While I was working on my post about Logistics and a few of the issues involved and the lack of tools by Blizzard to help facilitate the logistical issues with large group content I have also been pondering how are the rated battlegrounds going to work?
Currently in WoW our Raid Frames will support 1-40 people but since tBC we have had raid sizes of 10 and 25, so roughly 4 years now. In battlegrounds we have 10-40 man raids which fits into this paradigm as far as interface capable. The issue is that is has been stated that you can’t join a random rated BG you have to go in as a group or raid. Now the aspect that is missing is what defines the group. Is it going to be like the Arena system and we need to have an established team or will we be able to pug a group on our server and join as group/raid?
These issues need an answer additionally what % of the raid must be in group before entering the BG, 25%,50%,75%? Will we now have PvP focused guilds solely to fill the 40 man requirement of AV or IoC? Will AV and IoC get revamped so they work with 15 or 25 man groups and at least make the upper limit of PvP interaction the same as PvE? If they don’t I can almost say now that you will almost never see a rated BG game of AV or IoC the organization required for not PuGing the BG is silly in the current game environment.
I can see 2 simple ways for this system to work. Both require 25 man raids being the largest in organized competition.
Organized System like Arenas
Here you have a Rate BG charter or some item like the Arena team charter and you can have up to 50 characters on the charter, enough for 25 people to have 2 characters on the team.
You form a raid consisting of members from the charter and queue for 10, 15 or 25 man rated BG. This is proportionally equivalent to the 2,3,5 man make up of Arena teams.
Distributed System the in between Random BGs and the Arena System
Here you just require a full group of 5 to sign up for a rated BG like a random BG but it requires a minimum number in the group 4 or 5 so you don’t need to form a raid. Ultimately 5 will most likely be the requirement so you don’t have partial groups when forming the larger raid. This in between system at least allows the matching system to build raids of equivalent average skill and gear without putting all of the organization work on the player base given the limited tools Blizzard gives us to organize.
Don’t get me wrong the tools blizzard does supply are on average the same tools most companies give to support their MMOs and actually Blizzard in most cases gives more but that does not mean there is not room for improvement in the MMO market.
In the end I think the rated BG system is going to be a really good feature in Cataclysm and I hope we find out more about it “soon” and we hear something about the testing going on in the Beta concerning it if it is even implemented yet.