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Posts with tag AV

Rage Against the Zerg: Horde premades sew up Alterac Valley with vicious Rath Strat

Rage Against the Zerg Horde PvP premades sew up Alterac Valley with vicious Rath Strat
I don't run Alterac Valley because the Horde always loses there.
Are you a Horde player who craves a win in Alterac Valley? Does the inevitability of the Alliance zerg leave you feeling spent and hopeless, devoid of your former lust for battle? Do you dream of complete Alliance annihilation, caroming atop an endless stream of Honor Kills?

What you need, my friend, is an injection of the renowned Rath Strat, the PvP premade team strategy refined by Rathamus of Nathrezim (US) that focuses on battleground domination and savage player-versus-player combat. Rath Strat games are all about rack and roll -- racking up HKs and rolling over the opposition with a prolonged, satisfying crunch. The premades that have sprung up around this strategy thrive on its ability to bring the spirit of PvP back to a battleground that's become a ghost of its former epic glory.

Savvy strategy or premade steamroller -- is this even true PvP at all? "Some argue that what we do is not PvP," Rathamus explains about the concept's detractors. "However, when we defend Galv, we are fighting players. When we retake our towers, we are fighting players. When we kick the Alliance out of our Keep, we are fighting players. Taking bunkers? Yup, player combat. Our push that has been coined 'The Death March' phase of the strategy? We are fighting players. The failure to stand and fight as a team nearly always results in a Stormpike Graveyard (or cave) HK farm fest."

Is that blood lust we see beneath that hopeful expression? Read on, dear Hordie -- the Rath Strat may be just what General Drek'Thar ordered.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Reddit user wins AV like a real champion

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Alterac Valley has been a brutal contest between the Alliance and the Horde since the beginning of World of Warcraft. The Battleground has gone through radical redesigns over the years, but one thing has remained the same -- Alterac Valley has always held a powerful, destructive secret for the brave to exploit when there was otherwise no hope for victory.

Reddit user frodwith posted a tale of an epic AV battle, an Alliance team on the ropes, and a force awakened in the snowy chasm that has not seen the light of day in long, long time. When a full team of Horde multiboxers (players who use multiple characters simultaneously) garrisoned themselves into Drek'thar's keep to farm honor, the Alliance had to take drastic measures.

Some people do not even know of the existence of Ivus the Forest Lord or Lokholar the Ice Lord, two nasty NPCs that are spawnable by turning in the faction's respective items. After a summoning ritual, the faction's NPC will spawn and set upon a path of destruction all the way to the enemy leader's keep.

I think you can see where this story might go. With Drek'thar heavily guarded and an expert team of computer-assisted players between the Alliance and victory, everyone worked together to begin the summoning rituals. Read the full story on Reddit for a fun, nostalgic time of triumph and PvP adversity.

Filed under: PvP, Humor

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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Cataclysm

15 Minutes of Fame: Premade players QueueQ for battlegrounds wins


From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

I participated in one of their runs yesterday. It was freakin' amazing. Well run. Their Vent had two full AV premades going, with an additional 60 (players) in the waiting room. In the heyday back during June, they fielded five full AV premades with more on the waiting list. It wasn't uncommon for them to have an 8-hour wait list. -- Matt Low of Raid Rx and self-proclaimed "world's worst PvP priest" on QueueQ Premades
The Bloodlust battlegroup appears to be home to more than its fair share of PvP enthusiasts. Arena participation outstrips that of other battlegroups by orders of magnitude, and as for battleground enthusiasts ... Well, BG enthusiasts on the Alliance side have QueueQ Premades.

Players who sign up for QueueQ's cross-realms premade battlegrounds service enjoy 85 percent win records on average -- with zero resilience, gear or achievement requirements. The atmosphere is clean and professional: no exploits, no inappropriate chat or Vent chatter. "QueueQ" himself, aka Revash of Kil'Jaeden (US-A), has been running QueueQ Premades for a little over a year now, developing winning strategies designed for fast wins with maximum honor.

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Filed under: PvP, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Abuse of the "Report player AFK" feature

I make liberal use of the "Report player AFK" feature when I'm in Battlegrounds, particularly Alterac Valley. I can't stand AFKers who leech XP and honor off of the rest of us actually trying to win a game. But while I also abhor when one of my fellow Hordies caps Snowfall Graveyard (don't get me started on that), I would never consider reporting him AFK in retaliation. Sure, I don't want to play with him anymore, but I wouldn't abuse the report AFK feature to try to force the issue either. Others, it seems, are not above AFK reporting abuse.

There have been a couple of times that I've died and run off for a biobreak only to come back to being in town and a deserter debuff. That's kinda understandable: I was actually AFK. But just how quick are people reporting? It's like being at a stoplight in New York City, where people start beeping their horns to hurry you up before the light even turns green. And then the other night, I was trying to get through a bottleneck near Stormpike Graveyard -- which admittedly wasn't the smart way to get around -- and next thing I know I'm at a loading screen. Obviously, I got reported for being in the group of people fighting on the road; but since I was just trying to get through, I didn't get rid of the debuff.

