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Role Playing (Games)

How Pro Gaming Will Change World of Warcraft 146

Posted by Zonk
from the for-the-honor-of-mountain-dew dept.
1up has a piece looking at the impact that commercial support of WoW Arena teams might have on the game. There are already two teams backed with corporate money, both pulled from prominent PvP guilds in the Bloodlust battlegroup. "It's a challenge to pick teams to sponsor in WoW's PvP: 'The same team that may be ranked #2 or #3 in one Battlegroup may be ranked #1 in another," said Stephen Schoder of Check Six. "this makes the proposition of scouting out the right team more difficult than most other competitive eSports. The arena system in World of Warcraft is much more complicated than the simplistic FPS and RTS games in terms of being able to immediately pick up on what is going on.'"
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How Pro Gaming Will Change World of Warcraft

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  • by Friedrich Psitalon (777927) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @12:45PM (#18590669)
    I want to see corporate logos on their gear if they're getting sponsored. Heh.

    Or character names that reflect it: "MountainDewMage" and "RedBullRogue."

    C'mon, if you're going to commercialize something, let's go the whole way, people.

    On the other hand... I hesitate to think about what would happen with the characters sponsored by Bawls.....
    • It's got the stuff gamers crave!
      • Heh, Indiocracy. Someone needs to L2Proofread.
        • by pdbaby (609052)

          Heh, Indiocracy. Someone needs to L2Proofread.

          That's what you think, but maybe it's a cunning for-pay Indiana Jones 4 reference? Maybe the gp's a pro slashdotter!

  • While I don't doubt that these people are having fun playing WoW and all that, but I need to ask... isn't going just a little too far to get corporate sponsorship for a game guild? I mean come on, just have fun playing the game, why do we need to commercialize the gaming worlds that are out there? I just find it sad. What is going to come next, McDonalds ads inside my D&D Books, and dating ads in the middle of Star Trek XI when it comes out? I mean come on...
    • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:05PM (#18590997) Homepage
      It's actually pretty nice having corporate sponsorship when you're on a gaming team. I used to be on Pandemic's CS team way back in the day and our manager happened to be the owner of the Arkansas franchise of Subway. All of our trips to Dallas for the CPL were paid for, and plane tickets were bought for me to fly to Arkansas for local tournaments. Saved me lots of money. All we had to do was wear a "Pandemic" shirt with a subway logo on it when we went to the CPL... big deal. It's nice when you actually want make little cash off of professional gaming. It's really hard to do that with out some sort of sponsorship.

      There is a lot of people out there who really believe pro gaming will become mainstream someday, I'm a little skeptical of this, but you never know.
    • To be fair, TFA makes it seem like the guilds were just having fun playing, getting "World Firsts" and all and Team Pandemic and CheckSix just approached the guilds. Also, this has nothing to do with ad-sponsored gaming. Blizzard didn't team up with the sponsors to offer ads in-game. TFA specifically states that you won't see "big companies logos placed all over your character's armor like a NASCAR driver's suit". If I was in one of the top WoW guilds and someone approached my guild and said that they'd
    • by Achoi77 (669484) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:08PM (#18591067)

      as you zone the areas in the text you see display will be

      WESTERN PLAGUELANDS "we bring good things to life!" - GE®

      MOLTEN CORE "obey your thirst" - Sprite®

      IRONFORGE AUCTION HOUSE "what's in your wallet?" - Capital One®

      WARSONG GULCH (pvp area) "Is It In You?" - Gatorade®

      DUROTAR ZEPPLIN TOWER "The ultimate driving machine" - BMW®

      • by Cervantes (612861)
        I think you missed a few, I fixed them for you:

        MOLTEN CORE "Fuck you, I'm eating" - Carls Jr.
        WARSONG GULCH (pvp area) "With electrolytes!" - Brawndo
      • DUROTAR ZEPPLIN TOWER "The ultimate driving machine" - BMW®

        Shouldnt that one be on Shimmering Flats in Thousand Needles? Altho that would be a poor choice location for an ad since it's usually empty.
    • by ThosLives (686517) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:10PM (#18591107) Journal

      This is just a result of the fact that, for a significant portion of the population, it takes so little effort to generate necessities that some means of justification to give people who aren't producing the necessities those necessities must arise.

