Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wanna run a BG? Um, what time is it?

No, seriously.

I've some time off this week, so my AV runs have been split into two separate groups:  early morning and mid-afternoon.  And believe me, there's a huge difference in group personality between the two times of day.

The early morning runs are quieter with less chatter, and more attention paid to details.  Call outs are the norm, defense and back-caps are common, and you'd better run in a pack if you're a glass cannon (aka Mage).  People actually thank you for the Lock cookies, Feasts, and Rituals of Refreshment.  If you say "need 1-2 more to defend SHB", you'll actually have 1-2 (sometimes 3) toons appear from nowhere to assist in defense.

Mid afternoon, on the other hand, is an exercise in confirming stereotypes.

I've rushed in, taken Iceblood Tower, and then watch everyone else as they moved on en masse.

"Need 2-3 more to defend IBT."


When the inevitable backcap happens, a flood of recriminations spits over BG chat.

"You @#%&ing idiots!  What a fail group!"
"Somebody go back and get it!"
"Get it yourself, retard!"
"Doesn't matter, we can win pulling with two towers up."

When THAT strategy doesn't work, you get:

"What a fail group!"
"Yeah, healers suck!"
"You're tanking in Fury Spec, you idiot!"

Oh, and did I mention the 3-4 people who hang around the BG entrance, waiting for the free Honor?

Why the huge difference in group personality?

I can think of one reason:  the early morning runs aren't populated with the teens/college kids that the latter runs are.  After all, those folks are probably sleeping in until noon anyway.

If that's the case, then shouldn't the 5-man LFD runs mimic the BGs?  You know, I don't know, given that I haven't run LFD in ages, but it wouldn't shock me to find that out.  My experience from previous times, however, is that LFD is such a small sample and such a mixed bag that you never know what you'll get.  BGs, having larger numbers and are quixotically quicker than your average LFD run, tend to take on distinct group personalities.  And when those personalities change --due to an injection of teen hormones, for instance-- the result is noticeable.

Dealing with the mid-afternoon crowd isn't too difficult, just keep your expectations low and ignore most of BG chat.  Well, and also console yourself in the fact that the current AV queue time is 1-2 minutes.  At least you're not waiting 1/2 hour for LFD to pop.


  1. what are you doing still playing wow? all the cool kids(and even some fogies) are playing SWTOR these days. jk. :-)

    ah, alterac valley! some of my favorite wow memories are in that place. i can remember similar trends, but not just from morning to afternoon, but weekday to weekend. running with a premade solved a lot of those problems though.

  2. @Nobody-- Oh, I'd thought about TOR, but I don't have the money to afford two paid subs. Right now, I'm more curious as to how TOR pans out. If there are enough friends/bloggers who jump to TOR, I'd actually give it a shot. Color me disenchanted with the concept of Mists of Pandaria, and skeptical as to whether Kung Fu Panda can compete with TOR (and The Secret World).

    (Believe me, I know all about the lore behind Pandaren, but at the same time perception is reality, and casuals and non-WoW players will look at the Pandaren and see Po, nothing else.)

    Me, I love AV. I'm sure I'd love it even more if it were the old style AV, but right now this is the best we've got to a full 40-on-40 smashmouth BG. No vehicles.

  3. I'm with you for the most part on the pandaria issue, although i really would like to see more asian and/or middle eastern themes in an mmo.

  4. With the release of the new dungeons 4.3, I've gotten back into tanking. My experiences there mimic yours in AV. The morning runs before work generally go smoothly and everyone is usually skilled, experienced and polite. I've come to dread tanking them in the evenings, if I even attempt them at all then.

  5. That's a sweeping generalization, Redbeard. A lot of the teenagers I've met in WoW are nicer than the 30-somethings. The most immature person I had to deal with was a 45-year-old who wanted the rest of the guild to facilitate his good time.

    Of course, both your observations and mine are anecdotal. However, it might be surprising how many of the mouthy twits in BGs are older than you think. Dickery knows no age.

  6. I find that doing LFD at any level during off-peak time has more people that don't know the instance, how to look at their maps, or how to tank. Basic stuff like not pulling without the healer, and keeping all the mobs off the healer.

  7. @Don-- That was my experience when I used to run Heroics back in Wrath days, and it's good to see that your experience is the same.

    @Anonymous-- Normally I'd agree with you, as the #1 rule of an MMO is that nobody knows who is on the other end of the keyboard. That said, I've noticed that the increase in BG immaturity over the past few years mirrors the school year quite nicely. The major holidays --Winter Break, Spring Break, the beginning and end of Summer Vacation, and the American Thanksgiving Holiday-- are all times when the level of asshatery noticeably goes up. During the school year itself there is a big difference between early morning/early afternoon runs and the late afternoon variety (when school is out for the day). So while an individual behaving badly might be an adult my age or older, the overall push is coming from the school age kids.

    @Mittenz-- So you don't see any difference between the leveling instances, the Cata Normals, and the Cata Heroics?

  8. This is a phenomenon that I have noticed before with the late night BGs and mid afternoon time slots.

    It seems that most idiots play mid-afternoon to early evening before vacating the game for bed/homework and leaving mature people to actually co-operate in getting things accomplished.

    It doesn't impact the overall win ratio because the same applies to both factions but the quality of the experience is greatly improved.

  9. @Evlyxx-- Yeah, if there's one thing that can be said it's that neither faction has a monopoly on asshatery. Maybe that wasn't the case originally (or on specific servers), but it sure is the case now.