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Posts with tag lake-wintergrasp

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

Wintergrasp defense / offense on unbalanced realms

Blizzard released a rather cryptic statement this morning concerning the offensive and defensive mechanics of Wintergrasp. Their entire statement is after the break, but it essentially comes down to the fact that there are some realms where one faction controls Wintergrasp nearly the entire time, and Blizzard has now shed some light on mechanics in place to correct this.

The faction hording of Wintergrasp happens particularly often on unbalanced realms. Because the faction imbalance can be so extreme in some cases, the smaller population faction has virtually no chance at winning back the Wintergrasp fortress and obtaining the heirlooms and PvP items, nor any chance at accessing the VoA bosses. This can cause frustration on the part of players in the smaller faction.

In this mechanic, which we presume is live, Wintergrasp zone mechanics will make it easier for the offense to gain access to siege vehicles if the opposing faction holds Wintergrasp more often. Blizzard is not specifying how long the opposing faction must defend Wintergrasp for the the offense to receive these significant buffs, but one can assume there is some sort of threshold.

The full Blizzard statement after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP

The Art of War(craft): Is Wintergrasp too successful for its own good?

Zarhym recently took to the forums defending Blizzard's recent tinkering with Wintergrasp on the test realms when one a poster threw the accusation that rather than optimize the servers to handle Wintergrasp lag, Blizzard instead chose to make the zone and games less rewarding to play. Although that's not exactly how Zarhym would describe it, the changes are clearly designed to reduce the number of people in the zone.

Crygil's post about the change from Daily quests to Weekly ones -- conceivably a first for the game -- note that the changes were being explored "In an effort to better balance the amount of players that are in Wintergrasp at any given time". No matter how Blizzard tries to spin it, they're trying to dissuade players from participating in Wintergrasp. This is a bad idea. There's something epic about Wintergrasp, and it's not (just) the lag. Considering it's obviously one of their most popular game features in Wrath, it's ironic they're taking steps to curtail its success.

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

The Art of War(craft): Wintergrasp in Patch 3.1 and beyond

I love Wintergrasp. Five months into Wrath and I think it's still one of the most fun things to do in the game. Lag issues aside, I think the zone has been a great success if only by judging through the number of people on my realm who participate in every battle. The general impression that I get from forums, blogs, comments on this site, as well as fellow players is that Blizzard did a good job with Wintergrasp. It's fun, fast, and extremely rewarding -- Honor gain during one game is insane and the items you can purchase with the Wintergrasp Marks of Honor are pretty good (we'll get to that in a moment). Patch 3.1 is going to bring some improvements to the gameplay, as well, so let's take a look at those things first.

All players who attack a siege vehicle should now get credit if it is destroyed.
Previously this worked similar to tapping a mob, where the player or raid that first tapped the siege vehicle would get credit. This made it harder for multiple raids or ungrouped players to complete Stop the Siege!. This change should solve that problem neatly.

Daily quests Slay Them All! (Horde) and No Mercy for the Merciless (Alliance) have had their PvP kill requirements reduced to 10 from 20. NPCs defending the fortress and south towers now count toward these dailies as well.
Enemy players have the same tapping mechanic as mobs, so even though a player can get Honor from a tapped enemy, they wouldn't count towards completion of the aforementioned quests. Similar to the vehicle problem, ungrouped players or those in smaller raids would often come up short of the requisite 20 kills during one battle. Obviously, changing the tapping mechanics for players isn't the solution, so Blizzard made the kill requirement lower and included NPCs as valid targets. The latter change is probably aimed at lower population servers or realms where Wintergrasp participation isn't too high, as well as realms where there's a distinct faction imbalance.

