RPers' Guide to PvP v0.67 World of Warcraft for Macintosh (and PC) Last Update: 20 May 2006 First Version: 8 May 2006 This guide's text copyright 2006 Aster Azul Guest sections copyright their respective authors 2006 including: Viskahn (and Venks) for Section C2, Khalua for Sections A2 & H, and Greenman (and Aragone) for Section I Aster Azul (asterazul@yahoo.com) Update History: 15 May 2006 - Version .6 with sections A, B, and C nub 19 May 2006 - Version .65 with Sections A-I and Greenman's Guide to the Honor System, Khalua's Guide to Targetting 20 May 2006 - Version .67 with Viskahn's Nub Guide to Alterac Valley, Khalua's Advanced Warsong Gulch Guide, and section J Best viewed in 9-point courier. Table of Contents A. Warsong Gulch Guide Overview Tips Common Warsong Abbreviations Winning an Unbalanced Game A2.///Khalua's Advanced Warsong Gulch Guide\\\ Important Trinkets and Gear B. Arathi Basin Guide Overview: Nodes Blitzkrieg Holding Three Nodes(to come) C. Alterac Valley Guide Overview Tips for a Low-Level Player C2. ///Viskahn's Nub Guide to Alterac Valley\\\ D. Myths about PvP E. Custom Keyboard Set-up F. Macros G. RPing in a PvP Setting H. ///Khalua's Guide to Targetting\\\ I. ///Greenman's Guide to the Honor System\\\ J. Queuing Tricks This guide is written from a Horde perspective but should be useful to members of the Alliance as well. There is also some information that's obviously more useful to mages than anyone else, but I will try to add more general info as time goes on. So, I know lots of you are interested in fighting in Thrall's army, but are afraid to get into the hot and heavy because you're intimidated by the prospect. This is a short and simple guide to PvP to help you get started, and take some of the mysticism out of it. One thing I'd like to emphasize is the importance of an offensive strategy. The battlegrounds are supposed to be fun and exciting, but Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley can go on for an indefinite amount of time if both sides are evenly matched. I implore new players not to be afraid to take risks, and not to be afraid to lose as long as you're trying something new or having fun. Sometimes you lose, even when you're playing your hardest. But hanging onto the battle by your fingernails when there's no hope of a comeback for two hours is a waste of both teams' time. Always have an offense, even in the hardest times. Take that last stab at the enemy instead of hiding in your shell. Respect your opponents. Winning isn't everything. Strength and Honor. _______ _______ / / \ \ /______/ A. Warsong Gulch \______\ / \ / \ /__________________________________________\ *OVERVIEW* The easiest way to get started on player versus player combat is to try it. By far the easiest battleground to learn is Warsong Gulch, so it's a great place to begin your military career. The goal of Warsong Gulch is essentially to steal (right-click) the blue Alliance flag from it's pedestal inside the Alliance base and run all the way south to the pedestal inside the Horde base. If the red flag has also been captured, you can't capture the blue flag until the red flag has been returned to its home in the Horde base. (So if someone is standing on the horde pedestal with the blue flag wondering why it won't capture, this is why.) When you first enter the battleground, someone will most likely have started the raid and will invite you into their group. If someone is giving out orders and organising your raid, they probably know what they are talking about and should be listened to. In general, when the game begins the majority of the Horde will exit through the right doorway in the base and run or ride through midfield into the Alliance base. Your job is to follow these people and help them remove or avoid the Alliance in their way until they get to the Alliance's Flag Room. Someone will run up to the pedestal and grab the blue flag by right-clicking on it, and the Alliance will do everything in their power to stop him from getting away by slowing him with spells and trying to kill him. Your role in protecting the flag carrier (the Horde player who picked up the flag) depends on your class. For example, as a priest, your job is to heal, shield, and uncurse him to prevent him from dying. As a mage, you'll want to frost nova the masses of Alliance who chase your flagcarrier and sheep the especially intimidating ones. No matter what class you are, if you see the flagcarrier dying, you'll want to right-click furiously on the spot where he's about to fall. If you're nearby and fast enough, when he dies and drops the flag, you will pick it up and be able to continue running it to your base. The other role of a player in Warsong Gulch is to defend the home flag. Your job here is to watch the red flag and make sure the Alliance doesn't pick it up. The flag is on the south pedestal, but it's actually better to hang around the northern side of the flag room or even outside the base when defending, because some classes, especially mages, can be in and out of the flag room before you can blink. If someone does manage to get away with the flag, type onto the raid channel which exit they went out of. The left exit leads to the "GY" (for graveyard) or the ramp and the left side leads to the tunnel. Although it's extremely important to defend the flag, it's also important that battles start and end in reasonable amounts of time, so there should always be more offenders than defenders. 3 defenders and 7 offence is a reasonable and balanced ratio. *TIPS* FULL-FIELD MAP: A neat trick relatively unknown to players is that shift-clicking the red icon on the minimap will produce a small map of the battlefield in the lower right of the screen. This map shows the position of all your teammates and also shows topographical features on the map. It's useful because it shows the ENTIRE field, not just a small radius around your character. Of course, the most useful map is the full screen map which you can see by simply pressing the "M" key. CATCHING A DROPPED FLAG: The best way to pick up a flag off of a dying teammate or return a flag off of an enemy FC is to furiously click on the place where you think the flag will drop. It can be difficult to guess exactly where it will fall, but if you wait for the flag to actually be visible on your screen, chances are that one of your enemies will already have grabbed it. DEALING WITH ESCORTS: Sometimes, a huge mass of enemy players will bulldoze into your flag room and make off with the red flag. Your first reaction may be to kill the FC and only the FC in order to return the flag. Although this is a good idea, you might want to first kill off healers that are escorting the FC. If you're a hunter, mage, shaman, or have any type of slowing abilities, you might want to drop them on the ESCORT, but not the FC. That way, you can delay all of the flagcarriers support, and your teammates will be able to slaughter the unaided flagcarrier as he or she runs off into midfield with the prize. As an FC yourself, this brings you to mind of the importance of knowing when to stick with your escort and when to make a break for it. It's case-by-case. If you can survive, hoof it. If not, stay with your teammates so they can heal you or retrieve your flag when you fall. COMMUNICATION: Communication is key in Warsong Gulch. Even if you don't plan on trying to lead your group, you should call out significant things you see. If you see the red flagcarrier sneaking around the west side of the field unseen, for instance, call out "Red FC west, no escort!" or something similar to alert your fellow players to busting his tush. If you see a huge mass of enemies running toward your tunnel "Alliance zerg, 6ish, coming our tun" will let your side's flagcarrier know to perhaps take the ramp in. TEAMWORK: When possible, stick close to your fellow battlers. We're the Horde, we stick together and move as groups. Forming a concerted effort will keep you all alive and allow you to move through contention that may have otherwise slain you. There are times when you'll need to work alone. Sometimes you're the only person in position to catch the enemy flag carrier, or perhaps your team is too busy defending their own base to capture the blue flag, and you'll have to get it yourself. Still, communicate your intentions and help everyone know what's going on and what you're planning. DYING IS NO BIG DEAL: Death and resurrection is a fact in the battlegrounds. Just get used to it. As a mage, I die so often that my death counts rack up into the thirties and forties. But because I make influential moves returning flags and catching them from our own fallen FCs, I make a fair impact on the game anyway. In fact, once you die, you'll be resurrected with full mana and health, so it may be advantageous to run into a zerg of Alliance throwing out Arcane Explosions until they slaughter you. Keep mental track of the resurrection timer or put a stopwatch on your desk, and try to die within ten seconds of the resurrection time. (Cut it any closer and lag may deny you a revival.) DISTRACTION AND DELAYS: Knowing that death is no big deal, what do you do when you're trying to clear an enemy's home FR, or are running through an enemy graveyard? If you kill them, they may respawn within seconds of their death. Sheeping, slowing, or otherwise delaying the Alliance is far better than killing them in instances when you're nearer to their base than yours. A good high level sheep spell can keep an Ally out of combat for over thirty seconds and has the bonus of being disorienting for the player. If you've become notorious in your bracket, it may come to the point that a contingent of the Alliance will track and slay you on sight. Instead of being irritated by this, use it to your advantage. Distract them from your troops' movements by running them into unimportant areas of the map. If five Alliance players are chasing you around the field while your team rushes into your base, you've done a greater service to your team than by killing them or by joining the attack. HONORABLE KILLS: Simply put, honorable kills mean nothing. Just don't bother. "Kill-farming" is pointless, because once you've killed a player four times, he or she stops giving you honor. Even when players do give you honor, the amount you can get during a battle is piffle compared to the 1000 honor you get for winning a game. Just don't bother. Play the game like it's meant to be played. In Warsong this is especially true, because there are only ten players on each side. You'll shoot through the honor boosts of the ten players in no time, and in any case the most honor you can really make off of them is around 400, as the same team will be queuing up over