      Wow, that was a mouthful. Basically, in many countries it is so easy to produce food that not everyone needs to produce food. However, everyone still needs to consume food. So what happens is people decide they're willing to give people food if they do certain things. In this instance, people are willing to give gamers food in exchange for saying that they are playing the game because of the guy giving them food.

      It's slightly more complex than that because monetary systems remove many activities quite far from actual food production, but the basic concept holds.

      If it were much more difficult to produce food, you couldn't have this type of society, because nobody would be able to have enough extra food to just give to people for playing games. I'd say this is just a natural consequence of sufficient advances in farming and services trade.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Food was never the only currency even in old times. Flints, skins, furs, knives, wives, etc... Much of it convertable to food, but food had a rather cyclical economy (a bag of berries isn't worth much right after the hunt, but quite a bit in winter) while durable goods or just plain status was a better stock in trade. So while a lot of things can boil down to food, tying it back to farming efficiency is a bit of a post hoc argument. Efficiency creates specializations, specialization creates interdependen
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ThosLives (686517)

          (Pity that was an AC post - it's pretty interesting!)

          I didn't mean to imply that food is the only currency, I was just using that simple example to show that specialization and efficiencies give rise to otherwise "illogical" situations, like people who can survive while only providing services rather than directly producing wealth.

          It's a fascinating thing to see how services do facilitate the creation of wealth. What it all boils down to, though, is that there has to be wealth to support services. The fac

      • If it were much more difficult to produce food, you couldn't have this type of society, because nobody would be able to have enough extra food to just give to people for playing games.

        Or to adjudicate in disputes, communicate with god(s), keep those nutters from the next village away from our goats ...

        Thanks, but I think most of us have worked out that the agrigultural revolution had some far-reaching consequences.
    • Most CS servers have some sort of corporate sponsoship and have even back in old beta CS. Someones gotta pay for the phat pipes and servers. It was usually ISPs and webhosting type services that did it for publicity. I guess this is different, maybe they buy you gold or something. I wonder what sponsorship entails. I guess if they baught you a new PC every 6 months and paid your internets bill I could see people doing that. Personally, I would think that being a slave to a corporation is something you woul
      • by Al Dimond (792444)
        I don't play WoW, but I am a long-distance runner. If some company offered me free gear in exchange for running in a bunch of races wearing that gear I'd do it, as long as the gear wasn't too garish. I'd wear a jersey with an Asics logo on it in exchange for free shoes. I'm not nearly a good enough runner to get a deal like that (although, really, in most races there are more people that can see the midpack runners than the leaders, so it might actually be more effective to put ads on me than some elite
    • by haelduksf (812679)
      I wouldn't worry too much: Counterstrike, Starcraft and Quake teams have been raking in sponsorship money for years.
    • by Thirdsin (1046626)
      I agree, commercializing games is rediculous and imo unwelcome. That said, do you wonder why this has happened? Let's examine this:

      Typical "extremely hardcore" WoW player plays for how long each day??? Say it's 6hrs (probably underestimated - and assume fulltime job, sleep, etc)
      On weekends, rack up another 12hrs each day.
      All told we are at 54hrs (understimated i'm sure) a week, playing a f*cking game religiously...

      There are already two teams backed with corporate money, both pulled from prominent PvP guilds in the Bloodlust battlegroup.

      WoWPlayer:"What, you want to pay me to play WoW? GG!"

      Now that player can advertise f

    • by Lectrik (180902)

      While I don't doubt that these people are having fun playing WoW and all that, but I need to ask... isn't going just a little too far to get corporate sponsorship for a game guild?


      But the gold farmers are raising their exchange rates, you need sponsors so you can buy teh goldz!
  • Sports? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Please. Lets not go there.

    It's a game.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Cornflake917 (515940)
      Ummm, you do realize by making that comment, you increased the likelyhood that someone will "go there," right?

      If you don't want people to "go there" then maybe you should stay outta "there" yourself.
    • by donut1005 (982510)
      Tell that to those european soccer leagues.
    • Re:Sports? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by illegalcortex (1007791) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:41PM (#18592773)
      Video games are a "sport" in the same way billiards, darts, horseshoes or fishing (river/lake) are sports. It's kind of on the boundary. These "sports" almost entirely consist of minimal physical exertion and rely mainly on hand-eye coordination. However, like video games that can require the player to think ahead and consider strategy or adjusting to local conditions (esp. fishing). Very few people ever get exhausted doing these activities. On the other hand, simply classifying them as "games" puts them in the same category as chess, checkers and poker, which is also a poor fit.

