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Guest Post: Three fresh ideas for world PvP events

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Of all the PvP events I've participated in over the years, the battle for Halaa in Nagrand always sticks out in my mind as one of the best-executed examples of world PvP that the World of Warcraft has ever produced. The battle for Halaa brought together several areas of warfare in perfect harmony.

  • The element of surprise The battle for Halaa took place at any time. Whenever the opposite faction felt like taking control of the city, they could form a raid and start bombing. It left the controlling faction scrambling to assemble a defense when the words "Halaa is under attack!" popped up on their screens.
  • Aerial assault Players had to activate one of four wyvern stations and fly over the city of Halaa to drop bombs, causing massive amounts of damage. Until the defenses were weakened, players could not successfully enter the city.
  • Sabotage While enemy players were taking to the skies, one of the keys to success was to destroy the activated wyvern stations to prevent those enemy players from immediately taking off for another bombing run.
  • Siege warfare Once the city's defenses were eliminated, the conquering force moved into the city center and held the city captive. Either the defending faction would break the siege and regain control of the city or it would be lost to the conquering heroes.
  • Spoils of war Defeating your enemy within the boundaries of Halaa yielded you a Halaa Battle Token. Once you controlled Halaa, those tokens could be spent on various rewards, including the coveted Dark War Talbuk.

With new expansions come new territories to explore and conquer. Sadly, Nagrand and the war-torn city of Halaa fell to the wayside in favor of Wintergrasp once Wrath of the Lich King was released. So what does a player who is hungry for world PvP do now? If you have some friends and are will to do a little organizing and promoting, here are three new ideas to spring on your server.

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Filed under: PvP, Guest Posts

From Outland with gems

Dear players,

Things are good back here in Nagrand -- though we don't see anyone but Death Knights coming through nowadays, I often think back to a few years ago when I saw so many of you come through leveling up, just as you are now in Northrend. You were so innocent and naive back then -- you really weren't prepared, at level 66 and 67, still not knowing what treachery Illidan might have planned or what treasure the walls of Tempest Keep might hold. Nowadays, the space inside those walls is empty except for the occasional Death Knight group -- my friend Ghabar up in Stormspire says they see even fewer players than we do here.

Even the boys in Halaa say things are slow -- while I'm sure it's a relief not to be under attack every other hour, they come down here to Aeris Landing every once in a while just to pass the time and see what's up. I suppose when the Death Knights are gone, that'll be pretty much the end for us. Oh sure, we'll have the occasional newbie come through (I'll always need Crystal Fragments and Obsidian Warbeads, as long as there are suppliers to buy them -- and there are), but things won't be the same. Maybe I'll even get out of the trading business and take up a profession of my own. I hear Inscription can be fun.

Oh, and by the way, it's the first of the month, so I've got your monthly gems sitting here. You may not need them up in Northrend, with your Lich King and your dragons and whatever else you've discovered up there (have you found any Ethereals yet?). But they're here, just like the rest of us, waiting for you. Sigh.

Yours,

Gezhe at Aeris Landing in Nagrand

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Jewelcrafting, Humor, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Wintergrasp still aiming to fix World PvP problems

Zarhym, provoked by a pretty lame whine about two new Arenas and only one new BG in the next expansion, is expounding a little bit more on what Blizzard wants to do with World PvP and Lake Wintergrasp in Northrend. Ever since the zone was first announced, Blizzard has said they want to have it be the pinnacle of their world PvP experience, fixing all kinds of problems, from getting players involved to level imbalance to actual PvP rewards.

And Zarhym says it's still on track to do al that -- he specifically mentions that they've designed the battleground zone to supposedly be impervious to problems with realm imbalance, "trivial at the endgame," or "forgettable because of a lack of incentive." So if you hold a lot of faith in what Blizzard's working on, that would mean Wintergrasp is meant for 70s, has functionality that doesn't necessarily require a lot of players on both sides (siege vehicles come to mind), and will have an extensive rewards system (we've heard before that it may be token-based and equivalent to the level of current Arena gear).

If Blizzard is doing everything they promise to with Wintergrasp, it should be a sight to see for sure. A world PvP event that adds the permanency of the Auchindouin rewards with the mechanics of Halaa and the epic feeling of the old Southshore/Tarren Mill world PvP battles? We can't wait.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Lore

More tradeskill love and rewards in Wrath

To coincide with the earlier good news about factions (which is, apparently, bad news to some) we have a little more good news regarding reputation. As I am sure some people (Engineers) are painfully aware, representation was... uh, lacking for certain tradeskills in TBC factions.

