Resurrection Vectors in Arathi Basin

Arathi Basin provides a dynamic set of resurrection vectors. Bases can and will change hands throughout the fight, causing troops to scatter across the map in ways you’ll just have to adapt to. Unlike Warsong Gulch, it’s practically impossible to base an Arathi Basin strategy around Rez vectors. They are something to consider, to be sure, but are nowhere near as strategically important as in some other battlegrounds. You are better served by having a solid team which can take a flag quickly than try to engage in a protracted battle to force a rez vector.

That said, there’s one tactic which takes advantage of rez vectors in Arathi Basin – disrupting the initial flow of the battle and sending the opponent back to their spawn point. The spawn points (Trollbane Hall, Defiler’s Den) are substantially inferior graveyards in AB for two reasons:

  1. There’s only one exit, not two, making it easier to farm.
  2. They’re away from a node, so rez waves are not contributing to any flag’s defense.

The spawn points are bad places to be, so forcing your opponents there is good. If you can divide the other team so that some of them are resurrecting at the spawn point, while others are on the field of battle, you weaken them considerably. Whoever gets sent to the spawn point is effectively removed from the field of play for a minute or so, and their ability to influence events is curtailed dramatically.

Arathi Basin can be somewhat complicated to map out, so I’m going to use a sequence of topological maps to outline how this happens. The arrows do not represent movement, they represent resurrection vectors – where players should go if they happen to die.

In this scenario, the Alliance begins by sending 1 to ST, 7 to LM, 5 to BS, and 2 to Farm. The Horde sends 8 to BS, 3 to LM, 3 to GM, and 1 to FM.

The very first phase shows the Stables and Farm under assault but not yet captured. All resurrection vectors are pointing back to the spawn points; no matter how far away people are when they die, they will go back to their side of the map.

The skirmishes shape up to be:

  • ST, FM, GM, uncontested. Farm has 2 incoming.
  • BS: 8 Horde, 5 Alliance.
  • LM: 7 Alliance, 3 Horde.

We will assume, for the moment, that numbers prevail. This is not always a safe assumption, but this is Xs and Os.

This early stage is always so interesting to me because everything happens so fast as flags are assaulted. There will be casualties, but how many and from where is always totally up in the air. Stables and Farm are ticking but haven’t flipped as LM, GM and BS get assaulted, so all casualties go back to the spawn points.

The key to watch is Farm in this example. If the Alliance outriders can take it from the defender, they disrupt the graveyard flow of the Horde. It’s actually really important to hold ST and FM long enough to provide your team with a decent graveyard!

Let’s assume they succeed – no small assumption, I know – and see what happens.

Let’s assume total casualty rates at each base for the losing side, and some losses for the victorious side. The Horde at LM, FM and Alliance at BS are sent back to the spawn points. This is numerically worse for the Alliance (they lost more at BS) but they hold the strategic advantage at the Farm.

All rez vectors are still plausibly pointing back to the spawn points, but ST is about to flip.

Horde sends 2 from BS to ST. Alliance sends 3 from LM to reinforce FM.

Here’s where it starts getting interesting. I’m going to focus just on a few of the Horde rez vectors here, because once ST flips the blue team will all go there.

The Horde attacking ST are going to be in trouble. They are going to meet the rez wave coming out of Trollbane Hall and get steamrolled – but because there are no red graveyards yet, they’ll go all the way back across the map.

The Iron Triangle junction between LM, BS and FM is another place to watch. Farm will be under attack, there will be a lot of attention on it from the Horde. BS will split its defense, sending 2. The rez wave will come at it from the other side.

If the Alliance is smart or bloodthirsty, LM will send most of its troops to Farm to counter the BS reinforcements.

The key to notice is that the Horde is still sending all casualties away from a defensible node in this scenario.

Here’s the map about 30 seconds later, or around 1:45-2:00 into the battle. The second tier of nodes convert and the Horde finally gets some graveyards on the map.

The problem is now that they’re split across the map at the Farm. Almost half of their team has rez vectors pointing to the Defiler’s Den, while the rest are pointing to BS or GM. If the Alliance meets the rez wave on the GY side of Farm, they’ll keep sending the Horde back to the spawn point. The BS flag is pretty far away from the Farm, so the Horde really need to be near the Iron Triangle junction to be sent back to BS.

And if they do that, chances are pretty high that they’re not fighting at the flag, they’re fighting in the road.

This is a bad situation. If you are attacking from BS and get too close to the flag (like you should) but fail, you’ll get sent to the corner of the map to the spawn point. In that case more of your team will be moving out of the effective field of play to the edges, weakening BS further and further.

I see this split a lot. A fast counterassault on the Stables or Farm can really throw off a team’s rhythm and they won’t even know why – they just know that people aren’t getting the job done, that Farm/Stables is a problem point, can’t someone please take a base?

The split can be overcome, but it’s not easy. The people who got sent to the spawn points might have died because of overwhelming numbers, but they might also have died from getting outmatched. The attack vector out of the gate is somewhat weak (no cover, highly visible approach, easy for defenders to engage away from the flag.)  There are times that being in the spawn point can work in your favor – if you have 3 people repeatedly rezzing there, and 5-8 opponents holding the node, those 3 players are creating a statistical imbalance elsewhere on the map by getting farmed.

