Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One Person's Trash is Another Person's... Trash Mob

One drawback of random queues for content is that you run into people with differing viewpoints.  No, I'm not talking political or sports views --although I was once in a SWTOR Flashpoint where an argument broke out over American football-- but rather different approaches to the content should be run.

I say "drawback" because one of the big sources of instance/BG drama is that clash of viewpoints.  Failpugs are full of tanks who bypass bosses, healers who refuse to heal people who make mistakes, and DPS who decide they know how to pull properly.  But in a basic sense, what you might be looking for in group content might be completely different than everyone else, and when you feel like you're being dismissed/ignored that can cause significant drama.

This isn't a new revelation.  I've been in instances where the tank decided his version of "fun" was to chain pull the entire first area in Halls of Lightning, expecting the healer to keep him upright.*  The completionist vs. the minimalist clash is often found in instances such as SWTOR's Taral V or WoW's revamped 5-man Zul'Aman/Zul'Gurub.

But this clash of views took on a whole new meaning in an Alterac Valley run the other day.

I'm used to the arguments about Blue vs. Green in Strand of the Ancients and Gold Mine vs. Blacksmith vs. Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin, but the fight that broke out in BG chat in AV was a new one on me.

Prior to the other night, I'd only been in one so-called "bridge stomp" in AV.  For the uninitiated, a bridge stomp is a strategy where almost the entire Alliance gathers behind the bridge to Dun Baldur, allowing the Horde to kill off Belinda and sack Stonehearth Bunker and Icewing Bunker.  The Alliance then rains down hell on the bridge, which in theory will kill off Horde at a far greater rate than the Alliance defenders.  If everything goes according to plan, the Alliance wins a war of attrition and earns a ton of HKs.

As a Rogue, I'm kind of superfluous to the bridge stomp itself --I'd get killed too quickly to help the plate wearers defend the bridge-- so I and a few other stealthies basically peel away some of the Horde attackers by forcing them to constantly retake their own towers and the Coldtooth Mine.

The first bridge stomp I'd been in, the guild behind it had opened up their Vent channel and had set up a raid group specifically for the attack, which made perfect sense.  They also had complete buy-in from the rest of the AV team, because the sheer number of HKs also meant that we were able to summon Ivus, which is something that most people had never seen.**  Therefore, when I'd ported into an AV run and the people there started chanting "War!!!", I kind of had an idea what was up.

But not everyone appreciated having their AV run turn into a bridge stomp, and said so loudly on BG chat.

"I don't want my BG hijacked by some lame-ass premade," groused one DK.

Another player added that these players "...didn't know how to play AV," among other (more colorful) things.

"You're all a bunch of little kids!" said a third.

The bridge stomp team kept mocking the detractors and egging them on, causing a dramatic escalation in hostilities.

"Yep, we don't let anyone older than 14 in the guild!"

"Whoops, I just grew a pube!"

And things kind of went downhill from there.

I tried to ignore the fight as best as possible and kept to just annoying the Horde side, even when the anti-stomp crowd started taking other graveyards, loudly announcing their intention to disrupt the bridge stomp plan.

Just how many adults are actually in this BG anyway? I thought.

After about close to 1/2 hour, the anti-stomp crowd began to drop, firing off a few obscene parting shots along the way.

A lot of this fight could have been avoided by the bridge stomp team behaving maturely.  Announcing intentions prior to the start of AV, and even organizing things via Vent would have gone a long way toward keeping things civil.  That said, once the bridge stomp team began, the people who expected the "15 minute zerg" AV threw a tantrum and behaved no better.  Each side wanted their way, victory be damned. The fact that we won was superfluous by the end, because I was sick of everybody's behavior.  The parent in me wanted to send everybody into time out for a good long time, because you can bet that if I found out my kids were behaving like that, a time out would be the least of their worries.

I felt bad for the Horde, because they probably had no idea what the hell the Alliance was doing with half doing one thing and half doing another.  But if nothing else, the Horde were the ones who actually behaved like adults; they tried to win as best they could.

*And chewing him out when he wasn't able to.

**Watching Ivus whallop a Horde tank certainly made my night.


  1. A Bridge Stomp. That's a tactic that I've never seen before, nor even ever entered my head! I'd love to see it.

    As for Ivus, I've never seen him. Didn't even know of his existence before now. I tried reading the details on wowhead for summoning him, and I've got a question for you. As I understand it, you turn in crystals to Archdruid Renferal, and then when you have enough, Renferal and three other NPC druids ride out to the Fields of Strife. How do they get past the horde? And how do ten alliance players get past them, to use the Circle of Calling that the druids summon?

    1. The druids have raid boss level health, so getting past the Horde isn't a problem. As for getting past the Horde on the bridge, you can go south over the slope from DB South's tower. It's too steep to ride up, but you can always go down. Once you get down the slope, you can cut across the harpy area and get up to the road by Icewing Bunker. The Circle of Calling is in the Field of Strife, by Stonehearth Bunker. By this time the two southern Alliance bunkers are long gone, and most of the Horde is focusing on either the bridge or defending their own mines/towers, so they can't simply converge on the summoning routine.

      With a stomp in progress, you don't need all 40 people defending the bridge. About 5-6 Locks and Mages can rain enough AoE hell on the bridge to cause havoc.