Wednesday, June 11

BGs for PUGs

After writing that last entry I got to thinking about the "bare essentials" for basic Battleground strategies. Ya still need to read all the strategies out there, and there's some good ones. Many are very detailed and require experience and practice to get the hang of. But most battlegrounds are fought with Pick Up Groups (PUGs); a bunch of players that don't know each other and don't normally fight together. Coordinating a decent strategy in a PUG can be complex. So without further ado...

Friday's Guide to Basic BG PUGs
or, The Bare Minimum You Need to Know Before You Click Join Battle

Most of this has to do with Level 70 BGs, but most of it applies to under 70 as well. A good BG is a LOT more complex and requires the team to communicate and coordinate precisely.

I'm going to give you one or two rules that I consider most important to understand. You need to spend a lot more time learning the specifics.

It is absolutely essential that the PUG cooperate to win a battleground. Be polite and work together. You don't have time to debate. (Actually, you have exactly two minutes to debate and then it's on.) Set any whiners, quitters, nay-sayers, and other degenerates to ignore.


There's plenty of BG tools available, but the only one you absolutely must have is the overlay map. It is built into WoW. On most systems it's SHIFT-M. Learn to read it.

Terms You Need To Know

FC - The flag carrier.
Inc - Incoming.
Cap - A flag capture.
Turtle - All of one side's players group together in a specific spot and hold it.
Zerg - All of one side's players group together and attack a specific spot and take it.
D - Defense
O - Offense

You should also endeavor to learn the specific abbreviations for objectives in the specific battleground. Most of the time you can pull up the zone map and figure them out.

Getting Ready

1. Buff everyone. It's free. No one should have to ask. Just start buffing.

2. Do whatever the battleground leader suggests at the opening. This may or may not be the person designated as leader by the game. It's usually the person that speaks up first and sounds like they know what they're doing. It's more important for everyone to be on the same page at the start than it is to worry about whether the strategy is sound or not. The opening strategy usually lasts about 10-45 seconds. :) If you need this guide, you're not experienced enough to argue.

Warsong Gulch (WSG)

It's just capture the flag. The object is to grab the enemy flag and return it to your base. The caveat is that you can only capture ("cap") the flag if the enemy DOESN'T have your flag. So if they do, you have to get yours back before you can cap.

Terms: FR - the flag room. Tun - the main tunnel leading to the flag room. Ramp - the far left side of the base (facing the enemy base). GY - the graveyard on the far right side of the base (facing the enemy base). Mid - the middle of the battleground.

Rule: PLAY THE FLAGS. With the one exception being if you're on the Flag Carrier team. If you're not going after the enemy flag or trying to retrieve your team's flag, you're not doing it right (YNDIR).

Common Mistakes: Fighting in the middle. The only time you should be fighting in the middle is if you're chasing down, or escorting, a flag. Too much D. If you don't know what you're doing, you don't need defense. The only way to win is by capturing the enemy flag. YOU CAN NOT CAPTURE THE ENEMY FLAG ON DEFENSE. You need to play the flags. Period.

Arathi Basin

In many ways, the most complex battleground strategy-wise, even though the premise is simple. So we're gonna keep it real simple with the caveat that, to play this BG effectively, you have to study. The object is to reach 2000 resource points before the enemy does. You earn resource points by capturing and holding the 5 nodes scattered around the battlefield. The more nodes you have, the faster you score.

Terms: ST - stables, BS - blacksmith, GM - gold mine, LM - lumber mill, Farm - farm.

Rule #1. Keeping it simple... Just gather up 3 or more of your team and go toward any node that you DO NOT see dots at on your overlay map. Dots at a node mean there are friendly players already there dealing with that node. Just grab your teammates and go to the empty spaces, preferably the closest adjacent node. When you're more experienced, know where to go and when, and executing proper strategies you can ignore this rule.

