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Posts with tag wintergrasp-fortress

The problems with Tol Barad (and how to fix them)

Tol Barad, the newest contestable PvP experience in Cataclysm, is great fun and provides the winning side with an awesome daily quest hub and a Vault of Archavon-style encounter, Argaloth, that drops the new tier legs and gloves. Using the same style of play as in Wintergrasp, the previous winners defend the island prison of Tol Barad against the invading faction. Tol Barad would be fun if it weren't so horribly broken in its goal and mechanics. The battleground of Tol Barad has only been active for about a week and a half, with most people only having experienced it for the first time within a few days.

There are six distinct problems with Tol Barad at the moment:
  1. Defending Tol Barad is too easy.
  2. The cap mechanics to secure capture points make it too easy to switch.
  3. The towers in Tol Barad that grant extra time to the attackers have no reason to be defended by the defending faction.
  4. Tol Barad's victory condition for the attacking faction has created a frustrating environment in light of the mechanics at play in the battleground.
  5. The graveyards are skewed in favor of the defenders.
  6. The losing side in Tol Barad receives no Tol Barad commendation for participating in the battle, while the winning team receives three.

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Filed under: PvP, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Do you use heirlooms?

Heirlooms are something I've not really had much experience with but as I've been doing Wintergrasp a lot since hitting 80 (prior to my burnout, that is). However as the prospect of re-rolling a very different kind of class becoming more promising, so did heirlooms.

I remember hearing about them at last year's WWI and it sounded like a great idea at the time. A way to may have your main help out an alt. I would be able to outfit my lowbie toon with decent gear that gets better as she levels. Plus I like the fact they are an homage to classic WoW by taking their names and graphics from weapons no one ever uses anymore.

Oddly I don't know anyone in my guild who uses them but I'm pretty sure someone out there is buying them. I see lots of people regularly clustering around the sellers in Wintergrasp Fortress, diligently checking which item they want for which alt but it seems like the only reason to buy them is if you're an altoholic.

With this in mind, I'm curious, constant readers, did you buy heirlooms in order to make leveling an alt easier? Are they worth the expense? Did they make it easier to level and did you reuse them with multiple alts? What if you've never used them before, do they seem more appealing now the new items have been revealed on the PTR?

Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Alts

Breakfast Topic: What do you think of the Wintergrasp changes?

Ah, Wintergrasp. The first 'fun' PvP content I've ever come across in-game. The first time I found myself in the Keep, around level 75, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. All I knew for sure was that there were monsters outside the gates who smelled prime, young night elf and wanted my blood. Then a friend showed me how to max out my mining in an hour thanks to all the lovely nodes of saronite and titanium and I started to like the place more. I really got into the zone at 80 and found the battles immense fun and short enough even for my lax attention span.

But, of course, there were problems. The Horde seem to out number us Alliance on my server and they're also a hell of a lot more organised. For them, Wintergrasp isn't just a sport, it's a carefully planned massacre. but, despite the instability, the DCs, the insufferable lag, it was fun. But I was keen to find out if Blizzard had plans to fix the problems so I asked Tom Chilton. He he specifically mentioned the issues of Wintergrasp and that they didn't think that the lag and other issues "was an acceptable play environment situation". So Blizzard did the 'smart' thing -- they nerfed it. Boo.

So readers? What do you think of the weekly quests? Do you think nerfing Wintergrasp was the way to go? Now you only have to do them once every seven days, do you think you will do the battles less? Are you pleased you now get more Shards for the quests? Can't care less? Tell us!

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics

The Art of War(craft): Wintergrasp

Now that you've familiarized yourselves with the zone and Wintergrasp gameplay, it's time to look at the strategies used in order to win. As you can probably guess, the strategies for offense and defense are somewhat different. Playing defense, you must play for the full 40 minutes in order to win while playing offense, you want to finish the game as quickly as possible. If the timer hits ten minutes and offense hasn't broken down the doors to the inner sanctum, it's in trouble.

Just like other Battlegrounds, organization goes a long way. Unlike other Battlegrounds, however, you won't automatically be grouped into a raid, so a lot of the time players will be looking to join a group when the battles start. As long as you know what you're supposed to do, you should be fine, though. The good thing about the zone is that the map will show you where battles are and where vehicle movement is taking place, so even if you're going solo, you'll have an idea of where to head for some action.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), 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

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