and over. GRAVEYARD CAMPING: This is probably the single most dishonorable thing you can do in the game. Although there is no in-game penalty for it, it is such a despised tactic that groups that have been GY-camped will boycott the battlegrounds to avoid you. Anyone I catch doing this in one of my matches, I warn, then kick, then blacklist on the forums, and apologize to the enemy general for the offending combatant. Just make our lives easier and don't do it. In Warsong Gulch, graveyard camping is a little hazy to define. There's only one GY for each side, and they are elevated on a ledge. My rule is that it's perfectly all right to loiter below the opposing side's graveyard, because if they drop down it's their choice to fight you. It's also OK to fight in their graveyard if the flag carrier is hiding there. So GY-camping is a little fuzzy in Warsong. If your team has an obvious numbers or level advantage, though, and you decide to start killing players before they can leave the graveyard, this is obviously a dishonorable and illicit tactic. *COMMON WARSONG ABBREVIATIONS* "tun" - tunnel "ped" - flag pedestal "FC" - flag carrier "FR" - flag room "GY" - graveyard "catch" - the FC is dying and needs someone to right-click the flag when he/she dies in order to keep it running "zerg" - massive group of attackers "cap" - capture "MT" - mistell "turtling" - keeping all or most of your players in your base, protecting a captured or home flag. Generally causes long, boring games. *WINNING AN UNBALANCED GAME* Sometimes you're just doomed from the start, it seems. The first game of the day on the Scarlet Crusade server, for example, is almost always a 4 Horde versus 8 Alliance game. (A couple times I've even had to fight all of them alone!) What to do under these conditions? A few rules specific to unbalanced games: If, after the two minute period before the battle starts, the number of players is less than five on one side or the other, the game will begin a five-minute timer to end the battle. Every minute you'll see it counting down in yellow text (like a server shutdown) until the battle ends. When the battle does end, the winner is determined by who has the most capped flags. If neither side has capped a flag, the side that's carrying a flag wins. If both sides are carrying a flag, or if no one has one, the game is a draw. A draw game is the worst possible outcome of a Gulch run. It's worse than losing, in terms of game logistics. You gain no honor. You don't get a mark. And to add insult to injury, you get a deserter flag. So sometimes it's better to surrender one of these broken little games at the end, if you're after the honor and feeling generous to your opponent. So, onto strategy. The first game of the day is one situation in which I would actually recommend turtling. If you can hold on for awhile, other soldiers may trickle in. Say you have four players. Figure out who your most professional flagcapper is. Is it a shaman who can ghost wolf in seconds? A rogue who's so sneaky that he can hide the flag for hours on end? A frost mage who is out of the FR so fast no one can tell which exit he used? This player should fly solo out of the FR at the start of the battle and try to make it to the enemy base to capture the flag. If he can just pick up the blue flag and hide with it, for example inside the crook of the door in the Alliance base, then the defenders can protect the red flag for the next five minutes. If the blue flag is being held and the red is on the pedestal when five minutes are up, Horde wins. How to play the ninja flagcarrier: If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. When the battle starts, the Alliance is going to immediately ride out to your base to slaughter your teammates. You want to get to their base without being seen. The east side of the field is best for this. You can hide behind stumps and terrain features in order to avoid being spotted on the way. Enter the base off the side, using the secret entrance up the east side of the ramp. Go in and hide on the balcony, scouting out the room. If you encounter an enemy, things are going to be more interesting. If you can incapacitate or confuse them somehow, go for it. If their alone and you can kill them quickly, do that. The most important thing is that they don't know your position. If it's empty, grab the blue flag, and break for it. Now that you have the flag, the question is what to do with it. If you have five grumpy dwarves chasing after you trying to remove your kneecaps, the obvious answer is to run like hell out of the base (you might want to do the tunnel-roof-fr circuit once to throw them off you). You're going to need all of your cooldowns, potions, and fancy gadgets to get the flag back, so use them wisely. Try to avoid huge groups of alliance players on the way back. There's no one to save you this time, so be careful. If you make it to midfield, call for one of the defenders (a spawner from the doomed battle to save the home FR, most likely) to come meet you so she can either pick the flag off your corpse or give you a hand. If you've managed to grab the flag without being seen, you have a few more decisions to make. If you know you won't make it back to the base, find a place to hide and sit tight until the field clears up. The Alliance roof is a good place, as are the little crannies inside the doors or the far east crook outside the Alliance ramp. This can be an especially good idea if the Alliance has your flag, and you end up being the last line of defense. If you can return the Horde flag and still be holding the Alliance flag when the battle ends, you win. Use your best judgement here. It's always better to cap the flag than be trying to hold the accursed thing; the reason I suggest it here is that it's an unexpected strategy that could throw your enemies off, and because time is so tight in these battles. Another strategy: You can also try to have a pure zerg run. A zerg of... four players. Sounds silly, but if the Alliance is overconfident they may be scattered and disorganized. The four of you can steal the blue flag quickly and maybe kill the red FC on the way out and back to home base. One last strategy: Cross-faction dance party! Stretch it, Galandrial! A little bit of goofing off and emote tossing can lighten the mood here. After all, it's a five minute nub game. Does it really matter who wins? Be chill mons! ______ ______ \GUEST\ /GUIDE/ \_____\ /_____/ ||_\||__||__||__||/_|| | KHALUA'S ADVANCED | |WARSONG GULCH GUIDE | |____________________| By the wild hearted and fiery-haired Khalua of The Darkspear "Warsong gulch can play out several different ways. Reading through the guide provided by Aster, the standard Warsong Gultch Strategies for the Horde are present to get familiar with the game. Advanced Horde tactics tend to revolve around minimal or no Defence strategies. This is a game of capture the flag.. you can't win if you don't take the flag, right? Now this advanced strategy does apply more to the 40's + bracket as mounts are now in the picture. Form two groups one primarily rogues or DPS classes and the other with alternate travel forms, Druid/Shaman and priests. Move as distinct Groups and stick together. The DPS group charges ahead, mounted and engages opposition immediately. Thus keeping them stuck mid field or at the foot of their base. Flag Carrier Group rushes roughly 30 sec. after the initial wave of DPS group... staying mounted, they blow right by the mid-field into the opponent Flag room. DPS group calls out in raid chat the best possible exit based on which side of the field they have migrated the front lines. It is best for the DPS group to pull the opposition to one side or the other instead of hanging out in the middle. As the flag is being carried back all folks who resurect and DPS group meet up midfield... with the exception of the flag carrier and priest escort. Their job is to slow the opponents chasing the flag, or to recapture their flag if any opponents were able to sneak through. Once re-caputred, the Flag Carrier/ priest will post the flag and meet up with their group to begin the cycle again. This advanced approach requires teamwork and is hard to execute in a Pick up Group where others may not listen to coordinated leadership. Remember.. Offence wins games.. Working together wins many! Oh, and a tip/tactic for certain Shaman builds. If you have Natures Swiftness... Ghost Wolf is a qualifiying nature spell for instant cast. For flag running... Earthbind totem in their base when you have the flag, Natures Swiftness in the short span to the area outside their base and 'Insta-Wolf' (patent pending) once outside. That will give you a head start on any opposition that wishes to chase after you." -Khalua *IMPORTANT TRINKETS AND GEAR* As a Horde flagcarrier, two particular trinkets come to mind here. The [Insignia of the Horde] and the [Defiler's Talisman]. The [Insignia of the Horde] is an amazing little doodad that removes certain stun and sheep effects, especially ones that reduce your speed. A must for a flagcarrier. You obtain it from the true entrance of Warsong Gulch, for having freindly reputation. The [Defiler's Talisman] absorbs damage on the order of a couple hundred HP, depending on the level you purchase it at. This is an excellent item for cloth wearers and will save your rear-end both in and out of the Gulch. One thing to note is that you can have more than one Talisman, as long as they're from different levels, so you can double your damage absorb. The [Defiler's Talisman] is obtained by being friendly with the Defiler's and purchasing it from the true entrance to Arathi Basin. As a low-level spellcaster in your bracket, the [Rune of Perfection] might also be handy. It drastically reduces resistances against your spells. Consider it if you're being resisted left and right. Two [Rune of Perfection] of different levels stack. Handy potions to keep an eye out for are the [Swiftness Potion], [Free Action Potion], and any healing or mana regen potions. The [Swiftness Potion] is made from the relatively low level herbs [Briarthorn] and [Swiftthistle] which, fittingly, can be found right outside the true entrance to Warsong Gulch. It drastically increases your speed and is best used in a close battle when you need to break away from your pursuers. Using Alliance speed boots, [Swiftness Potion], and Horde speed boots will take you all the way from the Alliance base to home before anyone can blink. [Free Action Potion]s are harder to come by. You need to catch [Oily Blackmouth] fish to make them and convert them into oil to use as a reagent. The [Free Action Potion] prevents any spell or effect from slowing you down, although the effect can be