Fix Alterac Valley; NPCs too weak

Battlegrounds
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Highly Rated
This is a repost from the Mists of Pandaria Beta forum

SOLO KILLS:
Level 90 battlemaster (equivalent of Captain Galvangar): http://i49.tinypic.com/317k589.jpg
Level 90 Stable Master: http://i47.tinypic.com/2ptrol0.jpg
Level 90 Battleguards: http://i46.tinypic.com/2n8xve9.jpg (dinged level cap, took on two at the same time and won)
Drek'Thar(live): http://i49.tinypic.com/f0bsp2.jpg

Alterac Valley: The Movie - shows Balinda, Ivus and a full set of ram riders dying in 8 seconds. Vanndar + 4 dying in 27 seconds. Also shows Ivus being soloed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9HzCMQLCHg (thanks to our friends on the EU forums!)

Reagwyn solo kills Vanndar Stormpike with one Marshall:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhVeReJNwMo (thanks to our friends on the EU forums!)

____________________________________________________________________

With the war between the Alliance and Horde being brought to the forefront, I think it's time to address concerns for Alterac Valley: the only battleground where one actually (if played right) feels the sense of tension and war. I figured if any changes were to happen to AV it would be during Beta so here's what needs to change in Alterac Valley for the expansion. Also posted here as there isn't a BG / PvP forum. Post #2 has health values in the max level bracket.

Important:

Trinket will be 30 levels out of date, time to change
Players shouldn't be penalised for wanting to return to base to defend or turn in quest items. Remove the teleporting functionality from the trinkets and put it on the Stormpike and Frostwolf tabards. Stormpike Insignia Rank 6 ---> Stormpike Battle Tabard

Increase reinforcements
WHY did you nerf them? The game leaves 100 reinforcements once the easy captains are defeated and all towers are destroyed.

All NPCs need a significant health and damage boost so they are challenging for the entire expansion
As it currently stands, past the first content patch NPC strength is diminished very, very quickly by new gear. It'd be better to update them every major content patch, but this is unlikely to happen so it's easier to ask for them to be powerful and slowly become easier as time progresses. This is especially true for the captains, generals, bowmen and graveyard guardians.

Bosses need boss like immunities
Captain Balinda Stonehearth and Captain Galvangar need to be immune to stuns. Both of them, as well as the two generals need to be immune to Disarm. Both Captains also need immunity to push back and gripping effects.

Quest requirements need to be reduced, some removed
It's extremely difficult to see old elements of AV in the current iteration. If quest requirements were reduced (45-60%), we'd see more of the fun additions. Ram & Wolf Rider quests need to be reworked to only require rams or wolves. Remove the quests that require players to collect hides, as these are currently broken due to assigned looting in battlegrounds.

And for the love of all that is holy reduce the time it takes for Lok'holar the Frost Lord and Ivus the Forest Lord to assault the enemy base. 10 minutes is what an AV game takes to complete, there aren't 10 minutes to stand in the Field of Strife looking pretty!

Base damage needs to come up, cast times need to come down
A lot of abilities aren't scaling at all. Vanndar Stormpike's Thunderclap needs to change to weapon damage, Arch Druid Renferal's Moonfire (both periodic and initial), Balinda's Fireball and Cone of Cold all have low base damage and as such don't scale well. Her cast times are also too long. Every mob in the battleground that uses Revenge uses a low level version that hits for approximately 200. All the melee mobs in the mines hit for 300 and at champion hit for 2k. On players with 150k+ health. Vendors still hit for 500.

NPCs need to be at or above the bracket level cap
With the possible exception to the Wing Commanders (because having the ones harder to save as the strongest makes sense), everything should be at the level cap and when unit upgrades are achieved, above it. Having the patrols, rams, wolves, graveyard guardians and bowmen at the level cap will ensure they're not one shot by a single tick of AoE.

Remove the Alterac Blitz achievement
'nuff said

Would be nice, but not too important:

Increase important NPC size, give them new gear
It's very, very difficult to see the captains and generals in their keeps when there are other players around them. Their size needs to be increased so that they're bigger than players. Their gear is also slightly outdated. Vanndar Stormpike looks very similar to the Blacksmith outside his fortress!

