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Posts with tag towers

Trying out the new Wintergrasp

The new Wintergrasp, I am here to tell you, is a lot like the old Wintergrasp. Which isn't a bad thing -- though Blizzard has made a few significant tweaks to the game's big non-instanced battleground, it's still the same match it's been (and a good match it is, if you ask me). The main difference is that all of the workshops outside the keep are now up for grabs, so the defending team can now not only take out the southern towers to knock some time off the clock, but also lock down the workshops to create a vehicle shutout. That's tough to do, in my experience, though -- even if you grab the two lower workshops, it leaves the top two open for attack, and odds are that the lower two workshops will really only be taken if all of the towers are down and the vehicle drives down south need something to do.

So the gameplay hasn't been changed that much, but it is nice that the requirements for the daily quest have been lowered -- we now only need 10 kills of the other side, and there are more NPCs around to count for those kills, so I actually finished both the kill and vehicle quests without even trying. It would be nice for Blizzard to somehow streamline the raid invite/share quests process that happens everytime WG begins, but they're leery of that, given how honor farming was such a problem in the auto-invite AV. And I have one personal request: Blizzard, can you please have me auto-dismount when I try to pick up an RP-GG? I'm fine with not mounting while I have one, but every single time I try to pick one up I get that error message, when all you need to do is auto-dismount me like any other object I use while mounted.

The biggest WG change isn't even in the battleground, it turns out -- most of the players I've talked to are just thrilled that you can now fly over Wintergrasp on the way from Dalaran to Sholazar Basin (and it figured 3.1 would drop a week after I finished the Oracle rep grind). I've even heard you can get credit for winning the BG if you're in the air when your side wins. Though a fix for that will probably have to come during the next round of WG improvements, whenever that will be.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds

Wintergrasp retuning incoming

Back before Wintergrasp was first introduced, Blizzard told us that they'd finally figured out world PvP. They said to us that they'd figured out how to have hundreds of players fighting in an open zone at a time, without any major slowdown or lag issues. At the time, we were skeptical (and this was even before the instance lag after the WotLK release), and we continue to be: anyone who ducks inside Wintergrasp while things are nuts can tell you that they're far from perfect.

But maybe not for the reason you think. Beatus on Kul Tiras posted a pretty well-written complaint about the layout of Wintergrasp on the EU forums, and new blue poster Ancilorn speaks up with a little insight into just how Blizzard was planning to keep down the lag in WG. They were planning to spread players around to the towers in the southern side of the zone, thus allowing hundreds of players to play, but in a few separate groups conquering different objectives.

The only problem, says Ancilorn, is that there's not enough incentive to split players up -- people who go south miss out on honor and daily quests, and there's not enough reward to make them go that far. He says a retuning of the map will eventually be done to try and spread out the battle a little more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King

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

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