Apparently it’s PvP week, here at Aggro Management. You had to know it was coming – my last two posts were largely positive, cheerful things, but as much as I am actually enjoying PvP (God, it feels so wrong to say it…) and rediscovering a class I’ve played for years, the more familiar I get with the game (specifically Warsong Gulch) the more annoyed I become at a few trends I’m just not understanding.

Should any of the following actually make sense to you, please do explain it. Some of it I’m pretty sure is just the standard PuG hazards. Other pieces may actually have some kind of reasoning behind them that I’m just not familiar enough with the game to get.

So, without further adieu, I present: Shit That Makes No Sense

Part 1. Pavlov’s PuG

Allow me to paint you a picture of the start of every. Single. Game.

You hit “Enter Battleground” when the message pops up and are promptly assaulted by the sight of an Alliance banner blocking your view of everything because you messed up your camera for Malygos back in the day and you can’t seem to un-mess it up. You titch to the side while Pitbull tries to decide if you’re a raid or a party. Approximately half of your group is num-locking into the doors, frothing at the mouth to get out there and die as quickly and uselessly as possible. The other half is not content to simply buff everyone for no mana – they have to spam every single spell they have. Someone’s using tranquility. Every mage in the room is Blizzarding. The pally is running around and consecrating everyone. Anyone who can’t cast a spell is jumping up and down and back and forth.

When the horn blows and the gates go up, for no reason that you can discern, the entire raid group pours out the door, mounts, and tears off through the graveyard and on their way across the midfield. “Okay,” you say awkwardly, “I guess I’ll go defence.”

You watch with a morbid fascination on the little map in the corner of your screen as what started as a blob of dots representing your allies inexplicably begins to fray at the edges, drawing out, splitting up, leaving pieces behind. There are dots all over the midfield now, each by itself, and maybe 4-6 left to go try to get the flag. That’s fine. That should be plenty. You know that for a fact, because at least five Horde have just come tearing up the alliance tunnel and are moving for the flag.

You grind your teeth as one of your team members managed to grab the Horde flag and charge the huge-ass, plate-wearing tauren aiming for your own. “For the Alliance!” you think, not without a tinge of bitterness, because your supposed allies have basically left you to try to defend the flag against five freaking level X9 tauren.

You can watch the rest from the graveyard, waiting for your rez. The Horde grabs the flag and heads out down the tunnel. The party guarding the Horde flag carrier will inevitably meet the Alliance flag carrier on their way back from the Horde base, now hopelessly whittled down to, at most, three people. Whatever Horde they managed to kill in the flag room have since rezzed at the graveyard and are now tumbling down over that cliff like a waterfall of death.

The alliance flag carrier gets sandwiched between the two halves of the Horde group, screaming obscenities at his own team as he dies. Some guy named Allysuck returns the Horde flag to its base. Fifteen seconds later some guy named Heresbeef caps the Alliance flag.

Part 2. The Part Where we Don’t Fix Anything

This makes the score 0-1 for the Horde, but there’s still 20 minutes left to the game and plenty of time to realize the mistakes of our past, organize ourselves, and actually, you know, win. Instead, the Alliance will do one of the following:

  • Abruptly lose all hope of winning because it is very obviously impossible and there is very obviously nothing we could have done differently. Half of them ditch immediately, leaving the battleground and a cloud of vitriol and hate in the chat in their wake. The other half decide the mid-field is a really good place to stay, and stay there for the rest of the fight, perhaps figuring since the entire group is obviously composed of retards and we’re never going to cap anyway, they’ll just farm HKs for the rest of the match – by which I mean give HKs to the vastly more organized, less defeatist Horde.
  • Do the exact same thing as we did last time, only now it works even worse, because we all died at different times and the concept of waiting to group up is apparently a foolish, foolish idea that would guarantee our deaths. So we just sort of…attack the horde base on a one-by-one basis. Three people will take the Horde flag and die two steps later within the space of as many seconds. In the meantime, the Horde have had time to confirm that yes, we are in fact a standard Alliance PuG, and they don’t actually need to send five guys anymore. They send two to three to rape me in the corner where I am stubbornly attempting to defend the flag. They will kill me again when I meet them at the end of the tunnel. And again when I chase them into their own tunnel, but not until they have killed whichever unfortunate team member has managed to pick up their flag and chosen to come down the tunnel at the exact wrong moment.

Either way, once the score switches to 0-2 for the Horde, the Alliance will kind of wake up. A sudden, startling realization will streak like lightning through the collective group – Holy shit, guys! We have a flag too! And we haven’t been defending it!

And so, now that there’s only ten minutes left in the game, and we absolutely need to get at least two caps if we want to win, which means we should probably actually be playing a bit of offence here, there will be eight alliance crammed in as tight as they can into the flag room, faces stern and serious, determined now to protect our flag at all costs. The same rogue who has picked up the Horde flag and dropped it again a hundred times continues to stubbornly stealth his way down the side of the field to try it again – no doubt already planning his epic, rage-fuelled swearing when he dies again because he didn’t get the support he never asked for. He’s also level X1 and no support in the world is like to keep him standing for long anyway.

“Okay,” says I, “I guess I’ll go O, then…”

The Level X1 rogue does not wait for me. He grabs the flag and dies just as I’m running into the base. “Fuck it,” says I. I jump on the bandwagon and down into the flagroom. I grab the flag, stun the pally guarding it, and make it halfway down the tunnel before I get raped by the entire Horde team, who are basically turtling now that they have two caps and we have none and their victory is more or less assured if they can just keep us from capping.

I am returned to my team’s side of the base, where we are also turtling, because we have zero caps and absolutely need to get two more to win, but we are not going to do that because everyone knows defence is the key to winning WSG.

We lose. The next BG group consists of largely the same people as the last one. Oh good, I think, they learned their lesson last time. Maybe this time they’ll…run out the door, mount as fast as they can, and make a desperate dash down the midfield for a flag they’ll never be able to keep. It’s cool, though. I know they’ll be back to turtle down with me once the Horde has two caps.