      I propose we create a new category: gorts.

      Or possibly "spomes."
      • They're games.

        As is chess, checkers and poker.

        To be a sport, it needs to be athletic, at the very least.

        • Yes, they're games. All sports are games, as well (hence "Olympic Games").

          My point was that those games are very different from games like chess, checkers and poker. They require a very real amount of physical skill and coordination with a component of mental strategy. Chess, checkers, poker, Risk, Boggle, etc. all rely entirely on mental skill.

          Some video games are just video equivalents of mind-only games - RTS, for example. The only physical skill involved is clicking a mouse and typing on a keyboard.
          • by geekoid (135745)
            Most olympic games are not sports..hence 'Games'.

            "Then there are others like DDR that really DO have an athletic component and are dangerously close to fitting your definition of "sports."
            "

            That was dictionary.coms definition of sport. Sorry I forgot the reference.

            My definition of sport is much tougher:

            Must have an offense and defense in play at the same time.
            Must have an item to control; ball, puck, etc.

            Contact must be part of the game.

            Must be athletic.

            Everything else is pretty much an activity. Does that m
            • You should probably stop using the word "sport" and start using the phrase "geekoid's redefinition of the word sport", then. It will help clear up some potential confusion.

              BTW, if you actually look in the dictionary under both sports and games, you'll find that in many of the definitions both words are used interchangeably. The English language does not follow the rigid partitions you seem to be trying to shoehorn on top of it.
            • Most olympic games are not sports..hence 'Games'.

              Yet Disney's entertainment sports programming network [espn.com] shows a lot of them.

              Must have an offense and defense in play at the same time.

              Golf? Bowling? Foot racing?

              Must have an item to control; ball, puck, etc.

              Do you define "item" such that relay foot racing is a sport but solo foot racing is not? So is wrestling not a sport?

              Contact must be part of the game.

              Lawn tennis? It depends on how you define "contact".

    • by superwiz (655733)
      I hate to brake it to all the sports fanatics, but other than endurance tests (suck as track and field) sports are just children's games played by adults.
  • OK, I have been playing for over a year, and seen a lot of changes since then. I know that there are a lot of players out there that love the Arenas, and are very serious about their time in there. But honestly, I did not see this coming.

    It does make sense though. Anytime you have a group of gamers together they naturally want to compete and prove who is better. The Arenas give them that venue. Having pro sponsors is even more likely when you consider that Blizzard is already running a tournament to find
  • They are right that it definitely changes the "pro gaming" landscape. On a game like Counter-Strike or BF1942 or Quake 3 everyone is playing on the same level. They all have access to the exact same character. WoW is a whole new ballgame with regards to talent builds and equipment. I'm not sure but I think that a character needs to be level 70 to compete in the arena. Getting to level 70 takes a long time. I've been playing casually for about 6 months and my character is only 62, but sure, there are g
    • by Udderdude (257795)

      I understand that there is arena specific PvP gear and I'm not sure how that stacks up against raid/quest gear.
      They have different itemization. PvP gear has alot of stam and resilience, so you last longer. Raid gear is more focused on DPS or healing. If you try to PvP in raid gear, you're likely to not last very long against players who can kill you before your teammates can get a heal off.
  • But WoW is an MMO! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kirin Fenrir (1001780) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:00PM (#18590913)
    In an RTS or FPS...Counterstrike, for example, the playing field is always even (or close to). Teams start out with the same cash, same basic pistols, and the same list of equipment options. Any advantage that one individual gains over another is pure skill, or blind dumb luck. And you can't really get rid of blind luck.

    WoW, on the other hand, is an RPG, where victory often means having the right 'spec' (character build) or gear to beat your opponent. And this is not chosen at the start of the match, this is built up over months (or years!) of playing the game. You can be a better player than Jonny549, but he has that [Crown of Destruction] and full Teir 2 set while you don't, so the odds are atrificially stacked in his favor. Not because he's better, not because he's done better in previous rounds...but because he got lucky on a few loot drops or has more free time.

    WoW is still an RPG, where gear and character builds can overcome skill. It's a horrible choice for competative play, especially with sponsors promoting the 'skill' of the victor.
    • Obviously it's going to be about gear...I doubt spec will matter much at all...but there is an element of skill and strategery...A crappy player with top notch gear will have an advantage, but that can be overcome by a more skilled player with inferior gear. And frankly, at the top levels, all the people who are going to be competing are going to have top notch gear, so I don't forsee any disparities worse than what you already get sometimes...Anyone who's ever run up against a semi-pro WSG group knows what
    • You haven't played TBC much have you? Where specs are even more cookie-cutter than before, and raid gear is sub-par to 5-man or PvP gear.

