So this was probably the last holiday weekend for World of Warcraft’s Alterac Valley battleground, as we recently knew it. Version 3, we may come to call the current AV. (Version 1, the long-queue long-battles. Version 2, the removal of 2908902 NPCs. And Version 3, the post-cross-server post-honor-nerf Drek/Vann race we have now — PRE-honor nerf of patch 2.3.)
Anyways. They may pump up the honor of the 2.3 AVs, but I’m getting while the getting’s good.
So. I spent a bajillion hours in AV this weekend, making friends … no, actually, I didn’t make any friends, but I did get some laughs and I made it to at least one new /ignore list (that’s confirmed, people), and, oh ya, I met a horde warlock I hope to never cross paths with again.
One of the first interesting interactions came from this druid on my server. He wasn’t in AV, but he sent me a tell asking if my guild was recruiting boomkins. (That’s moonkin druids, for you non-WoW people. They boom boom, mostly.) Said me, I’ll ask. His name sounded familiar, I remember /who’ing him a few weeks back because some guildmates were in an awful heroic instance with him. Asked me in /gu, Isn’t *LilBoomkin* the druid who was gawdawful in heroic few weeks back?
No one knew, but before I could respond to LilBoomkin, he sent a mistell to me “I asked the guild”, and then, not realizing his mistake, “When we go?”. I was momentarily flummoxed. I /replied, “mt?” (that’s gamer-speak for mistell). He replied, “Hi. Yes? Who are you?” I “umm”-ed. He asked, “what they say recruiting?”
“Sorry, we’re full up on crazy in this guild.”
Later, I was in this scrappy AV where each side is fighting tooth and nail over every tower and graveyard. I’m on duty at Tower Point when the Iceblood Graveyard people ask for assistance. You might not know, but IBGY (that’s gamer-speak for Iceblood Graveyard — you’re catching on!) is just down the road from Tower Point, so I told my tower partners that I was gonna head over there and help them out, WHICH MEANS: Stay here and watch this. If I hadn’t said anything, I could see where a person could be confused if anyone was going and those graveyards sure are important.
I mounted up to ride over to IBGY, with all the other tower defenders behind me (/sigh), and when we arrived, we saw that the two IBGY defenders were fighting the Wing Commander. This was their IBGY emergency, the will-not-aggro-you-unless-you’re-really-trying bitch-to-kill horde NPC Wing Commander.
And of course, as you probably guessed already, we lost Tower Point in the meantime. GOD I LOVE ALLIANCE!
Before I returned to Tower Point to recapture, I did explain to the IBGY defenders that the Wing Commander IS NOT AN EMERGENCY. Don’t you be calling Foton over there to help you kill an optional mob. Or that beast of a warlock. No thank you!
It was kind of funny about the time I met that warlock beast, who I will call Beastie. Shortly before, I had just finished another AV where this one Alliance dude asked in /bg chat for some help with a warlock out in the middle of nowhere. I had told him, /bg I’m sorry, we can’t spare 15 people right now to go kill a warlock. Yuk yuk, warlocks are so OP, which I didn’t use to believe very much as I only had troubles here and there with them. But brother, now I’m a believer.
Back to Beastie. He was ten feet tall if he was an inch, shoulders as broad as a horde tower, forearms like tree trunks, and his AE fear could reach from Dun Baldur to Frostwolf Keep. A drain lock (think: EQ necro) with about a billion hit points.
How I ran into this beast: I was cheerfully guarding Iceblood Tower ( … IBT) with a feral druid guildmate, hoping for some horde customers, when up wandered Beastie, and we were ready.
I’ll spare you the play by play. I’ll just say he made short work of my guildmate and was able to focus on our PVP dance, the warlock and rogue — me determined to stay toe-to-toe, him determined to stay out of range, although I have my doubts that he even NEEDS to be out of range to survive. For my part, I did solo him down to 20 percent health, which was a far sight better than I saw anyone else do, but nevertheless, a poor showing.
Ventrilo – Guildmate: What. Was. That?
Me: I dunno, that guy’s nasty.
Guildmate: To the armory!
On my way to have another go, while my guildmate was fawning over Beastie’s armory, I spotted Beastie out in the Field of Strife dealing with five Alliance players. Five on one, not very fair, eh? OH HOW WRONG YOU ARE. He never dropped below 80 percent health and quickly sent all five on their way … to the graveyard.
Before I could stealth over (you might call it slink, I call it STEALTHING), he met up with a blood elf paladin buddy and this is my true strength in PVP: I know when I’m licked. No thank you, the Field of Strife is yours, I’ll go watch this tower over here (WAY over here) and collect my honor.
I’ve checked for him in every battleground since then, and, fortunately for my sometimes-large PVP ego, I haven’t had the pleasure again.
Do some players think that battleground flags and/or capture points explode on contact? I’ve noticed this behavior for many, many months, where players will tap a flag for their side and then immediately run away. So quick is their retreat that I wonder.
A related observation: If no player or one player is guarding a capture point, no one else will guard the point. If two or more players are guarding, everyone else will gather around to guard also … almost as if they think refreshments will be served. I understand there is safety in numbers but five Alliance in a horde tower is too much. Besides the misuse of limited player resources, there’s no way we’ll get any action if the Horde see five of us packed into such a small area.
