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Posts with tag eye-of-the-storm

Encrypted Text: A Rogue's guide to battleground PvP

Every Wednesday, Encrypted Text explores issues affecting Rogues and those who group with them. This week Jason Harper, the new Rogue feature blogger, discusses battleground PvP, useful macros and techniques that strive to keep you alive longer.

My last Encrypted Text post generated a lot of terrific feedback, and when you smoosh it all up and blend it I think you'll find that saying Rogues are a controversial class is a bit of an understatement. No more especially so than on the PvP side of things. In a future column I'll dig deeper into specific PvE instances, both raid and heroic, as well as give you some commentary on the new skills that come with the Wrath expansion. In the column this week we're talking about PvP and how to get the most out of it with your Rogue. I hope to make this a semi-regular topic, updating as we go, focusing on one or two PvP related items each time.

If you could distill the feelings of the majority of non-Rogues out there, at least the most vocal ones, you'd come up with a collective "over-powered" when it comes to PvP. Designed to counter most (but not all) casting classes, especially those *not* geared or spec'd to prevent spell push-back, our goal is to get our target into melee range and keep them there. Keeping this in mind, my first bit of PvP advice for you is avoid fair fights at all costs.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Battlegrounds, Macro Anatomy

Neutral Factions: An idea whose time has passed

Yeah, I know we were killing each other yesterday, but uh... hey! Let's all get along now!

Neutrality in factions started with the Steamwheedle Cartel and only got worse. It seems that once you get to the level cap, most of the intense rivalry between the factions, at least as expressed in the PvE game, peter off to nothing. Almost every faction accepts both Horde and Alliance fighters. In Burning Crusade, they even share the same capital, and it looks like that will be happening again in WoTLK with Dalaran -- despite that fact that, 50 levels earlier, the Horde utterly devastated Dalaran's holdings in Silverpine Forest and Hillsbrad.

The general argument for this change is that at higher levels, most people learn to put aside their differences and fight the greater challenges that threaten to wipe both sides out. My problem with that line of reasoning is that up until the end game, what we're trying to wipe out is each other.

In the Ghostlands, the Night Elves are involved in extensive operations to attack the Blood Elves. In Ashenvale, the Horde is constantly attacking the Night Elves, including setting up spy posts and killing their animal companions. In the southern Barrens, the Dwarves are willing to wipe out the Tauren to set up their excavations. In Lordaeron, the Forsaken have the stated intent of wiping out the alliance, devastating one settlement and even making a preliminary attack against Southshore.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Factions, Battlegrounds

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

Zarhym speaks on Battleground queues and uneven team numbers

It seems to be a complaint that comes up quite often lately: Many people on both sides of the aisle are finding that when they queue up these days and get into a battleground, one side or the other starts at a distinct disadvantage, numbers-wise. Whether it be a 15-7 Arathi Basin, or a 10 to 3 Warsong Gulch, I'm sure most avid Battleground PvPers can tell you that it is extremely hard to recover when you start at a great imbalance in numbers like that.

Zarhym chimed in to offer his own view on the situation on a recent forum thread, and to tell us that Blizzard may still be open to a bit more tweaking to try to solve the problem.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Breakfast Topic: Battle of the battlegrounds

In The Burning Crusade, Blizzard implemented the Eye of the Storm, brinding the number of battlegrounds up to four. They each manage to create an interesting dichotomy in the playerbase. You either love a battleground, or you hate it. Personally, I adore Alterac Valley and Eye of the Storm. I hate, hate, hate Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. Most of my friends hate AV and love WSG. And of course, there's always the people that hate them all. My first question to all of you is, where do the battlegrounds lie in your mind? Which do you adore, which do you loathe?