      The best gear isn't from "exclusive" raids anymore, it's from doing PvP, crafting and 5-man (regular or heroic) dungeons.
    • You can be a better player than Jonny549, but he has that [Crown of Destruction] and full Teir 2 set while you don't, so the odds are atrificially stacked in his favor. Not because he's better, not because he's done better in previous rounds...but because he got lucky on a few loot drops or has more free time.

      Well, in the first season or two this will be the case. But any team that would consider themselves "professional" or at least be able to compete at the top ranking of the Arena probably has players that play often enough that their gear will be pretty much maxed out quickly. Also, we probably won't see another expansion for a while, so there will be plenty of time for the "more casual" players to catch up with the more dedicated gamers. I'm thinking another year or so we will see many teams competing

    • by Hubbell (850646)
      WoW isn't even a game where the PVP is even CLOSE to being player skillbased. It's almost entirely based on items/levels/class. Asheron's Call and Ultima Online, atleast in the former where you can manually dodge most attacks, and even then pre-Throne of Destiny fuck up expansion, are the only 2 MMORPG's where player skill is truly the deciding factor. In AC I could go 1on1 or even up to 9+on1 and as long as I was good enough, my level didn't matter too much unless it was fighting someone +/- 100 levels
    • WoW is still an RPG, where gear and character builds can overcome skill. It's a horrible choice for competative play, especially with sponsors promoting the 'skill' of the victor.

      Exactly. Guild Wars, however, was designed with competitive play in mind. Is it just visibility that has prevented sponsors from approaching the top Guild Wars teams?
    • by code-e255 (670104)
      This is exactly why I think PvP in World of Warcraft is so lame. It's not the best player who wins, it's the player who has invested the most time in getting good equipment for his avatar, chance, and class/talent specialisation, generally. Yes, skill plays a role too, but only a small one. World of Warcraft's game mechanics do not require ultra-fast reactions like in FPS games or strategic thinking like in an RTS.

      For example, say I've got a roughtly an equal chance of winning against 'AllianceEnemy' with m
  • No sense at all... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grimfaire (856043) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:01PM (#18590937)
    This would make sense if PvP in WoW was actually skill based but it's entirely gear dependent. He who has the best gear wins; it's as simple as that. With a coralary (sp) rule that states among teams with equal gear, those whose timered abilities are up wins.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Clever7Devil (985356)
      Um... shenanigans!
      Yes, it's an advantage to have the best gear. No, this is not the deciding factor.
      Especially in Burning Crusade has this become a non-issue. The actual stat difference between quest-reward greens and Tier 5 armor set pieces is negligible. Furthermore, the gear awarded by Arena points is on par with any gear you can get in the game.
      It's about knowing how your class' abilities compliment your friends and confound your foes, then implementing them in the proper order while getting the best fi
    • by nuzak (959558)
      > With a coralary (sp) rule that states among teams with equal gear, those whose timered abilities are up wins.

      The skill to properly use timered abilities makes up quite a bit. Of course the folks with the superior skill also tend to accumulate superior gear.

      Personally I find that all the micromanagement of DOT, stunlock, buff/debuff timers, to say nothing of the poor AI known as aggro just turns the game into a spreadsheet with colorful graphics. Fun for some, I guess, but not my cup of tea.
  • Sponsoring? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zyl0x (987342) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:03PM (#18590983)
    Sponsoring a WoW arena team is like sponsoring a math team. WoW has little skill involved in the game, hence why so many people are able to get into it. The game is all about numbers. Make sure your numbers are higher than your opponents. That's pretty much it. You don't cast fireball spells in any special way. You just cast the highest rank fireball spell you have. You don't have to aim at your targets. Critical damage is inflicted based on a die roll.

    This post isn't meant to tear WoW apart. It's a decent game, and a lot of people have a lot of fun playing it. I used to as well. But corporate sponsorship for arena teams? How does that affect the team at all? I guess they could pay their rent so that they don't have to go to work anymore. Leaves more time for raiding, which is really the only thing that makes your character stronger in WoW: time spent raiding.
    • But corporate sponsorship for arena teams? How does that affect the team at all? I guess they could pay their rent so that they don't have to go to work anymore.

