Thursday, March 27, 2008

Once Upon an Alterac Valley

A small sample of my thoughts from yesterday, after trying out the New AV on both Tawyn and Lunapike:

"So lemme get this straight... on my Alliance character's battlegroup, Alliance has apparently collectively decided that "Zerg Drek" is the new key to victory, leading to games that are a mere ten minutes long which usually end in an Alliance victory...

...and on my Horde character's battlegroup, Alliance still sucks at AV.

...this is the happiest day of my life *tears of joy*"

Momentary euphoria aside, the lag is horrendous on Bloodlust right now. I have never seen battleground lag that bad. In one game I was kicked off the server right as the "All in" call was given for Drek, I couldn't connect for about ten or fifteen minutes, and when I finally managed to get in... I was in the same spot I'd been when I disconnected and Alliance won about ten seconds later. Took 15 minutes to kill Drek even with the Relief Hut. DoTs became the key to victory for most people, because they would at least keep ticking when you couldn't move or cast spells or attack anything. People were joking that Horde had decided to revolt and use an "Alliance lag mod", though I think things were just as bad for the poor Hordies.

The face of AV really has changed though, it seems, in Tawyn's battlegroup anyway. Ever since the last time they changed AV, Horde has completely and thoroughly dominated AV in our battlegroup. But now... well, I played probably eight games or so yesterday, and six were wins (and I sort of think the other two would have been wins if it weren't for the lag-- in both cases, we had Drek down to about 30% health, or less). No more people spending the entire battleground arguing about what "surefire strategy" was the one that worked. No more 45-minute long painful battles of being killed over and over as you watched the Alliance reinforcements dwindle to zero while Horde still had 497 or something. Nope. Completely different.

Now the second I get into a AV, battleground chat has typically been taken over by one or two people saying "Rush to Relief Hut, take towers as you go, capture the Relief Hut, and kill Drek. Do not stop to fight Horde." over and over. And there are no questions. No arguments (other than from the occasional person who is perhaps playing AV for the first time since the new patch). Everybody sticks to the plan. Nobody takes Iceblood Graveyard (which is still a surreal concept to me. No... Iceblood...?) Nobody even thinks about Galv. A couple people take towers along the way but for the most part you get some 35 people at Frostwolf Relief Hut and then four minutes later you've got 35 people in Drek's fort. It seems as though the Horde has a similar strategy going on; there were many games where I never saw even a single Horde player and the BG announcements made it clear that they were busy doing the exact same thing we were: rushing to the end to see who could kill the boss first. And it most cases, it was Alliance who managed to pull it off.

In some ways, this is all really very ridiculous. I remember saying rather incredulously on Vent after a couple games: "I only have 3 honorable kills but over 1000 honor" and then the similarly incredulous replies from my guildies (which resulted in everybody going to try AV themselves, and getting the same result as I had). To me, it seems as though the new "Horse Race AV" (as I've heard a few people call it now) has sort of defeated the entire purpose of PvP. I can't help but wonder how long this is going to last.

So it's a bittersweet victory; yes, we win now, yes, I'm getting tons of marks and honor, but the victory is meaningless and hollow.

At least there are still epic battles on my hordie's battlegroup. The Horse Race mentality has not spread there (yet, anyway) and Horde still wins by 400 reinforcements after super long matches. Victories take longer but it's much more fun. (Oh, and no lag.)

How has everybody else's AV changed? Or has it for you?


Stevesy said...

I have long avoided AV unless I am approaching an item goal that I can't wait to grind out over the weekend.

For my money, the actual PvP happens in AB - that BG has it all. I know I've said that before, but it's still true. No NPCs, no linear gameplay, no stalemates, just pure tactical PvP goodness.

Llanion said...

I haven't tried the new AV. On the 2.3 style AV, the Horde in my battlegroup would lose. A lot. It was very depressing. It basically spelled the end of AV for me.

Weirdly enough, this new change seems to have, according to what you've described, 'reset' play to what it was in 2.0-2.2: Everyone rushes the opposing general, you do not actually do 'player vs player' combat unless they're defending their general. The Captains are left strictly alone, and towers are burned or defended on an 'if and when' basis...

...which is the entire style of gameplay Blizzard tried to eliminate with the 'reinforcements' mechanic.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Stevesy said...

I thought reinforcements were just there to eliminate stalemates - just like the new WSG flag carrier debuffs.

I guess tying reinforcement count to towers was intended to promote the auxiliary objectives but eventually the end it just ensured games never lasted for two hours like they used to.

Kestrel said...


I've had exactly the opposite experience in Vengeance Battlegroup: In 10 AV matches Tuesday and Wednesday, I went 2-8 instead of 7-3 (we'd been winning 70% according to HonorFU).

It appears the Horde may be using heavily pre-made groups. They are either taking Balinda quickly or bypassing her and taking our bunkers quickly.

It quickly became evident to me we needed to rush Drek before both towers burned: I advocated loudly in /bg that as soon as we fully took the RH, we needed to rush Drek. After one especially frustrating fight in which we had Drek at 20% when Vann died, I said in /bg, "I hate to say I told you so..."

Not sure I totally agree with bypassing IBGY (generally it isn't defended so two people can easily take it). Two groups should be able to take Galv down as well.

But my mantra continues to be, "If you cap it, GUARD IT!" We lost RH so many times because no one would be standing at the flag. Boom! Horde takes it, we recap, and the timer restarts. GAH!!

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried the new AV, yet, but the 3 HK vs 1000 honor is a common complaint. The problem is people confuse PvP (competing against other players) with PK (killing other players) because you gain honor points from both. You can see the difference between the 2 when you think of AV's goals vs. Arena goals. I would even go so far to say that damage meters can be a form of PvP for some people.

I'm really curious about WSG changes though I don't think I'd go there unless I had a full 10-man, coordinated, epiced-out, premade group.

Anonymous said...

It's been like that on my battlegroup for a good 2 months now, this patch has changed nothing. Alliance still kick our asses. I get more honor from wsg or ab than av, sadly.

Stevesy said...

@robiste: I don't see how that's sad unless you actually prefer AV. As a hunter, I just don't see the charm beyond wingclipping stragglers at midmap or occasionally topping DPS if I ignore PvP entirely.

Part of my hunterly dislike for AV is the inability to fight on the Horde towers. Alliance bunkers have enough room to kite and jump down, but fighting on the Horde towers is just asking to get killed as a hunter.

Byrd said...

Our battlegroup now wins 9/10 times. (horde side) The alliance are too busy trying to hold us off at IB.