Very often I’ll be randomly assigned as the battleground raid leader. I’m not sure how the game assigns this position: I know it varies in different battlegrounds, it seems to be related to PVP rank or honor kill totals, I don’t know, but frequently I am raid leader. I do understand that in Warsong Gulch, Arathi or Eye of the Storm, guildmates and friends want to be grouped together and I accommodate those requests. However, in Alterac Valley, with 40 team members, and several people asking to be moved around or put with this healer or that shaman … I don’t have time for that.
Honestly, some players act like AV is a field trip and they want to sit next to their buddies on the bus. Has no one heard of raid frames? There’s even some rudimentary default ones built into the UI nowadays, they can drag their buddies’ names to the WoW desktop and fondle the health bars all they like — I won’t judge.
I was guarding the Iceblood Graveyard flag in stealth. There were a few minutes left to go before the GY flipped to Alliance. A horde warlock arrived and began the 10-second flag capture. I slunk over and sapped him. (Non-WoWs: sap is a 10-second rogue ability that freezes a target. His head rolls around and his body wobbles — it’s quite entertaining.) I slunk away. After he recovered control, he ran in concentric circles trying to flush me out with an AE. (Boy, I didn’t see that coming.) He tried a flag capture again. I slunk in, sapped, slunk away. He let out a heavy /sigh.
A horde mage arrived and began to flag capture. Horde warlock did a /say “throm”. Hmmm, thought me, I wonder if that means “rogue” in Horde-ish. The mage interrupted his capture and AE’d. No throms that he could see. He restarted his flag capture. Horde warlock repeated, this time with more urgency, “THROM”, but alas and alack, his pal was sapped and he took a cheap shot to the spine.
Next time, that mage really ought to listen to his buddy about the stealthed throm.
The afk-reporting in Alterac Valley has really gotten out of control. I like the system, it needs some work for sure, I enjoy abusing it as much as the next guy — I’ll report the people who call everyone “tard fags”, or the blaming dudes, or character names that irritate me cuz they’re so damn stupid, but it seems to me that SOME OF US are spending too much time worried about possible AFK people and not enough time worried about fast offense, or minimal defense.
To wit: I arrived late in this AV and was just about finished carefully picking my way past the horde zerg near Icewing Tower (I like to be on O, donchaknow), when one of the Alliance told me to take back Icewing as long as I was nearby. Ok, sure, should have thought of that myself. So I went inside the very spacious Alliance tower known as Icewing, found it empty (FOOLS!), and restored the tower to Alliance status. Stealth, drop down, watch.
In came a blood elf paladin. He retagged the flag to Horde and ran around spamming AEs trying to flush out any potential stealthers. I like to let the flag timer drain down a ways before recapturing — gives them hope.
He grew tired of spam AEs and wandered off. I stealthed back in, retook the tower, stealthed/dropped/watched. (Possibly he thought “fucking throms”, I wouldn’t know that, but I like to think he did. I would have been.) He returned, retook for his side and spammed AEs.
Just about then, when I had plenty of time to get back in there and retake for our side, some Alliance douchebag told the battleground to report me as AFK near the Icewing Tower. Y’know wtf. I let him have it in /bg chat, cuz I’ll just sit on my ass and watch the BELF paladin take our tower and I’ll laugh and laugh — much easier than playing cat and mouse with fancy pants here.
Speaking of the battleground-AFK fascists, I had been assigned to the same AV as one of their more fervent believers a few times before there was any … “incident”.
This guy had a macro he would use many times in each AV. Something like, “Report the cave AFKs so they don’t get any honor! Make them work for the honor!” The macro really didn’t bother me, I had more of a problem with his blaming everyone else for everything, but there’d be plenty of opportunities to mock him openly when some graveyards and towers were secured.
In the fortuitous AV, we were having a tough time doing just that. Possibly due to the “zero or one defenders means everyone else run away!” phenomenon I cited earlier, graveyards weren’t secured, no towers taken, and only a few of the ranked horde NPCs had been killed. Naturally, Mr. AFK-Macro blamed the rest of us entirely (Cuz his play is perfect. Always.), and then he added his AFK macro for good measure. Another teammate complained about the macro and told him to knock it off already.
He protested, and further, we were tard fags who were too noob to guard graveyards and towers. I know, yayaya, it’s all us.
So, I suggested he should macro THAT. And he could name it the “blame macro”. Would save him some time typing out the blame every AV.
And that’s when I got this:
Because as luck would have it, he’s on my server.
Now. You might think I would /ignore him in retaliation. Take that, Mr. Ignore with the AFK Macro! Oh no no no no. I’m much smarter than that. Now I get to have some REAL fun with him. Y’see, I can still hear/read him, but he can’t hear/read me.
Like in the AV a few battlegrounds after that, when I told /bg to report Kal***** as AFK hiding behind the Iceblood Tower. And they did.
Boy. Was he mad.
BONUS from the World of Warcraft forums: Another WoW poster who should self-edit his posts. Maybe. “Horde ALWAYS wins EVERY BJ!”
You’d think horde characters would be more popular if that were the case.