As habitual as I am, I tend to re-boot ye olde’ World of Warcraft as a time killer since New England winters can sometimes put Hoth to shame. #excuses
So here I am, back for Legion after a two year hiatus. I’ve been spending my time split between two servers that couldn’t be more different – a high-pop RP/PvE server with an alliance leaning and a low-pop PvP server that’s just shy of 70% horde.
Previous to this recent stint I would consider myself a tried and true PvP player – anybody who can survive LoL needs to be at least a little bit. Although I had a brief period of raiding back in the days of Burning Crusade, by and large my end-game has always centered around of PvP – be it world, battlegrounds, or even arenas. But as I’ve gotten older and the culture of WoW has changed, so does the dynamic of PvP – and lately I’ve found myself preferring to roll with PvE servers. As to why? Well, that’s a multi-layered answer.
For WoW players, rolling on a PvP server included a certain rite of passage – the deeply rooted classic adage “pvp happens” is oft thrown around when anybody complains about encounters they felt were unfair. But that’s how it was, really, and we all kind of knew it and we kind of liked it. But a lot of that had to do with a slightly more fair environment.
I once wrote a rather extensive (though incomplete) set of posts about 3 1/2 years ago when Cataclysm was looming. Back then a lot of things had changed or were about to – flying mounts in Azeroth, PvE to PvP transfers, and ever exponentially increasing gear gaps. I pointed out a few times how I felt about what world PvP had become, and unfortunately very little has changed since, if any.
This makes choosing a PvP server as a home so much less appealing, even to fans of PvP such as myself. Certain aspects of it is still fun – and every now and then when I run into a fellow player around my level out in the wild and tagged red, the anticipation of a fight is still there, and it’s still exciting.
The problem, though, is that this is rare these days and I’m much more likely to find myself on the receiving end of a gank. Being ganked in my opinion is not “really” PvP – there’s no versus. There’s no fight. Theres 3 level 100+ camping a 25 outpost, killing the flight master and any lowbie who’s unlucky enough to cross their path. Sometimes this sparks real world PvP when people hop on their mains to shoo the culprits out. But the moments are fleeting. The pests flee, the defenders mull around for 20 minutes or so just in case, and the situation fizzles faster than it started. Hit-and-run, basically. At the end of the day, nobody really desires a fair fight much. They want to stomp the enemy as quickly as possible, be that a group of low players who stand no chance or by summoning 3x the force to pick off a few bored nags.
What’s left is griefing the weak, and that is a in my opinion no way to play a game. Perhaps that’s why modern MMO’s choose the co-op route more and more – help each other out in the world and pummel each other in controlled, consenting environments.
Or perhaps the years have just made me soft. I wouldn’t deny that I enjoy a peaceful trip from start to finish with little to no event now. Is this just a natural shift of preference as I get older? I still happily roll on PvP servers to play with friends, but even then, I’ve breezed by several alliance out in the wild and have been let down more often than engaging in a fight. We pass each other like ghosts in the night. No engagements occur. The thrill is gone.
I am part of the problem – somewhere along the line, the passion faded. Sometimes I long for the old days of Burning Crusade when there was active fights all around. Isle dailies. Hellfire Peninsula. Elemental plateau. The chaos outside raid entrances.