The number of NPCs defending fortress has been increased.
Again, this should make it easier for players to complete the daily quests as well as move up in Rank. The NPC guards don't hit hard and have very low hit points, so they're really just cannon fodder for quest and rank requirements. I'm not a big fan of too many NPCs in a PvP zone, but this change seems to have been necessary. Players on defense often hole up in the fortress, slowing down offense's rank gain. Having more NPCs lowers the effectivity of that delaying tactic.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Wintergrasp timer on Patch 3.1 PTR

Here's a bit of news that some players might enjoy -- tipster Falrinn noted that Wintergrasp now has a global timer that lets players know when the next battle for the zone is slated to occur. This should eliminate quite a bit of clutter on the trade channels where players usually ask, "when is the next WG?" The timer is accessible through the world map, where the countdown updates live in increments of five seconds. On live servers, the only way to find out when the next battle occurs is to talk to your respective Wintergrasp Battle-Mages or using AddOns which all still need data from the zone.

It was, to say the least, rather inconvenient. The change also comes with a few minor changes, such as the wall icons on the maps -- they look flimsier. Blizzard also saw fit to change the icon for Essence of Wintergrasp again, making it look more like a tower instead of a trophy on a pedestal. The timer feature is a welcome one, although in the PTR it currently doesn't work when not in Northrend. The only thing that would be better than that would be a web-accessible timer that tells you when the next game is on your server...
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, PvP, Battlegrounds

To tank Archavon's buttocks

As a DPS warrior, I've come to hate the very sight of Archavon, especially his hindquarters. You see, Archavon has a terrible tendency to... how do I put this delicately... he tends to fart on the melee DPS.

Okay, that wasn't very delicate, but it was accurate enough: Archavon expels a cloud of noxious fumes that does AoE damage and radically reduces the chance to hit for anyone standing in it. Since us melee types tend to try and stab, claw, pummel and otherwise do damage to his posterior I can understand why he might view us with disdain. However, it does lead to an issue. Many tanks when fighting Archavon, especially in PuG's where you might not be used to the mechanic, only pull him so far out of the cloud so that they escape its effects, but leave his butt hanging out in the gas. This means the melee DPS has to choose between standing in the death cloud and taking damage while missing with almost every attack or coming around to give the boss a greater chance to parry.

We got a tip today from Jaxtrasi saying that he'd written a visual guide to the fight. While it does lack in stuffed animals, he does a good job of demonstrating to the tank new to this fight how to move the boss out of his nacho-laden death gas. Well, I just assume Archie eats a lot of nachos, he has that kind of look. The only thing it fails to mention is that Archie also likes to lunge the tanks and if the offtank is in that gas cloud his taunt has a huge chance of being resisted, leading to a DPS warrior ending up tanking because he was just outside of it, not that I know anyone who's ever screamed like a 50's sitcom wife seeing a mouse upon realizing that he just lost 18k health in two seconds or anything.

I hate you, Archie, because you are dangerously flatulent.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Bosses, Guides

The Queue: A curse upon you, interlopers

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Another Tuesday, another maintenance. As much as I'd like to write something amusing here to entertain you on your slow, boring day, I've got nothin'. Bone dry. I'm like the freaking Shimmering Flats here. Well, you know, like the north parts. Not the south parts with that little lake. Just the dry stuff, people. ...Oh, screw it.


Now I've hit level 80 and am looking at all the loot available to me as a feral druid, I've spotted a few of the PvP pieces that you can purchase with just honor. So my question is - where's the best place to grind honor nowadays? AV? Wintergrasp? Elsewhere?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, The Queue

An avowed non-PvPer can't get enough of Lake Wintergrasp

I've never been a fan of PvP. I have neither the twitch skills nor the patience to put up with being repeatedly ganked. I tried Battlegrounds and Arena, even some Burning Crusade world PvP, but the result is always the same: after getting a free ticket back to the graveyard courtesy of some Rogue that comes out of nowhere or a Warlock with their mez/fear/dot triple whammy I was done. Then came Lake Wintergrasp.

I admit that what first drew me there was greed. I heard that it was the richest source of mining nodes for the faction that controls it (as well as Eternal drops.) I was only level 73 when I first zoned in and knew I was going to get pwned by all the level 80s running amok, but to my surprise there turns out to be a feature that levels the playing field: siege vehicles.

Hoping into a catapult or manning a tower cannon eliminates the level difference between you and your opponent. In no time, I was laying waste to the enemy and racking up the Honor Points. I was suddenly having so much fun that I forgot to look for mining nodes (which is good, since the roaming mobs in the zone are level 80.)

