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12-17-2010 @ 7:06PM
My problem with Tol Barad is I have not been able to get into it..... since launch. :(
12-17-2010 @ 7:19PM
And that's another issue. Since blizz removed the "tenacity" mechanic, a lot of (especially horde) pvp'ers are locked out of it. I made the argument for an instanced Wintergrasp battleground just below; I think having both WG and Tol Barad be instanced and queue-able would be better for the majority of pvp'ers, just so they can actually play the darn thing.I don't think people will miss the "Essence of Wintergrasp" type buff, and allowing both factions to do Baradin Hold (or VOA) at the same time isn't such a big deal. Specifically regarding small sizes, yes, 5v5 in Tol Barad, that also isn't fun if you have a massive server imbalance. Instancing TB would solve that problem without having to resort to tenacity or forcing large numbers of players on one faction to sit it out.
12-17-2010 @ 8:13PM
@Pyromelter: You say especially Horde, but that just depends on server population. On my server there are a lot more Alliance than Horde, so there's always a big queue time for TB for Alliance unless you queue instantly 15 minutes before the battle starts, right when it lets you.Also, we have plenty of instanced battlegrounds. Wintergrasp and Tol Barad are unique because they are NOT instanced, so winning actually matters because it changes who controls an actual piece of territory, giving access to daily quests and raids. Turning them into just another BG is a terrible idea and destroys what separates them from BGs in the first place. Sure, there's balance problems, but I'd rather them keep trying different things to fix that than scrap the idea all together.
12-17-2010 @ 9:50PM
Jeremy, I didn't exclude Alliance - I know there are servers with an Ally>Horde imbalance. It's pretty well known that at least in EU and US zones, queueing for BG's is very long for horde, and almost instant for alliance. This tells me that generally speaking, there are a lot more horde pvp'ers out there.I think you can make a case for Tol Barad being in-world in terms of the benefits you describe. And the fact that there is a difference there, makes them special, to be sure. But Tol Barad and Wintergrasp have their own tab for Achievements, just like instanced battlegrounds. Wintergrasp, one of the (if not the) most fun battlegrounds, is basically abandoned. At the very least, there aren't going to be any more epic 120 v. 120 or even 40v40 battles there going forward.Overall, though, the benefits of having an instanced Tol Barad would seem to outweigh the costs. Is it really that important for one faction to shut out the other faction from a loot-piñata raid and a few daily quests? Why not just keep Tol Barad a PvP flagged zone, and have both factions allowed to do their daily quests there?I think a lot of pvp'ers, especially on faction-imbalanced realms, would much rather have access to doing Tol Barad regularly, then to be shut out constantly, or be in 5v5 battles. WG and Tol Barad are big areas that are meant for a large battle of epic proportions. Only way to consistently guarantee that is to instance it with the battlegroups.And what happens with 5.0 hits, and no one does Tol Barad anymore? One of the greatest things about wow (in pvp at least) are the old school battlegrounds that are still really fun for many of us today - some love the strategy and challenge of Warsong Gulch, while others enjoy the scope, large scale strategy, and overall fun of Alterac Valley. Arathi Basin also is very fun with it's terrain and mobility restraints. These old-school BG's give the players a great replay value in WoW, and instancing WG and TB would be a great way to give players more value for their subscriptions.Yes, keeping them in-world makes them more important on a per-realm basis, but frankly, I'd rather have a stable 40v40 battleground, then keep my boot on the throat of the other faction while they are shut out of those benefits (or even worse, have the other faction with a stranglehold shutting me out of those benfits).tl;dr - I'd rather have a stable bg lasting the life of wow than potentially small battles with lopsided outcomes that will be gone once the next xpac hits.
12-17-2010 @ 10:50PM
This is my problem too. I play on a low pop server with a TERRIBLE faction imbalance. I just plain gave up trying to get into Tol Barad after the 20th or so rejection (peak times, hitting queue as soon as it pops up). I've talked to people who got in and they've said you'll see 2 or 3 Alliance at the most. Add that to the fact that the dailies in the Prison area are a death trap. Tol Barad and me just aren't meant to be I guess.
