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View Full Version : The Weekly Marmot -- WoW as an E-Sport



Lore
11-02-2010, 03:33 PM
5PZcqBfJpFQ

Kazeyonoma
11-02-2010, 04:19 PM
about the whole e-sports thing, as someone who was very very very involved in arenas, and tried for a long time to watch arenas at a pro level, i agree whole heartedly. SCII is just structured to be more of an e-sports friendly game than WoW Arenas.

Maritime
11-02-2010, 04:22 PM
What the mike you are using Lore? It sounds great, would make a nice replacement for the cheapo Logitech desk mike I use for raids now.

Raysere
11-02-2010, 04:32 PM
It's all fine and well for a sponsor to send 1 SC2 player or 3 WoW arena players to things like MLG... but will they be willing to pay to send 10-15 man BG teams? That'll be the big factor in seeing RBGs on the Pro-gaming circuit I'd say.

Roarc
11-02-2010, 06:02 PM
Audio / Video sync is horrible and make my inner baby cry.. :-(

Kahmal
11-02-2010, 06:12 PM
While excited about rated BGs I'm not sure if it will still be good enough to be a serious E-sport, while perhaps more dynamic then Arena's I'm not sure if it will be enough.

I for one still think that strategies in BGs are still too simply and few in number and Arathi Basin seems to get as complicated as it can get.

If anything I think that all rated bgs will do is make it so the strategy is going to require taking real time tactics into account. I mean you can send 4 people to take down 3 defenders and while thats simple enough in a PuG in a Rated BG with people on vent those 3 can coordinate around their current position and take them down or hold them off until reinforcements arrive.

The most interesting thing I've ever seen in a BG was in Vanilla WoW we had a premade pug and took advantage of our Feral Druids and Rogues to coordinate and ambush the mines while we diverted them with a Lumber Mill assault lol.

towelliee
11-02-2010, 08:19 PM
I'd like Mic specs

Paynetrain
11-02-2010, 08:21 PM
RPS championships on ESPN
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-eHfifo8y0&NR=1

Daduke77
11-02-2010, 08:31 PM
I don't do a lot of pvp other than wintergrasp, but the whole idea of ratings makes the prospect a lot more interesting. Getting into one with people around your own skill level will make it much more enjoyable than queing, and getting your butt handed to you by a premade. I tried a couple of arena teams for giggles, but there just isn't the strategy or room there is in a bg. As far as esport goes, I don't think that's the important aspect. While great for the elite few for a chance to make some bucks, this will encourage the average player to participate more.

@Lore...nice dude, maybe you'll actually be useful on legends this week. J/K

88h2o88
11-02-2010, 08:49 PM
Rated BGS. I can not wait. Sounds like so much fun and i am super excited. PvP was one of the major aspects of the game that got me into wow. I would like to know why they removed life time kills from the PvP screen. perhaps ill send a private message to Lore and hope for an answer Friday. See if he can fit me in with the 900 messages hes got lol.

Vahntra
11-02-2010, 10:35 PM
While I agree with you on the fact that most people only watch arena's to learn more about them, I have to say honestly, it sounds like you have not been involved enough in the wow arena clique enough to really understand how it works. I can understand why you might find it boring to watch compared to others, but it goes both ways. I do not know Starcraft II all that well and would probably get bored from watching it. I think that if you had a bit more experience and knew more of the meta to arena, like you do for Starcraft, you would have a less skewed opinion. Just my take on it, keep up the nice vids.

lubz
11-03-2010, 03:09 AM
I think you ought to look at arena matches in the light of fighting games, instead of in the light of starcraft 2. I guess you talk about what is familiar, but a point you're making about composition turns out not to ruin the viewability of fighting games.

The big problem i see for arena matches are generic casting/attack animation. When we see someone crash the enemies skull with a giant mace in a fighting game, we know that had to hurt. In world of warcraft we see a casting animation, and.. what exactly happened? There is no good way to know without detailed tracking of buffs/debuffs as well as health and mana bars. And keeping track of all this information is something only people very experience with the pvp part of the game can do effectively, making watching pvp a little pointless for a layman

That said, i completely agree with your final conclusion of how the rated battlegrounds can be the way to lift wow up as an esport :)

swelt
11-03-2010, 03:40 AM
I think your view of what E-Sports is and should be is probably shaped by experience. My experience with E-Sports is largely with Quake, which gives me a different perspective.

