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Battlegrounds Guide by Aster Azul

Version: .67 | Updated: 05/19/06

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
  Common Warsong Abbreviations
  Winning an Unbalanced Game
  A2.///Khalua's Advanced Warsong Gulch Guide\\\
  Important Trinkets and Gear
B. Arathi Basin Guide
  Overview: Nodes
  Holding Three Nodes(to come)
C. Alterac Valley Guide
  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   \______\ 
  /                                      \
 /                                        \

     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.

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
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

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.

"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.

     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
     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/
 \_____\                /_____/
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

     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    \______\ 
  /                                      \
 /                                        \

     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.

     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   \______\ 
  /                                      \
 /                                        \

     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,

     As a low-level player who has just been introduced to the valley, here are
some simple tasks for you to do.

     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.

     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.

     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.

     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:
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/
 \_____\                /_____/

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:
and here as a forum post on Europe Forums:

"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;

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:
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:

The fastest way to get reputation is to win, and destroy all towers, capture
all graveyards, kill all lieutenants/commanders/captain and basically "do"
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
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.

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.

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

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.

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:

- 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))],
/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
     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
/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
     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/
 \_____\                /_____/
     |     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."

______                    ______
\GUEST\                  /GUIDE/
 \_____\                /_____/
       (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:
The Guide is protected under the following license:

"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

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

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   \______\ 
  /                                      \
 /                                        \

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.


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
(Your name will be included in the credits of the document.)

This document Copyright 2006 Aster Azul

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