12-17-2010 @ 11:27PM
I play on a server that's basically dead Alliance-side and Horde players barely get into Tol Barad battles.As for the article, all these points had been brought up time and again on the beta forums. Many, many times did we tell Blizzard that the way it is set up is completely broken, but nothing was changed other than introducing the 1:1 matching system. Wonder how long it'll take Blizzard to acknowledge that the zone is broken.
12-18-2010 @ 11:33AM
At least if your not in your no in the second raid group. If you are you cant get in siege engines. -.-
12-18-2010 @ 12:44AM
Yeah... having to queue 10 times to get into a BG that's unwinnable isn't exactly my thing. Gotta agree with a lot of the posts here.
12-18-2010 @ 6:22AM
I'm alliance on a low pop server, really imbalanced server. WG was broke for most of the time for the lower pop faction most of wrath, but at least you had tenacity to try and help you out, i mean blizz changed things many times to try and make it better.. was still unwinable if the numbers got 2 out of balance. Problem is that most of the people on the lower pop sides were so excited when Tol was announced cause of the 1:1 and we figured that at least we would have a chance in a fair fight but everything else in the zone seems to be broken. So they had this idea to fix the imbalance of WG and remove tenacity but made it imposable to attack and win?. At least i got marks in WG when i lost. Alot of these problems come up because of the server imbalances and i cant believe blizz would design 2 bg's that are supposed to work great when balanced when maybe 10% of there servers are balanced. That leaves 90% of the rest wondering who designed this and why are they still working there.When i started playing on my server 3 years ago it was 30% alli now its 8%. Which means 92% of the horde on the other side are screwed if they want in the fight. On top of that i cant win when attacking so I don't even Que for it. Sorry to all the horde out there but im not going to put 30 minutes into something when i cant win and get no reward for loosing. I can't believe someone at blizz did not put a map of this zone out on a table and use some plastic army men and run through the fight a few times (my point being any simulation would have identified the flaws) it takes about 10 minutes thinking on it to figure out that its broke and the mechanics you planed on are not going to work.Lastly i really really like the idea of instancing both wg and tol, but only if tol's mechanics are fixed until it is im not going to Que for it.
12-18-2010 @ 8:02AM
Instancing Tol Barad and Wintergrasp can be done while keeping the feeling of having helped your faction control some territory by winning.Just implement two phases for both Tol Barad and WG, one with each faction victorious. Then just give victorious players the buff for winning the battle, and send players to the appropriate phase based on whether or not they have the victory buff; players who won the battle recently see the area under control of their own faction, players who didn't participate, or who lost, see it under control of the enemy.This would also be an incentive for queuing for the battle as a pre-made raid, in order to do the boss encounter just after the battle.The same mechanic could be used for other old PvP zones, too.
12-18-2010 @ 3:16PM
I think Blizzard should try some sort of fusion between tenacity and 1:1 ratio. The problem seems to be that at either extreme, you run into issues that make the game unplayable for one faction or the other. With tenacity, you can provide each army with equal overall health and firepower (say, 10 alliance buffed up to match the damage of 15 horde), but that can't account for cc. Once you reach a ridiculous matchup of 10 v 50 or so, disables are too much to handle for the smaller team. It doesn't matter how much damage you can do if you can't move. Also, being massively outnumbered in a battleground that has capture mechanics makes in nearly impossible for the resulting "one man tenacity armies" to actually achieve anything. They could slaughter the enemy all day long, but being heavily outnumbered, they won't be capping anything.On the flip side, a 1:1 ratio really limits the number of people available to actually join in on the fun. It perfectly achieves the goal of making it a fair fight and balances the classes as they were intended to be played for pvp, but can it be considered a solution when it denies so many people the opportunity to play?What I would suggest is a mix of tenacity with something along the lines of a 2:1 ratio cap. This would allow Blizzard to break away from these two extremes and alleviate the issues that they create. For example, if only 20 alliance queue for Tol Barad, then the horde are capped at 40. The alliance forces would receive tenacity to put them at roughly double the overall damage and health (I don't know if tenacity works exactly this way, but you get the idea). Tenacity should also increase the "capping rate" of players by the same proportion. If there are 1.5 times the number of enemies, then each individual unit should cap at 1.5 times the regular rate to ensure that each army has an equivalent capping rate.These numbers are only examples and could be tweaked to create whatever balance Blizzard would wish to create. They could make the gap narrower and allow only a 3:2 ratio, which would reduce the overall impact of tenacity and still provide some additional people to join in. They could decide that the mechanics of tenacity are still functional at a 5:2 ratio, which would allow more players to join.Again, these are both imperfect mechanics that offer an imperfect solution, but I think they could be used to strike a decent middle-ground. Tenacity is impossible to balance when one force greatly outnumbers the other and a hard 1:1 ratio greatly limits the number of people allowed to play on imbalanced servers. Any thoughts?
