Archive for the ‘Battlegrounds’ Category

Blizzard Unveils Information on New Twin Peaks Battleground

Another new feature coming in Cataclysm will be a new battleground, called “Twin Peaks.” Bearing no resemblance to the creepy and weird TV series of the 1990s, the Twin Peaks battleground will be something of a ramped up and corrected version of Warsong Gulch.

Blizzard unveiled the page with details and screenshots of Twin Peaks last week, complete with a rundown of what the battleground will be and how it’ll work. The battleground will be a capture-the-flag style game, 10 versus 10 players, and first team to capture the flag three times wins:

Located within the Twilight Highlands, the Twin Peaks remains a crucial point of high ground for staging effective and debilitating attacks against the black dragonflight and the Twilight’s Hammer, who dominate this foreboding environment. And now, two previous occupants of the nearby city of Grim Batol vie once again for control of the peaks’ defenses. The Wildhammer clan, architects and original owners of the once-great fortress city, maintains some operations in forested outposts of the highlands. The Wildhammers now call upon heroes of the Alliance to help claim the peaks and fend off the Dragonmaw orcs. The Dragonmaw clan, having spent years working to enslave red dragons, once again provides strategic importance to the Horde. As the Dragonmaw and Wildhammers fight for territory they once called home, the Alliance and Horde carry out the struggle to control the Twin Peaks.

What will reportedly make Twin Peaks interesting is the difference in terrain between the alliance and horde areas:

Although the Wildhammer and Dragonmaw bases are virtually identical, the terrain surrounding each base is not. Players will need to work to control an asymmetrical field where the mountain peaks are divided by a valley river. A single bridge over the river serves as a choke point in the center of the map; although deep, the river can be crossed. On either side of the river sits an outpost where temporary character enhancements can be claimed. In addition, tree stumps and rocks throughout the valley create strategic points for you to use line of sight to your advantage. To prevent absolute domination by one faction through its control of the enemy graveyard, the Horde and Alliance players resurrected in Twin Peaks will spawn from one of two graveyards per faction.

It’s pretty clear that sine Warsong Gulch is pretty much the least popular of all of the battlegrounds currently in World of Warcraft, Blizzard needed to do something, but they didn’t want to abandon the capture-the-flag type of arena play. So what do we get? Twin Peaks. Here’s hoping it’s fun, and doesn’t just turn into Cataclysm‘s Warsong Gulch.

Video: Funkin’s Wintergrasp PvP Compilation

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4D0px-49cg[/youtube]

One of the best things about playing a hunter is the fact that when you really know what you’re doing, you can be really really good at PVP. Admittedly, I don’t claim to really know what I’m doing, but I do have fun when I choose to hit the battlegrounds and open fire on players of the other faction.

In this video, Funkin, a hunter with a hankerin’ for PVP, heads into Wintergrasp while it’s under enemy faction control and decides to have a little fun with the people hanging out inside and some of the PVP-enabled NPCs. Admittedly, the damage he manages to put out is impressive on its own, but the way he manages to time his shots and take down other players is what really makes the video fun.

Oh, and the music, of course! Who doesn’t love Chromeo’s Fancy Footwork?

Blizzard Announces Battleground Changes in Next Patch

Over on the official forums today, Zarhym had some news for battleground lovers – some huge changes are coming to battlegrounds and battlegroups in the next minor content patch, which means we shouldn’t have to wait horribly long for these changes to take effect.

Here’s the full text from Zarhym of they have in store:

We have several changes planned for Battlegrounds in the next minor content patch and would like to share them with you now. This patch will be available for public testing and we encourage you to participate, queue up and provide some feedback on these changes.

* Firstly, say goodbye to Battleground Marks of Honor. We feel this currency system is a bit outdated and are getting rid of it. Any items which require these marks as currency will have their costs adjusted appropriately to remove this requirement. The quest NPCs will still be available to award players Honor for turning in leftover marks, including individual Marks of Honor if a player has more marks from one Battleground than another, but this is only to help players clear this expired currency.

* Next, the Battleground holiday weekend will now be denoted as “Call to Arms” in the Battleground tab and Calendar. If you prefer a specific Battleground over all others, look for those words next to its name to determine whether or not you’ll receive bonus Honor. The bonus awards for Call to Arms Battlegrounds have been adjusted.

o Winning a Call to Arms Battleground for the first time in a day will award players with 30 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency and 25 Arena points.
o Additional Call to Arms Battleground victories after the first win for a player that day will award them with 15 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
o Losing a Call to Arms Battleground will award players with 5 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.

* To bring the rate at which players obtain PvP rewards with Honor more in-line with the rate at which players obtain PvE rewards via the Dungeon Finder, we’ll also be increasing the amount of Honor awarded for an Honorable Kill by 100%. In light of this, the amount of experience provided from an Honorable Kill, and the amount of Honor awarded for completing the Wintergrasp weekly quests, have been reduced by 50%.

