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Posts with tag ashran

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?

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Warlords of Draenor: New instance technology, no load screen in new PvP island

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has been teasing us with tidbits of information about Ashran, Warlords of Draenor's new PvP island, for some time now, both on Twitter and in interviews on the recent press tour. And now another little piece of intel that has wider-reaching ramifications than PvP alone.

This sounds excellent, firstly, for Ashran itself. The sense of immediacy, of being in the world and participating in a battle that is on your server, in your realm, will really add something to the experience. The sense of separation in instanced PvP removes something of the immediacy, the feeling that the other faction are invading your territory, that it's your personal server's fight. Not to mention, most people wouldn't be happy to call it world PvP if it was obviously instanced!

But, looking at the new technology, it's exciting to consider what options this opens up for Blizzard. It's more than just phasing, it seems, or Holinka would not have referred to new tech. Could we see this used for questing? For scenarios? Dungeons? Raids? For me at least, the opening scenarios for the Isle of Thunder would have felt a lot more authentic if I didn't have to go through a load screen.

Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka interviewed in Korea

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka was interviewed in Seoul, Korea, as part of the Press Event that's taking place worldwide this week. The video is above, but some of the key points covered are below. These are in chronological order so it's easy for you to find more information on the video, rather than arranging them by topic:
  • Blizzard is not yet ready to talk timelines with Warlords beta, or release, but are happy with how things are progressing. It's on schedule.
  • The changes to PvP in Mists and Warlords have all been focused on improving PvP participation
  • One of the main reasons why Holinka is so active on Twitter is to be a point of contact for PvPers.
  • There will be a tutorial zone, as discussed at BlizzCon that is to provide a starter experience for all players going into Draenor. The option to use this as more of a tutorial will exist.
  • Garrisons will offer a lot of playability, and are continuing in development beyond 6.0 with potential new features. Garrison PvP is a potential example.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New world PvP zone

Ashran
New to Warlords of Draenor will be a world PvP zone called Ashran. It will be a PvP sandbox zone with an ongoing battle. Its staging area will be near the Dark Portal.

Included in Ashran will be faction bases (that can be reduced to rubble) and other hotspots. You'll be able to create siege vehicles of various sizes that may be started at one point and finished when you return to the zone. Ashran is being described as being close to the old school Alterac Valley. There will be a variety of objectives that may take a lot of time to achieve. Also, cross-realm technology will be applied so that servers or server clusters with faction-imbalances will have fair battles.

This is a departure from their current PvP options in that there is no end. Fans of the old AV and of world PvP will hopefully find that Ashran satisfies those desires.

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon

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