      Anyone who plays WoW enough to be sponsored has already been fired for excessive absences a long, long time ago. Either that or they are 15 and failing out of high school.
      In either case, they live in their parent's basement and don't pay rent.
      Sponsorship will not change that.
    • by ArsonSmith (13997)
      yea I have really started getting bored of the fact that My combat in WOW goes, see mob, cast most powerful spells available until mob dies, look for next mob.

      I think there are two things that could make this more interesting.

      Non-interactively - code the graphics so that each time you through a fireball it does something different. Have it so different mobs react differently when hit. Although the exact outcome may be the same it would make fights more interesting.

      interactively - Perhaps have different co
    • Sponsorship has nothing to do with the players, and everything to do with advertising. The only reason sponsors care that the players do well is that the higher they rank, the more visible their sponsorship becomes.
    • by brkello (642429)
      I disagree. Player skill absoultely matters. Using your abilities at the correct time, communiation, teamwork, and the ability to adapt to different situations quickly.

      Yeah, gear can make a big difference. But to say that it has no skill is saying to me you never got very far or were a bad player. And I have played competitive Q2/Q3/CS so it isn't like I don't have experience in competitive gaming.
      • by zyl0x (987342)
        Just because I feel as though there is "minimal skill" involved in the game, does not mean that I was a "bad player". Saying something like that only shines a bad light on yourself.

        What is a "bad player", exactly? Someone who doesn't have fun playing the game?
    • Your argument could be claimed about any sport/game. It's all about strategy and effective use of what's available. Professional level of any sport/game is completely different than the casual level that's just played for enjoyment. And yes, sponsorship is meant to free up time and resources of the "athlete" so they can focus on the "sport", as well as, for advertising revenue. I personally think that "professional gaming" is fairly ridiculous, but what form of observation based entertainment doesn't appear
    • There is soem skilled required. Knowing your cool down timers so well that you never leave a valuable skills unused. Knowing the counters to the various effects and strategies of the opponents. The dexsterity required to hit a dozen hots in sequence and modify the action as the situations demands. Knowing the exact behavior of skills and the weaknesses of each. It's not entirely skilless and the gulf between a great player and a good player was entirely based in how much they knew and reflexes.
    • About numbers, if both sides have the same items (and two sponsored teams would) then its back to who has the best strategy.
      • by zyl0x (987342)
        But is strategy really skill? Strategy is something you can steal from someone else. Skill is not something that can be stolen.. yet. :P
        • But is strategy really skill? Strategy is something you can steal from someone else. Skill is not something that can be stolen.. yet. :P

          Yes, there is lots of skill in the game, particularly in PvP. I agree that strategy is something that is fairly easy to acquire. No doubt the best Arena teams probably spend a lot of time reading strategies in forums, trading secrets, etc.

          However, at the end of the day, there is still a lot of "twitch element" to the game, as well as the skill of knowing when to switch stra

        • by Snaller (147050)
          Well, strategy isn't strategy if you steal it from someone else - then its a gimick that might work once - but if you can't plan and adapt you'll get your butt handed to you in the long run :)
    • Absolutely wrong.

      You don't just cast the maximum until dead.

      Generalizations like this are *why* people don't get the competitive nature of PVP or challenge of PVE.

      The different levels of spells are affected by gear in unique ways, and cast time also is affected. Sometimes, it is actually MORE damage to toss 2 low level versions, then follow with something else. That is where skill comes in - knowing the abilities well enough that *any* situation whether it is 1 v 1 or 1 v many is survivable. Do you spam top
      • Exactly. My rogue's DPS suffers considerably because I'm specced for PvP. My motto is to be able to get out of anything and quickly gain advantage in a fight. I'm not the one trick pony rogues that I see so often relying on high burst DPS in order to win fights against an evenly matched opponent. Rather I focus on having an answer for everything. That's the key to playing WoW properly, learning the rock - paper - scissors approach that's found in many games either overtly or subtly and is very overtly prese
  • by joejor (578266) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:19PM (#18591275)
    I don't pvp, I'm not into that style of play. But every time I run through STV, I stop by Gurubashi Arena just to watch players beat each other up over that stupid chest.
    I wish Blizzard would develop a facility by which one could simply be a spectator at in the new arenas or the battlegrounds. Maybe create a special portal into these zones so you can see the action but not affect it.
    • Um... just stand on the stands, you're not in the fight unless you're on the ground. You could use one of the telescopes or distance-vision spells to get in closer to the action. I forget if you need to have engineering skill to USE a telescope, but that's easily fixed by introducing a new scope that doesn't require such.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Vexor (947598)
        I think he means more like a Guild Wars thing. Where you can jump in and view any of the higher ranked pvp matches as a spectator "ghost" from anywhere. As well as chat with other spectators about who's kicking ass and who is biffing it horribly in that specific game.
  • Sponsoring is all about pvp, which is terrible in WoW. Warhammer's pvp will blow the doors off of WoWs. I was a hardcore WoW player for over 2 years and recently gave it up because it's gotten so stagnant and repetitive. Seems silly to me to start a sponsorship two years into the games lifespan when it's population is dropping like flies and its pvp system is a joke.