dispelled. A player who quaffs one is surrounded by a glowing halo at her feet. [Invisibility Potion]s can also be a hoot. Just remember that turning invisible whilst holding the flag will force you to drop it. General healing potions are also good stuff. You can obtain very nice potions from vendors near any of the Battleground entrances, although the potions are only useable inside the PvP matches. Weaker potions that can be used anywhere can be found inside the officers' barracks once you make Stone Guard. Of course, the best potions are made with the Alchemy skill. One item I've used before is the [Spider Belt]. I have to say that it appears to be singularly useless. It's supposed to prevent movement altering spells, but it doesn't seem to work reliably or, in fact, ever. [Slumber Sand] is a pretty good item. It freezes an enemy in place for 20ish seconds. You only find it once, from a special quest, and I think it has been discontinued and made soulbound for those who have it, but if any is left lying around in your bank it's great for classes with no sheep/charm abilities. Shame you only get five. I'll add more items here as I find them. _______ _______ / / \ \ /______/ B. Arathi Basin \______\ / \ / \ /__________________________________________\ *OVERVIEW: NODES* The second battleground you're likely to frequent is Arathi Basin, or AB. This is my favorite battleground in the game because of its resource-imposed time limit. No matter what, this game isn't going to last much longer than half an hour. It's also a pretty battleground with a dynamic and interesting design. Have fun with it; I know I do. AB differs from Warsong Gulch in that the goal is to capture a number of resource nodes around the field in order to obtain 2000 resources before the opposing side. In addition to providing resources, each node has a graveyard with a spirit healer. If a node belongs to your team, your faction will be able to resurrect there. If a node is contested or untouched or Alliance-controlled, the spirits of dead players will default to the nearest graveyard or the original graveyard to the far south (which is very inconvenient). To capture a resource node, you must "open" the node's flag by right-clicking on it, and then channelling the opening action for about five seconds. If you move or are hit, the opening action will cancel and you'll have to try again. Once you've "opened" the flag, it will become neutral. After a few minutes, it will convert to your side if no Alliance tag it. Then the node will begin producing resources for your team. After a node has been captured, an Alliance player can contest it by opening it. If they succeed, it will become neutral again, and every player who dies from then on, and every ghost waiting in the graveyard, will teleport to another GY. If you're already dead and you can see the node being tagged, you might want to leave the GY to avoid being teleported. If your corpse is still nearby you can wait to rez there or wait for a teammate to recapture the flag, instead of trekking from another GY. If a Horde player opens the flag before it changes to an Alliance flag, it will immediately revert to Horde without any sort of delay period. So if a flag is contested, it's important to run to it, kill, sheep, charm, or run off the Ally there, and open the flag. The five nodes are the Farm, which is the node closest to the Horde base, the Stables (Stabs), which is closest to the Alliance, the Lumber Mill (LM), on the western or left side of the battlefield, on top of a hill, the Mine in east or right side, in a depression, and the Blacksmith (BS), dead in the center and surrounded by a moat. All of these nodes have their own strategic significance. The Farm and Stables are most notably the easiest for Horde and Alliance to defend. You'll often find that only a few defenders bother to hang around these points, commonly one or even none at all. This makes the Stables node a great place to have sneak attacks at. As a Horde player, owning the Lumber Mill node is helpful, because it's easiest to sneak around the western side to hit the Stables flag. The Lumber Mill is also the most difficult node to get to. You have to hike up to the LM on either the north or south side. The Mine is easier to reach because you can jump down the depression to get to the mine and even featherfall directly to the node. The Blacksmith is probably the single most important node, however, because it provides an extremely convenient resurrection point for either side, from which they can reach any of the other four nodes. As such, it is heavily contested and should be fought hard for. That said, it is still not essential, and intelligent Horde leaders should know when to let the Alliance have the BS and attack, say, the Stables. When you enter the battleground, everyone should call out the node they want to take. If players don't do this, some of the nodes are likely to be forgotten or tagged too late. I've seen a number of games in which no one remembered to hit the farm, and it was captured five minutes after the Alliance captured their stables. Listen to what nodes others choose and try to have tag teams for each of the five nodes. There usually isn't enough time to organize proper number games on who goes where; as long as there's one person going to each node, your team will at least know what the Alliance is doing. One very important thing to remember is to fight at the FLAGS. Bridges, crossroads, buildings, none of these are important. They're all eye candy. The flags are what you must defend. As a mage or warlock, AOE them until they're captured or when they're being opened, and sheep or charm full-health players that are causing trouble for your teammates. If you come to an enemy flag that has a swarm of Alliance, Blizzard/Flamestrike from a distance or run right into them to Frost Nova and Arcane Explosion to soften them up. You WILL die, but if you pop your Defiler's Talisman you'll at least live until you run out of mana. As a mage or other mana-dependent class, you can really abuse the resurrection system in order to keep nodes and kill off enemy players. *BLITZKRIEG* One thing you'll often hear in the Basin is "hold three nodes". The three most important nodes to the Horde are the Farm, LM, and BS, and these are typically what players will go for. Although this is a valid and solid strategy, I recommend this alternative: blitzkrieging the opposing team by attempting to capture all five flags very quickly. Capturing four nodes results in a drastic increase in productivity, and capturing five will win the game nearly instantly (in about 30 seconds, perhaps?) As a well-structured Horde team, have one player hit the farm and remain there, three go to the mill, three go to the mines, four or five to the blacksmith, and the rest to the Stables, from the western side. You can shuffle these numbers as much as you want depending on the other side's movements. Your goal here is to box in the Alliance and force them all into the stables. After you've beaten down contention at the LM and Mine, take the BS and quickly push all your troops to the stables. Leave 1, perhaps 2, players at each node, but have the main thrust of your raid in the western stables to take their last flag. The resurrecting Alliance players will pour out of the north, some going east, some west, and some heading for the flag. Pester anyone who tries to recapture the stables flag, and attempt to kill or sheep anyone who tries to get past to the south. You should be able to win the battle within ten minutes. This strategy has its downsides. Sometimes Allies will get past you into the rest of the map. Although your guards will be able to warn of the approaching raiders, one or two horde won't always be enough to defend. Also, the push to the stables, boxing the Alliance in, sometimes devolves into graveyard camping as the Horde closes in on the source. My rule is to keep near the flag, and not to kill players until they make a break either east or west. It could be argued that aggressively holding the stables is already GY camping. Use your own discretion here. Is the Alliance on your server OK with five capping, or does your server's Geneva Convention have rules against it? In any case, this strategy could win you a lot of games nearly before they begin. Even in a tough battle, it's better to be dynamic and have a goal in mind than to just decide to hold three. From a purely mechanical perspective, pestering nodes cuts off their flow of resources temporarily. Attacking the Alliance in unexpected places also allows you to manipulate and harry them; psychological warfare is a powerful tool. _______ _______ / / \ \ /______/ C. Alterac Valley \______\ / \ / \ /__________________________________________\ *OVERVIEW* Alterac Valley is the most complex and confusing battleground in the game. You won't want to step into here until you already have a good idea of how Arathi Basin works, as the flag system is similar. You'll only be able to get into Alterac Valley after you reach level 51, so you won't be seeing it until you've already had quite a bit of experience with your class. Level 51-60 players all go to the same battleground, so as a level 51 player checking into AV is a way to meet the Champions and Warlords of your server. (Although as a level 51 player, you won't be much use at anything but taming wolves.) The basic goal of Alterac Valley is to slay the enemy general, who lives far north in the heart of the Alliance base, across the bridge and inside the keep. The enemy general is essentially a raid boss. This sounds simple enough, but between you and him are hundreds of Alliance NPCs, archers, and players. Your team will be divided into two sides, offense and defense. Again, as an aggressive player, and one who likes to see a battle end before 3:00am in the morning, I highly recommend having a far stronger offense than defense. There will be forty players at your disposal; 30 on offense and 10 on defense, or similar numbers, will give some contention for the Alliance without making the match a tiresome slugfest. Again, when you enter the battle, one of the seasoned veteran players of Alterac will probably begin to start giving orders and advice. Listen to her, as this battleground is confusing and someone needs to be in charge to keep things organized. The most important thing to do in this BG is to capture the flags leading north to the Alliance base. A captured graveyard gives players a place to res farther north. Your ultimate goal is to capture Stonehearth (SH) and then march from there onto Stormpike (SP), the graveyard closest to the Alliance base (aside from the relief hut). Let me say right now that Viskahn's Guide to Alterac