Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The most evil Tol Barad strategy ever

Since I placed the focus of my playing to PvP, I run much more Tol Barad battles and motivate the others to come too. After all, the useful goal of gearing new players to PvP meets here with the fun of massacring horde, and the huge recruitment value of the event.

Defending TB is no-brainer. We simply go to Slag and WV equally, the horde zerges one of the bases, the dead run to ICG. Rinse and repeat. The horde never learns, never adapts, and doesn't pose a threat, except on reset day, when all the kiddies want to run BH, so they come "help" winning, filling our rosters with unenchanted PvE geared morons fighting on the road.

However this strategy is boring and just OK-ish on honor/hour. I mean your game is merely waiting for the horde zerg to arrive and slay you, then running to the horde base, kill the 2-3 defenders and wait some more. You get only the win honor, about 600, and a handful of kill honor. All together 1300-1400 honor/hour. Much better than chain-losing EoS because of the 8+ morons jumping around the flag spot while the flag is held by a hordie, along with 3 towers. Actually better than any BG, except AV weekend of course (10 mins games, all won).

Behold the better "strategy": crazy slag. Crazy slag is simple: we all go to slag and kill the horde who desperately try to take it. It's an insanely busy battle with 2-300 honorkills. However it needs us to be clearly superior, as we spawn in the mid, they spawn next to the battle, so with equal forces the attacker wins easily. Superiority can be guaranteed when our guildies sign up for an off-time battle against hordies recruited on /trade. On weekends when all the kiddies "want som fun", not so much. Also, Crazy Slag is counter-productive: grinding horde, increasing your personal HK count by 300 is fun, so the lolkids will queue up next time for some more fun. Being grinded for half an hour, scoring only a handful of HKs (70-80% not scoring a single killing blow) is "not fun". So the horde M&S won't show up next time, decreasing the horde force to the hardcore PvP-ers.

Because of these features, Crazy slag rarely last longer than a week, after that the ally queue becomes so long that we don't get in, the M&S inside lose in 5 minutes. Even when the battle is not straightforward massacre, or a few people can't get in, it's a clear sign to start the sure but sub-optimal circle-zerging.

Now behold the ultimate strategy that provides even higher kill count than Crazy slag, while being totally safe and stops encouraging our M&S to join:
  • I open with the traditional "go WV and Slag", but also write on /g "all guildies to Slag". I also /w healers and known better players to come Slag. Maybe an /rw "a bit more to Slag" By this I have around 80:20 separation, with having the best players at Slag.
  • The horde arrives randomly to the bases. Remember, they don't "form" zerg consciously, it is formed merely by the standard M&S behavior: they leave if they lose and stay if they pwn, so soon the biggest or luckiest group includes all players. But at the start they are distributed randomly. Those coming Slag are easily slain. Those arriving WV are not. Soon more and more arrive WV, wiping our randoms.
  • I send them to ICG. At this point 10% horde is defending ICG, another 10% stays at WV, the rest start coming to Slag. They arrive in a train, so we easily slay them. As they resurrect on their GY next to the battle and more and more hordies arrive, they become stronger.
  • Our randoms take ICG. At this point the horde M&S, getting annoyed by being devastated at Slag, mount up at the GY and runs to ICG to "pwn 'n hav som fun", allowing us to keep slaying the rest of the hordies.
  • Rinse and repeat, bouncing the randoms between ICG and WV.
On average at Slag 80% of us is massacring 60% of the horde, while 40% of the horde is massacring our 20% in ICG and WV.

The strategy is perfectly evil because:
  • It encourages our good players (those in the guild and invited to Slag in /w) by providing an easy and sure massacre. So these people will come again.
  • It discourages our randoms, who are being slain in ICG-WV, so they don't come again. Of course I can always find new clueless randoms for the job of the sheep. Remember, without deeper thinking about it, the strategy is the standard circle-zerg: we defend a base, they wipe us, we go to the horde base.
  • It encourages horde morons, as they happily pwn at ICG-WV, spamming "u failz get slag ffs"
  • It discourages good horde players, who are hopelessly trying to take Slag. Not just they are mercielssly farmed, but also insulted by their own ICG-WV gankers.
  • It's perfectly safe. If the horde would have a leader who could somehow convince the horde M&S to come Slag and win, or a superior horde team could defeat us, our decoy team would still take ICG, gaining nothing else but to force us to return to circle-zerging.
Of course, just as in real life, ruthless exploitation of teammates gets its reward:


Ermak said...

