Balancing Epic BGs

So first, I love that we’re getting some of the older world BGs back as epic BGs. Bring in Tol Barad as well! Maybe even some of the BC zones like Halaa! I’d love to see these return.

There’s some glaring issues with these though…namely, that they are balanced around a different PvP setting (that is to say: unequal numbers of players trickling in and out and doing quests instead of the main objective), and so often turn into zerg-fests with no easy way of being countered (since now the teams are equal and all focused on winning). Often times, the first battle determines the win or loss for these BGs, and then it’s just an hour-long slog of dying and losing morale for one side or the other. This, in a word, SUCKS.

I’ve done my share of leading rated battlegrounds, but I’m by no means an expert on tactics. These are some fixes that I think might help the current issues with these BGs, but I’d like to hear others’ opinions as well!

The main problem with this BG is that it turns into a zerg fest of vehicles, which are worth 3-5 players in terms of damage output and tactical advantage, and then there’s no easy way to defeat a rush of 20 of them once they really get going, because the opposing team can’t get kills, capture workshops, and build enough vehicles before they, too are overrun by the zerg.

A typical Wintergrasp battle then looks like this: Everyone rushes Sunken Ring. Despite whichever side might be winning in pure PvP skill, eventually, defense is going to win overall by getting enough kills to build vehicles, and because Sunken Ring is their base, then building said vehicles on the spot, wiping the offense, and then just circling the map with their 20 vehicles as needed to secure the win. Offense can’t effectively respond to this because they need both player kills and workshops to get enough vehicles to counter.

Suggested changes:

  1. Make Sunken Ring and Broken Temple neutral instead of in the hands of defense at the start of the match. Then whoever wins that first clash really does gain an advantage, instead of it being a foregone conclusion to defense. You may also see more strategies in people splitting forces between Sunken Ring and Broken Temple.
  2. Bring back that NPCs gives kills for the vehicle ranks (increase the number needed, if you will, to help balance it). This helps either side recover from failing that first battle, whether due connectivity problems or being crushed by a zerg.
  3. Slow vehicles down and speed up workshop capping times. Then a 20-vehicle zerg can be out-manuevered by smart players on mounts and be forced to split up to put up a proper defense.
  4. Put a harder cap on the number of vehicles allowed in play, perhaps with offense being allowed to have more. You’d have to play with the numbers a bit here to get it balanced, but potentially, no more than 10 per side, instead of 20.

This one is actually okay, in that a smart team can overturn a loss in that first rush by tricking the enemy into stringing out their zerg along the main road and coming within range of their mage tower. The problem is that there are actually a bunch of other objectives to this battleground, that everyone now ignores in favor of a zerg vs. zerg. Namely: gathering relics, getting loot with special benefits and abilities, and killing the final boss.

Suggested changes:

  1. Increase the number of reinforcements. Often the teams are just starting to clash on the doorstep of the losing side’s fort by the time reinforcements are running out, meaning it’s impossible to kill the final boss.
  2. Move the benefits that come from dropped items to instead come from relic turn-ins, then make these turn-ins automatically apply to all players on the team for the rest of the battle. As an example: once 50 relics are turned in by anyone, all death knights on that team get their second death grip. This encourages some players (but not all) to focus on hunting these benefits while the rest of the team can get on with the match.
  3. Consider not needing to turn in the relics at base, but instead having them be collected automatically when creatures are looted and killed. In BGs especially, time spent running back to bases is considered a waste of time to players, with the result no one does it unless the benefit is very big (and thus potentially game-breaking).

Alterac Valley
For the most part, this one is fine, and a bunch of changes could upset its balance again. Like Ash’ran though, there are a bunch of underused objectives that have more potential than they’ve been given, that I’d like to see buffed up for more variance in tactics and outcomes.

Suggested changes:

  1. Bring back the old summoned NPCs, and also decrease their summoning time. In old school Alterac Valley, they were something like 10-30 minutes, which is half or more of the Epic BG done in the modern era. Now, it should be more like 0-3 minutes.
  2. Possibly give players more control over the routes of the reinforcements. I’m not sure how you’d do this (just turning them into player vehicles seems kinda meh), but perhaps a map where you could draw the “path” the reinforcements take. This would add more strategy to those NPCs’ deployment.
  3. As with Ash’ran, consider having turn-ins be looted and turned in automatically, instead of players having to run all the way across the map to do it specially.

