Thoughts on Why I Don't PvP

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Chogath posted a new thread on the forums today that got me thinking about why I don't spend much time or energy on PvP. I should PvP, it's the standard progression for wizards who have been in the Spiral for a while, or 6 years in my case. Yet I don't care much for the idea of PvP. I have an ideal for what would be fun in PvP, but my actual experiences in the arena don't rise to the aspiration.

First age PvP was fun for me, for the most part. I played with my necromancer, pyromancer, conjurer, and theurgist/pryo hybrid.

Alexandria DreamWalker, my myth, dabbled in ranked PvP in low and mid levels during 2010, but I never really pressed forward past Sergeant. PvP was fun and laid back then; ranked matches weren't such do or die situations, and wizards enjoyed banter back and forth across the battle circle.

Moira ShadowMancer had a PvP phase in her 40's - 60's. She did OK, made Sergeant, but I wasn't in a competitive mode, so I didn't spend much time cultivating PvP strategies. During that time, it was more like "Hey, I'll go do a few ranked matches and blow off some steam". I think PvP wasn't contentious during this time, at least not in the main site forums. There were the occasional "This spell is OP" posts, but nothing really egregious.

My pyromanceress, Scarlet RavenSong, performed very well in 1st Age PvP also. Scarlet started at level 10 or so and progressed to Captain, before she encountered consistently better-prepared opponents around level 65. It was fun and I was able to find my own level based on what I encountered in matches. Each match was a learning experience, whether I won or lost. At that time, around 2011, the arena was a fairly pleasant place to compete with other wizards, win or lose. GG wasn't uncommon from everyone at the end. It was fun.

My theurgist/pyro hybrid was a lot of fun in 1st Age 1v1; she started PvP around level 10, in 2012, and she did very well in same level/rank matches. She even stood up against higher ranked wizards in several matches. Taryn achieved the rank of Knight with a little effort and a clever deck set up. She rarely lost and, if she did lose, it was to someone of similar rank but who played a better match. That was OK, losing to someone with better skill or a better deck, or both. I knew that the match was fair at the start, so I accepted my failure. Later in that year, the stakes for ranked matches became higher, and I was reluctant to lose my Knight rank, so I retired her.

During all those years, I also occasionally visited the practice arena with my higher level Theurgist, my Balance (she could have been a contender), and all the others. I noticed that matches became more tense and unpleasant somewhere after Celestia's release. It seems the personality of the arena changed when Celestia was discovered, and we learned critical hit and block. At the time, I didn't think much of it; I gravitated toward crafting, gardening, pet hatching, and I didn't spend much time in the arena.

Now, my perspective is much different. As a 6 year veteran of this game, I find myself avoiding the arena. I have no more "hey, i'll do a practice match just for fun", because I know it will involve a thorough smackdown, and likely some poor sportsperson-like behavior from opponents and their fans alike. I know that I will likely encounter someone with a more uber pet than my own (which are substantially gifted), who will blast through my moderate resist without effort, and who is probably an overlord just warming up for ranked matches. Even practice is no fun.

My dedicated 2nd Age PvP wizard, Isabella Silverbright, level 33 storm, will remain a Captain forever more, because I'm afraid to take her back to ranked matches. I know I will encounter higher ranked and over powered wizards against whom I cannot prevail. How am I to compete with a wizard 20 levels above me? I have awesome pets, good crowns and arena tickets gear, a deck full of gardened TCs, and a great deal of experience with all types of magic. Yet, I still cannot progress above Captain at my current level. I made this wizard just for PvP, yet she isn't viable in the current system. My rank wasn't easy to gain, and so I will leave it where it is. No more arena for me, in its current iteration.

Here's the thing: I am Kings Isle's most money-ful demographic, the lady gamer with disposable income. I am not a "casual" player, nor a "hardcore" player, so much as I am a dedicated, focused, and ambitious player. I don't spend huge amounts of time researching PvP strategies for my level/school. I don't make spreadsheets and watch the leaderboards. I want a good challenge without all that preparation. I want to seek out a good challenge in the arena, but I will not do so if it is a waste of my time. Nor will I spend time in an arena where players are unpleasant. I don't enjoy being pummeled without a remote chance to get in a single hit. The current arena is not a place for this lady gamer, and I would say that Kings Isle has an uphill struggle in attempting to create an arena for me.

I want a fair match, regardless of level and rank, gear and pets. I want to take my Exalted Theurgist into 1v1 and stand a chance to win the match. I want to take my level 80 Balance girl into a 3v3 and have super fun times blading my teammates, experimenting with new ways to play minion. I want to take Taryn into matches where she has time to enjoy her dual/school mastery. Most of all, I want to take my little storm girl to the arena with her sister wizard, and I want to win my way to warlord, because I do have skills that are excellent for my level/rank combination, and I'd like the chance to prove it against an equal team of opponents.

Thanks for reading

Iridian and the Spiral Coven

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