Here's an example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DreDIhnK-co

I think there are a couple of other key considerations you might consider in what makes a viable E-Sport.

Display of Mad Skills. The strength of Quake and similar FPS as E-Sports is that players can display 'mad skills'. With wow pvp, it's really hard to SEE mad skills. I'm not going to debate whether or not wow needs less skill than quake, let's just accept that people playing games at the highest level are always highly skilled and find ways to do stuff mere morals can't. However, while it's very easy to see an awesome air rocket combo in Quake, it's fairly hard to see the micro in starcraft and it's really hard to see the details in wow pvp generally.

Logistics. This is the killer for rated battlegrounds as a pro E-Sports platform. If you want to have a pro tournament, you need to get on a lan. Anything more than 1v1 can get very costly. Counter Strike has done OK with 5v5 but CS has a massive userbase. Most games that require more than a few people in the team have struggled with LAN tournaments. It's simply too expensive for the limited pools of sponsorship. The idea of 10 v 10, 15 v 15 or more battlegrounds is simply not viable. That limits it to online, which raises some serious problems for pro tournaments with regards to cheating.

mortwatcher
11-03-2010, 03:54 AM
2 major problems with rated bg :
1. they are big, and it will be extremely hard to watch/commentate on all the action going on
2. the teams required are big, i can't really see anyone sponsoring 10-20 ppl going on tournament, and that is just one team

Petninja
11-03-2010, 05:28 AM
2 major problems with rated bg :
1. they are big, and it will be extremely hard to watch/commentate on all the action going on
2. the teams required are big, i can't really see anyone sponsoring 10-20 ppl going on tournament, and that is just one team

If I'm not mistaken top guilds get sponsored for 25 man PvE progression.

If there's any problem there it's that the maps all have different numbers of players required, so you'd have 15 players for AB, EotS, and Strand, but have to cut 5 of them from the team when competing in WSG. Isle of Conquest will never be playable in competitive matches, nor would AV unless you ran multiple teams and had them converge for one map. That's very likely to hold back Rated BGs unless they consolidate the BGs to one form, or release more maps (even if it's the same game type).

I can hear the commentary now. "SK has been playing very well together in AB today. Let's see how well that dynamic sticks when they have to cut one third of their team out for WSG."

Fasra
11-03-2010, 05:49 AM
While I'm excited about rated BGs, I don't think they will ever become an e-sport. Not in the current state, anyway.

SCBW, SC2 and any other FPS game that is played in e-sports - they are all quick to pick up. If a new players wants to try his luck in some multiplayer matches - all he needs is to buy the game. At that point, he has all features available to him. This isn't the case with WoW, however. When you buy WoW and 2 expansions (well, 3 expansions) - you still need to level a character.

It wouldn't be a big deal, if leveling was the only limiting factor, but it isn't. There are also things like: gearing up, gemming, enchanting, speccing. Some of those might require to join a guild and go to some raids, to get a good weapon, ring, trinket or whatever. And then there's also randomness - you might spend months raiding for that BIS trinket for your PvP spec, and then it will never drop, or you'll always lose the /roll or something.

So, even if you are experienced WoW player, you have heirlooms and you know every inch of Azeroth - after creating a new lvl1 character, it will take 3-5 months before you will be competitive in arenas/BGs. For a new player, who doesn't know Azeroth and has no heirlooms or gold - it might take 6-10 months to become competitive in PvP. In SC2, if you play terran, and you want to switch to zerg - all you need to do is choose different race and you got all features available to you. In WoW - if you want to switch to another class - you have to level a new character, get gear, enchant and gem the gear, spec right and so on.

So unless Blizzard releases some sort of "World of Warcraft BG Edition", where everyone can immediately create max level character with all the best gear immediately available to it - WoW will not become a viable e-sport. :/

swelt
11-03-2010, 06:19 AM
If I'm not mistaken top guilds get sponsored for 25 man PvE progression.
Giving the top handful of guilds some pocket money/upgrades/the occasional trip is not the same as paying for them to compete in a competitive gaming circuit, attending multiple locations worldwide with the significant travel and accommodation costs that go with it.

