Prometheus’ Viability in SMT Liberation Dx2

I would really let ol’ Prommy play the part of mall Santa, but I don’t think he has anything on under his red bathrobe.  Except those fly kicks.  Respect.

Grade 67 Deity Prometheus
StatsHPStMaViAgLuAI
Base474202814916Attack
Max690116322611278133Attack
Resistances
Element
physfireiceelecforceexpeldeath
nullweakresist

Vitality: Below average

Strength: Average

Agility: Low

Luck: Above average

Magic: High

How Do Prometheus’ Stats Compare?

Prommy is a caster.  Don’t ever forget it.  His higher than usual luck will help his auto attacks to crit on his non-casting turn.  His physical attack isn’t horrible either.  Mine does between 100-125 on his auto-attack off-magic turn.

As for his resistances, getting resist ice is about as costly as resist dark.  You’ll have to fuse yourself an Odin which requires fusing two medium level four-star demons to accomplish.  I doubt you’ll be fusing down one of your five star demons just to make an Odin to cover Prometheus’ blind spot.  I did, though.  Worth it?  That’s up to you.  Prometheus is one of those demons that if you put the effort in, you’ll be greatly rewarded.

Innate Skills
ElementNameCostEffectTarget
PassiveFire BoostAutoFire damage +15%Self
PassiveMakaraka ShiftAutoBegin battle with Makarakarn when ambushedSelf
FireAgidyne6 MP160 DmgOne Foe

Prometheus is one of those demons where his skills all work together perfectly.  He’s slow, so he works well with slow teams.  He’ll pop a magic repel shield at the start of battle.  Makaraka shift is not as good as Huang Long’s Five Elements in that Almighty skills can still pierce Prommy’s shield.  I’m looking at you Megido and Pralaya.

Well folks, Agidyne is a hard hitting single-target spell in the first place.  You add fire boost and an arse load of %mag brands coupled with Prom’s huge bon…..magic stat, you have yourself an effective nuker.  

Archetype Skills
ElementNameCostEffectTargetLevel
PassiveVitality Amp IIIAutoVitality +15SelfClear
FireMaragidyne7 MP120 DmgAll FoesRed
RecoveryRecarmdra8 MPRevive with all HP, User diesAll AlliesYellow
PassiveInfinite ChakraAutoMP recovery per turn +1SelfPurple
PassiveDrain FireAutoDrain Fire damageSelfTeal

Which Archetype Makes Prometheus Burn?

Clear’s Vitality Amp III is silly.  You aren’t making a gucci grandpa to survive.  Even if you were, get you some life brands, not +15 VIT.

Red’s Maragidyne is a great skill to have around.  You turn from single-target nuker to boni-fide sweeper material.  One less mana for Maragidyne is always welcome.  He’s still a one-element man, however, and Fire is one that is often nulled.  Be on the lookout for other Proms, Surt, Shiva, Zaou-Gongen and of course Feng Huang.  Other lesser used demons like Yata, Asherah and Thor have Null Fire as well.  In higher level PvP, it isn’t uncommon to meet at least one fire resistant bugger in a match. Red Prom is of better use in AG and Brands of Sin.

Yellow’s Recarmdra is for when you’re gearing Prometheus for your defense team.  Always pair with Endure.  Your bearded mage dies quickly, so let that 1HP be of use to you.  I run a double Recarmdra team, where Prometheus Recarmdras after Rangda has expended hers.  He is not recommended as being the only Recarmdra user on a defense team due to low HP and no physical resistance.

Purple’s Infinite Chakra gives you another 1mp per turn, bringing your natural total per turn to 4mp.  Give yourself some divine brands and you have 5mp/turn.  Not enough for an Agidyne per turn, but do remember you start out with 3 base mana if going second in PvP.  3+5 = 8, which will allows for an Agidyne with two mana remaining.  Next turn you’ll be at 7 before casting.  Agidyne.  Next turn 6.  You can shoot off three Agidynes before having to rest.  If you’re looking for consistent DPS, Purple is for you.  You’ll just have to keep your Prom alive for three turns to take full effect of Infinite Chakra, however.

