|Previous: Conflict in Arathi Basin|
|Next: Conflict in Eye of the Storm|
|Conflict in Alterac Valley|
|Conflict: Conflict in Alterac Valley|
|Place: Alterac Valley, Alterac Mountains|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
|template | talk | edit|
Alterac Valley (AV) is a battleground in the continuing war between the Horde and the Alliance. The two opposing sides are the Frostwolf Clan (led by General ) and the Stormpike Guard (also known as the Stormpike Expedition, led by General ), both of whom lay claim to this secluded territory. Alongside the Generals are their two Captains, and , respectively. Aside from Wintergrasp, Alterac Valley is generally considered to be the battleground that delivers the most per battle. Players can queue for Alterac Valley from level 45.
- 1 Official overview
- 2 Entry to the valley
- 3 History and politics
- 4 Faction viewpoints
- 5 Battleground overview
- 6 Simple guide
- 7 Personal quests
- 8 Reputation
- 9 Bonus honor in AV
- 10 Faction rewards
- 11 Experience in AV
- 12 Achievements
- 13 Quotes
- 13.1 Alliance
- 13.2 Horde
- 13.3 Wing Commander Mulverick
- 14 Battle quests
- 15 History
- 16 Trivia
- 17 See also
- 18 Patches and hotfixes
- 19 References
- 20 External links
Long ago, the warlock exiled a clan of orcs called the Frostwolves to a valley hidden deep in the heart of the Alterac Mountains. The Frostwolf Clan eked out a living until triumphantly united many of Azeroth’s orcs. The Frostwolves, however, chose to remain in the valley rather than joining Thrall in Orgrimmar – and their relative peace has since been challenged by the arrival of the dwarven Stormpike Expedition. The Stormpike Expedition’s desire to mine and plumb the underexplored caves for relics has invited conflict with the Frostwolf Clan, but opinions are divided on who struck first. Were the dwarves who arrived in the valley peaceful explorers who were massacred by the orcs, or did they plan to poach and conquer?
Entry to the valley
Alterac Valley has its own entrances in the game world, found in northern Hillsbrad. The Alliance entrance is due north of Southshore, while the Horde entrance is north-east of Tarren Mill. However, as with all battlegrounds, players can also queue for Alterac Valley through the PvP interface. Players can queue for Alterac Valley from level 45.
History and politics
Long ago, before the First War, the warlock exiled a clan of orcs called the Frostwolf Clan (led by , father of ) to a hidden valley deep in the heart of the Alterac Mountains for refusing to drink the blood of . It is here in the valley's southern reaches that the Frostwolves eked out a living until the rise of Thrall's new Horde.
World of Warcraft
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
After Thrall's triumphant uniting of the clans, the Frostwolves, now led by the orc shaman Drek'Thar, chose to remain in the valley they had for so long called their home. In recent times, however, the relative peace of the Frostwolves has been challenged by the arrival of the Dwarven Stormpike Expedition.
The Stormpike Expedition have set up residence in the valley to search for natural resources and ancient titan relics. It is likely that they did not know of the Frostwolf orcs' connection to the area when choosing to visit the valley. Despite their intentions, the dwarven presence has sparked heated conflict with the Frostwolf orcs to the south, who have vowed to drive the interlopers from their lands. The Stormpike dwarves sent in an initial expedition, the Stormpike Guard, to search for ancient relics of their past and mine for natural resources and were attacked (they felt) without provocation by the territorial Frostwolves.
Additionally the Ironforge dwarves believe they have a right to the lands as well, and Magni Bronzebeard has issued a "sovereign imperialistic imperative" to the Stormpike Guard to take the land for the kingdom of Ironforge. Other connections to ancient dwarves (previously Earthen) are the troggs that are found in the northern part of the valley.
At this point in time both factions (possibly even the troll faction as well) believe they have historical connections to the valleys and want to take them back. Note that the Winterax gave up on the valley and went to look for greener pastures.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Alterac Valley appears not to have been updated to reflect recent lore developments since the Shattering — most notably with and — and remains an active battleground.
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
The valleys of Alterac, in the context of where the Frostwolves were in Warcraft Adventures, were referred to as the "Frostwolf Settlement". The region was also known as the "Dwarf Highlands" in interviews, and as the "Northlands" in design docs.
The region was home to Frostwolf Town and featured wolves, owls, squirrels, foxes, vultures, snow beasts and wendigo. Some hot springs could also be found in a sealed cave containing the Axe of Durotan.