Here's how reporting people AFK works:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds

WoW, Casually: PvP leveling


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Patch 3.2 introduced PvP leveling and even though Patch 3.2.2 made Alterac Valley a bit less lucrative experience-wise, the Battlegrounds are still a really great way for those of us with limited playtime to squeeze some leveling time in. Before we go any farther, however, let me just say that PvP leveling is only for those who actually enjoy Battlegrounds. If you think BGs are a chore, then leveling in them will be a chore. Really, you should only be playing WoW if it's fun, so just skip this column if Battlegrounds aren't for you and we'll see you next time.

Ok, so if you are still reading, you enjoy BGs. On the flip side of the coin, if this is your main character on this realm, then I can't recommend PvP-only leveling unless you only want to PvP on this character. You will miss out on a lot of cash and gear if you skip questing entirely. Of course, if you have a sugar daddy main to feed you gold and heirlooms and are done questing before Cataclysm, you are already hanging out in BGs all day. Or you are playing Aion or Champions Online.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Quests, Leveling, Guides, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

Details on the Alterac Valley bracket changes


Earlier this evening we posted a list of in-game fixes, and we included in that list a bit about then-unannounced changes AV; namely that the brackets were moved around and the amount of XP gained by completing objectives was changed.

Bornakk has since came out and clarified the changes a bit, and provided a bit more detail. Most interestingly is that this change was intended for Patch 3.3, and was accidently applied to Patch 3.2.2. I'm not really sure how such a significant change could accidently make it in, but there we have it. From Blizzard's mouth to your ears.

It would make sense that the change be applied in Patch 3.3. Cross-server instances are coming in Patch 3.3, and that's going to help leveling a ton. Think of how easy things will be if you just want to chain run dungeons at 1 a.m. for a few hours. That speed and leveling agility would help offset the XP nerf contained in this sudden AV change. But as it stands, we'll have to wait a few months to allow for another quick level mechanism to be put in place.

The other part of the change that was clarified is exactly what happened with the brackets.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Leveling, Battlegrounds

Tips for the Wrecking Ball achievement

This forum thread is full of great advice and tips for the Wrecking Ball achievement, in which you've got to get 20 killing blows without dying in a battleground. The key here seems to be to find a place with lots and lots of folks to kill (a spawn point, like the graveyard in WSG, works great, or you can hide behind the big groups in AV), and then just hanging out there as far out of the way as you can get. Having a pocket healer won't hurt either, and playing fair isn't really part of this one -- you want to duck in when you're sure to win the fight, and run like crazy when things even threaten to go against you.

Some people say that doing it at a lower bracket can help, too, because unless you're uber geared, it'll be better to go after lower levels than have everybody in the BG be 80. It actually sounds like it's easier than it seems -- as long as you set yourself up in the right place and be really careful about getting stuck in a fight you can't win, you should be able to walk away with the points. Good luck!

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, PvP, Battlegrounds, Achievements

The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week achievements


All right, folks, we've got another sub-achievement needed for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been (and thus the 310% speed Violet Proto-Drake) on our hands here. I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that most of the achievements for Children's Week are fairly straightforward, and should be easy (and even fun) to complete. Appropriately enough for a mini-holiday, most of the achievements are simple, amusing, and not too time-consuming. The bad news is that one of the achievements may be a huge headache to get done, and unlike Noblegarden, your character has to be at least 75 in order to get all of the achievements needed for the year-long meta.

Children's Week runs from Friday, May 1st at midnight through Thursday, May 7th at 11:59 PM. Got your kiddo? Let's get cracking.

EDIT: This article's been revised and updated to reflect new information and the hotfixes that have gone live since initial publication. All information herein should be accurate as of 11:30 AM EST Saturday May 2nd.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Events, Instances, Features, Guides, Battlegrounds, Achievements, The Overachiever

A plea on behalf of frustrated tanks everywhere

Several classes and specs have gotten "knockback" abilities as part of patch 3.02 and the game's transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and I've had fun watching these skills be deployed in battlegrounds to extensive and quite possibly evil use. It's pretty funny watching an elemental Shaman defend AB's lumber mill now, and the AV bridge? Even funnier.

And yet...as I laughed, I started to cry inside, because I knew that these skills would also be deployed in 5-man groups and raids to much less amusing effect. And man, it's a real burden being right so often.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Instances, Humor, Classes, Battlegrounds

Alterac Valley, the Battle-less Battleground


So much for Alterac Valley. With the Battleground Holiday this weekend, it was expected that a lot of players would be queuing up to farm their Honor points. I had looked forward to a lot of combat and hopefully rack up those Honorable Kills in the hopes of inching closer to the magic 100,000 number for a future Achievement. I know I said Alterac Valley was the place to farm HKs. Well, I was wrong.

