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Posts with tag Wintergrasp

WoW Archivist: The battle for Hillsbrad

Fighting at TM
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?

Almost ten years later, people still talk about the Southshore versus Tarren Mill battles, the most infamous and celebrated world PvP in WoW history. They go on about how glorious it was, how they'd like to see that kind of intensity return to world PvP. It's not often, however, that they discuss the details.

If you want to know exactly what it was like to fight in those battles, keep reading. I lived it. My old tauren hunter still bears the scars. Pull up a bench and pour yourself a glass of ale. I will tell you about the war.

Why Hillsbrad?

Several places on Azeroth in classic WoW had two faction-specific towns in close proximity. You had Astranaar and Splintertree in Ashenvale. Arathi Highlands featured Refuge Pointe and Hammerfall. Theramore and Brackenwall squared off in Dustwallow Marsh. A few others had proximity also.

So why didn't any of these pairs become as legendary as Southshore and Tarren Mill? The fact is that battles did happen here -- some fairly major ones, too. World PvP ran rampant in the early days, even on PvE realms, and even before the honor system arrived to reward you for doing it.

Many raided faction villages for the simple joy of denying your enemy a stronghold, a questgiver, or a flight point. Such players sought out undefended towns, which these others often were, at least when you first struck.

Other players wanted resistance. They wanted to march forward as part of one vast army of players into an equally imposing force. They wanted the chaos, the rush, the endless bloodshed, the death cries of their foes echoing all around them. And they knew exactly one place you could find that experience, at virtually any hour of the day or night.

It had to be somewhere. Early forum threads began to buzz about such battles taking place. As word of mouth spread, more players wanted to make it happen on their own realm. It became the thing to do.

But why there?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

Worlds Yet to Conquer: Ideas for new content in old places

There is a ton of lore in the Warcraft setting, from the first RTS game to the current MMO, four expansions down and counting. And one of the things I love about the setting is just how much we haven't seen yet, for all that we've been to Outland and fought the Scourge in Northrend and are now battling the effects of the Sha while dealing with old Titan repositories and mogu armies in Pandaria.

When Cataclysm came out, one of the better revamped quest areas was in Winterspring, where the remnants of the Blue Dragonflight after the death of Malygos were trying to combat an incursion by forces from outside Azeroth. I was thrilled to see satyrs from Xoroth and new etherals, because it got me excited about all the places in the Warcraft setting I haven't been yet. So I started thinking about places in that setting, both on Azeroth and beyond, where I would love to see a dungeon or a raid to get us to go back and explore them, or even to introduce those places to the game for the first time. And because this just happens to be a website that talks about WoW, I have a ready-made place to discuss these things with you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Do we need another Wintergrasp or Tol Barad?

Do we need another Wintergrasp or Tol Barad
Mists of Pandaria is like playing in a field of daffodils while drinking from a mug of stout. Very little to complain about, if you don't mind the eternal dailies. But even with the household chore of doing your dailies, there's one element I still miss from previous expansions: Wintergrasp. (Or Tol Barad, if you prefer).

While Wintergrasp and Tol Barad both had their design challenges, always revolving around that unpredictable critter called human behavior, these World PvP Zones provided dynamics to the game you can't reproduce with queued BGs.

It was a place to play with your server mates, matching your own PvP skills against other folks from your server. While you might run across a familiar face in the regular BGs, Wintergrasp and Tol Barad were the best places to get your home server action happening. These days, Alliance vs. Horde guild rivalries feel a little silly. You don't see each other to have a real feud, unless you're on a PvP server.