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
has been given orders from Ironforge against making peace with the orcs, and appears to agree with the orders. He dismisses the orcs as "savages trying to halt Ironforge's sovereign imperialistic imperative". He wants to slaughter all orcs including Drek'Thar, believing that when the General falls, the land will finally turn over to its rightful owner, "Ironforge". See also, Vanndar's book The Frostwolf Artichoke: Tales of Stormpike Glory.
clarifies that the "sovereign imperative" originates from Ironforge, and was issued by King Magni Bronzebeard. He claims that they are fighting a brutal battle in the valleys of Alterac. The cannibalistic Winterax trolls attack them from one side and the savage Frostwolf Clan from the other. He believes both must be exterminated in the name of King Magni Bronzebeard. "The taking, culling, and turning of that land is a sovereign and territorial imperative to the kingdom of Ironforge."
, said he had spent three years in the hell hole. Three years as a prisoner of war to who he believed were "damnable Frostwolf Clan". He believes he was made to sit in their tower and listen to them endlessly whine about the bridge to Dun Baldar. About how "unfair" the war was... even if "War isn't fair!". This is a humorous reference to player complaints about how the Dun Baldar bridge is a 'choke point'.
The Alliance Brigadier Generals believe that the Horde was quite right when they said that Alterac Valley is Frostwolf Territory, it was never Ironforge territory. They claim that Stormpike Expedition arrived as peaceful visitors to the area in search of ore and relics. They believe that the Frostwolves reacted with the most brutal and uncivilized act of aggression the Alliance has experienced. They never want to forget the brave dwarves that perished in that "cowardly unannounced attack".
Prospect Stonehewer lets it slip that he recently plundered a few treasures. It is likely from the Frostwolf clan as they offer the same reward and the weapons all have an ice theme. It may also be from the Winterax trolls.
Drek'Thar sees the valley as Frostwolf territory and that the Stormpike Expedition has no right to take their land away. He has no intention of making peace with the Stormpike, instead wishing to execute them all to the last man (Vanndar himself) following the Rules of military conduct. He believes that the Stormpike have copied the Frostwolves' defense plans and knows exactly how the Frostwolves' own forces are set up, although Vanndar would claim otherwise (this is likely a reference to the gameplay balancing of the battleground). Drek'Thar wants players to ask Vanndar to surrender (likely knowing that he would refuse), and orders his forces execute him whatever the response.
The Horde Warbringers, claim that despite what others might have heard, that the truth is that "the Stormpike Expedition invaded Frostwolf Territory". They believe that the day the Horde allows the Alliance to invade Horde lands without a forceful response is the day they will hang up their axes and live the rest of their lives in shame.
was sent to the war-zone by the Elder Crone to research the other races. More specifically, he was to collect gnome samples. Magatha was primarily interested in their survivability. They believed, that the gnomes — while pitifully weak and minuscule — exuded great resilience both in and out of combat.
The Wing Commanders of the Frostwolf Clan wanted hundreds of pounds of flesh from the Stormpike soldiers, lieutenants, and others to feed to their fleet of War Riders. They wanted the riders to consume their enemy.
believes his brother is undoubtedly the most dangerous of the four Stormpike commanders. He believes that, perhaps if he is slain, the Banshee Queen could make his brother what she made of him, and show him the error of his ways...
With up to 40 players on each team in this battleground, Alterac Valley is one of the largest battlegrounds available. Until the inclusion of Isle of Conquest, it was the only battleground to allow such large numbers of players.
The goal of Alterac Valley is to reduce the opposing faction's reinforcement count to 0. Each team starts with 600 reinforcements. There are a number of ways to reduce reinforcements, named below, but killing the enemy General does it instantly.
- The enemy Captain can be killed. This will award your entire team bonus honor and reduce the enemy reinforcements by 100.
- The enemy towers/bunkers can be burned. This awards your team bonus honor, and reduces the enemy reinforcements by 75 per tower. There are four towers per side, for a total of 300 reinforcements. These structures are also important because, if they are lost, your team loses the respective Warmaster (H)/ Marshall (A).
- Enemy graveyards can be captured, giving your team another place to resurrect. Note that each team controls one uncapturable graveyard, their starting cave.
- Your three Wing Commanders (held in enemy territory) can be freed and sent running home. They award your team bonus honor and offer a turn-in quest once they reach your home base. - Note: "Secondary Objectives" on the in-game scoreboard refer to Wing Commanders and nothing else.
- The two mines can be captured by eliminating the enemy boss in the mine. A mine gives back one reinforcement every 45 seconds. - Note: this is merely a token gain, as reinforcements are usually lost at 10-20 times that rate.
- Collecting supplies to turn in. See: Battle Quests.
- Killing enemy players. This will reduce enemy reinforcement by one per player killed.
For information relating to balance issues in Alterac Valley, please see Alterac Valley Tactical Overview.
Each side in the Valley has one General and one Captain.
The Generals, and , stay inside their faction fortresses at the far north and south ends of the map. When a General is killed, the match is over. Generals are tough, raid-level bosses; and typically require coordinated tanking and DPS to take down. If a General is drawn out of his fortress, his health will reset to full.
