When it comes to a game with so much history as World of Warcraft, you don’t always need to think of something entirely new to keep the ball rolling. Pulling something from the past and revamping is a great way to reinvigorate things, giving the old hands a shot of nostalgia, while allowing the newcomers to experience a taste of how it used to be. This has already been done with Molten Core for the PvE side of things (and Black Temple will be the first Timewalking Raid, coming soon), but Blizzard didn’t leave the PvP side of things hanging with this recreation of classic World PvP.
True, this Brawl isn’t new; it was featured some time ago in Warlords of Draenor as an anniversary event, but those who missed it then now have a chance to experience it. However, this could be considered a new Battleground all its own, as unlike the other Brawls it is not a modification on an existing map. Back in the old days, teams were not always organized and could become absolutely huge (and one team would usually be bigger than the other). This time things are “balanced” at 40vs40, the same as the large scale BGs like Alterac and Isle.
It goes without saying that this many people stuffed into an area will cause latency issues, to say nothing of the graphics lag if your computer isn’t up to snuff…
All flare aside, this event also is unique in its requirement to win. Most Battlegrounds have a set of objectives that must be completed in order to win, and slaughtering the other team, while not required, usually makes things easier. With Southshore vs. Tarren Mill, the only objective is killing and killing is the only objective. Call it “Team Deathmatch” if you like, but this place is an all out slugfest. The first team to rack up 150 points wins the match.
Note, however, that this is 150 points, not 150 kills. You may be wondering at first why there is a distinction, as early in the battle 1 kill equals 1 point. This is where the unique buff for this battle comes into play; every 10 kills that are made in your vicinity (you do not have to land the killing blow), will cause you to “rank up” with a buff following the old school PvP ranking scheme. Each level adds a listed 1% to your healing and damage done. What is not listed—and this is critically important—is that the higher your rank is, the more points you are worth to the enemy team when you are killed! You might sweep three or four recruit level players for a couple points apiece, but if you are a high rank, you might give them double that number from your death alone. Staying alive is critical!
We’ve compiled a list of tactics and tricks that will help you to claim victory on this classic-inspired battlefield!
As with all Brawls, entering this one will immediately start a quest. Winning this Brawl one time at any point in the week will complete the quest, and dole out some nice rewards. This includes a huge chunk of Artifact Power, a Gladiator level piece of gear, and 3 Marks of Honor.
The map is inspired from the pre-Cataclysm area of Hillsbrad Foothills. Newer players may be surprised to see Tarren Mill in its less-undeady look, not to mention Southshore being an actual town instead of a pile of goop.
There’s no doubt about it: Ranged specs will have a much easier time here than melee.
Your best bet as melee is to play defense for the ranged. Intercept anybody foolish enough to stray away from their lines, or watch the flanks for anybody trying to line up a shot. Always deal with flanking enemies, as they can pinch your group off and force a faster retreat.
Alternatively, jump into the enemy group and unleash your AoE attacks. However, do not attempt this unless you have a way to escape quickly (Divine Shield, Heroic Leap, Vanish, etc.), otherwise you will be targeted by the majority of enemies and blasted apart. You have, at most, five seconds before you die (and about two of those seconds are people realizing you’re in their face), so you need to be long gone before that happens.
The reverse is also true. If you are escaping the enemy lines, you will probably be wounded and loaded up with several rows of DoTs, meaning you’ll bleed out if you don’t get heals. Don’t yell at your healers if you die from this; it takes a second or two for them to switch to healing you, and another second for the heals to actually happen.
As stated, there are no real objectives here other than to kill. This means that there are no real lines drawn in the sand, making the location of the battle will shift very frequently. You need to be aware of the ebb and tide of the fight around you so that you do not miss when your team is forced back. You will definitely get mobbed in this case.
Always look to finish off wounded enemies. Usually when a player starts taking heavy damage, they will attempt to retreat to their lines for healing. If you can rush them while they are retreating, they will usually be an easy kill. Just don’t overextend yourself in doing so.
Because there are so many people in this game, try not to look too important or present yourself for easy targeting.
The easiest way to avoid this is to stay clumped up with your team. Presenting multiple targets makes it less likely that more than one person will target you. Also, if you are in the crosshairs, moving back may put you out of range, forcing the opponent to pick a new target.
If you find yourself out of position and become targeted by one enemy, chances are more people will zero in on you. Move back to the relative safety of your team and re-assess.
Experienced players will target you via your nameplate, so overall character size won’t mean much. However if you have anything that makes you gigantic, try to avoid using it, especially if you intend to charge the enemy lines. The basic rule is anything that makes you bigger than your nameplate makes it easier for people to target you.
The two ruined towers situated between the towns may become involved in the mass battle. Take cover if you wish, but don’t rely on them. They might be your salvation in some situations, but they might also back you into a corner just as easily.
There is absolutely no benefit to invading the other side’s town. In fact, you will put yourself at a heavy disadvantage, as their graveyard will provide on the spot reinforcements, whereas your team will have an even longer distance to run. Unless the game is almost over or you’re utterly squashing the other side, keep the fighting out in the open.
With the way the ranking system works, don’t ever assume the game is in the bag until you’ve actually won. Even if your team is winning by a vast majority, if the enemy team counter attacks and kills the majority of your high ranks, they can (and will) blow past you.
The buff system allows a losing team a chance at recovering if they can pull things together for a last push.
The higher your rank, the more you should focus on staying alive. Keep in mind that your rank will increase as long as you are near the fight, even if you do not actively participate.
You can see the enemy’s rank on their active buffs, but in practice it’s usually too chaotic to actively hunt these people down. If you happen to see them and are in a position to take them out, go for it, otherwise don’t worry about it. The best way to take out the enemy high ranks is to take out their entire team along with them.
Have your own tips or tricks for no holds barring slaying? Let us know in the comments section!