How Do New Players Get an Intro To World of Warcraft PvP? Hint: They Don’t

A common topic in the PvP community is how to get new players to start playing PvP. People have all kinds of ideas and theories as to how to involve them.


The better question is: how are players introduced to PvP?

There are two types of "new" players

To me, new players are:

  1. The obvious: players that are brand new to the game
  2. Current players that have had no real introduction to PvP in the time they already spent playing the game.


Right now there is no real introduction to PvP. Yes, there are things like war mode and battlegrounds, but players have to opt into these. They added a great introductory leveling experience to the game in Exile’s Reach that covers most everything BUT PvP. It even has an introduction to dungeons built into it, but no intro to PvP. Blizzard does have a tool in Exile’s Reach that is currently only used in a max level PvP Brawl battleground. This could be a potential way to introduce PvP to new players, or even players leveling a new character or class for the first time, but right now new players are basically thrown to the wolves. It can be overwhelming and even scary for a lot of players. Blizzard needs to develop a better PVP introduction that eases people in and makes it less intimidating.

Leveling BGs

One of the first experiences players have with instanced pvp is playing battlegrounds (BGs) while leveling, also known as leveling BGs. These leveling BGs have all kinds of issues. The first of these is balancing. There are currently 6 brackets of leveling BGs on retail between levels: 

  • 10 to 19
  • 20 to 29
  • 30 to 39
  • 40 to 49
  • 50 to 59
  • 60 to 69


Different classes learn powerful spells at different times while leveling, and players gather gear of varying power levels at different times, making balancing the leveling brackets almost impossible. Currently, everyone in a leveling BG is scaled to the highest level, so in the level 20 to 29 bracket everyone is scaled to 29. While this should help, there are still very large differences in health pools and stats. This is most likely due to differences in players’ gear, talents, etc.

One of the biggest problems in several brackets of leveling BGs, is what are referred to as Twinks. Twinks are players that level a character to a max level in a bracket, say level 29, and turn their XP off so they never can level outside of that bracket. They maximize their gear, have all kinds of consumables, and things like grenades from engineering. They are incredibly powerful and made to dominate the bracket they are in. This was not an issue for a time because everyone that turned XP off were put into their own bracket for battlegrounds, allowing Twinks to only play against each other. Recently, Blizzard reversed this, and Twinks are now back in brackets with regular leveling folks. For a new player or someone that doesn’t really PvP, this could cause dissatisfaction. You die so quickly it’s quite impossible for you to even tell what just happened. For someone like me that has been playing forever, I understand that it’s a Twink character, but even then, it’s still frustrating and ruins some of the fun, as I just want to do some BGs while leveling.

How can Blizzard fix this?

Introducing the Legion expansion PvP stat system into leveling BGs would go a long way, allowing everyone scale to the same spot. It would also remove most of the gear advantages another player has. This would not be perfect because a level 29 will still have more abilities and talents than a level 20, but the biggest difference I see right now is the gear difference when I do leveling BG. The difference can be thousands of HP as well as the other main stat power ups someone with a lot of gear or a Twink will have. Now I am sure anyone who enjoys Twinking will hate this idea, but my stance on this is that Twinks should be in their own bracket for the health of the experience of leveling in BGs. Twinking is a niche thing and is more like gearing a character in a way like you would at max level. Party syncing also needs to be rethought because while the initial idea was good, people are using it to essentially use a max level character to become a Twink in lower level brackets.

A few other quick ideas. I talked about the Exile’s Reach experience and it’s really good as an intro to the game for new players. As stated earlier, there is an intro to everything BUT PvP. Blizzard has a game mode already they could use as an intro to PvP in Exile’s Reach. Comp Stomp is a BG Brawl at max level that rotates with the other pvp brawls and is a good introduction to PvP for new players. It uses AI instead of real players. Just scale that mode down and put it as part of Exile’s Reach. On the way out of Exile’s Reach the players would not only get that intro to the dungeon but also an intro PvP with Comp Stomp. They get a quest, explaining they are going to do battle with the Horde/Alliance on their way out. They get a temporary medallion to use just for that event with a pop up that briefly describes what it’s used for. 


There also used to be the Proving Grounds for PvE: why not also have something like it that any player could use at any level to introduce new players to some of the basic mechanics players will need to know going into PvP? This is simple stuff in my opinion and could go a long way.


This is just a quick talk about some of the things that can deter new players from PvP, and a few ideas that could fix them. There is no good introduction to PvP for players right now, and there is much much more that we could address before we even touch on end game PvP or what the community itself could do. I chose to talk about leveling PvP because I feel like that is where most new players should and do get their first taste of PvP. At max level there is a massive push that if you want to PvP, arena is what you should be doing. While arena is definitely the highest end of competitive PvP in WoW, it also can be the most overwhelming and scariest aspect of PvP even for players that have been playing the game for a while. Introducing new players to PvP  without pushing them into the most competitive part of PvP would be  better for the health of PvP. I would love to hear your opinion on how the game could introduce new players to PvP!


PvP Expert

Mhortai is a PvP writer for Bonus Roll Productions and an admin in the Oasis WoW Community. He is also an active member of the Technically PvP podcast community and can be found via his twitter or chatting in Bonus Roll’s TPVP discord channel.

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