It’s important to note one thing about these 50% decreases. All Honor awarded for completing objectives in Battlegrounds and Wintergrasp is actually based on an Honorable Kill conversion rate. So if you destroy a tower in Alterac Valley for example, the Honor you’re awarded is actually based on a flat number of Honorable Kills. Since Honorable Kills will now award 100% more Honor, completing such objectives will also award more Honor. This is why experience gains based on completing Battleground objectives and Honor awarded from the Wintergrasp quests are being decreased by 50%.

* Now that we hopefully have your attention, we’re pleased to announce the implementation of the Random Battleground system! This system will work virtually the same as the Random Dungeon option in the Dungeon Finder and will replace the Battleground daily quests. Players can queue with a group of up to five players for a Random Battleground in the Battleground tab. As with the Random Dungeon option, the Battleground chosen will not be revealed until players zone into the Battleground for which they are selected. The bonus rewards for this system are identical to the updated Call to Arms bonuses.

o Winning a Battleground using the Random Battleground option for the first time in a day will award players with 30 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency and 25 Arena points.
o Winning additional Battlegrounds using the Random Battleground option after the first random win will award players with 15 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
o Losing a Battleground using the Random Battleground option will award players with 5 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
o When using the Random Battleground option, players will not receive additional rewards if the Battleground chosen is under the effects of the Call to Arms bonuses. In other words, the bonuses do not stack. In addition, if a player has been rewarded 30 Honorable Kills worth of bonus Honor currency and 25 Arena points from either the Random Battleground system, or the Call to Arms Battleground, he or she will be rewarded 15 Honorable Kills worth of bonus Honor currency and no Arena points that day for each additional victory. This applies whether the Random Battleground system is used, or the Call to Arms Battleground is chosen specifically, as a player cannot be rewarded the full amount of bonus Honor and the 25 Arena points more than once per day.

All of these features and changes will be available in the next minor patch which should be hitting the public test realms in the near future. Please help us out by testing this system and providing your feedback so we can make some fine-tuning adjustments before the patch’s release.

You catch that? First of all, marks from various battlegrounds will be going away – which probably means that the PVP mounts will be easier to get and you don’t have to worry about having to farm wins in Warsong Gulch (if you’re alliance) just to get the necessary marks to get the mount. I’m actually thrilled about the fact that you’ll be able to turn in your marks for honor – the ability to do this is long overdue, especially since we used to be able to do it.

To that point, it’ll be much easier to get honor points from actually completing objectives in battlegrounds, so make sure to guard those towers!

Finally, there’ll be a new battleground finder! Similar to the Dungeon Finder, there will be special honor rewards and special achievements for using the battleground finder to get into a BG, instead of just queuing for the one you want to do. I see a much heavier distribution of people in all of the BGs in our very very near future.

Goon Squad Captures Wintergrasp in 62 Seconds

Witness this in all it’s glory, as the Goon Squad of Mal’Ganis starts from scratch and within 62 seconds completely dominates Wintergrasp.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm03136FTI4[/youtube]

They’re billing it as the fastest Wintergrasp ever, and while I suppose that could be true, it’s definitely one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen. The trouble now is that everyone will wind up trying to duplicate this strategy, and while I applaud the Goon Squad for their epic conquest, they were also pretty lucky: I don’t see this happening terribly often.

Tracking Guild Progression in Ulduar

Patch 3.1 goes live today, and with it comes the release of the Ulduar raid dungeon. My guild has been preparing for weeks to storm the instance, but an interesting thread (warning: heavily trolled) popped up on the Blackrock forums last week that has us somewhat undecided as to how we should approach the encounters.

In a nut shell, a few guilds are arguing over what criteria should be used to rank guilds in WOTLK. It used to be simple: you kill a boss, your guild moves up a rank. First guild to clear an instance “wins.” Now, however, with the advent of achievements, ranking a guild has become slightly more complicated. Encounters can be done several ways, and if you voluntarily choose to do an encounter the “hard” way you get an achievement. Clearing an instance without doing any of the optional achievements is easy by design. However, completing all of the individual raiding achievements is itself an achievement (known as a meta achievement), and guilds that do so are rewarded with a special prize. The guilds that are fighting want to have their idea of progression be the “official” method of ranking a guild. Not coincidentally, their idea of progression also happens to put them on top.

The guilds that cleared the instances on “easy” mode wants to be recognized for the simple act of defeating the dungeon first, which is how guild rankings used to work. The guild that managed to kill Sartharian the Onyx Guardian and all three of his lieutenants at the same time wants to be recognized as the top Alliance guild because they consider that to be the most difficult encounter in the game. Lastly the guild that completed the meta achievement first, which is all raiding achievements including the Sartharian achievement, wants to be considered the top guild.

