More than anything else in WoW, I want to see BGs become the PvP focus again. Screw arenas. Screw raiding. If doing battlegrounds could actually become a viable end-game, I would never do either of those activities again.
So the question is how to get doing BGs into something awesome to do. They’re already gloriously fun, what they need now is gear to give them an overarching point.
Ghostcrawler has expressed the common issues with actually making BGs worthwhile. Here follows me talking to myself in response to what he said:
1) Just give everyone epics. Despite S1 and Naxx 25, this really isn’t the goal. 🙂
2) Make it very random, like you have a small chance to get an epic. /wrist
Agreed, Ghostcrawler. Both of these are stupid ideas.
3) Reward number of BGs won, which feels very grindy because the number would have to be large or you have situation 1 again. One of the things we like about both Arenas and raids is the gear rewards are gradual because of the lockout. You can’t play 24/7 and gear yourself overnight.
I really don’t think it would be hard to come up with something that works very similar to this. The lockout, gradual part, I mean. There’s already that PvP BG daily, and BG weekends…
Attach, say, a Badge of Awesome to the rewards for the PvP daily, then add loot purchasable with said badges. It’s not even an original idea. I spend more thought on how to eat a cookie than I just did to come up with this badge idea. I’m sure Blizzard could come up with much better ideas while drunk.
4) Have organized BG teams
Extremely stupid. Considering that this would mean that teams could only fight other teams, and you’d end up with queues in the hours long range. You could also let organized teams fight the random PuGs, which is probably even a worse idea. Not to mention the utter nightmare this would be logistically.
Reward skill. This is the answer we like the best, but is also the hardest to institute.
So here’s my take on rewarding skill. Only two sets of data would be required, really. How long did the BG last, and by corollary, how much of that was the player present for? Then, take their numbers for the battleground (everything from HKs to random objectives completed), and compare that against the rest of their team.
Ok, that maybe was a little complicated, have some needlessly wordy detail!
For instance, say you deal 10k damage in AB. Pretty crappy, right? If you were in the BG for, say, twenty minutes, you’d be rated pretty horribly.
But, if the average damage dealt for your team was 7k, then you did pretty awesome. If the battle lasted twenty minutes, but you were there for only the last eight seconds, that’s pretty flippin’ awesome.
An individual’s rating, then, would depend on how much they contributed, relative to their teammates, in a given time span.
At this point, the only issue will be measuring contribution. Using CC on the other team would need to count. Guarding a flag would need to count. Dispelling effects from teammates would need to count. Everything would need to count, and be weighted accordingly.
Some other factors GC brings up:
how coordinated your side is
A non-issue. If your team is more coordinated than the other, then your team is better. Artificial coordination (one side starting out with, say, 7 people versus the other team’s 15) would obviously need to be accounted for somehow. Tenacity buff in BGs anyone? Eh? Eh? Eh.
If the fight starts out even, 15 versus 15, and your team is losing thanks to a lack of coordination… honestly, sorry for the loss, buddy. Your team is worse, and therefore deserves to lose.
Considering your ranking would be based on your performance compared against your own teammates (not the other guys), this really wouldn’t be an issue anyways. Unless, of course, actually winning is given too much weight.
whether the other guys are AFK
Also a non-issue. Again,an individual’s performance rating would be largely independent of how well or bad the other team does. If you’re on a team with AFK players, just contribute more than them. Not hard if they’re doing nothing. If you’re fighting against a team with AFK players, so what? Your rating is based on your performance, which doesn’t really care what the other team does.
It’s not like there are mechanics in place in arenas to compensate for AFK players, why would this be an issue for BGs?
is someone just honor farming
Irrelevant, if contribution, and therefore rating, is based on much more than just how many kills you got credited with.
is someone griefing
Someone is going to need to explain this one to me.
The only exploit I can actually think of are extremely infrequent terrain features that allow a player to stand in strange places, or abuse really weird LOS issues. Which, frankly, if a player is clever enough to do, they probably deserve the points for doing so.
And really, who’s at fault if a player finds a bug in terrain?
If it’s random ability bugs… again, mostly a non-issue, at least in comparison to arenas. If there’s a bug that lets rogues teleport wherever they want via Shadowstep, that’s going to cause just as much of an issue in arenas as battlegrounds.
In answer to your question… yes, the type of system I’m endorsing wouldn’t really hinge on losing or winning. If you did poorly on the winning team, you’re going to be rated lower than the guy who did awesome on the losing team.
No longer will your success be based on who won or who lost, what matters is that you tried hard and gave it your best efforts. I know it sounds like new age hippy crap, but consider.
Rewarding relative personal contribution would give everyone the incentive to continue trying, even if the situation is grim or even impossible.
Say you’re in an AB, and your team just got five capped. Do you complain in /bg, then sit around near the graveyard waiting for the end? Or do you head out there, and try to rack up as much contribution as you can so at least your personal rating still goes up (or at least doesn’t go down)?
It would also prevent players from leeching off of other, better players. If you contribute nothing, or next to nothing, to a battleground, sure you’re still going to get the honour from winning, but your own personal rating isn’t going to be exactly stellar.
I know some of you (maybe many of you) are going to have a knee-jerk reaction to the idea of “winning even when you lose” mentality.
But think. If a team loses AB, they are worse than the team who won. On average, the 15 players who lost produced less skill than the 15 players who won. Of the 15 who lost, 4 of them were pretty awesome and were rewarded accordingly for being awesome. The other 11 were average to terrible, and were rewarded accordingly.
Work out the kinks, devise ways to account for the various forms of contribution, and a system like this will reward the winners and not the losers, even of the winners don’t necessarily win or the losers don’t lose.