War College - Alterac Valley

General Discussion
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This war college suggests to me ‘the players have made AV bad, it’s up to the players to make AV good again’.

For me and from a Horde perspective, D at Iceblood choke point for a fun PvP based game ending with a win. Push up, cap everything, D what’s capped, and back cap what’s lost.

IMO, AV potentially offers the best big battles since Wintergrasp became obsolete. There is so much in AV for players to discover and enjoy, yet unfortunately AV is now largely a PvE BG with little time to enjoy and little done apart from capping a couple of towers and downing the boss. A 40-man BG where teams often win with a handful of HK’s is rather unfortunate. It’s barely a BG at all, more a short raid.

Given that players seem to want fast results and that the Alliance path to victory in AV is fast, yet Horde’s path is slow, I can’t see this BG becoming playable again from a Horde perspective.

Currently I’m almost at the point of believing the strongest strategy Horde side is to take the deserter debuff and play another character. There’s little to no fun to be had in AV and I’d like to see the statistics on faction win/loss and match duration in this BG. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t at an alarming level for probably a couple of years now.
As a multi-year, multi-class veteran of battlegrounds, Ill try to offer some of tips and GENERAL strategic analysis.

First of all, Alterac Valley is by far the largest battleground, both in terms of sheer size, as well as player group size. Unlike other battlegrounds, it has within it a multitude of objectives, neutral and faction npcs, and several events which can take place during any battle which are unrelated to the carnage.

Because of the size constraint, this battleground is not in the Rated rotation, and therefore can be played only casually. A couple quick points:

1) COMMUNICATION: The battleground is four, five times the size of WSG, AV, TP, BfG, EotS or any other battleground. The amount of objectives, notifications about objectives (tower, graveyard, npc) assaults and defenses can be nigh impossible to track in comparison to seeing the status of two flag carriers (WSG), 3 bases (TP) or the like.

In Arathi Basin, you can sit on the edge of the Lumber Mill cliff, and if your view distance is high enough, easily see what, and who is at Stables, Farm, and Blacksmith. Nearly the entire battleground is within sight.

With Alterac Valley, this is not the case. You need to know what is going on, which area needs help and where the enemy is, so you can make intelligent decisions about where to commit your time, dps and/or healing to. Spending 5 minutes fighting over Iceblood graveyard is no good if there is a large enemy force bearing down upon your general. Tell other players what you see (be brief, be simple, be direct) and ask for help with defending a location or ask where you may be needed. This is a team game, and the better you communicate, the better you can coordinate. Because of the nature of the battleground, and the fact that it is casual, yes, many players will stay silent and just look for an area for some kills regardless of the tactical value, but if you are persistent, you will find very many players, particularly at max level are willing to get engaged in the battle and the be vocal about what is happening.

2) Resource allocation: Pick an objective and stay focused on it. If you assault a tower, don't just change the flag to gray and then leave, almost always, the enemy will retake it within seconds. If you assault something, stay and protect it. Your presence alone may discourage enemy attempts to retake the objective. Nothing is more frustrating or counter productive than seeing a tower 20 seconds from being destroyed being suddenly recapped because of lazy or impatient players. If others refuse to do this simple job, be the one that makes the change. You can easily turn the tide of battle.

As stated above, when on an objective (regardless of whether you are attacking or defending) whether it be a graveyard, tower, even a mine, tell others if you need assistance. It will make all the difference.

3) Close Allies: For a lone player (and ive tried many times, in a futile, hopeless effort) to try and direct everyone else or coordinate the battle of this size is just like trying to kick water uphill. It aint gonna happen. Bring friends or guildies from your server, three or four of them, a small squad, and hop in Ventrilo, Skype, Mumble, whatever it is. As a small group, focus on one or two objectives, take a couple of towers, hold off an assault on a graveyard. Power through, and you can usually carry the team.

So remember, if you can only take one thing away from this: communicate.
Once you get past parking yourself on noob hill and start thinking about strategy it is then time to ensure the following as it is essential to the ally zerg:

1. Cap TP Fast : Streamline your travel to get yourself into TP as fast as possible and cap it. So many Drek fights are delayed because TP is stil ticking because it wasn't capped until AFTER Galv was downed. I cap TP so fast that it's only a few seconds behind IBT or sometimes ahead of it.

