Tobold's Blog
Monday, December 08, 2008
Winning Wintergrasp

After reaching level 80 yesterday, I did various "endgame" activities: Trying heroics, doing daily quests, and also a trip to Wintergrasp for some PvP. My priest isn't really a PvP character, he never ever has set foot into a battleground. But Wintergrasp is a lot of fun, and the use of turrets and vehicles helps characters who don't have the talent build and gear for PvP. So I went to Wintergrasp at 80, and by a strange series of coincidences ended up playing a major role in winning it.

It started with me being in Dalaran, and checking the Wintergrasp battle master when the next battle would start. He told me that a battle was currently in progress, so I clicked on the portal next to him and teleported to the Horde flight point in Wintergrasp. The battle was in full swing, only 15 minutes to go. I would have loved to grab a siege engine, but to do so one first needs to have 2 honor kills, which gives you the corporal rank, and access to the smallest catapult vehicle. 10 more honor kills gives you access to all vehicles. I passed by the vehicle shop anyway, and there was another player rolling out with a big siege engine. Great, those have several spots for up to 4 players. I jumped on, and manned the turret, the driver only has control over driving and the ram in that one.

Several walls already being down, the driver drove right up to the final door of the fortress, trying to batter it down, with me using the turret to shoot other vehicles and players running around. But Alliance seriously outnumbered us, and even with 11 tenacity buffs the siege engine was soon destroyed. But then some sort of bug or glitch happened. When a vehicle is destroyed, you are ejected, and can fight on on foot. Only that my siege engine was in close contact with the final fortress door, and I found myself ejected INTO the inner sanctum. In there is a huge orb, clicking on which for several seconds wins the battle. Only because the door was still closed, the orb wasn't active yet.

Well, I could have tried to get out again, but as the battle was close to the end, I decided to just stay in the inner sanctum. I met two Alliance players there, one after the other, and killed them both. The first one was even worse in PvP than I was (normally a holy priest shouldn't stand a chance against a druid). The second player had run inside because he was already seriously wounded, and my Smite killed him before he even knew what was happening. But other than that, I was just waiting.

And then it happened: 1 minute 30 seconds before the battle timer ended, some Horde player with a siege engine broke open the door. I was standing *behind* the orb, so the Alliance players coming in didn't see me immediately. And I clicked on the orb, and after seconds that seemed endless, managed to activate it and capture the fortress. Yay, I won! Nice feeling, but due to lack of honor kills I never even got the tokens for winning, just some honor. But hey, it was great fun!
How do you like the Blizzard version of keep sieges vs the WaR ones?
Personally I like the fact that there more than 1 points of entry. I guess its pretty logical to
be able to destroy the walls of a keep, rather than banging the front door:)
Taking advantage of exploits! Tsk tsk, I smell a banning coming on.
I've only played two games since hitting 80 a saturday or two ago (although I played Wintergrasp quite a bit in Beta) and have won both so far; one offence and one defence.

Both were EPIC beyond belief. In the defensive game, the Horde originally had a MASSIVE tenacity buff so we had to stay in the keep, unable to kill them even with a good 5 of us on a single player. Once more Horde poured into Wintergrasp sensing a chance at taking the keep, the tenacity buff lowered and they'd broken into our innermost courtyard before the keep door with about 20 minutes to go. They broke the door down with 10 minutes to go and we spent these entire twenty minutes - the courtyard and the inner room - playing heavy defense. They constantly assaulted the orb but we managed to hold them off the entire time; it was amazingly rewarding. The offensive game probably wasn't as epic, but with just a few minutes to go we had been tirelessly trying to take the orb as the Horde had tried to do to us in the game I played defense, and sensing the same situation I figured we were going to lose the fight. I'm not sure how we did it, but with a minute or so to go we managed to get the whole ten second capture off and won.

If there's one thing I think that makes Wintergrasp successful, it's that the result of victory/defeat is very visible. Sure you might get a kick out of an epic 20 minute warsong gulch 2/3 either side stand-off (especially if it keeps going at an offensive pace and you win) in the end it was just another instanced bg. When you win Wintergrasp you're left with that visible result. If you've defended the keep you're left satisfied as the last stragglers of the opposing force are picked off and you stand on those steps that lead into the keep itself and stare out at those beaten down walls and give yourself a pat on the back for managing to hold the attackers off and if you just won the attack, you get that thrill of victory as the npcs slowly switch over and become friendly and you gain access to a raid encounter and mobs outside that are farmable for well-selling materials. I haven't lost a fight yet (one with consequences, i.e. not the beta testing) but I can imagine it as being a real kick, having tried so hard to take that orb but not lasting the ten seconds, or falling with a few minutes to go and losing the keep, all the while motivated to get them back next time.
The Tenacity system seems pretty hit or miss. With 11 buffs, meeting up with one or two enemies should be no problem. I wonder if it really is effective for making it seem balanced. Will be a while before I get there.
What is this wintergrasp you talk of? On my server we autowin it :(, there are like 200 hordies total on our server, so I have yet to see it actually be played.

That would stink. My main chars are on a pvp server and when I reactivate and get the expansion (sometime before Xmas) I'm considering transferring a 70 char over to a PVE server...and your situation is one thing I want to avoid.

I have a 60 on another PVE server but that server is over populated.

It seems my considerations will be not just finding a server that has medium population, but one that has a good balance between horde and alliance.
11 Tenacity? Jesus!

On my server the most we've ever seen is the Alliance with 4 stacks. 90% of the time, both sides are dead even or one side might have one stack, but no more.
Cheater! Lol! Congrats, Tobold. Sounds like Blizzard's done a nice job with PvP/Wintersgrasp. Hopefully, WAR can make their oRvR as fun.
I always find it gratifying to win through sheer luck and intellect. Way to be sneaky, and thanks for the fun story Tobie.
It makes me lol thinking how Wintergrasp is so much greater than anything WAR has to currently offer :( And I haven't even played Wintergrasp. WAR's keep sieges are formulaic, lag-infested, boredom.
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