Kick-Ball, Stick-Ball, KILL-THE-GUY-WITH-THE-BALL
So, usually I pick up a new MMO, get to max level, play through all of the group content, do a little raiding and call it good. I love MMOs – they’re basically “Checklist: The Game”, and I am never happier than when I’m checking checkboxes on a checklist – but I do not love myself when I am in heavy MMO mode, because I recognize that there’s only so much checkbox checking you can do before you need to check yourself.
So, I did all of that in WoW – got my max level character, mucked around a bit with trade skills (WoW’s implementation of trade skills are probably the worst I’ve seen in a major MMO ever, as an aside – do they even have a trade skill and economy guy on staff?), did all of the dungeons, did the available raids, did the raids again on a higher difficulty level, and should have been done. I even started writing my post-mortem “dunwowin” post…
…and then I decided to try the “battlegrounds” feature again.
I am not typically a proponent of PvP in MMOs, because it is usually ludicrously imbalanced to the side of one faction or another (and Blizzard is particularly to blame for the “every MMO must have two sides who hate each other” design that plagued the industry for a while) and open-world PvP just seems like a recipe to feed the ego of roaming gank squads.
That said, PvP in a controlled setting – like the battlegrounds instances, or like the carefully delineated “this is a PvP area” areas in the overland zones – can be quite a blast… particularly as it comes with gear with unique looks. I can get tired of chasing Bigger Numbers pretty quickly, but the opportunity to play Pretty Space Goat Princess Dress Up never gets old.
Anyway, WoW’s most recent expansion takes a page from Call of Duty in that it lets you gain PvP levels, and when you hit the level cap of 50 it lets you drop back down to level 1, but this time you’re a PRESTIGE 1, level 1 and you get a little icon next to your picture so everyone else knows you have done the grind once and are doing it again just to show off.
Also when you hit a prestige level there are cheevos flying EVERYWHERE, to wit:
…which is the equivalent of a horse-syringe-sized shot of dopamine directly to the lizard brain.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I still need some pieces of PvP reward armor and I will revisit how much more WoWing I will be doing after I get those and maybe get to prestige 2 which unlocks a new appearance for my class weapon and…and…
…oh, dear. This could be a while.