Monday, 4 April 2016

Battleground binge

I only played WoW for a short time at the start of Cataclysm, and returned half way through the last patch of Mists of Pandaria, so I had a big hole in my progression, almost the size of two expansions. Catching up PvE content like dungeons, quests and raids is pretty easy, because they don't scale. I've done most of that, short of some difficult achievements like Getting Hot in Here and Show Me Your Moves! Catching up archaeology, fishing, and pet battles was a massive grind, but I have done 95% on those fronts as well. The area where I am still largely lacking progress, is in battlegrounds, but specifically those from Cata/MoP as I had completed Battlemaster back in Wrath.

I don't know why, perhaps just boredom, but over the past couple of weeks, my desire to do battlegrounds has come back with a vengeance.

I've previously gone back and finished off Tol Barad, but for the 5 battlegrounds since Cata (Battle for Gilneas, Twin Peaks, Silvershard Mines, Temple of Kotmogu, and Deepwind Gorge) my tally of wins was effectively zero. I've got up to a dozen wins for each on my hunter, as I've been PvPing on it this expansion, but I'm now back on my shaman, committed to earning achievements on my main.

I first did Ashran and the Gladiator Sanctum nemesis quests on my hunter, which I still believe was the right decision at the time, but I've since gone and done them again on my shaman, so perhaps it was not the best decision. I feel these battleground achievements are an even bigger task so it's not one I'd want to repeat later - 550 battleground wins = 1100 battlegrounds at 50% win rate. Doing 3 battlegrounds a day, it would take a year to complete.

I quickly realised that queueing for random battlegrounds just wasn't going to cut it. When you don't need half of them, but can only blacklist two - inevitably AV and IoC - then any benefit of faster queues or bonus rewards goes out the window. Queueing specific battlegrounds is better, but sometimes the queues for particular bgs just won't pop, and it is harder to convince people to come with you if you are cutting the rewards. Not that there's anyone in my guild at the moment with a tenth of the fervour I currently have for battlegrounds. My GM can't say no, but I'm not at the top of a long queue of people she can't say no to. And it is hard for me to find other like-minded people, so I'm just solo queueing it. The problem with that is, every 2nd queue pop is putting you into an in-progress game, replacing someone who quit because it's going to be a loss. After a few of those, my patience starts dissipating.

I was expecting a pretty bad time, from personal experiences to community perception, of Alliance dominance and shaman (elemental in particular) weakness. I toyed with switching to enhancement for PvP, as that is the generally better rounded dps spec, but decided against it for various reasons. The reality is... it all seems true, but it's somewhat muted.

Faction wise, Alliance do still seem stronger, but it ebbs and flows. If I ignore the games I enter that are already losses, my WL record improves significantly. There absolutely are times when you will be lucky to win one at all, but tonight for example, I entered 6-7 fresh battlegrounds in a row, and won most of them, before things started to turn sour.

Same goes for playing elemental, there absolutely are players who make the spec feel completely broken. Feral druids are the worst; but they aren't the only class I've seen competent players negate or passively heal my damage, and/or out-damage my healing surge spam. On the other hand, the strength of the team, and present numbers, matters more, and sometimes I get to be quite tanky, and sometimes I put out lots of damage. I recognise this is likely down to gear, but the point is, I usually only do terribly when the team does, and that is fine. I don't feel like a hindrance, which is more than I can say for elemental at the start of WoD, and why I can get enjoyment out of it.

So after a couple of weeks, my progress is 12-13 wins in each of the 5 battlegrounds. My shaman has caught up to where my hunter is, and I think I will be able to keep up this kinda pace until the Legion pre-patch hits - from there who knows. But if you are Oceanic/US and happen to see this and want a reliable evening bg partner, hit me up in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I will try to keep you company. When I'm not doing other things :P