Monday, July 14

Battleground Bitchin' and Fixin'

Okay, I'll try not to bitch too much. Well, no, that's no gonna happen, so get your QQ tissues out. There's been some discussion about Battlegrounds on the official Blizzard WoW forums. I'll cheat and just link the post on WoW Insider today. Plenty of interesting thoughts on BGs there as well. The problems boil down to several issue: AFK honor farming, people who just jump in to get marks and don't really try, Pre-mades both winning and losing types, etc. To make matters worse, Blizzard doesn't seem particularly interested in changing the existing Battlegrounds.

But why not? In some cases, some simple changes would make the difference. Regardless of what some people want, this is a game and participation is required. I hate the term "welfare epics" for BG purples because many people fight thier asses off for them. We like Battlegrounds. It's fun. Or rather, it should be. And I think the people that are participating and having fun in the BGs are the people Blizzard should listen to and, yes, cater to. Everyone else should get a "tough s@#$!" As it is, we're the ones that get the "tough s@#$." That ain't right.

How to Make BGs Fun

There's lots of ways. Here's a few that would be fast, and very strong, improvements.

First, ellimininate pre-mades. Yah, I said it. Get rid of 'em. No pre-mades allowed. Que assignment should be completely random. PuG BGs can be fun, but not if every single one of them is complete wipe over and over again. It's pretty simple... It's NOT A GAME if both sides don't have a relatively equal opportunity to win. Read some game theory. If the activity is so over balanced to favor one side, it's NOT a game. Period. So get rid of pre-mades is step one.

Oh, butyou say, Friday you ignorant twit, YOU have just as much of an opportunity to make a pre-made as anyone else. Yup, I do. And if it's already determined that'll I'll be going up against another pre-made, you have a point. But WoW's que system isn't set up that way. It's set up to throw random people together, with a cludge thrown in to allow an exception. That's piss poor design and planning. So you're gonna allow pre-mades. Great. Equalize it. You should be able to choose to EITHER play in the open BGs, OR play in a pre-made BG. Very simple solution. We call the latter Arenas these days, but it could very easily be done for the existing BGs.

I like fighting in a pre-mades as much as anyone. But having been on both ends, I can honestly say that fighting on a pre-made is not even remotely fair for the PuG on the other side. I WANT to fight on a pre-made against other pre-mades. The battle should be about who plans and executes better. Who fights better. If both sides are pre-mades, it becomes an excellent fight. Pre-made vs. PuG is rediculous. And it's not a game. It's no fun nor is it challenging. It's just a job.

The solution is laughably simple. If you click on Join As Group you go into a different que than if you click Join Battle. Solo's all go into one que, Groups go into a different que. Done. Next...

The Great AV Nerf

Blizzard got tired of AV, couldn't make work, so they nerfed the hell out of it. As much as I love fighting AV sometimes, it's still rediculous. Both sides rush and first one to kill the other's boss wins. Woopee. Occasionally one side will turtle (or get forced into a turtle) and a grindfest occurs. Those are slightly more exciting, but not really about tactics and strategy. On the very rare occasion, one side's defense will actually recall, or back cap their own towers, and it turns into a more interesting fight. So why not piss more people off and make it right. Just set the towers to cap-over-time sliders. Control and fight for the towers to win or you aren't getting Drek or Van down and you lose. Mayhem ensues and it's a real battle. Done.

Balancing Act

This last one has probably been tested, but the reason it didn't make it was because que times would be too long. It's basically a balancing system to insure that like geared and/or skilled players are thrown together. Technologically it's not that tough to pull off (see also, Battlenet) so why isn't it done? Que times would get too long. I don't care. I'd rather wait for a good BG than play 5 bad ones in a row because one side is out geared or up against an experienced pre-made. Winning that way isn't any fun, and losing is even worse. (And if you're one of those people that DOES enjoy "winning" that way, you have no business playing ANY game. You're a sociopath and you need counciling.) I bet there's a pretty strong majority out there that feels the same. Put in a proper match-making system. Done.

Carrot On A Stick

Finally, to make all this work, you have to make it worthwhile. Reinstate titles. Not on the old system, but something that rewards players for actually playing. There's myriad of forumlas that would accomplish this and Bliz has already demonstrated that they can do it. So do it for BGs as well.

Also, SEPERATE battleground rewards that are as good as the previous season's arena AND special gear for the truely accomplished BG players. Different levels of gear would be required.
Why was S1 gear dropped, for example? Why not keep it in there. S2 gear should just be more difficult to get (or S1 gear made easier, whichever works best). There should be a relatively easy set of PvP gear to get. (Not the faction rep grind for the current stuff in BC. PVP gear.) And it should definately not LOOK like Arena gear. That's not right for Arena players OR BG players.

BG combatants that really play and apply themselves deserve something different from PvE or Arena gear. They deserve to have (very difficult to earn) titles. If you're going to do BGs properly, then there has to be a substatial reward for excelling in them. Done.

There's plenty of others, but I think these set things on the right track. Yeah, I've read the counter arguments a bazillion time. None are convincing, not even Blizzard's. And the majority of complaints and QQ come from the minority, though volcal, honor/mark farming dummies. BGs should not be a grind to get cheap honor and Blizzard CAN fix it so. Period. Done.



  1. I'm also sick of the Battlegrounds as they are. Bring back the glory days when players fought for their faction. How can one get honour if they hide from the fight? Not very honourable in my opinion. Good post

  2. One of my least favorite QQs in AV is when one side turtles and this starts:

    "Oh just give up! This will take 30 minutes. just quit and get the mark!"

    I always try to get a show of hands of who remembers when AV took 2 hours or more to fight. (Then I call the person a wimp and put 'em on ignore. heh)

    Yeah, it's a real shame that BGs opened up to "farmers." Keep your fingers crossed changes will happen, someday. Thanks for the comment! :)


    PS Anyone reading this, check out 70 TW's blog. Awesome tanking goodness. It's linked on the right in the blogroll.