Now, when I log on, the first thing I do is check how long until the next Wintergrasp battle starts (two and a half hours after the last one ends). For those who haven't tried any kind of WoW PvP I recommend trying your hand at piloting a Demolisher in Wintergrasp at least once. You may find yourself enjoying the game in a whole new way.
Whether or not you're a fan of PvP, we think you'll enjoy Wintergrasp. Blizzard's latest and greatest attempt at World PvP is one of the most fun aspects of Wrath of the Lich King, and the more people play it, the crazier it gets! Learn all about Wintergrasp in WoW Insider's complete guide.

Filed under: PvP, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath 101: The battle for Wintergrasp

Now that you've taken a look at the zone, it's time to understand how to play the game. The battle for Lake Wintergrasp is one of the most fun parts of the game today -- it's certainly my favorite thing, such that I sometimes only log in whenever I know there's a battle. The great thing about Wintergrasp is that there are numerous battles throughout the day. It's the game's best mini-game, and I'm looking forward to seeing it get even more awesome as more and more players reach Level 80 and Blizzard makes improvements to the zone.

An hour before each battle, an NPC in Dalaran -- Arcanist Braedin for the Alliance and Magister Surdiel for the Horde -- will yell that a battle will soon begin. He will repeat this battle cry again at thirty, fifteen, ten, and five minutes in order to alert the inhabitants of Dalaran to hopefully drive players into going to the zone. To make it easy, portals to Wintergrasp appear at the Silver Enclave and Sunreaver's Sanctuary.

Generally, a portal to Wintergrasp appears in Dalaran for the controlling faction and observably disappears about an hour before battles begin. This usually means that defenders must make their way through flying mounts into the zone before the battle begins or wait until the game ensues whereupon their faction's respective Wintergrasp Battle-Mages will open a portal to allow reinforcements. Defenders will port directly in front of Wintergrap Keep, where the Titan Relic is housed, while players on offense will port into their respective landing camps -- the Horde on the West side, and the Alliance on the East.

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Filed under: PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds

Wrath 101: The battle for Wintergrasp continued

While cannons aren't technically siege vehicles, they certainly play a huge part in siege warfare as these are Wintergrasp Fortress' primary form of defense. For attackers to have any success, it is imperative to take out these cannons, as they deal massive damage to players and siege vehicles alike. Cannons have extremely long range so can deal damage even before attackers reach the keep.

Cannons are mounted between destructible walls, and a pair on each fortress tower. It's good to note that the three Southern towers, belonging to the offense, also have four cannons mounted on top, making them defensible.


Also part of siege warfare are the RP-GGs found on the floor in front of Goblin Workshops. These rockets can be carried in stacks of five and it's always a good idea to carry them around. Firing the RP-GG is a 5-second cast spell, and deals about 5,000 damage per hit to vehicles and splash damage to players. While players can deal more DPS to siege vehicles, the RP-GG has a long, if unpredictable, 150 yard range, allowing players to defend similar to tower gunners. The RP-GG is also usable while riding a Demolisher, extending its range of attack. If you kill a player carrying an RP-GG, they will drop it and the rockets can be picked up from the ground.

Goblin Workshops

The siege vehicle workshops are the key to many Wintergrasp battles. There are a total of six workshops throughout Wintergrasp, two are housed inside Wintergrasp Fortress, on the East and West sides. These workshops cannot be captured but can be destroyed. Two workshops, the East and West on the Broken Ring and Sunken Ring zones respectively, are right outside the fortress and can be captured or destroyed. Two workshops on the Southeast and Southwest, called the Eastspark Workshop and Westspark Workshop respectively, are like the workshops inside the keep. They cannot be captured but can be destroyed.

The number of workshops under a faction's control, whether intact or destroyed, determines the maximum number of siege vehicles that faction can deploy. Each workshop entitles a faction to four siege vehicles. Because each faction permanently controls 2 workshops, players can always create a minimum of 8 vehicles, up to maximum of 16 if they control both the East and West workshops. If a workshop is destroyed, it will no longer be able to produce any more vehicles. So while each side will always be allowed a minimum of eight vehicles, it's entirely possible to cut off vehicle supply. Capturing either the East or West workshop after it has been destroyed will repair it.