Finally, Teal’s Drain Fire is really redundant.  Isn’t nulling something good enough?  Nooo…you have to take the health for yourself?  Well let me tell you, if your opponent is dumb enough to hit Prometheus with a fire spell, even multi-target, he’s clearly not as smart as you.  Draining his attack will make so very little a difference in your life and his. Forget Teal and move on.

Gacha Worthiness

Gacha Skills
ElementNameCostEffectTargetLevel
PassiveResist ElecAutoResist Elec damageSelfRed Gacha
ForceMazanma6 MP100 DmgAll FoesYellow Gacha
PassiveMadnessAutoAilment success rate +10%SelfPurple Gacha
PassiveResist PoisonAutoPoison resistance +50%SelfTeal Gacha

Red’s Resist Elec is amusing.  You’re going to overwrite it or create a cheaper Throne is find your Resist Elec.

Yellow’s Mazanma is actually quite nice.  Having a second element for Prom to play with is helpful in many cases.  It’s lower mana than say, Rangda’s Mazandyne, so you can cast Mazanma as often as you can cast Agidyne.  In the end-game of yellow Prometheus, you’ll want Endure and Ice Resist.  That’s just how it goes.  Use your Mazanma when Null Fire opponents appear or until you can afford a throwaway Odin.

Purple’s Madness doesn’t help Prometheus and isn’t anything that your Sick brands or %ail inflict non-sick brands can’t duplicate.  Look elsewhere.

Finally, Teal’s Resist Poison is laughable.  Who’s worried about poison?  Really?  Email me right now if that’s something you’re worried about. nightfallorion@gmail.com  🙂

Skills to Transfer to Prometheus

For most specs, you don’t really need Ice Resist.  Only your Recarmdra/endure really needs Ice Resist to cover all his bases.  There are more ice users now that Bufula L is a handy transfer to most casters.

If you have a yellow archetype, I heartily recommend Endure. It’s like a warning bell when you see that 1 HP and means you should get your ass building MP for Recarmdra.

For red Prom, I recommend throwing yourself a Megido mixed with a Concentrate for funsies.  Blow ’em up.

As for Purple, you’ll want something non-fire with six or seven MP cost. Mamudoon from Succubus is a good choice. Bufula L is nice too, even though single target.  It’ll make non-ice-resisted Prometheus’ shudder.

Other Decent Skill Transfers

  • Mamudoon (4* Succubus)
  • Concentrate (5* Trumpeter)
  • Megido (3* Arahabaki)
  • Endure (3* Horkos)

Equipping Prometheus With Proper Brands

You need to figure out where and when and what archetype you want to use Prometheus.  That will decide your brand types.

Yellow gets Life Brands to stay alive until Recarmdra.  Guard brands help to offset his god-awful physical resistance.  I use this setup myself.  It takes two ZK hits to pop Prom’s endure.  A geared ZK too.  That’s all you can really hope for, to be honest.  This is your defense team Prometheus.

Red gets Spell brands to dish out maximum one-round carnage. Maximise your %mag attack on left arm, right arm and leg slots.  Settle for at least 5% spell % on your head and chest.  You can use your other stats as you see fit.  HP.  Phys Defense.  A good two-set is ward if you’re worried about your Prometheus being charmed.  I recommend running a Kinmamon group to allow you total freedom with your two-set branding.  Red is useful as a PvP offense sweeper and AG/Chaos Signal PvE sweeper.

Purple gets Divine brands.  Let the MP flow! Cast everything!

Why are you running Teal or Clear?  Honestly.

Where Prometheus Fails

Health and low physical resist.  Dies so easy.  Tsukuyomi makes you transfer phys resist, so he has a leg up as a pure caster.  Prometheus is essentially an Alice sort, except a grandfather titan with a burning heart.  He can’t take a hit, so make sure you make the most of his talents while he yet lives.

If you’re building a Prometheus for your defense, do make sure you’re running a very slow team.  Sub 10000 is preferable.  Prometheus is fine with Makaraka-shift, but that’s one of his biggest perks.  Don’t lose out on that.  My team is 12275 and is slower than 80% of teams I face.  The closer you get down to 10000, the better.

