Friday, October 14, 2005

MO3 - The Arathi Basin Cycle of Azgalor

Here is how the cycle works.

1. Alliance/Horde uber guilds form uber 15 man raid with nothing but their highest PvP ranks.

2. Said group owns Arathi Basin 2000 resources to 0 within 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Group leaves and within five minutes they have another Arathi Basin match.

How is this possible?

It is very simple actually. Most players leave a battleground the second they see these hardcore groups enter and then re-queue themselves for a new one. Well this fuels the cycle because now everyone in line is being thrown into the battleground that everyone else is quitting. So quickly the entire line, regardless of how long they were waiting gets into a one sided Arathi Basin slaughter. The cycle repeats and there is so many new people in line that once the uber group is done with the slaughter they simply re-queue and are instantly back where they started.

On top of this since people are cycling through the battleground the uber group can easily get a new battleground because there is no one with an extended waiting period in line… so the uber group is escorted to the front of the line.

Increase the number of uber groups employing the tactic and you have a cycle that moves so fast that a pick up vs. pick up is impossible. Add to this the fact that most uber groups will NOT FIGHT EACH OTHER and the problem is multiplied. Two uber groups rarely, if ever, will fight each other. The time involved is not worth the reward. They don’t care about skill… they care about winning as fast as possible because in the end that gives them more honor for PvP rank.

How to avoid it.

Get lucky enough to get into a battleground that is out of the cycle… one that is pick up group vs. pick up group. These matches last longer and since the lines refresh so fast due to the cycling in and out of the slaughters another pick up vs. pick up match is almost guaranteed after your match is done. However, get stuck on the other side of the cycle and it will be a miracle you get into a non-slaughter match.

Same principle applies as the uber groups also. Your pick up group leaves after a battle and everyone elses queue time is short because of the cycling you jump in right in front of line instead of the people that have been waiting forever for a fair match, but keep getting cycled.

How to fix it.

Simple. One set of battlegrounds for “Arranged Groups” and one set of battlegrounds for “Random”. Like I’ve said before its like letting pro football teams play high school teams to claim the Lombardi Trophy. It isn’t even remotely a measure of anyone’s skill.

In conclusion…

I will be told to “cry more newb”, “go whine on your blog”, and various other comments from the uber crowed. These are the people that get WoW served to them on a silver platter. These are the ones who are whining about 1.8 changes to give casual gamers more chances at loot. These are the ones who day in and day out do nothing but ruin the game for those that have other obligations in their life.

Blizzard doesn’t owe casual gamers anything. Blizzard doesn’t owe hardcore gamers anything. They owe the players of World of Warcraft a fair and balanced experience. Developing their systems in such a way where it heavily favors one play style over another is obscene.

MO1 - Blizzard and Battlegrounds
MO2 - Stun


  1. well you have many a blog, so here i post about your MCR comment....i say to that, "good stuff"

  2. Thanks man! :P Actually listened to them earlier as I was gaming.

  3. Anonymous12:40 AM

    cry more newb & go whine on your blog k.

  4. Sorry anonymous I already stated both in my conclusion, but nice of you to confirm.

  5. Anonymous5:14 AM

    WoW PvP is pretty much the saddest excuse for PvP I have ever seen in my life. It's total and utter crap, proven again by the above.

    Then again, if you have to abuse the system to be on top, you're pretty much a bigtime loser.

  6. I don't call those on top losers... but in any PvP MMO out there currently they would be on top also... because PvP is devalued into time spent.

    The only game on the market close to not being time spent is Shadowbane... and well that still is time spent to a certain degree.

    But yes WoW PvP is a sad excuse and the name "honor" is a joke too. But alas I liked it before BGs and I hope to still enjoy it, but it is very quickly turning me off... once again.

  7. I just got the game so I haven't even seen Arathi Basin yet. Nice read about it tho'. ^^

  8. You will hate life at 60 :P Unless you get into a damn good guild and have ZERO activities other than WoW :P

  9. I don't think your solution will work. You will just get people in pre-arranged groups trying to sign up all at once in the random queue, because that will be the fastest way to gain points.

