I posted in the 2.3 discussion thread that I've been playing AV for a year and still didn't know about the trinket and all the little quests that you can do in there.
And I'm the sort of player that reads this forum and knows all of the class mechanics and strategies for PVE!
AV is simply too convoluted for the average player to conceive anything more than NPCs=Honour=Zerg Balinda+Vandarr
In my opinion, the following changes need to be made:
Remove the caves
Part of the reason people don't know about the quests is because they are given by NPCs that you never see. I for one, as a healer, never spend any time at all in my own base. I know the alliance base better than the horde one!
If players initially spawned in their own base, with the same 2 minutes pre-battle to explore the base and talk to NPCs, I have no doubt that players would learn the quests.
Change the honour rewards
I was in a 13 minute AV last night where both sides just rode past each other to Balinda/Galvinger and then raced to kill the General. Alliance won as they have less NPCs in the base to worry about, but both sides gained the same amount of honour as the Alliance base has more NPCs to kill. The top player on the scoreboard had 12 (!) HKs.
This is so wrong!
Remove DR on player kills, remove bonus honour for killing NPCs and towers and provide a strategic reason to kill them instead.
There would be no problem with AV lasting 4 hours if any given 20 minute spell during that battle earned X honour from player kills.
My opinions on how to fix AV frequently change, but I've been playing TF2 lately, so I'd like some specific changes.
0) Diminishing Returns on Honor should not apply in Battlegrounds.
Actually I don't really give a damn if they apply even outside of Battlegrounds.
1) Change the random NPC's from Elites, to regular NPC's. Give them a 5 minute respawn that is tied to the node.
This makes the bases a lot less obnoxious, and I finally don't have to care when some idiot aggro's all of the horde NPC's and I end up tanking them all.
2) Snowfall is removed, and a node is placed in the center of the Field of Strife.
Alliance Progression: Aid Station > Storm Pike > Stonehearth > Field of Strife > Ice Blood > Frostwolf > Relief Hut. I'd tone down the crazy Cleave's and whirlwind from the end bosses to make them basically just filling in the Lore that you're actually defeating the enemies General.
3) "Lock" non-contested Nodes (you can't take one node without controlling the previous one), and remove the NPC's from guarding them.
This promotes actual PvP at any node worth defending, and no one gets stuck with the boring job of trying to watch the RH/AS because Rogues keep stealth capping.
4) Change the Graveyards so that players in the Graveyard are "safe" from being camped, and remove the AE Res Pulse. Players just come back 20 seconds after they die.
5) After 30 minutes, Drek/Vann march towards the middle. The Winning side will be the one with the last standing general. Should take ~15 minutes for them to meet up.
6) Fighting near an objective gives bonus honor for HK's. Winning gives a bonus to all honor earned in the BG.