Legion Developer PvP and eSports Q&A - Brian Holinka
Holinka will be answering the community's questions about PvP and WoW Esports Manager Jeramy McIntyre will be talking about the 2017 WoW Arena World Championship.
- The system should have a little bit of excitement, but probably not to the level of players being frustrated because they can't get a specific item to finish their set.
- Players can take the gear from PvP to the Obliterum forge, turning it into an Echos item. These can be used to purchase a token for a certain slot. These use the random item upgrade system, so you can keep buying tokens to try and get better items.
- Bonus rolls are being added to the rated weekly quests. You can use a bonus roll to try and get another piece of gear.
- Gladiator mounts are going to remain character specific.
- Vicious and Prestigious mounts will be account wide.
- In Patch 7.2 the experience rewarded from PvP will be significantly increased, but not to the extent of trivializing leveling.
PvP Gear Ensemble
- Players should be able to buy the previous season's look, but you shouldn't be able to buy the current season's look.
- The Elite achievement was added to be sure players hit the required rating each season to be able to buy the appearance.
- In Season 3, you will be able to buy Season 1 and Season 2 appearances from the vendor.
- At Legion launch, the team wasn't sure they wanted to apply PvP templates during duels. There is a very social element to duels, some people want to go out with their awesome gear and beat people up.
- The team is looking into applying templates during duels, but it won't be ready in time for Patch 7.2.
- There are lots of concerns with enabling this, the team needs to do testing to make sure there aren't any exploits.
- Allowing 1v1 Wargames is also on the list.
- The team is going to look at legendary items, set bonuses, and other things that cause extra damage against players in World PvP.
- Base Resilience and Healing Reduction wouldn't be a good thing for the game.
- Solo queues for rated PvP is a good idea, but the team doesn't want to say yes or no to it right now.
- There are a lot of challenges that would be involved with allowing solo queuing.
- Queue times wouldn't be great because of the relative number of healers compared to DPS. Providing some incentive to heal might help.
- In Overwatch and Heroes, when a player queues their role is undefined. The player can enter the match and play any role that is needed. In WoW, if you queue as a Warlock, you have to play DPS.
- The population doesn't reflect the ratio of roles needed for rated PvP. There are a lot more DPS playing than healers.
- You also have to take into account MMR when matching, which would make the queue times even longer.
- The game is reliant on synergy between different classes, so if the random matchmaking puts you in a comp that isn't optimal for your spec, you will be angry and blame the matchmaker for your loss.
- The matchmaking could attempt to build optimal team comps, but this would also increase the queue times. It also would stop players from playing less popular team comps that they enjoy.
- Figuring out how to make MMR work, maybe on your spec, class, or some other factors is also a challenge.
- Harassment in chat would also probably be an issue.
- Do you put solo queue players in a game with players queued as a party?
- There are lots of things that would cause player frustration that need to be solved before solo queue would be a good player experience.
- Making all of this work right is a big time commitment.
- The team agrees that if there was solo queue, more people would be participating in PvP.
- Solo queue is something that has to be done right.
- The team wants to hear more feedback about how the group finder is working out for PvP.
- Solo queue is nice because you can press a button and play, but the players in your group are very disposable.
- Having to put a group together takes effort, allows you to build more significant connections with the players in the group, and behavior is generally better.
- Let the team know how they can make the system better for you and what challenges you are facing with the current system.
- There is some value in having a little bit of a barrier to rated PvP, but the current barrier to entry may be a little high.
PvP Template Information
- The team has been talking about better ways to get information about this out to players.
- There was a forum post during beta that listed all of these things, but keeping it updated takes a significant amount of time.
- This is also difficult information to get across concisely.
- Spell tooltips and your character stats do change when you go into a rated environment.
- A lot of information has been moved from the server to the client, so anyone who wants to improve the presentation of the data can do so.
- Most players just go and play PvP, they aren't too interested in the stat template. It would be nice to have this information for players who are interested in it though!
- Finding a way to convey this information is difficult, but not insurmountable.
PvP Title Rating Reward Ranges
- The team has been talking about the end of season title system recently.
- There isn't much value in withholding the title cutoff range from players.
- For this season, the team will show the title cutoff range around a week before the season ends.
- Final values will be posted at the end of the season.
- The team will try to find a more permanent solution moving forward.
- The team needs to be very clear that the title range before the season is over is an estimate, not exact numbers. They don't want players to be upset if they don't get the title they want because the range shifted.
PvP Hangout Area
- The game could benefit from having a PvP hangout area. Players could go there and duel or hang out, which is something that was lost with the removal of PvP vendors.