Generals are guarded by several Marshals (Alliance) or Warmasters (Horde), and they cannot be pulled separately. Each general starts with four, but each one is linked to one of the four towers and dies when the tower is destroyed. Each Warmaster and Marshall adds a stackable buff that increases damage and health by 25%, so the general begins with +144% health and +144% damage, which makes him very difficult to kill without any towers destroyed.
The Captains, and , stay inside the more central bunkers of Stonehearth Outpost and Iceblood Garrison. As long as these captains are alive, they will periodically grant a 20% health buff and a size increase to all members of their faction. They are fairly tough bosses that can be taken down by a skilled 5-man group.
In addition, both factions have a number of non-elite NPCs that assist their side. These NPCs spawn at all graveyards and towers, and a small number of road patrols. When a graveyard is captured by a faction, the NPC guards for the graveyard spawn immediately. NPC players in AV can be buffed, healed, bandaged, and many other spell effects apply to them, like paladin auras or the AoE buff of Battle Standards.
In Patch 1.11, the number of NPCs was severely reduced. On some servers, this has led to a strategy that is known as "the race" or "the zerg". In this strategy, both sides bypass the main enemy group and rush the graveyard nearest the enemy base, quickly clear the two bunkers in the base, pull the Marshals, and then pull the General. Each side may also kill the opposing captain and claim a mine or easy Graveyard on the way, but the goal is still to rush the General without directly engaging players of the opposing faction. This leads to a faster-paced game which can be easily won or easily lost, providing more honor per hour than protracted games with the same win rate.
The safest route is to leave some defenders to at least slow the opposing team's attack, but to still maintain an overpowering offense; to give up some ground, but not too much. The way some do it is to run most of a faction as fast as possible to the enemy base and then some of the team will use their recall to go on the defense team and slow the progress of the enemy. This provides enough time to let one side win while the other is held up by the defense.
- Troggs (Found in Irondeep Mine.)
- Wildpaw Gnolls (Found inside Wildpaw Cavern.)
- Snowblind Harpies (Found inside Icewing Cavern.)
- Whitewhisker Kobolds (Found in the Coldtooth Mine.)
- Rams (Found north of the Field of Strife.)
- Wolves (Found south of the Field of Strife.)
If you've just visited Alterac Valley (AV) a few times, and quickly want to know what's going on, here's a short and simple overview.
The goal in AV is to reduce the opposing faction's reinforcement count to 0. The most direct way to do this is to kill the enemy general, which will immediately drain all reinforcement points from the enemy and end the round. Other activities which reduce reinforcement points include killing enemy players, capturing towers/bunkers, and killing the enemy captain.
The two generals are raid-level bosses that can be found in their fortresses at the two ends of the map — Vanndar Stormpike ("Vann") for the Alliance north, Drek'Thar ("Drek") for the Horde south. A rather elaborate system of NPCs, fortifications and graveyards fills the map between the generals. The general is accompanied by guards, who will disappear as towers are destroyed. The General alone is relatively easy for 10 players, the General with one guard is much harder, with 2 guards is very difficult, and with 3 or 4 is nigh impossible even for a whole team.
Both sides can do quests to improve themselves and their NPCs, and spend quite some time capturing mines etc, but usually that's not done. It is far more efficient (considering reputation and honor gain) to just rush the enemy buildings and burn them ASAP, and then kill the enemy general.
A "Rush" game is the most effective way of battling in Alterac Valley, because it ends the fight quickly, which means more bonus honor. It is however also one of the hardest to master. One of the main focus points in a rush game, is not to have any defense, but to push as many people possible to the last two graveyards, and thereby preparing for the vital takedown of Drek/Vann, while bunkers/towers are being captured simultaneously. The key to succeeding a “rush” game, is to proceed efficiently, only sending as many as necessary to capture and guard the first two towers and eliminate Balinda/Galvangar, while the rest rush forward to capture all objectives as quickly as possible.
In offensive games, a strong emphasis is put on offense. Usually at least 30 people will take part in the attack, and at most 10 will try to delay the enemy. The defense needs to be aware that they do fight a losing battle, nevertheless it's usually the quality of the defense which decides the final outcome of the battle.
The name given to a defensive game. A "turtle" can happen either because the team planned it, or because all of their forward graveyards were lost and their entire team resurrects on defense. If planned then the typical Horde strategy is to send defenders to Iceblood Tower and the small one-way chokepoint that provides access to Iceblood Graveyard which prevents any Alliance players from racing to the Frostwolf Relief Hut. If unplanned the horde tend to fall back to hold the towers at Frostwolf Relief Hut. The Alliance have effective chokepoints at Stonepike Graveyard and the bridge to Dun Baldar. The key to the defensive game is keeping your casualties to a minimum, allowing you to win the game by reinforcements. Defensive games take a long time and give minimal bonus honor in the event of a loss, making them an unpopular and usually last resort strategy.
