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Isle of Conquest details released

Vaneras has just released the details for the Isle of Conquest, the new battleground that will be appearing in Patch 3.2, Call of the Crusade.

You can read the complete details over on the official forums or check 'em out after the break. There are some key things that everyone should be aware of:
  • IoC will be a 40-man battleground. Yes, you read that right. This is the first 40-man content released since Naxx 1.0. That is going to make some old school players very, very happy. I know I'm already giddy with excitement.
  • There will be significant use of siege and vehicle combat. This includes going on The Airship Hanger and using parachutes to drop teams onto the enemy keep from above.
  • You will need to kill a general held up in the enemy keep, much like Alterac Valley.
  • Reinforcements will be used. Capture resources to boost your strength.
This looks like an amazing new battleground, and one that I'm sure many of us cannot wait to try out on the PTR. There has been a ton of new information about Patch 3.2 released in the last few days, so it looks like PTR might be soonish. Keep your fingers crossed.

The complete statement on the new Isle of Conquest after the break!

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Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Battlegrounds

More Alterac Valley changes on the horizon

As we've noted before, a sizeable portion of Alterac Valley players are growing more disgruntled each day about the AFK'd players that leech honor and, given enough, cripple the team's efforts. The main unfortunate side effect of all of this frustration has been extra long queue times on many servers, which is only serving to fuel the fire.

When the ability to report a player as AFK was first introduced, there were mixed reactions. The tool did seem to reduce the volume of moochers in any given battleground, but it also put the onus on the honest, responsible fighters to take the time to locate and report the individual.

Because of the fact that no action would be taken against any AFK'd player until a sufficient number of reports had been received, AFK'ing continued, and went back on the rise. To combat this, Blizzard hotfixed the reports, lowering the threshold required before the debuff would be planted.

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Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Buffs, Forums, Battlegrounds

Breakfast Topic: Quitting battlegrounds

Battlegrounds, one of the main resources for PvP action in World of Warcraft, may be growing less popular with the average player. On the flip side, they may be gaining in popularity for players who are new to the whole experience.

Why are so many avid battlegrounders boycotting the queues? The most popular battleground that is off-limits is Alterac Valley, and many are getting fed up with the afk'ers and Blizzard's attempts to solve the problem they create.

In fact, ever since the dynamics of AV changed in patch 2.3, some people have been longing for the honor grind to return. Queue, run north/south for 10 minutes, gain much honor. Not everyone is enjoying the actual PvP action they're seeing. The recently explained honor calculations have also been causing controversy, especially regarding holiday weekends.

At the same time, many battleground regulars are becoming annoyed with the increased population of players new to the grounds popping in, either for arena season one gear, or for the daily battleground quests. Some are even spewing their opinions on the subject rampantly in /bg chat, making the experience less fun for everyone.

How much time do you, or have you, devote to battlegrounding? How are you feeling about battlegrounds these days?

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds

Defense wins all but one Alterac Valley node

On Monday, the Horde of Retaliation managed to capture every node in Alterac Valley except the Stormpike Aid Station (and the bugged Irondeep Mine), whittling the Alliance down to 0 reinforcements and almost no honor. Surprising to many, this coup was achieved because of a strong, co-ordinated defensive team. This was not achieved through a premade, and voice chats were not used.

As we have mentioned before, playing defensively is not everyone's cup of tea. Recently, as players are adapting to the new Alterac Valley, we are starting to see new defensive maneuvers take shape. In fact, the strategy has actually become a great way to farm some HKs, gain more overall honor from each win, and see some unpredictable action.

At the beginning of the match, defense met up at the Iceblood Graveyard, Garrison and Tower. After being initially pushed down to Frostwolf Graveyard due to Alliance players breaking south, several players managed to monopolize the Field of Strife while offense pushed steadily forward. Soon after, defense reclaimed Iceblood and suddenly the Alliance had nowhere to resurrect except the Stormpike Aid Station.

Defense quickly rode through midfield toward Icewing Bunker. About a third stayed there, hindering the progress of any opposition that tried to slip through by walking past the lake rather than on the road. Another third road forward to help push north with offense, as the Alliance had retaken Stormpike Graveyard by this point. Even though the Horde was forced to resurrect at Stonehearth Graveyard, we managed to push back to Stormpike in no time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, PvP, Battlegrounds

Breakfast Topic: Why do we hate playing defense?

After a bad run of battlegrounds recently, I began wondering why so many players are so reluctant to play defensively. I myself generally prefer offensive maneuvers, but I see the value in having a solid defensive base. I personally have neglected to play defense, because every time I do, I feel like everyone else thought "oh good! now I don't have to". Then my character gets zerged, and spanked. Hard. Sometimes there is laughing.

Of course, this sort of begs the question doesn't it? If we're all not playing defense because we feel we'd end up alone, then we are ensuring any defense will indeed go it alone (and fail). Are we suffering from poor leadership, or are there other reasons why so many of us are so genuinely reluctant?

When speaking with some of my guildmates on the issue, they mentioned that you don't feel very useful when you are run over by a group from the other side. It's hardly how one wants to spend an evening. Offense also sees more continuous action, as defensive positions sometimes have long periods of time where there is no one to kill. Failing that, you may also spend a great portion of the match being killed.

We have previously talked about how you might go about designing a new battleground. Would there be any merit to designing one where defense is more important, to force players to learn its value and its technique? Or, on the other hand, would it be beneficial and interesting if we had a battleground based solely on offensive maneuvers?

Do you prefer defense, or offense, and why? Why do you think the defensive seems to be the least popular choice? What do you think, if anything, could be done about it?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds

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