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Posts with tag Alterac-Valley

WoW Archivist: The evolution of Alterac Valley

This edition of WoW Archivist was originally published July 13, 2012. Given the Alterac Valley terrain changes introduced in patch 5.4.2, we felt this piece of Warcraft history is worth another look.

WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

The battle was nearly won. Back and forth, a 16-hour war between the Frostwolf Clan and the Stormpike Expedition had ravaged this once-remote valley. Towers and strongholds had been put to the torch. Countless heroes on both sides had fallen to blade and blast. A rampaging troll king had been defeated. Air strikes had rained fire from the sky. Elementals had been summoned and vanquished.

At last, but not without heavy losses, the Frostwolf orcs and their allies had fought their way across the narrow bridge to assault the final bastion of the dwarves. All had sworn to see Vanndar Stormpike dead that day and the valley seized. They would kill him or die in the attempt.

The AV "zone"

The original version of Alterac Valley went live with patch 1.5. Along with Warsong Gulch, these two Battlegrounds were the very first ever added to WoW. Warsong Gulch was designed to be a more traditional PvP experience that anyone who had played Unreal Tournament or Halo could recognize. Some matches could last for a while, but the experience was meant to be a short-term PvP engagement.

Alterac Valley, in its first incarnation, was absolutely nothing like that. AV was not, in any modern sense of the word, a Battleground. AV was a zone.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 5.4.7 PTR: Alterac Valley changes

Twitter battleground aficionado @AlteracValley recently alerted the world to some minor terrain changes in their namesake battleground. Alterac Valley has had a good deal of work done to it on the patch 5.4.7 PTR, including buffs to almost all the NPCs to ensure it is something more than just a zerg-fest. The patch 5.4.7 PTR patch notes explain these in greater detail.

But the changes noted in @AlteracValley's screenshot above are not yet on the patch notes. What are we looking at here? Well, the eagle-eyed observer will note the removal of some hills outside the Horde base, which previously allowed Alliance players to jump over the wall and avoid the usual entrance. As @AlteracValley also noted on Twitter, the hole in the Frostwolf fence has been repaired.

Are these changes going to swing the battleground back in the Horde's favor? As recent win-loss ratios indicated, Horde have a hard time in Alterac Valley. While all balance changes are great, I doubt it's going to have a big impact. It is, after all, a couple of minor changes that many casual PvPers will not even notice. But time will tell, and it's great to see change happening at all in the game's least popular battleground.

Filed under: PvP

Does PvP need more queueing options?

WoW Insider received a question to our tip line from a player who's lost their way a little when it comes to PvP:
I greatly enjoyed PvP during Cata, but I just haven't been able to get into it during MoP at all. I'm part of a small guild (4 active players), and none of them enjoy PvP. Since I usually have to go it alone, I have a preference for the larger BGs -- AV and Isle. It's easier to be a part of the crowd where individuals carry less weight, but still feel useful and able to help in the smaller skirmishes along the way.

PvE has several queuing options -- LFR, Flex (with a group), Scenarios, regular dungeons and heroics. There's a size and activity for everyone.

PvP on the other hand has BGs (random or rated) or arena. While not quite adding more options, do you think Blizzard may consider separating out the BGs into different sized-based queues?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

WoW Archivist: When Blizzard "hated" the Horde

A night elf visits the Barrens
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Which faction does Blizzard love more?

For several years it's been all the rage to claim that Blizzard loves the Horde and hates the Alliance. Players trot out the "green Jesus" theory. They show how the past two expansions have focused far more on Horde characters and storylines than on Alliance intrigues.

It's true that Blizzard placed Thrall and now Garrosh and Vol'jin in the spotlight over the past few years. Players also look at the shiny new Orgrimmar that the Horde got when the old one burned down, and how Stormwind also took a beating and still hasn't recovered.

You can make the case that Blizzard has somewhat favored the Horde in WoW's recent history. But this is so very, very strange to vanilla players like me. Back then, players were convinced of the exact opposite. Players were so convinced, in fact, that some actually wanted a CM to die. In vanilla, Blizzard "loved" the Alliance and "hated" the Horde.

Don't believe me?

This quote is from a 2005 editorial called "Why the Horde is worse, and how Blizzard could fix it":

In the end, I am just a jealous Horde player... It is up to Blizzard to fix this game; I have done all that I can. Either World of Warcraft can be remembered as a great MMORPG, or it can go down as a horribly imbalanced one, like many before it. That's for Blizzard to decide.

Let's take a trip back to 2005. On a bus, perhaps. A bus made out of elemental electrical energy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.3 -- Azeroth iterated

Patch 2.3: The Gods of Zul'Aman
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Blizzard likes to talk about their "iterative" process, meaning they make many small improvements over time to produce the best possible result. In the case of the lackluster patch 2.2, players were disappointed that more was not done. With the game's subscriptions still skyrocketing, Blizzard felt pressure to deliver a major dose of new content and improvements.

In November 2007, Blizzard answered the bell and unleashed an iteration that reshaped the game from top to bottom. Players of every level experienced sweeping changes to their play experience -- many of which are so integral now that it's hard to believe we played without them for so long. If you ask players about patch 2.3, they'll call it the "ZA patch." Zul'Aman was a great raid, but 2.3 offered so much more than that.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.2, the patch without content

Empty WoW logo
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

New content comes in patches. That's how it has always worked in WoW. Some patches with a multiple decimals, like patch 1.8.2, are just for bug fixes, emergency boss tuning, and the like. They don't really count (although to be fair, some have given us small amounts of new stuff, such as Onyxia's return in patch 3.2.2). A patch with two numbers, like patch 5.2 hitting very soon, is supposed to have shiny new pixels for all of us to enjoy.