I actually enjoy grinding reputation simply because it gives me something simple and straightforward to do when I want to do something.... well, simple and straightforward. As much as I don't mind doing it, there still needs to be a sense of reward from it besides moving that little bar on the bottom of my screen upwards. I didn't grind out Kurenai simply because it wasn't rewarding. I got a Talbuk easier via Halaani PvP. I was lucky (or unlucky, depending on your view) as an enchanter, though. Our representation on faction vendors was quite high, and that only improved as The Burning Crusade progressed and the old AQ40 enchants made a comeback. I felt bad for my Engineering buddies that didn't really have much motivation to earn rep with anybody at all due to a complete lack of rewards.

The good news is that at the WWI's Raids and Dungeons panel, it was mentioned that a goal of theirs to be sure more tradeskills will be rewarded via factions, spread the love further, and just plain have more recipes. Again, as an Enchanter I had more than enough recipes to grind out all over Outland, but other tradeskills didn't quite receive that much love. It'll be nice to see my friends feel rewarded for their work in Wrath like I did throughout the leveling and gearing process in The Burning Crusade.

Filed under: Engineering, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Insider Trader: Cooking, the final stretch


Cooking is a secondary tradeskill that most players should strongly consider learning, and maximizing. The buffs that many of the foods award can be quite helpful, and aside from damage buffs, there are also healing buffs, tank buffs, and food for hunter and warlock pets, among other yummy treats. If you rely on purchasing the foods from the auction house, you'll find your consumables bill soaring upward.

You can also make a profit from cooking, especially regarding pet food. Because many players are stubborn and won't learn any of the secondary skills, you can sell your dishes for a hefty price.

Still, if you don't fall madly in love with cooking, searching high and low for the latest recipe and farming to your favorite tunes, then you might have some trouble and confusion when trying to reach 375. This week, Insider Trader will take an in-depth look at the easiest path to cooking 375, avoiding fishing altogether. Although they go hand-in-hand, they can be done separately, and many cooks do not want to become fishermen.

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Filed under: Fishing, Skinning, Cooking, Items, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Quests, Features, Leveling, Guides, Making money, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions), Well Fed Buff

PvP all day, everyday: In Defense of Halaa (A) or Enemies, Old and New (H)


Patch 2.4 breathes new life into World PvP with a pair of new daily quests in Terokkar Forest and Nagrand. The Nagrand quest involves killing enemy players in Halaa and has made control of the center island, at least on PvP servers, more volatile. There are two versions of the Halaa PvP daily quest, one for the Alliance which can be obtained from Lakoor in Telaar; and the other for the Horde which can be obtained from Karrtog in Garadar. The quest objective is simple: kill 10 enemy players in Halaa. Unless I'm mistaken, it is the first and only player kill quest in World of Warcraft, making it something of a milestone and -- I hope -- a sneak peek into Lake Wintergrasp.

The Alliance quest In Defense of Halaa enlists the aid of players to defend or recapture Halaa, which appears to be a Draenei outpost due to its architecture. The Horde equivalent, Enemies, Old and New, asks players to aid in the fight against the Draenei and their new allies. The quest becomes available to players at Level 66 and rewards 179 Honor points, 12,650 experience, 4 Gold 50 Silver, and 500 Reputation with the respective factions of Kurenai or the Mag'har. At Level 70, the quest awards 209 Honor, 11 Gold 99 Silver, and 500 Reputation every time the quest is completed. The reputation gain is substantial and is a nice bonus.

The quest can be completed while in a Raid group, and it's highly recommended to do it as one big group because the quest objective of slaying ten enemy players will only count if a member of your group made the killing blow. Unlike normal kill quests, tagging targets isn't important, only the killing blow. Being part of a big group increases the chances that the kill will count. Like normal kill quests, however, you have to be in the general vicinity of the Honorable Kill in order for it to count. As with all Honorable Kills within the vicinity of Halaa, players receive a Halaa Battle Token. This quest makes it easier to accumulate the 100 tokens required for one of the best Resilience gems in the game, the Sublime Mystic Dawnstone. It is also shareable, so players don't need to run back to Garadar or Telaar if there's already an ongoing battle.

