The Broken Battlegrounds of 4.0.1

So I logged in last night with the intent to get my PvP spec squared away, get my new Wrathful gear gemmed and enchanted, and spend some time in the battlegrounds to get a good, solid impression of how 4.0.1 has changed them.

It was, frankly, an awful experience.

Most nights when I have a bad night in the BGs, it’s because I’m losing, a lot, and my fellow teammates are being nasty about it.  I don’t mind clueless, I do mind vicious.

No, it was awful because of the bugs.  Glitches, freezes, disconnects, all conspired to make trying to fight in a battleground an exercise in frustration.

The worst part, in asking around, I know that this is not universal.  It’s there, people are having problems — but not everyone.

I’ve debated posting this.  I’d much rather have an analysis for you of what’s happening in the BGs right now, which, I’m told, is horribly imbalanced, with Resilience stacking making certain classes unkillable, with clothies running roughshod over melee… but all I have are bugs.

Here are the bugs I’ve seen.

THE FLAG BOSS / MAGE TABLE / CLICKING IS DANGEROUS

There’s a bug with one line tooltips where your client locks up/disconnects when you mouse over anything that turns your cursor into a cogwheel – like, say, the flags in Arathi Basin, mage tables, warlock portals, the Headless Horseman’s altar – anything you need to click that has a 1-line tooltip can cause it.

For this one, there’s a fix: CogFix, an addon that eliminates the tooltip.  It works okay in most situations – I stopped crashing at the flag, at least – but there were still some other situations that still did it, like the fantastically bugged EoE.

RANDOM DISCONNECT AND DESERTER DEBUFF

I love this one.  For no rhyme or reason, the client locks up, crashes or disconnects, and when you log back in you have the Deserter debuff.  This one happened to me a lot last night, and unlike previous patches, there seems to be no way to get back in without picking up the Deserter debuff.  I’ve DCed before and gotten back in to the same battle within 30 seconds; now, the debuff prevents that.

I don’t really care about the Deserter debuff.  It’s annoying, but if this is just a case of the debuff being tuned more strictly, I can live with it.

But I DCed from 8 out of 10 battlegrounds last night.  It didn’t matter how much activity was on the screen, or system load, or anything like that – I’d be running along, then BAM, client crashes, I start fumbling for my authenticator.

Deserter.  Ugh.

This instability has made any sustained BG play basically impossible for me. After a while, the sane response is to go do something else.

SCOREBOARD ERRORS

I’ve seen two different kinds of scoreboard errors so far.  The first is that people who leave the BG are still listed on the scoreboard, causing it to be useless as a roster.  When you see that you’re facing 44 people in Alterac Valley, something is definitely wrong.

The second bug is that not everyone shows up on the scoreboard, and if you’re not on the scoreboard, you apparently don’t get any honor for winning or losing.  Which, kinda sucks.

HONOR POINT REWARDS

I did the Grizzly Hills and Wintergrasp PvP quests for a few honor points, but figured I’d work towards my next Wrathful piece in the battlegrounds.  The quests aren’t bugged, they appear to give you the amount they say they will.  The BGs don’t, though.  I had two losses, which I completed all the way through, and failed to get either the amount of honor listed on the scoreboard or the daily quest minimum.

If I can force myself back into the BGs, I’ll try to track this more concretely.  It was only when I opened up my currency tab and saw 72 honor points for the entire night that I realized what was happening.

CLASS IMBALANCE

See, this is what I wanted this post to be about – how are things going in the battlegrounds?  Which classes seem to be doing well, which are struggling?

I don’t really have a lot of firsthand knowledge, though.  Demo seems strong, though I’m having trouble playing it.  Destro is definitely strong.  Affliction seems to be fine, actually.  Casters seem to be doing quite well in general.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some crash-free playtime in soon to give a better update than that.

BEFORE YOU ASK

2008 Macbook 4,1, 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM, Intel GMZ X3100 video card, 144MB VRAM, fresh installation of Warcraft.

HERE’S WHERE YOU SAVE THE DAY, OR AT LEAST THIS POST

So I was writing up this bug report known as a post when it occurs to me: I might not have any clue what’s going on in the BGs right now because they’ve gone all Crashy McCrasherson on me, but my smart readers surely must!  YOU have been in the battlegrounds of 4.0.1 and seen the effects of Resilience, of class changes, of the new water textures!  YOU have got the knowledge we all seek!

