This past weekend was AFK Valley weekend - yeah, I heard that term used in general chat and I thought it was appropriate. It was also a long weekend up here so I tried to hit AV as much as I could. The goal was to get enough Honor Points to get the Veteran's Band of Triumph (15,300 Honor Points and 10 AV Marks). I'm pretty sure I managed to get that much Honor.
I'm not sure why people AFK in AV... the games go much faster, win or lose, if you play it and you also get more honor participating. I guess lazy people will always be lazy.
AV can get boring fast. If you follow the zerg on offense you basically are playing a PvE zerg. You can spice it up a bit by advancing ahead of the zerg and taking forward points where you may or may not encounter some live resistance. But even that gets old pretty fast. And certainly the first half of my weekend AV matches were like this. However, towards the end, more people were interested in staying on Defense which made playing defense tolerable.
Defense on AV can be difficult and painful as you are typically fighting against overwhelming odds which means lots of dying and feeling like you're not doing anything. However, with the current AV trend this is no longer the case. In fact, in several of the AV matches us defenders pretty much delayed the horde capping Stone Hearth graveyard (SHGY) several minutes to let the Alliance gain a small lead and then, while the majority of the horde were in fighting Belinda and the rest ran on to Stormpike Tower and Stormpike graveyard, we defenders took back SHGY.
Now, some of you veteran AV players are thinking, "OMG! Don't do that you noob! You just made the Horde turtle!". In the past, this was true because the Horde would bypass Belinda and go straight to SPGY, while the Alliance would always stop to kill Galv. This meant that retaking SHGY threw Horde offense back past IBGY while Alliance was either waiting for IBGY to cap or as they were trying to take IBGY. Nowadays, however, both sides are trying to maximize honor per match and thus, both sides try to take down their respective NPCs. With the Horde busy fighting Belinda, a SHGY recap is pretty easy. Most Horde won't die to Belinda and when they come out, they retake SHGY again, with a small skirmish.
Yes, we will lose this fight eventually but again, we've delayed them from re-taking SHGY and advancing. In fact, we've been quite successful defending here with the close respawn and the split objective for the Horde (SP tower and SHGY). A good defense here basically causes the Horde to be split up by attrition (some dying at Belinda, some dying to us defending SHGY, some dying at SP tower, and some dying at SPGY) and they will slowly stream back in from their start point. Usually they will fight for and re-take IBGY, IB tower and SP tower along the way but typically, the main Alliance force has advanced to and gone beyond FWGY.
On the way back, some Horde will bypass everything and go straight to IBGY. Others will stop and try to retake SHGY and/or the towers. We've managed to successfully defend SHGY due to the small amounts of Horde streaming back in and our ability to spawn 50 yards away from the flag.
Eventually, what happens is that the Horde is drastically behind the Alliance. Most Horde don't want to do a full turtle and will not rush the RH to try to get it back. Usually, by the time the Horde seem to have grasped what has happened, Alliance has FWGY fully capped and has RH and the FW towers capping. This is when they seem to give up. I don't know what they are doing - they must just be sitting in their start cave waiting for it to end because we end up with minor resistance (2 or 3 people) and nothing else.
We managed such successful defense on several games. The typical defense at SHGY composed of 3 or 4 Alliance players. It was quite an eye-opener to see how such a small group can successfully defend and/or retake a point by attacking when the enemy was distracted. These games usually ended with Alliance in full possession of everything from Aid Station up to SHGY - possibly losing SH tower. It was a lot of fun doing defense for a change.
Monday night MewMew PewPew and A Bubble managed to squeeze in our Arena games (there were connection problems due to Authentication Server problems). It was our first games with Honorshammer on the team and this meant we were sporting 2 pallys for healing. It was a lot of fun and we did fairly well. We learned to play together, what we needed to do differently with the new team format. We lost some we should have won and won some with some heart-throbbing action. Jagdelf also joined us last night and we subbed out Zadorr for Jag and had to learn yet again what to do as a team without 2 stealthers.
We did quite well then as well and both Honors and Jag brought a new dimension to our gameplay and were able to help us step it up a notch on their very first night! Breaking 1500 rating was nice. Having lots of fun doing it was even better.