Three graveyards are usually taken — Stonehearth, Stormpike and the Aid Station. Stonehearth GY is usually skipped by the players that rush to Dun Baldar, as Stormpike is important for those that want to stay on the offense.
Although it seems there's a narrow passage through which all Horde forces must pass to reach Stormpike, advanced players will know that there are several approaches to the graveyard flag. Horde can go up the mountain to the right when approaching the choke then circle around near the mine or come down the cliffs above the graveyard. Horde can also come under the Dun Baldar bridge. The Alliance defense usually focuses on Stormpike, and it is not an unknown occurrence that Horde completely fails to take it. If Stormpike GY has been taken, the Ally forces will defend the bridge next, which is a choke-point that supposedly cannot be bypassed. However, there are reports that some horde have discovered a way to climb the cliffs to the south of Dun Baldar and enter the base that way.
The main choke point for defense is the opening in the fence between the Frostwolf towers. A secondary choke point happens at the fence area between Iceblood and Tower Point. When Alliance tries to defend Iceblood GY, they'll position themselves between the flag and the fence. If Tower Point is destroyed or the Relief Hut has been captured, it is clearly a "turtle game" if the Horde continues to choke at this secondary point. Those on defense that want the extra PVP honor will fallback to the main choke point and avoid turtle games. Advanced defensive players will first position themselves in Iceblood Garrison and will fallback to the main choke point once Galvangar is down.
The Relief Hut is bit easier for the Alliance to capture than for the Horde to capture the Aid Station. The position of the Relief Hut makes it easier for the Alliance to avoid aggro on other Horde NPCs besides the flag guards. The Aid Station is more open and closer to nearby NPCs, which makes them within pull/train/pet range. It is better for the horde to fallback to the main choke early and defend the Relief Hut rather than the open area of Frostwolf Graveyard & flag.
Before the Horde entrance was moved south, it was common for the Horde to rush an offensive game with little to no defense and often win, the race. The movement of the entrance gave the Alliance an extra 10–20 seconds to maneuver uninterrupted on the field. so now the Horde barely gets in the door of Iceblood Garrison at the same time the Alliance shows up right outside it. At the same time, the offensive Horde players that went straight to Balinda have barely entered the field of strife and have another 10 seconds till they reach Stonehearth Outpost. Obviously, Horde will lose their Captain's buff faster than the Alliance if there is no defense at Iceblood. Offensive players that go straight to the Aid station are also at a disadvantage compared to Alliance that go straight to the Relief Hut. The Horde players have to traverse the narrow road with higher chance of being interrupted by the Alliance than the Alliance do while they run through the open area of Frostwolf fields. The Alliance can travel much straighter and more efficient route from the Frostwolf field to the Relief Hut, while the Horde has to run to Stormpike Graveyard, on one side of the map, and then across the map again to get to the Aid Station.
It is not uncommon to see players encourage no defense at all on the Horde side, which will make it quick for the Alliance to gain bonus honor. Those that encourage this say it is to avoid turtle games, but a turtle game can be easily avoided when the defense falls back early to the main choke-point where all Horde players on defense can easily pick up honor kills. Others that encourage no defense also claim that it is good game if all towers have been destroyed. Claiming that the honor gained is worth the loss to the offensive race. However, you may notice that the people who made the claim rush the Aid Station and will wait there while all towers get destroyed, there by gaining easy honor for doing very little. That is also a sure way to lose, as with no defense in the Horde base is a guarantees the Frostwolf towers to be quickly lost, which means a quicker win for Alliance. One can easily suspect that the people that encourage the no defense on Horde plays are there to help the Alliance win. If you see players encourage no defense, ask them "if the raid will run into no Alliance defenses when raid crosses the Dun Baldar Bridge." To compensate for the extra 10 second head-start the Alliance has on Galvangar, some may merely encourage no defense get extra people Balinda to get her down fast. If you do an all-out offensive start like this, be sure to have the extras immediately recall to base to defend main choke once Balinda is down.
The four important graveyards are Snowfall, Iceblood, Frostwolf and the Relief Hut. The Alliance often does not defend Stonehearth and so the Alliance caps Snowfall at about the same time as the Horde caps Stonehearth. A danger of this strategy is that if the Horde assault Snowfall before the Alliance has capped it, the Alliance have only Stormpike to resurrect in. When the Horde assault Snowfall while they also hold Stonehearth the Alliance is often forced into a turtle at Stormpike. The best way to counter this is by camping Balinda the next round or try to predict if the Horde will do it and just camp Balinda until either the Horde get tired of being ganked at Balinda's or they will give up Snowfall Graveyard. If either one of these happen you can contiune without holding Balinda. However holding Balinda gives you 150 honor to the alliance at level 80 and another 150 honor per each blue tower at the end of battle. However, often Alliance does not cap Frost Wolf Graveyard in order to force Horde players running back to defend to respawn farther away from the assaulting force. Additionally, Alliance usually does not defend Stonehearth Graveyard because it forces the Horde to respawn in an offensive position if they are not closer to a more southern graveyard, forcing the Horde respawns to travel back in order to defend (or AV-hearth from trinket).
