April 22, 2010

Random Running Around Grounds

So I somehow managed to do four battlegrounds today. That's right, four. Not one, but four. That's the most battlegrounds I've done in a day since arena season 1 stuff became available for honor. The reason why I ended up doing this is a story in itself, including some bosses in some ridiculous joke of a raid instance and a black riding chicken. In short, I needed like 1500 honor for my 70th mount. (Don't worry, I am getting somewhere with this.)

I used the random BG finder, simply because I couldn't be bothered to, you know, select a BG on my own. Any would do and I might as well let the game do the thinking for me. (Yes, I do that in raids too, the playerbase makes sure I won't have to think.) The one I got was Eye of the Storm. Horde roflstomped it and I got the achievement for winning the damn thing. Yes, I do BGs that rarely.

This motivated me to try again. So I hit the random BG button again and got that random island that got tacked on with no explanation at all apart from some paragraph mentioning resources. That excuse has been bandied out a lot in Wrath, and by gosh, it works. Wars usually are about the acquisition of stuff to wage more wars with.

Anyway, Horde lost that place. Twice. Then the fourth BG I got was Warsong Gulch. Which Horde roflstomped. I mean it. My first WSG in years and it was perfect.

No, this post is not about Horde/Alliance favouring various BGs. It's about something I noticed in these four BGs that hasn't changed at all. And that is the fact about how little coordination there is in them. That's what turned me off WoW PvP back in the days actually. Arenas are too twitchy to me, and BGs too uncoordinated. There simply is no strategy involved apart from people running around like headless chickens in the hopes that what they did would in some way make us win. I am not saying that's what actually went on in their heads, but it's what it looked like. And this was all accompanied by someone shouting "gogogogo [random objective]" in BG chat. My personal strategy was akin to the one employed by Dirk Gently when stalking people; look for a c(h)ar that looks like it knows where it's going and follow it around. Heck, it won me half of today's BGs, so apparently it works. But then it lost me the other two so from this tiny sample size I guess it's random.

I see BGs as two armies clashing together over some arbitrary objective that has a weak lorewise significance. I easily forget about the lore part, but the armies clashing part annoys me. Not because of the whole clashing together stuff but because I keep thinking aren't armies supposed to be led somehow? That's what ruins the experience for me. A lack of leadership. I don't mind being bossed around by someone who clearly knows what he's doing, but I haven't had that since vanilla. Actually, I was that bossy guy back then, after learning from another bossy guy (or girl, I only knew his/her ingame gender, which as we all know, says nothing at all apart from whether the character has pixel boobies or not).

This whole "trusting someone to know what the smurf to do" thing no longer exists, and I blame the cross realm BG feature for that. You don't get to know the good leaders anymore because they'll most probably be in a different BG than you the next time around. BGs work though, because everybody gets honor no matter how crappy play is going on. And why do BGs except for honor? BGs are like heroics in that regard. Turn up and get phat epix.

I do miss the army thing. But I am not holding my breath for it ever coming back unless rated BGs actually turn out well.

April 07, 2010

The Rush to 80 - Again

When this blog was just created I wrote a post about getting to level 80 as fast as possible. This is a followup to that post. And no, I did not just ding 80 on another alt. I can't stand Northrend levelling, there's just too damn much of it.

I believe that it's the "the game starts at level cap" attitude that's behind this. Blizzard only adds to this by putting all the cool stuff at the current level cap. This isn't unique to WotLK either, back in TBC you had to be level 70 to get a nether drake for example. Heck, you had to be 70 just to have a flying mount in the first place. In a way I can understand this, putting such grinds in the mid-levels will trivialize the grind for capped characters, but this is more of a flaw in the level based system, and not with WoW itself.

Last time I wrote about this it was about how you had to rush to keep up, which is not entirely true any more. This time I will talk about other consequences that I haven't seen discussed elsewhere yet. (That's not to say they haven't, they might have without me noticing, but that's beside the point.) It's about what people will do to get to the level cap as fast as possible. I am not talking about account sharing, it's their prerogative to do that as it doesn't really affect me. What does affect me though is the camping of named quest mobs.

I remember levelling my hunter from 70 to 80 back when WotLK was released. There were often several people camping the spawn spot of named quest mobs, simply because only one spawns at a time. Because of this I used every trick I could think of to skip ahead in the queue, mostly placing a trap on the exact spot. Yes, I was acting like a total asshole. But I had to, or some class with cheap AoE would get ahead of me by spamming it. Tragedy of the commons really, it takes one idiot make the rest fall to his/her level (yes, women can be assholes too, but again I'm veering off topic).

Why don't people just group up for the quest mob? There were rarely more than five people from each faction anyway, and every now and then someone smartened up and invited me so we both would get credit, and I happily accepted. That was rare though. WoW has taught people that grouping sucks, so people won't go to the hassle of actually inviting others for one time occurences like this. That is one thing I will give the WoW haters. WoW encourages anti-social behaviour, and this is just another way the game does this.

I could go on a long rant about how loot is another such factor, but that's an entirely different topic.

I should start writing something on all the "different topics" I've mentioned in my posts, and maybe I will. Time will tell.