Random Battleground Ranting

One of my favourite pieces of MoP information is the potential blacklisting of up to two different battleground maps.

I hate the “randomness” of random Battlegrounds. Now I fell down the stairs last night and sprained my ankle so I’m not in the best of tempers but I defy anyone to like a system which thinks five Strand of the Ancients in a row can possibly be ok. My foot is slowly turning that lovely shade of deep purple which looks gorgeous on plants (thinking violets and pansies here) but not so hot on feet. The random Battleground finder is turning my mood the same colour considerably faster.

Why the loathing?

Because there is no choice at all. It’s either use the random queue or don’t PvP. The queue times are considerably longer when you queue to a specific battleground and unreliable too, you may get one in a few minutes and then have to wait hours for the next one or you might just have to wait hours. Compare that to getting a random battleground within 2 minutes of queuing up even at weird times in the middle of the night. Then there is the honour or rather lack of it. For winning a random we get an extra 270 per game winning game, not to mention the conquest points but when you queue for a specific battleground, guess what… no bonus. Now since the honour is an incentive to queue up for randoms, that might seem fair enough until you consider the fact that the bonus honour was implemented to replace the tokens that we used to get.

Now I might be a special little snowflake but there are times when I want to chill out in 40 mans, bullying Horde in Stonehearth bunker or seeing just how many people  I can kill whilst they are attacking Balinda. At those times, the random Battleground finder throws me into WSG or Strand of the Ancients. Then there are times when I just want to work on my Arathi Basin rep, of course then I get everything and anything but Arathi Basin. Sometimes, sure I really don’t mind which battleground I end up in, I just want to kill people. Then of course I wind up in the Isle of Conquest, the blink and you’ll miss it game where tracking down the enemy faction is akin to finding the fox cub mini-pet, i.e. the odds are not in your favour.

Why can’t winning a battleground reward the same honour regardless of how you got there? That way I wouldn’t keep ending up in Strand of the Ancients with a bunch of people who don’t know what they are doing. Blacklisting isn’t necessarily the fix I would have gone for (a system a bit like my old cd player in which it never plays the same song twice in a row would have been my first choice I think) but I have to admit I intend welcoming it with open arms.

The only bit I find a bit odd is the caveat about the battleground weekends.

So If I exclude the Strand of the Ancients when SotA weekend rolls around, it will unblacklist itself and when I queue to random, there is a chance I’ll still wind up on the beach. On their respective weekends, the smaller maps are often crawling with premades so the sensible solo player wants to avoid them more than ever but as things stand when you queue to random at those times, you still find yourself thrown into the weekend battleground. I was hoping that this change would go a long way towards fixing that issue but it seems not. I understand that Blizzard want their Battleground weekends to be a success even when it’s SotA but I do think this devalues the whole point of the blacklisting to a degree. Yes, we’re getting more new maps so the gap between SotA weekends will be increasing but I’d still like to never ever go there again.

So which maps will I be avoiding?

Whilst I think it will vary on a character by character basis, SotA is definitely on the list (no surprise there!). Games of two halves don’t work under Blizzard’s model of Player versus Player. If the team who attacks first doesn’t break through the final wall, more often than not they don’t fight in the second half. They want to obtain their losing honor quickly, after all the best possible outcome at that point is to lose fast. Even if you hold the game to a draw, it’s counted as a loss in your statistics because the armoury doesn’t recognise draws (another reason why I dislike the armoury), so you might as well lose fast and hope you get better luck next time around.

My Druid and my Shaman like it a lot more than my Priest as both have ways of slowing vehicles down or bringing them to halt outside tailoring nets but despite my good win rate in there, I’d be happy never to have to get sand in my shoes ever again.

As for my second choice, I think I’ll wait until I’ve fully tested out all the new maps before committing but Isle of Conquest is a contender. The map is too big for the number of players on it. You can easily go all game without seeing any red name plates and if you do decide to defend in order to get some actual PvP, more often than not it’s you versus 40.

In conclusion.

On the plus side though, outside of the SotA weekends, everyone who ends up there should be there because they want to be. AV will be full of people who want a proper AV game not a quick rush with zero pvp. Hopefully this change will improve the quality of pvp for all of us because each game is full of players who want to be in that map, who aren’t shuddering behind their screen, who aren’t planning on afking half way through but who are actually there to play and to win.

I am curious to see what everyone else goes for avoiding. I know quite a few Horde players who don’t intend ever doing AV or Isle of Conquest again, as well as a few people who hate the two flag carrying 10 mans. Mushan posted about his choices here as well. I think given the size of the pool, this shouldn’t effect queue time apart from perhaps the 40 mans late at night but it will be interesting to see how it all balances out.

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16 Responses

  1. Can’t comment intelligently since I’m such a PvP noob but I wanted to say, sorry about your poor purple ankle and hope it feels better soon!