    As for my comments about the population dropping like flies I'll just say this. They claim 8.5 million subscribers but don't tell you how many
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I was a hardcore WoW player for over 2 years and recently gave it up because it's gotten so stagnant and repetitive


      It took you two years? It only took me six months.
    • Re:It wont last (Score:4, Insightful)

      by FiveRings (818409) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:44PM (#18595255)

      Seems silly to me to start a sponsorship two years into the games lifespan when it's population is dropping like flies

      http://www.gamespot.com/news/6167808.html [gamespot.com]

      Clearly, being a top 10 game two years after launch is indication that "it's population is dropping like flies".

      • For the second month in a row, World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade was the best-selling PC game in the US. However, its margin of victory was much less lopsided that the month before. Instead of selling 1.4 million copies domestically, the expansion pack sold a much more modest 141,000 units, just ahead of the original World of Warcraft.

        1.4 million + 141,000 = 1.541000 units in two months. Nowhere near the 7~8 million subscribers they claim to have.

  • by Kardall (886095) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @01:41PM (#18591677)
    Personally, I would be setting up a server like Blizzard is going to when the arena season is over.

    For those who don't know, the winners of the tournaments are going to be character-copied to a private blizzard arena server, where they will be taking part in the final tournament.

    I would be doing a similar thing, licensing a private server for use in this very matter. Why not have WoW:Arena Battles? If Blizzard can swing a private server for this, why not have [insert sponsorship group name] license a private server directly from Blizzard. The sponsorship group handles all the signups and whatever. When the lists are complete, they submit them to Blizzard for a character-copy to the private arena server. This would allow *ANY* character/group/team/guild to compete in a custom arena server.

    I mean seriously... it wouldn't be that hard. They restrict transfer of characters from certain places to others based on the ease/difficulty of attaining rank/gear and such... but in the Arena server it wouldn't matter.

    I think something like this would have to be a lead project by the sponsorship group. Lets say CheckSix decides to do something like this. They would have to contact Blizzard and do the licensing. Blizzard could have a Licensing System. Something that could do it would be like:

    $50,000 USD for an Arena Server License (4month) - 100x5v5 Team Character Transfer (500 Characters) - 200x3v3 Team Character Transfer (600 Characters) - 800x1v1 Team Character Transfer (800 Characters) - Server Farm Rental - 5 GM Accounts for Management Purposes - Must be a known sponsor of tournament competitions (to avoid no-name groups getting their own servers)

    Something like that...

    • Why can't they just open source it so that the arena sponsors could tweak the game as they see fit?

      The game is anything but balanced and needs some serious class and faction re-working to be fair.
  • A lot of people are saying there's no skill involved, it's all about your gear and how much time you spend raiding.

    This isn't quite as true anymore, since the expansion. The best PvP gear comes as PvP rewards. Raiding offers nice gear, true, but most of it is more tailored towards raiding. You'll want more stamina and resilience stats that is way more available in the PvP gear rewards.

    Blizzard is trying to draw the lines between PvP and PvE, and it could close the gear gap. If you really like to PvP, yo
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Glide!

    • by code-e255 (670104)
      Yes, until the next expansion comes out, people's gear will eventually even out and skill will start to matter a bit again. But due to the constant "have to grind equipment so that I can compete" nature of PvP in WoW, it'll never be a fair, professional competition.
  • Play a MUD like Imperian if you want to see real PvP skill in a fantasy rpg setting. You need to think ahead and use all your coding skills to have a good offense and defense. Having high quality equipment/artifacts does not equate to victory there either. I'd never be proud of PvP skills in WoW because it's really not skill after a certain point.
  • by mbulge (1004558) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:02PM (#18592065)

    World of Warcraft cannot support pro gaming. The arenas may be more competitive than previous PvP in the game, but they will never be able to support meaningful competition. WoW will always be an MMORPG you play for fun, not as an e-sport.