The fight timing of the zones lent itself to "WoW breaks." Busy cleaning the house, studying for a test, and otherwise being a productive member of society? Well, trotting off to Wintergrasp or TB when it was up provided a nice, occasional timed break. That probably seems like a minor thing, since you could just do the same as with a BG, but the game's enforced timing gave that work-break-work habit a more natural feel. And the Pomodoro Technique of productivity is effective for a reason. This was the Wintergrasp Technique.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

I am not going to miss Tol Barad at all

I am not going to miss Tol Barad even one bit ANY
I've been making a pretty concerted effort over the past month or so to knock out all those things that I hadn't quite gotten around to finishing for one reason or another in Cataclysm. Last week saw the end of the grueling grind to get enough tokens to purchase the mount shown above, which is easily the most hideous mount I now possess. I'm not sure who thought aqua went with olive green and pink, but whoever they were, I wholeheartedly hope they aren't doing the color scheme on any further mounts.

While I was pleased to get the mount despite its questionable color scheme, there was something I was far, far happier about. I got all the tokens I needed, I got the mount, and at last, at long, long last, I never had to look at Tol Barad ever again. The only things I enjoyed from Tol Barad were getting a pet and two mounts, and the backstory that never really developed further than "Here is a mysterious island with some really strange stuff and ghosts on it." The story disappointed me, the mounts and pet were happily added to the collection, and as for the rest of it ... Well, let's just say I'm not holding any candlelight vigils for the zone.

In Mists of Pandaria, we don't have a Tol Barad. We don't have a Wintergrasp. And I am perfectly happy with both of those things.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

The OverAchiever: Achievements to do before it's too late

Image
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, time is of the essence. Where have we heard that before?

I recently talked to a player who managed to solo most, though not all, of the Glory of the Hero achievements from Wrath. He mentioned ones like Share the Love that been impossible to complete without putting a group together, and as you can imagine, getting four more players for heroic Wrath achievements isn't the easiest thing in the world at 85. People who want the achievement for their alts are rarely interested in doing a meta piecemeal, and this is probably going to get worse, rather than better, once account-wide achievements go active. Once someone's got a red proto-drake on one character, they almost certainly won't repeat the process on one of their alts.

The vast majority of achievements get easier as you level up, but the canny achievement hunter will pay attention to the ones that don't. As the game changes, players' priorities and interests change, and older content has a tendency to fall by the wayside. It's best to strike while the iron is hot.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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 Queue: Old Gods? In my dig site?


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

It's another Monday morning, which means it's time for another short edition of The Queue. Weekend recovery is always rough, because there's something about Sunday that drives the inquisitiveness out of all of you. I dread Super Bowl Sunday.

Doge asked:

Whenever I find a keystone in archaeology, I hear a certain many-toothed abomination say something. No text or anything, just the sound. Any idea why? It's quite disconcerting. Are my pursuits in archaeology making me fall under the sway of the Old Gods? Or is it just a bug?

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Filed under: The Queue

The problems with Tol Barad (and how to fix them)

Tol Barad, the newest contestable PvP experience in Cataclysm, is great fun and provides the winning side with an awesome daily quest hub and a Vault of Archavon-style encounter, Argaloth, that drops the new tier legs and gloves. Using the same style of play as in Wintergrasp, the previous winners defend the island prison of Tol Barad against the invading faction. Tol Barad would be fun if it weren't so horribly broken in its goal and mechanics. The battleground of Tol Barad has only been active for about a week and a half, with most people only having experienced it for the first time within a few days.

There are six distinct problems with Tol Barad at the moment:
  1. Defending Tol Barad is too easy.
  2. The cap mechanics to secure capture points make it too easy to switch.
  3. The towers in Tol Barad that grant extra time to the attackers have no reason to be defended by the defending faction.
  4. Tol Barad's victory condition for the attacking faction has created a frustrating environment in light of the mechanics at play in the battleground.
  5. The graveyards are skewed in favor of the defenders.
  6. The losing side in Tol Barad receives no Tol Barad commendation for participating in the battle, while the winning team receives three.

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Filed under: PvP, Cataclysm

The Queue: Cathedral picture

Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I'm completely out of witty intros. It's Sunday! Deal with it!

DarkSpade asked:

Was the WoW miniatures game ever officially announced as dead or is it still out there flapping in the breeze? Any chance of it coming back?

