Sunday WoW Classic and the Rush to Battlegrounds

Just last Sunday I was posting about the release of the Phase 2 content for WoW Classic.  Now Blizz is saying that features from Phase 3 are coming early.

Classic is as classic does

Specifically, Blizz has announced that the battlegrounds Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley will got live for WoW Classic on the week of December 10th, while the rest of the Phase 3 content (Darkmoon Faire and Blackwing Lair) won’t arrive until 2020.

Why the indecent haste?  As SynCaine points out, the combo of ranks and honor and rewards being added and the population faction imbalance on a lot of the PvP realms has made the open world PvP system comically nonviable on many servers.

I’m not as critical of Blizz on this front, though the fact that I play on a PvE server no doubt helps.  Blizz has made a commitment to the vanilla experience, and you can hardly toss a stone in a discussion about vanilla WoW without hitting somebody who pines for the halcyon days of yore when there was the constant battle between Tarren Mill and Southshore.

So Blizz has naturally tried to honor that.  Remember back at the 10th anniversary how Blizz brought that back for a bit, along with Molten Core, as a special anniversary event?  Now they have tried to do that again for the 15th anniversary, only this time it was on WoW Classic and it wasn’t in a staged and balance battleground environment. And guess what, it didn’t work out well.

But I’ll bet you it didn’t work out well back in the day either.  A treasured memory of one day of good fights in the Hillsbrad Foothills probably blanks out all the half-assed, lopsided days that were probably more the norm.  After all, there was a reason that Blizz created battlegrounds.

On the bright side, at least Blizz had a go to solution handy when reward driven open world PvP ended up being problematic.  I don’t know how long the gap was between honor and ranks and rewards and the implementation of battlegrounds was back in vanilla, but I bet it was longer than three weeks.  And so it goes.

8 thoughts on “Sunday WoW Classic and the Rush to Battlegrounds

  1. Rohan Verghese

    It’s amusing to me, because the exact same thing happened to me in Vanilla. My first character was a Undead Warrior on a PvP server, around level 50 when the PvP honor system was introduced. I was ganked constantly. It got so bad, I deleted that character in a fit of frustration, and rerolled a Human Paladin (which would become my main) on a PvE server.

    From my perspective, this Classic phase is pretty much true to the Vanilla experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Should We PVP in WoW Classic? – Ulalu

  3. Archey

    I will say that the addition of honor has made the Discord for my server (and I think yours too, Bloodsail Buccaneers) much more active than before. Previously there might have been 10 messages in a day, mostly inside jokes or memes. Now there are hundreds in a day, involving gf’s, discussions about where the fight is, Horde/Alliance balance, and other PvP related topics.

    With that said, just from the discussions it seems clear that SS/TM is far from a good solution. There is Horde/Alliance imbalance, hiding behind civilians, DKs being intentionally incurred by trolls (the player kind, not the race), and the intervention of guards all causing problems.

    I think it’s a pretty cool emergent phenomenon, but in the long term, without the prospect of battlegrounds on the way, it would just get more and more frustrating. So I think Blizzard made the right call.

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  4. NoGuff

    1.12 actually nerfed the honor system to make it less painless, so Classic hit the ground running with those players who knew how the system worked from the git-go. I’ve been engaged in the SS/TM Battles since PvP went live, and can say first hand that being on a PvE server is a blessing to those who haven’t hit 60 yet, and a curse to those on servers with faction imbalances. I’m in the top 100 Alliance side on my server, and can see the grind looming, so bringing in BG’s early will definitely help in that regard.

    The big thing right now is DHK’s, and I’ve seen instances of players being g-kicked and black listed for incurring them, and with BG’s looming sooner than expected, the backlash for getting DK’s is much stiffer now than it was in Vanilla as Guild’s go into ‘hurry-up’ mode with the planning of pre-mades.

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  5. Redbeard

    If I had a conspiratorial turn of mind, I’d have suggested that Blizz implemented Phase 2 and 3 like this to try to prove that “you think you do but you don’t” was correct all along. And maybe that’s the case, but having been caught in the middle of a Hillsbrad Special when running back from Alterac to the Southshore flight point, I can say that even on PvE servers the old fashioned PvP is alive and well. The only difference between PvE and PvP is that you can choose to opt out on PvE when you want to, and PvP doesn’t have that luxury.

    My prediction is that BGs will alleviate things a bit on the PvP servers, but not to the degree that some people seem to expect. People who want to deal with PvP on their own terms will migrate to PvE servers, and there will be some inevitable contraction on the PvP server front. Of course, I’d have argued that there should have been more PvE servers from the beginning, but hey, what do I know? I only learned how to play WoW on a PvP server, and moving from PvP to PvE meant a load off of my mind when I was out questing alone (played on a PST server when I’m located in EST, so me playing at 6 AM my time meant 3 AM server time).

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  6. SynCaine

    The point isn’t about faction imbalance, that was a given and isn’t a core problem.

    The core problem is that Classic servers hold 10x more players than Vanilla servers, and into that very un-Vanilla environment New Blizzard released the honor system without any counter-compensation. In Vanilla the number of people looking to gank for honor out in the world might mean a section of a zone or two are unplayable in addition to SS/TM action. When you allow 10x players on a server, that results in most lvl45+ areas being gank zones during prime time. Again, in Vanilla that was simply not possible because of population caps.

    All these ‘its just like Vanilla’ posts are categorically false, either from people who don’t accurately remember Vanilla, or are trolling for effect.

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  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Redbeard – I had that same thought, but it seemed a bit petty. And, given how Blizz has had troubles finding their way along in a few ways, I suspect that this is just another aspect of the tug of war between presenting the most authentic vanilla experience they can and just jumping to the stuff they knew was put into the game later for a reason. I have lived through enough things that sounded good in a conference room but went poorly in front of live customers to not suspect malice.

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  8. Pendan

    I read it was 60 days in vanilla between honor system and battle grounds. I did not confirm the post. They also though shortened the time between release and the honor system and so if you were not a fast leveler you got shorted time to make it to 60 in classic.

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