New abilities to important mobs
It'd be refreshing for the battleground to see some updated abilities for NPCs. Some suggestions...
- 1 second cast, non-channelled Blizzard for Captain Balinda Stonehearth
- Heroic Leap for Captain Galvangar
- Chain Lightning for Drek'Thar
- Knock Away for Vanndar Stormpike
Other suggestions: Starfall for the Arch Druid, Summon Treant Allies for the Druids, Summon Ram/Wolf Riders for the Stable Masters, spawn Enraged Gryphons or Wyverns to any attacked Wing Commanders, Heroic Leap to the Warmasters and Warmarshals.

Grats! You've earned an achievement
Add some achievements for old elements to entice people. Summoning Ivus and Lok'holar should award one, as should upgrading units and summoning other assaults.

There's absolutely no reason we can't have a longer lasting battleground with 9 other options for players to get their 'quick fix' for honor and two world pvp zones to join AND the addition to blacklist maps. Let us have something that we can indulge ourselves in and bring the war back into warcraft with Alterac Valley games that should last around an hour.

A Brief History of Alterac Valley (Capped)
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2952885503
and
A Brief History of Alterac Valley, Part II
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3595342746

THIS THREAD IS CURRENTLY ACTIVE ON ALL REGIONS: if you can't post here but can post in one of those, SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

English (US): http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4768687029
English (EU): http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4901991762
French (EU): http://eu.battle.net/wow/fr/forum/topic/5106020587
Russia (EU): http://eu.battle.net/wow/ru/forum/topic/4940528564
German (EU): http://eu.battle.net/wow/de/forum/topic/4903441900
Spanish (EU): http://eu.battle.net/wow/es/forum/topic/4941488455
NPCs in Alterac Valley share health with other mobs outside of the battle and as such it was a matter of collecting the information from the mobs that were scaled to judge the health values of those in AV. I'll say that though the list isn't entirely complete, it should be fairly accurate (as it's exactly the same on live).

..............(Live Health)-->(MoP Max Bracket HP)
Captains: 3874k -> 19697k
Balinda's Water Elemental: 232k -> 1181k
Bowmen: 116k -> 590k
Battleguards: 464k -> 2363k
Arch Druid/Primalist Thurloga: 929,880 -> 4727k
Druids of the Grove / Rider Commanders: 619k -> 3151k
Shaman: 357k -> 1969k
Stable Masters: 1162k -> 5909k
Blacksmiths, Ichman and Mulverick: 774k -> 3939k
Vendors: 309k -> 1575k

The health values in the level 90 bracket for Mists of Pandaria are far too low and are what they should be right now on live. The mobs will continue to die when looked at as soon as the first content tier is over and probably won't provide a challenge with these minuscule health pools.

In case there is any confusion... - the Captains in the level 90 bracket of Mists of Pandaria will have less health than bosses in Icecrown Citadel 25 man - 2 expansions ago and all the NPCs bar the bosses will have less health than Murozond, a heroic 5 player boss, this expansion. All the while there are 40 players in Alterac Valley...

Suggestion: Increase current level 90 health pools for all NPCs by 80-100%
Blue post from Ghostcrawler in the Beta thread ( http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4768687029?page=25#485 ):

08/29/2012 05:07 PMPosted by Ghostcrawler
From this post, are you saying that the NPC's on beta are deliberately weaker than they're intended to be so that the levelling bracket isn't punished? I always thought - and it certainly seems that way if you level through the brackets - that the NPC's have their own stats based on the bracket, not a direct scale down based on the max bracket... maybe I read the post wrong!


As I said, it's complicated, but essentially in order to make the bosses appropriate difficulty at level 90, they have to be either very strong or very weak at level 85. We went with the latter. Check them out at level 90 and see if they feel better.

