How did Blizzard miss the mark so badly with Cataclysm PvP?
"Shocked" is the only thing I can come up with...
Rated Battlegrounds are a debacle. You can look at the list of top players here, and if you track the top ~500 or so week-to-week, you'll notice that MAYBE 1-2 of them play any games. As the former leader of a 2300+ rated battleground team, I have to say that the fun factor just wasn't there, and the rating system was completely broken. It's extremely rare to lose points, and usually takes hours of just single-digit wins to improve anything. A few of my players are going to get Hero at the end of the season, but it's not because of skill, rather time-spent and willingness to gimmick. It's just a hunch, of course, but I'm willing to bet out of every 100 players taking rated battlegrounds seriously in January, only 1 remains. Zul'jin, a fairly high-pop server, likely had less than 10 total queues this past week.
Tol Barad is simply miserable. Starting out as a "mass PvP zone" that was impossible to win on offense, things quickly shifted over to win-trading for more honor points. Now, it's rare to successfully defend. More importantly, however, the zone is completely meaningless. When you can buy the epics from the raid in < 2 weeks with no rating restriction, it's hard to motivate people to go. Not to mention the fact that the zone doesn't matter at all outside the "bubble" that is Tol Barad. There's no "Essence of Wintergrasp," which makes people that much more not-caring. Personally, I think there's a fundamental design flaw: the idea of a 100v100 "control area" map is never going to be fun because it's too easy to avoid the other faction.
Honor/Conquest system is broken. Most people don't grind up honor for their alts. Instead, they buy the Emberfire (or equivalent) stuff and just rack up Conquest points each week. When it takes less effort to get epics than it takes to get blues, you know something is wrong.
Arena balance is sporadic and random. If you look at individual changes, you could probably come up with a justification for each one. But when you look at the big picture, Blizzard seems to balance at whim with inconsistent philosophies. Things such as "we don't want hard counters" get overshadowed by "that's a niche of the class."
It's honestly just outright shocking to me that Blizzard missed the mark so badly here.
Like the Official WoW Forums Thread Here