I’m currently playing warlock BG-PvP at level 40 in WoW. And I love it.
And that’s a surprise because these BGs are terribly unbalanced – and certainly not in favor of warlocks. My warlock has about 4k life right now. Def-warriors do up to 3800 crit-hits on players(!) with their shields! While my soulfire, a 4 second cast during which I need to stand still - does about 500 if I am lucky.
At the same time warriors have significant self healing and easily 5k health - I have seen some with 7k+. A warrior is – without superstition – a boss monster. And I love fighting them. Of course I can’t do this on my own. I need other players to help. Unless the warrior charges me and one-hits me, which does happen, I can help my team by chain-fearing, demon-stunning or death-coiling him when I feel that other players (especially my team’s warriors) are ready for their burst.
And it’s a massive amount of fun – for me – and, actually, also for the warriors, I am sure!
My first point: Forget balancing in PvP. Unless one class starts to be played by a majority of the players it’s just not a problem for the game because PvP can still be lots of fun.
My second point: Don’t give players so many abilities. I love playing level 25-45 BGs in WoW because you have lots of time to observe the battle and don’t have to look at your UI all the time. And the tactics of the battle provide so many interesting decisions that I almost never become bored.
My third point: Don’t professionalize PvP! Once again I agree with Keen. I’m not a fan of rated BGs because they are too .. boring. While I absolutely love meeting players again – which does happen in low-level PvP in WoW! – I don’t want to play professionally.
I also enjoy playing Badminton for many years by now. On several occasions I have been asked to join a team. I did this once but quit soon after. Some things are best enjoyed as an amateur even if you spend many, many hours playing. Improving when you feel like it, is sometimes more fun than the pressure to be as competitive as possible.
And, more importantly, very few games have the strategic depth to be lots of fun after min-maxing. But often this isn't a problem unless the developers make it one by pushing the players towards professionalism.