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Posts with tag ArathiBasin

Battleground fallacies


I know we're all excited about Season 4. Some of us are stockpiling arena points and trying to get our ratings up, while others are taking the opportunity to gear up some alts in Season 2 gear as soon as it moves to honor. And that's great, there's something for everyone. But it also seems, at least on the servers I play on, to be leading to some frayed tempers in the battlegrounds. So let's chat about what is, and what isn't, appropriate and useful for getting yourself some honor in the BG's.

First off, and I can't say this one enough as a general piece of advice for any battleground, yelling, calling people names, and spamming macros does not actually make you Sun Tzu. It can be very annoying when your WSG turns into a 45 minute turtle with no flag captures, or your AV run becomes mired down because yet again everyone rushed RH instead of taking and holding Iceblood Graveyard, but no matter how creative your insults get, the tide of battle will not turn. The other players in the battleground are not going to say "you know, Matsakillza is right, I really am a total noob" and even if they did, how would that possibly improve how the match is progressing? It won't. It just makes you look like a petulant child throwing a fit because something didn't go your way.

Now that we've gotten that bit of general advice out of the way, let's move on to specific examples from each battleground, linking to our own Zach Yonzon's thoughts on each as we do.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW's new wave of new gamers

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

When I received a news tip from from Rainnajax of US Uldaman-H about being an "older female gamer," I admit that I rolled my eyes. Please, not another one who thinks having two X chromosomes makes her the most special snowflake ... Not another one who thinks being over 30 years old qualifies her as one of the Ancients ... When I read her entire email, though, I realized Rainnajax's experience was actually intriguing – but not for the reasons she thought.

While Rainnajax may perceive herself as something still a little unusual among WoW players, I see her as the type of player who's becoming the new norm. She's less remarkable for being female or "older" – or even for belonging to a well known gay and bi-friendly guild -- than she is for being among the new wave of players who'd never imagined themselves playing a video game ... until they tried WoW. MMORPGs are no longer the province of a single type of player anymore. Rainnajax is here as an example of today's new-to-gaming, non-gender- or age-specific player.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Should there be honor in PvP?

And by honor I don't mean the honor-as-currency system that's currently in the game -- I mean a sense of personal honor as in, there are things you make a conscious decision to avoid doing just as a moral gesture.

I thought of this recently after a truly miserable losing streak in Arathi Basin. I wound up in three consecutive matches with a full complement of 15 Alliance players to 7 or 8 Horde (with both sides being PuG's, mind you). Being out-numbered and out-gunned sucks no matter what, but it's made immeasurably worse in places like Arathi Basin and EOTS due to the dwindling number of sites you'll have to rez when your side is being utterly destroyed. There was one particularly awful game where the Alliance decided to see how much honor they could get from us before the inevitable 4 or 5-cap ensuring their victory, and simply zerged us in the graveyard as we rezzed (or tried to). The feeling was made worse by knowing, having also played Alliance in BG's, that Horde would almost certainly have done the same thing had the situation been reversed. PvP is the subject of a lot of emotional dicussion in the WoW community as a result of situations like these, and I think we can all agree that it's not the losses that drive you nuts so much as knowing that the game is full of places and times where no amount of strategy or skill will keep you alive.

There are a lot of things in PvP that I just don't like being a part of.
I don't attack fellow Druids unless I'm attacked first (yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but a surprising number of Druids subscribe to this). I don't join in when an enemy player is obviously being dog-piled. I don't /spit on opposing players or do other rude emotes, and I don't participate in griefing. There's not much about WoW's PvP system that's really all that fair to begin with, especially when compared to games more explicity designed around PvP combat, but in the back of my mind there's still that notion that your opponent should at least have a sporting chance. I risk being called a hopeless carebear for this statement, but I think "honorable kills" are a lot more enjoyable when there's a measure of actual honor involved.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds, Arena

Time shifting

I've posted before about my insomnia and how it affects my WoW play: last night was a key example, as I ground AB marks on my Tauren Warrior, then ran Durnholde Keep on my Draenei Shaman, then went back to Arathi Basin on the bull until server shutdown.