Could you take a few minutes to address the concerns in the main post as well please? AV just isn't fun now and if things stay the way they are looking to stay based on the beta - won't be fun for Mists. I think a lot of players all over the world would really appreciate it. :)


There are two big relevant topics for Alterac Valley. One is that the BG is scary to work on. What I mean is that it was super ambitious, probably over ambitious, for when we released it. It is probably the single most complicated design in WoW in terms of how it was built. Some days I am surprised it works at all. Brave designers run in terror when they peer into the dark recesses of AV to try and figure out a bug or even dare to hope to understand how many of its complicated parts work. We've known for a long time that AV needs to be rebuilt. The good news is that we have many more powerful tools these days. While they still aren't as complex as AV, the new BGs took a fraction of the time to build. I think we could rebuild AV with less duct tape and baling wire these days, which in turn would make it a lot more reasonable for us to test out changes.

So, we can fix the functionality. The second question is, can we fix the design? Should we? This is a very big topic, so I don't expect it to be fully resolved even in a thread of this length. Obviously AV has changed a lot over the years. It rarely lasts 7 hours anymore and you don't see bombers and scrap turn-ins and Ivus. I personally thought it was a lot more fun when you engaged the opposite faction instead of running past them. We could have a long discussion about what the role of the towers and mines and graveyards should be and how much difference players playing defensively should be able to make. Should the bosses behave like raid bosses or should they just be speed bumps? Some players like AV's size and scope because it's easier to blend into the background -- it's a great beginner's Battleground. Other people think it would be more fun if it was smaller (maybe in geography and team size). Maybe we need a small rated version and the 40-player unrated version.

One of the new features we just introduced is the ability to thumbs down certain BGs. You better believe we're going to monitor that data closely and see which BGs players actually like and hate. (We'll compare that data with completion rates, and honor per time and so on -- we won't just delete or overhaul the two least popular maps.) Maybe AV ends up as the most popular BG, which means that changing it might make a lot of people mad. Maybe the right answer is to leave AV as it is and just make a new BG that plays the way we think AV should be played. I doubt that will be our conclusion, but we do want to gather some more data before we do anything drastic.

I'm sorry I can't burrow into every single suggestion, but I do like the idea of turning the (non-scaling) trinket into a tabard. We do appreciate all of the feedback. We really do pay attention to it.
Still /agree.

Because the games are way too short (due in part to the weak NPC's), you can't get the upgrade troops like you're supposed to. You can't get air strikes like you're supposed to. You can't get cavalry like you're supposed to. In most games, the Wing Commanders are rarely rescued.

The way AV currently is, it is pretty much impossible to do anything the BG was built to do.
I was actually pretty sad earlier. I was in the level 85-89 bracket and the game actually ended while players were on the last boss because reinforcements ran out. The game lasted 14 minutes. :\
So nice I +liked it twice.
I have a feeling I've seen this wall of text before.
Thank you for the support everyone, it's a good start!
Alterac Valley was introduced in Vanilla, when 60 was the cap.

Therefore, Alterac Valley gear, and all other gear from Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin respectively, should remain level 60 capped, as they were introduced during that time.
09/27/2012 07:40 PMPosted by Bynir
I was actually pretty sad earlier. I was in the level 85-89 bracket and the game actually ended while players were on the last boss because reinforcements ran out. The game lasted 14 minutes. :\


The current AV has it to where once the towers are down, there are about 100 reinforcements left.
Alterac Valley was introduced in Vanilla, when 60 was the cap.

Therefore, Alterac Valley gear, and all other gear from Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin respectively, should remain level 60 capped, as they were introduced during that time.


That's a terrible justification. No other battleground has a trinket with a return to base option. Players shouldn't be penalised for wanting to PvP and defend.
Alterac Valley was introduced in Vanilla, when 60 was the cap.

Therefore, Alterac Valley gear, and all other gear from Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin respectively, should remain level 60 capped, as they were introduced during that time.


That's a terrible justification. No other battleground has a trinket with a return to base option. Players shouldn't be penalised for wanting to PvP and defend.


The other gear can stagnate around level 60 and still be usable for things like transmog. The trinket has to be updated or you wind up losing over 1,000 of a stat in order to get that all-important recall.

Let me repeat that--in order to use the most important item in Alterac Valley, you are forced to lose over 1,000 of a stat in order to use it. This is bad design or neglected design--call it whatever you want.
Full support.

Old Alterac Valley was my favorite memory of WoW. Nothing summed up the spirit of Warcraft like that awesome battle.

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