Isle of Conquest
This one has seen numerous balance changes over the years, mostly to try and make all the objectives equally advantageous to the players. First getting docks was the guaranteed winner due the damage of the glaives (and the special positioning if you were playing Alliance-side); now it’s hangar. Anytime your entire Epic BG is won or lost on a single node is a really bad time for the players, so this BG should see another balance check.
I would argue that glaives were nerfed too hard. The glaives die too quickly now to a focused team of defendants before getting any substantial amounts of damage in on the gates. The hangar, in comparison, has a flag that’s easily defensible, as players riding on the ship can teleport right back to it instantly, and the ship itself is impervious to anyone trying to stop the damage coming from the guns. The only defensible part–the bomb running–has been nerfed so no one bothers anymore.

Suggested changes:

  1. Increase the health of glaives, or perhaps their speed, so they get more chance to damage the gates before they get blown up.
  2. Remove the teleporting capability of the airship back to the hangar. Make players have to glide back to the ground and run back to defend the flag instead. This might have to be paired with the airship needing more people using it (through guns or bomb running) to be truly effective. AKA, players shouldn’t fill the 8 guns on the airship and the rest of the team can just sit on the hangar flag; they would have to split forces somehow.
  3. Alternatively, let the opposing team get up onto the airship. Perhaps buff the catapults from Docks or the Siege Engine from Workshop to allow this extra ability.
  4. Increase slightly the damage of bomb-running and the Workshop’s vehicles again, to make these nodes more attractive.

And that’s my ideas. Anyone have any others? Or other glaring balance problems I’ve missed in these BGs? Post below!


You should post these suggestions in the “official” epic bg feedback thread.

It’s on here somewhere, just sort by blue posts.

This isn’t really blizz’s issue, this is a player issue. Both factions think going for sr at the start, regardless of their group composition for either side, is what you do every single time. You don’t.

Anyway, npcs do give rank but only to the killing blow, which is why you don’t get rank from an npc 1v20. Making them aoe rank again would help the attackers a lot.


Hmm, okay. I’ll see if I can find them and link it on over.

Just look under blue posts. There’s not very many here.

Had to scroll down for a bit, but here it is:
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A couple of suggestions just seen like lack of knowledge or a really long absence for their particular maps.

For example, Alterac Valley - the ultimate units were changed months ago so that the time required for them to do anything was severely reduced. They now, once summoned, begin their assault on Frostwolf or Dun Baldar within 60 seconds of being summoned. I have seen 1 Ivus and 2 Loks in the past week from 7 AV games played.

For the “auto turn in”, in battleground Ashran the only thing you can turn in is for Fangraal and Kronus, and the games are too short and the requirement too high for this to currently happen. There is also an item you can purchase at the beginning of any game that will automatically send all your fragments back to base.


I love Tol Barad but are they going to ruin it like they did WG, Ashran, IOC and AV? I was excited about the idea of Epic BGs where you could have longer Epic battles but they are currently designed where that doesn’t happen. (then we just afk out of them)

First major change would be Siege and cannon damage needs to be reduced to players by 85%. Sorry they shouldn’t be killing players. This then would force defense of the sieges and PvP protecting them. A player getting 1 shot by a cannon or siege isn’t PvP and isn’t how it was when these Epic battles took place in their respected expansion. If I join an Epic BG that is a siege battle I usually just instantly leave, I want to PvP not get nuked by a siege and also why I blacklisted Strands. It’s dumb and ruins Epics.

WG was massive fun during WotLK but it’s just not fun now. Everyone races to ST and huge battle whoever wins stays and side that loses that battle then players start leaving the Epic BG because it’s a loss.

Same with Ashran and I used to run Ashran for hours because it was fun. We did the elites, got the buffs, summoned the bosses and killed the leader!! Now ZERO of that happens. Well I mean everyone goes for flowers, then Ogre and that is it. The team that loses the battle at flowers just afks out of the BG because it’s a loss.

