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Posts with tag alteracvalley

WoW Moviewatch: Under Five Minute Alterac Valley

Though the video is titled "Under Five Minute Alterac Valley," the total time from entering the battleground to completing it is three minutes, forty seconds. I don't think Alterac Valley was built to be steamrolled this quickly -- but with a coordinated team of 40 non-afk players, this sort of thing is possible. Sadly, none of the AV's I've participated in have gone nearly this quickly or easily.

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

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

Welcome to Alterac Valley, you can go AFK now.

If you don't often visit the PvP battleground Alterac Valley, then you may not know what I'm talking about. But AV seems to be the best place for people to go and collect honor points while safely sitting AFK in at the battleground's starting point. Why Alterac? Well, Alterac offers great honor returns for anyone -- and most of the honor is given out zone-wide, regardless of whether you're near the rest of a group when an objective is captured or a boss is killed. It's just too easy to collect large amounts of honor by just sitting around without doing anything -- much to the chagrin of players who are out there fighting and trying to win the battleground.

And while Blizzard has shown themselves quite eager to rid people who are botting or hacking to prevent their AFK flag from coming up when they're not at their keyboard, there's not much they've been able to do about the people who sit in front of their computers watching television and occasionally hitting the space bar. So what's Blizzard to do? There are plenty of suggestions on the PvP forums, though I can't say many of them seem practical. They could remove honor gain from the starting point -- but then players would just learn to idle elsewhere. They could alter the battleground's honor mechanics to give out honor based on a player's range to the objective giving honor -- but this would likely gimp players playing defense by limiting their honor gain (despite the fact that defense makes an important contribution to a match). They could somehow tie honor gains to overall damage or healing done -- though such a change probably isn't a quick fix.

What's your solution to the AV AFK problem?

Filed under: Blizzard, PvP

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

Breakfast Topic: This is all your fault and all of you suck

Every single time you're in Alterac Valley and your faction starts losing, someone starts whipping out the blame. Unless you ignore the battleground channel, you will be forced to read all about how you suck, how everyone else in this battleground sucks, how you should have done what they told you to do, and so on. Then, the other guy will pipe up with something like "would you shut up, dude? It's just a game," which sends the first one even deeper into his rage. Eventually he may just leave the match, or else quiet down while someone starts a chorus of "Guys, just let them win! I want to get my mark and go home."

Personally, I'm a proud believer in the power of reason. Every time this happens, I find myself giving helpful suggestions, calming tempers, offering insights on how we could improve next time, and generally trying to play the peacemaker. Sometimes I can even find a strategy I think will turn the tide in our favor (and sometimes it works!), but usually I count myself a victor if people just see reason and behave civilly.

What's your experience of people in battlegrounds who just can't handle losing? Have you been able to contain their blame explosions?

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics

Battleground rewards meant to be "a tier behind" arena, PvE gear

Hellaciouss asks why there is no epic set for level 70 Battleground honor rewards, and Drysc, in answering, reveals quite a bit about how Blizzard views the arena PvP, raid, and battleground experiences.

Drysc says the high-end arena gear is "intended to always be about on-par with the current tier players are progressing on." That means that if you play well in Arenas, you can earn gear that's just as good as what the hardcore raiders are earning in PvE. But Battleground gear, says Drysc is actually intended to be not as good. Because Arena and raiding take "quite a bit of effort, interaction, etc" (and BGs apparently do not), the gear for regular honor just isn't as good.

I'll let you decide whether that suggestion is true or not, but I've been playing in the BGs, and there are large numbers of players sitting there AFK just to earn honor-- I reported a few of them. That definitely doesn't match up even close to the effort the best teams put into the arenas. But then again, it takes a lot of coordination and effort to lead a winning Horde team through AV, and if I'm able to do that, shouldn't I get rewarded for it? Just because it's easy for some people to exploit the BGs and earn lots of honor doesn't mean Blizzard has to treat all of the people playing in the Battlegrounds like second class citizens. Instead of gimping the gear, how about upping the effort required, and ditching the AFKers?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding

Why does the Horde always lose Alterac Valley?

Alterac Valley seems to be the hot topic on the General Forums this week, as "Horde ... you just don't get it", "BLIZZARD is FLIPPING THE MAP" and "How does flipping the AV map make it fair" have risen to the top of the forums. Basically, the Horde says that the Alterac Valley map favors Alliance, since Horde have to make it past the bridge chokepoint and the Stormpike graveyard is more secluded and defended than Frostwolf. The Alliance, on the other hand, blame the Horde's perennial losses on AFK people, a defeatist attitude, and a lack of defense, and note that Horde seemingly has no problems steamrolling Alliance in WSG and AB. In response, the Horde has issued a challenge for Blizzard to flip the AV map and see if the Horde's win-loss ratio doesn't turn around.