Note that the quest isn't to capture Halaa, so players can simply engage in battle, get kills and leave. For more information about the PvP daily quest in Halaa, be sure to check out the guide I wrote up. The same benefits apply to capturing the island, such as the availability of vendors and the zone-wide buff so players may consider staying at the island long enough to convert it, anyway. Remember that the controlling faction also controls the adjacent Graveyard, giving them an advantage during battles on the island. Assaulting players will typically have to run from the Graveyard directly North of Halaa, so players who die should prepared to run a long way.

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

PvP all day, everyday! A roundup of repeatable PvP quests


As exciting as Patch 2.4 has been so far, most of the attention has been on the all-new content on the Isle of Quel'danas. WoW Insider has put together a comprehensive walkthrough of all the daily and Shattered Sun Offensive-related quests to help guide you so you can coast your way to Shattered Sun rep and earn more than a few Gold along the way. Among the few additions that didn't get as much of the spotlight but deserve mention are the new PvP daily quests, so players can spice up their PvP routine beyond the usual daily Battleground quest. Now even hardcore PvP enthusiasts can earn some Gold on the side while killing enemies. How cool is that?

Click on the links after the jump to find out more about the new PvP dailies that exploded with Patch 2.4.

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

Top 5 must-dos in Patch 2.4

Patch 2.4 is finally going live, and with all of the new content, it will be pretty overwhelming when you first log on and attempt to decide what you want to do.

With new loot, new quests, and new areas to explore, there will be plenty to keep you busy!

05. Regarding your User Interface:
The default UI is changing, so along with updating and reconfiguring add-ons, you should learn more about the changes you're going to need to make.

04. For the explorer:
If you like to be prepared, check out our coverage of the maps for Sunwell Isle. If you'd rather dive right in and be surprised, then check out your own map of the Eastern Kingdoms. The little island at the very top is your new destination! Either way, the easiest way to get there is from the Ironforge (Alliance) or Silvermoon City (Horde) Flightmaster.

For the rest of the countdown, hop through the break!

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Quests, Factions, Battlegrounds

New screenshot galleries up at the official World of Warcraft site

If world PvP or looking at pretty pictures is your thing, you might want to head over to the main WoW site today, where Drysc has announced the posting of two new player submitted screen shot galleries showing world PvP action and Halaa fighting. It looks like some people had a lot of fun making these, and I have to admit, they've made me more nostalgic for the old Southshore-Tarren Mill fight days. Maybe I'll try heading out to Halaa and making some screen shots of my own. I've been meaning to get in some practice for Lake Wintergrasp anyhow, so this is as good a time as any!

How about the rest of you? Are these galleries inspiring you to go grab your sword and fight the Horde (Or grab your kitchen appliance and fight the Alliance, as the case may be)?


Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Factions, Forums

New World PvP quests: Your daily dose of war!

I was one of the lucky few that was able to copy my character and log onto the public test realm over the weekend. Playing more than I probably should have, I was able to check out all the new daily quests and snap screenshots of much of the new content. In the midst of my frenzied trek around Outland and the Isle of Quel'danas (the new zone that hosts the upcoming dungeons), I made certain to check out the two new PvP daily quests mentioned in the patch notes. These are not the new Battlegrounds Daily PvP quests that are being introduced with the same patch, but all new quest options for World PvP objectives.

First off, I headed to Allerian Stronghold in Terokkar Forest. Near the Spirit Shard vendor, I found a new NPC, Exorcist Sullivan, offering that zone's daily quest. The objective is simple enough, merely help in the capture of one of the Spirit Towers in the Bone Wastes. In return you'll be awarded some cash and honor: 11 gold, 99 silver and 209 honor, to be exact. While I haven't been able to check out the Horde version of the quest yet, I'd imagine the NPC should be easy to spot in Stonebreaker Hold, near Spirit Sage Gartok, the Horde Spirit Shard vendor.

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Filed under: Patches, PvP, Quests

Breakfast Topic: Old school world PvP


Reader Ekrim sent us a tip to let us know that when all instances crashed on the Earthen Ring server over the weekend, Horde-led raids descended on to Stormwind and Ironforge. Word quickly got out to the Alliance and an epic battle ensued for the next hour until the entire server was brought down to fix the crashing problem. Not an unprecedented event, but certainly fun.