So we need a massive overhaul to design because all these EPIC BGs really suck in their current iteration compared to how they were in the expansions they were released in. So before we even think about Tol Borad we need to fix Ashran, WG, IOC and AV to restore them to actual fun BG to compete in.

Important Design Note - I would separate WG and Tol Borad from the standard Epic Que and restore them to the previous method of doing battle. Where the winning team got access to a Dungeon to get Epic PvP loot.


There used to be other units in Alterac Valley as well that had long spawn times: wyvern riders (at least for Horde) that came from rescuing the flightmasters, wolf riders, and I believe foot infantry. These used to be what the other dropped components could be turned in for, and what the wolf/ram taming quests could be completed for.

Like the Ashram problem, even in the early days, they didn’t get a lot of use after AV was no longer set up to take hours to complete. The resource count was just too high and the units took so long pathing anywhere useful that no one bothered. Having an item like that flying machine might help, but even now if no one uses it, I’m not sure if it’s an effective strategy: maybe it should be baseline?

Epic BGs seem to be caught in this weird limbo of not knowing whether they should just be a slightly longer BG, or where you’re supposed to come in, contribute a bit, then go about your way, as the winning of it could take all day long. This might be helped by turning epic BGs into some kind of PvP lobby instead of just a BG with a longer time limit, but that’s a whole other debate…in the meantime, all of them have carry-over mechanics from when they were more set up to be world PvP with uneven sides and dailies to do, or super lengthy, that haven’t been rebalanced for their current form. The reason for this thread.

“hey guys, watch me take this tank sabot to the chest and live” not very realistic, even for a fantasy game.

demos and tanks should kill you and seeing demo fire fly all over the place in WG and IoC should be cause for concern, battlefield navigation is a skill.

those still exist, go run them.

It is realistic sorry but traditional fire power is meaningless to the powers we wield through essences, heart of azeroth and even posses the very power of the old gods with corruption. Yet a simple cannon is supposed to hurt? get real.

No demo tanks should be required to be protected by players so they can damage the wall. NOT OTHER PLAYERS. That is how it was and should be if they want to fix how completely awful most of the Epic BGs are right now.

Then they should be in the Epic Que as they were. The current versions are trash just remove them. The Epic BGs right now is a huge failure and disliked by most of the community.

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Sylvanas got shot in the head by a normal handgun and died.

epic bgs are wow’s version of simulated war battles, they are not always meant to be about your dueling pvp skill.

i disagree, i know tons of people who are hardcore about them, if anything i would wager that epics are growing faster than RBGs.

you have to remember that not every game mode has to cater to you.

They were about PvP in the past. They were good in the past and now they aren’t. We want to make Epic BG fun and something players WANT to que for instead of dread. At least bring back blacklisting so we can blacklist every Demo battle like we did to Strands. So when we get them we don’t have to just AFK and Que again which I am sure you don’t want either.

Slyvanas fought an army and is still alive as she defeated the Lich King even and tore off his mask which gives us Shadow Lands.

You can disagree but you are wrong. Not asking for the game mode to cater to me just the FANS that are severely disappointed in the current Epic BGs.

Ashrans was great in WoD - trash now
WG was great in WotlK - trash now
IOC and AV was great etc…etc… Now they are trash

All we really want is to do an Epic BG and have them balanced so they aren’t trash that you leave everyone of them a few minutes in or afk.

The fact is these bgs were FAR better before they became Epic so the Devs somehow got it very wrong and the players are pointing that out.

So keep them as is and have them be bad for most people, have a high afk rate or people leaving because they want to do EPIC BGs but then get the trash versions currently offered.

If I get WG or Ashran 10 times in a row I will leave or AFK just like half my team leaves or AFK’s every one of them! We don’t want to do them in their current versions.

If there was Blacklisting WG and Ashran would never pop because they would get massively blacklisted like Strands did before it was removed.