Demons That Ruin Prometheus’s Day

  • Zhong fucking Kui.  Without life brands, you will be one-shotted.
  • Any physical attacker.
  • Aforementioned demons with Null/Repel Fire.
  • Prometheus (if you’re red archetype)

Demons That Prometheus Wrecks

  • Ose, Alilat, Siegfried and anyone without fire resistance.
  • Physical opponents without much magic resist.

Demons That Pair Well With Prometheus

  • Slow demons.  Don’t put Prometheus on your Jack Bros sweeper team.
  • Other Recarmdra/endure demons for defense.

Final Scoring

Physical attacker: D

Magical attacker: A

Tank: F

Gacha skills: C

Innate Skills: B+

PvP Attack Team Viability: B

PvP Defense Team Viability: B

Overall Score: B

Rangda’s Viability in SMT Liberation Dx2

My…what long fingernails you have, grandmother…  For a Balinese Demon Queen, she really does have fetching…eyes.  No matter, you came here to find out if your Femme Rangda is any good in your favorite SMT experience.

Grade 67 Femme Rangda
StatsHPStMaViAgLuAI
Base4781521151819Attack
Max6948122174122146152Attack

Vitality: below average

Strength: below average

Agi/luck: average

Magic: above average

Innate Skills
ElementNameCostEffectTarget
AilmentMahajuon7 MP50% CurseAll Foes
DeathMudodyne6 MP160 DmgOne Foe
ForceMazandyne7 MP120 DmgAll Foes

Mahajuon isn’t particularly useful, in patch 1.50 or perhaps I never built my Rangda to be an ailment inflicting….perky boobed creature.  Come global patch 1.60, Jaki race demons all come with increased ability toward cursed targets.  This will certainly make Rangda’s stock go up.

  Mudodyne is a hard hitting spell, and not one that is nulled very often.  For the times that it is nulled, there’s Mazandyne.  It’s always fortuitous to have a caster with more than one element.  I’m looking at you, Alice.

Archetype Skills
ElementNameCostEffectTargetArchetype
PhysVorpal Blade7 MP140 DmgAll FoesClear
DeathPurgatory5 MP50 Dmg 2-4 hitsMulti FoesRed
RecoveryRecarmdra8 MPRevive with all HP, User diesAll AlliesYellow
PassiveEndureAutoRevive once per battle with 1 HPSelfPurple
PassiveNull ForceAutoNullify Force damageSelfTeal 

Skill Talk

Clear’s Vorpal Blade is similar to a Hades Blast, so you’ll want to be stacking %phys brands onto her.  Vorpal Blade is useful in PvE as long as you work a bit toward accuracy.  It is, however, not useful in PvP, as teams usually carry a physically immune demon.

Red’s Purgatory is another one of your random-based attacks that is the same element as Mudodyne.  There’s very little argument for using Purgatory over Mudodyne except for if you’re not sporting 6MP and need a quick damage fix….on random enemies.  Paired with the proper Dx2, you can get more bang for your random buck, but is it worth it?  No.

Yellow’s Recarmdra is a very useful in increasing the longevity in your teams.  Paired with endure as a transferred skill, Rangda can bring back the rest of your teammates and not die.  Further paired with Seiran Saikawa’s resurrection healing auto, Rangda can turn the tide in your battle.

Purple’s Endure is a great skill to have, except for the fact that it can be transferred in for a measly 6 skill points from Horkos.  There is no reason to make a purple Rangda.

Finally, Teal’s Null Force is a decent choice if you’re worried about force-based attackers or don’t want to think about your own Mazandyne being repelled back at you.  The prime force user, Cu Chulainn can hit for 700-900 with his Mazandyne, so it’s helpful to have a counter for him.  That is, unless they are using the purple version with Force Pierce.  Teal Rangda is Susano-o proof.  Susano-o’s Kusanagi will be nulled as well as his physical attacks repelled.  I would know, my Susano-o hates teal Rangdas.

Gacha Worthiness

Gacha Skills
ElementNameCostEffectTargetArchetype
ForceWind Breath4 MP40 Dmg 2-4 hitsMulti FoesRed Gacha
IceMabufula6 MP100 DmgAll FoesYellow Gacha
SupportDekaja5 MPRemove all -kaja effectsAll FoesPurple Gacha
AlmightySpirit Drain6 MP100 Dmg Drain 1 MPOne FoeTeal Gacha

Red’s Wind Breath is in the same boat as Purgatory above. Just isn’t that helpful.