Rule #2. Fight on the flag. Don't fight in the road, a field, the water, or any place except within 10 yards of the flag. If someone starts to cap the flag, ass punch 'em as hard as you can to interrupt them. Then keep fighting at the flag. Ride through the enemy if you have to and get near a node's flag. No exceptions.

Common Mistakes: 3 and Hold acolytes. 3&H is probably the absolute worst AB strategy (do the math and you'll see why). Fighting away from the flags. See above. Trying to hold specific nodes. You're much better off with minimal defense and a strong offense, which means most of your team is going to be in motion most of the time. Give up a node if it's going to slow you down or tie up you up. Getting spread out. The team that rezzes and attacks together, wins together.

Alterac Valley

The biggest BG. Nerfed to hell, but still arguably the best. There's probably not a lot of "simple" strategies for this one, so I'm hitting the very basics of Offense and Defense. It is very important to study for this one so that you can learn the terminology and the location of objectives. It has been simplified a lot and many of the elements included in the BG are rarely, if ever used. Even so, there's still a lot going on and you need to tune into the chatter and pay attention.

Terms - way to many to list for each side. If it has GY in it, it's a graveyard. A B at the end or a T at the end usually mean a Bunker (Alliance) or Tower (Horde), respectively. When you can, pull up the zone map and study these as people call them out.

NOTE: It is necessary and expected in AV for you to have obtained your Frostwolf or Stormpike Insignia prior to entering the BG. It's not 100% necessary, but highly recommended since you can't recall to your General's defense without it. You can get it by completing a quest from your faction's entry point in Alterac. The insignia should be upgraded as you gain honor with your faction (up to Rank 6).

#1. On Offense. Cap any towers/bunkers you come across and stay in them until they burn. Cap any mines you come across and can grab. Do NOT cap graveyards. Controlling the GYs is critical to most AV strategies and caping one at the wrong time can cause a major disaster. Let the more experienced players take care of the GYs. Don't attack a named non-player mob until the rest of the group does. When you do attack, DO NOT RUN. Die if you have to, but you MUST NOT LEAVE THE BUILDING.

#2. On Defense. Your job is to slow down the enemy rush for as long as possible. Since 20-40 enemy players are going to be coming at you, it's only a matter of time. However, playing smart can delay their advance enough to let your offense grab the win. Take and retake any towers or bunkers you can. Keep constant pressure on the towers and bunkers. Keep control of your two base GYs (one inside and one just outside) for as long as possible. Fight in the towers, choke points and at the GY flags, not out in the open. It's a rolling retreat that you need to make last as long as possible. Make the enemy work for it.

Common Mistakes: Capping an enemy graveyard at the wrong time. Leaving a tower/bunker/GY/mine before it's fully capped. Solo'ing your way back to offense, and getting killed repeatedly, if you've been pushed back to defense. Not recalling when too many are on offense and the enemy is ahead.

Eye of the Storm

EoTS is a lot like AB in some respects. The twist is that instead of a 5th node in the center, there's a flag that can be captured for points. Unlike AB, defense is a bigger issue. In most cases, you can respond to a call for help very quickly if you're at an adjacent node. The battlefield is wide open. If you're paying attention, you'll see an enemy push toward a node, and can be heading that way, long before the call for help goes out.

Terms: DR - Drenai Ruins, BET (or Belf) - Blood Elf Tower, FR - Fel Rever Ruins, MT - Mage Tower.

#1 Fight at the nodes, not in the roads. If you're not at the node you're not contributing to capturing/holding it.

#2 The flag isn't important until you have a firm hold on at least two nodes. Preferably you'll have a good O working on a third node as well. Most EotS's are lost because too many people clump up in the middle trying to get the flag. Experienced players will automatically go for the flag when it's appropriate to do so. Inexperienced players need to learn and focus on the nodes.

Common Mistakes: Not pressuring/taking the enemy held nodes. Fighting in the roads. Too much attention to the flag.

Here's some links from WoWWiki for further study (just a starting place with more links to peek at):
The Newbie Guild on the Alterac Valley page is a MUST read!


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