is FAR superior to the junk I've written here. Just go down and skip to the next section, *TIPS FOR A LOW-LEVEL PLAYER* As a low-level player who has just been introduced to the valley, here are some simple tasks for you to do. TAME AND GATHER FROSTWOLVES: This quest is incredibly easy as it puts you away from any combat whatsoever, but helps to summon a powerful offensive force to the battle. To the southeast corner of the field is a wooden mesh cage with two nearby questgivers. The female frostwolf gives you a quest to tame wolves and the male frostwolf gives you one to kill rams and collect their hides. After you talk to the woman, she'll give you a bridle to capture the wolves with. Put the bridle in one of your action-bar slots. Move up to a wolf and target it. Put up any shields or defense mechanisms you have and then hit the action key for the bridle. You'll begin channelling an action to capture the wolf. The wolf will immediately begin to attack you. However, the channelled action completes relatively quickly and isn't interrupted by damage. Just hold still and don't cancel the action and the wolf will become tame. (The wolves don't do nearly enough damage to pose a threat, besides.) You only get one bridle, so if you screw up you'll have to kill the wolf (shameful!), cancel the quest entirely, and talk to the female frostwolf again. After you've tamed the wolf, return to the female frostwolf and give her the wolf. Then speak to her again to retake the quest. (The whole thing is rather a tedious pain. Make sure you have instant quest text on and just skip through as fast as possible.) All your time with this quest is essentially spent on clicking and moving around. Just get good at finding the wolves quickly (they're all in the south) and taming and returning them as fast as you can. COLLECT RAM HIDES: This quest is more difficult as Alterac Rams are to the north in Alliance territory. You'll have to contend with Ally players attacking you and NPCs spotting you in order to kill the rams. As a low-level player, you'll want to have coordinate with the rest of the group. By the time you've completed taming wolves, higher level players will hopefully have already gathered most of the ram hides. ESCORTING THE FROSTWOLVES: When you've captured enough wolves and killed enough rams, the Frostwolf Riders will be released and will sweep across the field. The Alliance players will attempt to kite them away from their main objectives, like flags and towers. Use your snares to root, freeze, or slow them, forcing them to fight the Frost Wolves instead of merely teasing them and running. Very few Allies can survive 15 extremely fast orcs beating on them at once. If the wolf riders survive to make it to the bride, this can be a great time to strike out and storm the Alliance stronghold. The NPCs add an extra level of confusion for your enemy which could be just what your team needs to take the field and kill the Alliance general. THE SHREDDER: I'm hazy on the details of this quest, but there's a questgiver named Zinfizzlex in Frostwolf. If you complete his quest, you get a shredder useable for three game days. The shredder is a 60 elite that replaces your character: http://www.thottbot.com/?i=40354 I have heard tell the matts cost 10G, but it's a way to upgrade your level 51 character into a killing machine, at least temporarily. ______ ______ \GUEST\ /GUIDE/ \_____\ /_____/ ||_\||__||__||__||/_|| |VISKAHN'S NUB GUIDE | | TO ALTERAC VALLEY | |____________________| NOTE: This is a guest section by Viskahn (with some commentary by Venks) and is 100% not written by me. You can find it here, as a forum post on US forums: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?FN=wow-pvp&T=443356&P=1 and here as a forum post on Europe Forums: http://forums-en.wow-europe.com/thread.aspx?fn=wow-pvp-en&t=169804&p=1 "Angry Troll Studios presents Viskahns Nub Guide to Alterac Valley Introduction to Alterac Valley Im going to say it now, and again at the end; THIS THREAD IS NOT TO DO WITH THE BALANCE OR IMBALANCE OF ALTERAC VALLEY, OR EXPLOITS PLEASE DO NOT WHINE ON THIS THREAD. Moving swiftly on then.. I decided to write this since ive seen a lot of posts asking what to do in AV, what various items are used for etc, and there is currently no guide on the forums to answer these questions. Alterac Valley (AV) is a battleground located in the Alterac Mountains. Its capacity is 40 horde players and 40 alliance, fighting across a pretty big battlefield littered with graveyards, bunkers and various other features. The main thing which distinguishes AV from the other battlegrounds is the strong NPC presence, as well as the secondary objectives and quests which can be done inside it. Some people dislike the concept, others such as me, love it. This gives AV a different style of play completely to the other battlegrounds, as you have to overcome not only the enemy players but also the NPCs and static defences which are in place. A typical game of AV (PuG vs PuG) can range from anything between 4-20 hours, though usually something like 5-8. Hence it is not something to do if you just want a quick fight, AV is a serious timesink and if you expect any reasonable amount of reputation or honor from it (though honor is better farmed elsewhere) then be prepared to stay for at least 3-4 hours. The Basics OK, as with all BGs, AV is divided roughly into two halves, the alliance controlling the northern half with their main base at the top, Dun Baldar. The horde control the southern area with their base of Frostwolf Village. Each bases is defending by 2 towers/bunkers (explained more later) as well as ridiculous amounts of NPCs. The objective of the game is to kill the enemy general, who is basically a raid boss, who resides right at the end of the enemy base, in his fortress. Each base also boasts a graveyard, along with various NPC vendors, quest givers and of course, crates. Moving out of the base, each team has another graveyard pretty close to their base, situated along the main road, and there is also an NPC controlled Mine near each teams base (details later). Moving even further on there is a line of static defences and NPC guards (there are guards patrolling pretty much everywhere) as well as another graveyard for each team. Now we are in the middle of the battlefield, on the Field of Strife, with a neutral starting graveyard, Snowfall, which can be claimed by whichever team captures it first. On the northern and southern edges of the field of strife is also an Outpost which houses each sides captain, who provides periodic buffs as long as he/she is alive. There is also a 4th and final tower for each team situated between the outpost and their graveyards near the field of strife. A pretty good map of AV is available here: http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/battlegrounds/map-alterac.html The only things not up-to-date is the central graveyard which used to be horde controlled, but now starts neutral. And on the mid eastern and western sides of the battleground, the 2 caves no longer exist (update plx blizz). Most people go to Alterac Valley only to gain reputation with Stormpike or Frostwolf. You can see a list of rewards at different reputation levels here: http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/battlegrounds/rewards-alterac.html The fastest way to get reputation is to win, and destroy all towers, capture all graveyards, kill all lieutenants/commanders/captain and basically "do" everything. You automatically gain 1 reputation every time somebody hands in an item in the battleground, as well as recieving small amounts for doing quests, destroying towers, defending towers, ditto for graveyards and so forth. Basically, pretty much everything which helps your team will get you reputation. Beware of "leechers" who will just sit somewhere with an anti-afk macro on, getting reputation from everyone elses hard work without doing anything themselves. If you find one, report him to a GM and hope that they will actually do something about it." "The Quests Quests perhaps isnt the right word, but there are several missions that you can undertake in AV to help your team in various ways. Whenever someone in the battleground (on your team) does one of these, everyone in the battleground will usually receive a tiny little bit of reputation with your battleground faction. Also bare in mind that all quest items except for the Headhunting ones will disappear when you leave the battleground, so try to hand them in before you leave. They disappear to prevent someone spending a week hoarding quest items, then going into a battleground, unleashing every single NPC attack/upgrade available all right at the start and instantly creaming the enemy with an unstoppable push. Note that killing NPCs can also yield most of these items. Blacksmith Supplies For either team, when you kill an enemy you can effectively loot their corpse by right clicking it. You get a couple of silver and some quest items, and sometimes a grey junk item with a humorous name (Broken IWIN button for instance) which serves no purpose. One of the things you are likely to find is armor scraps. You get about 5-10 of these per player usually, and in your main base your blacksmith NPC will accept stacks of 20 of them. When you and your team-mates have handed in enough of these scraps, you will have the option to upgrade your NPC guards and patrols. You should do this immediately since there is no real downside to doing it. The guards have 4 levels of upgrade Default (no rank), Seasoned, Veteran and Champion. Obviously, the more upgraded they are, the stronger. Even after you have champions you can still hand in armor scraps just for the reputation. Headhunting Whenever you loot someone, they will always drop an item relating to their race. This is tauren hooves, human bone chips, gnome hair, troll mojo etc. In your base, or in a nearby location, there are 4 NPCs who will collect these and award everybody 1 reputation per turn in. There are no extra benefits of doing this other than the reputation, so these items do not disappear when you leave the battleground and can be handing in later. (( Aster: this has been recently removed from the game. )) Elemental Lords Sometimes when you loot an enemy player, you will find either a Storm Crystal (for alliance looting horde) or a Stormpike Soldiers Blood (for horde looting alliance). When you have handed in a LOT of these (500 or so I think? Not sure) then in your base, the Primalist for horde or Archdruid for alliance, will yell for assistance. He and an escort of shamans/druids will then proceed towards the field of strife. Once they reach the outskirts, they will begin a summoning ritual. They will