World PvP

I know there are many of you for whom World PvP is what you are all about. Whether it was 13 years ago, ganking newbs in Strangelthorn Vale, making people switch to their mains to come get you, or just being a terror of world quest areas today — it is the thing that you love; and you might feel like it has not been treated with the respect that it deserved over the years. We agree.

In a lot of ways, our PvP ruleset for World PvP hasn’t really changed since 2005. I guess we got rid of dishonorable kills about 10 years ago. We should bring it back! Nope… but the way in which you played the game has changed tremendously,

Over the years, Server Transfers opened up. People wanted to move around to play with their friends to find new guilds. As it turns out, most people preferred to transfer to servers where their factions were already dominant, leading to more and more oversized populations.

Easying travel around the world with power scaling has changed significantly. You can try to fight someone, and they could CC you, get away, mount up, fly away, you never see them again; and more worrysomely… we have cross-realm gameplay.

You might join a world quest group in the premade group finder, and even though you are on a PvP server, you could join the group and suddenly find that you are surrounded by orange names, because you just landed on a PvE realm, or viceversa.

In a lot of ways, our ruleset doesn’t necessarily makes a ton of sense for the way the game is right now, and how people play the game. That is something that we would like to reexamine; and so I think there is two audiences that we are thinking of as we approach these changes.

First off, there are likely many of you in the audience and watching at home who play on PvP servers today, but it is not really the gameplay you are looking for. You are there because that is what your friends wanted to be. That is where you ended up many years ago. You don’t want to pay money for a server transfer, you don’t want to leave your friends to change that, but you might be actually sitting here hearing about and thinking about this expansion we are talking about, we would be venturing into enemy-controlled lands (with a bit of trepidation), thinking: “That sounds actually pretty frustrating.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those of you who love World PvP, and feel like that is part of what makes World of Warcraft… World of Warcraft. And you want more of it. You want it to be more balanced. You want it to be more interesting, and you want it to occur more organically. We agree.

The core of the changes we are looking at are actually, first and foremost, getting rid of this arbitrary division PvP and PvE server rulesets where you are locked in permanently on a given server. Unless you transfer and leave your friends… you can’t change that.

We want this an individual toogle. unifying our servers into a single ruleset. So when you are in Stormwind, you are in Orgrimmar, you are in Dalaran, you can choose whether you want to PvP flag. You want to opt-in into PvP, or not… and if you do, when you venture out into the world, you will basically be on a PvP server (PvP ruleset) with other people who also opted-in to that gameplay; and if you don’t want to, don’t.

What this let’s us do — on the one hand, people who feel trapped on a PvP servers now have an easy way out. On the other hand, we have a foundation upon which we can build a new generation of World PvP content.

In the past, whenever internally we would think about and debate ideas for really cool World PvP stuff, it always run into this roadblock of “what does that mean if you are in a PvE server? Does that just mean that half of the players of our game can’t access that content meaningfully?“… and that always felt like a really large tumbling block.

We could create all new content whether it was bounty hunting quests, or quests that sent you to assassinate high-value targets in enemy territory, and encourage some of that organic conflict, and reward it in a way that we never could before.

Now also we realized… you might be hearing this and thinking: “But why would I ever activate PvP just to go out and do my World Quests?” This is probably just going to be a bunch of people death-matching across the zones, turning it into giant arenas, and that is not actually what World PvP is about. Right?

World PvP is a more organic encounter that occurs, and so in order to offset that inefficiency, we do want to offer some bonuses to something like experience gain, reputation gain, what makes sense for questing with PvP mode enabled.

The point of this is not to make this feel like the righter (the only) way to play (if you don’t like PvP); but rather to make it feel like it is worth your time if you do.

Play the way you want to play. We will have a lot more to talk about this in the future, but the aim of these changes is to build a foundation upon which we can make World PvP great again.



1. Battle for Azeroth2. Zones of Kul'Tiras3. Zones of Zandalar4. Zone Flow
5. Allied Races6. Leveling Improvements7. Heart of Azeroth8. Island Expeditions
9. Warfronts10. Battlegrounds & Arenas11. World PvP12. Dungeons & Raids

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts