Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Warcraft 101: Battlegrounds, part 2

Last week, we discussed the first iteration of Blizzard’s foray into structured PvP.  Arathi Basin, Alterac Valley, and Warsong Gulch were where many players cut their teeth on PvP action.  When new expansions came out, Blizzard added battlegrounds four through eight, which I’ll be discussing today.

First up, we have:

Eye of the Storm, a capture the flag/control hybrid battleground.  In this battle, each faction is looking to control four separate bases with the fifteen players they are allowed.  Once a base is captured, by standing in the base for a set period of time, another teammate can attempt to take the flag from the center of the map, and bring it to a controlled base.  Your team slowly accrues points for a base, and the rate increases the more bases your team holds.  A one time chunk of points is awarded if your team captures the flag.  First team to 1600 points wins.  This BG came out with the Burning Crusade expansion, and features a blood elf and a draenei on it’s loading screen.

Strand of the Ancients
was completely different from any battleground previous.  It is composed of two rounds, one where your side is attacking, then one where your side is defending, with a random roll determining which is first.  The defenders are defending a relic at the top of the map, and the attackers are attempting to reach it.  What makes this BG different is the attackers are using vehicles to break through walls defended by the opposing faction.  Vehicle combat was, and still is, rather clunky in WoW, but it is pretty fun despite the flaws.  The team that gets to the relic the fastest wins, but if neither team reaches the relic, the team that got the furthest the fastest wins.  This BG came out with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and features a wall on it’s loading screen.

Isle of Conquest is a massive battleground comprised of forty players to a side.  It is a hybrid control/kill the NPC captain battle, with a huge map, and many options for the crapton of players.  Isle combines several elements from a few of the different battlegrounds to make a chaotic whole.  It pulls the kill the general from Alterac Valley, hold the bases from Arathi Basin, defend/attack the walls similar to Strand, and a reinforcement limit, again like Alterac Valley.  There are several different vehicles to drive in hopes of destroying walls, or you can hop on a zeppelin to airdrop into the enemy base.  You can defend your walls and captain, or you can work on holding bases from the other team.   The first team to kill the opposing captain wins, unless a team uses all their reinforcements, in which case the team with no reinforcements loses.  This BG was implemented about halfway through the Wrath expansion, and features the oil refinery on it’s loading screen.

Battle for Gilneas is another control map, with ten players to a side.  The main difference between it and Arathi Basin is there are only three nodes in Battle for Gilneas, and your team needs to hit 2000 resource points to win.  Other that that, it’s basically the same.  This BG was implemented with the Cataclysm expansion, and features a couple of Gilnean buildings on it’s loading screen.

Twin Peaks is another copycat battleground, this one as a capture the flag map, a la Warsong Gulch.  The biggest difference here is the map is a bit more fair.  Other than that, it’s exactly the same.  The story in this one is the Wildhammer dwarves and Dragonmaw orcs are fighting to control the strategic location for a greater fight against the black dragonflight.  This BG was implemented for the Cataclysm expansion, and features a Wildhammer home on it’s loading screen.

And those are the battlegrounds of Warcraft!
Which are your favorite?

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