So if rated BGs are to become an e-sport, it needs to start as online only. For that to happen, there need to be good ways to spectate games. Ideally you'd be able to watch games (and replays of games) within the wow client itself. If not, there need to be good tools to allow commentators to spectate and to stream with commentary. For something like this, you'd really want something more than just the default over-the-shoulder wow view... e.g. it'd be nice to have auto-camera views setup for the key locations that could jump automatically or on trigger to where the action is.

Berzerker
11-03-2010, 06:54 AM
I can understand why you might find it boring to watch compared to others, but it goes both ways. I do not know Starcraft II all that well and would probably get bored from watching it.

I've never played a multiplayer match in my life of either SC or SC2, and yet I have become VERY intrigued with some of the SC2 matches out there -- it boils down to amazing commentary (which Lore mentioned) and understanding very very basic strategies they are using. I don't know which buildings you need to build a dark zealot, or which units are especially strong/weak vs a dark zealot, but I know when the commentator says "he's building this, it looks like he's going to go for a dark zealot build" that it means the other guy is going to need an observer or he's in trouble... Even very very simple understanding is enough to really get into some of the matches and appreciate some of the more impressive ideas people have come up with in big-name matches, which makes it very easy to watch.


So unless Blizzard releases some sort of "World of Warcraft BG Edition", where everyone can immediately create max level character with all the best gear immediately available to it - WoW will not become a viable e-sport. :/

Wasn't this what the arena tournament servers basically ended up being? You created a template toon, could gear from vendors that gave you pick from top notch gear, etc? (Note, these are actual questions, not me being a smart-ass... I've never actually done PVP to any extent, and really haven't kept up with what all they still do for it, or what may have changed). It becomes an issue when you need to practice between tournament sessions, so it's obviously not a permanent solution to the problem (not to mention you have to pay extra to join the tournament on top of the regular wow subscription, IIRC?), but it does show that it's a plausible option, if this does in fact catch on.


So if rated BGs are to become an e-sport, it needs to start as online only. For that to happen, there need to be good ways to spectate games. Ideally you'd be able to watch games (and replays of games) within the wow client itself. If not, there need to be good tools to allow commentators to spectate and to stream with commentary. For something like this, you'd really want something more than just the default over-the-shoulder wow view... e.g. it'd be nice to have auto-camera views setup for the key locations that could jump automatically or on trigger to where the action is.

Adding an "observer" option would be HUGE. It's something I think would also be phenomenal to have for PVE as well (imagine a raid guide video that could take ANY PoV instead of having to be either ranged dps or tank, etc?). A replay option would also be cool, but the amount of data it would have to manage/store if it were to do anything remotely similar to what SC2 does now would be very limiting...

Coro
11-03-2010, 07:18 AM
Here is my take on it all, take it for what it is.

We have wants. I agree with everything Lore said, and obviously people agree/disagree, but what it all boils down to is what does Blizzard want? It seems pretty obvious that Blizz wanted SC2 to be an e-sport. They gave us all the tools necessary. Here, watch replays, here build maps, here is a bracket system, here is different methods to do this, etc etc.

The question boils down to does Blizz want WoW to be a competitive e-sport? So far, we don't have a way to replay (which makes commentary better), we don't have a way to be an outside viewer and see what's going on in different places (like in SC2 clicking on the map and hopping to see what the other team is doing), we don't have a way to see the whole fight without it being in one person's perspective.

Maybe I am misunderstanding rated BG system, but I don't see it as any kind of ladder system. I see it like you win your ranking goes up, you lose your ranking does down, and if that's the case, there is no advantage of being in a pre-made team then joining a random system, other then the advantage over the probable pug, which makes it not a competition of team a over team b, it is just a huge advantage, like raiding with vent (or any other talk client) versus typing to communicate.