Let me know your impressions in the comments.  If I can’t BG directly, I’ll do it vicariously through you.

Here’s to hoping 4.0.3 is more stable!

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “The Broken Battlegrounds of 4.0.1

  1. Bee

    I have been experiencing all of these same problems. Let me also add that the Gunship was terribly bugged for my battlegroup in Isle of Conquest. If you take the teleporter up to the ship, there is no ship and you die instantly.

    • Oh my, that happened to me too last night! Took the teleport and wound up dead in Isle of Conquest No Man’s Land. That was the zone name. Dead on the water.

  2. You’re not missing much. It’s been a very odd and frustrating post patch PvP world.

    First, my wife and I have had the Cog o’ Death crashes doing the Headless Horseman dungeon and our GM has crashed when loading into a BG and got the deserter flag. So, you are not alone and we all have Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines, some of which are brand new.

    Gameplay right after the patch was just dumb with the extremely high burst from mages and warlocks. After the resilience buff, it seemed my main, a Holy Paladin with about 1050 resilience, was just about unkillable unless it was 3 or 4 on 1. Great fun for me, not so fun when trying to kill an enemy holy Paladin. Now after the small nerf to resilience a few days ago, I haven’t played any BG’s but a resto druid guildie has and she’s dying fairly quickly, mostly from the high burst classes that still do too much damage.

    All in all, I think I’ll stick with leveling my DK for another week before trying any more BG’s.

    Oh, one more observation. Since they lifted the rating restriction on PvP gear, it seems like ALL the idiots are in battlegrounds trying to get their cheap epics. Twice in a row we’ve seen flag carriers who were complete retards ( and that’s not an insult to the mentally challenged, it’s an insult to those idiots who should know better) who either didn’t run to our base or stopped to fight in the middle of the field! It made me want to punch my monitor.

    • I’ll admit to being one of the “retards” in there trying to get a thousand or two honor points to upgrade my hunter’s ranged weapon. But since I am a lousy PvPer with no resilience and no idea what I’m doing, I stay away from flags and such things in general and content myself with staying with a group, playing as intelligently as I can, and shooting stuff until one of us falls over.

      I’ve had two lockups so far–IoC was OK, but I got gear-locked on a mage table in SotA *while running CogFix*. Also, I locked up when exiting that SotA after losing.

      To me as a professional software QA guy, it’s inexcusable that they haven’t fixed the “gear freeze” yet. If somebody can write a bloody addon to bypass the tooltip and slap it up on Curse, Blizzard can code, test, and deploy a hotfix to the problem.

      • That’s the thing, as a fellow IT professional – I know software isn’t easy. Running a distributed service isn’t easy.

        But this shit is broken.

        I bet their QA team’s objections were overridden by Product saying, this has to be out NOW, fix the absolute worst bugs and move on. And get those Worgen women working!

        Probably not a good time to be a Blizzard employee, all things considered.

  3. scott

    I did some PvP on the weekend on my hunter. his gear is not that good, but I was getting two shot by a boomkin repeatedly.

    I need to get my priest set up and try him out.

  4. While I haven’t had any of the disconnection issues that others are experiencing, I haven’t spent quite so much time in high level PvP as I have low.

    From what I have seen in end game, as others have already mentioned, casters got buffed while melee generally got nerfed. Trees don’t seem to be quite so hard to take down though Holy Paladins got notably harder. Shadow Priests still kick the crap out of me regardless of class/spec. Fury Warriors seem to be doing better and Prot Warriors just went *poof!* and disappeared. Ret Pallies hit harder, but die faster.

    Low level PvP is a whole new world. Rogues once again dominate via one-shot kills, Hunters are even more brutal than they were before (bats > all), and level 10 Paladin/Priest twinks are nearly invincible. Five 19 twink Rogues (myself one of them) couldn’t take down a 10 Holy Pally, adding a hunter and a warrior to the mix brought him down, but that was it. Similarly the 10 Disc Priest refused to die until he was out of mana and even then his avoidance was insane.

  5. I am abstaining from BGs until halloween is over because theere are too many baddies getting the GNERDrage achievement, but when I was doing BGs in 4.0.1 before that, I was topping charts and destroying people on my moonkin.
    10k moonfire spam and instant 30k starsurge crits ftw.

