull. While I absolutely love dressing up my characters like barbie dolls, I also love earning new gear and becoming more powerful. I love progressing through increasingly difficult trials and I love the challenges of teamwork. In Random Battlegrounds, there is none of that. I suppose I could go and find a Rated Battleground team if I was really invested in that style of play, but the jump from Random to Rated Battlegrounds feels a lot steeper than the jump from LFR to, say, Normal raids. PvP is all about standings and competition against players, whereas PvE is about progression and competition against oneself and an encounter. Of the two, I find the latter much more rewarding.
Since that reward factor isn’t there, my engagement in PvP almost always comes in small fits and spurts. I get really into running battlegrounds for a couple of days, mostly to farm up a specific set or because I happened to join in a particularly engaging match, but then the excitement wears off and I move away. I’ll always be down for running battlegrounds with Yotaan, but I highly doubt that I’ll run very many without him by my side.
Swinging back a bit to something I’d touched on earlier, there is one aspect of Legion PvP that I do think went too far and that is the gear equalizing. While I am all on board for giving everyone relatively the same power level, I do wish we had some more control over the allocation of those stats. If I’m running a shockadin build on my holy paladin for some battlegrounds, it would be awesome to maybe trade out a few percentage points from mastery into haste so I can do higher DPS. Giving players a little more control over their stat allocation shouldn’t unbalance the playing field too much, but would allow players a bit more customization than we currently have in PvP.
Other than that one factor I mentioned though, I have to agree with Yotaan. Legion PvP is in a really good spot. It finally feels separated enough from PvE that neither realm is messing with the tuning of the other (something that has been the bane of raiders and I’m sure hardcore PvPers for many expansions). At the same time though, Legion PvP has a low entry barrier. Any ol’ schmoe, even some washed up Holy Paladin with a predisposition for pants, can join in without feeling horribly behind. I really hope that the trend started in Legion continues into Battle for Azeroth because it’s a great path for PvP.
It’s just probably never going to be mine.