About half of the Alliance raid will ride to Galvangar (Iceblood Garrison) while the remaining half of the group will break off and ride directly to the Relief Hut and capture the Relief Hut graveyard and then work on the Relief Hut towers. After Galvangar is killed, the raid continues and captures Iceblood Tower, Iceblood Graveyard and Tower Point. If the Horde are defending the choke point just before Iceblood Graveyard, the Alliance will stay mounted and ride past them to either Frostwolf Graveyard or the Relief Hut. The danger of fighting at the choke point is that the Alliance do not yet control a forward Graveyard, so if you die you will end up back at Stormpike Graveyard. A common mistake that groups will make is fighting the Horde defense at each successive Graveyard. If they are defending Iceblood and you fight them and capture the Graveyard, then the Horde defense is at Frostwolf Graveyard and you'll have to fight them again. It is important to capture the Relief Hut first to avoid having to fight a moving wave of Horde defense.
On the final assault on Frostwolf Keep, the Alliance captures the Frostwolf Relief Hut and 2 more towers. They normally wait until the Relief Hut is fully captured and the 4 towers are burned before attacking Drek'Thar. Note: Drek is worth 83 honor and each tower is worth 62 honor. But, always keep an eye on the Batttleground map and look at your Defense back up at Dun Baldar. If your defense is gone along with your towers and graveyards you can bet that the Horde are already attacking Vanndar. Waiting for towers to cap while not keeping an eye on what is going on up North will cost you a win and give you less honor.
If any mob near Drek is pulled, all mobs and Drek come along. All of the mobs in Drek's room are linked, which means if any of them are kited or feared outside then Drek will reset to 100% health. Then, Drek'Thar is finally attacked. Due to the proximity of the AV entrance cave for Horde, Iceblood graveyard and Frostwolf graveyard are both often recaptured.
An effective strategy is to send one or more Alliance directly to the Frostwolf camp or Relief hut (stealth classes excel in "ninjaing" these graveyards as long as they can take down the guards, usually with Area-of-Effect attacks), bypassing all other objectives. This advance team prepares the way for the main offensive by capturing the East and West Frostwolf Towers and the Frostwolf Relief Hut. Speed is an essential quality to a winning strategy. It takes 4 minutes to capture a Graveyard or burn a Tower, so it is best to do as many of these things in parallel as possible, but it is important to balance this with defending each of the Towers.
The Alliance can also use priests to defend the Dun Baldar Bridge, by Mind Controlling any Horde that attack and running them off the bridge.
When the Horde are playing a defensive game, it is common for Alliance players to try to rush south, but doing this often gets them killed. Instead, Alliance players should defend Stonehearth or push Iceblood Graveyard, kill the Horde healers, and try to ninja the Iceblood Graveyard flag while the Horde are fighting at the chokepoint.
Frostwolf towers and Dun Baldar bunkers
For horde, a typical base defense strategy is for hunters to place freezing traps on the ramp by the Frostwolf towers to slow the Alliance and while the NPC archers and horde AOE and ranged attacks cut them down as they come up the steep ramp. Horde also often kite Alliance pets or players into Drek's keep to aggro warmasters and Drek's wolves into the battle. Horde can also try to aggro the wing commanders into the battle as they stand nearby. Horde often run into Drek's keep for cover and to heal.
For alliance, the strategy is similar in that hunter freezing traps and AOE and ranged attacks on the Dun Baldar bridge are effective. The NPC archers in the bunkers aid greatly in the fight. However, the horde often send a stealthed rogue or druid into the bunkers to kill or despawn the archers ahead of the main horde offense. Due to a bug, the archers often despawn when the bunker is assaulted. To protect the archers, a hunter can keep freezing traps and flares on the bridge to prevent stealthers from getting in the base ahead of the horde offense. Kiting horde pets or players back to the druids up the path by the North bunker may draw the druids into the battle. Fleeing to the druids may also serve as a sanctuary for Alliance players to heal. The several NPCs in Dun Baldar help to slow the horde advance.
There are a number of quests that can be completed in Alterac Valley for reputation and rewards. They are broadly identical for Horde and Alliance, so they will be described in general terms here. These quests provide rewards, such as gold, to a character, but the rewards will not affect the outcome of a battle and are taken from, and turned in to, quest-givers located outside the instance. Other "Battle Quests" are available from quest-givers located inside the instance and formerly would have been part of viable strategies for winning the battle. Those quests are described near the end of this article and are of only historical interest now.
