Friday, September 14, 2007

On Alliance and Horde

Someone remarked on vent last night about how Alliance sucks at PvP no matter what server they were on. This generalization is rather quite true. I have found it very difficult to get into a PuG Battleground and not lose. Every once in a while, the Alliance will steamroll the Horde or there will be a nice comeback or close victory but this happens much less often than just a flat out loss.
So why exactly do the Alliance suck at PvP? If you read the WoW forums many of the posters say it's because the Alliance is filled with the "kids" who played Alliance for the "hawt sekz Night Elf females" but I don't buy it. Usually these same "kids" are also blamed for having too much time on their hands to play WoW and youth on their side for reaction times and that's why they're so good at games like Counter-Strike, which are skills that lend themselves well to PvPing. And besides, anyone who's played at least one Horde character knows that Barrens chat (before The Burning Crusade came out) was probably the worse general chat you'd see anywhere - it was worse than Ironforge chat! So, it can't be that all the "immature kiddies" were all playing Alliance and all the intelligent adults were playing Horde.
The other argument I've heard, which makes more sense to me is that most "RPers" (roleplayers) and "casual" players, when they start a game like WoW, will choose the "good/light" side which, in the case of WoW, is perceived to be the Alliance (yes, I like to comma-splice). Not that I believe roleplayers can't PvP but it's more credible that casual players are less likely to be as competent at PvP.
When you watch the Alliance in BGs, it can be so sad it's actually funny. If you play a stealth class you can sit back at fights and watch what the Alliance do compared to what the Horde do. This is most comical in AV where you get really large groups of Alliance running together. I've watched as most of the Alliance players zerg after one little 'ol Horde in the midst of fighting the NPCs. The best example is how the Alliance will stop at IB tower to fight Horde defenders, rather than charging the flag and trying to cap it, preventing the Horde defenders from rezzing right nearby and coming back to defend. The same thing happens in AB where the Alliance will fight in the middle of roadways, well away from flags just because they spotted Horde. There have been AV's and AB's where I spent the entire match bouncing to nodes we Alliance have captured but no one bothered to defend. Alliance PuGs just like to zerg. It's like most of them aren't confident to stay anywhere by themselves and defend. And it's not like the Alliance zerg is very powerful. If they vastly outnumber the enemy then they may be victorious but usually it takes fewer Horde to defeat a group of Alliance.