Now, it's hard to generalize about who wins AV more, but judging from the forums and my own experience in AV (dozens of losses and, like, two wins), it seems that the Alliance win more overall. Is this the fault of the map? Could be. The bridge and the graveyard are always giant roadblocks, and the Horde graveyard is woefully open. But if the Horde wanted to, they could make a similar roadblock in the one building that Alliance have to go through to get the last graveyard. Fight for that like the bridge and Alliance won't win so easily. At least back in the day, Horde lost AV because of all the AFK cavejumpers, the fishers, the level 52 warriors screaming orders, all the people who would leave when Balinda was dead, and the magic summoning stick Alliance used whenever they were losing to get everyone in Tier 2.5 or greater to queue for AV at the same time.

Alliance, how do the battleground terrain maps look from your side? Does flipping all the BG maps for a month or so sound like a good idea?

Filed under: 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

PvP: Tales of an AV AFK'er

A post on the General Forum of WoW's official boards has certainly caught people's attention today. Etherboo, on the Bleeding Hollow server, points out exactly why he spends his time *not* playing in AV, instead doing something else while racking up free honor points for cave-dwelling.

Now I've been playing a LOT of AV lately, due to my commitment to checking out the Battlegrounds and earning up some honor gear before the expansion, and I've seen that on the Horde side of the battlelines, there are often 10-15 people just hanging out at the starting point waiting for the game to be lost to the Alliance. As a result, I've found myself pushing to win with only 25-30 teammates against a seemingly fully-committed Alliance team. As could be expected, we get steamrolled.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

WoW Moviewatch: Alterac Valley snowball tactics

As a follow-up of sorts to yesterday's AV video, here's one showcasing the new AV-only Hardpacked Snowballs. I've been in there for the past few days grinding honor for Lei of the Lifegiver, and have yet to see anybody use them, but that's probably just because we're all too busy zerging to pick them up. Hats off to you, Doobsan. Traitor.

[Thanks, Nelson]

Filed under: Machinima, PvP, Features, WoW Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Alterac Valley - The Reckoning

As easy as it is to win an Alterac Valley match using nothing more than a straightforward zerg, it's rare to see any of the turnin required NPCs spawn in the course of a game. Ever wondered what it might be like to spend the time and make use of every single powerup available to your faction? These guys have done the wondering -- and the working -- for you. However, I'd still like to know how long it took them...!

Filed under: Machinima, PvP, Features, WoW Moviewatch

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.

Read more →

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

Forum Post of the Day: I rolled a healing class because...

Tauren druidAs a priest, I can relate. I rolled a healing class because I wanted to feel like I was making a serious contribution to any group I was in -- a contribution that you couldn't start the instance run without. Maybe it was a long history of being unable to find healers for groups when playing characters. But I've had my share of rough times at the healing game, and seem to get yelled at for not healing in Alterac Valley as often when I am healing as when I'm not. So why did you roll a healing class? This thread delves into the mysteries of why healers roll healers -- and why not all of them did it to heal. And, hey, if nothing else, it's worth a few giggles.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Instances, Features

The long and short of battlegrounds

Speaking of a little PVP strategy, a good strategy in the battlegrounds can definitely mean the difference between a quick "four noder" in AB, or a long, drawn out turtlefight in AV. Artemis F makes an interesting point over on Livejournal with a roundup of the longest AVs players have ever seen-- before the battlegrounds, AV matches ran for a looooong time-- from three or four hours all the way up to days at a time.

Of course, now that we're in the era of premades and crossrealm battlegrounds, things can be much, much faster. Here's a video, linked from the thread, of a Horde premade finishing the thing off in just under four minutes.

Unfortunately, not all groups are as well organized (and knowledgeable-- what's that deal they do with the Generals at the end there?) as this one, and I'll often log into a WSG late at night hoping for a quick 15 minute match, only to have it turn into a 45 minute grind as one side hides the flag and/or farms away the HKs. As for AV, my average time is about 45 minutes or so, but never much longer than two hours. What are you seeing out there in the BGs? I'm sure nothing is as fast as they're predicting arena matches to be (under 5 minutes each, we've been told), but we don't still have weekend long AV games. Do we?

Filed under: Horde, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, PvP, Instances

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