Monday, August 30, 2010

Don't Fight on the Road

I started working on my League of Arathor reputation again, which is a very big grind. If you had a 50/50 split between controlling 2 and 3 bases it would take about 84 hours of continuously sitting in Arathi Basin to get to exalted, and of course in reality there is the 1 minute cap time, the 2 minute start time and the time between games to contend with.

I don't actually mind the old school insane rep grinds. Since these reputations basically give you nothing, the only reason to get them is for show. There is no need to devalue them by reducing the amount of work it takes.

But working on that reputation has meant exposing myself to battleground chat in Arathi Basin. There are so many terrible things about what people say to one another in battlegrounds, but most of it is the same whatever battleground you are in. Arathi Basin has a special stupid thing that people say, "Don't fight on the road!"

If you are losing, someone will yell this almost every time. The basic logic of it is quite astounding. In Arathi Basin both teams have the same objective. Furthermore, you can't have a fight without members of both teams. If I am fighting on the road, it means someone from their team is fighting on the road. If it is bad to fight on the road then it is, on average, equally bad for both teams when a fight on the road occurs. Since bad for your opponent is exactly the same as good for you, fighting on the road can't be bad on its face.

Of course a lot of the time people engage in fighting poorly, they wander away from the flag and allow it to be captured when they easily had enough people to repel the attack, and otherwise get caught in bad positions. Unfortunately the mantra of "don't do bad things, do good things instead" doesn't convey a lot of meaning. "Don't fight on the road," by comparison, conveys meaning. It just conveys a bad meaning that could easily lead people to make bad decisions if they take it to heart.

Perhaps as someone just learning the battleground without a good sense of the strategy it is worthwhile to keep in mind that you always want to be next to a flag so you can either capture if if given the opportunity or stop someone else from capturing it. But diverting and delaying your opponents are extremely useful tactics that usually involve disobeying the rule.


  1. I don't think 'fighting on the road' is actually a neutral proposition in general. You are negating (hopefully) the same number of people per side which is relatively fair but this tends to be to one team's advantage.

    If my side has more nodes captured than your side and I'm happy to sit around then I actually want to fight on the road. Leave a few people at my 3 nodes to defend and then try to convince the opponents to fight me anywhere but those 3 nodes.

    When you're down nodes you don't want to waste time fighting on the road. Ideally you want to either slip through unaccosted and hit a loosely defended node or you want to move out in a big force and overpower a node. In both cases stopping on the road to fight is just going to cost you time. (Probably a couple of you in the big group get slowed and end up stopping to fight anyway, but everyone else can move on.) If they're actively defending the roads then it becomes hard to slip through unaccosted but that's where stealth classes and building up a big charge come in.

  2. I agree that fighting on the road situationally favours one team or the other. When I say that its neutral I mean that it does not favour Horde over Alliance or vice versa. The understand whether an individual case of fighting on the road is better for one team or the other you need to know a lot about the current state of the game. There's no way to broadly generalize about whether it is good or bad to fight on roads in Arathi Basin, we can only talk about situations where it is good or bad.

  3. If you are losing, fighting on the road generally means people are deathmatching when they should be trying to flip flags. All too often, I see people enter a road deathmatch over and over when if they just ran past the enemies they could reach an undefended flag with ease. The same goes for WSG and fighting in the middle. I see people purposefully dismount to engage in a mid-field deathmatch instead of staying with their teammates and heading for the flag.

    If you are winning, fighting on the road generally means you are keeping the other team distracted with a deathmatch so they won't flip flags. And in WSG, if you are winning, fighting in the middle can be an effective strategy to prevent the other team from completing objectives.

    So, I think fighting on the road is not intrinsicly bad, but if you are losing it is not wise.