- Alterac Valley Trinket quests: Initially, a quest-giver outside the instance gives a quest, Quest:Proving Grounds, to retrieve a banner from a cave. The caves are located in the far north and south ends of the valley. The reward for this quest is a trinket that provides a small amount of frost resistance and the ability to portal back to your faction's fortress from anywhere in the Valley. Subsequent quests offered by the same quest-giver allow the trinket to be upgraded for free you gain reputation with your Alterac Valley faction, ultimately reaching epic status and carrying additional effects such as health regeneration and chance to dodge attacks. "Trinketing back to base" or 'recalling' is a standard last-ditch defensive strategy, and you will be expected to have completed this quest and be carrying your trinket. In addition to this the trinket is also useful to quickly return to your faction's fortress in order to turn in armor scraps and various other turns in. The rewards from the initial quests are / .
- / : A quest-giver outside the instance gives a quest that is completed by winning a match. You must have the quest and be inside the instance when the enemy General is killed to complete the quest. The rewards for this quest are quite desirable blues, including the , , and .
- quest: A quest-giver outside the instance gives a quest to capture a mine. This quest was probably intended largely to teach the players the locations of the mines.
- quest: A quest-giver outside the instance gives a quest to capture a tower. You do not have to be the one who personally clicked the flag, nor does the tower have to burn for the quest to be completed. You simply have to be in the vicinity of the tower when someone in the raid captures the flag in the tower.
- / quest: A quest-giver outside the instance gives a quest to capture a graveyard. You do not have to be the one who personally clicked the flag, nor does the graveyard have to be successfully captured for the quest to be completed. Like capturing a tower, you simply have to be in the vicinity of the graveyard when someone in the raid captures it.
As you fight in Alterac Valley, you earn reputation with either the Frostwolf Clan for Horde or the Stormpike Guard for Alliance. There are two vendors for each faction; one inside Alterac Valley and one outside in Alterac Mountains. For the Alliance, the NPC within the battleground that sells vendor rewards is in the Dun Baldar South Bunker.
Note that in Alterac Valley all reputation with the Frostwolf Clan and the Stormpike is shared amongst all combatants, whether or not they are partied with you. However some turn-ins will give reputation with one of the four main primary factions. This faction reputation is not shared.
Stormpike/Frostwolf reputation is gained in the following ways:
- Killing Enemy General (389 Rep)
- Killing Enemy Captain (125 rep)
- Killing an Enemy Air Master (5 rep)
- Killing any Enemy Guard (5 rep) *NOTE: This is capped through honored and does not give rep in revered*
- Killing an Enemy Player(+1 Rep+HK+CP).
- Killing or (125 rep)
- Destroying an Enemy Tower (64 rep)
- 1-time quests (first turn in of each repeatable, capture a tower/mine/graveyard, etc) (~100 rep each, varies) —
Repeatable reputation quests
- / (2 rep each)
- Bringing a Frostwolf/Ram to your stable (1 - 3 rep each)
- (1 rep for 20 plus 10 Orgrimmar/Ironforge plus 5 rep of the other factions(for every 2 turn ins)for the character)
- / (1 rep for 1 plus 10 Orgrimmar/Ironforge plus 5 rep of the other factions(for every 2 turn ins); 5 rep for 5 plus 50 Orgrimmar/Ironforge for the character)
- Wing Commanders
- Slidore/Guse (1 rep)
- Vipore/Jeztor (2 rep)
- Ichman/Mulverick (5 rep)
At the end of the game, extra rep is gained for each of the following conditions:
- Enemy Captain Killed (36 rep)
- Allied Captain Still Alive (125 rep)
- Enemy Towers Destroyed (24 rep each)
- Controlled Intact Tower (12 rep each)
- Controlled Graveyards (12 rep each)
- Controlled Mines (12 rep each)
Bonus honor in AV
This section contains information that is out-of-date.
The following events give every team member bonus honor points depending on the level bracket:
|Event||bonus @ 71-80||bonus @ 61-70||bonus @ 51-60|
|Killing the enemy Captain (Balinda/Galvangar)||186||63||42|
|Destroying an enemy Tower/Bunker (4 possible)||186 each||63 each||42 each|
|Friendly Wing Commander returned to his or her home base (3 possible)||62 each||21 each||14 each|
|Friendly Captain still alive at the end of battle||124||42||28|
|Friendly Tower/Bunker still Controlled (not In Conflict) at the end of battle (4 possible)||124 each||42 each||28 each|
|Winning the battle||248||84||56|
|AV holiday weekend (both sides awarded at the end of battle)||248||84||56|
For the 71-80 bracket, the maximum possible bonus gain is 1984 bonus honor points (2232 in holidays). Most actual battles yield 500-1500 bonus honor points, depending on your team's success.
