Life is Cheap #4: Your First Alterac Valley as PvE player
Part 2 of the guide on easing your PvE sensibilities into PvP.
OK, so maybe by now you have run an Arathi Basin (AB) or two, maybe your intention is to try Alterac Valley (AV) 1st because everyone has told you it is so much like PvE. Maybe you heard AV was the best way to grind honor.
Whatever the case, I will try to introduce you gently to AV as a PvE’er doing your 1st PvP experience. Yes, I will assume this is your 1st, so excuse the simplicity.
No.1 there where some general tips in the 1st in this series, so check them out if you haven’t already.
AV is a large map, it feels more like a world zone than a BG instance. If you have fog of war on, then it is going to be a big blank space.
The things you need to know about the map.
- There is a General at each end of the map.
- Your General is in the base closest to your starting position, the enemy’s Is at the other end.
- If you don’t head directly towards the enemy base on Offense (O) at the beginning of the fight, there is a good chance you will be stuck at your end of the map (not always true, but it’s fair to say you will probably be on defense (D) for the rest of the battle)
- There are capturable grave yards dotting the map from top to bottom. If you hold a GY, you can respawn there. If you hold no GY, you respawn in your starting tunnel.
- There are towers and bunkers and mini-bosses for you to destroy.
There are two ways to win AV:
- Kill the enemy General before they kill yours (simple right?).
- Battle of attrition. For every PC death the reinforcement count of that side is reduced by 1. (you can increase the rate of new reinforcements by controlling towers/bunkers and mines -which of course adversely effects the enemy.) Once reinforcement numbers reach 0 the battle is won (or lost depending on which side you are on and the number of “way to loose noobs” comments in BG chat.
As mentioned in the previous guide death is not necessarily a bad thing, although remember it does reduce your reinforcement numbers.
The other bonus of death in AV, is sneaking past bottle necks or turtles to go to another GY.
How to do it
As soon as you release, run away from the spirit healer, towards the other GY you want to respawn at.
Things to consider:
- The other GY doesn’t have to be capped yet, but it does for you to respawn.
- Just because you own the GY now doesn’t mean you will by the time you arrive (I have spent some frustrating AVs running from one uncapped GY to another).
OK time to interrupt with a silly story.
One AV I just couldn’t get past a turtle while alive, so I ghost ran, right up the map, through the thronging horde to a GY.
Thing was the spirit healed wouldn’t give me a rez timer (obviously WoW was bugging out). In the end I ran all the way to the enemy base trying to find a GY to Rex in.
That’s when I realised I had been alive the whole time (1 sec Rez timer ftw), and I had somehow run the whole map unscathed.
OK, back on topic…
AB has some quests (whoops, forgot to mention that last time) but AV has heaps more. Some are basically PvE quests, others are more PvP in that they can influence the outcome of a battleground (especially a long one).
They are also a great way to get to know a little bit more about AV
So feel welcome to explore the quests, most of which are obtainable at your home base.
But just hope someone doesn’t flag you as AFK, ala Snake in the grass.
OMFG, loot drops, oh man let me in!
Well no, you won’t be picking up purples in AV. But NPCs and players alike do drop “rubbish”. This rubbish is the quest hand ins required for improving NPCs, calling air strikes, summoning elementals etc.
Remember to loot
Remember to hand this rubbish in before the enemy overwhelms your base and kills the quest givers.
- If you are on D, frequently looting and returning to base is good.
- If you are on (Offense) O, frequently looting and occasional returns to base isn’t a bad thing either.
…leap like lemmings off a cliff…
OK, this is a good place to start in your 1st BG, at least to get the layout, if not to get the quests.
How do you get there? Well let’s take a step back…
Before the battle for AV.
Before the battle starts do the usual buffing etc, then move up to the gate. You can’t mount yet, so just wait impatiently…
OK, I only know this from the Alliance perspective, hopefully one of my readers will give the Horde version.
The gate opens and everyone surges forward, about 10 steps.
Why did they stop?
To mount of course!
Then the mass of warriors will surge forward. The majority of them will stream off around the mountain to the left. However, a few will reach the 1st corner and seemingly leap like lemmings off a cliff… because that’s the shortcut to base (You can also do a sharp right turn after the starting tunnel around the mountain, then turn left to drop down on top of the mine).
Anyway, once you have hit the ground running, with a big thud (ironically, right in the middle of the Iceblood GY), run straight ahead towards the bridge and you home base.
Back at home base
Before you cross the bridge you will notice a flag guarded by NPCs – This is the 2nd last (well 3rd really) line of defense. Over the bridge you will see bunkers to the left (South Bunker) and right (North Bunker). You will be defending and retaking these as much as possible.
Just after the north bunker is the home base (Aid Station) GY flag (Your last (or 2nd last) line of defense) and near that your General’s stronghold.
They are the key landmarks – get to know them so you can protect them.
Check with the quest givers and see what you can do.
Your other option (instead of defending 1st time around, or in subsequent visits to AV) is to follow the masses to the front line. There is rarely a shortage of DPS heading to the front line (living is rarer), but tanks and healers always seem to be in short supply.
Unlike other battlegrounds, there is definitely a place for protection spec’d toons. There are hard hitting NPCs ahead and many an AV has been lost awaiting the arrival of tanks and healers at the front line.
If you die on the way to the front line don’t despair, just head back in the same direction, or if after repeated attempts you just can’t make it, ghost run to and accessible GY.
So where are the PvE bits you ask?
Yes initially you will only see the nasty opposition players running and riding full tilt in you direction (most, not all, will ignore you in their race to the front) – but once you are at the front lines you will start to encounter:
- Wolves and Rams (for quests)
- Mine guards
- NPC patrols on the roads
- NPC guards at GY and towers/bunkers
- Captains (Balinda Stonehearth & Galvangar)
- Generals (Vanndar Stormpike & Drek’Thar) and their mates
- NPC guards at towers/bunkers and GY: these guards belong to the side that controls the resource.
- GY guards: Kill and take flag (or just take the flag).
- Tower/bunker guards: only exist (and respawn) until the tower is destroyed. Kill them and take the flag (or stealth past them and take the flag – even as a Mage) – unless you are BRK, in which case you only take the tower at 1/2 health and against overwhelming odds -kill them all!
Now is the time for glory!
Someone nearly always takes charge at this point, usually a tank (all that PvE group leading experience).
Buff up, mana up and wait for the call – “ALL IN”
Charge into the bosses room and don’t leave until one of two things occurs:
- General is dead, or
- You are dead
Once the General is engaged you must not leave the room or the boss will reset – which makes people very, very angry!
You will be facing the General and several Marshals (Alliance) or Warmasters (Horde) for every tower left standing (which is why it is a good idea to destroy enemy towers, while holding your own. Easier for you, harder for them.)
Once again, standard tank and spank. The only thing to watch out for with this boss is whirlwind.
Just remember when you hear “ALL IN”, go in and STAY IN!
One last thing, there is a quest in AV for a trinket (Stormpike Insignia/ Frostwolf Insignia). This trinket can be upgraded each time you reach a new reputation tier. It has a few stats including frost resistance (someone scared of frost mages?). But it’s special ability is it will port you back to home base to defend/hand in quest items. There is no reason not to get it, so go get it!
Gnomer and Out!