WoW Legion Honor Changes and its Effect on Battlegrounds
ByDate: Jul 30 2016 Views:
With World of Warcraft Legion came a huge change to battleground rewards, in the form of removing Honor Points in their old form. While items can still be purchased from the shop with currency earned from taking part in the battlegrounds, the system has changed in a way that is detrimental to many players.
Bringing in Marks of Honor
Marks of Honor are a new currency earned from taking part in WoW’s battlegrounds. These are treated much like the old Honor Points in regards to how gear is purchased, but they are much more difficult to obtain. Instead of being flooded with them when you’re out PvPing, these come from wins within the battlegrounds. The key word here is “wins,” and is what has led to community outlash from more than a few members.
Killing Motive for Battlegrounds
While there are some players that join things like battlegrounds for the pure joy of PvP and have no other motives, the vast majority are more interested largely because there’s a reward system for taking part. Being rewarded – even if by just a small amount – goes a long way towards giving happiness to those that are spending their time on one action instead of another. The old Honor Points worked just like this – by joining battlegrounds, you were going to get at least something, pushing you closer to whatever you’re wanting to purchase (or just boosting your balance, should you be collecting them for later). Whether the amount was small or large, knowing that you won regardless was a huge push forward.
With the new change, losers get nothing. You get experience as you’re leveling up, as well as reputation throughout the matches, but past that, if your team doesn’t win, you leave with nothing at all. If you join a team that’s already losing, there’s no incentive to try and turn it around, because wasting time on a lost cause yields no return. As a result of all of this, many players have stopped queuing for battlegrounds altogether, and some players that enter one but don’t feel like their team is going to win flat out won’t even try anymore, leading to a destructive cycle.
How This Could Be Resolved
I think the resolution for this problem is fairly simple… there should be a new currency created and/or the old Honor Points should come back. The two scenarios in how this could work effectively are as follows:
New Currency: In this setup, the new currency would be given for match losses. These could then be merged to make Marks of Honor (even a ratio of something like 5:1 would be much better than the current state).
Altered Implementation of Honor Points: In this setup, the Honor Points would be used for the lower-end items, all the way up to the top ones. Only Marks of Honor could be used for the best items, giving something to strive for, while still opening the doors to getting rewarded for taking part even when you lose. As another benefit, the Honor Points could be tradable for Marks of Honor at a high rate (like 2000:1, for example).
Cheap Prices for Items
A somewhat good side effect of this new system for players that are usually on the winning team is that items are very, very cheap. It looks like they’ve accounted for the losses within them, making it quick and easy for someone with a high win ratio to get all the items they want. For players that are usually on the losing team, however, they get the short end of the stick – no progression until wins are finally accumulated. And with players becoming disheartened by not getting anywhere, they stop queuing, which leads to less battlegrounds opening, longer queues, and essentially everyone ends up losing, due to the time it takes.
Bringing Out Real PvPers
Players that are joining battlegrounds for the competition and enjoyment of the game will still likely join, rewards or not. What this should do is somewhat equalize them to where over time, more players inside are there for fun (meaning they will actually do the objectives) than normal, and hopefully, those that just want the rewards will become better so that they can snag some more wins and get what they want. As it is, though it’s only been a short while since the update came out, this hasn’t been the case so far. The number of players not taking part or just idling instead of helping has been growing, and if that doesn’t turn around, battlegrounds are going to become a largely neglected feature of WoW – something nobody wants. PvP is a large part of the game, and battlegrounds are a big part of that. But at the end of the day, there needs to be an incentive to keep playing even when you’re pretty much guaranteed a loss, and taking that away hurts the entire system.