When I play in the afternoon or evenings, my PvP experience tends to be mostly positive, with the Horde winning about as many games as we lose and giving a good showing for ourselves even when we do lose. Last night was not like that. Instead, it was the Alliance rolling over us like a crimson zerg, crushing our faces into the dirt, every AB mark I managed to collect soaked with the blood and tears of a demoralized force that actually cheered on the eventual five caps as a mercy killing. As you might expect I found it frustrating enough that I took the time off to go run an instance on my Ally shammy, which went well enough... basically it was four 70's and a 69 (me) burning our way through Durnholde Keep, remarkably little strategy or tactical application of our abilities, very much the kind of 'Hulk Smash' run I usually hate. And I hated this one, too, as they talked to Thrall before I had a chance to and so I didn't get to finish the quest, so I'll have to go back there again to get that done.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends

Do BG's need diminishing returns?

As we all know, with the changes to Alterac Valley in patch 2.3 have come changes to the tactical balance of the game. Specifically, if you're not willing to put some real effort into defense, you're not going to win, and you can end up in a turtle game waiting for one side to run out of reinforcements. Which leads me to wonder: if the games are inherently limited by the reinforcement factor... if by killing opposing players you will eventually win the game and as result there's no way the games can last indefinitely... then what do we need diminishing returns on honor for? Battlegrounds are limited in that you have no real choice but to kill the same people over and over again, after all.

There's never going to be a setup where one side agrees to be honor famed by the other in AV now, if that ever happened in the first place. One side is going to lose, the game is going to end, and a new game start up: but if you've played in a lot of AV's lately where one side put up a vigorous defense and the two factions clashed for a significant melee, then you may have noticed as I have that your estimated honor for the day will often be wildly overstated. For instance, yesterday I managed to squeeze about 4k honor out. But when I went to bed, it said I had almost 6k honor estimated. I understand what estimated means, that it's not accurate, but the idea that the system estimated an additional 2k honor over what I had actually earned made me wonder if there was a way to improve this. With Arena 3 coming out tomorrow, people have either acquired the honor they want or will be working to do so, so it seems like a good time to consider if we need what seems to be an outdated means of preventing repeated ganking or honor farming.

Then again, I suppose you could do it in Warsong still. AB and EoTS also have their limiting factors built in, but Warsong keeps going until someone caps 3 flags. Maybe we could just eliminate the honor decay in the other three BG's? That might make Warsong drop in popularity, though.

What do you think? Do we need diminishing returns on honor in battlegrounds?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Factions

Breakfast Topic: Favorite battleground

There are four battlegrounds in the game right now, but you can still only play one at a time -- which means you've got to have a favorite. You know, the battleground you hope will come up even while you're in another. I have to say, I think my favorite is still Alterac Valley. I've always loved the massive battle that plays out there, and how it integrates PvE elements in a PvP framework -- however, I can't say I'm fond of the AFKers these days... But this isn't about my favorite battleground -- today we're asking which of the four you favor, and why. So tell us, do you have a favorite battleground?

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics

Dealing with queues on any new BGs

Players have been asking for a new battleground type for a while, and there are plenty of great ideas out there. So what's holding Blizzard back from creating a new one? Nethaera has said in the past that Blizzard is worried about queue times-- more BG queues to join means longer waits for players, and on some servers, the waits are already long as is.

So how can we fix this? Relmstein has a few really good ideas-- basically, he says that any new battlegrounds shouldn't replace the ones we have, but rather join the same queues. Instead of choosing from all the battlegrounds, AV and the new battleground (Relmstein pulls the idea of Alterac Ruins out of the air), would share a queue. That way, players wouldn't have to wait as long, and the new battleground would get just as much attention as the old battlegrounds.

Halo 2 (which I've been playing lately in expectation of Halo 3) has a system like that-- instead of joining a map, you join a "playlist," which has a number of maps and gametypes in it. That way, you only have to choose from a short list, but still get to experience all kinds of possibilities. And in this way, Blizzard could make variants on the fields we're playing now-- a new CTF map (like WSG) or a new node map (like AB) sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Of course the drawback to that is that if Blizzard comes up with an entirely new BG (like the rumored Scryer vs. Aldor BG), there's no real reason to queue it with AV, except for this problem of queues. Then again, for most players, pairing different battlegrounds isn't a problem, as long as it gets them in the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Expansions

More battlegrounds in our future?

Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley have been part of World of Warcraft since way back in June 2005 (patch 1.5). That's given us all plenty of time to play both of those battlegrounds until we know every inch of the map by heart and could capture the flag (or, in the case of AV, the bunkers/graveyards/etc) with our eyes closed. Arathi Basin is a bit newer than that, released with patch 1.7 in September 2005, but by now, even its most dedicated fans have had a chance to play it to death. And even the most recent battleground, Eye of the Storm, has been in the game for nearly seven months. Doesn't running the same maps endlessly get old at some point? And doesn't the battleground system deserve a little love?

Well, Nethaera lets us know that there are more battlegrounds in our future (though she can't tell us precisely when), but that Blizzard is concerned about longer queue times that could result from giving players wanting to participate in the battlegrounds a fifth choice. For my part, I think even some new maps for the existing battlegrounds could liven them up some.

Filed under: Patches, PvP

Blizzard announces level 70 PvP weapon rewards

In my continuing quest to explore the PvP side of things, I've often been wondering if I should've been saving my honor for level 70 rewards. I had no idea what kinds of things would be coming out of the BG's for my little orc hunter until now.

Blizzard has updated a lot of PvP information today. For each individual battleground, you'll notice the elimination of faction requirements (no more friendly, revered, or exalted rquired), and the changes in pricing from gold to honor points and pvp tokens. For general PvP weapon rewards, the list has been expanded upward to level 70, and includes a lot of new weapons.

Check out the new information at the links below:

The weapon rewards are definitely worth noting. First, level 70 weapons are all rare, rather than epic. Next, I noticed that there's only 1 ranged weapon, and it's a crossbow. I really enjoy using a bow on my hunter, and though I could've switched to better DPS'ing guns and crossbows before, it just felt wrong. I'm sure there'll be some great PvE bows, but I really think Bliz needs to add a gun and bow to the PvP list at level 70.

Aside from that, I think the rewards are pretty solid for the existing battlegrounds. I'm sure we'll see the Eye of the Storm rewards and Arena rewards on the official site before too long, and that's where the true display of PvP skill will come to play, so you can reap the epic rewards that are due.

What do you think of the new weapons, and the shift in how you acquire battleground rewards from gold/rep to honor/tokens?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP

More honor points answers from Drysc

Players still have questions about how honor is calculated (both in the estimated screen and at the end of the day), so Drysc answered question after question on the forums today.
  • Because of a previous CM post, players believed this to be true, but it isn't: The recent "honor nerf" is not calculated at the end of the day; it's already counted every time you drop someone. The honor you gain has already been dropped to its appropriate amount-- there are no other specific reductions that your honor should suffer when it's calculated late at night.
  • However, as stated the other day, you may still see your honor a little bit lower from the estimated honor shown on your honor page. The reason for this is because of dimishing returns-- if you kill a player more than 10 times, the honor you earn from them starts to lower in value. The server can't calculate that in real-time, however, so estimated honor is appearing a little higher than actual honor.
  • Bonus honor is now appearing in daily estimated totals.
  • For you math majors, honor can be awarded in fractions-- it is possible, due to bonus honor most likely, to earn .3 or .7 honor points-- those add up and are rounded at the end of the day.
  • And finally, even though the rank titles still show up with every kill (e.c. "HK: Blood Guard" or "HK: Grand Marshal"), Drysc says they have absolutely no bearing (that he knows of) on earning honor.
So I'd like to know: why are they still around? Don't get me wrong-- I love murdering a Night Elf and having a nice big yellow crit-looking thing pop up on my screen-- feeds the sense of accomplishment and all that. But why are they still doing that if ranks no longer matter? For all the questions Drysc answered, he still left some untouched.

Filed under: Ranking, Odds and ends, PvP, Instances

PvP'ing for epics -- is it worth it?

Okay, so here we are in "Before the Storm", and one of the biggest changes to the game has got to be the PvP setup. Let me state here that even though I leveled my first 60 on a PvP server, I've always been more about the PvE game. You can count my total total hours of battleground PvP on all of your fingers, and maybe a toe or two.