If you take the best players at one base all the time even Arthasdklol will figure out where to hang out to never get killed.
Sending them anywhere but Slag will have a diminishing return of "I always die there, screw you" and as a consequence "Slag people never die - I'll go there instead".
Do you remember dedicated guild healers sent to SR to heal our zerg? Worked most of the time.

Gevlon said...

@Ermak: go to a random BG.
Go near and objective in camuflage.
Do zero damage, zero healing, zero nothing, just move a bit every second minute to not be AFK.
See if the randoms can notice your obvious leeching. Then you'll know Arthasdklols ability to recognize the pattern.

In TB there is no topchart like in a BG, so the only way to know if the Slag people die is keeping the raid frame open, and check the HP of individual players you recognized being at Slag. It's not at all trivial.

Squishalot said...

Actually, what they will see is that "everyone's at slag pwning people, lets go there too!!1!". They will follow the crowd.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: at first they don't know that we are in Slag as they don't open the map.

Secondly, they have no idea what we are doing in Slag, they can easily assume (if they care to assume anything) that we are fighting just as hard as them.

Remember, the circle zerging strategy taught defenders that being pwned is normal part of winning. My "crazy slag" was the first attempt to have significant amount of kills while successfully defending.

Squishalot said...

They have an idea of how many people there are in BG (i.e. number of horde killing them). They know how many people there are where they are (i.e. very few). They will check where everybody else is and start following like sheep.

Circle-zerging taught people that a few need to suffer while defending for the greater good. What you forget is that the circle-zerg also taught people to move on to the next base when they get overrun. What makes you think that they will sit there and get slaughtered for ages?

Considering that you respawn in the centre, they will look for the biggest bulk of people and go there where it's 'safe' and they're less likely to die.

Anonymous said...

If most people had the kind of map awareness that ermak and squish talk about we would have a problem

Sunyin said...

I'm torn on this. You are getting a win for all but putting The PuG ahead of the rest of the server. This in its self is fine and part of the idea we belive in. The issue I see is that alot of people on the alliance trust you're leadership even if they publicly won't say it. If they find out you have used them, in there eyes, they will rebel.

I think this could be a PR issue with the cannon fodder if this gets spread.

Ihodael of Darnassus said...

I have to said that I'm thorn between both agreeing with Ermak/Squish and also with Gevlon.

The fact that you make the tactic public here might not work in our favour... but then again not really sure how many of our fellow realm players read your words.

In the end it will highly depend on their faith on your words vs. their ability to judge what is really happening.

I guess soon we will know which is which.

Side note: in truth even a small group of guildies in Slag manage to hold it for a long time, usually because not only we have above average gear (full or near full season 10 conquest gear) and also because we have an above average (I think) number of healers present in our TB battles from the guild. This might mean that the majority of people will not even be at Slag but elsewhere and we can still hold it for a long time.

Gevlon said...

@Sunyin: the few who will read it will join Slag and happily grind the horde and laugh on the fodders.

Remember, the "socials" are not a group, they are not helping each other. Arthasdklol won't care if Icriturass is being ganked. Actually he is happy about it as he is "more pro" than the "noob" who don't even know this.

Pheredhel said...

The nice part on this Strategy is , that it is highly adaptable...

What happens if 90% of players sit at Slag?
1. Crazy Slag, if everyone knows how to play
2. Slag slowly going down => respawn takes next base , go circle zerg

It only requires the leader or worst case the non M&S to be aware of where the people are.

The beauty is that even in worst case, it can quickly be converted to circle zerg.

Imagine said...


If you end up getting wiped act like you're going into the circle zerg rotation while you regroup at WV or ICG (pick one and be consistent so the experienced players know the strategy) then once horde takes and leaves slag return and continue "crazy slag".

Alliance employs this strategy on US:Kil'Jaeden. They're almost always in control of TB during peak times.