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Posts with tag warsong-gulch

The Art of War(craft): Battleground Achievements part II


Last week we took a look at some of the Battlegrounds Achievements that can be unlocked in Wrath of the Lich King and examined how they could change the game for the better. Goal-oriented Battlegrounds PvP is certainly something to look forward to in this age of mindless fighting in the mid-field or roads. Having Achievements certainly make it prone to the glory hounds, but it also helps to keep everyone's eyes on the prize.

Eye of the Storm

Because it's a new Battleground not associated with any faction (which makes me feel like I'm not fighting for anything worthy), there's no reputation to be gained and no associated gear to be obtained. This means that there are virtually no retroactive Achievements for the Eye of the Storm. There is the basic Achievement of Eye of the Storm Victory, which all but the most hapless and luckless of combatants will get. There is the Eye of the Storm Veteran iteration, which requires 100 wins in the Battleground. Not quite as easy to get, but most of us will get there eventually.

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

The Art of War(craft): A guide to obtainable PvP Achievements before Wrath


If you've been paying close attention to the Wrath of the Lich King Beta -- and let's be honest, how could you not? We've been covering it like crazy over here are WoW Insider -- then you might have noticed that Blizzard will be implementing a nifty little feature called Achievements. Of course, the first thing that jumped out at me (and probably you, too, since you're reading this column) were the PvP Achievements.

I didn't plan to pursue Achievements actively. Not before I heard about the PvP Achievements, anyway. Now, it's one of the things I can't stop thinking about... more accurately, I can't stop thinking of how to complete them. There are quite a bunch of PvP Achievements to pursue, and most of them will only be tracked once the expansion goes live. But there are also some achievements that you can start working on right now because they'll be tracked retroactively (as far as I can tell). Let's take a look at those Achievements so you can get them out of the way before Wrath.

One word of caution: all these Achievements are in beta and can change at any time before (and possibly after) the Wrath launch. So proceed at your own risk.

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

LFG sells a Richard plushie, Resto4Life sells t-shirts

The Richard character on the WoW comic LFG seems to be pretty divisive -- either you want to rip his guts out, or you just can't love the guy enough. For both of you, there's good news: the folks behind the comic have released a plushie of the character, so either you can pick it up and torture it for being such a violent jerk (ah, the irony), or you can love and cuddle the maniac as your own. The item is in pre-order right now, and will supposedly ship in November of this year.

And speaking of things you can cuddle, Resto4Life has some sharp new T-shirts in the mix -- they're rocking a Druid "Waffles" design, and the cheetah-skinned "Warsong Flag Carrier" (man I hate those sneaky Druids in WSG), but the best is the "Doncha wish your boyfriend cast 'hots' like me" shirt -- I don't know any boyfriends that would actually wear it, but it made me chuckle. Awesome to see these great fansites hopping with cool swag.

Update: Not to be outdown, our own BigBearButt blogger also has some nice Druid wearables for sale. Don't miss the trucker hat -- perfect for showing off your feral side.

Filed under: Warlock, Items, Fan stuff, News items, NPCs

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

Things that annoy me

Or, how to celebrate the birth of a nation via an ugly series of Horde losses in Arathi Basin:

1. Every single Alliance character in the game has a Black War Tiger.

2. Every single Horde character in the game has a Black War Raptor (yes, myself included).

3. I could be wrong, but I don't think "Lich King" is pronounced "Lick King," as I keep hearing it pronounced on my server.

4. However, it might be because the word looks somewhat Germanic, and I will be unable to keep a straight face for the duration of the next expansion.

5. To the point of losing it completely if I hear "World of Warcraft: WRAAAAAAATH OF THE LICK KING" intoned by the Deep-Voiced Serious Trailer Guy.

6. How male human characters run. There's a lot of great animation in the game. This is not one of them.

7. Practically every main-tank of every Hordeside raiding guild is a male Tauren.

8. An egotistical male Tauren. Look, Spanky, just because Bulwark of Azzinoth is bigger on you than anybody else does not mean that the same is true of appendages elsewhere.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, 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

Twinking for my own sanity

I have a lot of alts. Not as many as some, but more than most. I have five level 70s, two characters over 50, and two others that sort of float around depending on what I feel like playing that week. Needless to say, I'm pretty sick of the lower level content. I've done it so many times by now that I'll be very, very happy when I never need to see it again.

