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The Puzzle of Battlegrounds Reputation

Since my current character-of-choice isn't running in a raiding guild, I've recently turned to PvP as a possible alternative way to acquire new and interesting gear for myself. In my travels through Azeroth's battlegrounds, I've noticed something puzzling about reputation gain in each - some are easier to get than others. Specifically Aterac Valley reputation - which has some simply incredible weapon rewards - seems to come a lot easier than Warsong Gulch or Arathi Basin reputation. So I sat down and decided to do the math and see how it really works out - is AV reputation given out like candy, or am I just imagining things? Read on to find out.

In Warsong Gulch, you gain 35 reputation for your faction per flag capture (10 extra per capture on a battleground holiday, for 45 per capture), with an additional 50 reputation for turning in 3 honor tokens. This gives you 155 reputation with your Warsong Gulch faction per win. At this rate, it would take...
  • 20 wins to reach friendly standing
  • 39 more wins to reach honored standing
  • 78 more wins to reach revered standing
  • 136 more wins to reach exalted standing
Or a total of 273 victories in Warsong Gulch to go from neutral to exalted.

In Arathi Basin, you can 10 reputation per 200 resources gathered, giving you 100 reputation per victory. And, depending on how close the match was, you can get nearly that much for loosing, too. For turning in three tokens, you get 50 additional reputation. This means, per victory, you'll get 150 reputation. So...
  • 20 wins to reach friendly standing
  • 40 more wins to reach honored standing
  • 80 more wins to reach revered standing
  • 140 more wins to reach exalted standing
Or a total of 280 victories in Arathi Basin to go from neutral to exalted.

In Alterac Valley, the formula is much more complicated. You gain certain amounts of reputation for accomplishing various goals in the battleground - like killing the opposing faction's general (300 reputation), killing the opposing faction's captain (125 reputation), killing lieutenants or commanders (12 reputation each), killing wind riders or gryphons (5 reputation each), killing guards (5 reputation each), killing Ivus or Lok'holar (125 reputation), destroying enemy towers (12 reputation each), taking supplies from your own mine or an enemies mine (2 and 10 reputation each, respectively), turning in ram or frostwolf hides (2 reputation each), brining a ram or frostwolf to your stable (1 reputation each), keeping your own captain alive (125 reputation), controlling an intact tower/bunker (12 reputation each), controlling a graveyard (12 reputation each), and controlling a mine (12 reputation each). Since many of these things may be skipped in any given game, it's hard to assign a static amount of reputation per victory. However, in an effort to continue the comparison, let's go with 300 reputation per victory. This is the bare minimum amount of reputation you would receive per win, and you will frequently receive more. When you turn in three tokens, you'll get an additional 100 reputation (150 if it's a battleground holiday), which gives us a number of 400 reputation per win. At this rate it would take...
  • 8 wins to reach friendly standing
  • 15 more wins to reach honored standing
  • 30 more wins to reach revered standing
  • 53 more wins to reach exalted standing
Or a total of 106 victories in Arathi Basin to go from neutral to exalted standing.

And even this estimate is high, because of the bare-bones reputation estimate used. If we take into consideration that the captain is commonly killed, several towers or bunkers destroyed, several (one or two at least) graveyards held, and several enemy commanders and guards killed, I would say that a more reasonable guess at the amount of reputation you come out of a typical Alterac Valley victory with is closer to 600 or 700 (after token turnins). If we do the math using the more reasonable 600 reputation, we end up with...
  • 5 wins to reach friendly standing
  • 10 more wins to reach honored standing
  • 20 more wins to reach revered standing
  • 35 more wins to reach exalted standing
Or a total of 70 victories in Alterac Valley to go from neutral to exalted standing.

That seems pretty incredible - the rewards for AV faction are certainly no worse than the rewards for the other factions, and yet the victories required to gain them are substantially less. But perhaps I'm looking at this in the wrong way...

Let's consider the time put into each battleground in order to achieve a victory. The difficulty with using time as a measurement, however, is that it's not a constant. Some wins are quick, and some are long and drawn out, and Warsong Gulch matches in particular can be drawn out forever if someone attempts to turtle. On my realm, Warsong Gulch matches last around 30 minutes (though, as mentioned earlier, this can be greatly extended by turtling), Arathi Basin matches stay closer to 25 minutes (and are fairly consistant since resource-gathering always occurs, though if one team manages to capture and hold all five nodes, the match won't last much longer than 5 minutes), and Alterac Valley match averages around 45 minutes (though longer if one side turtles, a turtle can always be broken by summoning your faction's boss - Ivus or Lok'holar). Using these as general guidelines, let's look at how much time it takes to get each faction from neutral to exalted.
  • Warsong Gulch's 273 wins, at 30 minutes per win, result in 8190 minutes, or 136.5 hours worth of effort.
  • Arathi Basin's 280 wins, at 25 minutes per win, result in 7000 minutes, or 116.6 hours worth of effort.
  • Alterac Valley's 106 wins (using minimum reputation estimates), at 45 minutes per win, result in 4770 minutes, or 79.5 hours worth of effort.
  • Alterac Valley's 70 wins (using more reasonable reputation estimates), at 45 minutes per win, result in 3150 minutes, or 52.5 hours worth of effort.
But even this seems off, as AV takes signifigantly less time to achieve rewards that are just as good as those in the other battlegrounds. Perhaps the battleground effort was better balanced before the number of NPCs in Alterac Valley was reduced, bringing the amount of time needed for an AV match from several hours to under an hour. But as it stands at present, does it not seem that there is some bias towards Alterac Valley - especially when the other two battlegrounds are so evenly matched?

Well, let us know what you think! Post your own experieinces, questions, comments, corrections to my math, etc, below!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, PvP

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