Alterac Valley Could Use Some TLC

Battlegrounds
Blizzard made a post about BGs! Yay! Now seems like as good a time as ever to bring up this topic, again.

I know a lot of this has been said before and there’s very little chance of Blizz implementing it any time soon, but I like to think and create and write (and post walls of text) so this is as much for me as it is for any of you. I will try and say not only what I want to do, but WHY I want to do it and the assumptions I’m making, so you can understand my reasoning. This post is a little long, but I have tried to make it an easy read.
Of course, I'd love to hear your thoughts/comments/suggestions.


My goal here is to increase the player’s desire to make use of the mechanics of AV without limiting their options for gameplay or forcing them to follow a particular strategy. I am also trying to change as little as possible, and mostly just play with the behind-the-scenes numbers so that the Blizzard programmers do not need to recode large sections of the map if they want to use my suggestions to alter AV.
Now, on to the good stuff!
People sometimes ignore a lot of what’s going on in Alterac Valley because they think that it’s inconsequential, and often quicker to just run straight for the end and down the boss. This is due in large part to gear-creep; we grow more powerful the longer we spend at the level cap, but Vanndar and Drek'thar (hereafter referred to as General or simply "boss") stay the same. Unless Blizzard wants to be constantly readjusting health pools or finding a way to make boss-health scale with raid gear-score (both clunky, unattractive options) by the end of every expansion we'll be seeing the same issue.

Basically, we need to slow the battle down, which comes in two parts: first, make the boss fight harder and the kill slightly less important by decoupling it from instant victory; and second: increase the relative value of everything else. For the purpose of this post, assume that everything not specifically mentioned remains the same; I'll try to address as many of the mechanics as I can.

Winning should still be linked to Reinforcements (hereafter referred to simple as "R"). You need to decrease your enemies R while protecting your own, which adds a nice level of complexity to the fight above that of other point-based BGs, which are simply races to the top. Each team starts out with 700 R, and has a max of 1000 R, and loses if they reach 0 R. Whenever a player dies, their team loses 1 R.
This way, a person who wants to spend the entire battle farming Honor Kills can legitimately claim they are helping their team win, so long as they get more kills than deaths.

Boss-fights: Vann and Drek each deal melee damage, but are only max level for that bracket, meaning that while you need high health and armor to tank them, they won’t likely crit you to death. Each boss also stacks a buff on themselves at a rate of one stack per second whenever they are in combat. When the buff reaches 10 stacks it drops off and the boss charges a random player, wiping agro; If the boss kills a player the buff loses 5 stacks. This is intended to make tanking at least a little challenging even under good circumstances, and introduce some of the PvP style randomness to an otherwise PvE style encounter. Killing the enemies’ General causes your opponents to lose 500 R, and prevents them from gaining any more R for the duration of the battle.
Towers: Each boss is also supported by 4 Warmasters(H) or Marshalls(A) (hereafter referred to as "battlemasters") who are each linked to a tower. Destroying a tower will cause the linked battlemaster to despawn, but killing the battlemaster directly will also cause his tower to crumble. Doing either still costs the enemy 75 R, and also reduces their maximum R by 100. Rather than just tagging a flag and then waiting 4 minutes, the rate at which the tower is destroyed depends on how many people are near the tower's flag, like capping the bases in EotS. This decouples 'damage' from gear, but still encourages players to stay and defend the tower until it breaks.
Each battlemaster buffs the boss' damage by a little and his health by a lot. Each battlemaster also has a unique ability. One battlemaster has an AOE fear, similar to the current boss ability. Another has an AOE silence. A third is a healer, who mostly heals the boss and himself, but will also toss an occasional heal on any friendly players in the room (his healing should be difficult, but not impossible to out-DPS). The last battlemaster will continually cast "Summon defender" when he is in combat, which is a non-interruptible spell with a 5 second cast time. It randomly selects one friendly player and attempts to summon them to the General's defense from anywhere on the battlefield. Just like a normal summon, the player can accept or decline. (In order to prevent load-screen issues, the player will be summoned into a DI-like bubble that must be clicked off before they can enter combat.)

