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Posts with tag warsonggulch

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

Are we the bad guys of Azeroth?

After publishing a recent Breakfast Topic on whether there should be a sense of personal honor in PvP, I wasn't really all that surprised to see a few comments echoing the sentiments of "If it's red, it's dead" and "Don't roll on a PvP server if you don't want to get ganked." These crop up in any discussion about PvP, and while there's an undeniable sense to them -- why would you roll on a PvP realm unless you wanted to, I dunno, PvP? -- I've always felt that they did actual PvP a disservice. You can't frame ganking as true PvP. There's no such thing as strategy, skill, or even combat when a player one-shots another, so I've never considered ganking to be defensible along the same lines that actual PvP is.

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

WoW, Casually: The best gear for the least play-time

Each week, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.

As the title says, we're going to talk about gear today, but first, let's talk about the events for the week. Starting Friday, it's Warsong Gulch for the Call to Arms weekend. This means shorter queues for those of you (like me) who need WSG marks for purchasing gear. It also means bonus honor, but I get more honor out of Alterac Valley than I do out of WSG bonus honor weekends.

So get out there and earn some WSG marks, but please, don't waste everyone's time by fighting in the middle. You should be doing one of the following:
  1. Getting the flag: It's amazing how often the stubborn "run past everyone, get the flag and run out" tactic works. And if you die and drop the flag? Someone else has a chance to pick it up in a less defended place.
  2. Protecting the flag carrier: Heal, stun, root, sheep, kill -- do whatever you can to keep the flag carrier healthy and unmolested.
  3. Stop the other team's flag carrier: Even if you aren't a mighty DPS class, you can still do a lot to get back the flag. Root, stun, slow, etc. It's a team effort and often the best thing you can do is keep the flag carrier in place while everyone else finishes him off.

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Filed under: PvP, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

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

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

A little PVP strategy goes a long way

Galinth dropped us a line to his (very) comprehensive guide to playing in Warsong Gulch. If you ever wanted to know everything about running a premade in Warsong Gulch, you'll find it all here, from individual tactics and "kill order" to team strategies and even leadership techniques.

In fact, a guide this comprehensive will probably turn most casual players off. Not all of us have the time or interest to focus on PVP like it's our job. The majority of us just want to show up, kill a few alliance, capture a flag or two, and have a good time. Of course, in the future, the arena and matching systems will probably help people find what they're looking for, but until then we have to assume that there are some players who won't be interested in pages and pages of strategy and planned attacks.

But nevertheless, even if you're not part of a full-time 60 premade, Galinth's guide is helpful because a little strategy goes a long way. Just as in PVE play there are a few basic strats to keep in mind (aggro and crowd control, class strengths, roles and abilities), PVP play is no different, but most players don't seem to know the most basic organizational strategy-- how do you react in WSG when both sides have turtled with a flag? How many nodes should you take in AB, and when should you go for new ones instead of defending the ones you have? And what's the order of conquest in AV-- should you head for the graveyards, take out the NPCs, beeline the opposing base, or work on farming mats and summoning assistance?

In that sense, a guide like Galinth's is very welcome. He's gone to great lengths to cover every single facet of premade WSG play, and for that reason, it might seem a little overwhelming at first (like you've been handed the manual to a job on the factory line). But making sure every player on the field has a least a little bit of strategy in their head (just as in PVE play) will only make the game better for all of us, and that's why his guide is more than worth a look.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, News items, PvP

Battleground sploitz and Blizzard's responsibility

Been jumping into PVP as often as I can lately, and I've noticed two little quirks still floating around the PVP system.

The first one's fairly harmless. I too wasn't sure how to get out of a battleground until a friend informed me of the /afk trick. You're not allowed to go AFK in a battleground, so just purposely go /afk and Blue will boot you (with a deserter buff that wears off without consequence shortly).

The other exploit is a little more troublesome. Apparently, when a raid leader joins a battleground "as group," members of the group can click the button to join in without the group leader doing so. Which means those members can check the player screen to see if they're up against another premade (by noting if all the other faction's players are from a single server), and if they are, the group leader, still out of BG, can then join another BG (say AV if the original players are in WSG), and then join back to WSG when another instance of it opens up. Understand all that? Basically they're using the fact that a group leader can stay out of a BG to constantly enter and reenter battlegrounds until they're matched up with a nonpremade. Then it's honor farming time, and 3 captures later the process starts all over.

Now, I'd hate to be the tattletale on this, but I'd assume Blizzard knows about both of these "sploitz" (the first one isn't really an exploit in the strictest sense, but it is using an ingame function for a benefit it's not meant to confer). What players have done here is construct their own fixes for Blizzard's "bugs"-- there is no PVP matching system yet, so they've created their own (even though this system matches for the win, not for fairness). And there is no easy command out of the BGs (even /leavebg would be great and easy to implement), so players are using /afk.

Which begs the question: does Blizzard care about the battlegrounds as they are now? Or are they too focused on expansion PVP to fix these "flaws"? And if they are too focused, is that a bad thing? We already know the honor system will be scrapped, as well as the current LFG and most of the PVP system. Does Blizzard have a responsibility to fix what we have, or is it OK that this musical chairs of premades continues until expansion release?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Cheats, How-tos, Blizzard, PvP

More on the Battlegrounds Matching System

There have been whispers of some sort of battlegrounds matching system in the past, without any real information on what such a system would try to match. Today, Drysc responded to a post with some additional hints on the kind of the system we can expect. The system will only be viable with the new cross-realm battlegrounds system, due to the increased size of the player pool, and will attempt to match people with specific levels of gear together. It seems like such a matching system would be darned complicated, but if this really works, my Zul'Gurub-geared priest will be quite happy to not again be one-shotted by Ashkandi-wielding warriors.

[Thanks, Tommy]

Filed under: Ranking, PvP

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