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Rebalancing Tol Barad

After a week of testing on live realms, players are expressing dismay at the current game mechanics of the new world PvP zone Tol Barad which has been shown to favor the defending faction. In Tol Barad, defenders only need to retain control of one of three nodes to win.

"The 3-node design is a joke, because all the defender has to do is stonewall one node. Should they fail to keep that node they just run to one of the attackers' nodes and steal it Essentially the defenders mentality is 'My job isn't to win just not to lose,'" said Lovefool of Alterac Mountains (US) in a forum thread detailing the shortcomings of Tol Barad.

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Critics added that the positioning of graveyards at the middle of the map and within easy reach of the nodes exacerbates this problem.

Tol Barad is envisioned to be the Cataclysm equivalent of Wintergrasp with level 85 players vying control of the zone in order to gain exclusive access to the Baradin Hold raid as well as a number of special daily quests.

Wintergrasp had it's own birth pangs at the start of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion which was remedied with increasing Tenacity buffs the longer the defenders hold on to the zone. But in the case of Tol Barad, the Tenacity buffs may not be enough to achieve balance; the map layout and win conditions must also be changed entirely, players suggest.

Proposed changes

Among the proposed changes being floated is relocating the graveyards to make it harder for defenders to simply steal another base. Permanent caps after extended periods of control similar to how Alterac Valley towers are burned down might also give chance for attackers to win since defenders will eventually be holed up in their last nodea final stand situation that should be more exciting than the current goose chase mechanics.

Blizzard is open ears with blue poster Zarhym encouraging players to "keep the constructive feedback coming so we can compile the resounding points." Hundreds have already filed their suggestions here, including first-hand accounts of match outcomes on their realms.

A few reported healthy back-and-forth control of Tol Barad while the majority suffered from one-sided domination that lasted for up to days. Despite Tol Barad's design shortcomings, adaptive players like Daemhlaford of Mannoroth (US) are finding ways to win against stacked odds.

"We recently won a Tol Barad on my realm," Daemhlaford said. "My contribution to the fight was to get in a demo and kite four Horde away from a node. That's probably more effective than actually fighting them."

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Posted in Computer Post Date 01/15/2021