Regional FlagFix Alterac Valley; NPCs too weak (UPDATED) (Show MVP Posts)Source
Target Source
#1 - 2012/04/26 01:35:00 AM
UPDATE: As there has been no change on the Beta for AV, I decided to try soloing the mobs - surely a lone person can't take on NPC's designed for 40 mans?

Level 90 battlemaster (equivalent of Captain Galvangar):
Level 90 Stable Master:
Level 90 Battleguard: (dinged level cap, took on two at the same time and won)

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. (thanks to our friends on the EU forums!)

Reagwyn solo kills Vanndar Stormpike with one Marshall: (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.


Trinket will be 30 levels out of date, time to change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

All NPC's 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.

NPC's 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 NPC's. 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)
A Brief History of Alterac Valley, Part II

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Game Designer
Target Source
#461 - 2012/08/29 02:20:00 AM
This is going to be a rather confusing explanation so bear with me.

The BG NPCs have to be nerfed both on beta and on live to make sure they aren't too deadly in the 85-89 bracket. This nerf also applies, perhaps unintuitively, to the level 90 bracket on beta. However, once you are legitimately in the level 90 bracket on live, the NPCs should be more challenging.

To complicate this explanation, we found that the 85-89 bracket for IOC was not nerfed correctly, but we have just fixed that. The IOC NPCs should be as weak as the AV ones now.

But again, when you hit level 90 on live (not beta), they should be more challenging.

Game Designer
Target Source
#485 - 2012/08/30 12:07:00 AM
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.