Tag Archives: Alterac Valley

WoW Classic gets Battlegrounds and Key Rings Today

Today’s WoW Classic US downtime sees the deployment of World of Warcraft Classic version 1.13.3. (EU realms won’t get this until 1am tomorrow if I read things right… but that will still be today here.)

Classic is as classic does

This update brings with it a few changes, the biggest being the introduction of battlegrounds to WoW Classic.

After the introduction of world PvP and the honor system with phase two of the WoW Classic plan caused… issues… like the expected non-stop gankfests made more sinister by increased populations relative to vanilla and the usual faction imbalances on servers (there might be an all Horde server now)… and also how honor is even calculated… led Blizzard to introduce battlegrounds early, before they got around to the full phase three release.

So, as of today we now have the Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley battlegrounds available, one of the first vanilla things you could queue up for… not counting the queue to get onto the server.

Warsong Gulch is the 10 vs 10 player capture the flag game that allow players level 10 and higher to join in.  It is divided into level brackets (10 to 19, 20 to 29, etc) along with the level 60 bracket.  Last week a level 19 hunter twink in planning paid me 5g to take him through the quest in Duskwood that has the special quiver as a reward, all while he was in ghost form because he was afraid the xp would level him up.  So expect a lot of that.

Alterac Valley is the 40 vs 40 epic zone struggle that allows players level 51 and up vie for control of the zone.  I’ve done Alterac dozens of times and I am still not sure how the whole thing even works.  I just follow the mass and kill the things.

Whether or not these two will take any pressure off the gank fever on the PvP servers remains to be seen.  I suspect life will remain miserable for many.

Also on the list of things WoW Classic is getting today is elemental invasions.  In the zones Un’goro Crater, Azshara, Winterspring, and Silithus elemental invaders will be showing up.  I am sure this is in furtherance of some event, but I honestly don’t recall what at the moment and the patch notes don’t say.

In addition we are also getting the key ring today.  This is a special 12 slot inventory space that lets you store the keys to various things so that they don’t take up your otherwise limited and often critical inventory space.  I have at least three characters that will get an extra inventory spot because the key to the side door of Gnomeregan will go there.  Worth it to me.

Oddly I remember both the key ring being added and later being removed from the game.  If you want to know more about it, WoW Head has a guide.  Just remember it doesn’t show up in the UI until you actually have a key to store in it.

Finally, there appear to be a few changes to the LUA interface to keep addons from doing more than they should, a way to access paid character transfers has been added though such transfers are not yet available, the executable has been renamed, and some bug fixes have come along for the ride.

I have seen some people saying that with all of this we now have phase three in place, but that is not so.  Phase three won’t be fully deployed until Blizzard opens up the Blackwing Lair raid and adds Darkmoon Faire to WoW Classic.  We won’t see those until “early” 2020.  That will bring us up to the July 2005 level of vanilla content.

Somebody did a nice post about the phases of WoW Classic if you are interested in what else is coming.

Now back to my nice comfortable PvE-RP server where open world PvP issues aren’t really a thing.

Hallowed in Alterac Valley

Like Potshot, I have been trying to finish up the Hallow’s End achievements to get the meta achievement and the title of “The Hallowed.”

Once I figured out that the flimsy mask achievement was not a prerequisite for the title, I figured getting the meta achievement would be easy.  After all, this is our second pass through Hallow’s End achievements.  I picked up most of them last year at this time, so there were just a couple more to get.

And I was even more encouraged that I got the Sinister Squashling on my first trick-or-treat.  Things were looking good.

In fact, very quickly I was only waiting for somebody in the group to get the Leper Gnome wand.  That was all I needed to complete the  Masquerade achievement.  And nobody in our guild had one.

I could have paid somebody to hit me with the Leper Gnome wand.  People were shouting offers to do so for 5-20 gold.  However, after my daughter got ripped off by somebody offering that service, my faith in my fellow man dipped just a little lower.  There is no real recourse if you give somebody money and then they decline to wand you.

And so I waited for somebody in the guild to get one of those wands.  A week went by.  No Leper Gnome wands.

Well, actually, there were five Leper Gnome wands, but they were all on my account.  I was having no problem getting them.

At one point, Skronk got the random wand.

We met up and he hit me with that.  On the third try, I rolled Leper Gnome!

And I didn’t get the achievement.

The achievement is quite clear.  You need to be transformed by the Hallowed Wand – Leper Gnome, not just turned into a Leper Gnome by a wand.

Back to trick-or-treating.

Then, one afternoon I was in the Alterac Valley battleground.  I was just shy of the honor points I needed to buy something new.  And as we say waiting for the battle to start somebody said, “Anybody have the ninja wand?  I need it for the achievement.”

I had the ninja wand.  Heck, by that point I had most of the wands.  So I hit him with the ninja and he got the title and the achievement.

Seeing his success, I asked in the raid if anybody had the Leper Gnome wand.

Nobody responded.

Seconds passed.

The gates started up and the battle was just beginning when suddenly somebody hit me with the Leper Gnome wand.

TheHallowedAV

Hallowed in Alterac Valley

The title was mine!  I am not sure who got me, but thank you very much!

And then we went on to win AV in record time.

Of course, about two hours later, Ula logged on and got the Leper Gnome wand trick-or-treating.  That is the way it always seems to go.

Now I just have to work on that flimsy mask achievement while we wait for the next big WoW holiday event, which is apparently Pilgrim’s Bounty.  I’m not sure how that is going to play outside of the US, but we’ll see.

My Reputation Precedes Me

52avmarks.pngIn a typical (for me) fit of enthusiasm upon seeing that only 50 Alterac Valley marks of honor were required to get the Stormpike Battle Charger, I ran out and did a bunch of battles in AV.

