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The Art of War(craft): Battleground Achievements part I

You've seen it happen. Players fighting on the road or midfield, ignoring the Battleground's objective. Or sometimes the opposite, such as Alterac Valley races where players ignore each other in a mad rush to the opposing army's General. In Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard will introduce Achievements, a system that measures a player's... well, achievements in the game. There's a category that tracks PvP Achievements, as well, including some interesting goals for the Battlegrounds. The question is, will these Achievements actually improve the Battlegrounds PvP experience or ruin it?

On the surface, it looks as though the various Battlegrounds Achievements are designed to improve World of Warcraft PvP. Achievements like Frenzied Defender, which requires players to return the flag five times in a single Warsong Gulch battle, seem like the perfect solution to get players to actually try and win the game. The Achievements also add a little spice to every game, where players can pursue personal goals which contribute to the overall objective.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds, Achievements

Breaking news: In Eye of the Storm, towers > flag

Let's get one thing straight: in Eye of the Storm, capturing towers is more important than capturing the flag. I don't care how shiny and cool the flag is, that's not where the points are coming from. Well, okay, maybe some of it, but if you don't have any towers to begin with, the flag isn't worth squat. For the past week or so, I've seen a disturbing trend from the Horde on my Battlegroup -- there seems to be a growing fascination with fighting at the middle of the map, right where the flag is.

I wrote about Eye of the Storm and the basics of how it's played. In Patch 2.3, the Battleground was modified so that flag captures will scale with the number of towers your side controls. I can't stress the importance of capturing towers enough. In EotS, unlike Arathi Basin, points are awarded constantly every 2 seconds, regardless of how many towers you control. However, these points scale with each tower you control, as shown by the table on the right. Capturing the flag with only one tower (I mean, why?) will award your team 75 points. If your team controls two towers, it's worth 85 points; three, it's worth 100; and controlling all four towers means a swift and painless (ok, maybe not painless) death for your opponents as each flag cap is worth a whopping 500 points.

It scales, people. And here's the one, brutal truth about the whole thing: it is mathematically impossible to win the game if you control only one tower. Go ahead, make some calculations.

Done? The only way it can be done is if you can capture the flag every 37.5 seconds, which honestly is barely enough time and necessitates complete unmolested passage. Good luck with that. If your side controls only one tower, just don't bother with mid. Get another tower asap. If your team is down one tower to your opponents' three, and you still go after the flag, you are an idiot not helping your team at all. The one and only time it becomes acceptable is with the intention of keeping the flag until your team secures another tower. That way it actually becomes more strategic and less moronic.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Players deal with even more patch bugs

Bugs aplenty in 2.0.3. We mentioned a few yesterday, including the raid promotion issues and the disappearing target frame issues, but players keep finding more.

Peridoc from Daggerspine has collected a bunch of them, including the ones above, delays on some characters in the loading screen, and alignment on the Battlegrounds score sheet.

Lots of people (including our good commenters) are mentioning that icons have gone all wacky everywhere-- some icons have completely disappeared and some just show the wrong thing. Some textures have messed up, too. Blizzard is collecting the issues here, along with video card specs, which means it's probably a driver problem-- upgrading the drivers on your videocard wouldn't hurt. If you've got an Nvidia, you can get those here. Just know that it is being worked on.

Finally, MBAzeroth (and some more commenters) have said there's a problem in AV (and, I believe AB): flags can be capped from many yards away. Obviously, that makes defense pretty unmanageable. Blizzard knows about the issue, and is, as always, working on it.

If you've got more bugs, you can include them below, but don't forget to drop them on Blizzard's tech support site, too-- the quicker they know about them, the quicker we'll see them fixed. Someone said the target frame thing was a problem with CTRaid, so updating addons wouldn't hurt, but most of these are real bugs (I'm guessing they have to do with little upgrades to the actual game engine for the expansion, but that's just a guess). At any rate, when you head out into Azeroth, be ready with your bugspray.

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, Raiding

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