World of Warcraft: Battle for Wintergrasp
MMORPG.com World of Warcraft Correspondent Deborah Dietrich writes this informative overview of the Wintergrasp battleground in Blizzard's hit game.
You’ve heard the cry put out in Dalaran to summon players to Wintergrasp. You’ve seen the nice Essence of Wintergrasp XP buff appear on your buff bar and picked up Stone Keeper’s shards when your faction controls this PvP zone. But what is this new battleground all about?
An hour before the battle is to ensue, criers in Dalaran will announce the imminent start of the battle. Portals to Wintergrasp will appear in the Silver Enclave (A) and the Sunreaver’s Sanctuary (H) when the battle begins. If the portal is not available, players can also fly into the zone or wait until portals reappear as each faction’s Battle-Mages open portals and call out for reinforcements. You’ll also see calls in the Trade channel to group up. Being part of a raid group is integral to success in this new battleground. You will flag for PvP and be attackable by the opposing faction once you enter the Wintergrasp zone.
The objective of the game is control of a Titan Relic, which lodges in Wintergrasp Keep, within the Wintergrasp Fortress. Each game has a set time limit, though reports of its length vary. Friends who PvP regularly tell me 30 minutes, but the official World of Warcraft site says 45 minutes. Defenders must protect Wintergrasp Fortress to prevent the enemy from entering the Keep to right-click and channel the Titan Relic to transfer its attunement to their faction. In order to enter the Keep, the attacking forces must destroy the walls and towers of the Fortress and then destroy the door of the Keep. This is accomplished through the use of siege vehicles.
Siege vehicles are manufactured in factories. There are a total of six factories in Wintergrasp. Two are within the Fortress. They cannot be captured, but they can be destroyed. Two factories are in the ring zones right outside the fortress. These can be captured or destroyed. The two other factories, found to the southeast and southwest are like the factories within the fortress and cannot be captured, only destroyed. Cutting off the opposing faction’s supply of siege vehicles can be a game changing strategy. A factory is captured just like taking a tower in Eye of the Storm, by destroying all members of the opposing faction and occupying the workshop.
Siege vehicles are a new addition to World of Warcraft PvP. They are an absolute necessity for the offense and a vital part of the defense’s arsenal. When ready they can be brought into the field. Each factory entitles a faction to four vehicles. Since each faction has two factories, which cannot be destroyed, each side will always have a minimum of eight vehicle slots. This can shift up to sixteen available slots if both the East and West factories are controlled as well.
There are three types of siege engines which can be deployed. The Wintergrasp Catapult is a fast vehicle, but low on hit points (30k). Its abilities are Plague Barrels, which deal 500 siege damage to a structure and lay down a mist of disease that damages players who stand in it. This vehicle also has a channeled Flame Breath, which damages opposing players to the approximate tune of 1k per tick. One must have a rank of Corporal to build and use this siege engine.
The next two vehicles require a rank of First Lieutenant to build. The Wintergrasp Demolisher can carry up to 2 players. One player is the driver. The other slot is for ranged DPS. The passenger can cast and attack as though he or she is standing still. The vehicle itself has two attacks. There is a boulder that can be thrown from a distance. It does about 1k damage to structures. There is also a battering ram effect, which deals about 1500 damage. These are sturdier than the catapults, with around 50k hit points, but they move more slowly.
The Wintergrasp Siege Engines also requires a rank of First Lieutenant to build. This is the largest vehicle players can build. It deals 2,000 siege damage and can also knock back players and other vehicles. It can carry two passengers, but they cannot cast while in the vehicle. It is a good place for a player who is low on health to take a breather to recover health and mana. They are the slowest of all the vehicles.
Wintergrasp Fortress is the focus of these siege engines. They must work together to take down the walls and towers of the fortress to gain access to the Keep. There is no way for an attacker to gain access to the Keep without first taking down the outer defenses of the Fortress. Once inside the fortress, they must take down the door to the Keep to gain access to the Titan Relic.
Defenders can also use siege engines. There is a giant portal they can use to exit the Keep and smaller portals that defenders can utilize to move in and out of the fortress. Additionally, defenders have the use of cannons. The cannons line the walls and towers of the fortress and have a long range. They can deal damage to the attackers before their siege machines can reach the Keep. They are a vital factor in the defense of Wintergrasp Keep. Bridges can be destroyed to limit the opposing faction’s access to the fortress.
Factories are another focus. Destroying a factory limits the number of siege vehicles a faction can bring into the fray. Additionally, the attacking faction has towers, which can be assaulted. Each tower that is destroyed gives bonus honor.
The currency of PvP battlegrounds is honor points, which can be used to purchase PvP oriented items in the game. Honor points are earned by killing members of the opposing faction, or destroying structures like the walls of the fortress, bridges or siege vehicles. Achieving certain goals, like getting the walls of the fortress to 50% gives the successful faction an honor bonus. Honor is also granted for completing certain PvP quests available within the zone.
Honor points can be used to purchase rare and epic armor and weapons. There are now level 80 Hateful Gladiator items that can be purchased solely with honor points, obviating the necessity of participating in Arenas to obtain good quality PvP equipment. While the equipment purchased with honor points is designed for PvP, their stats are good enough to be useful in PvE quests and instances. There are also Jewelcrafting patterns that can be purchased with honor points. Additionally, Stone Keeper shards can be turned in at Wintergrasp, when your faction has control of the fortress. These shards can be used to buy armor and weapons, a helm enhancement, jewelcrafting patterns and even a mount.
So now that you have a basic understanding of what this new zone is all about, why not give it a try? Remember, being part of a raid group is a huge advantage. So, the next time you hear the crier announce Wintergrasp will be starting soon, check out the Trade channel and you’ll almost certainly find someone spamming to from a raid group. Join the group, take the portal and experience one of the most enjoyable PvP encounters currently available in World of Warcraft.