Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Warsong Gulch

I tried the other Battleground in World of Warcraft: Warsong Gulch, the capture-the-flag Battleground. I have to say that I was much less impressed than with Alterac Valley. Warsong just didn't have the magic of Alterac for me, and I'm not convinced that CTF really translates to the World of Warcraft gameplay, but it's hard to pass judgment after a couple hours. Whereas in Alterac, the distinctiveness of the different classes makes it all so great, in Warsong, I found the differences between the classes annoying. CTF is an easy one to visualize; let's start with CTF in Unreal Tournament. Now say that 20% of the players (rogue) can be invisible, and sit down next to the flag, just camping until someone gets nearby. That player has a special ability that lets them stun someone for about fifteen seconds. They can also, a few times per game, run about 75% faster than other players for ten seconds. Another player (paladin) can not only heal himself, but can make himself invulnerable for a ten-second period once per match or so. (Those two come first because I hate playing against them in PvP.) Then there are those who can shapeshift once they have the flag and run 30% (shamen) up to 50% (druids with talents in speed) faster than the other players. There are just so many annoying things that players can do. The map didn't seem that well-designed for CTF play either; there are several entrances to each base, which was nice, but the layout just kinda sucked.

The upside is that it's still somewhat fun; it just feels really chaotic and silly; almost a cruel mockery of CTF in UT. There are also some nice things that World of Warcraft brings to CTF. Half of the map is outdoors, so players not carrying the flag can mount up and close the distance between them and the enemy holding their flag. It's also a smaller game (10-man teams vs. Alterac's 40), so games end sooner and wait times are smaller. It's just not nearly as fun as Alterac.

Well, it's supposed to be roughly 10 vs. 10. A lot of my games were 7 vs. 10, our side always getting the sharp end of the axe. The game allows 10 per side, but only requires about 7 to start a round.

Nox was a fantasy game that had a decent sports-type mode: NoxBall, which was like Bombing Run in UT. In NoxBall, the classes were strictly limited to a subset of their normal abilities that were more balanced in that mode. I never really played online much, so I have little right to comment, but maybe something like that would be more enjoyable. I'm pretty sure that invisibility and invulnerability and shapeshifting wouldn't make the cut. But, as it stands, I think that Warsong Gulch will be where I spend my time when I can't get into Alterac Valley but I really want to get some Honor Points before Tuesday's rankings.

1 comment:

Kerjo said...

I wasn't going to read this post at all, until I saw Bombing Run in the last paragraph, and then thought of Deathball for UT2k4.

When all of you kids are off your WoW kick, we need to play UT again.