November 2, 2005

Blizzcon info regarding World of Warcraft battlegrounds

Link to the article.

My comments.
Following the success of the "lunchtime battleground," Warsong Gulch, which featured a PVP standard, Capture the Flag, Blizzard looked at using another PVP staple, single-elimination Deathmatch play. The battleground, Gurubashi Catacombs, was to be located beneath the Gurubashi Arena, in pens where dangeous animals were once kept.
But the 5 versus 5 single elimination match invariably turned into melee classes killing spellcasters immediately, which was great fun for the melee classes, but absolutely no fun for the casters: "Of course you're going to kill the guy in the dress."
The issue could not be resolved, the designers felt, without a fundemental class revision that would make every class equally able to survive an attack by any other class.
The battleground was scrapped, but group duels might be made a feature of the game independent of battlegrounds at some point in the future instead.
- Admitting your game is broken is the first step to recovery.

Learning from the mistakes of their past, Blizzard has plans for future and present battlegrounds:

* They are lookin at a variety of ways to get battlegrounds to the critical mass needed to start a battleground more easily.
- Maybe start by preventing the uber groups from rolling pick up groups as previously mentioned here.
* They are looking into ways that, when possible, the game will automatically match up opponents more evenly.
- Sorry ranks don’t determine how good a player is and its more an indicator of how much time they spend in game. Until they fix the ranks this is a mute point.
* They will attempt to even out the honor gained per hour in each of the battlegrounds, so that people will choose a battleground based on what they enjoy, rather on where they will get the most honor.
- Won’t work until the uber groups aren’t allowed to roll the pick up groups.
* Battlegrounds will begin to have some sort of impact on the world outside of the zone.
- Great! It’s about time the battlegrounds meant something other than just free honor to the uber groups. Now we all get to reap the rewards of the uber groups... maybe. Not sure if this blends well with the idea of cross server battlegrounds... or if they have scrapped that all together.
* More improvements to the queueing system will be coming.
- Really? Like what… listening to the continuous complaints against uber groups farming pick up groups?
* Groups will automatically form when players enter a battleground.
- Great… possibly a hint that they are removing the “join as group” button? We could only hope so!

* Siege weapons are currently not being worked on, since they couldn't be made cool enough, but will be worked on again in the future.
- Believe it when we see it.
* General PVP changes will be coming later, with announcements to follow.
- Has me interested because PvP needs a lot of "general" changes.

* And in the 1.9 patch, multiple battleground queues can be joined at once time, and those who /AFK out early will be assessed a penalty on their times for the next queues.
- About damn time! This has only been requested and has only made complete sense since battlegrounds were introduced.

It seems Blizzard spent more time finding out that Alterac Valley was a bad idea than they did developing Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. In the end the World of Warcraft PvP crowd is given a time investment system that Blizzard is failing miserably to change or unfortunately may be unwilling to change.