Friday, November 05, 2010

Rated Battlegrounds: A Compromise?

If rated battlegrounds are not going to have automatic group creation, I think that will hurt them as transient content. But what if Blizzard pushed rated battlegrounds towards the extended content side of the spectrum?

Instead of rotating the three brackets (10v10, 15v15, and 25v25) every week, making assembling teams very hard, what if each season focused on a specific bracket?

For example, PvP Season 9 could focus on 10v10, and the rated battlegrounds would be Warsong Gulch, Battle For Gilneas, and Twin Peaks. PvP Season 10 could focus on 25v25 and the rated battlegrounds would be Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest. PvP Season 11 would focus on 15v15, with the rated battlegrounds being Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, and Strand of the Ancients.

The big advantage of this is that you could form your team at the start of the season and play with the same people for the entire season. You would only need to find a new team after the season ends, which is a natural point of change in many cases.

I think this change would encourage team play and mitigate the frustration involved in assembling a PuG group each week. You would win or lose with your team, and if you did well, your entire team would be rewarded at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, if you didn't want to form a permanent team, you would PuG a team each week, just like you would in the current design. You don't really lose anything under this system.

I think this might even lead to better gameplay, as focusing on a few specific battlegrounds for longer period of time might lead to more strategies and counter-strategies being created. You wouldn't need to master all 8 battlegrounds at once, you would focus on two or three at a time.

And the other battlegrounds would still be available as unrated options if you wanted to indulge. Blizzard could even remove the current rated battlegrounds from the unrated pool to keep things different.


  1. >Blizzard could even remove the current rated battlegrounds from the unrated pool

    This is a bad idea, but the rest sounds most agreeable.

  2. The weekly rotation makes sense if you don't want to force rated BG teams/guilds/players to be grinding every day.

    Limiting the season to a single bracket of BG's is more parallel with PVE where players are usually stuck in that seasons raid dungeon. But, I would think it would make the 25v25 seasons a lot harder to deal with in the long run.

    To field a solid 25 man team, a PVP guild will need standby players. Unlike PVE though, these standby players who miss out on kills, they can be rotated into battles to get their weekly points. This surplus of "standby" players will make fielding 3 teams on 10v10 weeks, and 2 teams on 15v15 weeks possible. On the smaller team weeks, player rotations will probably still be done.

  3. Making the season be one size locks people out for an entire season. That is certainly nowhere near as fair as having them be rotating each week.

    There's already plenty of comments about smaller guilds who won't have enough people to make up a 25v25 team, let alone a 15v15 in some cases. Wouldn't you rather that these people be able to play every third, or two out of three weeks consistently during the expansion, instead of only being able to challenge one bracket in the entire expansion?

  4. I completely agree with Blizzard here. They found a balance between "too exclusive and keep lot of paying subscribers out" and "unplayable due to M&S".

    If they would allow automatic group creation, then the formed groups would never-ever win, making the casual players unhappy as no matter what they do, they just lose due to M&S against pre-mades.

    If they would make fixed BG sizes (even for a season), then a casual player could not get into any group due to not being able to play in schedule.

    This way the casuals can form /trade pugs, making it easily accessible content, still they can kick the useless M&S, making it possible to win, or at least "lose in a good fight" (as opposed to "if only half the team wouldn't chase a bubbled paladin to the edge of the map").

  5. RJ, my fix for that issue is would be to drop guild credit to 12/25. I.e. you get guild credit if your guild contributes the majority of players in a small (10 or 15) battle, or if you contribute about half the players in a large battleground.

    This would provide an obvious strategy for a small guild when 25v25 comes around: find another small guild to "team up" with. Both guilds would contribute at least 12 players, and both guilds would get guild credit for it.

    Gevlon, with automatic group creation, it would be easier to flag teams as pre-made or non-pre-made. Then just try and match non-pre-mades against each other. I don't think it would be that hard.

    As for the other way, teams will be matched by rating. Good teams should get a high internal rating, and push them out of the league of the pugs.

  6. Personally I would prefer it if they just left all 3 sized BGs open all the time.

    Do they shut down 2v2's, 3v3's or 5v5's on a weekly or seasonal basis?

    No, it's because some sizes suit some people better, however if you can field a team (or 2 or 3) in each bracket, why not?

    I raided both 10 and 25 man each week, in part due to the extra emblems, but also because each size had a different feel.

    However I only ran 2v2 and 3v3 arena teams, as that was all we could field regularly... often we ran 2's purely because our choices of a third were busy (you know, like raiding and other distractions)

    Likewise they didn't shut down Icecrown on a cyclical basis to ensure that people ran Uld or ToC.

    I personally believe we should be able to pick the size of BG we wish to run and run it.

    Now they have "globalised" the Battlegroups, in theory there will always be teams available to slaughter.

    As for randomising rated BG entry.

    Random normal BGs will still allow people to enjoy a BG, probably against like geared and skilled players and earn honor to buy the gear to take them to the next level.

    When they are at the next level, they can either join a trade channel pug, or hunt down one of the rated guilds on the server... I expect many of these will be taking "pugs" as a matter of course.

  7. I don't think this is the best idea, and I'm being very polite. PvP, like endgame raiding, can be a very competitive team-based sport. Your solution implies that you have to either find additional people, or thin the ranks every season because the bracket just changed.

    Plus people need change man, a full season of rated BGs would get very boring if it was restricted to only a few of the BGs and/or brackets.

  8. @ Gevlon:

    You keep bringing up the idea that automatic groups would "never-ever win" against premades, but that wouldn't matter if they'd just use the arena style matching system, because eventually the M&S would just be playing against other M&S for less points-per-win. I mean we use automatic groups now, and yes people slack, but it happens on both sides, so the win-loss ratio is pretty even. Bottom line, if you want to win only sometimes, auto-join, if you want to have a better chance especially at first (while you steamroll M&S), make a premade. And if you want to continue grinding, stay in your premade and get up into some higher brackets where you'll earn more per win, but it takes some concerted effort to win. I don't understand why just because the matches are becoming rated we're forgetting that we already have a battleground system in place that works pretty well...not always, but pretty well.