Friday, January 21, 2011

PvP Chat Channels

I have recently come to the conclusion that PvP guilds are doomed...at least on Normal servers. I make this sweeping generalization off of my own experience, YMMV, but I have generally found the following rule to be true:

When someone needs a group, they go to their guild for PvE content, and to their friends for PvP content.

Nobody says "Hey guys, let's all get together and go raid BH!" Well, ok, maybe they do and I'm just not seeing it, but I think by and large the first impulse is to go to your guild chat first. And it's a simple reasoning -- I think people are selective (reasonably) about who they put on their friends lists, and usually when you open that up you don't see 9 friends all online at the same time, in a capable level of gear, to go run something for PvE. But you can PvP with any number of people.

And precisely BECAUSE less organization is needed for PvP(on balance; rated BGs are a different animal), people are loathe to sacrifice their PvE guilds to join a PvP one -- how will they advance their PvE game, EVER, if they're stuck in a PvP guild? Especially when they could (or perceive that they could) meet both their PvE and PvP goals by being in a PvE guild? Speaking as someone who has both tried to create a PvP guild, and also someone who has been a part of (I think) most of the attempted PvP guilds on my server, all of which sputtered out and died, it doesn't look like a format which works. It is possible that rated BGs will change that, once they acquire a secure place in the community. In the meantime, I would like to share with you a story about me. It's a successful community story, and it's about PvP. Rare, I know.

Once upon a time, there was a group of friends. They liked to PvE together, but unfortunately they also all had a lot of alts and it was kind of unreasonable to try and have every one of them friended so that you'd know when they were on. This was before RealID -- I can see you with that suggestion on your lips -- and so we created a custom channel, joined it on all of our alts, and thus we could communicate together in that channel no matter who you were on, without having to devote 30% of your FL to one person's alts. Thus was born /KITTEN* chat.

*not the real name.

My wife was in a hardcore raiding guild at the time, as I recall, and their healing team used a custom chat channel to communicate during raids if they didn't want to clutter up normal raid chat with their healing nonsense. Or maybe they were using it to convey subtle healer-wisdom like "Person X is going to drop really low on this fight, but that's because he's an idiot who stands in fire, so don't heal him." One of the things that worked well with /kitten was that it gave us a way to communicate with several friends at once -- instead of whispering each individually -- who all happened to be in different guilds.

And I got to thinking...well that's an awfully useful device. And not very many people use it, I don't think. How could I use a channel to my advantage?

I think you can probably see where I'm going with this -- when you PvP with friends, or are trying to on a large scale, it would be nice if you had a way to grab them all up at once instead of having to whisper several people one at a time. So the next time I ran some premades (that went well, incidentally), I suggested at the end that they all type

/join pvppremade

so that we could join up again the next weekend. Which we did, and it was also successful. It started small, but the more we did the more people we got into the channel. Inertia carries! The real astonishment of the channel is that taking a two-month break from WoW, I came back to find the channel still in existence, with several people still in it. I don't think it was being actively used, but the point is the network was still there for me to pick up the pieces and start reassembling premades fairly quickly.

I highly recommend this strategy -- it's low-risk, most people will join a channel if you invite them. It's not like they're leaving their guild, after all. You don't need to do any special /create pvppremade -- just type /join pvppremade (or whatever you decide to call it), and if you're the first person there it will create the channel automatically.

The downside is that you can't control it; the "Owner" of the channel seems to be the person who's been in it longest, devolving to the next-longest once that person leaves. And you can't keep people out, except via the headache-inducing method of implementing (or changing) a password on it, and then informing everyone you want to keep in the channel of said password.

That's my method, and I thought it might help other PvPers out there struggling to find groups to run with. I'd be interested to hear what other people have done to cope with the general "I can't leave my PVE guild for PVP" sentiment!

1 comment:

cynwise said...

I think you're right.

I PvP with friends. I didn't know one of the guys on our Arena team at first, but he's become a friend, but by and large I don't PvP with random folks from my guild.

I will, however, happily raid with them.

Odd.