Until Blizzard decides to let us take a character straight from level 1 to level 70, I'm pretty much stuck going through that content. I enjoy learning to play new characters, but I don't think just grinding out quests does that for you. I would really like a 70 of each class so I can learn how to play them in dungeons and eventually the lower tier raids like Karazhan. Since I can't skip all of that content I've done endlessly already, I try to make my trip to 70 as easy as possible.

It was when I started levelling my Frost Mage that I realized just how far I will go to speed up those early levels. About 5 minutes after I rolled that Mage, I equipped her with a set of pre-enchanted gear that gave her just under 100 Frost Damage, and roughly an extra 400 hit points. I was basically invincible, and I loved it. It was expensive, but so worth it to blaze through those first few levels. Taking out moonkin in two Frostbolts was strangely soothing.

That's the most money I've put into a brand new character so far, but I would probably do it again in the future just to bypass that really early stuff. My question for all of you is: What's the most you've put into a twink that fresh, just for levelling and not stomping WSG?

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Leveling

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

WoW Insider Show Episode 35: Definitely penguin pets

On the show with me this past Saturday was John Patricelli (not Petricelli as I've been saying lately -- sorry again, BBB), Zach Yonzon, and Turpster, and the discussion went all over the place. As promised, we were able to sneak in a little bit of PvP talk (and just a smattering of Warsong Gulch arguing, unfortunately), as well as all the other biggest issues from the last week of Warcraft:
  • We talked about the just-released patch 2.4.2 notes, as well as the undocumented changes, and what struck us from each.
  • We took a look at this (revealed to be old) Wrath screenshots and why we expected them to be real.
  • Zach commented on the Season 4 ratings and requirements, and let us know why he thought Blizzard was raising the bar in the Arenas.
  • And we answered lots of reader email, including what we want to see in the Wrath collector's edition (we can haz penguin pets, please?), what listeners think about all the information that Blizzard has on us, and a couple more Warcraft jokes from last week.
It's a fun listen, so either check it out over on WoW Radio's website or at our podcast page in iTunes (where you can also subscribe and get it automatically downloaded). And don't forget either that we do this every Saturday at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio, so mark your calendars to tune in next week for another great show.

Update: Turpster reminds me that there was supposed to be a poll in this post, but we already did one. Go answer that one, and let us know what you're looking forward to in WotLK.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Humor, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show on the air tomorrow

Our weekly podcast returns to the Internets tomorrow afternoon -- Turpster and I will be on, along with John "BigBearButt" Patricelli, and Zach Yonzon, assuming he can reach us from his location in the Philippines. Since Zach's on, we'll get back into the PvP discussion that we planned a few weeks ago (including whether or not WSG is working the way it's supposed to now, and what's up with those new Arena changes), plus we'll chat about 2.4.2 of course, Rossi's reasons for not PuGing, and all the other most popular stories in the last week of Warcraft.

We'll check our email inbox as well -- if you'd like to send us a note (or a joke), you can do so at theshow@wow.com. And we'll be on IRC as usual: in the #wowradio channel at irc.mmoirc.com (or you can just chat directly from WoW Radio's webpage).

Should be a good one. See you there: tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm EST over on WoW Radio, it's the WoW Insider Show live on your PC.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, PvP, Arena, WoW Insider Show

15 Minutes of Fame: Inside PvP twinking

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – both the renowned and the relatively anonymous. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

Despite grumbles from some players, PvP twinking – playing at max level of a particular PvP battlegrounds bracket, with the best available gear and enchants for that level – has been legitimized by Blizzard as a valid meta-game within WoW. While most players I've spoken with don't seem to have strong feelings about twinking one way or the other, neither do they seem to understand why someone would be interested in getting into it. What's the attraction?

