Battleground Common SenseFebruary 22, 2011
So, I finished the weekend just dinging level 69 on Lirys. Last night, I decided to watch House M.D., so I only got a few battlegrounds in. I ended up doing two more this morning, before work, and hitting level 70. The rest of my “pre-work” time was spent flying out to Tanaris to talk to the Legacy Arena vendors, and getting outfitted in my Brutal Gladiator’s set. This evening, I’ll be doing enchants, gemming, etc., before I set out on the next leg of the my climb to 85.
The weekend was pretty frustrating at times. More and more, I found myself wanting to do what I despise, and go off on teammates because of just plain lack of common sense. If there’s one thing worse than someone who hasn’t a clue what to do in a battleground, and refuses to spend a half hour reading any one of the hundreds of posts on the subject, it’s someone who obviously has read those posts, and then turns off their brain.
The general mantra you see about battlegrounds like Arathi Basis and Eye of the Storm is “fight at the base don’t road fight, defend your bases.” Good advice, as a general principle. But when my team bursts out into Arathi, and immediately seizes Stables, Lumber Mill, and Gold Mine, then some self appointed leader says “Ok, defend those bases!”, if any0ne listens to them, I can almost guarantee we’re going to lose.
Keep in mind that in World of Warcraft, their is no “digging in and defending”. There are no foxholes, or trenches. There are a few defensive abilities you can use, mostly to avoid being ganked by a stealther. Death and Decay, Consecration, hunter traps, etc. But by and large, unless your team has some very good PvPers, numbers win.
In a fifteen man Arathi Basin, if you take three bases, and defend, that’s five to a base. If you’re not attacking, the opponent doesn’t have to defend. Which means that fairly soon, one of your bases is going to see a zerg of about ten opponents romping in to play. Five will not beat ten. No way, no how. Maybe, if every one was on Vent, and had the communications (and time) to assign targets, they could win. But in the normal battleground, with the normal group, not going to happen.
Now, on the other hand, if, as soon as that zerg rush was sighted, someone called it out, and three each of the defenders at Lumber Mill and Gold Mine move fast, they could hit Blacksmith, or the Farm, and trade base for base. But again, most people aren’t going to be on that same page, if they’re already in the mindset of “defend”.
The best Arathi Basin fight I’ve seen so far worked out like this: We got out quick, and grabbed Stables, Lumber Mill, and Gold Mine. We settled in with two or three people at each base. For most of the fight, we had a rogue stealthed at the Farm. The rest of the group perched themselves at the junction by the bridge. And that was the configuration for most of the battleground. The “roving” group would poke at the Farm, or BS, enough to make sure the opposing team had to keep defenders there. The Horde team zerged GM, and the rovers took Blacksmith. Now with the Horde team split across the map, we left one defender at LM, and attacked the Farm from BS and LM. They rushed stables from Gold Mine, and we finished taking the Farm, and then started taking back Gold Mine. They pushed us back from the Farm, but now they were split clear across the map, with their graveyard at the opposite end from Stables. We kept pushing at Stables, while we wrapped up Gold Mine, and eventually had them boxed in at the Farm. Most of the time, we had no more than two people defending any of our bases. If they got hit, they called out the incoming, and the rovers would push to take one of their bases.
One person defending a base is vulnerable to a lone stealthed attacker. Two people prevents that. In the event they get zerged, two defenders can call out the incoming, and make them work for it. By having the roving group, with like seven or eight players, threatening BS and Farm, it basically forced them to keep three or four at each, and effectively limited how many then could send off to attack our bases. As time went on, and they fell farther and farther behind, they got more desperate, and we eventually four-capped and then five-capped.
The entire time, there was very little chatter, mostly calling out incomings. If people took off on their own, it was to join another group. Everyone seemed to have a firm grasp on how “things work”.
Some simple guidelines:
1) Stay with a group. If you’re not with a group, you should be riding to join one. Don’t just ride down the road, or you’re liable to get sapped by a rogue hanging out.
2) Any more than three people at a base is a waste. If you have only two bases, or one base, you need people on attack. The longer you take, the farther behind you get. If you have three bases, your team should be putting enough pressure on the opponents bases that they can’t free up enough people to overrun your base quick enough that you can’t take a base of theirs.
3) Be aggressive (but not suicidal!) By maintaining the initiative, you dictate what the opponent can do. Also, by constantly pressuring them, you can see how many defenders they have at each base.