I would love to see WoW be an e-Sport with their rated BGs, but so far, Blizz has not given us half the tools necessary to do so. Right now, they just want to make PVP enjoyable, because they know that PVP is their weakest aspect of the game and people keep trying to find better PVP games to leave to (Aion, Warhammer, etc)

Abernatheeee
11-03-2010, 07:51 AM
Lol at your nerdgasm.

Quinafoi
11-03-2010, 09:53 AM
In Starcraft 2, everyone always starts on equal footing, regardless of what you have done in the past. In World of Warcraft, your past builds you up for your present. A melee DPS walking into an battleground with Shadowmourne has an advantage over others that do not. Because of work they did prior to entering the battle, their state in the battle is altered. Of course in the case of arena tournaments they standardized the gear on the tournament realms to prevent this. Like you said, part of the problem with World of Warcraft is a lot of the strategy is done before the match even begins.

World of Warcraft's scale is a bit too large in general. A big difference between battlegrounds and say professional sports is the sheer scale of the playing field. While you can't necessarily see all the players on a football field simultaneously, there is a clearly defined focal point where almost all of the action is surrounded, the ball. In a battle ground like Arathi Basin, there can be major match turning events occuring in multiple locations simultaneously and you can't necessarily see all the battles at once. It's easy to watch one ball at a time, it's hard to watch five in different area codes.

I think by it's very nature, World of Warcraft will never reach similar levels as an eSport as other games like Starcraft, and that is largely due to the Role Playing genre of the game. A stronger character does not necessarily equate to a stronger player. I will be curious to see how Diablo 3 arenas end up fairing for similar reasons, I imagine in actual tournament situations it would follow similar style to WoW Arenas in that gear is standardized.

Depraedus
11-03-2010, 11:16 AM
Actually you can see Rock, Paper, Scissors on ESPN: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/110258

jvoodoochild
11-03-2010, 01:33 PM
One element that I think is important for an e-sport is to have a view or vantage point that is not possible by playing the game yourself. As computer games are already designed to be graphically appealing, I would imagine that it would be a difficult hurdle to jump.

Quinafoi
11-03-2010, 01:34 PM
Actually you can see Rock, Paper, Scissors on ESPN: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/110258

No wonder ESPN keeps hiking it's rates. I mean with programming like that, who wouldn't pay more?

Goldwing
11-03-2010, 02:35 PM
I think your point of is this something someone will want to watch is right on the money. I don't PVP much so I really am just a spectator. I was looking forward to the arena matches at blizzcom but found it completely dull to watch. What I needed to have to make it more entertaining was a better view of the whole picture. Casting bars for each toon, the DoT's and HoT's for each. DPS stats and a starting intro with what gear each was wearing.

I ended up watching the SCII feeds and loved it because you could see the strategy unfold and what resourses each person had to work with.

Make it something people can enjoy watching, money will follow with ads, bingo...e-sport.

poopertropper
11-03-2010, 09:00 PM
I had this long post about how terribly wrong you are in your vid but somehow in didn't post. So ill sum it up. For someone that knows as little about arena as you, you really shouldn't give an opinion on it as if what you are saying is fact. Comparing SC to WoW Arena when you take into account how unbelievably young arena is, is just poor journalism. Go for glad for a season. Then come back and talk about strats....

poopertropper
11-03-2010, 10:59 PM
While I agree with you on the fact that most people only watch arena's to learn more about them, I have to say honestly, it sounds like you have not been involved enough in the wow arena clique enough to really understand how it works. I can understand why you might find it boring to watch compared to others, but it goes both ways. I do not know Starcraft II all that well and would probably get bored from watching it. I think that if you had a bit more experience and knew more of the meta to arena, like you do for Starcraft, you would have a less skewed opinion. Just my take on it, keep up the nice vids.

Never mind,

Vahntra said it better then me.

twincannon
11-04-2010, 05:47 AM
Great points. I think the ability to do interesting commentary almost directly relates to how interesting (and probably, thus, successful) an e-sport is. Starcraft has been the biggest proof of this for me personally: I'm a huge FPS player, but RTS is the bane of my existence; I simply cannot macro and am generally terrible. However, this didn't stop me from getting into SC in a huge way. Especially in the last couple years with the Jaedong/Bisu stuff, just so incredible to watch, and even though I'm not an RTS fan I can easily appreciate (doubly so when the commentator points stuff out to me that I missed) clutch plays and strats. SC2 has been a joy as well to watch all the new players rise to the top, and especially recently all the old faces join the fray. As well, the new breed of commentators have been absolutely terrific.

