Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Warsong Gulch Prisoners

Suppose that you play alliance in the Rampage battlegroup. Suppose that you want to try out some WSG. What you'd quickly find is that in the higher level brackets, alliance pickup groups are uniformly flattened in WSG. 0-3 almost every match. Now, suppose that all fun is equal, but you would like to maximize your gain of tokens and honor.

You basically have two options, assuming that you're willing to devote your attention to the game rather than AFKing. You can help your team win, which consists of defending the base and running the flag or being part of the flag-running crew, or you can kill horde at random. (Or stand near horde getting killed at random and healing your guys so that they actually down the horde, earning honor.)

The first option is more or less what you're 'supposed' to do, but it's essentially worse in every way. If the flag does make it back to your base, you wind up with a time-wasting turtle, and guarding your flag only delays the inevitable. Furthermore, if you're not where the action is because you're guarding the flag, you're not getting any honor. On the other hand, killing horde at random is a bad WSG winning strategy, but you get more honor and you get your token faster because you lose faster. The 'selfish' option, kill horde at random, is better in every way.

I think that a lot of the population has consciously or unconsciously picked up on this, and gravitates towards the selfish strategy enough that the few trying to 'do it right' can't compensate nearly enough. If we view 'help win/kill at random' as a binary decision, then by switching from 'kill at random' to 'help win', a player only hurts himself, since he earns less honor and delays his token. The only way he gets more out of trying to help the team win is if his switch is the one that pushes it over the edge, and actually allows the alliance to win. Since being a 'helper' hurts you if not enough people are doing it, someone who is one of an insufficient number of 'helpers' only benefits by becoming a 'killer at random'. (On the flip side, a 'killer at random' on a team that always wins might benefit by becoming a 'helper' if the loss of honor he gets by killing as many targets as possible is offset by the fact that by helping his team win faster he gets his three tokens and bonus honor more quickly.)

Half-baked, or could this idea explain why in the battlegrounds one side is always extremely heavily favored?


Megan said...

I hate non-objective based people in BG. Did you not know what you were getting into when you queue'd?

Selfish people fail miserably, and this is true for non WoW too---they will get what's coming to them eventually and I feel no pity.

Crushalot said...

We have the same problem in our EOtS. Rush the flag and get HKs rather than defend the towers and win =(. I had to quit or I was going to have an aneurism lol