    The real solution would be to make it *hurt* to quit a battleground, or to lose. Right now quitting is painless, and if instead of quitting you remain in the battleground until the other side got their 2000 to 0 resources, you even gain a mark of honor.

    Right now quitting is the best tactics, because in WoW PvP *you do not fight against the other side*, you fight against the other players on your side. The goal is not to beat the opponent, the goal is to get more honor per hour than the other people of your faction. If the other side gets free honor, it doesn't affect you in the slightest. But if you lose time in a slow fight, you risk dropping in your relative standing. A really perverse system.

  10. Signing up all at once would be a possibility, but it is easily countered by minimum timers between matches. Say the timer is 15 minutes.

    At the end of that 15 minutes everyone in the que is assigned to a battleground. The number of battlegrounds is based off # of players in the que.

    So if there is 30 in the que for horde and 50 in the que for alliance... 2 battlegrounds would open. The 20 would then get first in line for the next set of battlegrounds as long as they remain in the que.

    It isn't a perfect example, but it would work with some tinkering. Right now the "cycle" is so fast that casual gamers are getting into fewer and fewer matches where they get the chance to compete on an equal level. In turn they are driven away and in turn the battlegrounds will start dieing again.

  11. Ack forgot to add in there that when the 30 people assigned to battlegrounds are randomly assigned.

  12. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Here's another, maybe better solution: change the queue to take pvp ranks into account when balancing teams, and penalize the losers of a match (including /afk'rs) by preventing them from entering another match for a certain amount of time.

  13. Just found that link... will read it later. Thanks.

  14. I'm late to the party, as usual...

    The local dialect is: learn2play ;)

    Battlegrounds like the Wicker Man looked good on paper.

    But the thing I have long disagreed with is the presence of "casual" players in a PvP sub portion of a PvE game. Here's the problem:

    - Levels matter. They did before BGs compartmentalized people.
    - Equipment matters. They always will. This is why the primary game-based reward for BGs is to gain new equipment.
    - The better the equipment, the harder it is to get. This, too, will always be the case. There has to be a way to reward folks who play longer than those who don't. Otherwise, you'll lose them. You don't want to lose them because they add critical social texture to the game. Homogenized worlds fail.
    - The better equipment in a stats-based PvE game is that which provides more of, or new types of, stats. Players can max INT/STA/SPI/AGI/STR etc just with regular green stuff. It's only with Blues, Purples, and beyond where they can get seriously into +Crit damage, +DMG damage (heh), etc. This is how players advance characters far beyond the relatively easy goal of hitting level 60.
    Ergo, PvP battles are predominantly about equipment. Players knowing how to play their class is an expectation.

    Ergo, PvP battles are for the hardcore. They are the ones that can get the better equipment, whether they Raided for it (easy, just neerds lots of time after practice runs) or BGing for it (harder). Epic endgame PvE gear can work in PvP environments and vice versa unless you're in an uber guild that thinks very VERY specifically.

    As such, it has not surprised me since the very concept of BGs were announced that they quickly became dominated by the hardcore. This is a good example of content designed for hardcore players, Blizzards statements to the contrary notwithstanding.

    No greater proof of this exists than Blizzard's recently announced focus on outside PvP experiences. They're effectively relegating BGs to those who control them for HK farming purposes and giving the Casuals their own brand of more-casual BGs.

    This is a dichotomy as old as the genre. You can't mix Hardcore play requirements with Casual players and not expect Hardcore players to dominate.

  15. Anonymous10:52 PM

    Righton, Im a Hardcore PVPer and I totally agree with the gvg or pug vs pug idea. As of right now on my server most of the "hardcore" pvpers actually fight outside the BG's. Perhaps Blizz will open its eyes to it. Nice Write up..

  16. Anonymous5:13 PM

    I agree with everything you say.
    The end-game is lacking.

    I haven't the time to do 5-hour instance runs 50 times hoping to get one good drop.

    BTW, they did nothing to help the solo player in 1.8 patch. The Silihus queuts are a JOKE. They cannot be done without a huge group.

  17. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Its possible they could use a guildwars like rating system that simply ranks teams with more wins against teams on their par, when available.

    Its been done before, dont see why Blizz couldnt implement a ladder similar to the guildwars ladder.


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