I liked AV. I never had the consistent schedule of large chunks of time that raiding required, and when I did raiding never really tickled my fun bones. AV? AV was a huge part of my end game. Even though games might begin before my personal queue popped for it and would persist long after I had to log, it didn’t matter. Meaningful progress could be made in the time that I did manage to put into it. While being there at the end was cool, It was not the end all be all of the experience. Compartmentalizing via quests or BG objectives moved the ball and it was rewarding no matter what stage it was in. Lower levels could contribute in a meaningful way and high levels could as well. It was a wonderfully well-rounded, immersive, multi-faceted experience.
It has been well documented what became of it from 1.8 forward in a steady slew of nerfs & neutering.
Blizzard has a choice:
- Earlier AV (say, 1.7 before the bulk of the avalanche of nerfs began)
- 1.12 AV, after the bulk of the nerfs, removals, the damage already done
Players played the early version. Granted a lot did not like it and indeed did not like AV in general as it was just a means to an end for them. Get the loot and the rep ASAP so they could get on to parts of the game they DID enjoy. It was a necessary evil, means to an end. Making the BG last a shorter period of time allowed them to get it over with more quickly. That playstyle was ultimately catered to, not those who loved the actual gameplay of the BG, but rather those who wanted to get it over with quickly so they could get the honor and loot. Less time invested and less PVP for the same rewards.
Players akin to myself actually really enjoyed the early iterations for what it was. For many it was literally a huge part of our L60 endgame.
If Blizzard goes with the earlier version of AV, the worst that could happen is that those who dislike the BG are still going to do it, still get their honor, rep and loot. A number of them admit that they outright dislike the BG no matter what version of it, again just being a necessary evil that they want to get over with ASAP. HOWEVER, those who actually enjoy the BG for what it is, will love the return to the immersive BG that they can treat as a fleshed out endgame.
If however Blizzard goes with AV 1.12 (the same BG that is on the PSs), then they will indeed lose subs. Myself included. I do not want a quick AV where little if any PVP occurs and there is no time for the BG objectives and mechanics are utilized. I do not want a huge potential part of my endgame to be ruined.
Again, those who dislike the BG are going to dislike it regardless of version and just want to get it over with ASAP. Those who like it are the ones who are most effected by a later version, that cheapens their endgame, and to some will literally make their decision to sub or not.
- Enemy NPC lieutenants and commanders now have a team bonus honor value.
- Enemy NPC lieutenants and commanders no longer respawn.
- Enemy towers are now destroyed rather than captured (a one-time event per tower). The mechanics for destroying a tower are very similar to their previous capture mechanic.
- The enemy NPC mine layer no longer respawns when killed.
- The respawn time for laying mines has been slowed.
- All Alterac Valley quest items (ie: armor scraps) are zone-bound, and will be lost if taken outside the battleground instance.
- Korrak’s respawn time has been increased to 30 minutes.
- NPC’s in the entrance tunnels will no longer fight enemy NPCs, only enemy players.
- Lok’holar the ice lord and Ivus the forest lord are now friendly to Horde and Alliance players (respectively), and will therefore no longer affect friendly players with area-of-effect spells.
- Sound effects have been added to critical battleground events (ie: a graveyard being assaulted).
- Additional items for purchasing have been added to the quartermasters in the entrance tunnels. The types of items you may purchase is based on your reputation with the quartermaster.
- The Alliance and Horde NPC captains now periodically shout a “rallying cry”, granting a powerful effect to all friendly players in the battleground. Killing the enemy’s captain will deny the ability for the enemy to gain a rallying cry.
- Ivus the Forest Lord now uses a winter Ancient Protector model rather than a Keeper of the Grove model
- Each team will now gain additional bonus honor if their towers are not destroyed by the end of the map. The more towers that remained intact, the more honor received.
- If you manage to keep your faction’s Captain alive for the duration of a battle, you will be granted extra points upon victory.
- Several Alterac Valley vendor items are now bind on acquire.
- The respawn time for tower guards (assuming the tower has not been destroyed) has been greatly increased.
- Korrak the Bloodrager has gained immunities to many different spell and ability effects.
- The minimum reputation needed to send a cavalry charge has been reduced to Honored.
- Players of Revered or higher reputation may now call offensive air strikes if they have managed to rescue their respective Wing Commanders.
- Alterac Valley’s guard spawn is now controlled via a more intuitive mechanism. Please check the Officer Supply vendors for your faction to read up on the changes.
- Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented the Alliance team from receiving honor for destroying towers.
- Fixed a bug that was not awarding Horde credit for owning a mine at the end of a game.
AV 1.7.0 (general BG changes)
- Battleground “holidays” have been added to Warsong Gulch, Alterac Valley and Arathi Basin. Holidays occur during most weekends, starting on Thursday night at midnight and continuing until Tuesday morning. During a holiday, emissaries from that Battleground will be found in the major cities, and honor/faction rewards for performing objectives in that battleground are increased.
