The Alterac Zerg


The quote in the screenshot unfortunately sums it up. Alterac Valley is no longer a Battleground; it’s a collection of over-geared players racing to the end boss to pick up honor. The birth of this phenomenon began after Patch 1.11 when many NPC’s were removed from the battle, and now that players have reached a gear level that makes the bosses trivial no hope is left for those of us that remember how great Alterac Valley once was.

Well, I want my old AV back.

I can remember the launch of battlegrounds, their half-hour queues to get into them and the occasional all-day battle. Grinding battlegrounds to the point of negating a personal life used to be the norm, and racking up a few hundred kills in a multiple hour rugby-like scrum in AV was the best way to do it. The objectives that we all conveniently bypass in today’s fights were earned with blood back then, and after capping that objective it wasn’t uncommon to lose it as a result of the casualties it took to originally get it.

If you were fortunate enough to get into the launch of a 40 vs. 40 battle, the original clash occurred around Snowfall Graveyard, where the Alliance would be scattered from the entrance to Balinda and on up the hill. The Horde would engage in the Field of Strife as they progressed up the other side of the hill, and the original cap would stand for a fairly substantial period. The guardian NPC’s were tough to fight because of the lack of gear available, and with constant groups running back turning in armor scraps they would eventually be buffed enough to where they could defend the flag alone.

From this point the battle would surge back and forth, and only after a few well-timed pushes would you lose your Captain (being Galvager and Balinda). The fights always remained concentrated, where 25 of the defending faction would be around a particular point in the field while another 25 pushed to take it with both sides splitting approximately 15 people running turn ins.

Remember the mount turn-ins? The Horde would collect wolves around the starting area to unleash a calvary of frostwolf riders, and if you happened to be in the group that saw them approaching you would see an entire faction backing away. If the other faction managed to get a Winged Commander in the air you were essentially halted in place, as few ranged dps could withstand the firepower of them while trying to get them down. Ivus the Forest Lord and Lok’holar the Ice Lord made an appearance in every battle, and while they were up you retreated back behind strong NPC’s as quick as possible.

On one hand I say I want all this back, but on the other I know why it went away. I mean, in the other battlegrounds you received your marks in a much more timely manner, and in AV’s case you would be deprived the honor from the battle if you did not finish it. I still remember running an AV before a class in college, only to log on 6 hours later into the same AV. It was a little overdone back then, but at least all the above mentioned elements that made it great were present. There has to be a middle ground.

I haven’t read of any improvements on the horizon, though for nothing to occur in the face of having rated battlegrounds strikes me as something that simply will not (can not) happen. People have different ideas of how these changes could occur and I applaud them, but for now – please…Blizzard – give me an exciting Alterac Valley again.

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