Last week, we talked about some basic strategy for Warsong Gulch. We ran through the basics, the general flow of the fight, and how you (tend) to win it. One subject came up a bunch in the comments and landed in my email box a few times. That question: How do you run the flag successfully?
It's no surprise that's a contentious issue. Without debating the fine points of who should be running a flag, I think we all agree that being the flag carrier is an incredibly vital role. Touch the flag and you just became the focus of 19 people in the Battleground. There's a little more to the job than just mashing a particular cooldown, so let's take some time this week to talk about strategy and tips.
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.
After another hard day's grind at the PvP factory that is Warsong Gulch, what's a dedicated Hordie to do? Have a nice, relaxing nap back home in safe territory. Ordruun of <RRT> on Tichondrius shares this peaceful bedtime scene with us, straight from the heart of Orgrimmar. What's the thread count on those things? Luxurious!
Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, gold seller ads, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
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!
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.
So I was thinking about grabbing some PvP achievements on my Death Knight the other day, when a rather glorious thought popped into my head: If some Hordie tried to exploit terrain in Warsong Gulch, my Death Grip and I were going to have a lot of fun drawing their cheating self into the midst of a knot of angry Alliance.
Of course, there's always the problem of LOS, but still, I can't help but think that Death Grip may be so effective that it ends some of the frustration of WSG in which flag-bearers find ways to jump over holes in the terrain such that it's near impossible to get to them. It'll be nice if it does happen that way, and I don't say that just because I am a Death Knight. New skills that help solve old problems are always nice.
There's other new skills for various classes that may have similar effects in PVE or PVP, such as Tricks of the Trade for Rogues or Aspect of the Dragonhawk for Hunters. Are you projecting that any of the new Wrath skills or talents will be game changers for the way we play and compete? Have you seen them changing things already?
Ever wonder what happens to your character when the boat or zeppelin goes out of your view as it zips across the ocean? Well, WoW That's Irregular is here to 'splain you, Lucy. The filmmaker, Wizeer, is a pal of Baron Soosdon's and a student of Machinima 101 and his third machinima makes it clear he'll be a force to be reckoned with.
The movie is really two separate vignettes which both riff on the theme of unexpected outcomes. The first story shows an Undead Rogue capturing the flag in Warsong Gulch with comedic flair. There is little standing in his way except a rookie Gnome, a surprised Draenei, and a Dwarf Hunter who looks surprisingly like BRK. One of these three offers the rogue his comeuppance, which is amusing, but what actually happens is a bit difficult to follow. According to the film's notes, the rogue overused Sprint, but I'm not entirely sure what occurred.
In the second half of the film, a Night Elf boards a boat and gets mobbed by a gang of Horde who apparently don't judge gender very well. The special effects on the boat ride showing us what happens when the boat hits the worm hole are splendid. The voice acting in this segment is also quite amusing. (Did you know that Orcs scream like little girls?) Give it a shot; I think you'll like this one.
For those of you interested in the non-WoW music used in this film, Wizeer lists "Concerning Hobbits" (Lord of the Rings), "Lacrimosa" (Immediate Music), and "Ringtone" (Battlefield Heroes).
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?
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.
We'll check our email inbox as well -- if you'd like to send us a note (or a joke), you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we'll be on IRC as usual: in the #wowradio channel at irc.mmoirc.com (or you can just chat directly from WoW Radio's webpage).
Should be a good one. See you there: tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio, it's the WoW Insider Show live on your PC.
Each week or so, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.
This week, I finally get around to answering an email from Mattilda:
I really enjoyed your article on WoW Insider. I recently got married and that basically killed my play time in WoW which probably isn't that bad of a thing, but I still like to play and it is normally only for a couple of hours in the evening. One of the biggest problems I have is getting a group for an instance. I have a decent guild but they are all normally busy in Kara or ZA when I'm on, and since I only play one or 2 nights a week I'm not high on the importance list to help.
I like to do dailies and busy my self with solo stuff, but in order to get neutral with the Ogrila, there are some group quests. Looking for group is not always reliable and it seems that it basically puts you with 5 year olds most of the time. So my question is you can either put in in an article or just answer via e-mail, do you have any good ideas on how to get a reliable group in a short amount of time. There may not be a way, but just wanted to get your thoughts.
After publishing a recent Breakfast Topic on whether there should be a sense of personal honor in PvP, I wasn't really all that surprised to see a few comments echoing the sentiments of "If it's red, it's dead" and "Don't roll on a PvP server if you don't want to get ganked." These crop up in any discussion about PvP, and while there's an undeniable sense to them -- why would you roll on a PvP realm unless you wanted to, I dunno, PvP? -- I've always felt that they did actual PvP a disservice. You can't frame ganking as true PvP. There's no such thing as strategy, skill, or even combat when a player one-shots another, so I've never considered ganking to be defensible along the same lines that actual PvP is.
Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
I'll admit it: I haven't hit the Sunwell yet. My new main is a fresh 70 ("virgin" might be an appropriate word to describe her, except that – well, I PvP), and my guildies and I are simply overwhelmed with the number of things on our to-do lists right now. None of us is much interested in braving the crowds to see the new content; we'll get there once the furor has died down.
But 2.4 introduced more than just the Sunwell – we've got AV and WSG "fixes" in action! Did the fixes really fix these BGs? I have my own thoughts about AV (fine before, fine now; lots of imbalances still, but they don't prevent me from winning most instances when my team is with me), but I haven't had the time yet to get into WSG. Ever curious, I popped in on Wildhammer realm to chat with some of the folks gathered 'round the battlemasters and get their impressions.