We at 15 Minutes of Fame have an undeniable curiosity when it comes to meta-gamers and players who've carved out their own niches in the immense world that is World of Warcraft. That's how we came across Angrenous of Shadow Council, a PvP-aholic who runs warriors in almost every PvP bracket. Here's a player with his eyes wide open to all the various restrictions and limitations of WoW's PvP experience – and having a blast careening around in it.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW, Casually: Finding groups fast (Reader Mail)


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

This week, I finally get around to answering an email from Mattilda:

Hey Robin,

I really enjoyed your article on WoW Insider. I recently got married and that basically killed my play time in WoW which probably isn't that bad of a thing, but I still like to play and it is normally only for a couple of hours in the evening. One of the biggest problems I have is getting a group for an instance. I have a decent guild but they are all normally busy in Kara or ZA when I'm on, and since I only play one or 2 nights a week I'm not high on the importance list to help.

I like to do dailies and busy my self with solo stuff, but in order to get neutral with the Ogrila, there are some group quests. Looking for group is not always reliable and it seems that it basically puts you with 5 year olds most of the time. So my question is you can either put in in an article or just answer via e-mail, do you have any good ideas on how to get a reliable group in a short amount of time. There may not be a way, but just wanted to get your thoughts.

Thanks,
Mattilda, lvl 70 Draenei Shaman

My answer and more are after the jump.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, WoW, Casually

The Art of War(craft): Warsong Gulch reborn


I once wrote that Warsong Gulch was my favorite Battleground. To be quite honest, in the past couple of weeks prior to Patch 2.4, I had seriously begun to doubt that. I was grinding reputation with the Warsong Clan on my Blood Elf, and increasingly, the games became excruciatingly long and even though I often engaged in exciting combat, the protracted games would sometimes end in a 0-3 loss that would net 0 bonus Honor and 0 reputation. For many players, this is the prevailing experience. For many players, Warsong Gulch sucks. Despite how much I always enjoyed my WSG games, grinding it for reputation is a total pain. That hasn't quite changed with Patch 2.4, which still doesn't award any reputation whatsoever for losing games as opposed to Arathi Basin or Alterac Valley, but the games will no longer last for hours.

Paradigm shift

I know that Mike speculated that the changes to Warsong Gulch might not have helped, but I have a dissimilar experience. The important thing to remember is there has to be a complete change of attitude because it's no longer possible to turtle. Yeah, I know that people have been groaning about the continued turtling. They're wrong. That's because when the Focused Assault debuff is on, there's absolutely no way healers can keep up the flag carrier. In some of the games that I've participated in, players going after the flag were still concerned about the healers and wasted time burning them down or crowd controlling them. One word: don't. Ignore the healers when the debuff is on. Unless they have nine guys spamming heals on the flag carrier, it will be next to impossible to keep up a flag carrier with the debuff on, even more so with Brutal Assault. Ever tried healing through an enraged raid boss? Or maybe Gruul at 20 grows (who even lets Gruul get to 20 grows?)? It's sorta kinda of like that. Enjoy.

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

Warsong Gulch changes may not have helped much

Aloud on the podcast last week, I wondered if the patch 2.4 changes to WSG had made a difference (I haven't been able to make it in there yet -- too busy writing about Hello Kitty Online, of course), and now maxomi is wondering the same thing: since the changes dropped, has WSG actually been fixed?

Unfortunately, from what we're told, the answer is no. The changes, designed to cut off turtling and players who ran around with the flag without capturing it, first made the enemy flag carriers trackable after 45 seconds, and then gave a damage debuff to the flag carrier after ten minutes (which doubled at fifteen). But all the reports from players say that makes no difference -- people still turtle away, even with the tracking and debuff, and eventually both drop the flag and the whole thing resets.

So what's the solution? If you crib some notes from other capture the flag games, a match timer sounds like the best option, and indeed, that's what most people are suggesting. Blizzard would have to determine how long to tune it, but the idea would be that after a given amount of time, if there was no winner, the match would end in a draw, with both sides losing in terms of a reward. It doesn't seem like Blizzard can force players to fight, so the best option overall might be to just call it in a time limit, and keep the matches from going on for long amounts of time.

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

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