How to Fix PvP

So, some facts:

  • Regarding Player Retention, Dragonflight is the healthiest WoW has ever been. Bellular did a breakdown on this if you’re curious, I won’t get into it here.
  • Participation in Rated PVP is at an all-time low despite high player retention. In a recent Blue Post, Kaivax says: “For clarity, there is no cap to MMR, but the highest rating is a result of the combination of population trends and lack of inflation.” This isn’t quite, “Players aren’t playing rated PvP,” but it’s pretty close to it.
  • I am not a PvP Main. I’m a Heroic Ahead of the Curve raider and a Keystone Hero of multiple seasons, so I’m not an expert on PvP specific issues. Frankly, if my skill in PvP were personified as a Dragonflight zone, it’d be Zaralek Caverns due to how low it is, so let’s get that out of the way.

Now, based on what Kaviax says in the post, to me it seems like the issue is that MMR is kind of like a limited resource. To earn MMR, you have to win matches. If there are fewer people playing, then there’s less total MMR to win and hoard on your path to Gladiator. I am sure this is an over simplification.

To me, it seems like it would benefit PvP Players if more Players were playing PvP. But my question to you is—why would we?

  • Raid and M+ have never had a barrier to entry as low as they currently are. The content is fun, the tuning is reasonable, and the rewards are plentiful in terms of power (M+) and transmog appearances (Raid).
  • The Solo Content’s transmog absolutely slaps, and many people subjectively think that the sets from solo play look nicer than the tier sets for their classes. Aesthetics are subjective, but it is a sentiment you hear across community spaces.

In contrast to this, WoW PvP doesn’t seem very rewarding. You have to invest a ton of time into the content and are directly competing with players without a skill or gear reset; in Raid and M+, your knowledge about how to play your class carries over from season to season, but a new pool of dungeons or new raid mechanics to learn means that everyone starts on an even playing field. That isn’t true in PvP. The hurdle seems insurmountable to many of us.

If you’ve ever read Aesop’s Fable, “The Fox and the Grapes,” the message of that story is that people generally will convince themselves that they don’t want something that seems unattainable; in the story, the fox sees a bunch of grapes on a vine but when they try to claim them and fail over and over again, they say, “I wasn’t in the mood for grapes anyway,” and walk away. PvP cosmetics are the grapes in this allegory while players who aren’t as invested in PvP are the foxes, only in WoW PvP it seems like when the foxes become disinterested in the grapes the whole vine withers.

There’s a lot that could be done. You could try to inflate MMR for the people who are motivated to play PvP regardless, but I would imagine that you’d end up at the same spot every couple of seasons. Rather, this would be my suggestion:

  • Playing Rated PvP grants players a new currency—Marks of Valor. You get one mark for playing and additional marks if you win, based on your Rating.
  • You can spend Marks of Valor on obtaining transmog, illusions, toys, mounts, and pets. All elite PvP sets, vicious saddle mounts, and pets are available. Transmog is bought one piece at a time. You can also buy previous season’s Tier Set special effect unlock items; this would be the only way to get them if you missed out on the achievement during the current season.
  • Gladiator Mounts from previous expansions are also available, but the current expansion’s gladiator mounts aren’t. Titles would remain exclusive to the people who purchased them.

Ultimately, the issue is that people don’t want to grind a game mode they’re not good at and might receive no rewards for. If you want participation, people need to earn things that they want. My suggestion allows people who are good at PvP to accrue rewards faster than people who aren’t, but anyone can hop into a game, try their best, and ultimately put PvP into a position where it’s not on an anemic MMR drip feed from season to season. This strategy of, “Let people earn things,” works in PvE, and it would work for PvP too.


Uh, it really mostly comes down to steep learning curve and people only willing to play “up or across” which is to say not wanting to play with somebody they perceive as worse.

Fun and rewards? Same as anything else.

I suppose that depends on what you consider a reward. Because, like, in terms of collecting stuff pvp sort of outdoes both keys and raids heavily.

