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Reddit user wins AV like a real champion

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Alterac Valley has been a brutal contest between the Alliance and the Horde since the beginning of World of Warcraft. The Battleground has gone through radical redesigns over the years, but one thing has remained the same -- Alterac Valley has always held a powerful, destructive secret for the brave to exploit when there was otherwise no hope for victory.

Reddit user frodwith posted a tale of an epic AV battle, an Alliance team on the ropes, and a force awakened in the snowy chasm that has not seen the light of day in long, long time. When a full team of Horde multiboxers (players who use multiple characters simultaneously) garrisoned themselves into Drek'thar's keep to farm honor, the Alliance had to take drastic measures.

Some people do not even know of the existence of Ivus the Forest Lord or Lokholar the Ice Lord, two nasty NPCs that are spawnable by turning in the faction's respective items. After a summoning ritual, the faction's NPC will spawn and set upon a path of destruction all the way to the enemy leader's keep.

I think you can see where this story might go. With Drek'thar heavily guarded and an expert team of computer-assisted players between the Alliance and victory, everyone worked together to begin the summoning rituals. Read the full story on Reddit for a fun, nostalgic time of triumph and PvP adversity.

Filed under: PvP, Humor

The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners' guide to Alterac Valley


Zach is a huge fan of the Battlegrounds. He loves those instanced mini-games where you bash other players' faces in almost as much as he loves Pringles Screamin' Dill Pickle. That's a lot of love right there. So much love, in fact, that he writes these weekly Battleground and world PvP columns just for you (and also because he greatly fears the lolcat hell controlled by his bosses).

Alright, newbies, it's time for today's Battlegrounds primer -- Alterac Valley. This huge, 40-player-per-side Battleground was an ambitious project by Blizzard intended to give players a sense of epic battles. In it's original iteration, Alterac Valley had more NPCs roaming the battlefield, including a massive troll in the Field of Strife who has since packed his bags "for greener pastures". Those greener pastures turned out to be Zul'drak in Northrend, as Korrak the Bloodrager shows up in the Ampitheater of Anguish as the penultimate boss. It's a sweet nod to old school players, and his yells never fail to tickle my old, nostalgic bones.

The old Alterac Valley didn't have the resource mechanic, which I'll explain shortly. Instead, the only way to end it was to kill the enemy General, which sometimes took quite a while. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon to have Alterac Valley, or AV, games that lasted for hours and hours or even more than a day. There were numerous quests which included turning in race-specific enemy player drops which could be turned in for reputation with a particular Horde or Alliance faction.

It was also one of the game's highlights to summon elemental lords into the battle -- an Ice Elemental named Rokholar for the Horde and a Forest Elemental named Ivus for the Alliance. Those elementals can still be summoned in the current version of Alterac Valley, but rarely make an appearance in today's fast and furious environment. The game has changed quite a lot since its inception, so we'll go through the AV basics right after the jump but make sure to read the Battlegrounds primer along with beginners' looks at Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin.

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

Ask a Lore Nerd: Only a little broken


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

skoll
asks...

Whats your speculation about the Burning Legion in the new expansion, since Kil'jaeden has been killed/defeated? IF he is dead.. will it that be the end of Burning Legion? If not, what you think their role will be?

Answer: Well, Kil'jaeden isn't dead. Not at all. In the Sunwell Plateau, Kil'jaeden is being summoned but never fully makes it through the portal. We bop him on the head and he just falls back in. What presence will they have in Wrath? Well, it will probably be minimal. I am sure they'll have some presence, the Legion doesn't really have any love for the Scourge, but it won't be anything like what we've seen in The Burning Crusade. Kil'jaeden is alive and well, but I think they'll scale way back on demons just because we've seen so many lately. They will probably want to step away from thrusting the same thing on us for another entire expansion.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

Welcome back to beautiful Alterac

The forums have been quiet lately. Quiet about Alterac Valley, that is. Whereas the changes brought about by Patch 2.3 resulted in an uproar, with reports of entire realms reportedly boycotting the Battleground, Patch 2.4 seems to have delivered a modicum of balance at long last. Prior to the last patch, some people seemed to believe that the new mechanic prevented the Alliance from winning the Battleground unless the Horde played below par. The stink brought about by the supposed imbalance was so huge, in fact, that Blizzard quickly hotfixed Balinda Stonehearth and Vanndar Stormpike to have more life in an effort to "assist in balancing the opposing sides."

In Patch 2.4, Balinda and Vanndar were restored to their original (lower) health totals and included minor tweaks in order to further balance the ambitious map. The biggest change in the patch, however, was a geographical one. The Horde starting cave -- which was reputedly so close to the game objectives that it gave the Horde side an unfair advantage under the new mechanics -- was abandoned and a new one created further South. The old cave is still there, oddly, except that now it's just an empty hollow where people can presumably AFK in peace.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Guide to Alterac Valley

If you've limited experience in the Alterac Valley battleground, this guide, written by Viskahn of Deathwing server (EU).  The guide contains a great compilation of quests, turnins, and strategies for the new AV player.  Well worth a read if you're interested in trying out AV and gaining any of those yummy rewards

Filed under: How-tos, PvP, Quests

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