    The biggest obstacle comes from the requirement that all games must be played on Blizzard's servers. This means no sponsored competitions can be hosted other than by Blizzard. Currently, this also means the inability to play prearranged matches. You're stuck playing random opponents on Battlegroups that represent 1/10th of the playing population. Don't expect this to change either. Private servers and the ability to play teams from other Battlegroups aren't very likely, as Blizzard is out to make a profit.

    The other problem facing WoW is the huge time requirements to reach the point to where you can participate in this PvP. For the average player this will take 200-300 hours. This causes most players to be able to play only this one character. When class changes happen, or when the playing field changes to where a different group composition would work better, teams are unable to adapt without either cutting a player or going through months of leveling. A game that places the class and gear of the character above a player's skill cannot ever be competitive. Arenas were a great addition to the game, but don't expect to earn anything other than new items from the competition.

    • by Z0mb1eman (629653)
      The other problem facing WoW is the huge time requirements to reach the point to where you can participate in this PvP. For the average player this will take 200-300 hours. [...] A game that places the class and gear of the character above a player's skill cannot ever be competitive.

      Mod parent up. There really isn't much more to say about this article.
  • The next big hit MMO game will be designed from scratch to be a competitive sport, where skill will lie in knowing your opponent, guessing what their equipment load-out will be, using your load-out in the most effective manner, etc. While everyone can play, most will spend 60% of their time watching bouts between others, to learn tricks, learn future opponent's moves. There'll be pay-sites dedicated to dishing up details of each player's favorite tactics, weaknesses, etc - so people will pay to see oppone
    • by CaseM (746707)
      Some of your "next big hit MMO" ideas have already seen the light of day: Guild Wars [guildwars.com] already has the challenge of "guessing your opponents' load-out" in that you can only have 8 skills/spells in your current arsenal at any one time out of a potential pool of hundreds, so knowing or prediciting what your opponent might have is a big factor in determining the outcome of a particular PvP match.
  • Although not entirely relevant, he says the guild Nihilum(*) are trying to kill "Lady Vashj" - they are not trying anymore they did it several days ago ;)

    * So what does Nihilum mean anyway? "We who are nothing" ? Would be funny if it did since they have so many "firsts" (of course they may not have much of a life because of that ;)

  • There aren't many ways for advertisers to get a foothold in the WoW player base, so why not? The only advertiser I've seen in game is nvidia. This allows them to get their name out to a huge market that has otherwise been inaccessible. I suppose they could go in game and spam all the chat channels until their characters get banned...
  • If you guys thought gold farming was a problem before, you ain't seen nothing yet. There are going to be people making money (real money) manipulating the virtual AH and player markets in order to extract more cash more corporate sponsored flunkies. The implications for unsponsored players are pretty devastating in my opinion. I expect all (of what tiny amount ever existed anyway) of the fun to be extracted from WoW and pumped right into a chinese bank account.
  • I am currently addicted to arena, and actually doing pretty well, our 5v5 team was in the top10 last week. Not so great this week. I'm really hoping to at least make it to the regionals. I've noticed a lot of detractors posting in this topic, and mainly I just wanted to give some comments from someone who is actually deeply involved in Arena play. First, it is ridiculously fun. I haven't had as much fun since I used to play muds back in High School. If you like pvp, and you already have a warcraft account
    • by geekoid (135745)
      You believe wrong.

      Gear at the begining of the season was high end, non epics, but people with epics where trying to grind to 70 AFAP.

      All top of their class football players(either football) have aboutt he same skill. If one team culd afford to be jerseys that gave them +22 str, they would win almost every time.

      Sure, you plop some shmoo down with no PVP experience, deck him in epic, he will loose.
      But, once you get into the top 30%, gear will be all because there is a finite max on ability.
  • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @05:19PM (#18595847)
    I'm a major company. I spend billions of dollars on advertising every year. I give five people $40K apiece so they can quit their day job and do nothing but play WoW and build up for their 5-man arena team, and I've just spent $200K to have my company's name seen by the people who play the most popular game in the world. Worth it?

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