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The anachronistic illogic of battlegrounds

Is there a logic to Azeroth's battlegrounds? I understand that places like Arathi Basin, the Battle for Gilneas, or Twin Peaks have victory conditions that may or may not really have all that much to do with how real wars are waged -- much less Warsong Gulch or Eye of the Storm. (I mean, if you want to contemplate how grabbing a flag and taking it somewhere equates to an epic military triumph, go ahead.) But I'm not specifically talking about the rules of the individual battlegrounds, mind you.

Why has there never been a battleground that has been about killing the other side? Just wanton, brutal mass combat between opposing forces? (The answer is probably because it would be terrible.) But when you start to think about what the fighting is even about, it gets even weirder. Yes, that post is really a clever jab at LoS and how it often doesn't work like you'd expect it to (and that's worth considering as well), but really think about some of the battlegrounds we're going to right now in a post-Cataclysm world.

WSG really comes to mind. The Horde effectively controls both sides of the gulch now, and it's never explained how Alliance players even get there anymore or why they're bothering to fight over lumber when the whole area's been deforested at this point. Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley are in similar states -- especially Alterac, which is entirely surrounded on all sides by the Forsaken except for the ruins of Alterac itself to the north, which is populated by angry ogres. How and why do Alliance forces spend any time getting to the valley? Air drop? And if so, why are they bothering to fight to hold a nasty little frozen crack in the earth surrounded on three sides by walking corpses?

Yes, disbelief should be suspended in some case, but with new BGs like Battle for Gilneas and Twin Peaks that are set in the current conflict, it seems odd to be sometimes battling the Horde in the most current of conflicts and sometimes traveling back in time five years.

When you combine strange victory conditions -- We won because we stole their flag! We won because we avoided the enemy entirely and burned down their stuff faster than they burned down our stuff! We won because we stole their flag, held onto it for a while, and sat around in these two ruined towers while a paladin kept dying solo attacking a Fel Reaver! -- with a sometimes confusing battle for things like lumber in a deforested area or a farm in the middle of a constant war zone (seriously, farmers of Arathi, I'd give it up), battlegrounds can be pretty surreal.

I think maybe at the least it's time to update the storylines of some of these places. Turn WSG into an attempt to retake ground vs. an attempt to hold onto new gains. Make Alterac Valley a rescue mission for the Alliance vs. a final victory for the Horde. Maybe take the farm out of Arathi and replace it with a Forsaken plague research center or something. With dungeons like SFK and The Deadmines having embraced the new era, I'd like to see old favorite BGs do so as well.

Also, stone walls and hills really should break LoS. Come on.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Cataclysm

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