Friday, January 18, 2008

Getting your Gear - Part III

Hello again,

For those of you following my blog, you've hopefully realized you need to trade in your blues & greens for some purple epic armor. And you should have a basic understanding of the two paths to do this... Arena and Battlegrounds. You should also know what armor you're looking for and how many points it's going to cost you to get it.

What you may not know is how to play each battleground and how to maximize your points so you can get that armor faster. Let's start out with a little about each of the 4 battlegrounds... Remember all links here can be clicked on for full details courtesy of wowhead or wowwiki.

Arathi Basin (AB for short) - This is the battleground most of you may know. It's been available since level 20 so quite a few folks have at least tried it once. 15 people on each side. There are 5 flags and the goal is to capture and hold as many as possible. Each flag generates resources when controlled.. get 2,000 resources and you win. At level 70 a win gives 125 bonus honor. The game takes about a half hour to play.

Eye of the Storm (EOTS for short) - This battleground is available at level 61. 15 players on each side with 4 towers to control. Each controlled tower generates resources. In addition to the towers there is a flag in the middle that either side can take and run to a controlled tower gaining additional points....get 2,000 resources and you win. At level 70 a win gives 167 bonus honor. The game takes about 15 minutes to play.

Warsong Gulch (WSG for short) - This battleground is available at level ten. 10 players on each side play a "capture the flag" game. Capture the opponent team's flag 3 times and you win. The game continues until one side captures 3 flags. At level 70 win gives 140 honor points.
With no fixed end time, these matches can be as short as 10 minutes or well over an hour!

Alterac Valley (AV for short) - The most complicated Battleground by far, please make sure you click the AV link to read all about it since you'll be spending a LOT of time there. 40 people on each side, multiple objectives to take and a convoluted bonus system. In general you can expect between 350-450 for a win, 82-240 for a loss. Each match usually takes between 15-30 minutes to play

ONE MORE IMPORTANT THING: Battleground Holiday Weekends Each week between Friday and Monday there is a different holiday weekend. The battleground is different each week and rotates on a fixed schedule (available in the link above). During the "holiday" every time you enter into the associated battleground your honor points will increase for play. This is very important... below is a breakdown of expected honor points for all battlegrounds during regular vs honor weekends.

---- Win | Loss (reg week) -------- Win | Loss (Honor Week)
--AB 125 | Varies, 0 min. ----------- 200 | Varies, 0 min.
EOTS 167 | Varies, 0 min. -------- 250 | Varies, 20 min.
WSG 140 | Varies, 0 min . -------- 240 | varies, 60 min.
AV ~400| Varies, 0 min . -------- ~500 | Varies, 80 min.

Lastly all battlegrounds offer 3 marks of honor for a win, 1 mark for a loss. Additional honor beyond the bonus is given for active participation, killing enemies, healing teamates, etc. But it's very convoluted to figure out ahead of time and aside from AV it's usually minimal around 10-30 extra honor. Depending on how you compare to your teamates.

On my server alliance wins 60% in AV -- 50% EOTS -- 15% AB -- 5% EOTS.


#1) As you can see AV gives the most honor by far. It has the highest wining percentage and the best minimums for a loss. As such you will run AV for the bulk of your honor points. Don't waste you time anywhere else if possible.

#2) You'll have to run the other battlegrounds to get the Marks of Honor. In general you should only run the other battlegrounds during their respective holiday weekends. If it's not a holiday weekend run AV.

#3) Que up for AV and some other battleground! Many servers have a long que time for AV, anywhere from 10-30 minutes! The good news is that you can que up for more then one battleground at a time. So your best bet (especially during the holiday weekend of a different BG) is to que up for a battleground with a short time and also AV.
Once your AV que is ready you'll get a notice in-game that allows you to switch from your current battleground to AV. You won't loose any accumulated honor from your current battleground so there's no penalty aside from not getting a mark of honor at the finish.
When the AV notice comes up take a look at how your battleground is doing. (If it's WSG it's probably sucking hard core) go ahead and switch... HOWEVER if you're pretty confident you'll win just decline the AV and stay in your battleground to collect your full winning honor and 3 Marks of Honor.

That last point was very important folks... go ahead re-read it, I'll wait...........................

Done... OK, here's the thing. AV gives so many honor points that up to 90% of your points will come from the BG, and they'll come fairly easy. The hard part is the marks of honor from other battlegrounds.. especially ones with low win percentages like WSG. There's nothing more frustrating then an hour long WSG match where you get almost no honor an 1 mark out of the 20 you need. Being qued up for AV will give you an "escape hatch" out of those mind numbing games. The other good part is that if your team is winning you can stick around and collect those 3 winning marks!

One final item on this double queing.... About 10% of the time the matches go so well (or bad) that you will end your current battleground even before AV ques up. In that case take your 1 or 3 marks of honor for finishing this and start another BG right away... your que time for AV doesn't change so you'll still get that ability to leave for AV when your que comes up.

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