Would You Like to Play a Game of Chess?

It's all fun and games in Warsong Gulch. And all the other battlegrounds, too!

Practice makes perfect.

That’s true in sports, it’s true in games, it’s true pretty much everywhere. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice, of course.

Starting with the latest Arena season, excuse me, Rated PvP season, you’ll be able to do just that.

From the official Warcraft blog:

Beginning with Arena Season 9, we’re giving Arena and Battleground teams the option to challenge each other to War Games, a new kind of skirmish that allows teams to practice, set up matches against friends or rivals, or even try out potential recruits.

War Games allow you to engage in a PvP scrimmage with other people on your server. It’s like a /duel, with groups, only you get to choose where you fight. You don’t gain any Honor or Conquest points here, nor Honorable Kills – but you do get to send your group and another group into any BG or Arena to practice your skills.

This is a great thing for casual and hardcore PvPers alike, allowing people to practice without consequence. You’re in a group that you choose, so you no longer have to pug a battleground to learn how it works. You can explore at will if your opponents are friendly (hellooooo, better BG screenshots!) or use it to actually compete with other groups in your guild.

I read over the FAQ Blizzard posted above and it covers a lot of possibilities War Games modes opens up. I think this is a great tool, one that can be creatively applied to make battleground PvP a better experience for everyone.  You can bring new players into Battlegrounds and teach them how it works without the pressure of competition.  You can try out different group compositions and strategies. You can hold intraguild competitions – my own guild leader is already planning a 2v2 bracket event with prizes.

One of the biggest challenges to getting people into battlegrounds and Arena is unfamiliarity with the game, combined with the pressure of having to learn very quickly. War Games will definitely help make them more accessible, while also giving a tool that high-end players will use to perfect their play.

I’m really excited that Blizzard implemented this. It’s due out this week, and I can’t wait to try it out.

Let me know how you plan to use /wg in the comments!

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6 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

6 responses to “Would You Like to Play a Game of Chess?

  1. Sweet! As you eluded to it sounds like a good way to introduce players to the joys of PVP without the pressure of competition. No longer having the opposing factor zerg you during a basic training mission.

    I can already see running dry runs of the holiday achievements with guildies, so that they can get their 310 achievement.

  2. This is AMAZING. One of the things I have always missed in WoW is the ability to practice/tour battlegrounds and dungeons. In another MMO I used to play, Ragnarok Online (a very PVP-based MMO – its endgame was guild vs guild PVP) the game revolved around scheduled war times, much like Wintergrasp. During the downtime I’d frequently take my guild into the various PVP castles where we would be fighting, and plan and point out snipe points, choke holds, or fallback points. We could plan strategies, combinations, etc. It was amazing, and so, so beneficial. I can’t wait to check the War Games out. :D

  3. Bill

    I can see this feature used to set up custom leagues similar to youth sports leagues.

  4. holy crap that’s like the best news I’ve had since cata dropped!

    I could foresee this being a huge leg up on trying to run a PvP guild.

    • Also, being able to set up small-scale pvp like that (I used to run a weekly 2v2v2v2v…. guild free for all without having to go down to gurubashi or nagrand arena is super cool. Admittedly, only two teams at a time, but still. Fantastic teaching tool.

  5. Since Cataclysm went live, the War Games tool has been on our PvP window, so presumably with Season 9 going live today, War Games is available… right now. I haven’t been in game to check that yet, but it seems weird to wait to roll it out.

    The coolest thing here is the incredible versatility. Like you said, you can intro new players to the game or test strategies at the high end. For example, back in Wrath, a common strategy in WSG was the “zerg break” where you would flood the centre of the field and break the opponent’s zerg for the flag, then send a small group to run the flag. This scattered PuGs easily, but will it work against a premade team? War Games lets us check!

    There’s no reason to test a tactic in live play, when you can run it as a drill against some fairly amiable players in your faction. This means that Rated BGs can be even more competitive, since teams can test any strategy they want ahead of time, and be as prepared as possible for the real thing.

    Translation: I’m pumped!