Alterac Valley leveling

So you want to put the WAR back into your warcraft. No more running around Northrend helping people find food or build their settlements, just pure carnage whilst leveling… sounds like heaven. Then Alterac Valley is once again the place to be, its icy hills and frozen lakebeds once more teeming with life as the Horde and Alliance fight for dominance.

My priest guarding a tower and pretending to be a gargoyle at the same time

My priest guarding a tower and pretending to be a gargoyle at the same time

Basic Facts: There are three brackets for AV these days, 51-60, 61-70 and 71-80. Unlike the other battlegrounds playing 71 and above will have you running around with 80s, people with triple your health and very nasty sharp weapons so be prepared to die .. alot.

The experience gains are definitely faster than anything you could do questing solo, however you need to both capture objectives and hold on to yours for maximium gains. Its roughly 20k (figures taken from the 71-80 bracket) per tower taken, the same for Galvanger/Balinda and Drek/Vandar which you get as said objectives fall, then at the end of the game more is added on for each objective of ours is still standing. Thus defense is also worthwhile. I believe you also get 6k ish for each Wing Commander who makes it safely back to home base.

If you level mainly through AV you will soon notice that your tokens are mounting up fast. Unfortunately most of the rewards are sad remnants of the days when same server AV’s were epic battles lasting for days as each side took turns getting stuck at choke points within the opposing side’s base. However a few things are still worth picking up if you don’t already have them:

  • Frostwolf Howler – 50 AV tokens. Gives an achievement in its own right plus counts for the various X number of mounts achievement.
  • Stormpike Battlecharger – 50 AV tokens. The Alliance version of above.
  • The Frostwolf Battle Standard – 30 AV tokens.
  • The Stormpike Battle Standard – 30 AV tokens. The Alliance version of above.
  • The Frostwolf Battle Tabard – 60 AV tokens. As with the mounts this counts for both Represent and the get 25 tabard achievement.
  • The Stormpike Battle Tabard – 60 AV tokens. The Alliance version of above.
  • The other PvP mounts require 30 wsg, 30 ab and 30 av so if you are running multiple battlegrounds you could purchase those.
  • You could also pick up the Knight’s colours or the Stone Guard’s colours depending on your faction. These cost 20 of AB, WSG and AV tokens and can be picked up from the tabard vendor in the Information Centres in the capitial cities.

As for honor, its likely you will hit the cap way before lv 80 especially if you start with AV at 51. Therefore remember you can buy items as soon as you have the honor even if you can’t equip it yet.

Above all though, use common sense. For example as a lv 71 tank it doesn’t matter how much healing we throw at you, you can’t tank Drek so please don’t throw a hissy fit and blame the healers. Figure out where you can be most effective for your level number. Healers regardless of level can usually manage just fine with the zerg, however lower level dpsers might do the most hanging back on defense. If you get to a tower/bunker first as defense even at the bottom half the bracket you can hang on to said assets for quite a while using LoS and the bowmen.

A couple of random tips I picked up from leveling my paladin through AV include:

  • Put Blessing of Might on the bowmen if you are defending one of your towers/bunkers. It does make them hit harder and if you are in the bottom half of the level bracket you need all the help you can get.
  • On Galvanger even though you can’t tank him at lower levels, if the person with aggro is running out the door either feared or because they suck, taunt him back into the centre of the room. Dying is better than having him reset repeatedly for half an hour in which time the Horde manage to take all your towers/kill Vandar. Unfortunately people seem very tunneled visioned and if they can’t kill Galvanger they will quite happily keep throwing themselves at him all game.
  • Recapping towers/bunkers which might seem scary at first is ok. Remember that the opposing team consists of a similar mix of levels as yours and no, their lowbies don’t want to hang in a bunker/tower for 4 minutes anymore than yours do.
  • Also do all the quests and remember to keep upgrading your Stormpike Insignia/Frostwolf Insignia as you move towards exalted (there is an upgraded trinket at each reputation to be picked up) as each upgrade gives experience and rep.

Above all though, AV should be fun. If you really hate battleground PvP it might be better for everyone if you level the old fashioned way.

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