Infographic: How To Win Tol Barad

At the beginning of Cataclysm, Tol Barad dominated the PvP scene. It was a tough battleground – hard to capture, easy to defend and dominate, and with rewards which were needed for both PvE and PvP.  It was the source of a lot of balancing issues, rumored exploits, and a win-trading debacle all in the first few months of this sad island’s existence. Factions could, and did, hold the fortress for weeks at a time, giving raiding guilds a significant advantage over their competition on that server. It was a contentious place.

I wrote a guide to it – How To Win Tol Barad – which, in retrospect, I think is the best battleground analysis I did in Cataclysm. Writing it represented a turning point for me, personally. I set aside all the complaints I’d heard, all the frustrations I had with losing it repeatedly, and all the scandals around this battleground. They didn’t matter anymore. They were excuses standing in the way of a basic, unshakable truth – there is a way to win this. Yes, it is hard. Yes, the odds are against the attackers. But it can be done.

I stopped making excuses and got down to work.

The opening paragraphs of that guide were directly inspired by JFK’s speech where he declared we would go to the moon. I’d heard recordings of it as a child, and I watched it again when working on that guide. It’s stuck with me with its simple message about why we strive to do the impossible:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

In the face of failure, in the face of impossible odds – we persevere and strive to overcome any challenge. Even if it’s just in a video game.

You can imagine my astonishment when I discovered that Lilpeanut from Heal Over Time had gone and captured not only the strategic points of that guide, but also that all-important attitude of indomitability, with a Visual Guide to How to Win Tol Barad:

Visual Notes: How To Win Tol Barad from Cynwise's Blog

The Godmother from ALT:ernative had suggested that Lilpeanut tackle my Tol Barad guide as part of her series of infographics, and I’m really glad that she did. I love it. (“I’m not leaving!”)

Check out more of Lilpeanut’s Visual Guides (including some great ones on being an Arena Priest, oh, I love those!) on her flickr photo stream.

Thank you both so much!


Filed under Cynwise's Warcraft Manual

8 responses to “Infographic: How To Win Tol Barad

  1. Looking at that graphic after having my brain fried playing Scrabble (and drinking!) is like watching The Wall and suddenly having a “Eureka!” moment.

    Nicely done! (And I’m sure my less fried self will agree in the morning.)

  2. You know, this would make an absolutely killer wall poster. No idea how you’d do it, but… 😀

  3. Awesome, I love sketchnotes but never thought of applying it to WoW. We need them for all BGs!

  4. Justin

    Love the “Little Engine That Could” reference.

  5. clara

    Moon-landing ~ winning Tol Barad

  6. I never got to tell Lilpeanut (or Cyn for that matter) how awesome that infographic is!

  7. Ryegore

    Quickly just want to say that I greatly enjoy your work, Cynwise. Keep it up!

    The Alliance on Cenarion Circle, it seems, has all but given up on Tol Barad. As a Horde player, it’s nice to get the auto-reward every week, though I really do wish there could be better competition. TB is a great place to take a new 85 with crafted pvp gear and figure out where you stand and what works for your class, playstyle. It’s not as punishing as a 10 v. 10 BG because ideally, one player in sub-optimal gear shouldn’t make much of a difference. On Cenarion Circle however, I see a lot of Allies showing up wearing PVE gear, and that’s an exercise in futility.

    Don’t really know what the big pvp guilds are on the Alliance side, but the Horde has a couple, and those players tend to show up regularly. It’s hardly ever more than 10-15 player-per-team fight, often less than that. If you’re Horde and you fail to queue early, you won’t get in. Oh well. Cataclysm was the expansion where I “got in” to pvp, and I enjoyed the hell out of TB, for all it’s faults.

    Just wanted to update you on my server’s status. Thanks again!