Events that do not award bonus honor
- Killing Enemy Air Masters (Running back or Inflight)
- Killing Marshals/Warmasters
- Killing Vendors/Quest Givers
- All quests
- Capturing a resource (mines)
- Taming a wolf or ram
- Capturing a Graveyard
- Killing any Guard not including the ones listed above
- Killing or
Alterac Valley items are available by spending honor. Though some of the Frostwolf and Stormpike factions items have different names and artwork, their bonuses and equip effects are identical. Unlike those from Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin, Alterac Valley rewards are not available for upgrades. Most rewards require level 55 or 60.
Experience in AV
All battlegrounds award experience when the team completes objectives. Experience gains are percentages based on the total experience needed to level for a player. The following figures assume you wear all possible heirlooms that give experience bonus (chest and shoulders).
- Destroying a tower or bunker awards roughly 0.91% of a level.
- Defeating Galvangar or Balinda awards roughly 0.91% of a level.
- Winning the match awards roughly 1.21% of a level.
- Players are awarded an extra 0.60% for every remaining tower or bunker their team still has when the match is over, regardless of win or loss.
- Successfully rescuing a Wing Commander awards 0.30% of a level.
It is thus possible to gain 5.76% of a level from one match just by winning, up to 8.16% for a win with all towers still up and 9.06% for additionally rescuing all the wing commanders. It will take 18 wins to complete a level, or 22 losses, assuming your team destroys the four towers, and loses your four towers and kills Galvangar or Balinda.
A relatively small amount of XP is also earnt by killing mobs in AV, modified depending on the distance of other same-faction players. Closer leads to less XP gain, farther leads to greater.
|Win Alterac Valley.||10|
|Complete 100 victories in Alterac Valley.||10|
|Take 50 graveyards in Alterac Valley.||10|
|Defend 50 towers in Alterac Valley.||10|
|In Alterac Valley, kill 50 enemy players in the Hall of the Stormpike / Frostwolf.||10|
|Win Alterac Valley while your team controls both mines.||10|
|Win Alterac Valley in 6 minutes.||20|
|In Alterac Valley, kill an enemy in the Field of Strife before they dismount.||10|
||Win Alterac Valley without losing a tower or captain. You must also control all of the towers.||20|
|In a single Alterac Valley battle:||20|
||Obtain a / .||10|
||Gain exalted status with the Stormpike Guard / Frostwolf Clan.||10|
|Loot the in Alterac Valley.||10|
|Complete the Alterac Valley achievements listed below:
- Alliance wins
- Herald yells: The Frostwolf General is dead!
- Herald yells: The Alliance wins!
Captain Balinda Stonehearth
- Begone, uncouth scum! The Alliance shall prevail in Alterac Valley!
- Filthy Frostwolf cowards! If you want a fight, you'll have to come to me!
Wing Commander Slidore
- I'm coming, Frostwolf! And this time you're gonna feel the flames!
Wing Commander Vipore
- Senior Wing Commander Vipore launching. Pray for a swift death, Frostwolf.
Wing Commander Ichman
- Drek'Thar, I'm coming for you!
Arch Druid Renferal
- Moving to the summoning place
- Soldiers of Stormpike, aid and protect us! The Forest Lord has granted us his protection. The portal must now be opened!
Ivus the Forest Lord
- Killing a player
- Wicked, wicked, mortals! The forest weeps. The elements recoil at the destruction. Ivus must purge you from this world!
- Horde Base reached
- I come to raze your bases, Frostwolf Clan. Ivus punishes you for your treachery!
- Soldiers of Stormpike, your General is under attack! I require aid! Come! Come! Slay these mangy Frostwolf dogs.
- You'll never get me out of me bunker, heathens!
- Horde wins
- Herald yells: The Stormpike General is dead!
- Herald yells: The Horde wins!
- Die! Your kind has no place in Alterac Valley!
- I'll never fall for that, fool! If you want a battle, it will be on my terms and in my lair.
Wing Commander Guse
- Guse is entering the battle! Time to take out the Stormpike filth!
Wing Commander Jeztor
- Jeztor's coming for you, Stormpike!
Wing Commander Mulverick
- Incoming air support to Dun Baldar! Stormpike bow down!
- Moving to the summoning place
- Soldiers of Frostwolf, aid and protect us! The Ice Lord has granted us his protection. The portal must now be opened!
- Summoning complete
- It is done! The Ice Lord has arrived! Bow to the might of the Horde, fools!
Lok'holar the Ice Lord
- WHO DARES SUMMON LOKHOLAR? The blood of a thousand Stormpike soldiers shall I spill... none may stand against the Ice Lord!
