Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Warcraft 101: PvP Battlegrounds


In Warcraft, sometimes you want to bring the war back, and that’s where PvP battlegrounds come in.

Battlegrounds, or BG’s, are an instanced zone, where only a certain number of players from each faction can enter.  Those that are in for that particular session have goals they are trying to accomplish, while at the same time be killing the players from the opposite faction.  Each battleground has a portal to it in one of the zones throughout the world, but the usual mode of entry is from a UI element, and can be done from anywhere. 
If you want to play in a battleground, you need to queue for either a specific battleground, or a random one, and the game will place you in one with players of similar level.  Gear, however is not taken into account, so it can get pretty ugly.

I thought I’d do a brief overview of the PvP battlegrounds, starting with:

Arathi Basin: This battleground is based in the Arathi Highlands, where the factions are looking to control several key locations in the basin, including the farm, the gold mine, and the lumber mill.  15 players on each side attempt to capture a flag at each location, while the other team tries to stop them, or take it back.  You’ll hear calls of “Fight on the flag!” a lot in this BG.  As your faction holds a location, you get resource points, and the first team to 1600 wins.  So, a team needs to hold three locations or more consistently to win this BG.

Warsong Gulch: This is a classic capture the flag BG.  With ten players on a side, you fight for the opposite side’s flag, and then have to run it back to your side without being killed.  For a relatively simple concept, many people epically fail at it, and this can be a terribly annoying BG when your team doesn’t know what it is doing.  First team to capture the flag three times wins.

Alterac Valley:
This is the current zerg rush BG champion, though it didn’t start out that way.  This used to be a massive clusterfarg on the main chokepoint in the zone, where battles could literally rage on for days.  I remember one time, I was in this BG, and had to go eat or some such thing, and didn’t come back to the game that day, and when I came back the next day, I decided to try this one again, and the same battle was still going on.  It was crazy.  Now, Blizzard has changed it up a lot, where if you kill an opposing faction player, they lose a point, and if you take a bunker, they lose a lot of points.  Killing the opposing general always ends the match, even previously.  Once a team does that, or nicks the opposing faction down to zero point(starting at 600), the match ends.  There can still be the massive battles on the bridge, but they last no longer than a half an hour, now.  Usually people just zerg rush the bunkers, then down to the general to end the match, and whoever does it fastest wins.  This BG can hold 40(!) players a side, so there is a LOT of cat wrangling on this one.

And those are the BG’s that came with Vanilla Wow!  Next week, a look at the BGs that came with the new expantions.

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