2. Stack a dps team in the tower and don't leave the flag. If a lock or hunter is lame and sends their pet in just kill the pet on the flag. Don't go after its owner outside. Watch out for locks and priests that will try to fear you off the flag while stealthies ninja cap it. You have to aoe like mad, pop cds and keep them at bay as long as possible. If you can get a shammy in TP with some serious melee like an dk or druid you will be gtg.

3. It's ok to keep a pvp healer in the tower if you expect serious backcapping but they should leave for Drek with 1 min on TP's clock. They need to heal the target fight not the tower cappers. Plus if 2-3 people can't stay alive for 1 min with all their cds and cc then they need serious help (or gear).

4. After TP and IBT are down don't waste your time fighting in the roads between the towers and Drek. Just zerg Drek and go mental on him. The only other thing worth contributing at this point is nabbing the mine if you don't already hold it. A wipe on Drek can set the fight back and everything counts.

Go TP and hold it right. You'll do your team a huge favor and your contribution will be crutial.
get the bloody mines, get the Stonehearth bunker, every horde group i've been with forgets it.... need back cap teams. and make sure u have a tank and a couple heals
For Horde, the best thing to throw Alliance off their plan is to defend Galv and wipe them there. It pushes them so far back and Horde gain instant advantage. Yes, it leads to a turtle (keep in mind, a turtle usually is 15-20 mins so really not that long). Keep TP and IBT.

Another fun option is to bring a couple DKs to Drek for defense. Nothing like death gripping their nosy healers or tank to Drek and his buddies as they peek around the corner.

If you have a Shaman, an Earthbind Totem to slow the fleeing Alliance as one of their people accidentally aggros Drek. He can get two or 3 before he resets.
If you're Alliance.

Watch out for the Rath Strat.
It's a 24/7 Horde premade that farms PuGs.

We farm PuG's and Premades alike. We farm whatever we are presented and opposed with.
All strategy should and needs to be fluid. Often things change mid battle and u need to change your objectives to suit it. Worse thing i have seen in this bg are those that give up to easily. I have won and lost battles where it comes down to 0 - 1 or 1 - 0 reinforcements(some of the best fights).

Winning the battle after being down 100+ reinforcements is Glorious!

Backcaping and Guarding are the 2 most important things in this bg. Also i miss old av and gathering a group together to accomplish objectives that change the course of the battle.

Too many afraid to die , refuse to guard, and act like bad bots standing doing nothing at galv or drek.
Alteric Valley is one strategy kill the general that's the problem with the bg its to short.. cant even do the achievements there there's no time to..
Since a Blue finally broached the topic of AV, I may as well reply even though I'll not say anything regarding his strategy question. I made a decision a couple of years ago to give up hope on AV when Blue completely ignored the pleas from a good sized portion of the player base. I wanted to post on one of the two characters that I played at the time where I had the most fun in AV. Unfortunately, that was a very long time ago and if you click on this character to look at his profile, you'll see the "OOPS, character not available" message.

I can honestly say that the biggest reason why I am no longer a regular player (and subscriber) is because of what became of AV. The only reason why I'm able to post this now is because my brother(who lives very far from me) came to visit for a week and brought my 3 year old niece. I figured showing her the funny cartoon characters riding on dragons would be a fun diversion for her.

I am both thankful and resentful that my first PvP experience ever occurred in AV, because now I know both how good and fun it can be (old AV) but also how bad and miserable an experience it can be (current AV). I have since tried to recapture that experience in other games with varying degrees of success. It is truly tragic that Blizzard fails to realize what a wonderful experience it once offered its players. It is truth that it may not have appealed to all players but to this very day long after its "improvements" a good many players fondly recall what it once was.

The really sad part is that Blizzard doesn't really care that I and some others no longer play in large part because of this, solely because we still fall in their acceptable churn numbers.

Anyways thanks again for the memories it was truly fun while it lasted.
All you can really post in a forum is an opening strat. Everything else is reaction and interpreting from tower caps/assaults/previous experience where the enemy is.