Captains: Balinda Stonehearth and Galvangar remain in their respective bunkers. They periodically buff the entire team, as before, and if they are killed their faction looses 100 R. While your teams captain is alive, your movement speed is increased by 10% and you destroy enemy towers 25% faster.
Also, all the fighting they’ve been doing over the years (and Blizzards better AI programming) has given the captains new insight into more effective battle tactics. Belinda targets players with Fireball, Ice Lance, Cone of Cold, and Dragons Breath, and casts Icy Grip (like the Sindragosa ability) followed quickly by Frost Nova and several Arcane Explosions. She also Blinks every 10-20 seconds, dropping agro.
Galvangar attacks his enemies with Mortal Strike, Cleave, Thunder Clap, and Shockwave, and follows up Heroic Leap with Bladestorm and Spell Reflect. He will also perform Intercept every 10-20 seconds dropping agro.

Mines: Currently, each mine gives 1 R every 45 seconds. This will be buffed to 1 R per 15 seconds. Also, the units in the mine are not elite (allowing players to fight through to gather supplies), but the mine boss is, and he/she will be guarded by 2 slightly-less elite NPCs. It will require multiple people to capture the mine.

Supplies: Even with an AV trinket, running back to the home base to turn in supplies takes to long for most players and costs to much offensive momentum. A forward command-post spawns at each teams most advanced GY (farthest from the entrance gate) where you can turn in armor scraps, mine supplies, hides, Rams/Wolves, and Crystals/Blood. Turning in 10 armor scraps or 5 blood/crystals awards 1 R. Turning in 10 mine supplies awards 3 R. you no longer need the quest to gather mine supplies (you can still only pick up 10 at one time though).
Each time you turn in supplies, you receive bonus honor just as you would for getting an honor kill. This way if you want to spend the entire fight running mine supplies you are still helping your team and won’t lose out on honor.

Unit Upgrades: Turning in armor scraps significantly increases the strength of the NPCs who guard your graveyards, towers and mines, as well as your infantry and cavalry patrols. The NPCs start out weak, but by the time they reach Veteran status (3 upgrades) they achieve near-instance level toughness, requiring a group to fight.
Ground Assault, Cavalry Assault: The number of supplies needed for these is reduced, but you must have gotten at least one Unit Upgrade to activate these assaults. Once enough supplies have been gathered, players can periodically send groups of Elite NPCs across the battlefield to engage the enemy.
Once every 3 minutes, a player on your team can send forth a small group of infantry units which will make its way to the middle of AV (the Field of Strife) and then patrol in that area, attacking any enemy units that try to pass through.
Once every 4 minutes, a player on your team can send forth a small group of cavalry units which will patrol rapidly back and forth between your home base and your forward command post, attacking any enemies it encounters.

Aerial Assault
: This is a really neat idea, but with everything else going on, I recommend simply removing this particular mechanic from the fight; there’s only so much players can do at one time. I would, however, like to see this mechanic brought back in some other BG. Rescuing an NPC, then picking targets for him to attack and areas to patrol sounds like an fun way to add depth to a battle.
In addition, ever since BC, you can now find Ichman and Mulverick working undercover to fight the fel-orcs on Netherwing ledge, so obviously they’ve moved on to bigger and better things, lore-wise.

