Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tol Barad patched to be WORSE!

The Pug news: We got Tol Barad, and used it to get our firstkill on the Tol Barad boss. I hope they fix TB soon and it can become a regular place to play. Also I bought 7 guild bank tabs for guild achievement. This does not affect the "no guild bank" rule, no one can access it, I will use it as personal bank (paid it from my own money). If you want a similar guild bank get 5 signatures for your bankalt!

Important update: Today's patch notes say that winning Tol Barad as an attacker provides 1800 honor points (180 on defense). So instead of fixing this messed up zone, they try to mobilize the competitive PvP-ers to help capturing Tol Barad, as that thing is totally unbalanced and defense-sided.

However it means that if you defend it twice in a row, you get 2x180=360 honor points for 2x30 mins battle. If you capture it fast and then the opposing team captures it, you get 1800+0 = 1800 honor points for 2x10 mins matches.

So the best thing for everyone would be a constant "assault wins". Of course I'm not suggesting to purposefully lose on defense, that would be win-trading and bannable. I'm just saying that you have every reason to give your very best on assault and play casually during defense. Or, if you are a good, geared PvP-er, you have little reason to show up on defense, and every reason to show up on assault. In your place some random kiddie will show up who will make sure that the defending team will lose.

Blizzard managed to miss one of the basic rules of game theory: the combined rewards of cooperate-cooperate must be larger than the combined rewards of defect-cooperate. In the latter case alternating wins (defect-cooperate) becomes a globally optimal strategy.

Of course if assault always wins, there is no point showing up as defense, so in days Tol Barad will be deserted by everyone except totally oblivious M&S and griefers who try to win just to grief both factions.

I actually written the post about another messed up reward when the above gem was created by Blizzard. Below you can see the smaller, but still game-breaking nonsense.

Did random BG today, like I did it some times every day for PvP gear for rated BGs and Tol Barad. To gain that 220 honor and 25 valor points every day I have to play 3-4 games or find 5 guildies and play 1-2. I have to play my best to win against the sabotage of the drooling M&S who can't understand that fighting in the midfield is bad, fighting on the bridge is bad, taking flag instead of tower is bad, idiot hill got its name for a reason and "all zerg mine" is not a valid strategy in Battle for Gilneas.I am really proud of myself if I can keep a 0 resilience lolwhirlwind warrior or "leap on 5 hordies is cool" cat druid alive.

It doesn't take a math genius to figure that 7*25=175 which is very slow rate for PvP epics. So I created a 2v2 arena team with my girlfriend, expecting to get a few conquest points for sucking around 3-400 rating. On our first match we got a feraldruid-frostmage team. The mage did not cast polymorph. Not once. Nor counterspell. Just stood in one place exchanging ice lances for explosive shots with my girlfriend or tried to cast painfully slow frostbolts, thanks to her sporebat. His buddy was equally great. Was in bear form all the time, despite we did no damage on him and spent most of the fight in the trap. He did not even use (or have) insignia to break it once.

After the bear died too, we got 268 conquest points. Again: for a half an hour teeth to teeth deathmatch I got 25 conquest and 210 honor points, consuming the "daily first" bonus. Without it, I'd get 120 honor points or so. On the other hand for kicking the useless butt of a lame excuse of a mage and shame of all druids I got 268 conquest points. With other words: if we kill them 5 more times, we get an epic PvP item.

"Your rating will elevate and you get better enemies" you might think, but no. At first, if I reach equilibrium rating, I win every second match. So 134 conquests/match. Also, if I don't feel like playing against good players, I can just queue 10x while doing something else, /dance when the game starts, decrease MMR, then win 10 times against arthasdklol-pallyftw combos.

I can't believe it is intended. Arena became a total welfare epics shower where you get top ilvl items for near-zero effort. All you have to do is being able to defeat a 0 resilience noob who has absolutely no idea about his class. Arenas supposed to be top PvP competition, and should give rewards only for top performance. The old system where 10 matches on 700 rating provided enough points to buy a piece a month was OK. After all even bad players deserve rewards if they win. Also you needed rating for many pieces. But an epic item for 5 matches at the lowest ratings?!

It's another untested nonsense on the PvP field. Please note that if it is intended, than the normal BGs are completely obsolete as their rewards are clearly inferior to the 2v2 rewards.

Until they fix this nonsense, I suggest everyone to get a 2v2 team an play until caps his weekly conquest points. The ilvl 365 epics are just a bit weaker than 346 PvE gear for PvE, so even if you don't plan to play PvP ever, it's still a good trade. Don't let conquest points go wasted any week!


kuon said...

Buying the bank tabs and keeping them yourself doesn't seem goblinish.

Can't you rent them to guildies ? Does the Guild bank permission system allow you to give an individual exclusive access to a single tab ?

Ribx said...

