Saturday, October 2, 2010

Revival of PvP Guilds in Cata?

I didn't raid in vanilla WoW, but I did PvP... a lot. My now neglected hunter alt was Exalted with the Warsong Outriders and Revered with the Defilers before the PvP system changed over with the advent of Burning Cursade. During TBC I joined a well regarded twink guild and enjoyed some 19s with my shaman and warrior. Some of my most memorable moments were team-oriented WSG matches against a tough opposing team where we really had to work together to crack them.

I missed that in WotLK.

That's not to say I didn't PvP at all. I had a blast in 59s on my feral druid until the ability to level in BGs kicked in. Then it was either level or stop playing (since static 59s didn't exist anymore), so I leveled.

I also did arena and earned my Challenger title on my paladin. I did have fun, don't get me wrong, but there's something visceral about battlegrounds that I liked; the team effort.

On my druid and hunter I really got a kick out of being able to call out the direction of flag runners, the number of incoming targets, the knowledge that it wasn't just how well I could push buttons, but how well my teammates and I could strategize that made a difference.

I remember hunkering down in the upstairs of the Alliance WSG base with three PvP guildies back when there was no timer and there was no flag debuff, and discussing how we were going to crack their turtle. Our team was half pug, but our puggers were doing a wonderful job of holding the fort, allowing the pre-made portion of us to focus on getting the enemy flag.

Our warrior was deemed the best decoy. He could survive a good beating. Our rogue would be the real flagrunner. On my hunter, I was on support duty with Wing Clip and Concussion Shot to slow pursuit.

The plan set, our warrior dropped into the flag room, grabbed the flag, and somehow, almost by sheer force of will, managed to run just outside of the flag room (graveyard side) before dying. He didn't get far, but it was far enough that he lured almost all the Alliance out to chase him.

The rest of us jumped down.

Bing! The flag was returned.

Our rogue grabbed it and ran down the tunnel, with the rest of us following.

The rest of the match I don't remember. I know we won. That may have been our last flag. But the strongest memory, the one that stuck, was cracking the turtle. We had died multiple times trying to get inside the base. We'd grouped up and tried a charge. We tried the decoy strat a couple of times before we got the one that worked. All told it was probably our fifth or sixth attempt that succeeded.

But when we broke free, it was glorious.

PvP as a guild focus largely died in TBC, especially with the introduction of arenas. Battlegrounds were for farming honor. Arenas were for earning gear.

I still played BGs, but not as much as I had before. In patch 3.2, Blizzard restricted games from starting unless they had a full group of people, and to compensate it was no longer possible to queue for three BGs and just wait to see which popped first.

As a result queue times shot up and I can barely stand to wait in them anymore. I can't remember the last time I was in a battleground, and I liked them! There's no such thing as a quick match before heading to bed anymore. When I need honor I just cash in some Stone Shards because I pick up more than enough of those from doing daily heroics.

I'm hoping that Cataclysm will see a revival in PvP guilds, especially now that we'll have rated battlegrounds and guild achievements that will require a significant number of guildies to participate in a match. If I can manage to find the time in between raid nights, I'd love to move my feral druid into a PvP guild and do some good old flag running again. She still has some achievements to get.


Vespers said...

On the one hand, the system that doesn't start games up until they have a full team on both sides is more fair. On the other hand, Ally won the 50-60 bracket of AV on Bloodlust every single game before that change; it was the only battleground I've ever won consistently in; Ally get creamed on Bloodlust in general. I grinded the whole 60 epic pvp set on my pally (first toon, I'm a wrath baby) in there, took a week's break from levelling to get those fancy-lookin purps.

Klepsacovic said...

I miss guild PvP, even if I was never in a PvP guild. It would be nice to see PvP return to being something more than a different form of random lfg.

Anonymous said...

I've never been in a PvP guild but I played on a very good PvP server in TBC and start of WotLK.
TBC was the best cause we always did bgs before and after raid, and there was always an AV premade up.
On my current server the bg queues are so long and I haven't seen a premade here ever :( Miss it. Hope more people will do bgs and premades in Cataclysm.

Hana said...

Vespers - I agree it's more fair waiting for the queue to fill. I've been the victim of many a 40 Alliance vs. 15 Horde in AV when I played 50-59 on my feral druid. But the trade-off has been longer queues and now I barely play at all. It's fair, but was it a good trade-off? With the merging of all battlegrounds in Cata I think it will be.

Kleps - I PvPed on occasion with my TBC and WotLK 25-man raid guilds, but it was an on and off-thing since it was never really the focus. It was fun, but because we didn't do it regularly we never developed the same precision that my dedicated PvP guilds did. Prior to cross-server BGs, the Alliance *knew* me and my guildies and what they were in for when we showed up. It was nice having the reputation.

Syrco - The last time I did a premade with guildies I think we had to wait over a half hour for the queue to pop, and during that item we couldn't run instances or do quests because we were over five. :( It was really not a fun way to go.