Yellow’s Mabufula is a nice addition to a pure caster but tends to be overwritten by the Endure + Resist Elec combo.  Some may elect to keep Mabufula so as to have three elements to play with.  Your choice.

Purple’s Dekaja is a nice skill to have in PvP.  Couple with its innate Endure, this can make for leveling the playing field after all the auto-sukundas and tarundas have happened to start the battle.

Finally, Teal’s Spirit Drain isn’t a bad spell and can put the damper on a healer that you’re worried about resurrecting his team.  It is hard, however, to upgrade this spell as it only appears on this Rangda or a 3* Berserker (red).  If you’re looking for an almighty spell that is easier to level up, you should look at Megido via 3* Arahabaki. Easy to fuse too.

Skills to Transfer to Rangda

Since Rangda has electric weakness, it’s imperative to transfer him Resist Electric from 4* Divine Throne. High level PvP and level 46-50 Aura gate enemies use lightning often.  Throne is a lower level 4*, so it isn’t too horrible to fuse.  His other ability to purely up to where you plan to use your Rangda.

If you have a yellow archetype, I heartily recommend Endure.  It’s like a warning bell when you see that 1 HP and means you should get your ass building MP for Recarmdra.

Both Teal and Purple are similar in that neither Endure nor Null Force require a specific secondary skill to be added like the Yellow archetype.  I can definitely recommend bringing over a low MP option like Bufula/Agilao L or simply an upranked Megido to counteract Makaraka-shifting Apis/Prometheus/Beezlebub or support-style Makarakarn Fenrirs.

Other Decent Skill Transfers

  • Dark Boost (4* Anubis)
  • Madness (3★ Jatayu (Yellow Gacha), 3★ Gui Xian (Teal Gacha), 3★ Baihu (Red Gacha), 3★ Arahabaki (Yellow Gacha), 3★ Ose (Teal Gacha)) (for when 1.60 drops and you want to Mahajuon opposing teams)
  • Megido (3* Arahabaki)

Equipping Rangda With Proper Brands

Divine brand three-set with Ward two-set is a standard PvP offense or defense setup.  I, myself, have set up Rangda with spell brands with %mag increase with a two-set of wards for an offset.  Rangda’s magical prowess isn’t as far up there as a Cu Chulainn or a Prometheus, so I find that the extra 20% magical attack from spell brands seals the deal on Rangda becoming a real magical sweeper.

If you want to build your clear Rangda for physical attack, be prepared to stack war brands with your option of a two-set complementing brand.

Besides a physical or magical build, you have your option of building your Rangda around its Mahajuon.  Since in 1.60 you’ll have complementing Jaki races, you’ll want to increase your ailment infliction.  You can either use Sick brands for an extra % ailment infliction, or stack up %ailment infliction with life, spell, or I suppose physical brands.

Since Rangda’s vitality is lacking overall, life brands with %spell power can be a welcome addition to her arsenal.  50% extra health is nothing to sneeze at, folks.

As for a two-set bonus, Shield brands can outrank Ward brands in terms of overall usefulness in PvE.  The only aura gate demon worth fearing when using Shield brands is Lilim.  Be sure to bring other warded folks or lose that fight entirely.

Where Rangda Fails

Randga doesn’t fail at much, but do be careful of demons with Phys Pierce.  Purple Mara, Purple Cu, and Zaou-Gongen can all ruin Rangda’s Repel Phys in moments.  Her health isn’t usually all that high, so Mara can sometimes one-shot her.

Her auto-ai prioritizes Mazandyne and Mudodyne when crafted with %magical damage increases.  Be aware that she will not pass her turn to preserve or retain mana.  This will mean that in-between magical attacks she will melee.  Do try to give her a measure of %physical accuracy so she isn’t losing you too many press turns during auto combat.

For yellow Rangda, she will only prioritize Recarmdra after two of her teammates have fallen.  That is why Endure is so helpful in ensuring Rangda has time enough to cast it to save the day.  On the flip side, if you’re facing a Rangda team, you can feel confident in killing one of his teammates before taking out Rangda herself.  Someone like Cu Chulainn.  