then require 10 players to come and help the summon (the same as a beefed up warlock summoning). After the ritual is done, an elemental lord will enter the field of strife. For alliance this is Ivus the Forest Lord, and for horde it is Lokholar the Icelord. These 2 bosses will remain on the field of strife for roughly 20 minutes before heading towards the enemy base, obliterating all in their path. These things are extremely tough to take down, and virtually impossible if the other team is good at healing/buffing them. The best way, owing to a pretty stupid AI, is simply to have a hunter pull the boss all the way back to your teams general, who will then annihilate the puny elemental lord. Note if the primalist/druid is killed before they can start the summoning ritual, then that is the end of it, and you have just wasted a lot of blood/storm crystals, and will have to wait for a pretty hefty respawn time. Cavalry! To get your teams cavalry onto the field requires 2 things. Firstly, some of your team will have to spend some time taming wolves for horde or rams for alliance (you are given the taming thing with the quest) and returning them to the stable-master NPC who you got the quest from. For alliance he is at the back of Dun Baldar, for the horde he is outside of the base on the eastern side of the BG, south of the entry portal. The other part of this is to collect ram or wolf hides. This means you have to kill the opposing teams beasts (ie if you are horde you kill rams and vice versa) and loot a Alterac Ram Hide or Frostwolf Hide. Once you have collected 25 wolves/rams and 25 ram/wolf hides respectively, you can give the order to let loose the cavalry. They will march out to the field of strife and remain there patrolling a set route until told otherwise. However, if you have some reputation with your Alterac faction (honoured I think) you can then talk to the cavalry commander and tell him to attack. This will then cause your cavalry to charge towards the enemy base. Cavalry can prove deadly against the enemy zerg, and should be used wisely since once the commander is dead he has a long respawn before you can start collecting stuff again. Another note is that by killing the enemy cavalry commander, this will automatically force the enemy cavalry to attack in the same way as if the attack order was given. This is useful just if you have the enemy cavalry patrolling and want to get rid of them quickly before the other team can use them at a better time. Venks: When taming animals for your faction make sure you don't move while taming, otherwise the taming is canceled and you have to abandon the quest and get the quest again to get a new taming device. Aerial Support Another thing you may loot from time to time is either Frostwolf Medals (for alliance killing horde) or Stormpike Flesh (for horde killing alliance, not to be confused with the blood required for the icelord). There are 3 different types and they appear to be dropped pretty much at random. Until you have rescued your wing commanders, there is nothing you can do with these. Each team has 3 wing commanders, all of which have been captured and are being held prisoner by the enemy. For the horde these are as follows Wing Commander Guse is in Icewing Bunker, Jeztor is in the Stormpike Lumber Mill, and Mulverick is in the Dun Baldar North Bunker. For the alliance, I dont know the names, but they are in Tower Point, a little hut near the gate of frostwolf village, and in frostwolf villages western tower. When you have found them, you can talk to them and tell them to go back to base. This they will do, and it is up to you to protect them until they get there. If they are killed along the way then thats it, they dont respawn. This means that it is a really bad idea to try to free one when he is in the middle of a tower with loads of NPCs guarding him, as he will just be slaughtered by the guards immediately. Once they are back in base however, the wing commanders will accept a certain type of medal/flesh depending on which wing commander they are. Once you have handed in enough of whatever they want, you will be able to do 2 things. 1) Obtain a beacon, which must be planted somewhere on the field of strife and protected for 1 minute. After this minute is up, a bat rider or gryphon rider (depending on faction) will come and fly around the field of strife. You can get one of these for each wing commander, and having 3 of these things flying around battering the enemy is a nice advantage. 2) Tell the wing commander to attack, upon which he/she will mount up on his/her bat/gryphon and fly to a specific location, after which they will act pretty much like a normal bat rider but a lot tougher and more powerful. You can do each of these things for each wing commander, so there is no sense in telling a wing commander to attack before you have gotten a beacon. Also note after the wing commander is out flying, there is then no use whatsoever for her specific type of flesh/medal, so you can destroy it. Mines and Infantry Assaults Near each teams base is a mine. At the start of the game this will be controlled by neutral NPCs. At the centre of each mine is a named neutral NPC boss, and if killed, your teams NPC miners will then come to the mine and start mining. The neutral boss isnt too hard, and a stealth team should easily take him out. The mine will then be under your control for about an hour until the neutrals come and reclaim it. Whilst the mine is under your control, supplies will begin to spawn. In your base you can get a quest to gather these supplies in bundles of 10. Once enough supplies have been turned in, you will have the option of sending an infantry attack (reavers for horde, commandos for alliance) which are much like the cavalry. You will need to get the attack orders from an NPC in your base and give them to your infantry commander, who should be on the field of strife somewhere waiting for you. After you have given them to him, he and his infantry will start their attack. Note that it is perfectly possible to claim the opposing teams mine, and supplies gathered there are a lot more valuable to your team than those gathered from your home mine, but naturally the trip is a long longer and far more perilous. It is also possible to capture a mine directly from the opposing team. To do this, do exactly the same as if it were controlled by neutrals, and kill the named NPC at the centre of the mine. Capturing a mine is instant once the NPC is dead (explained with towers/graveyards later)." "Lieutenants, Commanders and Captains Scattered around the battlefield in each teams halves are 6 lieutenants, 4 commanders and a captain. Each of these provide the enemy with various uses- -The lieutenants control various NPC spawns, so by killing them you prevent the respawn of certain enemy NPC guards. -The commanders are in towers and bunkers, and also command NPC spawnpoints. Hence they offer the same benefits for killing as a lieutenant, but also need to be killed if you plan on taking the enemy towers. -The captains, as mentioned earlier, provide a periodic battleshout buff to everyone on their team in the battleground. They are heavily guarded in their outposts, and pretty tough to take down. Killing them will also grant you an extra battleshout buff (assuming your captain is alive still) and prevent the respawn of the NPCs near the outpost. The Hordes captain is called Galvanger, and is a melee fighter with various warrior skills, whilst the Alliance captain - Balinda - is a mage. So basically, these guys are all worth taking out. The best way I find is to just pull and kite them into your teams zerg, and then spam /attacktarget and hope people will pay some attention. It doesnt require a huge amount of effort to kill them and they dont respawn. Towers, Bunkers and Graveyards Basically, towers and bunkers provide static defence points as you would expect. They are manned with NPC archers/bowmen who have a nice range and are pretty good at sniping and annoying, so it is worth taking out the towers to eliminate these guys. Most towers also have a commander at the top, who is a pretty tough cookie, and some have captured wing commanders. There are also some anti-stealth units. Towers are controlled by flags. At the top of every bunker or tower is a flagroom, well defended with guards of course. In order to destroy an enemy tower (note you cannot capture them, only destroy them) you must first take the flag, which requires you to open it for 10 seconds. After this, you must then hold the tower for 5 minutes and prevent the enemy from taking it back. After these 5 minutes are up, the tower will burst into flames and it is destroyed. Obviously, if the enemy has any sense they will try to reclaim it when they see that a tower is under attack (it is broadcast across AV whenever something important happens). If you want to reclaim a tower under attack, you must similarly open the flag for 10 seconds, and if done successfully then the tower will be back under your control and the NPCs will respawn pretty shortly. Thats pretty much all there is to towers. Now graveyards, these provide a place for you to resurrect when you die. As with other battlegrounds, the spirit healer will resurrect all the ghosts in the graveyard every 30 seconds. The graveyards are controlled by flags similarly to towers. The flag will be defended by 4 NPC guards and sometimes a lieutenant. Same as with towers, if you manage to capture a flag, it will be 5 minutes before the graveyard comes under your control. Notably however, whilst the graveyard is under attack/contested, the enemy will be unable to resurrect there. When you die and release your spirit, your ghost will appear at the nearest graveyard controlled by your team and you will recieve a countdown to resurrection. When the countdown reaches 0, you are resurrected with full life and mana and your pet alive, at the graveyard. You are ALWAYS ressed at the closest graveyard owned by your team, so if an alliance side controls ONLY frostwolf graveyard and the entry tunnel (there are spirit healers at the entrance/exit portal to the battleground) then if you die at say, iceblood, you will be nearer to frostwolf and be transported there when you release. You can still run to another graveyard owned by your team and res there if you like, but never at a contested or enemy owned graveyard. The only other thing worth mentioning about graveyards is Snowfall (SF) and Korrak. Before 1.8 (I think) Korrak roamed the field of strife and had a quest to kill him. It caused too much annoyance however, that everyone was constantly asking to OMG KILLZ KORRAX PLS I NEED QEUST and not actually fighting, so blizzard removed the quest, made