Class Stacking in Rated Battlegrounds
- The team does focus a lot of their balance time on 3v3 arenas, but Rated Battlegrounds are also an important part of the game.
- The team is okay with some classes being better in one part of the game than other classes, but the current situation with Balance Druids and Mistweaver Monks where it is a problem.
- Some specs are able to do damage to a large number of targets very easily, which may be a problem that needs to be addressed.
- The team has to be careful to avoid over nerfing these classes and specs, as the damage to multiple targets needs to be reduced while still keeping their damage on a lower number of targets good.
- The team isn't thrilled with how complicated the differences are between PvP and PvE right now. If they were to add additional stat templates for different arena sizes and battleground types, this would add even more complexity to the system.
- Having a different optimal rotation in the outside world, 2v2, 3v3, and RBG would not be great.
- Having Shroud of Concealment meant that any Rogue team would start the game hidden. The game felt better with out having a team appear out of nowhere and opening on you.
- Turning off Shroud of Concealment in just arenas might work, but having consistent rules across all of rated PvP is helpful.
- Mass Invisibility is okay because it is just Arcane Mages rather than all Rogues. There are a lot of things that a Rogue can do while stealthed, but an Arcane Mage is more limited.
Tanks in PvP
- It is a real challenge to get tanks working in PvP in a good way.
- In PvE, a tank is supposed to be invincible, getting in the bosses face and not dying. This wouldn't work in PvP.
- Tanks are a little more sturdy, lower DPS, and able to harass other players in PvP. It is taking some iteration to bring all of the tank specs to where they want them. This may take some tuning changes or Honor Talent changes.
- Mistwalk took a very mobile class and made them too mobile.
- They had a sufficient amount of movement without Mistwalk.
- Most players in PvE were not taking Mistwalk, even after buffing it multiple times to try and make it more attractive.
- Mobility is still very good, especially when compared to other healers.
Honor Talents vs Stat Templates
- Changing Honor Talents and Stat Templates solves different problems.
- Changing the stat template allows the team to scale back damage or increase health to help survivability.
- Honor Talents were designed to be situational.
- The team is aware that players are tired of 2v3 Skirmishes.
- The team could change queuing for Skirmishes to something more similar to how dungeons work, where everyone has to accept before it will start.
- Skirmishes currently allow everyone to get into a match quickly, with the different sizes helping with the healer and DPS ratio.
- The team wants to solve people not accepting the queue invite instead of separating 2v2 and 3v3 skirmishes.
- The World Defense channel will no longer work on all servers again.
- With sharding and CRZ, if someone is attacking an area it isn't guaranteed that you will find them when you go there, you may end up in another shard.
- The team is looking at being able to re-enable this channel on RP realms where the channel was popular.
- The benefits of CRZ and sharding outweigh the downsides by far.
- If you want to avoid CRZ and sharding, maybe check out an RP realm.
Marks of Honor
- The team hears the feedback about the drop rate of Marks of Honor.
- They have been added to World Quests, Ashran, and other sources.
- Things to spend your excess Marks of Honor on have also been added.
- Arena Participation numbers are actually pretty good right now.
- Every week the number of people on the arena ladder grows.
- There is usually a big number once the season starts, then around 10,000 people are added to the ladder per week with that number slowly declining.
- The team made a deliberate decision to shorten the seasons, causing the ladder to be smaller than it had been in the past.
- In North America, 150k people were on the ladder in Season 1. That is better than any Warlords season was 12 weeks in.
- The team wants to increase arena participation.
- There has been lots of feedback about end of season rewards.
WoW Arena 2017 Championship
- Last year was great for WoW eSports.
- The European cups were broadcast for the first time, leading up to a magical moment at BlizzCon.
- The Tespa dungeon race was also new, allowing more diversity in the eSports program.
- WoW eSports is going to be bigger than it has ever been before.
- Last year the cups had the rating requirement removed, resulting in a huge surge in participation. This year the cups will be completely open again.
- If you want to grab your friends and play against the best players, you can do that.
- The number of cups will also be increased, with NA and EU getting 5 cups for each region, up from 3.
- The prize pool for the cups will be increased as well, allowing pro players to earn money and dedicate more time to playing.
- Making all of the cups open to everyone didn't work out well. Moving forward a points system will be used, with teams earning points by winning cups.
- The points system will also extend to some community tournaments, allowing wins there to reward some points.
- Things will kick off in April, with tournaments going on almost every other weekend for WoW eSports.
- NA and EU will now have 12 teams that qualify for regionals, up from 8 teams.
- The global finals will have 12 teams this year.
- Global finals will also have better representation this year: NA, EU, China, Latam, and Asia Pacific.