What You Should Know About PVP Scoreboards
Yeah, I know, and I’m sorry to do this to you, but here comes another sermon from the Reverend Dr. Soul. What’s on the list for today? PVP Scoreboards! Yes, I have on occasion been as guilty as the next player when it comes to the sin of scoreboard-watching. Why is this bad? Well, let’s get into that. But first, we need to know what the scoreboard is and what it isn’t.
What It Is
The PVP scoreboard, or more accurately statistics board, is an accurate reflection of the data it collects. That is to say, it is an accurate record of Damage Done, Healing Done (sort of), Killing Blows, Deaths, Honor Earned, and a few other statistics which vary by BG (flag captures, returns, etc.). I say “sort of” on healing, because it does not reflect absorbs as healing, making certain classes (pallies and priests) appear less helpful than they actually are. Think of it as the same sort of summary as baseball’s box score: useful, but incomplete.
Also, let me just take this opportunity to say that Recount is great for personal performances, but is less than useless for other people, especially in BGs. If you are out of range of another person, you don’t get Recount info from their combat logs, meaning that you will almost always show yourself as being top in everything you do in Recount. The only reason to look at Recount after a BG is to see what killed you (death logs), or whether an enchant or proc is under-performing and may need changed (%of your damage done). Otherwise, Recount in PVP is pure fail. Don’t quote it, don’t link it, don’t even look at it.
What It Isn’t
The PVP scoreboard isn’t a game summary or play by play, so it lacks the context to make it the one-stop shop that everyone treats it as being. It requires some interpretation to figure out who is really pulling their weight and who isn’t. To extend our baseball analogy a little further, not all errors are created equal. A muffed play could be an irrelevant embarrassment with nobody on base, or a devastating game-losing mistake if the bases are loaded. The same is true with the PVP scoreboard: not all stats are created equal.
A prime example is the Killing Blows (KBs) stat, which can be misleading in a number of ways. A player that is high on damage done but low on Killing Blows may be focusing on the invincible DPS instead of the healer keeping it alive, or he may be getting kill-sniped. Kill-sniping is when somebody swoops in on a low health individual (especially one that is in combat) to get an easy killing blow. Now, I tend to be very forgiving about this, because it’s a team game, and I’d rather the enemy be dead, regardless of how it looks on the scoreboard. That being said, it’s rather annoying that you can be locked in a rather heated duel for a bit, going back and forth in an epic battle, and finally turn the tide of battle in your favor, only to see your hard-earned KB go to somebody else who literally did nothing but walk up and hit a single instant attack. Again, I’m pretty forgiving about it, so long as you don’t go beating your chest about the scoreboard in BG Chat.
A player may be low on both damage done and killing blows because he is playing D. A player on defense is limited to the number of targets that come to the objective he is guarding. I may have gotten only 4 KBs, with damage done equal to 4 times a player’s health pool, but if that’s because only 4 people have attacked my goal, then I’m still doing an excellent job of defending against all comers, no matter what the scoreboard says. Likewise, a player may be low on stats because he is running the flag, and he is simply outpacing the enemy defense (no combat, no stats). On the other hand, a player may be really high on damage done and KBs, but if that damage is done on the roads, or at mid, or at some base we can’t capture (or keep even if we do), then all of those inflated stats count for practically nothing. They were simply misspent resources, in a game where every resource counts.
What it All Means
It all comes down to this: the scoreboard can be nice. Having your name show up at the top of the KBs, Damage Done, or both (or Healing Done, for a healer) can really make your day. However, you need to understand that those statistics aren’t necessarily a true measure of how helpful you’ve been to the battleground. Worry less about whose name is at the top of the leader board, and more about what you are doing for the team, in terms of objectives. In WSG, 500K damage done and one KB against the EFC is worth more than 10 Million damage done and 100 KBs at mid against targets who don’t matter.
I sometimes take pride in being at the top of the leader board, but I always take pride in doing my best to make sure that every point of damage I do, every ability or CC I use, and every death I take is used wisely to help improve the team’s chances of winning. Killing the EFC, or his only healer, or returning the flag? Any of these is easily worth the death I face from the remainder of the flag group, so long as it means that the flag is returned (or the base recaptured, etc.). Some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in BGs was not when I was setting records for damage or kills, but when I made a difference in the outcome of the match through good or smart play. Like the times when the FFC made it back to our base only because I intercepted his pursuers or the times when I killed the EFC in his own FR after he slipped past the rest of the defense. Those are the times that make me feel really good.
TLDR: Come on, guys, stop staring at the scoreboard and complaining about everyone else. “A job well done is its own reward,” as the old saying goes. Your reward is out there. Shut up and claim it.