Wintergrasp Woes

October 14, 2009

I play on a server where Alliance is terribly outnumbered.  This fact makes questing on any of my alts an exercise in patience and corpse hopping.  I don’t even bother going to Stranglethorn Vale.  (aka Gank Capital of Azeroth)  Sure, there is a ton of XP and some really decent quest rewards waiting there for me, but unless I feel like spending my time running back to my corpse, I just don’t even bother.  If I can help it, I don’t quest by myself since Horde is so fond of running in packs and roflstomping anyone they happen to come across.  I understand this and it’s not something that will change, unless I become an amazing PvP’er who can regularly and consistently overcome 3, 4, or 5 on 1 odds.  I don’t suck, but taking on 3 dudes my level, just isn’t something I can pull off consistently.

Even though everything I mentioned is a major pain in my rear, I can (and do) deal with it.  After all, I’m on a PVP server and I really do love it.  I don’t think I could play on a PVE server, I need that sense of excitement swirled in with my gaming experience, not knowing if someone is going to jump out from behind something and try to kill me.  Also, I know that by being on a PVP server, I signed an unwritten contract – saying that no matter what happens, I have to deal with the world PVP (read: bored 80s ganking/camping level 20s, 30s, 40s, etc.) and again, I’m ok with all of that.

What I’m not ok with and what has been a MAJOR frustration for me on this server lately is….


I love the idea of Wintergrasp.  I love all the battlegrounds – faults and all – because deep down, I love PVP. When I first tried Wintergrasp, it was GREAT!  I had a blast in there, the music is awesome, the vehicles were all fun, and everyone on the server worked together toward a common goal.  The thing that made it “fair” was that the fortress was almost impossible to defend. If Horde held Wintergrasp for 2 hours, we’d get it for 2 hours next time, rinse and repeat.  Everyone was happy…except the developer that added Tenacity and Towers.

When I was on vacation for a week, I did a lot of Wintergrap battles.  A LOT.  As in, pretty much every two hours that I was online.  And the majority of the time, this is what I would see:

Yep, that’s right – even though the quality of the picture is really bad, that is indeed a 20 STACK of Tenacity.

Yes, 20.

More on that in a few…

So, I can kind of understand what they were thinking when they invented the Tenacity buff.

“Ok guys, this is what we’re gonna do.  When one team is outnumbered, they get a buff called Tenacity.  This will make them ridiculously powerful against the team that outnumbers them when fighting 1 vs. 1.  We’re not going to give the vehicles the buff, just the players.  Also, the buff won’t make the target immune to crowd control.  Ooo Ooo!  I know, we’ll also add towers and workshops in the south to defend.  When a tower is destroyed, it will take time off of the clock.  Brilliant!”

I have no idea how tenacity and towers work on balanced servers, but I can speak to how they DO NOT WORK on my server.

Tenacity for Players
As a PVP spec’ed Disc Priest with a 20 stack of tenacity, I can one or two-shot almost anyone I come up against, if the spell crits.  I can hit someone for 20k damage, easily.  With the buff, I have ~70k HP.  Does this make me feel uber powerful?  Yes, absolutely.  But, if I am outnumbered badly enough to get a 20 stack, how often do you think that I will have the luxury of fighting someone 1v1?  Not often.  Also, how likely is it that I will encounter someone who is stupid enough not to just crowd control the healer (me) and take out my teammates one by one?  Again, not likely.

Tenacity does nothing for me or my teammates overall.  It just doesn’t work like it might on a more balanced server.

Tenacity for Vehicles
Let’s take a trip to Make-Believe Land for a minute.  Imagine if Blizzard gave the Wintergrasp vehicles Tenacity.  So instead of a single member of the Horde being able to demolish a demolisher, it might take 5-7 people…a Siege Engine might take 10 people to destroy, etc.  We might have a fighting chance to get the vehicles into the keep before Horde’s numbers just sweep through the south and cap the workshops and destroy the towers…giving us 5 minutes to pull a victory out of our…well, you get the idea.

With tenacity on vehicles – we might have a fighting chance.

There are 3 towers in the south to defend.  East, Center, West.  Anytime a tower is destroyed, it drops minutes off of the timer for the battle.  We simply do not have enough players to defend these towers, thus causing us to lose in record time.  On a balanced server, the towers are an interesting dynamic – it adds a bit of drama to the battle because you can’t ignore them, you have to defend (or destroy) them depending on what side you’re on.

Do you Always Lose?
Always?  No.  But, out of 30 battles, we won three times.  The three times that we did win, had one thing in common…the tenacity was lower than 5 for those battles.  This leads me to believe that Wintergrasp really is a numbers game.  You need enough people to:

-Protect the South (Towers, Workshops)
-Make Vehicles in the North
-Assault the Keep
-Protect the Vehicles that are Assaulting the Keep
-Attack anything the Horde controls

Ideas for Change

I’m not a big fan of complaining about a game mechanic without offering ideas toward a solution.  I don’t claim to understand the game better than anyone else or if these ideas are even feasible, but here they are anyway:

Cap It
Now that you have to queue for Wintergrasp, you have a rough idea of how many people will be joining the battle.  If a raid of 40 Alliance players join, then only 40 Horde players should be allowed to join.  Anyone attempting to join Wintergrasp after the start of the battle, hanging out there before the battle begins, or flying in from another zone – should be ejected from the zone.  No need for tenacity if the sides are equally balanced…also, less lag.

Vehicular Tenacity
If you must keep tenacity, give it to the vehicles as well.

Outnumbered Team is on Defense
Lower the strength/hit points of the offense’s vehicles.
Lower the maximum amount of vehicles that can be made by the offense.

Make the turrets on the walls repairable.
Decrease the cast time on the RP-GGs that are available inside the keep/increase the damage they do.

Outnumbered Team is on Offense
Lower the amount of hits that the walls can take before breaking…by a lot.
Allow the walls to be attacked by players (no stealthing inside the keep would be possible or Rogues and Druids would just stealth in and win all the time)
Allow the offense a speed boost on all vehicles they make.  (How fast you can make them and how fast they move)
Buff/increase the amount of HP/strength the vehicles have.

Because of the level of frustration I’ve felt with this lately – I’m on Wintergrasp Hiatus.  I love the idea of it too much not to go back ever again, but I really need a break.

I really hope that Blizzard is able to find a way to make Wintergrasp fun for everyone again.  I’m not saying that it should be easier or even that it should go back and forth like it used to – but allowing it to continue as is … well, it’s just a waste of a great zone.


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