The license for the WoW Minis game was originally held by Upper Deck, a company with whom Blizzard no longer does business. Cryptozoic, who picked up the WoW TCG license, did not pick up the Minis license. I think you can probably extrapolate the status of the WoW Minis game from there.

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Breakfast Topic: Kill them

I mean, like all of them. I'm not sure who they even are, at this point, but as soon as the Rated Battlegrounds are here I'm gonna be in there killing. Horde, Alliance, doesn't matter. I vastly prefer group PvP to arenas, and I'll admit in no small way that it's because my own tactical weaknesses are much more on display in arena play, while the things I'm pretty good at are magnified in group PvP.

For instance, lately I've become enamored of Wintergrasp again. Not because I'm either good at it or geared for it, but just because I enjoy having a mass of targets to charge into. Most of the time I die horribly, (I PvP as fury, so I'm basically asking for it) but when I manage to make a kill or break up an Alliance formation (I don't PvP on my draenei very much, mostly my tauren) I feel pretty good about it. The idea that Cataclysm will be making group PvP more important with Tol Barad and rankings in BG's works for me. I'm very much looking forward to the changes that will let me get PvP weapons by doing PvP.

So how about you? Are you deathly averse to PvP, an arena maniac, or a group PvPer?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics

Upcoming changes to Wintergrasp, Tol Barad balancing details revealed

Zarhym was active on the forums last night detailing some of the new balancing mechanics in Tol Barad, the Wintergrasp-like zone that will be coming out in Cataclysm. In fact, it's so much like Wintergrasp that Wintergrasp itself will soon be updated with the new balancing mechanics.

In brief, the new mechanics are:
  • A minimum cap will be placed on the zone (which must be met by one faction, but not necessarily both). If that number is say, 25, then there might be a battle of 25 v. 5.
  • Maximum cap will still exist.
  • If there are only 50 Alliance players, the system will try to find only around 50 Horde players -- even if there are 200 Horde players queued.
The full statements after the break, including helpful examples that should help eliminate a lot of confusion and QQ.

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Filed under: News items, PvP, Cataclysm

The Daily Quest: PvP edition

Here at WoW.com we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere. Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we ought to follow? Just leave us a comment and you may see it here tomorrow!

If you're interested in PvP battlegrounds, you're probably aware that patch 3.3.3 is turning the system on its head -- completely removing Marks of Honor as well as increasing honor gains across the board. Have a bank full of the things? Well, we've got good news for you -- at present on the PTR you can convert them to honor at the rate of 2000 honor per mark. Combine that with the recent explanation of Wintergrasp mechanics and what have you got? A lot of excitement about PvP battlegrounds. Here's what's making the rounds of the blogosphere.

Filed under: PvP, The Daily Quest

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."

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Filed under: News items, PvP

Tom Chilton retrospective interview on Wrath of the Lich King

There's an excellent interview with Tom Chilton, the World of Warcraft lead game designer, up on GameInformer. Lots of stuff we've heard before, but there are some interesting talking points. For example:
  • They are looking into extending the dungeon finder to 10-man content.
  • Chilton hinted that we may see a new boss in the Ruby Sanctum before Cataclysm launches
  • They have a "general philosophical approach of getting the hybrids to where they're close to the DPS classes when it comes to DPS roles. Otherwise, those specs just turn into joke specs."
  • They feel warlocks could use a boost to their DPS.
  • Tol Barad, the Cataclysm equivalent to Wintergrasp, will be more of a Isle of Quel'Danas style daily quest hub instead of a farming zone.
  • Before settling on death knights for Wrath of the Lich King's hero class, they specifically debated necromancers and rune-masters.
  • They feel that with all the accessibility work they did on end game PvE in Wrath, end game PvP has become harder to get into by comparison.
It's a three page interview, so click through to read the whole thing! What really struck me reading this was that comment about hybrid DPS compared to pure. This "hybrid tax" concept has been harped on by posters on the official forums for a long time now, and this is a fairly straightforward way of putting it.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

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