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Regional FlagWeek 1: RBG boosting and win-trading.Source
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Thornass
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#1 - 2013/01/21 11:17:00 AM
EDIT 28/04: This thread is a little outdated guys. It got necro'd, so be aware of that when you read it.
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UPDATE 30/01: Going to try and post Week 2 tomorrow, what do you guys want it to be about?
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UPDATED: I've worked out the vague idea I had of restrictions to RBG groups!

This is the first week of my weekly topics. Please check out the idea here: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6444684670 (STILL OPEN FOR POSTING, WOULD APPRECIATE IT)

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Boosts/win-trading in RBGs

What is the current situation?
At the moment, a lot of players are being boosted or win-trading to earn higher rating in RBGs.

Boosting
A group of very high rated, good geared and skilled players takes on one or more lower rated and worse geared players. The characters are not played by the owner, but by one of the friends of the high rated players. The boosted character(s) have lower rating, which means the MMR evens out at a point between the high rated players and the low rated boosted players. The legit teams that are fighting hard at this rating to achieve the goals they have are being DESTROYED by these teams, they stand no chance at all. It’s as if an amateur football team faces FC Barcelona: the team is completely out of the league they’re supposed to be in.

Win-trading
This is the advertise you see in Trade chat all the time. People claiming they can get you to whatever rating you want, while you play the character. They will usually ask you to add them to your Skype, where they will discuss the details with you. When you accept the offer and pay them, you will be invited to a group with nine other players, all played by one person. He will try to queue against a group of ten players that are also controlled by him (or maybe one of his colleagues, I’m not sure how this is done). You queue up and try to face the second group of win-traders you are linked with. If you face them, they have alt f4-d on the loading screen (except for one guy who's scouting whether it's the right team or not, losing no mmr) and you get a 10v0 match - free win. If you don't face them, your group will alt-f4 as well.

Why does this matter?

There are several reasons why this is a concern:

1) It’s simply against the rules. In Blizzard’s terms it says that actions in-game are not allowed to be paid with non-in-game currencies (real money). Most of the boosters and win-traders ask real money for their services.
2) The RBG-rankings have inflated in huge amounts. Anyone rated above 2200 is either boosted, has win-traded or faced a lot of those teams (realise that win-traders are free wins for legit teams as well).
3) The rewards for having high rating in RBGs have lost its value. Whereas Grand Marshal/High Warlord was a huge accomplishment at first, most people that have earned it through RBGs have earned it with unfair playing.
4) Players that achieve 2200 rating in RBGs can buy the Elite gear, including the weapon. Those players can also use these items to their advantage in arena, especially some (physical damage dealing) classes that scale extremely well. Say a KFC team (Warrior, Hunter and a Healer), that were first stuck at 1500 rating, gets their T2 from a boost and then goes back to the arena. They will EASILY go to like 2000 rating. Did their skill increase? No. Did they face worse enemies this time? Not significantly. It’s basically just the Elite weapon that is giving their rating a huge boost.
5) Other players, without T2, at 1500 rating will start complaining: “T2 geared players at my rating, how can I possible improve?”. They will think, ‘what is it that they have, what I do not?’, the conclusion is –again- the weapon. To stay competive, those players decide to buy a boost as well.
Now there’s another team, a TSG... You can see where I’m going, right?

How do we fix this?

Fixing this problem is not easy at all. There’s thousands of people who have done this and are still doing this. The transactions are made outside of World of Warcraft, where Blizzard can’t trace it. However, Blizzard can look further into everyone who is above 2199 rating in RBGs. Did they earn it in one day by being boosted? Did they win-trade? I’m sure they can see that with all the logs they have. This will require MAJOR effort from Blizzard’s side though.

I came up with several temporary solutions:

1) Make separate gear-sets for arena and RBG.
You will have two separate Conquest caps, with separate Conquest Points for each of the two disciplines. With the Arena Points you can buy gear you can use in Arena, but not in Rated BGs – and vice versa. The gear will also have a tag which shows where the gear is obtained from (some simple mark like ‘ilvl 483, Arena’). Doing random BGs can count to both of the caps, but only to a certain extent (say, 1250 Conquest Points). Why the limit on the points you can get from random BGs? Because otherwise people can just bot their Conquest Points cap, and bots will flood the random BGs even more. With this limit, players are still forced to do arena and/or RBGs.
A side effect this will have: players aren’t forced to do RBGs to stay competive in Arena.

2) Fix the mmr bug
Right now, win-traders do not lose mmr while leaving a RBG on the loading screen. Fix this and win-traders will have a really hard time delivering the services they are now.

3) Limit on RBG cap
A very easy solution would be to limit the cap players can get from RBGs, so that the difference between the cap from arena and RBG is not as big as it is now.

Pro’s:
- people have more equal gear in arena/RBGs
- not forced to play RBGs to stay competive

Con’s:
- not being forced to play RBGs will cause it to be less popular, and less players will play it (I’m thinking of something that stimulates people to play RBGs – stay tuned to this thread)

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4. Queue restrictions
Stopping the boosters is a lot harder than stopping the win-traders. In the boosting teams there are usually several players with a really high rating, and one or more players with very low rating. An idea would be to make it unable to queue for teams that have the following conditions:
- 4 or more players above 2199 rating
- 3 or more players that are 400 or more points below the average of the 4 highest rated players

Pro's:
- boosting will be a lot harder
- more activity in (lower bracket) RBGs
- less high rated teams playing at relatively lower MMR

Con's:
- if a high rated legit group has 3 or more players with low rating, they can't play: the 3 lowest players will first have to get some rating themselves before they can participate in the group.

This might be a little too complicated, still working on it. What do you guys think about this idea?

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I will be updating this thread when I think of more, please tell me:

Do you agree with me?
What do you think about it?
Do you have any suggestions yourself? Feel free to post whatever you think. Use this thread for brainstorming.

Share your thoughts!

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Community
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#43 - 2013/01/29 10:39:00 AM
29/01/2013 09:18Posted by Thornass
What would you guys want me to make a topic about next?
This is a really cool initiative so far, Thornass. We look forward to seeing what the next discussion will be about in this series on important topics for the PvP community. :)

We hope to see many more people contributing to what the next thread should be about and participating in the new thread itself.