Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fixing Battlegrounds

OK – So enough bitching about Battlegrounds and more talk about how to fix them. I have a brief disclaimer here that I normally don’t like to discuss topics that will never impact real change. And let’s face it, these types of discussions might illicit some really great ideas – but none of them will ever get implemented in game. So I am going to prefer to think of this as more of a “in a perfect world” scenario.

Rated Battlegrounds - The type of PvP that WoW provides was invented first in the First Person Shooter genre. Alterac Valley is a simply a V.I.P match. Arathi Basin is Dominion. Warsong Gulch is Capture the Flag, and even Eye of the Storm is simply a combination game of Dominion and Capture the Flag (a combo also first introduced in FPS). And Arena – well, Arena is simply Team Deathmatch.

Team Deathmatch is not a superior form of PvP over the other types of objective based PvP. TD is simply a team based game where the only objective is kills. The optimum strategies revolve around maximizing your team kills while minimizing your team deaths. Other objective based match types place a premium on strategies that help you win the objectives for that game type. A good parallel analogy here is chess versus checkers. In checkers, you win by eliminating all of your opponents checker pieces off the board. In chess, you win by check-mating (or killing) the King.

Strictly speaking, if we continued to draw those parallels to WoW PVP then Arena would be most similar to checkers (the removal of all pieces) and chess would be most similar to Alterac Valley (the protection and elimination of the King). Many people would argue that chess takes more skill and therefore a chess champion is greater than a checkers champion. In WoW, we effectively argue that the checkers champion is better. However, chess is not better than checkers and checkers is not better than chess. One may be more difficult to master, offer more competition or arguably be more enjoyable to play, but they aren’t inherently better or worse than each other – just different games.

The point here is that WoW currently offers only one type of Rated or Ladder game when they could be offering five types. There is no reason why a system couldn’t be put in place where I paid 1000g and setup a 40-man team for Alterac Valley that played in rated matches against another 40-man team. Or likewise, a 15-man team for Arathi Basin/EoS or a 10-man team for Warsong Gulch. Blizzard already has a reward system in place for Rated Games and this could be extended to Rated Battleground games. Right now, there is no incentive for a premade to play a premade. If you want to inspire the epic battles that these battlegrounds deserve, then the only real solution is to incent teams to want to be the best. Oh sure, you may still end up with guilds farming points but that problem already exists in the current form. At least this way, the battles would be that much more exciting.

Coincidently, you also solve the problem of premades playing against PUGs. After all, if you take the time to find 14 other people, why bother running against a PUG when you can get better rewards from a Rated Match?

10 out of 15 teammates think you suck. Goodbye. - As I talked about in my previous post, if I form an instance PUG or go on a Raid with my guild, I have to be able to contribute or I am not going to be playing. There absolutely needs to be some type of way to get rid of players who don’t contribute or otherwise cause problems in a battleground.

I think the best solution here is a simple voting system where people can nominate someone to be removed from the match. A few rules to prevent obvious abuse:
  • A player needs to be nominated by at least three people before it is put up for a team vote

  • A player can’t be voted on more than once in a single match

  • You can only nominate one person every five minutes if your last nomination vote failed

  • A player is voted out when a certain majority is reached (varies on the battleground)


forthus said...

Well mate this if the first time i have read your blog and i can tell you have a few good ideas to deal with the current problems with PvP even with my own blog just starting out ( i tried to deal with the twinking issue

Frankly the whole bit about Checkers/chess doesn't really apply to AV and arena simply becasue AV is usually a all-out race to the finish which has no inherent strategy on the other hand arena is a smaller group of players and therefore more easy to manage and heck they are usually friends whereas AV you would never know the other 39 players. AV requires no strategy other than get to the other end.

Although to be fair i hate AV and much prefer WSG and AB where strategy at least some of the time is utilized even in PuGs.

The idea of voting a player out has been tossed around a few times but frankly it would not work. At all.

Simply put the voting out would require the other 39/14/9 to be fair minded individuals which is sadly lacking. What would stop twinks from ganging up on less geared players to throw them out thus ruining the PvP system. What would stop people simply not getting along e.g "You stole my kil back there blah blah" Give any moron power and they WILL abuse it.
WoW has at times the worst possible community full of elitists and jerks. Hell what if a BG had 5-7 taunting a lesser skilled or newer player then just booting him. Not everyone has to be the best when they start out and people will hold others to absurd standards. Giving any sort of power to the players wouldn't work as the loud few would abuse it

Sorry but thats just my opinion and i do thank you and respect you for trying to storm up ideas to repair the system.

sid67 said...

Quote: Frankly the whole bit about Checkers/chess doesn't really apply to AV and arena simply becasue AV is usually a all-out race to the finish which has no inherent strategy

Based on my experience with other games, how Alterac Valley is played would change significantly if two equally organized pre-made teams were to face each other in Rated games. The “winning” strategies for both faction have equally effective counter-strategies. These just never get implemented due to lack of organization. That’s what I mean when I say that Rated battleground would the provide epic battles these battlegrounds deserve instead of the rag-tag follow the herd crap that happens now.

Quote: The idea of voting a player out has been tossed around a few times but frankly it would not work. At all.

I share a lot of your concerns, which is why there would have to be several rules in place to prevent abuse. The problem with lots of rules for something like that however, is that new people never learn all the rules. The key to preventing abuse is to require a certain number of “nominations” that are manually submitted before it goes to a readycheck style yes or no vote. Even so, this system is still open to abuse if a handful of friends are on together.