Demons That Ruin Rangda’s Day

  • Demons with Phys Pierce
  • Siegfried rebounding attacks to gain himself health
  • Demons with Null Force (Cu Chulainn, Teal Sieg, Teal Rangda, etc)
  • Pazuzu.  Null Force and Dark.  Fffffff…..

Demons That Rangda Wrecks

  • Anyone weak to force or dark.  Don’t count on that in later-game PvP.
  • Purely physical foes like Ose, Abaddon, and Siegfried.  Their AI knows not what to do with the likes of Rangda.

Demons That Pair Well With Rangda

  • ALILAT!  Get an Alilat.  Repel Pierce ensures that no one will ever break through Rangda’s Repel Phys
  • Jaki race demons.  Curse increased damage is nice

Final Scoring

Physical attacker: C-

Magical attacker: B+

Tank: C

Gacha skills: B

Innate Skills: B+

PvP Attack Team Viability: A

PvP Defense Team Viability: A

Overall Score: A-

Mastering Your Brands in Dx2

So you want to learn the secrets of using brands to their most effective ends.  I don’t blame you.  Use this knowledge well, and you might be able to take those other PvP teams in SMT: Liberation Dx2 to task. 

Dx2 is one of the most entertaining and yet strategy-minded mobile games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.  While your demons are presented to you within the five archetypes: red, teal, orange, purple and common/gray, they are not really bound to their initial statuses at all.  A 4* Zhong Kui is presented to you as a hard hitting physical single-target who is weak to force, but you could make him into a caster with no weaknesses if you’d like.  It’s not recommended to ignore min/maxing but Dx2 is about making your team how you want to.  Here’s mine below:

How to Use Your Brands To Their Highest Potential

At the heart of the pliability that is inherent in Dx2 demon-customization system is the brand system.  The in-game tutorial likens brands to pieces of armor.  One for each demon’s head, chest, legs, right and left arms.  Each brand comes with a rarity, specialization, and unique stat distribution.

  • Rarity: Brands can be anywhere between 1-star and 6-star, with that largely affecting the quantities of stats and likelihood of better stat types of occurring (for instance +phys atk as primary stat is higher likelihood on a 6-star than 1-star)
  • Specialization: Each brand can be of the following types.  Shield, guard, speed, ward, divine, spell, sick, war, and life.  Those first four have two-set bonuses while the last five have three-set bonuses.  Be sure to have a concurrent 2-set and 3-set bonus going for each of your demons.
  • Stat Distribution: Depending on the slot (chest, head, legs, etc), you can find different types of stats.  Some brand slots like the leg slot only allow HP+ as the primary stat of a brand.  The best brands have their primary stat as a percentage of what you’d like.  For example, if you’re a melee hard-hitter, you’ll be looking for phys% increase to be the first stat listed on your brands.

What Kinds of Brands Should I Equip?

Every brand set-up is situational, so I’ll use my own demons as examples.  My Teal Ose 6-star has the following set-up.

As you can see, I have huge bonuses to physical attack and health, with a minor focus on speed, ailment resistances and magic defense.  Since Ose doesn’t take physical attacks, there’s absolutely no reason to have physical defense.  Go all in on magic defense and physical attack, I say.  His set bonuses boost both of those, so it’s important to be consistent.  

Next up is Sandalphon:

+31% health coupled with +55% magic defense makes my Sandy as beefy as they come.  Since he comes naturally with resist physical, it’s unimportant to invest too much in physical defense, as you’ll see I only have 3% extra. His set bonuses give him greater magical defense and spell damage for his Hamadyne and Zandyne.

My other two are Zhong Kui and Odin.  I have Zhong set up with a purist melee set-up coupled with resist physical to make him a harder target to take down.  For Odin, I made him more of a hybrid with equal parts physical attack and magical attack.  His Gungir is nice, but not all that useful with null physical lurking around every corner, so it’s important to buff his Lightning Storm and Bufula.

Flat Bonus vs. Percentage Bonus

You’ll notice very early on that you can find brands with % increases as well as ones with flat + increases.  If you’re looking to increase your health, you’ll have to look into how much you’ll gain from a flat increase versus percentage.  