Capturing a workshop is similar to gaining control of a tower in Eye of the Storm or the flag in Halaa. The more players of one faction are within the vicinity of the workshop, the more control shifts over to that faction. At the beginning of the game, the workshops inside the fortress as well as the East and West workshops are under the control of the defense. In order to mount an effective offense, with siege vehicles needing to travel a shorter distance to the fortress, attackers usually take control of the workshops at the start. Because of their proximity to the landing camps, the default spawn point for offense, East is usually susceptible to Alliance attacks and West to the Horde. Workshops have about 30,000 hp.

Wintergrasp Fortress

The main fortress is protected by walls and towers. Towers are extremely sturdy, with around 80,000 hp, making it difficult to take down with only one siege vehicle. It grants bonus Honor when partly destroyed at 50%, and again when completely destroyed. It's always best for attackers to focus fire on one point in order to break through as quickly as possible. Each tower is flanked by portals which defenders can use to enter the fortress. There is no physical way for players to enter Wintergrasp Fortress other than to use the portal or to break down the walls. Inside the fortress is a giant version of the portal, usable by siege vehicles to exit the structure.

In order to get to the Titan Relic, attackers must break through three barriers -- the Wintergrasp Fortress Walls, the inner Fortress Walls, and the Wintergrasp Keep Door. Fortress Walls and the Fortress Door have about 40,000 hp. The walls will become partly destroyed when they reach 50%, although they do not grant any Honor. The Wintergrasp Keep Door will become partly destroyed when reaching 66-75%. Attuning the Titan Relic is a 10-second action that breaks when taking damage. The Titan Relic despawns when Wintergrasp is controlled.

Wintergrasp NPCs

In Patch 3.0.8, when the battle begins, elemental mobs will despawn. In the current game, the elementals are something of a nuisance as they constantly aggro players and vehicles. There are constantly respawning Warsong and Valiance Expedition Level 76 elite NPCs at key points of the map, such as the ends of bridges and guarding towers. Players may kill these NPCs to gain rank, which enables even a sparsely populated Wintergrasp to see siege vehicles in play.

Tower Control
In Patch 3.0.8, Blizzard will introduce Tower Control, a buff that grants 5% more damage dealt, stacking up to three times. The Southern towers -- Shadowsight, Winter's Edge, and Flamewatch -- grant this buff to offense at the beginning of the game, giving attackers a slight advantage. Destroying these towers will transfer the buff to the defense, making towers a strategic part of the game and not just a source of bonus Honor. If both sides are equal in number, a 15% damage increase is a substantial buff. It also promotes a better offense, giving more opportunity for Wintergrasp to change control.


Blizzard's answer to foreseeable faction imbalance is a buff called Tenacity. If a side is outnumbered, members of that faction gain Tenacity, a stacking buff that grants 25% more health and faster mana regeneration as well as 18% more damage. This buff stacks as many times as necessary, although it's not certain how much of an imbalance creates a Tenacity stack. There are Wintergrasp battles where players can possibly run around with over 50,000 hp.

If you encounter a player with Tenacity of more than a few stacks, it's generally best to avoid them. Players with Tenacity should pick on solo players or even groups of 2-3, keeping in mind that crowd control can still overcome the buff. A stunned player with 50,000 hp isn't going to be doing very much. Wintergrasp is all about coordination, so even a player with 20 stacks of Tenacity won't be able to succeed against an organized bunch. Conversely, a small group of organized players with Tenacity can be brutally efficient.

Now that we have a grasp of the basics of Wintergrasp gameplay, in the next part of this series we'll take a look at strategy on offense and defense. We'll also be going through the daily quests as well as Achievements in Wintergrasp.
Whether or not you're a fan of PvP, we think you'll enjoy Wintergrasp. Blizzard's latest and greatest attempt at World PvP is one of the most fun aspects of Wrath of the Lich King, and the more people play it, the crazier it gets! Learn all about Wintergrasp in WoW Insider's complete guide.

Filed under: PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds

Do you care about PvP anymore?