Alterac Valley is the Battleground to join if you want to avoid PvP. I've been part of countless Alterac Valley races before, but these past few days have been ridiculous. Not only do players ride past each other -- that's expected in races -- but in the times I have engaged, players even run away. If they had Achievements already in the game, I would have unlocked The Sickly Gazelle over and over.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds, Achievements

The inevitable loss

Around every 4th of July I reread Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, which is a book about the battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. There's an early passage about the Southern general James Longstreet's unease over the Confederate push north to Pennsylvania: He had never believed in this invasion...He did not believe in offensive warfare when the enemy outnumbered you and outgunned you and would come looking for you anyway if you waited somewhere on your own ground. Longstreet, one of the finest military minds of the age, spends much of the subsequent bloody fight knowing that Union forces had a terrain advantage impossible to overcome.

There's been a lot written about battleground strategy (particularly Alterac Valley) but I think all of us have known the sinking feeling you get when you realize that your side isn't going to win. Some causes of failure are relatively easy to pinpoint; starting a battleground with a heavy numbers or healing disadvantage often seals the fate of a match. And of course the collective quality of a team's gear will always play a role; people in Season 4 are unlikely to lose to those in Season 1.

All other things being equal, what I find most fascinating are the matches -- PuG versus PuG, or premade versus premade -- where the battle can swing either way depending entirely on each team's degree of foresight and strategy. Rarely, single players can sometimes decide the outcome; I once saw a protection paladin in a 2-cap versus 2-cap Eye of the Storm prevent the opposing side from taking any flags by parking himself in the middle and simply taking forever to die, and one of my own favorite techniques is to suicide/harass heavily-defended nodes in Arathi Basin and EOTS while Horde quietly caps elsewhere (you'd be amazed at the number of players who prefer an easy kill over responding to "Inc!" calls elsewhere). But failure and success are usually collective and hard to pin down. How do you convince people to do the less-glamorous jobs -- defense, distraction, crowd-control -- more likely to result in a victory? How do you know when the battleground is lost for sure?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Things that annoy me

Or, how to celebrate the birth of a nation via an ugly series of Horde losses in Arathi Basin:

1. Every single Alliance character in the game has a Black War Tiger.

2. Every single Horde character in the game has a Black War Raptor (yes, myself included).

3. I could be wrong, but I don't think "Lich King" is pronounced "Lick King," as I keep hearing it pronounced on my server.

4. However, it might be because the word looks somewhat Germanic, and I will be unable to keep a straight face for the duration of the next expansion.

5. To the point of losing it completely if I hear "World of Warcraft: WRAAAAAAATH OF THE LICK KING" intoned by the Deep-Voiced Serious Trailer Guy.

6. How male human characters run. There's a lot of great animation in the game. This is not one of them.

7. Practically every main-tank of every Hordeside raiding guild is a male Tauren.

8. An egotistical male Tauren. Look, Spanky, just because Bulwark of Azzinoth is bigger on you than anybody else does not mean that the same is true of appendages elsewhere.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, Battlegrounds

Shifting Perspectives: PvP as a moving target


Every week, John Patricelli of Big Bear Butt presents a well-researched, educational, and entertaining look at the state of the Druid class in WoW today. This week we said, "Screw that," and got someone off the street.

Veronica: Look at you, all helpful.
Logan: Your peskiness being unleashed on Connor brings me joy. Annoy, tiny blonde one! Annoy like the wind!
-- Veronica Mars, "An Echolls Family Christmas"

With apologies to Diane Ruggiero, the writer of the episode quoted above, but I find Logan's snarky comment (did he even have another kind?) to be a perfect, albeit general, means of describing successful Druid PvP.

Let us be frank; I am not, nor am ever likely to be, a hardcore PvPer, and to a great extent this post is directed mostly at people like myself. If you're one of those Druids carrying a 2K+ rating in full Vengeful, then I invite (nay, implore) you to leave comments and corrections based on your own experience, but the article's mostly for regular folks like me, who may not even particularly like PvP but recognize that it is desirable or perhaps necessary, given our ingame goals. As such, most of this applies to battlegrounds, and on a later date we're going to get into arena. Today, we are simply going to talk about how to avoid letting your PvP experience turn you into a miserably unhappy player who would rather undergo an appendectomy via Roto-Rooter than set foot in another EOTS.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, PvP, Guides, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Battlegrounds, Arena

WoW, Casually: It's great to be level 70 and casual


Each week or so, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.

Let the raiders have fun with their world firsts, Blizzard also kept those of us with limited playtime in mind when designing the Sunwell activities. If you are level 70 and haven't gone over to the Isle of Quel'Danas, get thee to a Flightmaster in Ironforge or Silvermoon and get in on the fun.

You may think with all the hubbub about the new bosses like Brutallus that the new Sunwell zone is raider-only territory, but you would be wrong. The daily quests there are fun and easily doable solo. You earn a lot of money, a lot of rep with people who will give you cool stuff, and you help your server progress through the new content. There has never been a better time to be level 70 and casual.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

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