Friday, June 12, 2009

Oh Damn, a 40-man Battleground.

Yep, the new Isle of Conquest is set to be a 40-man PvP instance. See here for more info.

So, what does this mean? Well, the most obvious concern is that the battleground could be a flop. BG's as a concept are teetering on a precipice due to the success of Wintergrasp, the Arena and a poor reward scheme unlike that found in the previous Expansion. The current state of PvP balance where burst damage is terrifying and certain healers are next to unkillable is a significant factor in declining popularity, which may be a reason why IoC will tend to focus more on vehicle-based combat. But above and beyond that, the Honour System as a whole has almost no incentive as an alternate means of character progression; to get on in Battlegrounds you still need to wring the neck of high-end PvE content. As things stand, the Isle of Conquest risks being almost dead on arrival not because of its' quality compared to other BG's, but rather that the honour system is dross and needs a significant re-vamp.

That said, a fresh experience is a great idea. My real complaint is pretty parochial: BG's are numbers game and Ruin-EU sucks ass.

In my Battlegroup the Alliance faction dwarfs the Horde. Generally speaking this wouldn't be so much of a problem except that the population disparity is such that prior to the new cross-language BG only one or two Alterac Valley's would ever be active. Invariably, at least one of these would be 40 Alliance vs 15 (or less) Horde, leading to one faction roffle-stomping the other if the other AV instance didn't finish soon, and otherwise leading to a long and drawn-out conflict. I have yet to see any Horde-player on my server with The Alterac Blitz. This problem is represented in nearly every battleground to some extend, but is most pronounced in the 40-man BG.

You may be thinking "Oh, hang on, wasn't there something about Cross-language Battlegrounds being introduced recently?", and you'd be right. However this innovation addresses the other glaring problem with high faction imbalance: long queue times for the highest population faction. It doesn't address the issue of not enough players to fill a Battleground team because the teams created are delineated by language, and so whilst you may fight against foreign language teams you will never fight along-side foreign language players. Essentially from the players perspective the number of teams you can fight against increases significantly, but not the number of players you can fight with.

Adding another battleground therefore only serves to spread and already shallow pool of players even more thinly. And is a 40-man BG really sensible when we have difficulty filling a 20-man one?

I hope to enjoy the new battleground upon the release of 3.2. I don't expect that I will.


Pangoria Fallstar 13/06/2009, 10:10  

get out of Ruin-eu then.

whatsmymain 13/06/2009, 14:13  

I think the issue is that grinding honor isn't what it used to be. If the incentives were there I think so would the players. During BC AV was popular because everyone needed to grind honor.

Hopefully there are some good incentives in the new BG because I really enjoy the large scale combat.

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