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Basic Battleground Guides: Eye of the Storm

Basic Battleground Guides Eye of the Storm
WoW Insider covers the world of player vs. player action in Blood Sport for fans of Battleground, world PvP and Arena play. Steering you to victory is Olivia Grace. All your base are belong to her.

So, we've dealt with the basics of how to keybind, use macros and focus targets, and heal with the above. Now it's time to get out there and put our skills into action! I've written a general guide to healing in Battlegrounds and touched on tips for novice PvPers in Battlegrounds in my response to a Breakfast Topic.

The tips in the aforementioned columns should be used throughout your PvP life, whatever it is you're doing, but now we're getting a bit more specific. We're heading out into some real, honest Battlegrounds with some tips and strategies. It should be noted that this is aimed at players in random Battlegrounds rather than rated, but these can equally apply to the latter.

Our first stop on the Battleground train is Eye of the Storm. This Burning Crusade-era Battleground addition came up in a recent podcast I did, the subject of some debate as to the best way to win it. So first and foremost, I'd say that there is no surefire way to win a Battleground. No one strategy has an absolute chance of success. There are a few exceptions to this, but just like the vast majority of PvP, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. (Name that scientist for a gold star!)

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

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

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

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

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

Gamers on the Street: Who's winning AV and WSG now?


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.

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Filed under: PvP, Features, Gamers on the Street, Battlegrounds

Breakfast Topic: Should there be honor in PvP?

And by honor I don't mean the honor-as-currency system that's currently in the game -- I mean a sense of personal honor as in, there are things you make a conscious decision to avoid doing just as a moral gesture.

I thought of this recently after a truly miserable losing streak in Arathi Basin. I wound up in three consecutive matches with a full complement of 15 Alliance players to 7 or 8 Horde (with both sides being PuG's, mind you). Being out-numbered and out-gunned sucks no matter what, but it's made immeasurably worse in places like Arathi Basin and EOTS due to the dwindling number of sites you'll have to rez when your side is being utterly destroyed. There was one particularly awful game where the Alliance decided to see how much honor they could get from us before the inevitable 4 or 5-cap ensuring their victory, and simply zerged us in the graveyard as we rezzed (or tried to). The feeling was made worse by knowing, having also played Alliance in BG's, that Horde would almost certainly have done the same thing had the situation been reversed. PvP is the subject of a lot of emotional dicussion in the WoW community as a result of situations like these, and I think we can all agree that it's not the losses that drive you nuts so much as knowing that the game is full of places and times where no amount of strategy or skill will keep you alive.

There are a lot of things in PvP that I just don't like being a part of.
I don't attack fellow Druids unless I'm attacked first (yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but a surprising number of Druids subscribe to this). I don't join in when an enemy player is obviously being dog-piled. I don't /spit on opposing players or do other rude emotes, and I don't participate in griefing. There's not much about WoW's PvP system that's really all that fair to begin with, especially when compared to games more explicity designed around PvP combat, but in the back of my mind there's still that notion that your opponent should at least have a sporting chance. I risk being called a hopeless carebear for this statement, but I think "honorable kills" are a lot more enjoyable when there's a measure of actual honor involved.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds, Arena

PvP for the beginning HK: 11 rules for the starter weasel


It is not unusual for younger or less experienced players to approach me with questions on my PvP experience.

"Allie," they ask. "How can we avoid sucking like you?"

"Well, first it helps to have a functional mouse," I always say, favoring them with a benevolent smile whilst swirling a fine glass of port. "Click-to-move is usually impossible when neither your right mouse button nor scroll wheel actually work. You'd be amazed at the number of problems you can pin on your refusal to replace a relatively cheap piece of equipment. Never, ever, get rid of Mr. Gimpy if you want a ready excuse for being a keyboard turner."

They scribble this and then look at me reverently, hopeful for any additional pearls of wisdom I might drop. However, after receiving so many queries and accidentally mistelling most of them with, "I can tank, but gimme a sec to get rid of this punk who's bugging me," I have decided, in the spirit of all gifted Machiavellians, to preserve my bad advice in a medium more lasting than /w.

For beyond faulty mice, children, we get into more advanced and underhanded PvP tactics...

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Filed under: How-tos, PvP, Humor, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

WoW, Casually: The year of the casual


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

For the purposes of this column, I am defining a casual WoW player as someone who has 2 hours or less to play at a time. If you spend 2 hours playing solitaire, then you are considered a hardcore solitaire player, but for the World of Warcraft, a couple hours really isn't very much time. There are a lot of people who have more time to play that consider themselves casuals and there are casual raiders and there are hardcore raiders and, well, these categories really don't work very well. But there are definitely also hardcore raider elitist types and many of them are bellyaching that Blizzard spent last year making the game easier for the casual players. I think that Blizzard made the game easier and more fun for everybody and while casuals got a whole lot of benefit from last year's development, raiders got some goodies specifically for them as well.

But this column isn't for the raiders, it's for those of us who don't have enough time to raid on a regular basis and have to squeeze as much fun and value out of our playtime as possible. And regardless of who else it helped, Blizzard did a lot for us:

Getting from 60 to 70:
If you've played the original EQ, you may have expected (like I did) that getting to 70 when Burning Crusade came out would take as long as getting from 1 to 60. But that was not the case. Getting from 60 to 70 was easier for me than getting from 40 to 50 and from 50 to 60. It was fast, fun, full of quests and easily soloable.