- Alterac Valley now correctly rewards honor for owning graveyards at the end of the game.
- Fixed a bug that would cause players to stand up when a turnin was made in Alterac Valley.
- Players will no longer be able to gain health by repeatedly entering and leaving the effect of a Battle Standard.
- Entering a battleground now resets the timer for the AFK flag. This should prevent players being kicked by the AFK timer moments after they enter the Battleground instance.
BGs in general v 1.8.0:
- Each Battleground has an individual turn-in quest associated with its related victory/loss condition. Upon completion of a Battleground, the winning side will be awarded three Marks of Honor while the losing side will be awarded one Mark of Honor. Three Marks of Honor may be turned in to the associated questgiver for Honor points and faction increase. Should players complete this turn-in quest, they will find that the bonus Honor Points for completion are twice that of normal turn-in conditions (individual).
- In order to keep teams in Alterac Valley more numerically balanced, players will now enter Alterac Valley on a one-for-one basis (i.e. if there are 30 players in the battleground for each side with 10 players in the Alliance queue and 2 players in the Horde queue, only two players from each team will be added, bringing the total to 32 per side).
- The minimum number of players required to start a battle in Alterac Valley has been lowered to 20 (the maximum is still 40).
- Points for completing the map and winning have been slightly decreased.
- Graveyards and graveyard capture points are now at different locations. The banners players must interact with in order to capture a graveyard have been distanced from each other somewhat in order to alleviate “graveyard zerging” and make graveyards more meaningful to both defense and offense.
- Several terrain changes were made to fix some geometry exploits as well as to adjust for the new graveyard mechanic.
- Iceblood Graveyard has been fortified.
- The Frostwolf Relief Hut now has appropriate guards.
- A great avalanche has closed off both the eastern and western segments of Alterac Valley. This has displaced the Syndicate, the Wildpaw Gnolls, and many of the Winterax Trolls.
- Due to the avalanche, Korrak the Bloodrager and a small band of surviving Trolls have made the Snowfall Graveyard their new home. Players will find that Snowfall is now under Korrak’s control and they must defeat Korrak and his Troll guards if they wish to take Snowfall.
- The quests Korrak the Bloodrager (Alliance), Korrak the Everliving (Alliance), The Legend of Korrak (Horde), and The Return of Korrak (Horde) have been removed from the game. The rewards for the initial quest involving Korrak have been moved and can be acquired by completing the quest associated with winning a match in Alterac Valley. We realize that some players may have had the Korrak quest and never completed it. These players may have already completed the quest for killing the General and thus might not be able to benefit from the rewards from the previous quest line. We have opted to add an extra quest step at the end of the General kill quests to reward players that fall under such conditions.
- A new item has been added as one of the reward choices for the quests Hero of the Stormpike and Hero of the Frostwolf.
- NPC difficulty has been scaled down. All NPCs have had their power reduced by 15-30%.
- There is now a portcullis at the end of each of the entrance tunnels inside Alterac Valley. They will rise two minutes into the battle.
No specific changes listed
- The default graveyards in Alterac Valley for each side were moved further up the tunnels away from the battleground exit. This should prevent accidentally leaving the battleground.
- Flavor items from player loot in Alterac Valley will now stack and can be sold for a small value. These are items like Documents from Boomstick Imports, Worn Running Shoes, etc.
- Players in Alterac Valley will no longer drop Darkspear Troll Mojo, Dwarf Spines, Forsaken Hearts, Human Bone Chips, Orc Teeth, etc. and the quests have been removed for these items. Instead when a player is slain in Alterac Valley, any enemies that were in that player’s threat list will gain 1 point of reputation with either the Frostwolf or Stormpike factions.
- Frostwolf and Stormpike faction will now be gained by killing players of the opposite faction. Reputation will no longer be split up among the entire raid group.
- Tower Banners in Alterac Valley can no longer be used through walls.
- Korrak the Bloodrager and his band of trolls have packed up their bags and left Alterac Valley for greener pastures.
- Most of the NPC guard units have been removed.
- Players now drop more quest items.
- Creatures that remain in Alterac Valley have had their hit points reduced.
- The buff that is periodically cast by each faction’s Captain has been changed to a flat 20% hit point buff.
- Upgrading troops through armor scrap turn-ins will also now result in your team’s General enabling a periodic buff to your melee and spell damage. This buff scales from 10% at the Seasoned unit level, 20% at the Veteran unit level, and 30% at the Champion unit level.
- When you join a battleground, you are automatically added to a raid group. You MAY NOT leave that group. To speak in this raid, use /bg instead of /ra.
- Leadership of the battleground raid is granted to whomever has the highest PvP rank when the raid is formed (approximately 1 minute before the battleground starts).