In other news, it seems like Blizzard is apparentely going to make it harder to get PVP gear, since it's starting to look like TBC all over again (doing PVP to run PVE).

Anyhow... What's the purpose of playing a competitive mode in a game that is clearly not built around class balance, nor player competition?

I understand doing such a thing in a game like Guild Wars.

Hell, I play Street Fighter. That's where I get my competition.
World of Warcraft is all kinds of silly when it comes to Player vs Player.

The major two reasons why I believe you play WoW, is:
a) Distraction (allied with entertainment).
b) Challenging content.

Not exactly a wild guess, since I believe the vast majority of decent players play for the challenge too. But that challenge is present in the form of boss fights, and hardmodes, for the most part.

Not in a (for the lack of a better word) "retardedly" developed PVP system, aimed at pleasing the masses, whilst trying to keep the PVE-side balanced as well.

I'm serious when I give you this advice Gev: don't burn time in PVP.
There's about as much profit from PVP in WoW as there is from juggling bananas, and I can guess you're not having fun at all.

Overall, you end up playing with "crooked" objectives. You want something out of PVP, which will serve you no optimal purpose(PVP resto gear for PVE? Guessing here...), and you're clearly getting aggravated by the giganormous amount of "lulkids" and casual players that comprise Random BGs.

Only reason for playing PVP in WOW is if you're playing to win. And that means: using the "flavor of the season" team setup, min/maxing, macros galore, with Vent/TS (it's not about static tactics that won't change in the middle of the fight... it's about fighting human beings... as idiotic as they might be... they're a tad unpredictable).

If you're really getting some juice out of that orange, then I applaud your patience. But I still fail to see the benefit.

Grim said...

The benefit of winning in PvP is exactly that - winning. Winning feels awesome.

As for what's necessary - min/maxing is just as necessary for PvE. Macros and proper binds are actually a rather early stage of l2p.

Btw, having even rudimentary pvp skills (just learn to use all your abilities and macros without clicking or staring at the keyboard) drastically increases your chances of winning random BGs. One person can change a lot in 10v10 and even 15v15.

As for how fast you can get the pvp rewards - My pvp gear currently has exactly 1 pvp epic. This is the second week of the new season and it is impossible to have more than 1. I do however, have several pvp blues. The blues come way faster than epics if you play random BGs and TB.

Note that most armor takes around 1.5 weeks at low rating. The trinkets are around 1 week. Weapons are 2.5. Now do the math - if you don't get a high rating, you will barely gear up in epics by the end of the season. Meanwhile, if you pvp 24/7 you will get all the blues within a couple of days tops.

Also, for high arena ratings, better armor and weapons are available.

Ðesolate said...

268 conquest points?
Sounds like it depends on raiting, we´re actually at 880+ making our 5 wins a week and got ~340 this week at 1,4k cap.

The pvp-weapons are less beneficial than the tol barad weapons I´d rather say you should invest into the epic set since it´s ilvl 365 and by that (even when you subtract resilience) massively superior than 333 and in some cases superior to 346 (if your second best attribute is on it as haste for shadowpriests).

I must personally say I like the new system. We usually spend 10 games a week minimum per character, now we are at 8 games a week with 5 wins. And we still have a suboptimal setup (ele-shaman and prot-pally what will change to retribution when I get my hands on a raid-twohandweapon or I have to mouch conquest points whatever comes first)

And since you only need rating for the 2,2k weapon it also seems more balanced.

By the way we usually played rouge(muti me)-druid(restro)-warlock(affli), so it´s the poor RMP-style. We hit 2,3k+ every season avoiding the FOTM. I never leveld up a toon for pvpness but to learn about my most feared classes.

By that way I reached 2,2k+ with several classes (warr, pally, priest, warlock, druid) in WotLK (not every one every season I have a reallife running nearby even if many doubt that). I don´t get what I do wrong never using the FOTM except for being in a spellcleave-team at S8.

Yes I had some fun in S1-4 (TBC) when we had to really "work" for 2,2k+ and could only bring up one character since we needed a massive amount of time to equip up and correct raitingfails we had (not speaking of drood/warr in 2vs2 we reched 2,2k in 2 weeks at S3 dropping my warrior after that).
But with the System of S9 I can have a look on PvE by not having the need to do 100+ matches a week.

Tol Barad is... ...yes bad designed. Well at that reward we have to find a strategy to win it every second time it comes up. I´d be able to do my weekly cap in 3 times TB + Daily BGs? Well I think PvE is open this addon.

chewy said...

I have to disagree with you, I would say that the bank tabs purchase is very "Goblinish". Gevlon has built a guild which has given him access to buy 7 bank tabs, he's purchased them and will use them for his own business benefit.

By using grades/positions in the guild he would be able to selectively rent access to those tabs. I have no idea if Gevlon has compared the return on renting versus the profit as storage space but I suspect it would be very expensive rent if he were to choose to go that way.

