Friday, July 13, 2007

How to Add New Battlegrounds without increasing Queue Times

This week in the forums CM Nethaera posted that Blizzard was considering additional battlegrounds but was worried that it would cause queue times to increase. At the moment with four battlegrounds available to players the queue times can become long enough to affect player retention. Many a battleground starts with one side having a full compliment of players while the other side suffers from having AFK players in the queue. Honestly with queue times of fifteen minutes its easy to see how players can become distracted and not realize their queue has popped.

However, I do have a suggestion on how to add more battlegrounds without affecting the queues too much. Based on what Blizzard has done in the past it's probably even possible without too much development work. Simply group a new battleground with one of the older ones so that they share the same queue. Blizzard could even make the reputations and marks of honor the same for battlegrounds that share a queue. This would allow players to gain the specific marks they need for PvP gear without worrying about having to gather a new type.

Picture a new forty-man battleground were the Stormpike and Frostwolves fight over the Ruins of old Alterac. The battleground could have new and exciting game mechanics and not increase the average queue time for Alterac Valley. True players might want to try out the new Alterac Ruins map instead of the older Alterac Valley one but Blizzard would have discretion to how the games were created in the queue. Perhaps in the beginning two Alterac Ruins games could be created in the queue for every one Alterac Valley. As long as similar amounts of honor were awarded I don't think it would effect balance very much.

After all the arena system uses multiple arenas with different layouts without letting players choose which one they want. The battleground system might also need a similar randomness to make matches more fair. At the very least it would offer new content to PvP players without making the older battlegrounds ghost towns. Plus it would preserve the four week cycle of battleground holidays.


Zerei said...

I've always thought Blizzard should add in new "maps" - like what you see in FPS games. The objectives remain the same, but you have different terrain to work with. Could you imagine having only one Capture the Flag map in Unreal Tournament? The game would get old fast.

Though I suppose in WoW they're relying on players having things other than Battlegrounds to do.

But then it would make sense for say the Warsong Orcs and Silverwing Sentinels to maybe be fighting over different sections of the forest rather than just that one.

Relmstein said...

With the arena system for WoW starting to get some exposure in video game tournaments I'm sure Blizzard will be trying to flesh out all the pvp systems. Hopefully this means more battleground maps.

Kinless said...

I like the idea.

No soldier makes the call of where they may fight. They're loaded up and then dumped onto the battlefield. Pointed in the right direction and told to excel.

Radically, offer only a single mark type. The Mark of Battle. 3 for winning, 1 for the also rans.

And when you queue up, you queue up for Battle. WSG, AB, Alterac Valley, Eye of the Storm. You don't know where you'll be sent. You're dumped into the battle where you're needed. (With priority for full group starts.) Make everyone deal with all situations. Standing there at the Warmaster, unsure where your next battle will be, do you sign up? Are you Orc enough to accept the challenge?

AV Tunnel AFKers won't like this one bit. They'll have to settle for occasionally being WSG Graveyard camped until the other side is bored.

And you can offer some new maps without them being overloaded at the loss of older maps. If you want to play the new maps, you'll have to participate in the War. All of it.

The Arena's being separate from this of course.

Salud said...

Perhaps Blizzard should allow certain battlegrounds accessible during certain weeks. Maybe there should be only 2 active battlegrounds each week. This may help prevent long queue times since everyone with queue for those particular battlegrounds.

Also remove double honor week since there will be more battles available.

Paul said...

Referring to Kinless's post.

Players who enjoy particular BGs have no say in what they want to play? Sorry but that isn't going to work. It's like going to Burger King and not getting the Burger you really wanted.

I do however like the idea of keeping the game objectives the same but with different maps. Hell I'd love for Horde and Alliance spawn points in AV be to swapped.

Ontherocks said...

Kinless has a good start of an idea, but Paul is right, players would really revolt over losing the ability to choose.

So the way to handle it is: leave the old queue and BG mark system in place, but install a single NPC for "Queue for Any" and doing so and completing earns you universal marks, and a slight bit of bonus honor.

Given an incentive, players will use the "Queue for All/Any", and the queue times will decrease. It's all about presentation.

Relmstein said...

So true. I would jump at the chance to queue for any battleground. The only one I tend to avoid is WSG since the horde seem to win that one by default. Think it has something to do with their much higher druid/shaman population.

Joyd said...

I think the backlash against anything that restricts what battleground you play in would be too monstrous and severe (and not unjustified) for them to even consider it. Players who don't really care where they fight and want to just get anywhere fast already have an option - queueing for all four battlegrounds. You can even jump out of one if another one you like better pops while you're fighting.

Keystone said...

I don't want another battleground, in fact, I'd prefer a server with NO battlegrounds! I think the game needs more world PvP objectives and towns to capture. I mean Halaa is a start, but come on, that's not a town, it's more like a campsite!

I'd like to see cities as big as Stormwind able to be captured with city bosses & siege weapons!

Another battleground would just add more of the same; I'd like something fresh and new!