Classic Alterac Valley goes from #NoChanges to #SomeChanges
Is it time to admit that WoW Classic, despite being very popular at its launch, can’t really do what it set out to do? Maybe not, but if we’re making that argument, Alterac Valley might absolutely be the case study.
Ever since Alterac Valley went live in WoW Classic, players have argued that it wasn’t “right.” It didn’t feel like Alterac Valley actually did, not even the changed version that players remembered from patch 1.12 (the template patch for WoW Classic). Games were ending too soon and the experience wasn’t at all the way people remembered it.
Well, Blizzard has announced some changes to Alterac Valley in WoW Classic, and frankly, they’re going to do very little for you players who miss your sixteen hour or more AV’s.
These changes, which CM Kaivax calls “surgical” in this blue post detailing them, aren’t going to alter the fact that players are a lot better at getting to the end of the map and winning the whole shebang than they were in 2005 and 2006. However, they’ll be nice if you want to group together with friends: you can now queue up for AV together in a party of up to five players and you’ll be sent to the same AV with those friends, which is a great addition. Blizzard also isn’t letting AV start with 20 players on a team, so there will likely be longer queues but at least you won’t end up being steamrolled by an organized raid group.
Blizzard is also changing the diminishing returns rate from a 15% reduction (as it was throughout original WoW) to a 10% rate, a change that was never made during the entire length of live World of Warcraft in its original, pre-Burning Crusade form. I understand their rationale for the change — you are a lot more likely to kill the same people over and over again in a battleground than in world PVP — but it’s still a wholly new feature.
I don’t think this will really address the actual issues players are having with AV in WoW Classic, and I also think it’s a bad idea to make small quality of life changes like this that never happened during Vanilla World of Warcraft. If anything, I’d be more interested in changes to revert it to the very first iteration of the battleground from its 2005 launch during patch 1.5.0. But these are relatively small changes, so they’re likely to have very little effect rather than a particularly disastrous one.
We’ve prepared a collection of improvements that we’re going to make to Alterac Valley in WoW Classic over the next few days. Our goal is to make surgical adjustments that address some of the more prominent pain points and unfortunate behaviors, without cracking open the substance of the battleground.
As Soon As Possible
We’re working on a hotfix that will go live soon that will make honorless targets unlootable. This is intended to further discourage camping the starting caves as an efficient activity.
With Scheduled Weekly Maintenance
Several concurrent adjustments should positively affect the initial state of each instance of Alterac Valley:
- Alterac Valley will now allow parties of up to 5 players to queue together. When a party queues together, they will be placed into the same battleground.
- There will no longer be a number in the name of the battleground in the “Join Battle” screen.
- We’re fixing a setting that allowed the battleground to start with as few as 20 players on a team.
Soon After the Weekly Honor and Raid Reset
In WoW Classic (and original WoW), players who get fewer than 15 kills aren’t given any rank progress, and are given a standing amongst other players who had fewer than 15 kills. This standing is ignored and causes confusion, so it will no longer be displayed.
Finally, we’re updating the calculation of diminishing returns to match patch 1.12 of original WoW. When WoW Classic first launched the Honor System, we made the decision to decrease Honor by 25% per repeated kill. With world PvP being the only option for obtaining Honor at that time, this made sense. Now, PvP has primarly moved to battlegrounds where repetitious engagements can happen with much greater frequency. Starting next week, Honor will now decrease by 10% per repeated kill in both battlegrounds and world PvP.
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