WoW has had two traditional approaches to gaming – PVP and PVE. Player vs. player of course refers to fighting other players on the same server. Player vs. enviroment includes questing and doing raids. The game’s servers are also divided in these two lines. Some servers are PVP and others are PVE based. The former allow you to attack players almost any time you want, while PVE servers allow you to do so only if the other player is also willing to fight.
This divide has created a mellow atmosphere over the years. Generally speaking, the PVP servers have way too many players, which makes waiting in line to play a hassle. This has led to a sort of natural shift towards collecting gear and questing, rather than battling with real players across the map.
During an interview in the last Blizzcon, game director Ion Hazzikostas informed reporters that some changes will be made soon. The game is about to become much more PVP based. For example, no longer will you be able to switch to PVE mode anywhere you like. The only places where you won’t be susceptible to attack are the main cities.
The other major thing they’ll be working on is balancing the number of Horde and Alliance players. The reason is simple; it’s not really interesting to fight if you’ll get outnumbered instantly.
Another problem PVP has been facing are flying mounts. If you want to attack someone and they just get on their mount and ride into the sunset, you can’t do much but wave. That’s also about to change. But whether we’ll get some aerial fights or simply the inability to use a mount in times of danger remains to be seen.
All of these changes could make the game unbalanced. Hazzikostas is aware of that, which is why these changes will take months if not a few years to fully implement.
For example, if everyone can attack everyone anywhere they like, this could make leveling up quite a hassle. You could be harrased by a player 20 levels stronger and you couldn’t do a thing.
The other issue is the difference in health. Will characters with full health be able to attack those with lower health? That would cause quite a stir because it’s just a douchey move and not real PVP. But Blizzard will most likely take such things into consideration.
It is true that with each new expansion WoW becomes more mellow and exploration based. Collecting gear and Arena PVP is still the holy grail of the WoW experience, but in-game fighting has been lost in the process.
This rennaisance of PVP gaming will probably do good for all the inhabitants of Azeroth. The team at Raging Gazebo wholeheartedly supports this move, and hopefully it comes to fruition sooner than expected.