Prior to Battle for Azeroth there were a number of changes made to the large-scale Battlegrounds.
Back then Blizzard made a post asking for feedback about them, which can be found here:
Specifically in regards to Alterac Valley the following changes were made:
And the following thoughts were given by Blizzard afterwards:
This was all 6 months ago. So this is a bit of a post mortem, if you will.
I think the changes made are generally good and have worked well.
More reinforcements and stronger NPCs make for longer games. It helps ensure that the key to winning the battleground is teamwork. And it emphasizes the need for an actual strategy that people try to follow.
I’m missing some changes that reinvigorate the desire to collect resources.
Blizzard stated that they realized players have a passion for the classic mechanics like Ivus and Lokholar, but they didn’t have any immediate changes to announce, though adjustments might be made in the future.
Well, now it is the future.
Alterac Valley feels too similar to Isle of Conquest. The focus revolves entirely around capping points of interest whilst making incremental advancement toward the enemy boss. In Isle of Conquest there’s some uniqueness to be found in the siege vehicles and the need to destroy the enemy’s gates. In Alterac Valley however, there is no such thing. It would be nice if the resources looted from enemy players could be increased, or the amount of resources needed for the various base contributions could be decreased, so invoking these buffs and summons would play a more central role in the battleground.
The map layout is problematic.
Blizzard noted after implementing the changes that they’d seen a dip in Alliance win rates, but they wanted to give them time to re-adjust and strategize. And then Blizzard would monitor things and make changes where necessary.
Again, 6 months have passed, I’d say that the Alliance have had plenty of time to re-adjust, strategize, and otherwise become familiar with the changes made to the battleground.
I think it’s obvious that whereas in the past Alliance would win the majority of Alterac Valley games by just blitzing all the enemy towers and rushing to kill the boss within 10 minutes – usually a minute sooner than the Horde could accomplish the same – then that is no longer the case.
The Horde seems to have a considerable advantage following the changes made, because they foster a strategy where you try to take one tower at a time – and Stonehearth Bunker is a lot more exposed and vulnerable than Iceblood Bunker is.
Usually the map will look like this after a few minutes:
And after 6 months of trying, the Alliance have yet to figure out a strategy to turn this situation around.
Stonehearth Bunker always falls as the first, putting the Horde in a very favorable position.
In the odd cases where the Alliance manages to win, it is usually achieved through brute force by killing lots of Horde players and winning on reinforcements.
Whilst a win is a win, I believe it is problematic that there doesn’t seem to be an objective-based strategy that the Alliance can pursue to win, and that the only way seems to be to have players who are good at killing Horde players without dying themselves.
Something has to be changed here. That Stonehearth Bunker is too exposed and vulnerable, whereas Iceblood Tower is easily defended because of a narrow choke-point and close proximity to the graveyard.
- Make resource gathering matter again.
Buffing your NPCs and invoking powerful summons should be what makes Alterac Valley unique and interesting.
- Do something about the map layout.
It seems clear that the current layout does not present the Alliance with an objective-based strategy they can pursue to try and win. Rather, the strategy becomes to try and prevent the Horde from winning, which is not a very satisfying gameplay experience.
Other people’s thoughts?
Feel free to share them!