4 Mar 2011

What Cataclysm Means to World PVP

This guest post is from Bordy, a longtime friend who doesn’t have a blog of his own and so decided to use mine. You can find him on Twitter @snuffleorc.

Who among us Vanilla Veterans does not look fondly back to the mass battles between Southshore and Tarren Mill? Cataclysm wasn’t what ended these, but it certainly prevented it ever recurring, with the loss of Southshore as an Alliance town.

Southshore and Tarren Mill were roughly equidistant from faction cities (Ironforge and Undercity respectively). The geography of the land was suitable to mass PvP too: No town walls, roughly flat (albeit with a small slope), mostly open ground with minor cover/obstacles and a small tower in the middle. Designers of battlegrounds should take note!

Of course what actually put an end to the SS vs. TM battles was the creation of battlegrounds. These could be instanced and thus enabled Blizzard to spread the server load of all those wanting to participate. The old SS/TM battles could get very laggy, as fun as they were. Battlegrounds though do not, for the most part, offer mass PvP in open ground. Warsong Gulch is just too small (in as far as combatants go), Arathi Basin has a few more combatants and of very uneven terrain. Eye of the Storm again splits forces up. Alterac Valley comes close at times, but is spread out and more recently simply involves a chase to kill NPCs. Strand of the Ancients, Wintergrasp, and Tol Barad all involve assaulting and defending.

Blizzard do not seem to want to encourage mass open-world PvP. Cataclysm though has brought with it more outposts of both factions in lots of zones, so why hasn’t open war erupted everywhere?

Well, there are now a lot of nearby opposing settlements with flight paths, so any combat will naturally be spread out and thus involve less combatants at each. Terrain is another issue; nothing comes close to a classic battleground like the old SS/TM geography.

You can still of course use the old battlegrounds at your new level. At level 85 there are no less than 7 battlegrounds vying for your attention, all depleting the amount of PvPers actively seeking combat in the open world.

Just prior to Cataclysm there was a lot more open-world PvP. Almost everyone had finished the quest/dungeon content, leaving people to look for other fun. Two things emerged: PvP achievements (i.e. raids on enemy faction leaders) and attacking small settlements with small bands of people (usually no more than 4) in the hope to entice the enemy out for a fight. Both of these appear to have stopped almost completely.

The former may re-surface once everyone has levelled their alts and finished quest content, although many have now of course done those achievements and they haven’t changed with Cataclysm.

The latter I expect to resurface soon enough. It takes less people to go looking for a small fight. The locations may change though due to the effect of the Cataclysm on the land. For example, no more can level 58 Death Knights get into Mulgore, as they will need to be able to fly to get past the huge gates. Camp Taurajo is no longer a target, but plenty of other settlements are within easy access of both factions now, so small fights may spring up anywhere. Crossroads has always been a favourite, though the guards have been beefed up.

So where do you expect open-world PvP to (eventually) resurface?

Can we ever hope for mass open-world PvP again?

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2 Responses to What Cataclysm Means to World PVP

  1. Mhorgrim says:

    I think it depends upon the server. I do see alot less world pvp as people are still experiencing new content, new BG Mastery, new quests exploration etc. I have seen however that the Hinterlands may be a hot spot. You have both factions in the same area competing for quest objectives. As an Alliance Hunter I’ve had more than a few skirmishes in that area and it can be very entertaining. Bottom line though, alot will depend upon the server and the guilds there in. Just a thought.

  2. Mattwrath says:

    I missed out on a lot of the World PvP having started in WoW after BC was already out for a while, so by the time I got up to max level and capable of performing at that required bar the next expansion was being launched and the big zones in Outlands for PvP were passed on by. But now-a-days I like to do the spirit towers, Halaa, Hellfire Fortifications, even if I am curb-stomping foolish lvl 65s I hope they’ll wine to their guild and better challenger will show up. As a lvl 85 Arcane Mage, there’s a few tricky abilities you can use to pwn people in the world PvP zones, particularly in Hellfire and Halaa where there are big drop offs. If you have the Incanter’s Absorbtion ability, engage your opponent as near the edge of a cliff or parapet or tower edge as you can, pop your arcane shield and position your opponent between you and the edge of the cliff and just let them whack on you untill your shield breaks and shoots them off the cliff to their death. Wily mages and priests will be prepared for this though with slowfall and levitate, and pallys can bubble, but I find DKs and warriors are excellent targets. Lots of fun when it works well and you can point and laugh as they fall to their deaths. Though you can probably only get away with that once, mind you, so if they’re persistent then you’ll need to develop some better tricks.

    Happy Outlands PvP trolling!