Fence Jumping in WSG and Terrain Exploits

There’s a spot near the middle of the Horde fence in WSG where, if you approach it just right, you can jump onto the fence and then on to the other side. It’s over the tunnel entrance, to the left of the little juke in the fenceline, by one of the torches.

No matter the faction, pretty much every twink FC knows about this jump. Pretty much every twink knows about this jump after playing level 19 for any period of time – you see people going over the fence all the time, you better figure out how to do it quick or you’re going to be SoL. I expect that this is not as commonly known in Rated Battlegrounds, but skilled FCs know how to do it.

Seriously, this fence jump is the worst-kept secret terrain exploit in PvP. I’m a terrible jumper, and even I can do this jump.

It’s a little odd, then, that Blizzard GMs have finally come out and started saying that this jump is illegal and will get you a warning and a ban:

“Hello Dakoduh! My name is Game Master Rodoux. I’m going to need you to refrain from hopping up there on the fence in Warsong Gulch.” This was followed by a temporary ban when the request was not honoured.

In addition to the GM whispers, twinks are reporting that people are getting disconnected mid-jump. I haven’t had it happen to me yet (and I have jumped the fence in the past week, I FC at level 70 after all) but I’m sure it’s probably a matter of time.

I don’t think this situation is like the terrain exploit charges in the Walls of Wintergrasp. It’s pretty clear that there’s a glitch in the Horde fence, and that you have to hit it just right to get over. There’s no corresponding glitch in the Alliance fence, there’s nothing really ambiguous about this – this is a terrain exploit.

Yet… it’s been in there since WSG launched six years ago, and it’s something that tactics and strategies have adapted around. It’s one of the quirks of the terrain, just like the rocky patches around the zerk huts or kiting melee around the tree stumps while firing at them. Your opponents will use it against you, so you better know how to do it in response. It’s been reported many times on the forums as a bug, but has never been fixed. So folks do the jump.

My working theory is that all changes to the battlegrounds right now are due to balancing issues in Rated Battlegrounds. The developers have already stated that their focus is on level 85 PvP, as that’s where most of the player base is at. The BG graveyard changes earlier this year were aimed entirely at disrupting healer-heavy comps in rBGs, by preventing healers from getting back to the FC quickly.

And if your FC is skilled at jumping the fence in rated play, they have an advantage in getting back to their healers quickly. Graveyard blocked? Go fence. Fence blocked? Go ramp. Healers, keep moving to the left until you meet the FC. This isn’t rocket science – there’s a slight imbalance in the map due to this exploit. Even though it’s been there since the beginning, it only matters now because of rated play. This shouldn’t really be a surprise that Blizzard is treating it as an exploit.

But it is, a little bit. The timing is odd. This is one of those quirks which showed you knew what you were doing in Warsong Gulch, that you’d played the map enough to know all the tricks. It’d been there for ages. And it never got fixed.

The warnings, bans, and DCs are likely precursors to an actual fix of the fence. (I so want to see Orc Peons out there repairing the fence when this gets fixed. For real.) The GMs know it’s a problem, they’re watching out for it now, word is getting out that it’s no longer okay for this jump.

The dead-letter law of terrain exploitation may not have been enforced for 6 years with this jump, but it is now.

Part of me does get frustrated with Blizzard when they suddenly start handing out bans for behavior that’s been accepted for years. That’s the part of me that says, fix your shit, Blizzard, it’s broke, don’t blame players for this. More importantly – don’t put players into a position of choosing between using a jumping exploit or not to win in PvP, because even if some don’t, others will.

The other part of me says, yeah, but just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s not still a terrain exploit. It sucks, because it’s part of the charm of WSG – but it’s hopping over a fence that is obviously supposed to block movement.

Here’s to hoping that Blizzard fixes it soon so the issue is put to rest.


Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual, Green Tinted Goggles

11 responses to “Fence Jumping in WSG and Terrain Exploits

  1. I suck at this jump. I can make a lot of jumps that most other players find hard, and I still miss this stupid jump 80% of the time.

    I like that Blizzard is taking a step to fix it from the viewpoint of it being an (dis)advantage that’s only on one side of a field specifically designed to be equal (save the obvious extra LoS features from the wagons that are only found on the Horde side).

    On the flip side, it really is one of those things that’s sort of a mark of whether or not you’re a real twink or just someone who has some gear. If you can make the exploit jumps in WSG and the floating object jumps in AB, then you’ve got that extra bit of flair that says “whoa, this guy isn’t just another random scrub doing PvP, they know what’s up!”

    So if it does finally get fixed it will be one of those sad days in PvP history. At least with this one I can understand the reason for them going after it where as the walls of WG is just so mindbogglingly stupid to label as an exploit that…I can’t even put it into words. Yeah, you can’t get up there by any normal means, but HELLO it’s a FREAKING WALL in a FREAKING FORTIFICATION. That’s what it’s there for!

    • Yeah, I share your mixed feelings. It’ll be a sad day when that fence gets fixed.

      Related thought – do you thing the slight terrain advantages contributed to Horde success in WSG?

      • I could see how they might. I don’t think the fence is a contributing factor, but I (ab)use those broken wagons like crazy. I would say that in this particular case they certainly could be.

  2. Now making it a wall that you could use sapping/munitions against would make for more fun. But Bliz have always co0me down on terrain exploits if they see/or hear of them being done. EG when you could get under StormWind. Or on top of IronForge. (isn’t that a ghosttown these days?)

    • I was very disappointed when the WG walls were changed so you couldn’t use bombs on them anymore (due to platform issues on Lich King with Ensidia.)

      I would love to see more destructible features in BGs. But then again, I have a lot of engineers who like blowing things up. 🙂

  3. It wouldn’t suprise me if it hadn’t been reported before, or at least reported very often. In normal BGs if the arrogant a******* type loses, he can (and will, at length) blame the other players. In rated BGs, especially in a guild group, doing that might not work so well so hes looking for other people to blame. Oooh look an exploit, he can blame that! Which means he must report it to Blizzard so they won’t lose next time.

    Do you think BGs have left me bitter and cynical?

    • I wish the old forums were still up. I remember a lot of threads about this bug, and it would be interesting to see just how long it’s been a reported issue.

      • This one was definitely reported more than once. I stopped paying attention to the official forums a long time ago, but I know it was being reported at the very least in late BC and early Wrath.

  4. scotth

    What about the cart, is that still there? I always found the cart a bigger problem on a melee character.

    The horde has a couple of hiding spots the Alliance doesn’t as well, just because they have more ‘stuff’ beside their base. I don’t often see it being used though.

  5. As an alliance warrior every single time I’m running up that stupid hill in WSG and try to use heroic leap I want to scream. I have an ability that I should be able to use to get away from the enemy. However it doesn’t work if I’m running towards my own base. If I was horde it would always work. To top it all off Twin Peaks is also an uphill run for alliance FC’s.

  6. Pingback: A Curious Case Of Sudden Exploit Banning