Has it ever been an E-Sport?
No, not really.
Noone took it seriously due to BLZ+WoW+PvP Balance
Edit: Can't find any proper sources from any of the tournament websites. There's a couple threads on AJ / MMO / Blizz forums and a few third party reports, but no actual evidence. I'm 99% sure it wasn't just because of how well/badly the game was balanced though.
Last edited by Snuggli; 2013-06-19 at 05:45 PM.
Petbattles probably has stronger esports appeal than wow arena. We knew that a few years ago.
you cant balance all classes together combined each with 3 specs(yes, even tank specs get attention) while at the same time you keep increasing dmg, healing, reduction, you add in new spells, hp/mp, regen, main/2ndary stats, let alone PLAYSTYLES. The second you change couple classes' playstyle or simply introduce a new class the whole meta of the game completely changes.
and they do ALL these things at the same time. the fact is - 1 expansion(3 seasons) lasts way too short now due to rolling out constant content. you cant have new content all the time AND a balance season, simply because the pvp devs(which are VERY VERY few and only 1 REAL one(holinka)) dont have time to work around everything.
WoW Arena is never going to be an esport because Blizzard doesn't want it to. They could easily create a spectator client, there even exists a community created spectator "client" (it's an UI addon). It's simply that it doesn't fit their plans for the game.
What I would suggest/hope is that Blizzard capitalizes on the large following of WoW-style Arena gameplay. They missed their chance with the DotA/MOBA games which really took off. They try to profit from it now with Blizzard All-Stars, but there has been such a long time where they could have easily made an official DotA game (with the name DotA on it...) to profit from a genre that afaik has been largely unexplored.
I think the same thing goes for Arena. At the moment, it's just a minigame inside WoW that, relative to the WoW playerbase, few care about. But as a standalone game with fewer classes/specs than in WoW, patching and development in general being seperate from WoW, balance could much more easily be achieved and important features like spectating could be implemented. In fact, they would already have a lot knowledge about the balancing and design issues that could occur which would make it much easier for them to produce such a game. I'm sure as a cheap or free-to-play standalone game (like CS:GO, DotA 2, LoL and so on which are all esportsy) that would be really popular.
Maybe at some point a studio will make a good game about WoW-style Arena combat and the people at Blizzard will facepalm again for missing a great opportunity like with DotA.
Last edited by reckoner04; 2013-06-19 at 05:59 PM.
To be fair to Blizzard, they didn't want to give up so much control of their game to the eSports community - who wanted private but official servers, with GM level control, spectator clients without subscriptions, and a seat at the balance table - as well as faster patch cycles for pvp balance concerns. The eSports community was being pretty needy, and from Blizzards perspective probably seemed to be trying to hijack the game away from, and potentially to the detriment to, their core audience (casual MMO players). From the eSports perspective though, all the above is standard fare for an FPS that wants to be taken seriously for competitors - games that don't quickly respond to recognized exploits, or don't allow admin control to the community make it hard or impossible to enforce effectively.
World of Warcraft is by any measure a hugely successful product - they don't need the eSports community - and while I'm sure they understand we'd like it, or that they'd even like it - they also know they don't need it to succeed. By contrast, it's pretty much the dream of any FPS or RTS to become the next big eSports game, and they will all bend over backwards to support it for the increased one-time sales - because they don't earn ~150-200 million a month in subscriptions already, let alone initial sales and expansion sales. Games like Counter-strike and Call of Duty can sell tens of millions of copies for $30-60 each, but they only do it one time - WoW makes the same amount of money as the best FPS's do in their entire product cycle (years), every 3-5 months - for almost a decade now. So, it's pretty childish of them to refuse to give up any power to support eSports, but they aren't in the situation that the eSports community is used to dealing with other developers on, which is "Give us everything we demand or we will laugh at your game publically and it will flop" (whether it's true or not, the fear to the producers is very real).
Sir, how do you want a big group of ppl to balance a game that is at the moment extremly complex?
Do you think this is lol? or one of those games where RNG numbers are extremly basic to program?
Brother, let me tell you something you dont hear often...
This game has lots of classes, skills, gear, procs, rng, rotations.... You think is easy to balance all that combined?
IT IS NOT, the game is impossible to balance and the only SMALL possibility is to do it on a realm where only pvp exist because BALANCE means equallity in pve and pvp (because tournaments use the regular game, not a game only balanced for pvp)
Maybe one day you and the rest of the ppl who think like you will understand how this game is.
Im not saying you "shouldnt" complain about balance, what I am trying to explain is that this is not easy task UNLESS you balance everything for pvp only.
At the phase the game is going with patches every couple of month this task is literally, impossible because the "math" the game has is unlimited.
Last edited by Xeh.-; 2013-06-19 at 07:57 PM.
P.S. That's not to say that Blizzard should give up with balance. I think it's a complete coincidence that the game got worse as they focused on spec viability--it's more a function of today's dependency on offensive cooldowns.
Wrath, Cata, and MoP all have their low and high points. For example, there is a lot of comps that could get r1 this season, ret/hunter/disc, FMP, Jungle, MLD, LSD, LSD.2. There is a ton that can get it, which is super nice. But Cata and MoP Suffered from burst that was completely stupid and out of control. I could literally kill anyone in a Deep if they didn't trinket it, every single time. Wrath suffered from comps and some burst, but that burst would easily be countered if you were a good player and knew what to do, so it was easy to play around. But you also needed a comp that would be able to work, that had either blood lust or MS, if you didn't have either than you had very little chance of getting high in the ladders.
From my perspective I feel like it would be easy if the game was straight up PVP to balance the game, but because there is PVE and PVP it makes it incredibly difficult.
wotlk s5 - had dk madness and a couple other random things that were overshadowed by that, because they were absolutely CRAZY. was so bad some of us i'm sure [me incl] still have the urge to /spit on that class when we see them. but it got handled.
cata s9 - rmp was absolutely retarded - Time warp / 8 sec instant ring that didnt DR with sh*t.. smoke bomb was on prep and was 10 SECONDS LONG.. like ???! but it got handled, along with the other issues no matter what you may think of RLS, you could outplay it.
the problem with MoP is - it's not getting better, the changes are mis-guided and just sloppy / lazy overlaying and bandaiding issues because they're afraid of overhauls mid xpac..and people are more demoralized because your classes are either dogsh*t or gods and it's Russian roulette every fkn patch.
so no, you cant site season 5 and claim the expac wasnt good because that's bs, sorry man.
maybe it got dropped because of spec mode and maybe not..but spectating is the least of the games probs atm imo.
s1 was shit too, it was their very first arena season though so people had a higher tolerance for imbalance back then - we knew they didn't know what they were doing either - and there wasn't the hardcore arena community there is now - so the players weren't taking it as seriously as it is now: but imbalance was just as high as s9 or even s5.
More classes than there ever was. Only like 3-4 classes/specs in wotlk.