12-20-2010 @ 3:08PM
As I understand it, the number of people who can get into Tol Barad is capped at "even with the opposition, with a minimum of 15.If your server is imbalanced (yes, mine is), then simply gratis more of one side reached 85 before the other. Which means that the larger faction came up with the 15 minimum earlier than the other side, leading to that faction holding the defense early on.The article points out that it's harder to attack than defend; the larger faction got there first. As the weaker faction trickles up to 85, they get pasted every time they try for TB, so they stop trying. They get trained out of it. Pavlovian-style.The stronger faction keeps queueing because hey, they've got nothing to lose. Thus, stronger faction gets progressively stronger and more experienced in TB, the loser gets a rock.This happened with Wintergrasp under Tenacity rules (doesn't matter how many HP you have if you're stunlocked), even with the charity loser marks. You can only lose so many times before you turn to other activities that are more rewarding.
12-22-2010 @ 9:01PM
Actually the minimum number of people who can get into Tol Barad before 1:1 is enforced is 25. For some servers the only time the attackers have been able to win has been late at night when they take advantage of this fact and have games that are something like 9v25. I think there are 2 main problems with Tol Barad. Firstly, there's the cap mechanics as mentioned in this article favoring zerging over actual pvp skill. Secondly, the victory conditions favors the defenders. To win as attackers you have to win 3 battles simultaneously, so assuming 3 equal sized attacking groups fighting 3 equal sized defending groups with a 50% chance of winning each battle, the attackers only have a 12.5% chance that they will win all 3 battles. If the cap mechanics were changed to limit the number of people contributing to a cap to 20, you might still see successful turtle strategies and successful zerg strategies because of the victory conditions still favor the defenders.
1-18-2011 @ 11:48AM
Great article. I especially like the constructive criticism. Not entirely sure I agree with everything mentioned, but I'll get to that. By and large, however, I have to agree with McCurley's analysis.Tol Barad does indeed need balance. Many other posters have already noted that folks get frustrated spending 30 minutes trying to get something done, only to have the defenders get another win due to the mechanics. What's worse, in my opinion, is that Blizzard has stated that they made the mechanics the way they did to induce participation. I can only palm my face at that type of logic making it through to the actual game.I've been on both sides, more on the attacker side than the defender, but I can certainly see how the mechanics need to be changed. I agree with giving the defender one commendation for participation. You get in the queue and stick it out to the end, you should get something for that, win or lose. I agree that the capture mechanic needs to change, and the defense needs to feel compelled to do something other than just zerg and hold one point. And I agree that this should tie in with the towers. Here is what I propose:* As McCurley mentioned, put a player cap on the capture mechanic. 20 sounds reasonable to me. That way the attacker (of the point) is compelled to push the defender off of it in order to "cap" it.* Have the towers / captured points provide a buff / benefit to each side. Defenders will get the benefit to start (say a 5% damage buff for example per tower), but as a tower falls, the benefit transfers from the defenders to the attackers. This induces the defenders to defend the towers and gives the attackers strategic options. Towers falling extending the play time is fine by me as well. If the defenders allow a tower to fall, not only do they lose the 5% buff, but their enemy now has it and will be able to use it against them for a few more minutes.* Modify the victory conditions from all three points being required to achieve victory. Instead, go to a system used by Arathi Basin. Each faction gets some form of resource for how many control points they hold, and the rate these points accumulates goes up if all three points are captured. You could even include the towers in this equation. Rather than providing a buff (or in addition to that) they could also give the attackers a one-time resource point benefit when they are destroyed.In any case, Tol Barad certainly needs some tweaking, and I think that Blizzard realizes this. I just hope they get around to seriously doing that tweaking soon.
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