WoW as an eSportJuly 29, 2008
Okay, this will be a bit of a rant – and I know many people out there are going to disagree with me wholeheartedly… but what is the point of having a blog if you can’t be biased? 🙂
Let me just start of by saying – I like do to PvP. I spent enough time in Alterac Valley to rep up to Exalted for my Wolf, and then did it AGAIN to get the Alterac Valley tokens when the untimely change came in the way the mount was purchased! I will do Arathi Basin with or without a pre-made any day of the week!
Heck, I even leveled on a PvP realm!
And then Arenas came into the picture. Okay, neat, they are like mini-battlegrounds, or group-sized duels, that could be fun, says I! I can see the appeal. And I wasn’t the only one that saw the appeal, the arenas quickly became very popular.
In fact, they grew and grew to be more popular than battlegrounds had ever been. People focussing purely on Arenas, tournaments being held, paying money for good teams to gain you points… it was becoming quite a big part of the game, bigger than I ever thought it would be.
Again, what others do with their game time is their business. I don’t care if people are spending all their time in these arenas – although I’ve tried my hand at it and couldn’t really see the appeal in these < 5 minute matches, with no variety of scenery… Feels like ersatz Halo, really. I come to WoW for the epic battles, for seeing new places and working together with a group of people. Arenas would never be the focus of my game – just like PvE would never be the focus of others.
Now let me get to the meat of the post – my whole point. My problem is that arenas seem to have become a focus for Blizzard. They appear to be paying more attention to the arena PvP crowd than the PvE crowd, which in the end, I believe to be the core of the game. They’ve begun balancing classes for PvP purposes, changing abilities to change how they affect arenas, and seem to not even care how this affects PvE. All I ever hear about is arenas nowadays. And I am sick of it!
I listen to a number of WoW podcasts on my bike into/from work, and they seem to be flooded with content about arenas. One in particular I have noticed is the WoW Insider Show. The majority of the time, its arenas, arenas, arenas! Do they ever talk about how the Al’ar fight works, or about group composition for raids? Nope! It’s all “what do you think of this new change for arenas?” or “What do you think of the RMP arena team make-up?” Honestly, I don’t care about the arena tournament, I have only a passing interest in Season 4 gear. There is more to this game than that.
The WoW universe seems to have become two completely different games smashed into one – the Arenas game, and the PvE game. To me, it feels awkward at best to have these two games clashing with each other. And unforunately to me, it appears the Arena game is winning out. Afterall, when was the last time someone offered a prizes of $200,000 for downing a raid boss?