Don't get me wrong though, it's not all rosey on the Horde side. I played for quite a while on a server as Horde and sometimes I think the maturity level of the Horde players is lower than the Alliance. And sometimes the perception that Horde are better PvPers make them a little too cocky. Either that or Horde players don't know (or don't believe in) the concept of picking smart fights. I've seen Horde attack Alliance on site, regardless of the fact that the Horde was much lower level than the Alliance.
Take for example, last night. Our guildees Lilura and Ashur were trying to get The Ring of Blood quest chain done. They had help from Ferth and Azwynn, both L70. A L67 Tauren druid decides to gank in the middle of the fights. Now yes, he managed to kill Lilura three times and cause them to wipe. I bet he was feeling pretty cocky and good about himself - that is until Rhubarb and I show up. Yeah, he tried again to gank but this time he died a fast death and we still got the quest completed. That was the last fight in the quest chain so everyone left and the druid rezzed and ran away. But that wasn't the end of it for him, even though he thought it was. See, I stayed in the area and flew around a bit on the suspicion that he was farming or questing in the area. Sure enough, I spot him doing a quest I remember that had him escort some Ogres into the camp and fend off attacking Ogres. Guess what? He died. And he failed the quest. And then he rezzed and promptly died again. An Alliance druid nearby wanted to get a shot in on him because that tauren druid had killed him earlier so I left him to gank the tauren when he rezzed. In the end, I really don't think it paid off for that tauren druid. If I didn't have a SLabs run to tank for I would have stayed and camped that guy a whole lot longer.
Another example of this happened earlier this week. I was raising my herbalism skill and was riding into Swamp of Sorrows when I rode past a L70 hunter and a guildee of his who was L52. The L70 hunter started to attack me but I decided to just keep riding and ignore it. It irked me but this is a PvP server and that stuff is supposed to happen so I forgot about it.
After a while I had levelled to the point where I needed to move to Blasted Lands and get my final few points to 300. I was riding around merrily picking flowers when I rode by that same hunter again. Sure enough the guy attacks me again so this time I rode away, dismounted, healed up, went kitty and stealthed. I stalked this guy and stayed with him and watched him as he helped two of his guildees (both L52 and L53 hunters) with a quest. I watched and waited until they let their guard down and the L70 and one of the L50's hunters ran ahead of the third. I jumped that guy and he was dead in 2 or 3 shots. I re-stealthed and sure enough the L70 comes running over, throwing up a flare. No problem, this was expected. I just waited patiently while he got bored (in about 20 secs) and went back to questing. Unluckily for him he then pulls 3 mobs, which really shouldn't have been a problem for a L70 but he and the other hunter start running around all chaotic like they were in a panic. Perfect! So I run in and jumped the L70 Hunter while the mobs kept the L52 hunter busy. I expected a rough little fight but it was hardly that. The hunter had pretty crappy gear and he was dead much quicker than I expected. The L52 hunter starts attacking me and he was dead in 2 shots. That was fun but only the beginning. See, I don't like being attacked when I ride by peacefully but again, this is a PvP server so I don't take offence. However, if you're helping your guildee with a quest and an opposing faction player rides by peacefully you let them go! I take offence when they're that hostile. What's worse, this guy's gear was pretty crappy so he was either too cocky or too stupid to consider my gear before attacking me. The combination of both made me just have to camp him and so, I was there to welcome him when he rezzed. And his little guildees too. And I was there again when he next rezzed. And again.
Up to this point, I had been chatting to Wichita on vent about this. I guess he thought the situation was amusing enough to come out to the Blasted Lands. So, Wich takes over camping these guys (from the guild HELLFIRE ASSASSINS - because all caps makes you more dangerous!) while I finished levelling my herbalism to 300. Wichita got to kill them a few more times because they really deserved it.
Once I got my 300th point I came back over to where Wich was camping them and he said that the L70 hunter had stopped rezzing (these guys rezzed one at a time too) so we thought it was all over when suddenly a L70 horde Warrior shows up and charges Wichita. "He brought friends!" was what we thought (and were expecting... no, hoping). We noticed this guy was in a lot more bling-blingy epics so we thought we were in for some more interesting fights. I'm in kitty form attacking this guy while Wich is trying to get lighting bolts off and I remember thinking in the back of my mind, "man this guy has some amazing gear to be blocking and parrying all my attacks". When we kill him I hear Wich start laughing and saying how little damage the guy was doing. That's when it dawned on me - this guy was a prot. warrior! I alt-tab out and check out the Armory and sure enough this guy is epic'd out - in PvE prot gear! The hunter showed on the Armory as having the ghost buff so we surmissed that this is the same guy just playing his other L70 alt. Oh my!
The Warrior rezzed again and immediately charges Wichita. He didn't even try to bandage up first. So this time Wichita and I both just melee attack him while Wich kept himself healed up. Yeah that fight took like 5 minutes or more and we finally got so bored we killed him off and left.

So, while Alliance may not be so PvP-centric it seems there are quite a number of Horde who are just a bit too quick to attack any Alliance player they see. I wonder if these Horde are former Alliance players? I hope we can start mixing the pool of players more so that the PuG fights in BGs are more even. In the meantime, I will enjoy camping the occassional bloodthirsty, undergeared Horde that chose the wrong Alliance to pick a fight with.


Honors Code said...

Silly horde.

I've always attributed it to Racials. The horde racials are so much better for PVP than the Alliance racials.

Jon said...

I think it might also have to do with appearance of the horde characters. They have aggressive and angry looking skins and models. They are the type of character you'd want to play if you were looking to gank and kill players, opposed to say, defeat dragons in noble battle, or whatever.

If your mindset is to pwn faces aggressively, then what feels better? A pissed off looking orc or a feeble little gnome? Probably the orc. And as Honors said, the racials play right into that mindset. In fact, I wouldn't be suprised if Blizzard did all of that to balance out the two sides somewhat. Alliance might have the upper-hand due to numbers alone, but the Horde have the upper-hand otherwise, as PvPers gravitate to the aggressive skins.

I think that mindset worked just grand in World PvP, where you'd have the mindless Alliance zerg versus the concentrated but skilled Horde... but in battlegrounds, where the sides fill up equally regardless, we see just how imbalanced the matches can go.

Bacon said...

Yep nothing like running through Stone Talon Mountains as a lone lvl24 shaman. You are almost guaranteed to have someone try to attack you. I got double teamed by 2 druids, both lvl26. All I could do was spam lol and fight.

On appearances, I have been finding alot of BEs climbing up on the ganker list. They lure you in with their good looks and then WHAMMO!