Second, Wrath of the Lich King will be bringing us another battleground. We don't know anything about it, but what would you like to see? What do you think we'll get? Personally, I would like to see some sort of urban warfare. Maybe Warsong Gulch style Capture the Flag, but placed in a village rather than a wide open field. Instead of the flag carrier and their pursuers running through an open field, they need to weave between buildings and through alleys. It would probably make hiding way too easy, but I still think it's a fun concept.

Again, here's your questions for today: Which battlegrounds do you love, which do you hate, and what new battleground do you think is coming our way in Wrath?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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

Breaking news: In Eye of the Storm, towers > flag


Let's get one thing straight: in Eye of the Storm, capturing towers is more important than capturing the flag. I don't care how shiny and cool the flag is, that's not where the points are coming from. Well, okay, maybe some of it, but if you don't have any towers to begin with, the flag isn't worth squat. For the past week or so, I've seen a disturbing trend from the Horde on my Battlegroup -- there seems to be a growing fascination with fighting at the middle of the map, right where the flag is.

I wrote about Eye of the Storm and the basics of how it's played. In Patch 2.3, the Battleground was modified so that flag captures will scale with the number of towers your side controls. I can't stress the importance of capturing towers enough. In EotS, unlike Arathi Basin, points are awarded constantly every 2 seconds, regardless of how many towers you control. However, these points scale with each tower you control, as shown by the table on the right. Capturing the flag with only one tower (I mean, why?) will award your team 75 points. If your team controls two towers, it's worth 85 points; three, it's worth 100; and controlling all four towers means a swift and painless (ok, maybe not painless) death for your opponents as each flag cap is worth a whopping 500 points.

It scales, people. And here's the one, brutal truth about the whole thing: it is mathematically impossible to win the game if you control only one tower. Go ahead, make some calculations.

Done? The only way it can be done is if you can capture the flag every 37.5 seconds, which honestly is barely enough time and necessitates complete unmolested passage. Good luck with that. If your side controls only one tower, just don't bother with mid. Get another tower asap. If your team is down one tower to your opponents' three, and you still go after the flag, you are an idiot not helping your team at all. The one and only time it becomes acceptable is with the intention of keeping the flag until your team secures another tower. That way it actually becomes more strategic and less moronic.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

PvP all day, everyday: Concerted Efforts (A) or For Great Honor (H)

It's back! Perhaps of all the new daily quests that have arrived with the goodness-filled Patch 2.4, arguably the most confusing and mysterious one is the repeatable quest called For Great Honor for the Horde and Concerted Efforts for the Alliance. It is a dinosaur quest from the days of the old Honor system but made its stealthy return last Tuesday with a few tweaks. It was so stealthy that it didn't even make it into the official patch notes. It is also not searchable in wowhead through filters (e.g. added in Patch 2.4, PvP, etc.) or by name (e.g. "For Great Honor"). The references to the quest in thottbot or allakhazam both refer to the old repeatable quest albeit the quest description themselves have been updated to include the new requirement -- an additional Mark of Honor from Eye of the Storm.

Unlike the old quest, the new and improved For Great Honor -- which probably has the same ID tag (confusing poor old wowhead) as the original quest -- does not give any reputation for old world Battlegrounds. Players grinding Battlegrounds rep for the Conqueror or Justicar titles are flat of luck and must do it the hard way aside from being crazy for trying (yeah, okay, I'm one of those people). The very first time players complete the quest, it awards 11g 99s and 314 Honor points at Level 70. Subsequent turn-ins will only award the 314 Honor.