Flat bonuses with high-level enhanced brands help out low-level not-yet-fully-evolved demons more than they do max-level demons.  A level one pixie with 6* brands with all flat increases will hit like a truck in your quests.  That same pixie with percentage increases will only make her slightly better.  Remember, every time you evolve your demon and increase its level cap by five, you’re increasing it by a level of magnitude.  The higher your demon can go, the better those percentages will work for you.  Think about the long-run.  At level 50, you’ll be wanting as many high-percentage-based brands as you can find.  Don’t ignore the tertiary stats either.

If You Want to Win: Master Your Brands

The end-game of Dx2 is PvP.  You won’t get very far in PvP without brands.  Think of it as running naked onto the battlefield.  Take the time to study up on your different demons and how you could be itemizing them better.  Remember, the top-most stat on each brand will be buffed to a higher extent while enhancing than any of the lower items.  So, while farming Brands of Sin, keep an eye out of brands that have the desired stat in the pole position.  You should have Sloth 7 and Deceit 7 on auto-farm in order to get 5-star brands.  Any of the higher Brands of Sin modes will require an entirely specialized team to conquer.  Also keep an eye out on the black market for that rare 6-star goody.  As always, have a swell day. I look forward to seeing you again.

How Has PvP in World of Warcraft Changed Since Vanilla?

Welcome, one and all, to an O.O. retrospective on the many consequential changes Blizzard has made in our beloved game since it debuted in the merry year of 2004.  Ah, 2004 was a good year, wasn’t it?  Halo 2, Knight of the Old Republic.  People were still playing Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.  Loot boxes weren’t a thing, even.  The entire face of gaming has shifted in the last fourteen years, so it stands to reason that World of Warcraft should have as well.

If ye readers have come across a book called Animal Farm in your time as earthlings, you’ll know what I’m thinking.  Small, seemingly insignificant changes over a long period of time have led to WoW become something far different than it began.  Different isn’t always worse. If you’re thinking it’s basically the same thing as it was, only with new content to explore, you’re just absolutely wrong.  There’s something to enjoy in each new expansion of Warcraft that keeps players coming back for more.

Let’s get into specifics, shall we?  Warcraft actually launched sans-battlegrounds.  Indeed, anyone seeking an honorable kill or death by the sword or cudgel of another, had to seek them out and do battle.  This led to players designating unofficial war-zones, and since there really wasn’t any reward to killing other players, it was all about bragging rights instead.  I killed you.  You remember me, right?  Servers were full of players of all levels, with the level cap being sixty and all.  Engaging in PvP was oftentimes a choice and sometimes something thrust upon unsuspecting lowbies.  Gratification came from conquering other players and their cohorts in the open world, and certainly wasn’t for the weak-willed or sensitive.  Then came battlegrounds.  Blizzard added a couple instances where players could make more…proper war with each other.  The objectives, capture-the-node and capture-the-flag were two of the earliest battleground types.  Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch, respectively.  Players could earn ‘honor’ by killing other players or by completing objectives.

The third battleground to be released was Alterac Valley, my personal favorite.  AV was a masterpiece of flawed creation.  40 vs. 40; no time limit.  Only objective? Kill the enemy’s commander NPC.  I played alliance, so it was Drek’Thar.  He was one tough son of a bitch too.  Those two dreadful wolves that he kept by his side were so very often the downfall of our groups.  That’s assuming you made it that far.  Drek was down at the bottom of the map.  There are dozens of graveyards, towers, and oncoming horde players to contend with before you can even think of trying to down Drek.  If the horde tries to rout you before you make it down that far, it often turned into a turtle.  Think of a turtle gone into its shell, trying to deflect to putrid claws of a trash panda.

Times were tough, and your PvP rank depended upon it. You lost rank if you took time off from PvPing.  Decay, it was known to be.  I made it to the fourth rank, Master Sergeant through very little effort on my part.   Each week was its own contest.  The top earners of honor were awarded as shadow currency named ‘contribution points’ that determined what overall bracket they qualified for.  There were 14 ranks, from private to grand marshal. Those with good gear, good pre-made teams (usually from guilds) and skill at their class could climb those ranks fairly easily.  Those like myself, with mostly healing gear and not much PvP know-how were in more dire straits.  My best guild mate played nigh-constantly for an entire week during summer vacation, playing battlegrounds the entire time, and only barely achieved the knight-captain rank, which is only rank eight of fourteen.  All in pursuit of that damned staff, eh, Rante?