  6. dponivram

    BG annoyances are also different faction to faction. Alliance enter into BGs at a numerical disadvantage: my two WSG games had no more than 8 Alliance the whole game.

    For Horde, queue times are completely hosed, and not just due to faction imbalances. Right now a person who solo queues (if they are, for example, farming Shen’dralar rep and so are far away from /trade) queue times can be 20-30 minutes.

    Group queues are a few minutes. And raid queues? Currently raids get instant BG pops.

    Something is deeply borked in the BG system right now.

  7. The lag was pretty horrible last night in Wintergrasp. If you were anywhere near the center of the Fort, you could barely move. I was taking advantage of the situation and tab targetting DoTs all over the place on my Shadow Priest. I got an enormous amount of HKs and only died once because I accidentally ran into a huge dog pile of Horde without knowing it.

    We won Wintergrasp and I had no clue that we were even close >.>

    My Shadow Priest still feels pretty much the same as it did before 4.0.1. I still go squish if I get in over my head but it does seem that Melee are dropping like Flies. If I can peg one down alone, they are dead without too much of an issue unless it’s a paladin and he blows his bubble and all of his cooldowns to come after me.

    The Shadow Priest’s new spell that makes duplicates of your shadowy self is really creepy. They apparently walk towards your opponent and blow up or something? Not sure but I’m the one creating them & they are creeping me right out!

    Hope they do fix the lag though because it’s rather annoying to target someone and it tells you that they are not in sight or they are too far away >.>
    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  8. AFK’d out and deserter debuff immediately after dying in combat and rezzing… sucks.

    On the positive note, if you do want to afk out of a BG without the deserters debuff…

    1) die (that’s easy)
    2) type /dnd (not too hard either) – while a spirit that is

    You afk out of the BG, sans deserters debuff

    I’ve seen 10 ppl against 1 holy paladin… no one won, no one lost.

    Wrathful vs Relentless seems to be the differences between 5 shot and 1 shot. Get the wrathful.

    I haven’t been anywhere else than the BGs, and as is often the case, once you know the rules of engagement (avoid the clicky things) it becomes easier.

    GNERD farming weekend coming up

  9. theerivs

    WoW has been acting all janky since the patch for me as well. DC’s in battleground, and some instances.

    Not too pleased.

  10. scott

    One other bug I don’t think has been mentioned here; you might not res every res cycle. The timer counts down to zero, other people res and run out of the graveyard, but you are still a ghost. This happened to me a couple of times.

    One of my guildmates said he couldn’t get out of the graveyard for an entire game; I thought he was being camped, but after talking to him some more, it was the graveyard bug.

  11. The cannons in IoC and WG have been real wonky lately too. You hop in one and spiiiiin. :) Can’t aim, can’t stop, can’t steer, you can only get out and hope the bug doesn’t bite next time.

  12. Zh'ane/Channi/Haavok

    I don’t do more than an occasional Wintergrasp for PVP anymore and I haven’t tried it since the patch. But what has happened was doing HH, I got booted back to Stormwind as the horseman spawned.
    On my screen it looked like I was booted from the group, but my wife still showed me in the party. I teleported back in and thankfully the horsemans mount needed to graze or something and he didn’t engage the rest of the party. I was able to pull and it went fine from there.

  13. Chindeep

    Run the WoW Repair module. The patch made it much more streamlined than it previously was, and this fixed the issues that I was having – very similar to your issues. It should be in normal WoW folder along with the executable. Give it a try and let us know how AV weekend goes.

  14. inoan

    Regarding general bugs, I know it is very individual specific but my horrid dc issues were fixed by updating graphics card drivers, a guildies by sound card drivers – i’ve also seen others in other blogs getting fizes via driver updates. Worth a try.

  15. I’m having the cogwheel bug at the Headless Horseman but nowhere else it seems (will download that addon and see if it fixes it), but my fellow PvPer can’t click the flags or he’ll freeze/dc.

    He was also kicked out at one point after the BG had ended, came back inside – still in the (ended) BG and was unable to leave. Another time he was again kicked out of the game after it ended, and came back in with a deserter debuff (which was interesting since the game had already ended).

    Even with all of the bugs and everything though, I have to say that one of the more annoying things to myself is that the honor gain seems to be calculated from a level 85 standpoint. Maybe it’s just me, but the honor gains seem incredibly low. I feel like I’m getting no honor whatsoever, and it’s frustrating.

