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Wintergrasp's hidden balance mechanics revealed, minor changes coming soon

Not long after Zarhym officially announced the Assault on the Ruby Sanctum, he also posted a thread announcing some changes incoming for Wintergrasp. Far more interesting than that, however, is the glimpse into the hidden mechanics behind Wintergrasp that caused the various anomalies that have left players scratching their heads since Wrath's launch, such as the opposing faction gaining the ability to build siege tanks after only one kill.

The changes are posted in full below, and keep this note from Zarhym in mind: "[...] although this information may feel very new to you, the actual changes being made in the patch to the current system are relatively minor."
  • There is an internal tug-of-war scale not visible by players which will shift under specific conditions.
  • The scale starts at 0 (neutral) and can move up to 700 points in either direction favoring the Alliance at one end, and Horde at the other.
  • This scale is persistent and does not reset to 0 whenever control of Wintergrasp shifts.
  • If an attacking force captures Wintergrasp Fortress while under the effects of any of the advantages listed below (400-700 points in their favor), the scale tips 100 points in favor of the opposing faction.
  • If a defending force successfully defends Wintergrasp Fortress two battles in a row, the scale tips 100 points in favor of the opposing faction.
  • Each consecutive successful defense after a faction's first two consecutive defenses will further tip the scale 100 points in favor of the opposing faction.

    • As a quick example, if the scale is at 0 and the Alliance capture Wintergrasp fortress while attacking, the scale will not move. If the Alliance defend Wintergrasp twice in a row after this, the scale will move 100 points in favor of the Horde. Each consecutive defense by the Alliance after this will move the scale 100 points further in favor of the Horde each time, bringing the Horde to 400 points in their favor after one unsuccessful defense and five unsuccessful attacks, a total of six Horde losses in a row.
    • As another example, if the scale is at 400 in favor of the Horde and they capture Wintergrasp fortress while attacking, the scale will move 100 points in favor of the Alliance. If the Horde defend Wintergrasp twice in a row after this, the scale will move 100 points in favor of the Alliance. Each consecutive defense by the Horde after this will move the scale 100 points further in favor of the Alliance each time, bringing the Alliance to 100 points in their favor after one unsuccessful defense and five unsuccessful attacks, a total of six Alliance losses in a row.
  • The following advantages are provided at the beginning of the battle for Wintergrasp whenever these corresponding ranges on the scale have been reached:

    • 0-300: No advantages granted.
    • 400: Faction starts with the Sunken Ring Factory under their control.
    • 500: Faction starts with the Sunken Ring and Broken Temple Factories under their control.
    • 600: Faction starts with the Sunken Ring and Broken Temple Factories under their control and gains access to Catapults after earning 1 kill in battle.
    • 700: Faction starts with the Sunken Ring and Broken Temple Factories under their control and gains access to Catapults, Siege Engines, and Demolishers after earning 1 kill in battle.
It is very cool to finally see how all of this works, and it certainly explains away many of the conspiracy theories players have come up with over the last year. I really wish we would've had this information on day one, but better late than never.

Filed under: News items, PvP

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