Tag Archives: AV

The Twink Vacuum

Dun Baldar Flag.png

So a funny thing happened on the way to Alterac Valley; the upper level brackets are suddenly THRIVING in the Ruin battlegroup. 3.2 has been very, very good for participation across all levels, and both sides. No longer is it 40:12 odds against the Horde in AV; matches are equal and the Alliance loses if they don’t play smart.

Glorious!  Wonderful!  I love it!

/bg chat is full of people talking, with some amazement, about how much XP they’re getting. I’ve gotten 2-4 bars in each battleground at level 59, with AV rewarding the most by far when our side plays well.

I think this increased participation is due not only to the new experience gains, but also the removal of twinks from the field. It is a sad, sobering thing to realize how much the fear of twinks kept people from playing the BGs.

The only twinks in the upper brackets are now ex-twinks. I sat for hours in queue with my experience frozen and never played a game once 3.2 hit. With XP gains on, I play in under a minute.  The queue times speak louder than anything I could write.  If you want to twink in the 50s or 60s, you won’t play.

Blizzard did a very good thing with 3.2. With one change they both added more positive incentive to play the battlegrounds, and removed the negative fears of being mercilessly steamrolled by twinks. I think that while that fear may have been valid in the lower brackets, it wasn’t in the upper ones.

I’m glad to see so many people in the battlegrounds once more.

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The Hangar Blitz

The Hangar Blitz.png

I’ve noticed a change in the Isle of Conquest in the few short days it’s been open. There’s now a vocal minority advocating a full assault on the hangar, storming the keep, and killing the General. This same group complains vociferously when the other players don’t follow this advice.

In other words: full-on nerd rage that everyone else screwed up their quick win.

I’m sad to see this appear so soon in the Isle.

The proposed strategy is relatively simple: attack the Hangar in force to control the Airship, use the Airship to parachute in force into the enemy keep, and kill the enemy general for a quick win.

The problem is, I’ve yet to see it work.

I think the Hangar-only strategy can work, if all of the steps above are followed and nothing goes wrong. Attacking with a sizable chunk of your force is essential to winning with it, though, and it can be stopped by a strong keep defense.

There are flaws with the Hangar-only strategy, though.

First, it’s not flexible in the face of failure. If you don’t win on the first try, you’re out of position for the rest of the map, and your keep defense is vulnerable. You might hang on to the airship, but at the cost of the Docks and Workshop. I have already seen a lot of nerd rage about how the failure to rush and hold the Hangar resulted in an automatic loss. I think that’s a problem with the strategy, not the execution.

This is because of my second objection, the extremely fragile supply line. You must hold the hangar to reinforce your assault, because the walls have been bypassed, not opened. You have no close graveyards to rez at, and if you lose one node the forces inside the keep are isolated.

My third objection us that it’s not a good maximizing strategy. Even if the Rube Goldberg-like steps are followed, you’ve traded a quick win for a lot of honor. Taking and holding the Quarry and Derrick yields a constant flow of honor. If you’re not in it for the honor, okay, I get that – but don’t tell me you’re in it for the marks. (Can you buy ANYTHING with Isle marks?)

This last part touches on what I think is the source of the Hangar-only strategy: Alterac Valley. The accepted AV strat is to kill Bal/Galv, take the towers, kill for 4 minutes, then kill Drek/Van. Because the map is asymmetric, the Horde have to also recapture TP or IBT to slow the Alliance zerg. But either way, this maximizes the honor you get from the battleground objectives while keeping the games short. There are some nuances to the order graveyards should be capped (skip FWGY or risk a lot of QQ), but this is pretty much the game plan.

The Alterac Blitz, though, forgoes every single objective but one: kill the boss at the end. Take at least half your force with 2 tanks and 4 healers and ride without stopping to the end of the map; do not engage the enemy at any cost, abandon everyone along the way, then MT on boss, OT on everyone else, and bring the heat. It’s a ludicrously simple plan to beat; put a quarter of your force to defend the chokepoint into your base, kill half as they ride by, the other half as they reach the boss. Without a nearby GY the attackers are sent to the other end of the map.

The way I see it, the Hangar-only strategy is a bad variant of the Alterac Blitz. It ignores all battleground objectives but one, it is fragile, and easily countered. I’m worried that the Hangar will become like the Stables are in Arathi Basin for Alliance, or the Blacksmith is for just about everyone – a node with more psychological than tactical advantage.

I don’t have a good counterstrategy to propose yet. I would think a balanced offense focusing on one node to bypass the walls (Hangar/Docks) to soften the defenses, and another to destroy the walls with siege from the Workshop is necessary. This needs to be coupled with roving packs to take the honor-producing nodes and interrupt the enemy, and a good, solid Keep defense.

Sadly, it’s much easier to yell “everyone to the hangar!” in /bg.

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Filed under Battleground Strategies, Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

The Alterac Valley Cave Incident

Last night I stopped by A Hero’s Welcome to see how my dear, drunk wastrel of a brother was doing.

I’m sorry if that’s too blunt for you, but seriously — after breaking free of the Scourge, he’s consumed enough alcohol to get Revered status with Ironforge. Instead of going out and doing something with the life he’s gotten back, he’s gotten himself thrown out of more inns than I can count. I prevailed on a mage friend of mine to port him into Dalaran, where at least I can keep an eye on him.

He drinks a little less. Maybe because the drinks are more expensive in Dalaran? I don’t honestly know.

Anyway. Sorry. It’s tough writing about family like this, particularly someone I looked up to my entire childhood.

So I pull up a stool at the bar. He looks like hell, which is pretty normal. He keeps trying to convince me that he’s out there fighting battles against the Horde, but I never see him actually leave the place. I honestly think he’s just reliving old battles, over and over again.

“I was just in the weirdest battle for Alterac Valley I’ve ever seen, ‘wise,” he said.

“Huh.”

“No, really. There was this Tauren with more health than I’d ever seen before. Not a little more, a lot more,” he said, his eyes a little wild.

“How much more?” I asked, ordering some wine. They have a really good house white here.

“15k.”

My eyebrows shot up.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t believe me either,” he said, taking a drink. “But that wasn’t the weirdest thing.”

My wine arrived. Just in time, too, I thought, taking a sip.

“I went into that cave — you know where the Horde always stream out — just to see what was in there. And there was a naked blood elf chick back there, swinging a sword at me.” He took a drink. I blinked.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he replied. “Damnedest thing I ever saw. Can’t get her out of my head.”

“I can imagine, ‘wulf. Did you hit on her?” I know my brother. There’s a reason he gets thrown out of inns.

“Nope. Killed her good. But still…. I am never going back in that cave again,” he said, staring down at the drink in his hand.

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