On the surface, it seems to make sense that completing the meta achievement would be the logical way to rank a guild, as Blizzard itself rewards you with a special mount for completing it. However, the difficult part about completing the meta is an achievement called The Immortal. To get The Immortal, your guild must kill every boss in Naxxramas without a single person dying. It’s the rarest raiding achievement in the game, and guilds (usually the ones that can’t do it) are claiming that it’s not fair because sometimes people die to circumstances beyond their control. Now, I don’t agree with that assessment. My guild was the second guild to complete the meta achievement after Death and Taxes, and we never considered The Immortal to be out of our control. Then again, we’re not a guild based in Singapore that is plagued with random disconnects and international lag either, so you can probably see their point.

So now the debate rages on inside my guild. Do we go for the quick clear tonight, or do we work on hard modes from the get-go? We’re a leading edge content type of raiding guide; going straight into hard mode isn’t beyond our capability. But is it worth it to adjust our progression strategy just so we can juice up a forum thread? I’m really not so sure. There are already websites like wowprogress.com that do an amazing job of tracking guild progression, and they’re using much more advanced scoring techniques than any forum thread I’ve ever seen. They already rank us as the top alliance guild by achievement. My gut feeling tells me to just ignore what goes on in the forum thread, refer potential applicants to wowprogress.com and just do our own thing. At the same time, I also know that being recognized as a top raider means a lot to quite a few of my guildies. I hope we end up just doing a quick clear the first week, but we’ll see. Raid starts in 3 hours.

2 more, about an hour before the portal opened

portal1.png

portal2.png

suckers

I mentioned this here, but just in case you were wondering if it works:

afkers.png

The new AV exploit

Be aware battlegrounders. There is a new bug in AV that allows flags to be capped through walls and from 10 to 40 yards away. Possibly even farther if you are a hunter and use Eagle Eye. No word on if the Spyglass affects this. This is primarily a problem in Alterac Valley, but also in Arathi Basin. At the Blacksmith location in Arathi people have been hiding in the building and capping from inside.

People are capping through hills and from behind trees. Hunters are reporting standing at the flag, with their pets on aggressive, and the pets do not aggro on the cappers. That’s how far away they are.

So widen your defensive patrols and watch for the golden swirlies to appear on your flag. Someone, somewhere is trying to cap it.

Update: Patch 2.0.4 fixed the bug.

AFKZero – not a solution, but maybe a stopgap

AFKZero is a very simple application with only one purpose – to publicly shame those who enter Alterac Valley solely with the intent to leech honor while staying in the cave or elsewhere.

To this goal, AFKZero traverses the scoreboard and finds players who meet three criteria – more than 100 bonus honor, no damage done, no healing done. The list of such players can then be either just enumerated locally (on your screen) or sent to the Battleground.

This is a first, 20 minute code, start at something I was wanting to write since the new honor system was released – a meshed shaming and blacklisting application. Version 1.0 will not only list and print the offenders, it will also sync offender lists between players who have the AddOn installed, allowing those who are on the same realm as the offender to take appropriate action (imagine my surprise to be informed by a beta test version of 1.0, that one of my former guildies is a honor leech).

There will be some common criticisms of this. First, of course, the fact that anyone can evade the AddOn by simply killing a wolf/ram and add to the damage done listing. That is correct and something I might make configurable in the next version, maybe a threshold of 2x Ram/Wolf or so…

Secondly the reverse criticism. There’s the AFKers whiny response that, indeed, they are not “idle” but are “coordinating” assaults from the cave. It’s a hollow defense and anyone who’s been in an AV since the honor changes knows that. Secondly the “defender” defense. People will claim they are “on D” and not seeing any movement yet. After 100 honor, Horde is usually past Stonehearth (no idea about Alliance, I’d assume the same distance) and Alliance is on Galv. With Alliance on Galv any defender worth his or her salt will be there, stalling Alliance approaches by helping Galv. If that’s not the case it’s akin to AFKing, just outside the cave.

Under all circumstances, you do have the ability to simply show and verify AFK behavior. Print the offenders to the screen and verify they’re really AFK and not “defending the poison goods vendor” or something equally pathetic.

Usage:

Drag the AFKZero folder into your Interface/AddOns directory. In-game type /zero show (or /afkzero show) to locally display all offenders. If you are comfortable with the list, you may report it to /bg by typing /zero avreport.

That’s it so far. Enjoy. If you happen to hate AV AFKers as much as we do, would like to be in a guild with people who love to code, love to theorycraft, and love to progress (all the while not having a GM, long story), come to Kul’Tiras (US), Horde site and look us up. We’re always in the market for more cool people.

You can find AFKZero on Curse Gaming.

Tales of a BG player…

This is a repost of something I wrote on the Blizzard PvP Forums. I wrote it to maybe, elicit some kind of reaction, but … alas … “hord r ghey” is a more popular topic, lolz.

It’s my story…
(more…)

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