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Patch 5.3 PTR: Role Check in Battleground queues


One interesting change to be added to the patch 5.3 PTR is shown in the above screenshot: role check. It will be familiar to any player who has previously used the Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder tools, with the three available roles that we're all used to.

So what is it doing in the battleground finder? This is all part of Blizzard's renewed efforts to bring much-needed changes to PvP. The plan behind this alteration is to balance the number of healers on each side of a battleground, to within a tolerance of one, as Blizzard PvP Designer Brian Holinka clarifies on Twitter. What does this mean? The plan is that, while there's no set number of healers for a battleground, there should never be more than a difference of one healer between two teams in a random battleground. Gone are the days of four healers on one team and none on the other, now, if one team has two healers, the other will either have one, or three. If one team has five healers, the other will have either six or four.

While my PTR shaman can't choose it, the tank selector is still active, for now at least. Certainly, there are several battlegrounds in the random queue where a tank isn't really a useful addition to a team, and so far we haven't seen any specific mention of an attempt to balance tank numbers, but it's possible that, in a flag-capture battleground like Warsong Gulch, there is an attempt to get each team a tank.

What concerns accompany this change? Certainly, there are a couple. The first, and main concern, is the lengthening of queue times for players who purely DPS, and do not want to heal. Currently, queues for battlegrounds are the same, regardless of spec, but this could mean a shift towards what we currently see a lot of in the Raid Finder and Dungeon Finder, where tanks and healers have far faster queues. Hopefully the fact that the system doesn't wait for a specified number of healers, rather for a balanced number, will alleviate this concern. It's very hard to tell on a PTR where very little PvP takes place, though!

The other concern is the emergence of behavior like what players commonly witness in the Raid Finder, where DPS will queue as healers, and DPS. This achieves shorter queue times for the DPS in question, while being generally considered unfair, and often resulting in a vote kick. It's directly linked to the concern above, and if this is dealt with, players are very unlikely to engage in this practice. It makes WoW Insider wonder, given that the game already knows the spec of players in the waiting room in PvP as is evidenced by various addons and the default panes in arena, whether some sort of spec check could be put in place to ensure healers really are healers.

What's your take on this system?

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