So Thursday's patch was supposed to revert the warzone queue back to normal, and apparently it has - on most servers. Not so on the Red Eclipse! Still nothing but Alliance Proving Grounds and the occasional arena match on Rishi here. I can see how this must be annoying for people who don't like the new warzone, but personally I've been having a blast. The more time I spend fighting on Odessen, the more I like it. (EDIT: After writing this, I played some more matches and in the middle of my play session the queue suddenly did revert to normal... woe is me.)
About the only thing I don't like about the Proving Grounds is the "wave respawn" mechanic. I know some people hate being stuck behind a forcefield, but I definitely prefer that to being forced to stare at my corpse for fifteen seconds or so! I'm just waiting for a victorious enemy to start tea-bagging me or something...
In terms of gameplay, I stand by what I said before: the degree to which fighting doesn't really matter may be a bit too high - but for someone like me, who's always been better at getting the tactics right than at the actual button-mashing, it's still awesome. I love how the fast and furious nature of the constantly changing objectives has you on the move all the time and makes every round different. Though I do feel a bit sorry for the part of the population that already struggles with the more straightforward objectives of the other warzones.
I've said before that I was kind of surprised by how straightforward I found the Alliance Proving Grounds to be (compared to my expectations), but there are still a lot of aspects to this new warzone that are definitely unintuitive and I can't blame players for being confused the first few times. Nonetheless it can also be a bit frustrating for the rest of us.
For example I thought it was pretty obvious that only the control points that glow white are actually worth anything during any given round, yet I've seen more than one person just idle on an inactive point for prolonged periods of time. I'm hoping that this is simply due to people not being used to how quickly the objectives change yet and isn't really a sign of them not getting what gives points and what doesn't.
And oh, the battle mods! In my last post I described the scenario of a player deactivating their own team's control point, but oddly enough I've been feeling more frustrated by players simply not using the battle mods at all (since carrying one around through multiple rounds prevents it from respawning). I get that they are confusing initially and I don't expect miracles from anyone... but when there is a lull in the fighting and you have a giant coloured beam of light coming out of your character, maybe it might be a good idea to read the tooltip to figure out what's going on?
There was one match in particular where there were three of us at the inactive northern node at the start of a round: me on my Sage, a Sorc and a Guardian. The Guardian was carrying the green buff to activate an inactive control point and both me and the Sorc were telling him in chat to use it, but apparently he wasn't reading chat either. When he started running away, the Sorc yanked him back. He started running away again; this time I yanked him back. Fortunately he at least found the button to pass the mod to someone else at this point and we were able to apply it, but by then we had lost valuable time during which we could have been earning points already.
Finally, the last thing I imagine being very tricky for new players right now is that "following the pack" - which is solid advice in pretty much any other warzone - really doesn't work very well in the Proving Grounds. Since the objectives (including the battle mods) are so scattered, you pretty much have to split up to make the most of them. When I'm taking a quick detour to pick up a battle mod fresh out of the gate, I don't need two people following me! In fact, even on an active objective point, having four or more people from one team in one place is pretty much a guaranteed sign that something is going awry elsewhere. Yet even knowing what I do, it still feels weird how often I find myself running away from a battle to chase after an as of yet untapped objective.
Clearly more time in the Proving Grounds is required...