The Alliance was very good to me. I managed to get to the 52 mark level in only 22 rounds, 15 wins and 7 losses.

I managed to help out some. Being level 61 in a sea of level 70 players is a bit tough, but as a hunter, my traps, my special shots, and my pet allowed me to be a mildly effective speed bump in the path of the oncoming horde. So I lay in wait at the beginning of matches at Stonehearth Graveyard, waiting for the horde to come by so I can slow them down a bit.

avtrap.png

And it can be very satisfying to take down a careless level 70, which I managed to do every so often.

I started out on Monday night in AV and by Thursday morning I had the required honor marks.

I rearranged some gold between my character so that Tistann had the 510 gold to cover the cost of the riding skill (150) for an epic mount and took care of that.

Then I had to find the guy who would actually sell me the mount.

Fortunately, WoWWiki had me covered. The guy I needed was Thanthaldis Snowgleam, the friendly neighborhood Stormpike supply officer.

However, on his WoWWiki page, I picked up a new tidbit of information, something I managed to miss up to this point.

Many of the items that Thanthaldis sells are available only to characters with a specific reputation with the Stormpike Guard.

And that mount? It requires you be exalted reputation with the guard.

Oops.

I am currently honored with the guard, which is a long way from exalted.

Now I had to ask myself how much this special mount was worth.

With the riding skill purchased there was only 85 gold between me regular epic mount. (My reputation with Ironforge is “revered,” so I get the 15% discount.  That reputation took me, literally, 60 levels to achieve… and Tistann is a dwarf.)
A couple of evenings in AV was worth saving 85g.  I could manage that.

But the grind to get to exalted? I can probably make more money just running around and doing quests. Plus I would actually get experience, which leads to levels, which in turn would make me more effective in AV.

So I think I put my 52 AV marks of honor in the bank and bought the standard epic mount.

tistannmount.png

I will get back to battlegrounds when I have a few more levels.

My First Alterac Valley

I have not done much when it comes to the battlegrounds in World of Warcraft.

I did do some Warsong Gulch back when my characters were in their 30s, but I gave it up pretty quickly. It wasn’t that I was not having fun. The matches reminded me very much of FPS matches and were generally a lot of fun. However, the wait time to get into a battleground back in those days often ran 60 to 90 minutes.

On any given night, the amount of time I can devote to playing is usually about 60 to 90 minutes.

So I simply gave up on the battlegrounds, having reached the exalted rank of Private.

All of this happened back before the changes to battlegrounds, the cross server alignments, and the advent of the “welfare epic” state.

But then Potshot decided to head into the battlegrounds, into Alterac Valley, and seemed to be having a good time. So I thought I would give it a shot as well.

For AV I had a choice between two characters. My main, Vikund, a level 63 paladin, and my #1 alt, Tistann, a level 61 hunter.

I went with Tistann. Being a paladin, and range weapon deprived, in a battleground did not sound like fun.

I went in with the idea of using the same tactics I used way back when I played WSG: Find a warrior, follow him around, and help him out with my firepower… from a safe distance back.

Sticking with somebody became an even bigger goal when I arrived in the pre-match holding tank and figured out that the level range I was now playing in was 61-70. I was 61 and everybody else was level 70.

Ouch.

I was going to be meat, I could tell already.

Still, I was in the match. I did not know what I was doing, but I figured I would be safe sticking with everybody else.

So when the match started and the gate opened, everybody ran forward, so I ran forward too!

I ran and ran… and then noticed I was alone.

Everybody else stopped about 10 feet past the gate.

I stopped to boggle.  There I am, my wolf pet (Name: Puck) beside me, alone in front of the pack.

avoutfront.png

Then people began to appear on their horses, goats, and such.

Ah, time to mount up!  The last time I played a battleground, I had no mount.

I quickly started to summon my own mount.

I tried to keep up, but not only was I late in summoning my mount, but I also appeared to have the only non-epic mount on the team.

So I was quickly left behind. The vast majority of our side went thundering down the valley towards the horde.

On tracking I could see the horde doing the same, thundering up the valley towards… well… me.

The two groups nicely bypassed each other at mid-map, all obeying the laws of this mid-map traffic circle it seemed.

Following my usual rules for being a pain in the ass, I figured if I was going to die, I was going to be as annoying about it as possible. So I dropped off my mount, laid a frost trap, stepped back some, and then opened up on the first horde player that came around the corner.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. due to my planning it took them an extra second or two to kill me. I died, came back closer to our base, set myself up again, and died again.

After the third death, I found myself far enough back to have run into some other defenders. With some help, I actually assisted in a kill or two.

Then the match was suddenly over.

It turned out that we won. I had to ask Potshot on the guild channel how I could tell if we had won. He said that if I received three AV marks, then my side had won.

I looked in my bag.  I have three AV marks of honor.  We must have won!

I went back for three more battles that night, ending up on the winning side each time, giving me a total of 12 marks.

By the fourth battle, I seemed to be making myself, if not useful, at least somewhat helpful, having adopted a group that seemed to be in battle a lot and adding my firepower to their lot and hitting any rogues with hunter’s mark to keep them honest.

And so went my first night in Alterac Valley.

After the battle I went to WoW Wiki to look up Alterac Valley to try to figure out what was really going on.

It also turns out that my twelve Alterac Valley marks of honor are actually worth something. I mean, I could trade 10 of them in for an actual, useful piece of equipment. Quite a change from the old days, when useful items required weeks of play.

The one item I have my eye on is the Stormpike Battle Charger. And epic mount. Only 50 AV marks of honor.

I am nearly a quarter of the way there.