Today, our own Zach Yonzon asked if you were ready for Arena Season 5. This led me to reflect and realize that no, I'm not ready. I don't even know if I'd say not ready so much as finally, completely and totally uninterested in PvP entirely. I simply don't care, not even remotely. I don't care about Wintergrasp, haven't been there since it opened. I don't care about Strand of the Ancients, or any of the older battlegrounds. I sure as heck don't care about Arena and I'm not trying to come up with a comp for any of the brackets there. By intertwining the aspects of PvP as they have, making it so any of the decent rewards require you to do both arenas and gather honor points, Blizzard has finally succeeded wildly in their 'Make PvP totally uninteresting to Matt Rossi' program. They've been working on it for a while but with Wrath of the Lich King, they've finally delivered the goods.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

Breakfast Topic: Lake Wintergrasp

Yesterday in our guide for Eternal Farming, it was made very clear that Wintergrasp is hands down the best spot for farming Crystallized Whatevers if you don't have Mining or Herbalism. That's not the only thing that's easily farmed there, either. It's packed full of herbs and ore. It's currently the only place in all of Northrend that you can find Frost Lotus nodes. Not just Frost Lotus dropping off of Icethorn or whatever, but actual Frost Lotus nodes.

Now, I'm a PvE kiddie at heart. I'll PvP from time to time, but it's not exactly my favorite thing ever. I usually avoid it. Wintergrasp has totally sucked me in, though. The draw of riches has pulled me into the zone, and when the PvP starts it's legitimately fun. I originally thought it was silly that the best farming spot for everything was a PvP zone, but I've warmed up to it. I'm on a PvE server, but the element of risk and reward has become kind of exhilarating. I still have no interest on playing on a PvP server, however.

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

Lake Wintergrasp Hotfix

Nethaera announced today a hotfix that was applied over the holidays last week. There were issues in Lake Wintergrasp, the level 80 realm PvP zone, that prevented "objects" changing factions. This has now been fixed.

This included things like the teleport pads outside the base and several NPCs. Because of this bug people were often times only able to attempt the raid boss once. When the group wiped they went to the teleport pat to zone back in. It didn't work. However now it does, and people can be happy.

This comes from a post entitled "November / December Hotfixes," so we're assuming that there'll be more of them on their way. We'll keep you updated.

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP

The Queue: Death Knights in the arena and other things

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hey, welcome back! How was your Thanksgiving, my American pals? Did you sit around and laugh at Europeans like I did? You did? Great! High five! No, I'm just kidding, I love all of you equally. My Thanksgiving was pretty good! Well, as good as Thanksgiving can be when nobody feels like cooking so you buy a pound of sliced turkey and drop it in a pot of warm canned gravy, toss some of it on bread, and have a can of jellied cranberry sauce on the side. It's not good unless you can still see the can ripples in it. Mmm. Can ripples. Delicious.

Right, right, the Q&A! Let's start with Rasman's question...

I was just thinking about Death Knights and PvP and realized, Casters are really going to be hurting in the areas now if they match up agianst a DK. Death Knights don't care about your casting bar because they can just yank you in or go Vader on you because you forgot his cookies, and choke you for the Silence. Matter of fact, if they get you close, they really have 3 or 4 ways to interupt those casts, if you include the stun from an Unholy DK's Ghoul, that is. Am I just stammering on and not knowing what I'm talking about, or are Death Knights going to make this upcoming Arena season VERY Melee heavy?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, The Queue

Wrath 101: Heirloom items and how to get them

Wrath of the Lich King introduced not only new content, but an entirely new type of item. These items are called Heirloom items, or Bind to Account (BoA) items. They aren't tied to any one character and can be freely passed from alt to alt, but they're all tied to one account, the account that bought the item. No handing them over to your friends, no mailing them to other players, no mailing them to your second account. So far none of these items are drops, but rewards for more veteran players of the Wrath content. There are two different ways of earning these items, but they dovetail nicely.

Quite simply, you need to participate in Wrath's content. Items suited to PvE are acquired via Emblems of Heroism, and items suited for PvP are acquired via Stone Keeper's Shards.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

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