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Battleground gear disparity

Olivia Grace
Olivia Grace|@@oliviadgrace|December 19, 2012 5:00 PM
Battleground Gear Disparity
Blizzard's Daxxarri responded to a thread recently in the official US forums saying the following:

Simply tier the BGs by ilvl.

It's not simple, unfortunately. It would a) require a retooling of how Battlegrounds assemble teams and b) even under ideal conditions, it would likely slow down queue times dramatically. As Ovenmitz demonstrates, there are a lot of players who are very opposed to that.

This isn't a bad idea, in itself. One thing I've long wondered about is whether it would be possible, as the thread's OP suggests, to make battlegrounds face players off according to their gear. This would, as the OP notes, perhaps avoid the situation where players are faced against hugely disproportionately geared teams, so full epics against crafted and PvE gear.

While he didn't speak directly about this, taking two of Ghostcrawler's recent PvP Dev Watercooler points together could shed some light on Blizzard's plans for gear and scaling.

Smoother Battleground Brackets – We have technology now to scale down player items for Challenge Modes, and you might be aware that we scaled up player items during our beta raid testing. We'd like to use the same mechanic to scale up players within the lower level PvP brackets. For example, in the level 15 to 19 bracket, we could make all characters behave as if they were level 19 for purposes of the Battleground. If this idea works well, we could potentially condense lower level brackets and maybe reduce queue times.

Matchmaking – Our Battleground matchmaking system hasn't changed much since it debuted and doesn't yet benefit from many of the advances we developed for Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder. The original Battleground queuing system was designed for speed because it only had a single realm of candidates. By incorporating more of the new tech we've since developed, we can help ensure that there are a certain number of healers per team or at least a good class distribution.

Neither of these two points, as stated, specifically addressed the issues mentioned by the OP in the thread above, but put the two together and something might emerge. Ghostcrawler talks about smoother brackets and the use of gear scaling technology to alter the gear levels of lower level BGs, as well as improvements to the battleground matchmaking systems. While neither of these points from Ghostcrawler should be taken as promises, either or both of them could soon be coming to a battleground near you. Ghostcrawler's posts do, at least, suggest that such alterations might be possible.

Is it really needed?

Would gear scaling really fix anything in battlegrounds? It would most likely serve to make queue times far longer, which is not a great change for anyone. It seems like it certainly contributes to the issues in random battlegrounds, but I'd hazard a guess that pre-mades and bots are bigger concerns. A full pre-made with epic PvP gear would be insane to face off against in contender's gear. For fully randomly selected teams to happen to have the cards fall so that there is a team of entirely epically geared players playing a team of entirely crafted and PvE geared players would be unlucky indeed. And again, it would be unusual indeed for a couple of fully geared players to be able to turn the tide of a battleground by themselves.

Having said that, though, the catch-up problems on gear are tiresome indeed at the moment. Players who have started late-season or missed the cap for a few weeks, or simply want to play alts, are at a huge disadvantage at this point in the expansion, long before 5.2 is likely to appear through the mists. Gear-based matchmaking in battlegrounds would certainly serve to alleviate these issues. Or, better yet, set up a system like dungeons where brackets are limited by item level, or by PvP resilience, or by PvP power, or by any other limit that would work. Don't let players queue outside their bracket. If they want to cheat the system with PvE gear, that's fine.

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Battleground gear disparity