The next week, your rank would decay and you’d be set into the grind again, trying to best other players more than you were bested.  The best PvP gear was at rank fourteen, yet I only met two grand marshals on the battlefield in my time.

 

Ah, those were the days.  Having to run to the main city to talk to the battleground master and queue up for a match.  Times were simpler, harder, less convenient.

Fast forward to 2018, and we have eighty bajillion battlegrounds now. Well, more than a dozen anyway.  Queueing up can be done from anywhere in the world, and even during a dungeon or raid, if you’d like.  As soon as you exit your current activity, you’ll be plopped back down in the queue for a random battleground.  No longer are there pvp ranks, in fact that was scrapped before the first expansion The Burning Crusade.  Why? Who knows.  For many years it was the objective to hoard as much honor as possible and then buy yourself some snazzy gear at the end of the day.  Also no longer.  Gear drops at the end of matches, whether you win or lose.  Candy for you, and you, and also you.  It’s a higher chance drop if you win, of course, so there’s a modicum of motivation to win matches.

Honor is now a pseudo-experience attribute that accrues and allows you to select honor talents.  These are talents that only work when in PvP and give at most a 5% edge for players with full PvP talents versus someone who does not.  Have I mentioned gear scaling?  Oh god, one of the worst ideas they came up with for the recent expansion: Legion.

Everyone is normalized to a certain gear level, with certain stats.  It’s really, really stupid that someone who just reached the cap of 110 can go toe to toe with someone who has the best gear in the game.  The biggest edge one player can have over another is about 25% stat edge.  Blizzard has done its damnedest over the years to empty out the maxims; take out those godlike players, giving the newest players a fighting edge as well.

You know what else this scaling and normalization does?  It removes competition, and removes motivation for top end players.  Why become the best, with the best gear, when it really doesn’t make that much of a difference?  Why even do PvP after you have gear that far outstrips and outclasses what can even be reasonably obtained?  It’s broken.

Battlegrounds aren’t the only medium for PvP now, though.  There is also the arena, rated battlegrounds, rated arena, and some iffy manufactured world PvP.  The biggest difference between regular BGs and rated BGs, is that the rated BGs work similar to how arenas worked for years.  If your team is awesomesauce for the week, you’ll get a rating.  If your rating is in the top tier, you’ll get some cool gear.

Only problem, chief, is that to get your rating that high, it’s nearly a surety that you need the very gear that you’re playing these to get in the first place.  That’s like trying to work your ass off at a retail job as a cashier for a chance at becoming management and a higher pay raise, only you’re already a manager with the higher rate.  You’re just being dumb.  Stop that.

Another huge change that has been slowly creeping up over the years is that PvE gear works just as well in PvP.  Oftentimes it’s easier to get dungeon/raid gear than actual PvP gear, and that’s okay.  Just do a few raids, which amount to taking a guided zoo tour these days.  Failure is extremely unlikely, so just get that good gear, then roll up in BGs with a bunch of blingy epics and a couple random drop legendaries and you’ll be fine.

 

All of this is to say that while new content has been added to the PvP system (remember wintergrasp, luls?), it’s lost much of what it was along the way.  Just like the fire that we had when we were teenagers fades into a bored routine-like adulthood, World of Warcraft has taken the pressure, luck, and unfairness away from its player vs. player systems.  Everyone wins, and honestly, everyone loses.  Games are meant to take us out of our real world and give us the ability to accrue something that we feel matters.  Power, prestige, rating…these things lose their meaning if everyone has them.  The Olympics would be a sham if everyone stood on the podium.  The challenge to perfect your character, or simply the terror of seeing a Grand Warlord of the Horde roll up in front of you, not even hesitate, and take your life in one mighty swing of a two-handed axe.  It’s in that presence of hard-earned overwhelming power that you gain that urge to better yourself so that one day, you too can be a headsman for some unsuspecting player.