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Filed under: Cooking, Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, The Burning Crusade, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

Around Azeroth: That was a close one


Reader Kragragh offers up this screenshot of a very close match in the Eye of the Storm battleground. (How close? Just check the score in the top center of the screen!) Says Kragragh, "We were doing some frantic math trying to make sure we'd win.... the points were escalating and I wasn't sure how it was going to go."

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? Because we'd love to see your idea of the best looking instance on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Filed under: PvP, Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Battlegrounds

Nethaera explains Honor calculations


Ever since Patch 2.3 was released, there have been some honor controversies -- particularly with Alterac Valley. The way AV honor was calculated was changed and, for a while, not working. Though honor is working as intended now, people are still confused. This is understandable because it took quite a long forum post for Nethaera to explain how the whole thing works. Here are the main points:
  • Diminishing Returns: In all PvP in WoW, every time you kill the same player, you get 10% less honor. After you kill the same person 10 times, you stop getting honor for the kill.
  • Estimated Honor: This number does not take into account Diminishing Returns. Also, all fractions of honor are rounded up to 1, causing the Estimated Honor to be inflated. And the time of day that you view your Estimated Honor could affect the accuracy because the honor just earned may actually not be added until the next day's honor.
  • Battleground Bonus Honor on Call to Arms or Holiday weekends: Bonus Honor is not a percentage of honor earned in a Battleground on a holiday weekend, but it is instead awarded for accomplishing certain specific Battleground objectives.
Nethaera posted a long chart detailing all of the objectives for the Battlegrounds for Normal days and Holiday weekends. I've broken out the specific Holiday objectives and the Bonus Honor each awards as well as included the entire chart after the jump.

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

WoW, Casually: December 14 to 20 and Feast of Winter Veil


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

The weather outside may be frightful, but the Feast of Winter Veil begins Saturday which is always delightful. Well, the weather isn't frightful where I live, but I used to live where there are those season-things, so I feel for you in my high 60s and sunny. Really, I do.

Of course, the seasons don't change in Azeroth either, but the weekly Call to Arms bonus weekends do. This week it's Eye of the Storm. My EotS tip for this week is: let the Wookiee win. Er, let the Droods run with the flag. Otherwise, they're going to spend all their time whining in BG chat about how slow Ghostwolf form is, etc. Seriously, life's too short to listen to all that bellyaching -- though I suppose there's not much else to whine about in EotS. I mean, this is a Battleground where standing around doing nothing (as long as you're at a tower) watching everyone else fight in the middle is actually a good thing. So take advantage of extra honor and shorter queues while getting your marks this weekend.

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Filed under: Events, PvP, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

Forum Post of the Day: A casual's guide to winning BGs

Our own Zach Yonzon is putting together some great guides to the battlegrounds (WSG is the last one, and Arathi Basin is being worked on as we speak), but just in case that's not enough for you, Digo of Hyjal has written up a great (and succinct) guide to how the premades win battlegrounds. From WSG to AB to EotS to AV, he's got a terrific writeup of what needs to be done and how to do it to walk away from the BG with more marks than the other team.

He markets the guide as one for casuals, but it's got great tips for everybody: fight on the flags, not on the road. Make sure you've got something held before moving on. Send a druid after the flag and control WSG's midfield. Stick together and assist and heal. This is all stuff every single person who queues up for a BG should know (and unfortunately, it's also the same stuff that's yelled in every /bg channel because lots of players don't listen).

Great post, and a must read for anyone routinely going into the battlegrounds. If you aren't doing this stuff already, take the lesson, and do it from now on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds

WoW, Casually: The increased benefits of Battlegrounds to casual players


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

Happy Patch 2.3! I know that Blizzard gave raiders Zul'Aman, but the rest of the game really became much more casual friendly. This week we're going to talk about many of the Battleground benefits that are there for those of us with limited playtime.

First, let's talk about this weekend's Call to Arms. Eye of the Storm is the battleground giving the bonus honor this weekend. Levels 61 and up can participate in EotS and the battles are often only 15 minutes, not including queue time. Or course, one of the benefits of the Call to Arms is the reduced queue times.

I can't guarantee that the EotS queue times will be that much lower this weekend, however. The fact that Alterac Valley has recently been changed may mean that a lot of people will be trying that battleground out instead of EotS. Also, whatever battleground is in the PvP Daily Quest may affect queues as well.

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Filed under: Tips, Events, PvP, Features, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

Does the Horde really win every battleground?


I hear it constantly from my Alliance friends... Horde always win in battlegrounds! The Alliance is seriously gimped and never manages any success. The conversation then goes on to blame specific racial abilities or terrain issues that cause the battleground to favor the Horde. And then I go chat with my Horde friends, and those of them who PvP can't get over how unbalanced the battlegrounds are. The Alliance always win! How will they ever collect enough tokens to buy that trinket when all the Alliance has to do is...

By this point, my eyes will have glazed over and I'll be trying to remember which of my alts are unguilded and unknown so I can play in blessed peace and quiet. But sometimes it makes me wonder... why do both sides feel that the other is dominating in battlegrounds? Does either side dominate in battlegrounds? And this afternoon, Kalgan has hopped on the forums to provide an answer to my question:

...generally speaking the win/loss percentages for WSG, AB, EotS generally fall somewhere around 55% to 45% on any given day (with Alliance also represented on the higher side).... AV has gone through greater swings, with alliance winning as much as 75 to 80% of battles (NA servers again as an example) before patch 2.2 and horde winning about 60% so far after 2.2.


When asked about trends over the past month or year, Kalgan replied that they were about the same. Much as I suspected -- a lot of winning and losing is a perception issue.

Filed under: Blizzard, PvP

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