Because of the removal of diminishing returns to Honorable Kills, Honor points are available for use immediately, making this quest the most efficient way to earn additional Honor. Because it is repeatable and not a daily quest, players with stacks of 100 Marks of Honor from all Battlegrounds can accrue 31,400 Honor points right away. Of course, it is possible to earn more Honor from more turn-ins. Winning in all four Battlegrounds, for example, can give an additional 942 Honor from Mark of Honor turn-ins. For the many players who have full unusable stacks of these items, it's an excellent way to free up space and gain Honor points at the same time. Needless to say... make sure to save some Marks for those welfare epics! On a final note, try to complete this quest in the less populated cities such as the Exodar or Thunder Bluff, specially if you're turning in a whopping 100 times. Less populated cities will have less lag and less chances of players zoning in from Arenas or Battlegrounds to get in the clickable way of your turn-ins.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Quests, 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

Forum Post of the Day: PUG Player Archetypes

Once Patch 2.4 goes live, we will most likely be able to queue up for all of the major battlegrounds as premades. There will always be PUGs, since even the three battlegrounds that allow premade groups to play have them. Sideways of Korgath posted a thread on the official forums on the most annoying PUG player archetypes. The original list included:

  • The Aloof - This guy appears to be guarding a flag or, but the chickens at the farm in AB are actually doing a better job. It's hard to say whether he's AFK, chatting in vent, or just didn't get enough sleep last night, but a guy caps the flag behind him and he doesn't even notice. If he's in gulch and the enemy flag carrier runs by, he just keeps on doing whatever it is he's doing as if nothing happened.
  • The ADD - This type of player just can't live with less than continuous action. The concept of defending a flag is foreign and distasteful to him. Therefore if he is defending something and no enemies show up within 30 seconds, he moves on despite the fact that he is leaving the flag unguarded for a friendly neighborhood rogue to ninja.
  • The Instance Mob - This type of player makes you swear aggro generation applied to players. He simply cannot understand why he hasn't been able to kill anything despite the fact that he put forth his best damage attacks against the protection specced shield wearing warrior that had 2 priests, a paladin, and a druid healing him. Much like I expect Rend Blackhand or Nefarian would, he attributes his ineffectiveness to inferior gear.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Humor

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

Player suggestions for fixing Alterac Valley


In response to a post-patch-2.3 post about the limitations and issues with the new AFK reporting feature for battlegrounds, many people commented with some interesting ideas for improvement. They vary greatly from fairly lenient to quite harsh, making it ever more apparent that this is a controversial topic.

Many of you agreed that the system should automatically report players that are AFK, rather than relying on those of us who are fighting and defending to point them out. There also seemed to be an agreement that AFK'd players should not be allowed to remain so; after a certain period of time, they should indeed be booted from the battleground.

In order to avoid harsh penalties in a legitimate and unavoidable AFK situation, jr suggests that whatever punishment is implemented, it should not be so for manually /AFK'ing oneself, or when the player is disconnected. Our own Matthew Rossi does point out; however much we might like to impose a more aggressive system of punishment, players will find a way to exploit and abuse it. Malachi145 also pointed out that, no matter what, AFK'd players should not be gaining credit for the daily battleground quests.

Several players even outlined complete systems that could be implemented in a future patch to further reduce the problem that AFK'd players in battlegrounds pose for their teammates.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Odds and ends, PvP

Breakfast Topic: Quitting battlegrounds


Battlegrounds, one of the main resources for PvP action in World of Warcraft, may be growing less popular with the average player. On the flip side, they may be gaining in popularity for players who are new to the whole experience.

Why are so many avid battlegrounders boycotting the queues? The most popular battleground that is off-limits is Alterac Valley, and many are getting fed up with the afk'ers and Blizzard's attempts to solve the problem they create.

In fact, ever since the dynamics of AV changed in patch 2.3, some people have been longing for the honor grind to return. Queue, run north/south for 10 minutes, gain much honor. Not everyone is enjoying the actual PvP action they're seeing. The recently explained honor calculations have also been causing controversy, especially regarding holiday weekends.

At the same time, many battleground regulars are becoming annoyed with the increased population of players new to the grounds popping in, either for arena season one gear, or for the daily battleground quests. Some are even spewing their opinions on the subject rampantly in /bg chat, making the experience less fun for everyone.

How much time do you, or have you, devote to battlegrounding? How are you feeling about battlegrounds these days?

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics, 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

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