How DID They Win That Wintergrasp?


Anyone who spends a lot of time in Durotan’s Wintergrasp is familiar with the above sight. Sometimes, no matter what you do, the Horde is able to launch a massive assault on the west wall of Wintergrasp Fortress with 8-12 Siege Engines in the first 2 minutes of the game. If all Alliance defenders, and I mean ALL defenders, don’t rush out to the west and try to stop them, the mass of siege will break through and capture the fortress in under 6 minutes.

At that point, the QQ starts. “Cheaters!” “Hax!” are some of the kinder words thrown at the Horde. But, unlike exploiting the old bug that let you drive siege through walls, this is just smart thinking by the outnumbered side, using the mechanics of the game to fight an opponent who outnumbers them 2:1 (on a good day.) The Horde groups up their siege for one massive push that the defense cannot stop.

The key is a tactic that both sides should use, no matter who has numeric superiority.

  1. Focus your kills to rank a few players up to First Lieutenant.
  2. Have those players create Demolishers and Siege Engines at the Workshop, and then abandon them to go create more.
  3. Other players without rank man the abandoned vehicles and wait.
  4. Once all vehicle slots are filled, everyone goes together.

That’s it. That’s how you win an offensive Wintergrasp battle. Group all your siege together and shove it through the walls. Organization and discipline will win you Wintergrasp.

This tactic works nearly every time; the only counter is for a very strong defense to start attacking the group as it leaves the Workshop and keep going until it stops — if the defense waits for them to hit the first wall, it’s over.

Now, there’s a legitimate question of how can a side start creating Demolishers and Siege Engines within the first 15 seconds of the game. It’s tough to rank up to First Lieutenant — my personal best is after about 45 seconds, which meant I was creating Siege Engines at 1:30 into the game. But sides with Tenacity have it a little easier.

Tenacity increases the “kill value” of NPCs, making it easier to rank up. On an imbalanced server like Durotan, where 20 stacks of Tenacity are pretty much the norm, a single NPC kill will grant First Lieutenant rank. This gives your side heavy vehicles right away, and if you are organized and disciplined at the Workshop, you can create your Siege mass within a minute.

The more commonly QQed tactic, sometimes called the Wintergrasp Logout Exploit, is to have characters log out during an active Wintergrasp battle so they can log back in to another battle in progress with their previous rank. But with the advent of queuing for Wintergrasp, this exploit just doesn’t work. The buff is removed when you queue for the battle and your status is reset. This was never really the primary reason sides massed siege — consider the logistics between this and the Tenacity option — but it was possible, so people latched on to it.

So how did the other team get 12 heavy vehicles and take Wintergrasp in under 5 minutes? It wasn’t by cheating, or using exploits, or because Blizzard hates your faction. It was because the other side had Tenacity and was organized, disciplined, and executed a massive offensive push that your side didn’t defend adequately against.

It’s okay. Don’t take it too hard. The next battle, you’re on offense. Show ’em what you’ve got.


Filed under Battleground Strategies, Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

12 responses to “How DID They Win That Wintergrasp?

  1. I sort of miss WG. I might have to go log onto my old mage just so I can do some mass pvp again. AV begins to bore me greatly as more and more people take on the exp-milking strategy of doing absolutely nothing.

  2. Well not to QQ but…isn’t what you describe kind of a hack as well? People who don’t have the ranks for it end up driving machines they have no business driving. On the grand scale of cheats used in WG I suppose it’s pretty far down, but…it’s still circumventing how the system is supposed to work.

  3. I’d honestly never really thought of it that way. Just because I created a vehicle doesn’t mean I’m obligated to drive it — I could prefer to be a gunner, or a rider who can cast spells — or abandon it in the road. The vehicle is still separate from me; it’s not as if I transform into a Siege Engine roaming the landscape.

    (Though that would be admittedly cool; giant goblin-designed mechas swarming Wintergrasp Keep? Awesome.)

    There are valid reasons for allowing dismounts in Wintergrasp. If I have ignored all battlefield advice and am driving a vehicle alone down south (and I do this a lot, sadly) and get attacked by 1-2 enemies, I am better off abandoning my vehicle and defending myself with spells than with the vehicle’s defenses. No vehicle can compare to a player’s array of weapons and crowd control.

    I don’t see this as a cheat. I honestly don’t. It’s not exploiting a bug, like driving the vehicles through the walls or logging out in the middle of the battle both were. I see this as using the vehicle system to equip your side while obeying the rules of the game, specifically: only First Lieutenants can build Demolishers and Siege Engines.

    If the rules change so that only First Lieutenants could operate these vehicles, and this somehow got around that rule, then I’d agree this was cheating.

    But in the absence of that, I’ll have to politely disagree. This is a valid battleground tactic.

  4. *swings to your point of view*.

    I’ve hopped on board a thing (I can’t keep the two straight, sorry) and been a gunner before, without the rank. So I suppose you’re right.

    Maybe from an RP perspective, it doesn’t matter who *drives* it, just that only a FL has the cajones to frighten those little green men into making it for you 🙂

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  6. blues have recently confirmed a couple of times that one side holding wg for many times can trigger an “instant-siege senario” for the attackers

    • It’s nice to have blue confirmation of the Kill Value Escalation that a lot of people with Tenacity report.

      I have noticed on my always non-Tenacity side that sometimes my ranks don’t match my kills, either in my PvP tab or in WinterTime. So I wonder if there’s deflation as well, if we’ve held WG for too long.

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  9. wri7913

    There is an “exploit” that allows you to gain rank 2 instantly at start of WG. Your first five kills gets you to Corporal ranking. Your next 9 kills gets you to just one shy of lieutenant ranking. Fly back to Dalaran and que up for WG. Fly back to WG or portal in and wait for start. Just wait for 10 – 20 seconds before start of WG to start “attacking” an npc. Don’t kill the npc just attack to keep in combat. Once WG starts, kill the npc and you will gain instant rank 2. Start creating your siege.

    I assume this would work if you have all the people in a raid with you while doing the kills and going through procedure outlined.

    • L2Read.
      “blues have recently confirmed a couple of times that one side holding wg for many times can trigger an “instant-siege senario” for the attackers”
      and even after I said that before, they stated exactly how the invisible mechanics work.

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