Is it "fair" that he's exclusively using the space for himself when all guildies have contributed to its existence ? Well that's a different question but from what I can see of Goblin economics/philosophy I would say it's definitely "Goblinish".

Gevlon said...

@Chewy: this purchase was totally ungoblinish. The first 6 tabs can be gained by anyone who cares to get 5 signitures for his bankalt, so renting it is impossible.

The seventh tab is 10K for 98 slots, so 105G/slot, no one in his right mind would buy such crap.

I bought it only in the hope that the 10 (+other 10 from 8th slot) achievement point will have the effect that I plan to have

It is a long shot, and I do NOT suggest anyone to buy more than 3 slots for his bankalt.

@Desolate: just because you like it, it's still broken, just like you'd like a "mail 10K gold to Desolate every week" design feature, but you'd surely see it's a bug.

Anonymous said...

You compare wrong.

Daily random bg = skirmish in arena which is zero reward

2vs2 arena = rated bg = same conquest points per win (same zero honour gain)

"Welfare" gear is good. Don't want to fight some guys with ak47 while you got only a butter knife, do you? Ideally everyone should have acess to same gear for arenas.

christof said...

the attacker has a window to win in Tol Barad, right at the start when half the defenders get overrun at the Garnison, while the other half is defending our towers.
When at least 1/4 of the defenders understand that and defend one of the bottom bases, than Tol Barad will be completly onesided.

chewy said...

@Gevlon - Fair call you've exposed my ignorance of Goblinism. I was assuming that because bank space is effectively warehousing for your goods and that you would be taking that cost into account when calculating your profits. I'd not checked the cost of the higher level bank tabs to realise that the real estate was too expensive to be economically viable as warehousing.

As for the renting, you're of course right that it wouldn't stack up against 9 bank alts times 3 tabs per alt that is unless business was so good that the extra space (beyond the 9 alts) was at a premium. I was simply pointing out that the mechanics existed to rent the space.

Ðesolate said...

Well yes, I agree at the tol Barad thing as I wrote. Its quite useless. Just like a npc that hands over points if you jug up the jackpot. No competition, no PvP. So TB would be counted lottery.

I´d reject the 10k desolate feature since I´m happy with myself.

The actual gain / efford in arena was lower in WotLK since a singn up bot could have got you all the points you´d need. The only difference is what? You get more epics in fewer weeks.
Well they should bind the weekly limit harder to rating?

What would be balanced? 300 a week?
If I math up our time in (for now) only partial serious PvP we have about 200 minutes of arena per week. And recieve 175 points per BG at (i´m at 2-3 to win / day 15 minutes per game so 37,5 minutes round down to 37) 37 minutes per day 7 days a week so that´s another 235 minutes, we reach 435 minutes speaking of 7 hours and 39 minutes. and not even gained an epic yet as I am at 1575.

So we take the easy road at 5 minutes an arenamatch with 134/match (1,3k cap I assume?).
So we have 10 matches to do to get to the cap that´s only 50 minutes here and add the 235 mnutes for BG.
4 hours and 45 minutes later 1475 points made, also not even a single epic.

Well yes if you go for an offhand or a ring you´re done this week. Where is the imbalance to PvE?
Aw yes Raids don´t get shotted down yet in 4 hours. Maybe they will never but farmcontent will always be farmcontent in PvP since difficulty is player-based. PvE needs time to equip and to learn the boss tactics.

And look at us we du 7 hours a week. Yes it spares me time since I can say it´s less than 100 games a week to go up for 2,2k in a month. But I never had problems to get my gear by 4 hours effective work a week of PvP.

In WotLK I got a ilvl 264 in 2 hours BG (signup bot or sitting under a bridge, zero efford), a 270 offhand in 400 minutes to hit 1,8k + a mainhand 264, 251 setitems for bg-sitting. The arena-points got farmed in 5 vs 5 with an afk sign up bot (me pressing buttons and a multiboxxing program, everyone did that every week). I´d say we are at less gain / efford, maybe compareable if we look up to the rating requirements, than in WotLK but more than in BC. 75% of my pvp time in WotLK was semi-AFK-Work. 25% Rating buffing. Now I get the semi-AFK-Work gone, that´s it.

Aw yes ok, maybe you had to pay 10-20k for beeing dragged to 1,8k if you did not get 2 more people for 3 vs 3. But that would lead to 100% semi afk.

Jana said...

Getting one or multiple bank alts with 2-3 guild bank tabs is so easy, that nobody in his right mind would consider renting a tab even for something silly like 20g/week!

Even if you dedicated 10 characters on the server for this renting business with 3 tabs each, then it would give you 600g/week, which of course is a joke considering the limitations you impose on your characters (can't be in a proper guild, can't use the tabs your-self, managing your renters and so on).