Alliance could do themselves a favor by allocating resources correctly. I remember my early wins when I knew nothing were when someone organized the group in the cave by group assignments, and people followed them. Each group is 5 people, and there are 8 groups. I'm sure that person did this because this is easy to determine for anyone by looking at their portrait. And typically, not everyone in that group would follow instructions/knew how to read. So you inevitably end up with incomplete groups, and maybe with some bonus.

I list these in order of priority for the alliance.

Frostwolf Relief Hut - Send 6-8 here at the beginning, with a paladin with crusader aura. They go on the left-hand side of Balinda's bunker because it's faster, and they beeline to RH, no stopping to smell roses. 2 each go up in east/west, and 3-4 down to the RH flag. Then, 2 can stay on the RH flag, and any left can be available to reinforce in case there are stealthers coming in. This isn't foolproof, and if large numbers of horde come to backcap, then this will fall apart. But it's way better than sending 1-2, where they can't get the early caps on all the flags, or sending 10-15, which is just a waste when those resources could be elsewhere contributing.

TP - Send 2-3 at the beginning. This is the most important early cap. Those 2-3 stay on the flag, inside the tower's top room so they don't get DGd down, sapped, CC'd outside.

IBT - Send 2 at the beginning. If there's a problem, more will be there after the Galv pwnage.

IBGY - Send 2 at the beginning to cap this to force any horde dead to spawn at FWGY. They'll then get rolled again when they try to make it back through IB choke.

Galv - Send 10-15 here max. And someone needs to look and see if there's defense, and if there's more than 1-2, skip him. Just not worth it.

SHB and IWB - Send 5-6 total, probably 4 to SHB and 2 to IWB at the beginning, but 3/3 would work too. These people will most likely die at some point, and they become the defensive group. The nice thing about this part of the strat is that if they all die, then there were so many horde who stopped in mid that there won't be tons up north, and the defense will be able to handle the front horde group. If the horde don't send enough, then they're behind on towers and will lose to the RH early cap.

SHGY - 2 at beginning, pref rogue and DK, to guard against a very early cap from the horde which, if any excrement hits the rotating oscillator, you don't spawn so far away. These folks can also stay back a little so they aren't visible easily from the main road.

There's as few as 2, as many as 11 to play with according to the numbers I wrote. I figure at least 5 per bg are just going to do whatever they want, regardless, so there's some wiggle room here.
The sad thing is that the people who SHOULD be reading these posts are the ones least likely to do so.

The basics (which are generally common sense) have been covered.

You don't need to have all the marshals gone to take on Vann taking him on w/ two is feasible if you have tanks/healers assigned early. (do this during the 2 minute wait before the game if at all possible)

Balinda (in our battlegroup) appears to very rarely be defended, so everyone does not need to attack her. She goes down quickly. be sure you're capping the bunkers & graveyard as well. I too often see people rush to Bal then up to Vann without properly taking SH bunker/GY.

IF Alliance is blocking the path to SP GY & the bridge, there's the upper path that's typically abandoned. This high road used to play an important role in the Classic version, as it would allow you to swing around to SP GY from behind, or to drop in on the rezzers.


I think they sped up AV a little too much. The all out zerg-fest that it's become (though good D typically will disrupt the zerg) makes me (and others it sounds like) long for the days where turn-ins actually did something for your side, and killing Balinda/Galv actually made a temporary difference. I haven't seen the Ice Lord in years (partly because the summoning used to typically glitch), but he (& the druids on Alliance side) could drastically swing a battle.

It would be nice if they added a somewhat "AV - Classic" back into the game (to be differentiated from the current rendition of AV) for players who were willing to spend a solid block of time on a potentially epic fight.
Honestly, Horde should never zerg, unless you have a very pve geared tank, healer, and a few dps, and are going for the blitz achievement. Otherwise the best strategy for Horde is wipe the Alliance at Galv, then choke them at IWB, while maintaining control of Stonehearth Graveyard, Snowfall Graveyard, Iceblood graveyard, Frostwolf graveyard, and the frostwolf aid station (have a team back cap as well to maintain towers that are taken by stealthies that get past choke). Granted, I have only a few times gotten this together with a PUG, as most people call me stupid for doing this and ignore me and go straight for Van.