Snowfall start neutral and put Korrak and some elite trolls there to guard it. And thats how SF starts, neutral and guarded by elite trolls. These are easily enough killed, but Korrak is still a pain in the ass. The only realistic way to capture snowfall is by kiting korrak away from the flag whilst someone else captures it. This makes the first 30 mins of any AV match usually a case of each team trying to lure korrak into the enemy zerg whilst they capture the flag and so forth. Korrak will remain there even after you capture snowfall, and whilst he provides some good extra defence, he is still hostile and will attack you when you have just resurrected. This means snowfall is a bit of a pain in the ass in general." "Tactics OK now you know what AV is all about, lets discuss what you actually may want to do. The Zerg Usually since it is 40 vs 40, the vast majority of players will join one large zerg of players and slug it out with the opposing zerg constantly (think world war 2 trenches). This is just a fact of AV and isnt going to change. However, if you are an intelligent player who doesnt want to just be part of the zerg, then good for you, and there are other things you can do. Try to get a group of 5 people who you know can play, who you trust, and who arent idiots. With 5 good men in an organised group, you should be able to take down a bunker, graveyard or mine with ease. So do this, go around killing lieutenants, commanders and attacking towers and graveyards etc. If there is really nothing available, then join the zerg and PUSH. A single warrior supported by 2 healers can easily push forward 50 yards within a few seconds. The zerg mentality prevents them from doing this much, but if they see you a warrior charging forward and not dying, a fair few might join in, and the rest will follow. This is how you push. If you cant get a nice 5-man group going, do something else useful. Go and farm materials for your cavalry, gather supplies for your infantry and so forth. It might not be especially interesting, but its how to win the game. Play Your Class and I cannot emphasise this enough. If you are grouped with someone, you share honor with them. This means that if you are a priest and are grouped with a warrior, you will BOTH be better off if you heal him instead of going shadowform and trying to kill stuff. If you arent in a group as a healer, then join one or make one, and do some healing. If you are healing people in your group, they last longer and get more kills, so you all get more honor. Everybody wins. Similarly, if you are a rogue like me, try to get some other rogues and a druid or two, and do stealth attacks on towers, graveyards and the likes. To get through how useful this can be, here is an example; I was in an AV match and we were losing badly, the enemy was in our base and we were only just holding on to our final graveyard. Me and a couple of other rogues stealthed right up to the other end of the battlefield and captured stormpike graveyard. Gradually more and more alliance came back to try to take it back off us, whilst more horde came up to help us defend it. Eventually the alliance didnt have enough people left in our base to kill anything, so the remaining defending horde pushed out of our base and we captured the other graveyards and suddenly the entire situation was reversed. We were then at THEIR base, most alliance quit just out of sheer anger, and we won easily. None of that wouldve happened if not for our little stealth attack on stormpike. Finally, mages and warlocks, use AoE! You may not get quite as many kills and you may die a bit more (but AV isnt for honor farming) but you will push forward far better. A team of 3-4 mages can literally destroy an entire zerg of 20-30 people if they all blink in and start spamming nova/ae/blast wave and so forth. Druids can also use hurricane for AoE when the enemy zerg is nicely compact in a tight area. Hell as a rogue i used to do stealth-sprint runs into the enemy zerg and use my chained essence of eranikus (http://www.thottbot.com/?i=5073) which was rather amusing. The bottom line is if you have AoE, use it! Want an example? Back a while ago i was in a pretty evenly matched AV when in came a rank 14 warrior (damn you jimmeh) along with a couple of paladins healing/buffing/cleansing him. the guy was unstoppable, he just charged in, immune to snaring thanks to blessing of freedom and racked up about 50 kills within 5 mins. and the paladins being equally as hard to kill because they are paladins meant there was no easy solution. eventually i resorted to just sapping/stunlocking jimmeh whenever i saw him, but it didnt help much. they pushed us back to our base in no time at all. If jimmeh and the paladins had not been helping each other out, jimmeh would get creamed (ish) and the paladins wouldnt be able to kill anything anyway. teamwork. Coordination is everything Regardless of what you think of the balance of AV as a battleground, one thing remains true a well organised team will always beat a badly organised team. If there is no raid group, start one up, if nobody knows what to do and you have a tactical mind, start giving some orders. Not many people will listen to you at first (I know from experience) but gradually people will begin to see it is working and listen to you. Get a stealth group to go take stonehearth bunker, move 10 men back to defend iceblood whilst the rest try to kill balinda. Whatever, the point is, if everyone knows exactly what they are doing and work as a team, you will win. Similarly, communicate. If you see 5 people headed towards one of your towers, say it in the general channel that they are attacking and you will need help. Same if people are going to a graveyard or your captain or WHATEVER. Information doesnt hurt anyone, so make sure you always let people know what is going on. To give another example, I became quite well known on deathwing as an AVer who knew what he was doing basically. I might not be a high pvp rank but eventually I DID get some respect in AV. One time when I entered the battleground and joined the raid group, I was immediately made leader and some people asked me what they should do. Now I was as shocked as anyone would be at that, since, no offence to anyone, I am used to just utter stupidity in AV. But we got organised and flattened the alliance in no time, it WORKS. Finally, if there is someone who is already giving out tactics and you disagree with him, dont start a petty argument in the general channel, whisper him and give him some suggestions, and just try to work as a team and be constructive. Really, thats all there is to winning AV, coordination, communication and organisation. Simple." "In Conlusion Well thats all ive got for now, ill try to update this when I think of more stuff to say, but until then, I hope some people find this thread useful. And let me just say it one more time: IF YOU WANT TO WHINE ABOUT AV BEING IMBALANCED OR ABOUT EXPLOITS, THIS IS NOT THE THREAD, PLEASE TRY TO KEEP IT WHINE-FREE. - Viskahn Out" / \*________________________ /*\ -* - - *- / * \ D. Myths /* \ \* */ \ * */ - *-_________________________- - \ / *\ / Myth: PvPers are all twinks In terms of all PvPers being well-geared and clever players, adept at tricks and secrets that allow them to play their class to the max, not at all. You may think that because you're an RPer, that makes you automatically not as good at PvPing, and that everyone you go up against will be a master of the BG. The BGs, especially in seasons 20-49, are filled with clueless Alliance who are new to the whole thing. Even some of the ones who are seasoned vets are missing a few tactical tricks that would make them truly dangerous fighters. In addition, don't be too intimidated by a player's rank. All you need to get a high rank is persistence and time. It doesn't measure anything about your skill or character. Myth: PvPers speak in 1337speak and are generally dumb PvPers range everywhere from computer geniuses to 12-year-olds, but all of these people deserve respect and shouldn't be judged on the basis of whether or not they type with capital letters and proper punctuation. I've never seen PvPers speak in 1337speak, either. The PvPers who are active chatters are generally intelligible and intelligent. Myth: PvPers do not RP Even the most hardcore PvPers are at the very least tolerant of RP. Although it's not always possible to be completely in character in the BGs, most players are happy to play along with you if you start spinning yarns of old war stories or shouting personalized battle cries. One of my favorites is to run across the bridge in Alterac Valley, throwing out Arcane Explosions and yelling things like "Fools, strike me down! I shall only return, more powerful than you can ever imagine!" Pretty soon, a bunch of people will have joined in with their own witty hollerings. Myth: You have to be the highest level in your bracket to be a good PvPer I regularly PvP in battlegrounds in which I am the lowest season player. Currently, I'm a level 51 character fighting in the 50-59 bracket, and I'm still one of the most influential players in the battle. Being persistent, and at the right place at the right time, is more important than level or gear. / \*_______________________________ /*\ -* - - *- / * \ E. Custom Keyboard Set-up /* \ \* */ \ * */ - *-_______________________________ - - \ / *\ / One of the most fun and useful parts of setting up a PvP character is writing up a set of macros that will make it easier to perform your role. Unfortunately, being a good PvPer or macro user requires having LOTS of commands for your character. I've personally already filled up every single command slot on my screen. You'll soon find that clicking on a command to issue it is completely useless. The game defaults you with only 12 command issuing keys, the numbers 1 through 0 on your keyboard, and the - and + characters. You're going to need to do better than that to instantly throw out a Presence of Minded, Arcane Powered Flamestrike, a Frost Nova, Polymorph, a Blink spell, swiftness potion, and mana jade in the space of a few seconds while carrying the flag away from a mob of seven angry Alliance base defenders! The way I've set up my keyboard currently is to leave the top row of numbers as the default command prompts, but to also slave the second row above it to SHIFT-#s, and the side screen row to ALT-#s. For example, "3" on my keyboard activates a macro which shoots a PoM AP Frostbolt (for slowing down and possibly killing an enemy FC) whereas "SHIFT-3" activates a macro which berserks and casts Fireball (for pulling mobs), and "ALT-3" activates a low ranked Frostbolt for kiting. The rest of my commands are similarly