This goes back to one of the important points about Arathi Basin – you have to win the individual matchups. AB rewards pure PvP play all over the map. If your team can’t take a base with a 1:1 matchup, then they’re going to lose no matter what kind of strategy you have.


It happens to all of us. Sometimes you get jumped, sometimes you are trying to defend something, sometimes you just see red and stop thinking, and then … you’re fighting in the road.

Away from a base, away from a flag.

Keep in mind that fighting in the road can be a viable defensive strategy under the right conditions. If others are holding the base and staying at the flag, then killing the enemy out in the road doesn’t pose much risk, and your own death should put you back at the base in a reasonable amount of time to help defend. The attackers are intercepted well away from the flag and have no opportunity to assault the base.

However, for attackers it’s a pretty bad idea. You’ll get sent back to a base you control, you’re nowhere near the flag, and even if you defeat this defender, they’re going to show back up in 30 seconds at the base you’re assaulting.

Avoid it if you can on offense; the rez vectors don’t favor you.

Fight at the flag, instead.


Filed under Cynwise's Warcraft Manual, PvP Playbook

11 responses to “Resurrection Vectors in Arathi Basin

  1. Nice post Cyn. You put into words a lot of things I do in AB based on a gut feeling that I couldn’t really pin down. Seeing you map it out made me realize something – 9 times out of 10 I’m doing my damnedest to ensure the alliance do not disrupt the capture and control of farm and BS in the first few minutes of play. Your diagrams about resurrection vectors made me realize why. 😀

    And you’re so right – AB, WSG, EotS are small maps and being able to pull your own weight is extremely important. If you can’t compete 1:1 then you’re not going to be able to attack or defend bases.

    • Thanks! I think this particular scenario is pretty common, but folks may not realize why things are going against them early on. I had this happen to me in reverse just yesterday, except I was left at LM watching it all happen.

      The point about being able to win the 1:1 matchups is one I want to make sure people keep in mind with these posts, because it doesn’t matter how smart you play if you can’t take a base with equal numbers. (In that ill-fated game from yesterday, we outnumbered the Horde at Farm at failed to take it. That was a big problem.)

      Thanks for reading!

      • I’ve been doing a series of posts about tactics in specific BGs (as opposed to strategy). I’m a neophyte but putting stuff out there for people to help them win the individual skirmishes.

        All too often I see people doing abysmally in BGs because they’re not winning those critical fights and they’re spending half their time chatting up the spirit healer.

  2. I can’t believe I am learning about graveyard camping! But thank goodness for diagrams because my cow brain has difficulty off focussing on walls of text

    • Well, to be fair this isn’t technically a graveyard camp, where one team farms the other at the spawn point – at least not yet. It can lead to a camp if, for instance, the Horde loses BS and holds tight at GM. But having the fight rage at ST or FM is a pretty common occurrence, and each side can overcommit to that base instead of trying to get to a different one. It’s good to try to retake it, but if they can’t take ST/FM then getting out of the spawn point is vital.

      … but yeah, this can lead to a 4-1 camp, at least for a while. <.<

      I'm glad you're enjoying the series!

  3. I love to fight in the road.

    No, really.

    And no, not what you think.

    If my side has a lead in a timer game and we’ve got a couple of people at the base, I’ll go intercept people in between nodes because it slows their ability to reach a base and try to capture it. Obviously, I’m not doing that on my Lock while I’m still leveling, because I’d be just a minor bump in the road (literally!), but my Pallys can hang in there for a helluva long time, taking up to 3 people to bring me down. In a Battle of Gilneas game, that’s sucking away 1/3 of the enemy’s team right there.

    I consider that strategy akin to having a rogue roam around in enemy territory, sapping people to keep them on their toes and forcing the other side to pull people back for defense rather than attacking.

    • Yes, if you can tie up more than one person, especially a healer, it is very useful. On my rogue if I am scouting and when it makes sense, I sap people ALL over the place. Usually they stop what they were doing and waste time AOEing every bush and tuft of grass in the vicinity while I’m already long gone. I like to think it wastes a ton of enemy resources.

  4. You raise a question for me – is AB balanced? You mentioning the iron triangle which I’ve noticed in game, it does seem to be favoured the horde side because of the resurrection vector that brings reinforcements from their spawn point – adding another point of attack if the Alliance hold those three which the Horde don’t really have to worry about.

    I can see there is symmetry in the map, but it isn’t identical, and it seems like a) the point of entry to BS from the spawn point favours Horde,
    b) LM -> BS -> Farm is stronger than BS -> GM -> Stables because you have greater visibility from LM – and the ability to parachute/slow fall down to BS, as well as the water not providing a barrier between BS and GM/Stables.

    Any thoughts on the balance issue?

    • Playing both sides regurarly I can tell that you are correct in both of your points.

      The only way to reach BS as Alliance at the same time as the Horde when the gates are open is by waterwalking. If you take the “ground” route you will always arrive when the Horde has already capped it.

  5. Eternal Sun

    Nice to see someone else understand not just the mechanics of the rez vectors, but the factor that proximity of GY to flag also plays in a match (and a factor that makes taking and holding Stables and Mines such a chore).

    Great post.

  6. interneurons

    Now that I think of it, when our team decides to attack farm early in the game, we win more often. I’ll be sure to see if I can get teams to hit farms early, and see what happens.