    As for class balance I don’t seem to die as quickly to rogues (as warlock), and the overall damage while high from everyone.. no one seems to 2-shot me anymore. If either team has a healer.. you’re gonna win. People just don’t die as quickly, making it more important than ever to kill off the healers first.

  16. With the new paladin healing since the patch, I don’t like it for PVE but I have had so much fun in PVP with it. I may still not be able to kill anyone…but it isn’t so dangerous running alone anymore.

    And from what I can tell, fire mages are kicking ass in PVP. I went up 1-1 arc vs fire and I ended up served sunny side up on a silver platter. It might have something to do with casting on the move it might have something to with conal type casts don’t know but there it is.

    I have only had the DC problem in AB and I seem like I am inconseuqentially mousing over the flag. Once I was levitating off the LM so I am not sure. But I do in fact have the deserter debuff and after waiting 15 mins to proc…15 mins for debuff…another proc…I’m not a fan and don’t go back.

  17. Iggy

    I play a mage, and have been doing a fair amount of PvP. I’m finding myself silenced much more often than I previously was. I think they’ve added a few/changed how often silences affect school lock-outs.

    Shaman healers are incredibly good, as are druids. I’ve found paladin healers about the same as pre-patch and they always bubble, as normal. :( – Disc priests are about as (insanely) good as they were before, and I saw 5 people fail to take down a disc priest in AV the other day.

    I’m running arcane, and i’m finding that the silences are hitting me worse than they were before – now that mage ward is in arcane (Ice/Fire ward were previously in their respective schools). School lockouts are coming faster and hitting harder. S’not fun, but it’s good that more CC/stuns/silences are being used – But I think it needs a little tweaking.

    People definitely don’t die as easily as they usually did. That’s for sure.

    Luckily, I haven’t had many bug problems – so I’ve had the chance to collect up Honour and make some cataclysm spending money with it ;)

  18. Vincent

    I personally suffered heavily from the Cogwheel bug as well. So far disabling hardware cursor seems to help.

    As for class balance. I noticed I’m doing great on my warlock, demonology has been given some awesome tools.

    I think the shadowpriests have had a small nerf (Shadowword Death no longer causes players to explode in a bloody pulp)
    And the druid thorns no longer kills my rogue (it used to hit for about 2k each time I poked the druid, which made killing them as melee.. painfull to say the least, if not impossible)

    With the crazy resilience buffs, healers have become immortal. Get a healer with somewhere around 1200/1400 resilience and it trully feels like they cannot be killed.

    On one occasion, in Arathi Basin, at the Aliance stables (Undead Rogue here) I literally fought over 8 aliance players, together with a holy paladin. This fight lasted over five minutes (longer even, I could reset my cooldowns twice)
    Not only did she manage to survive, she managed to keep me up during a few moments where I was being targeted by three of four players.

    In Warsong Gulch we literally spend over 8 minutes killing a restodruid with the flag, whom was supported by another healer.

    Here is why healers are crazily overpowered.
    1-new talents nerf the Mortal Strike debuff, and all simular versions of it.
    2-Healing is still crazy good.
    3- Players now take less damage due to the resilience buffs.

    So, basically, healing went up by 25% damage taken went down by alot.

    Sidenote, try demonology, it’s pure sex in pvp. (even though I still love destro too)

  19. I’ve been running Battlegrounds like a crazy person now that I’ve discovered the Frost Mage. Needless to say it doesn’t have the burst that Fire has (had?) at the moment but I have an advantage that most players lack at the moment.

    I can take down healers, by myself. Disc priests? No problem. Holydins? No problem. Druids? Minor problem (damn you instant casts). Only healers which are a major problem are Resto Shamans for some reason. Anyway, I just spam Counterspell (improved!) and Deep Freeze and am often able to nuke them down when I pop my cooldowns. When there’s a 2nd healer looking around the corner things get tough though.

    What I quickly found out, to my dismay, is that Warriors are once again Free Kills in the BG’s. Especially as Arms. I have yet to try 1h fury which is reportedly insane but I don’t dare set foot in the BG’s without atleast 1 healer supporting me or I’m doomed.

    About the cogwheel crashes, I’ve learned to stay away from warlocky summony things, other than that it’s actually quite ok…