To be honest, the old PvP grind didn't do it for me. It was a time sink, much like endgame raiding, and I only had room in my heart and life for BWL. To put in 80+ hours a week to hit Grand Marshall wasn't something I was prepared or able to do. And so PvP became a slight social distraction for me when my guild asked me to fill out an Arathi Basin group, or I had a long time to wait for a lasagna to defrost.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Your guide to battleground people-watching

The influx of new PVPers after Patch 2.0.1 has led to a lot of players slogging through battlegrounds with pick-up groups. As Sideways of Korgath has noted, after a couple of battlegrounds, you begin to see the same sort of people in every PuG. Sideways' thread points out:

  • The Glass Is Half Empty, who looks for reasons to stop trying in a BG and tells everyone about his plan on how to lose the game quickly before it starts. Half of Horde players in AV fall under this title.
  • Oedipus, who confuses the BG leader with his father and "says everything to the BG leader that his father would smack him for."
  • Trail Blazer, who reminds everyone to stick together in a tight group and then immediately takes off in Ghost Wolf or Travel form.
  • Captain Obvious, who comes up with such masterful strategies as "Defend our nodes!" and "Get the flag back!"

What kinds of players have you seen over and over again in battlegrounds?

Filed under: Virtual selves, PvP

For your consideration: an AB/WSG flame post form letter

Have you won or lost an AB or WSG match to a cross-server team lately? Did this win or loss stick in your heart, causing you to burn with pride/resentment? Now you, too, can share the exciting details of how much you crit for against those noobs with their entire realm forum, using this handy fill-in-the-blank PvP Flame Post Form Letter! I'm sure you've seen about five hundred of these on your realm forum, so it should come as no surprise that making your own is both easy and fun with our template!

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Filed under: PvP, Humor

All I want for Christmas is a giant staff with a skull on the end

It's been four days since the big patch that was supposed to revitalize PVP, and at least on my server, we can safely say that PVP is alive. Aliiiiiive! With up to 240 Arathi Basins and 110 Warsong Gulchs to choose from, it looks like everyone and their mother are shooting for High Warlord/Grand Marshal weapons for leveling. Even the most uber-leet, overpowered warlock I know, who has 30 pieces of the Staff of Atiesh, wants some PVP gloves -- and judging from the kind of groups Alliance has been putting up in AB, quite a few Naxx guilds have been spending more time chilling around the Lumber Mill than facing the buggy boss encounters inside Kel'Thuzad's citadel.

A lot of healers seem to be trying to pick up the PVP armor sets that will help them level, while DPSers -- and newly dual-wield specced shamans -- are aiming for the weapons they've been unable or unwilling to get in raids. Slightly left out (again) are druids, who have somewhat underwhelming PVP armor and no "plus feral attack power" weapon.

Personally, I'm shooting for the High Warlord's Blade and High Warlord's Quickblade, since swords are much easier to level with when you're a lazy rogue who likes to read while grinding. I also might pick up the PVP legs to replace my last remaining blue item after a year of raiding (damn you, Ragnaros!) What are you grinding for, and how long do you think it will take you to get it?

Filed under: Patches, Items, PvP

PVP stays strong in 2.0.1

If one thing hasn't suffered because of the patch, it's PVP. Even though the Arena system has been buggy nonexistent so far, the regular battlegrounds are getting plenty of playtime as people start to grind for the new Honor Points, learn their new specs, and generally get back into the swing of a World of Warcraft that's changed a lot. As Relmstein says, the patch has breathed new life into WoW PVP-- people who never played before are interested in playing, and people who've played to no end are coming back to try the new talents and learn new tactics.

All this activity hopefully will bring with it a little bit of strategy. Relm says he's seen zerging in WSG and little node defense in AB-- I'll agree on that last one (get three flags and hold them, guys), and add that AV needs help as well. In fact, AV needs a lot of help. With all the work Blizzard has done on the off-the-field of battlegrounds, I'd now appreciate seeing a little on-the-field work. It's well known that AV, as it's set up, is unbalanced towards the Alliance side. As much as I'd like to see that fixed before the expansion hits, I doubt it'll happen, and Horde will continue to get trampled on that darned bridge.

Still, strategy problems aside, I have to agree that while raiding has taken a beating under this patch (with new specs and mod changes causing players to learn their roles all over again), PVP is still a pleasure most of the time. In fact, if you'll excuse me, someone just yelled INC BS-- looks like I'm needed on defense.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP

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