About ten days ago I wrote about doing some PvP and how I had been enjoying a couple of rated battlegrounds. Since then Gevlon has written about how he thinks that the rated battleground system is a big failure, and I'm afraid I have to admit that he might be on to something this time. The parts that I enjoyed about it in the past weeks - the socialising and learning together - are still there, but the game itself hasn't been very supportive of making our matches a fun experience.
Tonight we got together to play some rated matches again and it was pretty damn terrible. Our only decent game was the first one, a Twin Peaks battle that ended with a nil-nil draw and the timer running out - which was sort of tedious in its own way, but I didn't mind too much because there are definitely worse things than playing against a team whose ability is so even to yours that you end up with a stalemate. For example... getting pitted against teams whose average rating is more than six times that of your own team, which is what happened for the rest of the night.
Ten minutes wait for each match, and then about fifteen to twenty minutes of desperate flailing about as our healers got focused over and over again, while our damage dealers struggled to make a dent in people whose gear was so good that they could keep themselves up against a full nuke from us by using nothing but their class-specific self-healing abilities. I was nothing but relieved by the time we called it a night.
I don't mind losing, as long as I feel that we at least stood a chance. It's fun to learn new strategies and consider what we could have done better. But being outclassed by people way out of our league and receiving trashing after trashing for over two hours is just demoralising and teaches you little. I mean, this kind of thing can happen in an arena match too, but then you usually die within two minutes, go "Huh, what was that?" and move on to the next game. The way the process gets drawn out in battlegrounds is a lot harder to deal with. And are you really telling me that those were the best matches that the game could come up with for us all night?
Of course, getting Twin Peaks three out of four times didn't help to make the evening any more entertaining either. I can't blame Blizzard for trying to downsize more battlegrounds to tens, because getting the same "random" battleground over and over is pretty damn boring.
I have to admit I was kind of hoping that rated battlegrounds would turn out to be an "in-between" stage between normal battlegrounds and arena in terms of difficulty, but the way it looks right now they might end up being even more exclusive and hardcore than arena.