Tansy’s guide to Battlegrounds 101

Warning: This is a bit of an angry post.

So you hit level 10 and want a break from questing. The Dungeon finder tool isn’t yet open to you but the PvP tab is flashing brightly enticing you to click it. (I can’t help wondering why Blizzard sees fit to let people loose in WSG that it doesn’t consider fit for the Deadmines..)

Now at lv 10, the only option available to you is Warsong Gulch, fondly known to most people as WSG. It’s your basic game of capture the flag with the lumberjacking Horde on side and the treehugging Alliance on the other. Before you queue up, You’ll want to collect the daily PvP quest. Between levels 10 and 19, it will always be for Warsong Gulch but as you level and more Battlegrounds become available it will be random (at 80 “random” usually translates into Isle of Conquest for me).

An Alliance/Horde  Battlemaster in each of the capital cities offers the daily PvP quest.

These Battlemasters can usually be found hanging out close to the warrior trainers but if you ask one of the friendly neighbourhood guards in any city, they will direct you to the nearest one.

On to the important bits and pieces. In no particular order:

  1. The Flags are the most important bit. Not those pretty little houses dotted around the map, not the fences and certainly not that nice stretch of open ground in the middle.
  2. I can not stress this enough, but don’t ever enter a battleground with res sickness. Especially if said res sickness has more than 6 minutes remaining. (Yes, I’ve had the pleasure of PvPing with people who are res sick in battlegrounds – no, it didn’t make me like them.)
  3. Try and make the best possible mileage out of the gear you have. Armour patches, cheap enchants, health and mana pots, all of these can make a bit of difference towards your enjoyment of the game. In terms of importance, I would probably value stamina enchants and run speed on boots over the rest. Run speed because you will be doing a lot of running in this bracket. Chasing after people, running away from a zerg, both go better with a slight speed advantage. The stamina ones for obvious reasons, people with low health die really fast and are far more likely to be targeted by people out for an opportune kill than the guy with twice as much. Visit the AH and check for greens/blues of your level and then search for any enchants to go on your new items. Auction Houses can be found in all the major cities.
  4. Level first aid. Yes, even if you are a class with healing spells. There are plenty of times when you want your mana for more important things like keeping the guy with the flag alive, or bursting down the person carrying your flag off. Remember you can also bandage other people.
  5. If you have healing spells regardless of spec, you could every so often use them on the person with the flag. This is better than just standing there doing nothing as they run past you chased by a sea of red.
  6. The aim of the game is keep your flag (blue if you’re alliance and red if you’re horde) safe in your base and bring the opposing team’s flag to yours. A type of flag mating ritual if you will. There is no point telling the person holding the enemy flag to cap if your flag is currently on the other side of the map being held hostage. Pressing “M” brings up the map and a few seconds after the flags are picked up, they turn up on the map so its easy to check their whereabouts. The game also kindly announces when a flag is picked up and by whom, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that your flag just waltzed off in the company of an Orc, two Trolls and a Bloodelf wearing a lovely red dress (although by this point in the proceedings you can’t really blame the flag, I’d have gone with them too).
  7. Ideally, wait til you are the higher end of the bracket before joining a battleground. Whilst I’ve seen a lv 10 manage to saunter from one end to the other and back carrying a flag, this is exceedingly rare. At lv 10 you are more likely to spend most of the game being pursued by lv 17-19s from the opposing team, failing this you will be dead. Battlegrounding is a group activity and even though its unlikely you’ll ever see that pissed off druid from another server again, in a competitive and team driven sport its only fair to consider the people you’re playing with. I enter a battleground to win and due to the nature of the game, I expect everyone else want roughly the same thing. Yes, the games where you over come ridiculous odds (like 80 percent of the team being below lv 12) to triumph are exciting and fun, but I’d prefer a semi level playing field please. Besides my nerves can’t take all that excitement every game.
  8. When someone else kills the enemy flag carrier next to you, or entirely by accident you manage to target the right person… click on the flag. They don’t return themselves unfortunately.
  9. If all you are going to do is whine and bitch in chat about how unfair it is that the other side outgear/outplay you, shut up and ideally go away.
  10. If you are a caster who isn’t a mage, bring your own drinks. You can’t guarantee there will be a mage and since getting water out of a strange mage is well nigh impossible until they get those table things at 70? you need to be prepared.
  11. Did I mention the fact that its about flags, not houses, trees or shredders?

In short, having more than 200 health helps. Wearing all greys is a bad thing (what on earth have you been doing with the quest rewards?). So is being res sick although I admit to a hatred of res sickness in general. Hunter’s dpsing with aspect of the cheetah gives the class a bad name and they can’t really take much more bad press. Oh and … telling the only person healing they suck because you died when you had less than 200 maximum health, all greys and res sickness is asking for abuse.

Get their flag –  stop them stealing yours – mate flags –  receive honour + rep and repeat. How difficult is that?

I realise this might seem overly simplistic, but my recent experience of the 10-19 bracket has had me bouncing off the walls. So to Mr Hunter who claimed “Alliance always lose because no one heals” even though the few of us with healing spells were healing our collective asses off (doing more than double the Horde healers), Mr Nay saying Warrior who claimed “Having a lead of one isn’t enough, we always lose” (when there is only 2 minutes left) and the rest of you whiny pathetic people who run around like headless chickens letting a minority carry you, this post is for you. Oh and don’t get me started on people who enter and stand there surrounded by chaos going “LOL ALLIANCE SUX“. I’ve seen more dubious spellings of Alliance in the last few days than I thought were possible.

Now that’s out of my system, I’m off to try running the Deadmines with a bunch of hopefully completely different randoms.

P.s I’m usually helpful and all sweetness and light to people but this rabble pushed me a touch too far. I also realise the Horde can be just as bad, after all they managed to lose some games to the teams described above but… an exercise in frustration barely covers it.

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