What most Horde fail to realize is that it is easier for Alliance to zerg than Horde, so if both teams zerg, Horde will almost always lose. I would love to see the day when PUGs automatically employ this strategy, however I doubt that will ever happen.
I agree, I /afk out of any pve bgs i get and have a smoke and use the bathroom. 15 min later I que up and hope for an actual player vs player bg.
If you defend your Captain with atleast 15-20 players it SHATTERS the enemys offense. If you say have 20 on defense, 15 go back onto offense afterwards, You have won. Flat out. I have never lost a game where the captain was still alive. Ever.

Wish more people would do this, But alliance win too easy with rush, And horde foolishly attempts to outrush them in most games. If you have just 3 on recapping on a rush game as horde it will generally guarantee a win, I am sure the same holds true for alliance.

But yeah as one guy said, People who need to know this aren't the ones reading it...
1. split up. have a small group cap shb straight up while the main body goes for that woman who loves silences so much. make sure the small group has a healer for defence.

stage 2:
2. divide. divide up your main group so that half continue north to caputure remaining bunkers whilst half head south to back cap those being taken. make sure that those going forward and back capping leave 2 to 3 people for defence at each tower

3. wait. twiddle your thumbs, /dance or /hug and /kiss your team mates. sure they may not like it but you gotta do something.

stage 3.

4: reinforce, once u cap run up north to the next bunker and reinforce it against enemy capturers

5.at this point the top half of your team (and that small team that was at SHB) should be running for the boss make sure you have heals and tanks on hand.

6. win. congrats on your victory of AV your that much closer to your item and that frostwolf rep achieve!
My sadness with this battleground comes in many forms:

1.) It's annoying to heal. So many people.
2.) It's considered the "PvE" battleground - people go and do quests instead of participating in the battle.
3.) What is once was is nothing like it was now. I started in Cataclysm. I read about how you needed to get all 4 towers down, you escorted your wing commander, you had tactical air strikes, and you needed to do the quests in order to help yourself. The mines mattered.

That being said, there are strategies that have emerged because of this. (which is why it's not a soap box speech.)

At lower levels, I see that one of two strategies emerge. One, people cap the towers and it's a race to see who can down the boss first. You'll get a few people who will defend or try to back cap, but mostly it's a forward charge. The other strategy I see is that as many people as possible find the spot to crash - typically the graveyard resurrection point, and it becomes the one thing people are dying for... an all out brawl.

At mid levels, I see some Hordies defending the first boss, and players defending the final boss if they can get in there. I don't really see as much of that on the Alliance side.

At max level, since gear has scaled so well, you only need two towers down for an average tank and healer set to be able to tank and heal the final boss. If you have two tanks and multiple healers, you can actually tank three generals - one tank pulls, and the other tank pulls the boss. All DPS focuses on the boss, and you spam huge heals on the off tank so the "generals" don't wipe the people at the end.
Sorry for the late reply two days later, but I just saw this war collage on AV. I have to disagree that av is a pve battleground. I also disagree that it has too many players. This is why I enjoy av the most because it has lots of players. Lots of players means more chaos, the more chaos the more fun.

As for what plans well that's a long list, Ill try to keep it simple.
There are three schools of thought.
The first is total offense and zerg the boss, 90 percent of the time this fails, as it can be easily stopped at blinda or galv easily.

The second is mostly offense but as one poster pointed out you keep a group behind to defend and recap towers, and make the the other side have a vary bad day.

The third rarely used but effective, and focused on pvp, other then objective is Defensive. In the defensive strategy you must hold all towers, grave yards, and mines on your side of the map. If you loose just one key point your going to have a hard time holding to this strategy.

Defensive I think is the best, sense it avoids the pve aspect completely, and it forces the other side to ware themselves out against your battle line. Well they start taring into each other on whos fault it is. They also loose reinforcements quickly.

The second can work Ive seen it work but sometimes they will wipe out your backcap group, and leave your force racing agianst a clock. This being said I have seen it work

This is the only time I say anything positive about rouges. They are key to Alterac valley. Ive seen rouges muck up the other side in av real well. They do this by back capping, or capping towers, and finally at times wiping out the other sides back cap group.

There is so much more i can share about Alterac valley but its clear from the blue post they dont want posts to be too long.

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