As for the TB changes, it's simple - Blizzard just hopes that the hordes of M&S will run after the bigger, sweeter carrot. It's just probably to costly right now for them to totally rebalance/redesign the map comparing to just making a number 10x bigger and observing how it will work.

erney said...

I think the ilvl 365 gear requires you to have a 3v3 rating of 2200 or greater so i cannot see how your theory on getting gear with a 2v2 team would work?

Im not really sure as i never pvp'd in arenas but if you are correct i will give it a try.

Gevlon said...

@Erney: The off-set items (wrist, waist, feet, amulet, rings, trinkets, back, offhand) have no rating requirements.

Ðesolate said...

Have to get here...

The 365 Set has also no rating requirement. A seperate Set (style) is available for 2,2k rating, but it has the same stats.

Only the weapons have requirements at 2,2k. That´s it. (everything else is pure style as said, check the vendors)

By the way, it was announced that way two month before cataclysm.

Grim said...

365 Vicious Gladiator set items require nothing but CP.

Ax said...

You state that the mage just stood there and hit ice lance / frostbolt, and the druid just ran around the entire time. Then only a paragraph later you state that if you worry that your rating is getting too high you could just use /dance and lose. It seems like they were doing exactly as you were advocating to reduce their MMR, especially considering using /dance could be considered win trading. Maybe they're not as bad/dumb as you think.

Leifo of Kargath said...

What Blizzard is doing by awarding so many Conquest points on arena players is quite goblinish, isn't it?

Think about it: you're a game designer, and (to simplify) you have three elements of the game: PvE, battleground PvP, and arena PvP. You're investing a lot in the arena (annual ranked tournaments with media exposure, new arena scenes, tweaking of the system) and you want more people to play it (faster queue times, spread out server load, whatever). Why not make the carrot for trying out arena PvP nice and fat and juicy by showering Conquest points on people who dip their toes in the water. As another poster said, it'll still be a while before someone can gear up in full epics, but meanwhile you're dramatically encouraging more people to try arena when they hear about the potential for this year's version of welfare epics. (M&S: "l@@k at me i gotz purples lol")

Anonymous said...

Having Tol Barad switch sides every 2 hours seems like the intended result of the hotfix. It allows both sides opportunities to do dailies and the TB raid boss.

Pheqbeast said...

I do not share your view on the PvP part of arena.

First of all, with that play, you'll never, NEVER earn more than 1343 conquest pts a week, whilst us serious arenaplayers are sucking in 2500 conquest pts a week.


Because we play at 2k+

It's hard, it's challenging, you get better, it's so much more gain, and you get so much more rewards, (only if you're good) instead of coping with the mentally challenged lolimret-nicked holypaladin and the shitty excuse for a tank, or the retarded DPS who refuses to move out of the acid ground and blames the poor healer for not keeping him alive.

Sure,you'll always get your 1343 conquest pts, but you still have to "wait twice as much" as me, since I'm going 2k+, and soon, 2200. I will then get my upgraded tier-weapon, and go even higher.

Soon, I'll get 3 items a week.

It's not welfare, because 2400 rating isn't easy. Especially when you're facing wizardcleaves.

Anonymous said...

My experience on a PvE server is that less than 5% of the people care about PvP. Thus, while the gear and class balance get a lot of air time on forums and blogs, they just aren't that important. Just how many of the 13 million subscribers are significantly impacted by PvP issues? Achievemens, pets and mounts are all at least a big of deal as PvP.

How many cardinal rubies you could get per week in Wintergrasp was a real issue of course.

Many nerfs and class changes were driven by arena and yet arena participation kept declining to 5-10%. So large bribes to get meh-ice-lance-is-fine people to queue up for arena is probably a reasonable corporate strategy.

Lars said...

You get 268.5 points for a win in a 2v2 match. You'll notice every other win is 269.

Anyway, there is a weekly cap of 1343 points, which supposedly increase when your rating goes above 1500. Which due to a few "smart" people finding a way to artificially abuse got locked down. At least until January 25th, the maximum obtainable points per week is 1343 for everybody. Blue post here:

Anonymous said...

"My experience on a PvE server is that less than 5% of the people care about PvP."
>> My experience on a PvE server
>> Pve server
>> Pve

What did you expect? Try again on a pvp server where 50% got an arena team.

Squishalot said...

Consider Blizzard's goal - to allow both sides relatively even access to Tol Barad.

A game theory setup that encourages game trading and an approximately even win/loss ratio is the most economically correct way of achieving their goal. Bonus points for keeping people playing by promising epics for playing by their rules (i.e. you get points faster by letting the opposing faction win every now and then and making access 'fair').

Essentially, think of it as a penalty for dominating Tol Barad.

To take a corollary of what you said to Desolate:

"Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that it's broken."