Sort of true, but in the end it’s mostly fundamentals for everybody. There’s no true “clean slate” because people pushing top 10 region keys are gonna be up in the same range within a few weeks of hopping into the next keystone season.

Similar thing with arena players.

Because, as said, it’s mostly fundamentals.

No. I could maybe see a case for elite set replicas or recolors as a sort of mid to mid-high tier reward to encourage the queuing of alts, though, as while that might not bring too many new people it’d certainly give people some alternative goals beyond the “generic” stuff, like illusion, glad, etc.

Unrelated note but I think that your mog is super cute. :dracthyr_love_animated:


Ignore the resident troll and nay-sayer.

Unlocking previous seasons tmogs is intriguing. More rewards, or a variety of rewards certainly can’t make participation any worse than it is now.


I just said that if they were brought back they’d likely have a rating requirement.

** Nerf stuns and increase the duration of other CC **

Way to many stuns in the game. They last a bit too long for the amount of damage in the game. I rather see all other CC increased in duration by 2 or 3 seconds and stuns nerfed.

A stun should be used to finish someone off… not as an opener to toss out your swifty macros on someone who doesn’t have a way to get out of the stun because they used their ability earlier.

Mostly just Subtlety, no?

That’s…one of the primary uses of stuns, yeah. Enabling you to stick your damage.

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Way to much CC in the game in general. ALL cc needs to be on the same DR, that way if you’ve got a ret out there willy nilly throwing hammer stuns, and priests fearing when players are at 100%, the mage can’t cc you when it actually means something if you are still on DR.

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No and no.

It has a CD.

What’s wrong with that? Usually it goes on the enemy healer who is often topped.

I’m 100% in favor of having most rated pvp rewards being participation based. It makes no sense to make most rated rewards exclusive to above average players when you want below average and average players to also queue.

But, we also have to consider 3v3 just ain’t what people want to play.

Random Bgs have always been more popular even though Rated Arena has far more rewards. Even solo shuffle beats 3s in participation despite massive DPS queue times.

It’s time for Blizz to turn the page on 3v3.

  • It’s not smart to make the premier PVP game mode dependent on a healer to dps ratio that doesn’t reflect the player base.
  • Players clearly prefer solo queue content to avoid the social navigation of premade teams
  • Players across games seem to like objective-based game modes on larger maps over cage match sudden death. Which is why MOBAs and FPS tend to work as Esports.

Blitz is moving the ball in the right direction, but I don’t think WOW PvP will really excel until we have unique 5v5-7v7 gamemodes and we balance specs around those modes.


remove solo shuffle and that fake rating rush so players dont get shocked when they play real 3’s and get a reality check they are not as good as they thought they were

integrate the solo queue to real 3’s and 2’s

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Yeah, and?

If they use it just because it’s a button that’s available, and not because they are setting up for a kill, the team should be penalized.

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So random ss payers against group 3’s…yeah that will definitely fix the issues.

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They often are because it just gets dispelled.

agreed , you are very perceptive

Yes and no

If the healer manages to dispell themselves (outside of trinket) from a hammer during a set up, I’d be shocked, amazed, and aghast.

Not just sub… stuns in general are toxic because they often used by more than one class against you in succession. You end up with nearly 8 seconds of stun in small group fights because everyone has a stun nowadays. Decrease the duration of stuns across the board and increase the duration of other CC to make up for it… other than maybe cyclone LOL

You forgot to add: Hire new devs

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You really cant bring back old elite/gladiator mounts without devaluing them and the work that went into getting them.

There isn’t a way you can do it that wouldn’t result in some extremely salty individuals.

Thank you! I like your mog too. I don’t agree with a lot of the conclusions you’ve drawn, especially when Blizzard kind of ends up locking iconic color schemes behind the elite PvP set and weapon illusion. Like, how we can’t ever get a Shadowflame illusion because it was for PvP for one season? Or the Demon Hunter set that resembles Sargares is one-season only? The Shaman set that uses the frost wolf model’s actual color is one-season only? The Aberrus mage set that’s color themed around the Blue Dragonflight, their closest ally, is one-season? It’s always been bad, but never THIS bad imho.

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