    • Thanks and it will do, I’m sure, I tend to fall downstairs fairly regularly because we have stupid stairs. It of course has nothing to do with the fact that I’m often running in bare feet with my arms full of stuff whilst traversing them.

  2. I’m not much of a pvp’er…i’m the idiot who will see 3 or 4 people surrounding me and decide…well If I just stand here and die it’ll go quicker! (yes…i know..i’m terribad!)

    But, when I do pvp, I do prefer to actually PvP…not spend half my time trying to figure out where to go and who has what. AB is probably one of my favorite maps because I did it a lot on my hunter pre 70.

    • AB and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. I love hanging out at the LM chucking people off the cliff as well as slaughtering chickens (both the clucking variety and the Horde) at the Farm but it’s tempered a bit by how much time I’ve spent there farming rep over the years.

  3. I haven’t read much into the new BG blacklisting information, so thank you for shedding light on the upcoming options!

    While I do enjoy SotA when it’s played correctly, it seems to be the one BG I get repeatedly on end as well. It gets boring, quick. I sure won’t mind blacklisting it so I can actually play some of the ones I rarely have pop up on random BG, such as Isle of Conquest or Twin Peaks.

    • For me, random seems to equal either SotA or Twin Peaks. They’re definitely the two I feel I see the most. Luckily, I quite like Twin Peaks. Throwing Horde flag carriers off the waterfall with mind control never gets old :p

  4. I don’t PvP much anymore (which I think I keep saying hehe), but should I start again Strand of the Ancients would definitely be one of my blacklisted options, probably coupled with Isle of Conquest.

    Both mainly for the reasons that you have listed. Strand feels so pointless at times, and as you said sometimes people just seem to play half the game since there’s no point continuing if you lose the first round. IoC is just frustrating because it’s so large and I don’t feel like I’m having much fun while I’m in there.

    When playing with friends I’m quite fond of the capture the flag kind of BGs. When with randoms I don’t enjoy them quite as much *lol* AV I’ve also had quite a lot of fun in with friends, defending and re-taking bunkers.

    • Strand is definitely my number 1 hate. This morning as a break from AV (having a slacky long weekend), we did a random, got an in-progress SotA that our team had already given up on.

  5. I used to hate Strand. Then my PvP buddy said, “you’re a priest, dispel the demos.” It had never occurred to me I could dispel a machine. And now I really love being the antidote to mages! I find running along inside a demo chain-dispelling it and often not being attacked at all to be immensely satifying. YMMV of course. (My PvP buddy still hates the place, saying whichever team has more mages will win.)

    I don’t there’s any map I’d permanently ban…just individual cases depending on mood. Maybe IoC though, because it’s such a muddled mess of priorities (and we seem to lose no matter which one I choose to help with!).

    • I suppose what annoys me is that I dispel on my Druid and Shaman as well but they can still provide snares too. I do like mindcontrolling melee away from our vehicles though.

      I agree with your friend, the other team always seems to have an army of frost mages and if we have one at all, he’s the guy with a 100k health who doesn’t believe in casting ring of frost at all.

  6. Interesting you don’t like SotA. I have to say that I really dislike Isle of Conquest. It’s just… boring. I find it interesting that you find it difficult if you don’t queue a random to get a BG. I often just queue AB and WSG and often get a queue proc very quickly. Strand is alright, not my favourite, but I am not a big fan of EoTS either. It’s OK… just not one of my favourites.

    I wonder if I’ll come across you on the other end someday Erinys! And wait for you to spit on me /grin

    • We’ll have to wait until they merge the EU and US servers before we get to meet :(

      Whilst I was finishing this post I queued to Twin Peaks individually, ten minutes later I was still sitting in Stormwind waiting. Switched to Gilneas, still nothing. Queued to random, got into an AB in under 2 minutes. I find it weird because in the EU, the Alliance are the side with the faster queue times but that doesn’t seem to translate into individual queues.

  7. Five Strands in a row doesn’t sound nearly as bad to me to as five consecutive Warsong Gulch battles. *shudder* I somehow just have the worst luck in that one.

    I hope your ankle gets better soon!

    • Oddly enough, I quite enjoy the two 10 man capture the flag games, hate Gilneas though. Surviving a legendary mage whilst I had a 10 stack of the debuff and then managing to cap the final flag will always stand out as a great pvp memory. Was shaking the whole time but still.

      The only thing which annoys me about WSG/TP is the fact that you can guarantee the lowest health person will make a beeline for the flag :p

  8. I hope you’re back on your feet soon! I think I’ll blacklist SotA on every character I still need to gear, and then IoC, Gilneas or Twin Peaks when I’m getting any of those in a row.

    • Ty, I’m walking on it, just carefully and trying to avoid stairs where-ever possible.

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