A year's worth of PvP changes in a nutshell

A few days ago I made a post about why I generally don't engage in PvP. However, I am currently in one of the mentioned "content slumps" - having grown somewhat tired of farming Trial of the Crusader and the daily heroic for badges - so I'm once again feeling the pull of activities that usually take a lower priority, just for the change of pace. Since I haven't actually engaged in any significant amount of PvP since the end of Burning Crusade, I got to experience a lot of changes live that I had only skimmed in the patch notes previously.

Low-level PvP is actually pretty fun these days.

A long time ago I tried to do a bit of low-level PvP on an alt and it wasn't very fun. I had to spend ages sitting around at the battlemaster waiting for a match to pop up, just to end up facing off against a team with at least one massively overpowered twink in it who would constantly two-shot me before I could even go "bwuh" in confusion, even when I was at the highest level of my current level bracket.

I am happy to say that those days are gone. With the return of experience gains to battlegrounds - including the ability to turn them off - twinks have been banished into their own battlegrounds where they cannot harm us innocent casual PvPers, leaving us with matches which are filled with nothing but people who really just want to have a bit of fun while levelling. Everybody's wearing a mix of blues and greens with some heirlooms here and there, and everybody dies pretty quickly when focused, but at least we're all even in that respect. And since you can queue from anywhere now, you can hop into a match while in the middle of questing and then pop right back to where you left off.

The experience gains aren't massive and I wouldn't really recommend levelling by doing battlegrounds only, but they are a nice bonus. (Though my shaman once ended up in an Arathi Basin match which we won 1600-0 due to an unfair advantage in numbers, and in those five minutes the honour and xp kept rolling in at such speed that she gained about half a level, which was a bit scary.)

Speaking of AB...

Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm and Warsong Gulch matches are faster now.

AB and EotS end once one side reaches 1600 resources instead of 2000, and WSG has a timer now. I can't say that I've noticed the former change making a huge difference, except for making it a bit more bearable if you end up defending a base that the enemy decided to ignore completely and are getting bored watching the two teams struggle for superiority at the other end of the map - at least it's over more quickly.

The WSG change is definitely a good one though; I think seeing the timer up there really encourages people to get down to business instead of trying to pointlessly farm honourable kills mid-field. At least I haven't had a match that actually hit that timer yet, though I haven't played WSG that much so maybe that was just a coincidence.

Death Knights are annoying.

From a "facing them in PvP" point of view anyway. I think overall rogues and retribution paladins still win on the annoyingness scale with their stuns and from-full-to-zero-before-you-can-do-anything burst damage, but Death Knights are definitely a close runner-up.

Death grip is the worst offender really. This ability doesn't just prevent me from playing my character, it actively forces my character to do things contrary to what I'm doing - like forcing me into the middle of a group of enemies when I was trying to run away. I'm not sure why this works in PvP at all, seeing how it's a taunt and none of the other classes' taunts work in PvP.

And well... then there's other stuff, like the way in which they seem to be able to spam their chains of ice non-stop. Or that time I was trying to defend a tower in AV against a gnome death knight one on one and finally seemed to get the better of him... at which point he popped army of the dead and I died. I want an "I win" button too.

PvP armour sets are ugly as hell.

I remember how people were complaining in BC that the PvP armour sets didn't have original looks anymore and were just recolours of the PvE tier sets. I think I was one of them to be honest. But oh god, how I long for those days now. I mean, at least they all looked (mostly) good.

I was browsing the various PvP armour vendors the other day, and at least for priests all tiers of PvP armour are boring recolours of the same set now, which is so bland and ugly to begin with that you might mistake it for a bunch of levelling greens when you see someone wearing it in Dalaran (at least that happens to me all the time). Bring back recolours of good-looking models at least, I say. I shudder at the idea of replacing my shiny tier with a garishly-coloured, run-off-the-mill robe and cowl just to stand a chance in PvP.

Strand of the Ancients is not terribly fun.

Yes, during my whole year of playing WOTLK I never did Strand of the Ancients, until now anyway. (Un)fortunately I had to come to the conclusion that I didn't miss much. The worst problem for me was that I seemed to get booted off the server or crash out every time my side was on the offense and just about to dock, which was not at all helpful. I'd have to do more testing to find out if that was just bad luck or a persisting problem, but I'm not sure I can be bothered.

The thing that bugs me most about this battleground is that it's too vehicle-heavy. I don't mind a bit of vehicle action, but in SotA there are so many of them and they are so important that a large part of your raid will end up in one, rendering you kind of obsolete as a healer since you can't heal friendly vehicles, and the only thing left to do is to join the attack on the enemy vehicles with your rather ineffective damage spells. Or try to pilot a vehicle non-stop yourself. Meh.

Isle of Conquest is pretty fun.

I joined my first IoC without having a clue what it was about and ended up doing a lot of running around doing useless things. Yet somehow we still won, so I felt inspired to look it up on WoWWiki to find out what had actually happened.

I've seen a lot of people refer to it as "like AV, only better", "like AV before they changed it" or "like AV, only Horde wins", which is all pretty good in my book, coming from someone who plays Horde and kinda likes the large scale of AV but frequently gets annoyed by the way in which people completely ignore important objectives.

Plus, you know, IoC lets you do some pretty ridiculous stuff like hurl yourself off a zeppelin into an enemy fortress or throw yourself out of a catapult. Much win if you ask me.

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