Battle Standards are wonderful things. You plant a flag and give your team a buff – perhaps it’s increased damage, or increased health – but the various battle standards are excellent investments for all PvPers. Proper placement of a flag can give a stealth buff to your team that can (and will) turn the tide of battle.
The Alliance Battle Standard, and its counterpart, the Horde Battle Standard, are usable in any normal battleground and give people on your side a 15% increase to their health. The Alterac Valley-only Stormpike and Frostwolf Battle Standards give a 15% increase to damage, as do the Tol Barad-only Baradin’s Wardens and Hellscream’s Reach Standards. The flags stick around for 2 minutes or until destroyed, and while they have a long cooldown (10 minutes for the Alliance/Horde flags, 15 for the BG-specific ones) you should pop them at least once every fight.
Except… well, look at the Alliance and Horde standards again. Look at their cooldowns closely.
That’s right. The Horde Battle Standard has a cooldown of 2 minutes, and a duration of 2 minutes, while the Alliance Battle Standard still has a 10 minute CD. This is a bug that’s been reported on the forums, but no fix has been implemented yet.
So, even though I play mostly Alliance, I’m going to pass on a tip to every Horde PvPer out there: put your Horde Battle Standard into your regular rotation. Use it EVERY COOLDOWN. Macro it if you have to. Even if you “waste” it because there’s another Standard out, you’re just still the range of the buff. If you don’t have a Horde Battle Standard yet, WTF is wrong with you? Go get one now, it’s like 500 Honor Points! That’s less than 30 seconds attacking Tol Barad!
As for my fellow Alliance players… well, you’re screwed until this is fixed. Sorry. Kill these things as fast as you can. They’re 1-shots for endgame characters, but you have to target them manually like totems. It’s a pain, but what can you do? Faction change?
Update 1/20/2011: Looks like this will be fixed in 4.0.6. From the PTR notes:
The cooldown on the Horde Battle Standard has been adjusted to 10 minutes to be consistent with the Alliance version.
This should help bring balance to the Force.