Tuesday, August 07, 2007

WoW Rant: Alterac Valley

And no, this post is not about imbalances in the map layout.

Ever since the advent of accumulated honor points (a concept that I fully support), Battlegrounds PvP in WoW has really gone downhill... especially in Alterac Valley.

Just yesterday I joined a match and heard someone say "Only seven AFK in the cave. That's pretty good!" Yes, that's right, having "only" 17% of your team sitting on their asses doing absolutely nothing is considered a good turnout! And even better, those 17% still get just as much bonus honor as the players who are out there actually trying to complete objectives and gather that honor. And I've seen as many as 20 of the 40 players choosing to simply absorb bonus honor rather than contribute in any way to their team!

There are a couple of very easy ways to ameliorate the problem (I don't think it can ever be stamped out completely).

1) Simply not give honor to any characters in or near the cave. This would force the AFKers to at least go outside, where they might actually be engaged in some of the action, whether they want to or not.

2) As an alternative or addition to #1, remove the guards from in and around the starting caves.

3) Dump the caves altogether and make everyone start in their respective fortresses.

But as it is now, Blizzard is simply encouraging and supporting this self-first attitude in what is supposed to be team-oriented PvP combat. And its not as if they aren't aware of the issue.

It will be interesting to see how Warhammer handles their instanced PvP. I hope that their more PvP-orient

Note: Interestingly enough, I actually wrote this up before I ever read any notes from Blizzcon. I think that the whole 'other players can flag you for being AFK' idea wont work at all. For one, enough players have to take time out of their battle to figure out who's AFK and then flag them. Secondly, the flagged person just has to enter combat. Whats to stop them from sitting outside one of the mob caves and killing one every few minutes, or even just attacking one of the wolves/rams deep in their own territory? Most of the AFKers aren't actually AFK, they're just actively choosing not to participate, occasionally dancing or throwing out a smart-ass comment over BG chat. It's easy enough for them to reach out to their keyboard and 'enter combat' for a few seconds before alt-tabbing back to their porn/book/other game while still accumulating bonus honor from the sweat and blood of others!

The caves will still be a safe haven for honor suction.

So I applaud Blizzard for recognizing the problem. But I boo them for taking nearly a year to implement any solution, and curse them for coming up with a half-assed fix that really won't solve the problem.

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