Saturday, June 18, 2011

An army of one.

Contemplating on last night's play a bit more, I talked to my favorite cross-dressing rogue who plays a lot of battlegrounds. He currently also has a draenei paladin who has decked herself out in all purple PvP gear, and generally focuses on battlegrounds. Since I lost every battle I did last night (did we win the war, though? Well, if the goal was to have fun, then yes), I wanted to know his thoughts on how much one player affects change in outcome. His analysis of the different battlegrounds and their strategies was insightful: depending on size and teamwork, it can make or break the results. Ultimately, though, if it's a war of attrition, meaning it comes down to having to take out two players for every one of yours, or working as a cohesive group to down one big boss, such as Alterac Valley, it's important to practice, train, and think. PvP is unique in philosophy and style. He said if he could change one thing, though, about the culture of PvP, it would be a banishment of all the battle rage during a loss. I have been in good, solid battlegrounds where a group leader will issue calm, clear directions. True steely-eyed missile men. One can hardly imagine the Tom Hank's character in Saving Private Ryan yelling at the soliders during the invasion, "NOOOOOOOB!" Most of the time, and this is sad to say, players are doing the best they can in the chaos. It's not pretty, it's not organized, and good elves die. When he spent some time on the Horde side, he said the rage was just as emphatic and pervasive. A lot of blame gets thrown around, and not much damage. Sticks and stones break those bones, folks, and nerd rage doesn't touch them.

I did have a lot of fun yesterday, but I know my friend and I would have had a lot more fun if we had won a few. It's not like we didn't try. He even got into the relic room in Strand of the Ancients: and that event is what sparked the conversation with the rogue: can one player affect the outcome of a battleground? Like a good sports team, the answer is "no." It has to be a concentrated, or somewhat coordinated effort; but even if the group does everything right, the other team may have a slight advantage when the buzzer rings. There will be a winner, and there will be a loser. Nerd rage on a real-world scale may mean overturned cars and riot gear. 

Even in times of great conflict, heroes find time to kiss and comfort the damsels
So, I've enlisted again, and will see how it goes. Hoping for more Inglorious Basterds (WIN!) and less Full Metal Jacket.

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