I’ve been with the Twin Adder since the beginning of 2.3. When Frontlines first came out, at least on Primal, the story was Mael was the dominant GC (to the point of suspicion), Adder was second, and Flames seemed to desire third place. It was just very difficult to beat them. They could be a distant second for most of the match, claw their way back to front and get the win (this happened far too often). Personally I thought some of them were manipulating the score. Ridiculous, yes, but those were my thoughts. I didn’t have a full understanding of scoring worked and seeing their score jump 15/20 points a second bothered me, but I kept it to myself. Around the time 2.4 rolled around, Flames clawed themselves from their third place ditch and contested for second place, and going for first place more often than they did during 2.3. This is also the time that bore witness to their nasty two-party-alliance-roaming-the-lands tactic (very hard to deal with, but they would still lose in the end). They would just steamroll anybody within sight. It wasn’t before long the Adder started doing this tactic, but it wasn’t long lived, I believe. This was the beginning of the premades, I think. When 2.4 hit, there was a change – you could be blind and notice it. Mael was winning a lot less than before. I don’t know if it was due to people switching alliances, or Square slightly altering the map, but this is the period where my first and second place winnings switched, and it’s been the same ever since. I’ve never seen Mael in third place so often before. The long time Flames must have noticed something too. I’m sure they were happy during this time.
98% of my matches have been Secure matches, the bulk of them during 2.4.
From my perspective as Storm, it seemed as though everyone who played a lot prior to 2.4 had gone into retirement. They got to rank 45 and then stopped to do other things. Also GC hopping (mostly people who aren’t that great) doesn’t help either.
I haven’t PvPed for about a month due to having other commitments *Fenrir today >_>* but when I started out back in October and played 100-game-weeks while solo it was pretty much mostly 1st/2nd for me. Usually would end up with more close-2nds in most weeks than not but I was still learning things in Secure at the time and just trying to get experience. For the longest time up until about January, my 2nd place was quite a bit higher than my 1st but that changed as more people wanted to form groups and queue at the same time until my 1st overtook my 2nd by leaps and bounds. Most people have since gotten what they wanted from PvP and not returned, or are occupied with other things. I never really noticed what you mentioned with ‘so many 3rds for Storm’, as Flames were usually the ones there for me, and I did PvP nearly every day from mid-October up until around mid-March. I don’t recall it being any different back when Secure was all we had other than when we were facing nearly full premades.
I will say that it sounds as though things have yet again weakened for the Storm, but there are strong points depending on the time of day. Maybe when we decide to come back, things will change yet again. In the time that I’ve been away from the group PvP, I think I’m wary of starting it up again as intensely as I had before. Perhaps I’ll just try to do a game a day at first and see how things go. I know I’m going to have to get back into the groove of things before we get increase PvP rank (hopefully to 60) and the new map a month after 3.0 launches so I might as well take baby steps till then.