4) Do the math! If you have three bases, and six enemy players roll in, you know that they have nine left. Attack one of their bases, and find out how many they’ve left on defense. If you’re pressuring the Farm, and you see five defenders there, you know BS can only have four. Conversely, if you only have two bases, you know they’re even more spread out. Pick the base that you can support best, and rush it.
5) Be aware of what’s happening. Make sure that each base that’s “on the front” has at least two defenders. If you die, and your rezzing at LM, it’s essentially freeing up one of the defenders to run down and help out on an assault on the Farm, BS, or to help out Stables. For a few seconds, yes, that means LM has one defender, but the chances of the opponent taking advantage of it are slim, especially if you rez, buff on the run, and join the lone defender there. If you want to be proactive, call it out. “Hey, I’m rezzing at LM. One of you there can go help out at the Farm!”
Personally, I don’t like giving orders. No one died and left me in charge. I’ll call things out, but it’s up to people to think. If they won’t, or don’t want to be told what to do, I can type until my fingers fall off, and it won’t do any good. But if you call out good sense, people will pick up on it. The other morning, in Warsong Gulch, after seeing the Horde cap, and seven out of ten of my team camped in the flag room, I said simply “The name of the game is ‘Capture the Flag’, not ‘Defend the Flag’, people.”
A couple other players jumped on with that, and we went on the offensive. We didn’t win, but we finished 3-2.
Warsong Gulch in a nutshell:
1) Stay with a group.
2) As flagroom defender, you’re there to make sure they have to make an effort to get the flag, i.e., make a big rush, not one person sneaking in and take it. Aside from that, slow them down, let your teammates know if they’re going down the tunnel, or going out the ramp, and get back into action as fast as you can.
3) Most of the other players should be going for the enemy flag room.
4) One or two people fighting at midfield is not a bad thing, but you’re not there to just 1 on 1 duel, or get steamrolled by the opposing zerg. You’re there to slow them down, and distract them from rushing your flag room. “Mid field control”, it’s called. You’re also there to spot the opposing flag carrier when he comes out.
If things work right, it goes something like this:
Your flag rush grabs the flag, and starts back. Meanwhile, one or two players in the mid-field have distracted the enemy rush, and your flagroom defense has slown them down. Your flag carrier is rushing up the field, surrounded by his escort. Your mid-field control now resists the other way, trying to corner their flag carrier, slow them down, and peel them. Depending on how many are with their flag carrier, your teams escort group, and maybe even your flag carrier, intercept them, and try to return the flag, so you can cap. Ideally, your tight, big group is opposing their team spread out between your flag room, and their graveyard.
Of course, it doesn’t always work that way, even with a really good team. Almost invariably, you’ll wind up with the opposing flag carriers on their own roofs. At that point, no more than two defenders should stay with the flag carrier, and everyone else absolutely needs to group up, and get the flag back. Going in one or two at a time isn’t going to work, (even though you have to try, if noone else is doing it).
I’m not saying I’m some tactical genius. Really, it’s pretty simple. It’s all about numbers. More beats less. No matter which battleground you’re in, what you’re really trying to do is apply greater numbers against lesser numbers. Strength against weakness. And yes, occasionally you’re going to run into that one player who seems to single-handedly sway the outcome of a battleground. Hell, I went 11-1 in Eye of the Storm last night, and did almost all of it from Fel Reaver Ruins. We grabbed it early, never lost it, and most of the game, it was me and one or two others there defending. I led my team in damage, and was tied for second in killing blows. We actually came from behind to win that one. And yeah, I was damned proud. MT, BE, and DR changed hands back and forth several times, but we kept FR solid the whole time, and almost always took a tower when we lost one. When we fell behind, we capped three towers, and the opposing team had to lay off the flag a bit, and respond, and then we went after the flag.
Yeah, I played well, and I definitely felt like I did my part. But if my teammates hadn’t been running around, staying aggressive, constantly pushing the Horde team, it wouldn’t have happened. Once we took FR, no more than four players ever tried to take it as a group. A lot of the time, I was there solo, but with the graveyard right there, I always had backup, and it was no problem holding out against one or two, until help arrived. The one time I died, I believe it was a rogue, and right after I went down, one of my teammates one-shotted him.
But anyway, now Lirys is level 70, and I’m having a blast. What’s PvE again?