The next World of Warcraft expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor, will contain a simple toggle that will make many gamers very happy. Simply put: You will be able to choose - absolutely - whether you want to take part in PvP combat or not.
While you have always been able to opt-in for Player vs Player (PvP) gaming, cracks in the system have started to appear that has seen gamers involuntarily flagged as being willing to battle.
Now, community manager Bashiok explains in a forum thread, the developer is working on a goal of a "PvP on/off toggle" for gamers on PvE realms, hopefully to be included in Warlords of Draenor. The new toggle would "absolutely and in all situations allow someone to refrain from becoming flagged regardless of their actions."
Heals toward flagged players would fail, coalescing to PvP realms wouldn't be possible, misclicks and AoE's would never damage a flagged opponent, etc. It's actually quite a bit of work because of all the systems involved, but it's still something we think PvE players should have, and how the game should work for them.
The issue has come to a head recently with the increased popularity of cross-realm gameplay. With some servers automatically marked as PvP, everyone who joins will be flagged as wanting to fight, whether they really want to or not. Gamers recently have been queuing cross-realm and finding themselves accidentally in PvP servers, where their under-prepared character is quickly killed.
With passionate PvE gamers upset at the amount of PvP content they feel "forced" to play - and PvP gamers upset at the amount of PvE gamers complaining about being killed - this new toggle system seems to be an appropriate fix. The question now is why it took Blizzard nearly 10 years to implement the change.
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Jimmy the Geek