Ultimate Unit: Players can turn in Storm Crystals or Soldiers Blood in order to eventually summon Lokholar the Ice Lord or Ivus the Forest Lord (hereafter referred to simply as "Lok-vus"). This is a major achievement, that should be almost as important as killing the enemy General. Once enough supplies have been gathered, 3 players will be required to help summon Lok-vus, who will boost your R by 200. Once summoned, Lok-vus will move towards the enemies base. Along the way, if any of the enemies’ battle-master towers are still standing, he will stop and smash them to pieces.
Lok-vus has a large amount of health, but it regens slowly out of combat, acting more like an NPC vehicle than a raid boss. This means he can be zerged down, if you have sufficient DPS. If attacked, Lok-vus will hurl large icy-boulders and tree-trunks at the enemy, with a range of 50 yards. He will not follow enemy players more than 30 yards from his path, at which point he evades out of combat and resumes his march to the base.
Upon reaching the enemy base, Lok-vus will begin to attack it. The bases aren’t really destructible, but the enemy general will send out waves of troops in a (futile) attempt to stop him. Every time Lok-vus kills one of these troops(and he will kill a lot of them), the enemy looses R.
Lok-vus is an important part of your strategy and you should protect him, because if he dies, your side will loose 300 R. This is to encourage players to travel with and defend Lok-Vus rather than just summoning him and sending him off like a guided missile.
You can only summon Lok-vus once per battle.

Timer: There is also a timer on the battle. If 1 hour passes and neither team has won, then both sides "lose" the conflict, and the generals inflict an honor penalty in disgust at the incompetence of their troops. This is to both prevent the battle from dragging on indefinitely (like AV used to) as well as encourage people to make riskier and more daring attempts at offense as they get more desperate to win.
Please note, I don’t really like the idea of having timers in BGs, but I feel its necessary to keep AV in line with most of the other BGs, especially with the added abilities for gaining R.

Gear: Damage taken from NPCs is reduced by resilience, so that people actually have a reason to where their Arena gear inside this Battleground, and plate-armor classes have a better shot at surviving the Bosses, reducing the need for actual (read “PvE”) Tanks.
Trinket: AV has a nice little addition to its rep grind (that I think many people aren’t aware of); as you increase your rep level you can get and upgrade a trinket that lets you port back to your home base from anywhere on the battlefield. Unfortunately, this trinket maxes as a level 60 item, like all the WoW Vanilla PvP BG gear. It would be nice if Blizzard made the exalted version of the trinket an heirloom type item that upgraded itself at levels 70, 80, 85 etc, so that wearing it wouldn’t be a complete waste of a slot.

You can read all about the AV trinket on the wowpedia webpage, but basically you earn an upgrade at each rep level, and 2 at exalted (the second at 999/1000). Since the stats on the trinket are pretty minimal, I would recommend that we bump all the trinkets down a rank, and eliminate the rank 1 trinket entirely.

The new exalted level trinket is the only one that scales upwards with level. At each level it provides the following stats:

Level 60 (no change)
+10 Frost resistance
+24 Dodge rating
Restores 8 health per 5 sec.
Use- Returns you to the sanctuary of your home base.

Level 70
+24 Spell Resistance
+34 Dodge rating
+22 Crit rating
Restores 14 health per 5 sec.
Use- Returns you to the sanctuary of your home base.

Level 80
+46 Spell Resistance
+48 Dodge rating
+42 Crit rating
Restores 24 health per 5 sec.
Imbues your armor with a protective layer of frost, reducing all damage you take by 1%.
Use- Returns you to the sanctuary of your home base.

Level 85
+90 Spell Resistance
+125 Dodge rating
+110 Crit rating
+140 Mastery rating
Restores 104 health per 5 sec.
Imbues your armor with a protective layer of frost, reducing all damage you take by 1%.
Use- Returns you to the sanctuary of your home base.


Summary: Readjusting the numbers and altering a few mechanics can, I think, bring back a lot of the detail and PvP experience to the fight, hopefully without requiring a complete rebuild, or making the Battle un-winnable again. The intent is to allow players a variety of options, along with several major paths to victory. Premades might be able to enact a coordinated strategy, but PuGs can spilt up into several small groups to accomplish all the objectives. The entire raid really only needs to come together for a few big achievements.

For any players who never got to see the original AV in all its glory (such as myself) it would be like having a brand new BG with only a fraction of the work (programming) required.
If you've actually managed to read this far, I commend you.
For great honor!

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