Crazy as it might sound, I’m one of the few people that actually enjoys playing Alterac Valley. I’m not an honour farmer by any means, but what few ranks I have gained, I’ve gained from queuing AV when I’m bored.
Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve seen the meta go through many changes. This is purely from my own experience, but initially alliance were winning every game. Then horde figured out a better strategy and were winning every game. Then came the alliance premades. At first these steamrolled through horde teams, until horde realised that some of these premades weren’t very well organised and a heavy defence + slow push attack strategy would break about half of them. Those badly organised premades seem to have died out which leads us to where we are now.
This is speaking from purely my own experience, however 90% of my games now in AV appear to be against highly organised, high ranked alliance premades. They’ve figured out their strategy and are able to cut through most horde teams with ruthless efficiency. This strategy is so often used, most horde AV players know it as well as the alliance players do.
At first, presumably while still under the illusion that any premade could be broken with a heavy defence, Horde players would fight valiantly and would assemble at Galvanger and later at Frostwolf base to try and stop the Alliance raid in their tracks. As someone who actually enjoys playing AV, these games were actually very enjoyable (even though most of them were losses). The enemy were not brainless and actually posed a challenge, and Horde players would have to adapt and work together to try and push them back out of the base. There was a joy in the minor victories like being able to force alliance to turtle at Frostwolf aid station and then wiping them before they could cap it. The mantra was, if we were queuing 25-30 minutes for a game, we might as well make it last.
That mantra has now changed, and it has changed drastically. Get as much honour as you can before we lose is the best way I can describe it. No longer are horde interested in engaging the enemy. The mindset has changed that fighting the alliance raid is pointless; it will only have a negative impact on Horde’s honour per hour and make the games last longer. Horde players seem to want short games now if it VS a highly organised alliance premade. Far from rallying the troops, horde players will now shout down any players who make any suggestion of mounting a defence against the oncoming alliance raid. In these games, both raids will run past each other. There will not be any PvP. And while alliance take home the big prize uncontested, Horde will happily fight for the scraps.
This is the end result of min maxing honour farming taken to the extreme. These types of games are devoid of any meaningful PvP, and most of all, are not fun to play. So corrupting is this mindset, it has convinced the mass majority of players farming for ranks they will ultimately never achieve, to prop up the few farming for the top ranks by playing bland and joyless games over and over again.
I don’t know what the best solution is to fix this and make AV enjoyable to play once again. I’m sure there are many. What I do know is that this is yet another example of the core reason why classic isn’t as fun as vanilla was, isn’t because of the game, but the way we choose to play it.