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Talk about yourself … AV is my favorite BG.

they still are, it just isn’t always about your class skill.

there are only 4 bgs and while its growing, a small community, so blacklisting would skyrocket queue times.

also, you will never learn to get good at bgs if you afk them or blacklist them.

so what, walk up behind her and shoot her in the head, its been done before.

trash how? because you aren’t winning? all i see are complaints about epics from ally, who lose all the time. and while you can complain about the maps being unfair, its a nice microcosm of life: its not fair, learn to deal.

i’d agree that ashran is trash, no matter how you spin it, its just not fun. but the other 3 are quite fun and AV still remains almost everyone’s favorite.

i was thinking about this, and they could easily solve it by just locking your toon in and not letting you leave. if you try to ragequit, blizzards botAI should talk over your toon and you can watch it finish out the match for you in a sort of personal spectator mode.

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There’s only four epic bgs, and you don’t like two out of four. If it’s a 50% chance of getting a bg you don’t like, why are you trying to do it? and I think you said earlier that you don’t like ioc because of the vehicle damage either, so 75% chance of getting a bg you don’t like. Why are you putting yourself through that pain if you don’t like it?

And don’t give me that ‘blizz foces me to’ garbage. There are many other ways of getting honor and conquest.

…You know what? Keep queueing. You’re alliance, so I don’t give a damn what you do. Please queue for epic bgs more, so you can help horde win.

You miss the point, I DON"T WANT TO DO THOSE BGS!!! That is why I want to blacklist them because people don’t want to SUFFER through them. (this is why blacklisting existed and why they removed trash BGs like Strands of Ancients that no one wanted to do!)

Blacklisting just allows players the freedom to maximize their enjoyment of played time instead when you can’t it creates a situation where we get these BGs we hate because they need balance and we AFK or leave thus ruining your experience as well. This is a lose/lose situation.

There is no being “GOOD” at those BGs, that is like saying you are the best window licker. So either allow Blacklisting which makes everyone happy or actually fix the trash BGs. Or remove them like Strands

Her power is behind dying through traditional means, basically a god.

They are terribly designed compared to the past. I used to run Ashran in WoD for hours it was fun. WG was fun but they aren’t designed well in their current iteration for Epics. They need balanced.

Why for not participating in your casual mess? BGs are casual which means you can casually come and go as you please. People that want harsh penalties for casual mode are delusional.

i don’t like doing ashran, but i’ll still do it.

in theory, but in reality its used to cherry pick winning bgs.

okay, so you can do the quest chain if you want, but she can be shot and killed, she’s immortal, not invulnerable.

what makes them terribly designed?

alliance needs to learn how to pvp first.

no because it’s diabolically evil in all the best ways, you can’t leave, but you are forced to watch a bot play your toon, which means as a pvper, seeing a bot trash your toon through the mud would be embarrassing, and as a casual pug, seeing a bot play better than you would be a reality check.

on the plus side, it would mean no more backfills, and at at least a bot you can work with instead of nothing.

have you considered that we don’t consider it to be casual, simply unrated, or more appropriately, unlimited.

The WG analysis and suggestions are on point.

It doesn’t really matter who’s winning the first teamfight, defense will just begin building catapults on location and wipe out the offense as soon as they get 10 kills. BT and SR need to be neutral at the start.

Yeah, definitely bring on Tol barad!


I rather role over broken glass for a mile while it rains lemon juice than do Ashran or WG as they are. Blacklisting just prevents suffering to everyone in the party.

It only makes everyone happy.

If 20 sieges shot at her she would just wipe them out easily with a wave of her hand.

You know what instead of replying to your post one by one I am not gonna waste my time just like I don’t want to waste my time in Ashran or WG. I said what needed to be said. You can scroll up and take it as what it is.

“I never have to explain myself to people that already have their mind set” It’s just a waste of time. My time is valuable and going to do things that bring me joy instead of debate with someone that just likes to argue on the forums about something I clearly stated several times.

I proved my points, we would love balance or blacklisting to make people happy if you can’t understand that then you are just being dense and not walking in other peoples shoes.

Final Note- If we do nothing and there is no balancing then myself, friends and many other players will continue to AFK or just leave when we get these atrocious Epic BGs. ( this is why Strands was removed ) Just allow Blacklisting so we can PvP in the Epics that aren’t complete and utter trash design. The solutions are simple, Blacklisting and Balance. Balance being restore WG and Ashran to their previous iterations and gameplay. Blacklisting so players can enjoy BGs and not suffer in the bad ones.

With that good day sir. Refer to my previous post and this one for all the information you need. It’s all there.