set-up, with each relevant fire spell above the matching frost spell. This is an easy and intuitive setup that anyone can utilize, no matter what their class. You can set up many of these alternate bars, using SHIFT, ALT, COMMAND, CTRL, and FUNCTION, or combinations like SHIFT-ALT. If you have a nice, spacious keyboard, you might want to consider getting rid of a number of the more useless commands that are mapped to the letter keys. Who needs to be able to immediately pull up their talent or social pane, neh? Then you can even map combat abilities to your main keys. If you have a number pad, you can map all movement to it, including strafing and swimming up and down, to localize this type of activity to your right hand, leaving your left free to spastically throw out attacks. Take some time and work out a convenient setup. Intuitive controls have saved my bony butt many a time. There's nothing more frustrating than dying because you couldn't click your potion button in time. One more tip: The toolbar is defaulted to cycle up or down when you type "SHIFT-UP" or "SHIFT-DOWN." This will be the death of you if you use Shift-# to cast spells. Disable this in Keyboard Bindings and save yourself a few accidental croaks. / \*_______________________________ /*\ -* - - *- / * \ F. Macros /* \ \* */ \ * */ - *-_______________________________ - - \ / *\ / Macros are an amusing and useful part of the PvP experience. As an RPer, macros also allow you easy ways to put some flavor into your characters' fighting style. The best way and easiest way to get macros is to check the class forum for your particular class type on WoW.com. Macros are written in a language very similar to C, so if you're familiar with that language you have one foot in the door. Another useful website is: http://www.wowwiki.com/World_of_Warcraft_API which completely which lists all the commands and syntax useable in macros in the game. RANDOM VOICE/EMOTE MACRO: (use by: any class/race) /cast Charge(Rank 1) /script s={"","roars at %t!","",""}; SendChatMessage(s[math.random(getn(s))], "EMOTE") /script s={"Strength and honor!","For Doomhammer!","","","","",""}; SendChatMessage(s[math.random(getn(s))], "SAY") For now, here's my favorite style of macro which says or emotes a custom command randomly, but only occasionally, when issuing an attack. (This is to prevent irritating repetitions when pressing a button more than once in a row.) This particular macro is for a low-level warrior, and will randomly either EMOTE, SAY, or both. To personalize it for your own use, choose a command or attack that you'd like to add a macro to. I recommend a command with a cooldown that you'll only use once or twice in a battle, to keep it from becoming repetitive. Change the /cast line to the particular spell or ability you want to use. (All abilities are "casts".) Spell it exactly as it appears, including capitals and spaces. Now, put a begin-parenthesis immediately after the ability's name and type Rank (with R capitalized), a space, the rank number of the ability, and an end-parenthesis. Now think of something clever for your character to say or do. Something that you don't mind him or her over and over is generally good, because no matter how seldom you program it to run it will be repeated at least a few times a day. Remember you can change macros whenever you want. When I'm feeling particularly creative, I'll change my macros every day. You can also use multiple toolbars, one with emote macros and one without, so that you can shut your character by simply clicking up or down on the toolbar, without having to replace every single macro with normal spells. Another thing to note is that the EMOTE function doesn't translate for the Alliance (unless you are a mindcontrolling priest.) So you have to use a different function to use non-custom emotes. INSTANT CASTINGS: (use by: any class/race) /cast Arcane Power /script SpellStopCasting(); /cast Presence of Mind /script SpellStopCasting(); /cast Frostbolt(Rank 6) This works with spells that have no global cooldown. I replace my normal frostbolt with this macro. This works for anyone but you have to change the particular spells/abilities. CAMERA FLIP: (use by: Mages mostly, but anyone who wants to see behind their derrier) /script SpellStopCasting(); /cast Blink /script FlipCameraYaw(180); This will flip the camera behind you as well as cast a spell, preferably movement related. I set this macro to ALT-#, where the default key is where I keep the non-camera-flipping version. Great for seeing who is behind you as an FC in the BGs. You don't really need the spell line in there, sometimes it's more useful just to yaw the camera. If you have smart camera on, rear view becomes the default when you press it once. Pressing it again switches it back. Try it, very useful. DECURSIVE: (use by: Mages) /target Aster /cast Remove Lesser Curse /script TargetLastEnemy(); Invaluable little dude. Self casts a spell, then defaults to your enemy target. Change the spell to use this command for bandages or other self-casts and buffs. SAFE COUNTERSPELL: (use by: Mages) /script if UnitClass("target")=="Warrior" or UnitClass("target")=="Rogue" then CastSpellByName("Polymorph(Rank 2)") else CastSpellByName("Counterspell") end; One of the few unique macros I've written myself. This one saves you the embarassment of counterspelling warriors and rogues, and tries to sheep them instead. If you're running around, it won't even sheep them and will give you a message about spells while moving. Pretty useful, since it can be hard to tell a warrior from a paladin. REST: (use by: anyone) /script UseContainerItem(0, 2); /script UseContainerItem(0, 1); Just put water in slot 1 of your main bag and food in slot 2. Eats both at once. Eliminates the need to waste to buttons on this, essentially. / \*_______________________________ /*\ -* - - *- / * \ G. RPing in a PvP Setting /* \ \* */ \ * */ - *-_______________________________ - - \ / *\ / One of the keys to successful RPing in World of Warcraft is to keep your character simple and visceral. In other words, play a cliché, a character-type that is instantly recognizable. This may sound like a hindrance, but it's really just a gateway to creating a vibrant and expressive character. Remember that this is a cartoon world, and it pays to exaggerate. You never know if you're going to be meeting someone twice, and you want to make a lasting impression on your first go. The mad scientist, the brooding fatalist, the zen warrior, all of these stereotypes can be expanded on and used to create a character that sticks out. Add a couple little notable quirks for your character. Perhaps he's always sucking on candies and has the faint air of peppermint around him, or spouts idioms but never gets them right, or uses awful pick-up lines to try to pick up women. Having a personality that people can pick up on quickly also makes it easy for people to interact with you. For instance, my character is an ancient and crotchety troll mage who speaks with eccentric, flowery language and mixes drinks. The moment I let loose a "Back in MY day..." everyone in the battleground knows what kind of character I'm playing, and can easily respond by either humoring him or saying "Yeah, right!" This can lead into a discussion about what the good old days WERE really like, with a number of the raid members joining in to add their two cents or sarcasm. If you want to have little story arcs for your character, make these recognizable as well, short and easy-to-decipher. No one is going to spend five minutes prying a backstory out of your character or trying to solve a mystery about them unless you give them some really good leads. One classic trick to pull is to establish your personality with a group of players over a week, and then drastically change your character's personality with very little explanation. My mage, for example, stopped speaking in metaphor and alliteration and became very precise and mathematical about everything. The only clue to this situation was that he had been attempting to join a Gnomish scientific institute, and they'd sent him a mechanical squirrel as a gift. These little puzzles are easy to figure out but still provoke a little "Aha!" emotion when your friends make the connection. Your character will probably have a sort of default reaction to certain races or classes of people, but you should think carefully about what kind of relationship to have with each of your friends' characters. Friendly rival, respected teacher, partner-in-crime, unrequited lover, every significant relationship should be a unique archetype. Have fun developing relationships in unexpected ways and use situational humor to your advantage. If you go for anything racy or antagonistic, make sure that your friends know it's only in-character, and that there are no hard feelings (or romantic intentions!) in real-life. (If you need further discouragement for seriously trying to hit on other players, remember that you can never be certain what gender someone really is! I know guys who play female characters and women who play bishounen male characters, so keep it light and don't embarrass yourself!) ______ ______ \GUEST\ /GUIDE/ \_____\ /_____/ ||_\||__||__||__||/_|| | KHALUA'S GUIDE TO | | TARGETTING | |____________________| By the ravishing femme fatale, Khalua of The Darkspear "TAB key is your friend to target the nearest enemy, with the exception of stealth.. need to see them to target them. Rapid TAB strokes will cycle through many nearby targets. I mostly use this to pick a specific target or cycle through the enemies with Damage over Time spells and Hexes or Curses. This tactic also works well for Dispell and Purge. When in a group you can coordinate your efforts to quickly bring down a specific target using the F key. Select a member of your team or group who will be targeting an enemy, or in an instance pulling a target. Select that group member as your target. When the enemy is in range, or your ally is about to pull, tap the F key and you will automatically select the target of your ally. This can also be helpful to allow the 'puller' to target an enemy for you to sap, mind control, sheep.. etc. A more tricky method, and sneaky depending on the circumstances is to craft a (/target Name) macro. In the Warsong Gultch capture the flag game nothing bugs me more then our team not being able to find the opponent who's stolen our flag. Set up the macro for the name of the opposing player who stole the flag and when in range of the individual they will be selected as your target. Some running around and frequent keystrokes may be needed. Since they're usually hiding that doesn't solve the whole mistry, but as a priest a little Mind