Monday, June 17, 2013

Are Objective-Specific PvP Inventory Items Still Necessary?

While PvP in World of Warcrft has always involved the use of consumables, such as potions, bandages, and drinks, the Wrath of the Lich King expansion added a brand new type of inventory item for PvPers: objective-specific explosives. Explosives were actually fairly frequently used items in classic WoW PvP, and items such as Ez-Thro Dynamite and Ez-Thro Dynamite II were common sights on the faction auction houses because they were effectively cheap bonus damage, but those were more general use items than what I'm referring to. I'm speaking of items such as The RP-GG in Lake Wintergrasp, Massive Seaforium Charge in the Strand of the Ancients battleground, and both Seaforium Bombs and Huge Seaforium Bombs in the Isle of Conquest battleground, all of which were designed to help players demolish specific obstacles.

However, one question comes to mind again and again when I encounter these items in their respective PvP zones: why do these items still exist?

By that question, I don't mean to imply that these items have outlived their usefulness and should be removed from the game - quite the opposite, in fact - but I ask because the fundamental mechanics of such explosives seems downright antiquated in the Mists of Pandaria age. These days, when Blizzard wants to give players access to a zone or encounter-specific ability, it often does so through a User Interface element named "ExtraActionButton1", commonly just called the Extra Action Button because there has yet to be an "ExtraActionButton2". The Extra Action Button debuted in Cataclysm's Dragon Soul raid instance during the Ultraxion encounter, where it served as a way for players to activate the encounter-specific Heroic Will ability to negate powerful attacks, and is now a frequently-used element in many of Pandaria's dungeons and scenarios.

So here we have this user interface element that has dedicated screen real estate, can be activated by picking up specific objects (as evidenced by the Smash! ability granted by picking up Big Ol' Hammers dropped by slain Virmen Boppers during and prior to the Hoptallus encounter in Stormstout Brewery), and is entirely unused in PvP - why not use it for RP-GGs and the various Seaforum explosives? Unlike raids, which tend to become less frequented over time, battlegrounds stay in use for years, and thus I think it makes sense to expend some resources to ensure that they stay up to date and modern.

Also, we need a tabard wardrobe and a toy chest, because I no longer have spare inventory space for PvP bombs. <.<

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