This reminds me of old school world PvP at Southshore/Tarren Mills (on my server). There was no goal or objective other than to overrun the enemy town before they overrun yours. It was pure, unadulterated, unmitigated fun. Blizzard experimented with structured world PvP in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands, and then some more when they launched the Burning Crusade expansion, but they failed to capture the lawless, unpredictable quality of the good old days when we just did it ourselves.

Which brings up the topic at hand: why aren't we doing it ourselves anymore? Because of the lack of Honor, welfare epics or Arena rankings from the proceedings? When's the last time you've spontaneously joined in on a mass world PvP party for fun and not for profit?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics

The Art of War(craft): Outdoor PvP, part II - an Outlandish war


Last time, we went over Blizzard's initial attempts at implementing outdoor PvP and found that while the implementation of World PvP objectives in the Eastern Plaguelands and Silithus were teh suck far from stellar, they provided key learnings upon which future zones were built. The battle rages on in The Burning Crusade where four out of the seven zones in Outlands have World PvP objectives. Some work better than others, having quests that lead players to the objectives, while some are just plain confusing.

Similar to the World PvP objectives in Azeroth, all four provide zone-wide buffs for your faction when completed. The buffs in all the zones provide an unimaginative 5% increase to damage, with the exception of the Blessing of Auchindoun, which also adds a 5% increase to experience gain and allows Spirit Shards to drop from Auchindoun instance bosses. The World PvP in Outlands are situated in the hearts of the zones, almost central to the maps, making each objective harder to ignore. As the world beckons for war, let's examine what each specific zone has to offer and how best to achieve each objective.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

No new battleground until WotLK


Nethaera has confirmed that there will be no new battlegrounds revealed prior to the release of Wrath of the Lich King, much to the chagrin of PvP'ers everywhere. Although players have previously expressed interest in having more choice, Blizzard has voiced concern about the effects that a fifth choice might have on queues. Hopefully they have some tricks up their sleeves for combating this when the highly anticipated new battleground arrives via the expansion.

Although this is a bit disappointing, it is hardly unexpected, and there are so many upcoming positive changes that it's hard to be a sad panda for long. Currently, the devs are focused on improving Alterac Valley for patch 2.3 and creating new content for WotLK, which will include an outdoor PvP zone, Lake Wintergrasp. Following in the wake of Halaa's undeniable success, this zone will boast siege warfare, and many other innovations in world PvP.

As for what the new battleground will be like? I'd still love to see an Aldor vs. Scryers battleground; and as much as we all love to see new content drop, we can at least try to satiate ourselves knowing that what we will be getting will continue to advance PvP as we know it. Now; a little less sad panda face please!

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds

Holla for Halaa

Blizzard has posted a helpful page of tips on how to run, in my opinion, the best setup of organized World PvP so far: Halaa, the conquerable city in Nagrand.

The tips are pretty straightforward: stick together (team-- where's my CS homies at?), do as much bombing as you can before heading into the town, and make sure, once you've liberated Halaa from its evil oppressors, that you stick around to keep control and defend against any counterattacks. One thing I like about Halaa is that the Wyverns make it super easy for even lower geared players to join the fight and make a real difference. Plus, the layout is done well, and I like, as we heard at BlizzCon, that Blizzard went with a pretty persistent reward-- it's no fun to conquer something just to lose it again in 5 minutes.

And Halaa, surely, will serve as a model for the next big noninstanced PvP zone coming in Wrath of the Lich King, Lake Wintergrasp. Blizzard hasn't actually designed the zone yet, but they did share their goals with us-- multiple targets and rewards, a persistent effect, and of course while Halaa doesn't have them, siege weapons will make an appearance as well.

So if you haven't tried Halaa yet, definitely check it out. From everything we've heard, this kind of thing is the future of where World PvP is headed.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Quests, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

PvP gem hotfix needs a hotfix


For PvPers out there interested in the Mystic Dawnstone pattern from Halaa, a hotfix was applied yesterday which made it available at vendors in the city. Or, well, should have made it available. Reports from the European forums today suggest that the hotfix needs a hotfix, because the pattern still isn't spawning properly on EU realms. (No reports from US realms -- which I presume means everything is working as intended on US servers. But let us know if it's not!) Stay patient, everyone -- Blizzard is working on a fix.

[via MMO Champion]

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, Blizzard

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