Sadly I have to agree with the points in this thread, rated BG's (in their current form) would never take off; the numbers are just too big. What I'd really like to see is either changing arenas, or making new ones, that are "mini-battlegrounds". The key is some form of variable: as you said, currently, it's "blow our cooldowns and kill one of the enemy team. did we succeed? no? then survive for another 2 minutes until we can try again". This makes victory completely black and white, so there is very little excitement to be had. Watching the casters at blizzcon was absolutely painful as they struggled to stay awake in those finals.

There are no objectives, no health pickups, no anything. There is only LOS and cooldowns. We *need* more variables for small-scale WoW pvp to be interesting. Make power-ups spawn. Make it King of the Hill or some such gametype and add respawns. Make it so combat never drops, and put in a life pool for each time (i.e. each team has 10 lives).

Kazeyonoma
11-04-2010, 10:32 AM
I think your view of what E-Sports is and should be is probably shaped by experience. My experience with E-Sports is largely with Quake, which gives me a different perspective.

Here's an example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DreDIhnK-co

I think there are a couple of other key considerations you might consider in what makes a viable E-Sport.

Display of Mad Skills. The strength of Quake and similar FPS as E-Sports is that players can display 'mad skills'. With wow pvp, it's really hard to SEE mad skills. I'm not going to debate whether or not wow needs less skill than quake, let's just accept that people playing games at the highest level are always highly skilled and find ways to do stuff mere morals can't. However, while it's very easy to see an awesome air rocket combo in Quake, it's fairly hard to see the micro in starcraft and it's really hard to see the details in wow pvp generally.

Logistics. This is the killer for rated battlegrounds as a pro E-Sports platform. If you want to have a pro tournament, you need to get on a lan. Anything more than 1v1 can get very costly. Counter Strike has done OK with 5v5 but CS has a massive userbase. Most games that require more than a few people in the team have struggled with LAN tournaments. It's simply too expensive for the limited pools of sponsorship. The idea of 10 v 10, 15 v 15 or more battlegrounds is simply not viable. That limits it to online, which raises some serious problems for pro tournaments with regards to cheating.

I disagree about the Display of Mad Skills for Starcraft. It's VERY apparent to see the mad skill micro in starcraft, especially with good commentators, but when you see 1 unit that would otherwise lose to 4 of an opposing unit, but due to micro, is able to kill ALL 4, and continue harassing, it's VERY apparent. I do agree that in WoW, I don't see that kind of "skill". Even when watching the complexity red vs aAa final match, when their priest ran out of mana, and people were like, "HOW IS HE KEEPING THEM ALIVE? SO MUCH SKILL", he was using prayer of mending on cd as soon as he had enough mana that's how, combined with his teammates making excellent line of sight. So it was less him, and more his teammates surviving. To me, mashing your ProM button until it fires off isn't skill.

Flix
11-04-2010, 03:11 PM
lol .. i signed up on the forums just to say there was a world series RO sham BO tourny (rock paper sissors) comp at the world series of poker for the last few years and yes it was on Fox Sports and ESPN (i know cuz i played in it :P)


In 2004, the championships were broadcast on the U.S. television network Fox Sports Net (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_Sports_Net), with the winner being Lee Rammage, who went on to compete in at least one subsequent championship.


The tournament is taped by ESPN and highlights are covered during "The Nuts" section of ESPN's annual WSOP broadcast.

sources is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-paper-scissors

Lockblade
11-04-2010, 03:16 PM
A way to record and view rated BG replays is pretty much the only thing keeping it from becoming an ESport. Movable cameras would be a must, and so would viewing the map with moving pips for the players. Yes, size would be a problem for live streams, but the point of commentators is to emphasize the key point of battle- with the ability to watch a BG multiple times, they can find the major battles and zoom to them efficiently.