Vision does the trick and a hunter can send his pet and follow to the target. Side note: this last tactic can also be of aid against named NPC's who use illusions or other means of decieving you as to selecting them as a target... a certain NPC in Scholomance comes to mind... I hope that helps a little. Of course, please feel free to ask if there is anything else that your curious about, be it a problem like this.. or just something you would like to be a little smoother or more proficient at. *winks* I've put in enough time to have a few tips and tactics up my sleeve." -Khalua ______ ______ \GUEST\ /GUIDE/ \_____\ /_____/ ||_\||__||__||__||/_|| | GREENMAN'S GUIDE | |TO THE HONOR SYSTEM | |____________________| (Also by Aragone) NOTE: This is a guest section by Greenman and is not written by me. You can find it here, with superior formatting and links to other resources: http://www.wowwiki.com/Formulas:Honor_System The Guide is protected under the following license: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html "Ok, I have been doing a lot of research in my spare time and have crunched a few numbers and I think I finally made sense of the honor calculation system Blizzard has in place. I hope this thread will shed a little light on exactly how leveling and the honor system works. Please feel free to add things to this post about the honor calculations because there are still a few areas that are hazy to me and that I don't have difinitive answers to. If there has already been a thread like this I apologize in advance. I didn't see one anywhere so I thought I'd share my own findings. Here it is. The Basics: 1. Honor points are accumulated each time you take part in the killing of a player of the opposing faction. 2. You are penalized if your level is less than 60 (meaning you don't gain as much honor for a kill as a level 60 does). 3. Your total amount of honor points are added up at the end of each week (during server maintenance). 4. Your total honor for the week determines your standing on the server for that week. Obviously, with standing #1 being the highest you can achieve and so forth. 5. Your standing determines what share of rating points you will recieve for that week. The higher the standing, the larger share you get. 6. Your rating points are points that you earn (different than honor points) each week based on your overall standing on the server for that week. 7. Your total amount of rating points determine your rank: Rank 14 is 60,000 and above, rank 13 is 55,000-59,999, rank 12 is 50,000-54,999 and so on. 8. If you finish standing #1 on your server for the week, the largest amount of rating points you can earn is 13,000. 9. Each week you automatically lose 20% of your total rating points (Honor Decay) to start the week. You have to pvp enough to make up the 20% you lose every week not to lose rating. What gets kind of confusing is the cap for rating loss when you don't PVP at all or not enough to come close to making up what you lost. The cap is 10% but cannot exceed 2500 in this case. So, the most rating points you can lose is 2500 for the week. So, in essence, if you don't PVP at all or finish high enough in standing for the week to earn back the 20% you lost, your total amount of rating points will decrease. Example A: # Player A has a rating of 52,000 in the previous week. Player A does not pvp at all in the current week. Player A will lose 5,200 (10%) rating points essentially, but it is capped at a maximum of 2500 loss for the week. So player A would only drop from a rating of 52,000 to 49,500 (Rank 12 to 11). Example B: # Player A has a rating of 12,000 in the previous week. Player A does not PVP at all in the current week. Player A will lose 1,200 rating points (10%). The 2500 cap will not apply here because the 10% does not exceed 2500. So no rank is lost in this sceanrio but Player A does fall to 10,500 rating points for not PVPing at all in the new week. Where it gets hazy is, "How do I know what standing I need to maintain my current rating". I don't quite have a formula to answer that question, but any help on this would be much appreciated. The Skinny: So, with all this info I have put together a chart to show you how to go from rank 0 to rank 14 and how long it will take you to do it under absolute PERFECT conditions. The chart below shows what would happen if you started to pvp from scratch (Rank 0) and you finished #1 on your server every week, and you earned the maximum of 13,000 rating points each of those weeks (remember that is under optimal conditions which I will explain more after the chart). Here it is: Week 1: 13,000 Rating Rank 4 Week 2: 23,400 Rating Rank 6 Week 3: 31,720 Rating Rank 8 Week 4: 38,375 Rating Rank 9 Week 5: 43,700 Rating Rank 10 Week 6: 47,960 Rating Rank 11 Week 7: 51,368 Rating Rank 12 Week 8: 54,094 Rating Rank 12 Week 9: 56,275 Rating Rank 13 Week 10: 58,020 Rating Rank 13 Week 11: 59,416 Rating Rank 13 Week 12: 60,533 Rating Rank 14 (Grand Marshal/High Warlord Woot!) So, it IS possible to go from rank 0 to 14 in 12 weeks. Now, like I stated above, this is only possible under OPTIMAL conditions. Those conditions being that you finish #1 on the server every week, you are allotted the maximum rating points each week (13,000), and you are level 60. The Grey Areas: Here are the things I am either not sure of or have no data on at all. 1. Blizzard states that your faction's participation in pvp as a whole also has bearing on the total amount of rating points to be given out for the week (the total rating pool). So, I'm not sure how much the faction has to pvp in order for the #1 standing to receive 13,000 rating points. I don't know if it's a certain amount of honor or what. Any clarification on this would be a help. 2. The only constant I am aware of for rating points earned is the 13,000 per week maximum. I do not have any data to help me calculate what each standing's maximum per week is after standing #1. So I'm not sure if it's percentage based or what. For all I know the maximum rating points that can be given out for a week for standing #2 is 12,000 (just throwing a number out there). I don't have any idea how these are calculated, but from researching many threads and other sites, I assume it is % based. Any help on this would also be appreciated. 3. Also, from what I have read in the forums, I have come to the conclusion that it IS possible to go from rank 13 to 14 even if you finish as low as standing #3 for the weeks leading up to your rank 14. I have not heard, seen, or read anything lower than this. Please post if you have info regarding this issue as well. Common Misconceptions About Honor Points: The common misconception about the honor system is the honor point total you accumulate for each week. The amount of honor you accumulate for the week is not the end-all be-all. This is because it is all relative to what other players have done for the week. I'll give you an example: # In week 1 Player A busts his hump and receives 400,000 honor, but he only finishes 15th on the server in his faction for that week. # The next week, he doesn't pvp quite as much and still gets 350,000 honor, but he finishes 9th in his faction on the server. # How is this possible you ask? Simple. Honor points are only a measuring tool to show how well you did compared to other players of your faction on your server. So, in week one of our example, Player A just happened to be amongst others who pvp'ed heavily for that week. In week 2 when he thought he wasn't pvp'ing as much, neither were his peers, and that reflects by his standing for the week. In Closing: I hope this guide has helped people understand a little bit more about the honor system and how Blizzard calculates ranks. If there is anything I left out of if anyone can add to my findings it would be much appreciated. I will try to update this post with any new information I get. Also, If I am totally wrong in my findings please let me know. I don't want to be posting bad info up here. Please bump this post if you found it useful and informative so others can see it too. Thanks all!" -Greenman and Aragone _______ _______ / / \ \ /______/ J. Queuing Tricks \______\ / \ / \ /__________________________________________\ QUEUING REMOTELY One trick I'm fond of is adding people to my party and queuing them as a group. To do this, have the group leader talk to a battlemaster and hit the "Queue as Group" button on the left of the pane. If the leader was previously queued, he can right-click the red icon on the bottom-left of the minimap and hit "Change Battle" for either Warsong of Arathi in order to bring up the same pane. This has tons of applications, including teleportation and resurrection. When you're summoned to a battleground as a ghost, you're brought back to life. (I'm not sure whether you still take 10% equipment damage, though. Being rezzed in a BG does only about 1% damage.) After the battleground ends, you're sent back to wherever THE LEADER queued you. If the leader queued you at a major city (Undercity, Thunder Bluff, or Orgrimmar) you'll appear next to the battlemaster there. If the leader queued you at the true entrance OR queued you from the red icon on the bottom-left of the minimap, you will go to the true entrance of the BG. (Between Ashenvale and Barrens for Warsong Gulch, Arathi Highlands for Arathi Basin.) On my home server, Scarlet Crusade, there are a few PvP channels ("Gulch", "PvP50", and "AVRaider") in which friendly Horde will queue you remotely by adding you to their party, putting you in the line, and kicking you so you're free to quest without being in a raid. This is useful if you're in, say, fishing in Desolace, or have forgotten to hit featherfall when jumping off the lip of Un'Goro crater, leaving your body halfway between rock and a hard place. Obviously, if you wanted to, you could use this system to teleport to any of the three major cities and two major entrances anytime you wanted. Of course, you would have to wait for a battleground to load for it to work, and anyone who I catch leaving a BG without helping us fight will be paddled mercilessly. END OF RPERS' GUIDE TO PVP V0.67 This is a work in progress, and will be updated and proofread with time. I still need: *Detailed tips for different classes besides mage in the three battlegrounds, especially Warsong Gulch *A detailed description of the Alterac Valley battleground, with strategies for more experienced players. *Alternate strategies for Arathi Basin *Alternate strategies for Warsong Gulch *Macro suggestions or useful custom key sets E-mail me if you have anything to contribute asterazul@yahoo.com (Your name will be included in the credits of the document.) This document Copyright 2006 Aster Azul