Patch 2.2, released in September 2007, didn't have any. It was the only time in WoW's history that a major patch did not introduce any new content to the game world. No raids. No dungeons. No battlegrounds or arenas. No daily quests. Not even new items.

Instead, patch 2.2 gave us something we didn't particularly want. Something players immediately hated and decried as useless. Something we have never embraced, though most of us haven't thought about it in a long, long time. Most players probably don't even know it exists.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

WoW Archivist: The evolution of Alterac Valley

Lokholar attacks the Alliance in Alterac Valley
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

The battle was nearly won. Back and forth, a 16-hour war between the Frostwolf Clan and the Stormpike Expedition had ravaged this once-remote valley. Towers and strongholds had been put to the torch. Countless heroes on both sides had fallen to blade and blast. A rampaging troll king had been defeated. Air strikes had rained fire from the sky. Elementals had been summoned and vanquished.

At last, but not without heavy losses, the Frostwolf orcs and their allies had fought their way across the narrow bridge to assault the final bastion of the dwarves. All had sworn to see Vanndar Stormpike dead that day and the valley seized. They would kill him or die in the attempt.

The AV "zone"

The original version of Alterac Valley went live with patch 1.5. Along with Warsong Gulch, these two Battlegrounds were the very first ever added to WoW. Warsong Gulch was designed to be a more traditional PvP experience that anyone who had played Unreal Tournament or Halo could recognize. Some matches could last for a while, but the experience was meant to be a short-term PvP engagement.

Alterac Valley, in its first incarnation, was absolutely nothing like that. AV was not, in any modern sense of the word, a Battleground. AV was a zone.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Breakfast Topic: What haven't you done in the game yet?

Like Mat, I read through Reddit's /r/wow community a few days ago and really enjoyed an interesting thread about an Alterac Valley match versus a multiboxer. In case you haven't heard of this, it's a great story. The multiboxer in question was a Horde player with 30+ characters (!) camped in Drek's room and, predictably enough, he was annihilating anyone who peeked in. The Alliance had all but given up when someone hit on the bright idea of summoning Ivus the Forest Lord and letting the now-86 elite loose on the multiboxed raid. It worked, and not only did Ivus handily curb-stomp the multiboxer, but the Alliance also won the match.

After reading this thread, it occurred to me that I've never seen a single Alterac Valley match where anyone summoned Ivus or his Horde counterpart, Lokholar the Ice Lord. I started playing at the beginning of The Burning Crusade, and I get the impression that the days-long AV matches where these summons and special events were common largely ended in classic. But you know what? Now I really want to see what kind of havoc one of these bad boys could wreak on a gloriously unsuspecting enemy, and it's vaulted to the top of my WoW To-Do list.

So what's on your WoW bucket list? What haven't you done in the game yet that's on your list of goals?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Reddit user wins AV like a real champion

Image
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 OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts from PVP

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, you have to die before I get a new chocobo. Regrettable, but ...

We're back with the Mountain O' Mounts series, and today we're going to examine the 10 mounts available to each faction as a result of slaughtering everything and everyone in your path. If you're the type of player who likes to put the "war" back in Warcraft, you'll enjoy the array of options available to a dedicated mercenary.

Also read:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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

New Cataclysm battleground brackets unveiled; Arathi, Eye, and Alterac available at lower levels

We've all been there, right? You queue up for a battleground and enter the fray. O-ho! You catch a level 49 orc unaware! You fire blistering spell after blistering spell at him! Unfortunately, because you're only level 41, your spells keep missing, dooming you to a certain and ugly fate. Over and over and over. And so you just give up and don't requeue for a battleground until you're almost level 49 yourself.

Well, there's good news -- Blizzard has announced new battleground groups for Cataclysm that will make such frustrating scenarios much less prevalent. Whereas battlegrounds are currently broken up into 10-level groups (the level 10 to 19 bracket, for example), battlegrounds in Cataclysm will be broken up into five-level groups (there's a new level 10 to 14 bracket). The move should "match up teams more evenly," according to the post on Blizzard's website.

As part of an effort to further ease you into the world of PvP, certain battlegrounds are going to be available for play at earlier levels: Arathi Basin can be played as early as level 10, Eye of the Storm is available at 35, and Alterac Valley is available at 45. For those of us with low-level alts sick of running Warsong Gulch, that's welcome news indeed.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, PvP

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

Phat Loot Phriday: Sleeveless T-Shirt

Bah, weapons! Who needs 'em? Armor? For sissies! Real soldiers enter battle in nothing but a Sleeveless T-Shirt! The last time we featured a shirt on Phat Loot Phriday, we took a look at Precious's Ribbon from Icecrown Citadel. It's a great shirt ... if you want to win a prize for biggest pansy. If you're truly a badass, nothing less than the Sleeveless T-Shirt can contain all your awesomeness. Fine, it probably isn't the smartest thing to wade into battle wearing just a Sleeveless T-Shirt, but you'll be sure to inspire more than a few gasps and maybe even make some enemies drop their weapons and flee your bodaciousness. But don't count on it.

Name Sleeveless T-Shirt
Type Shirt
Attributes
  • has no sleeves (obviously)
  • has flavor text
  • has the distinction of being the only shirt in the game to be stealthily upgraded from poor (gray) quality to common (white). That's right, even the developers thought the shirt was so badass they decided to change the item quality in Patch 3.3.3!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Phat Loot Phriday

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