- Killing a player
- I drink in your suffering, mortal. Let your essence congeal with Lok'holar!
- Alliance Base reached
- Your base is forfeit, puny mortals!
- Stormpike filth!? In my keep! Slay them all!
- You seek to draw the General of the Frostwolf legion out from his fortress? PREPOSTEROUS!
In addition to the personal quests mentioned earlier, there are a number of "battle" quests associated with the instance. Unlike the "personal" quests mentioned earlier, these quests are accepted and completed while within the instance and, except for some initial quests, these quests are infinitely repeatable. In addition to the reputation provided, these "battle" quests were often worth completing in the past because NPCs can be upgraded or additional NPCs can be summoned once enough players complete these "battle" quests suffient numbers of times. The NPCs involved often were enough to turn the tide of a battle. However, since it is time consuming to complete the quests, the quests were worth completing only when the battles would last several hours or even days, as was originally the case. It is very unusual for anyone to bother with these quests anymore.
|Requirements:||500x per upgrade - 1500 total for all 3 upgrades|
|Reputation:||Honored or higher to activate the upgraded units when ready.|
You can complete a collection quest to upgrade some of your stationary troops. Players, officers, and roaming, mine and tower units are exempt from this bonus. Upgrading troops through armor scrap turn-ins will also result in your team's General enabling a periodic buff to your melee and spell damage. This buff scales from 10% at the Seasoned unit level, 20% at the Veteran unit level, and 30% at the Champion unit level.
Both Alliance and Horde players gather armor scraps from the corpses of enemy players and guards. As armor is gathered, boxes of supplies visibly build up next to the forge. Once enough supplies are gathered, a person with high reputation can instruct the smith to upgrade units to the next level. The friendly troops will now be much more powerful.
|Requires either:||280x (North) - 28 turn-ins
70x (South) - 7 turn-ins
|Requires either:||280x (South) - 28 turn-ins
70x (North) - 7 turn-ins
|Reputation:||Honored or higher to launch assault when ready.|
To start a ground assault you must gather supplies. In order to retrieve the supplies, you must gain control of the mine either Irondeep Mine (north) or Coldtooth Mine (south). To gain control of the mine, a player must defeat the boss residing in that mine (all mobs are non-elite and are aprox lvl 52/62/72 respectively).
Once you have control over a mine the miners will start generating supplies for you to return to your base. You must have the respective quest in order to pick up or . If you speak with the Quartermaster, you'll be informed of the number of supplies needed for the ground assault to begin; as more supplies are collected, the pile nearby the Quartermaster will grow.
After all the materials are gathered, a player with Honored or higher reputation can direct the Quartermaster to launch a ground assault - which will spawn a group of elite NPCs that will move forward through the zone attacking enemy players and NPCs. Additional commands must be given (by clicking on them, provided your reputation is high enough) to send them further in to attack. After the attack is over, there is a period of waiting before you can order another charge.
|Requirements:||25x Tamed Alterac Rams
|Requirements:||25x Tamed Frostwolfs
|Reputation:||Honored or higher to launch assault when ready.|
You can create and command cavalry provided you complete the requisite quests found in your base's stables. Initially, players must capture rams or wolves by taming them using the tools they are given by the Stable Master ( or ). These tools are fragile and will break after one attempted use (successful or unsuccessful), after dying or when leaving the battleground. After the stables are full, a message will be broadcast across the valley. Players must also collect pelts from the opposing side's wild mounts: Horde must slay Alterac Rams and the Alliance must hunt the Frostwolfs.
After all the necessary components have been gathered, a player with high Honored or higher reputation must give the command for the cavalry to ride. Additional commands must be given (by clicking on them, provided your reputation is high enough) to send them further in to attack. After the attack is over, there is a period of waiting before you can order another charge.
|Requirements:||200x - Turnins in batchs of 1 or 5|
|Requirements:||200x - Turnins in batchs of 1 or 5|
|NPC:||Arch Druid Renferal /
|Reputation:||Neutral or higher to send NPC to Field of Strife when ready.|
and , located inside the faction fortresses, will accept Storm Crystals or , which are dropped by fallen characters of the opposite faction. When enough of these items are turned in, the Druid or Primalist will move through the valley, accompanied by a group of elite guards, until they reach the Field of Strife. Primalist will go to the area south of Snowfall Graveyard and north of Iceblood Garrison, and Archdruid Renferal will go to the area west of Stonehearth Bunker and east of Stonehearth Outpost.
They will then start a summoning ritual, which requires ten players to click on their summoning circle. When this summoning is complete, or will be summoned. These are tough raid-level bosses. They will spend some time on the Field of Strife killing whatever they see, and will then start to move towards the enemy base. These bosses are, unfortunately, plagued by evade bugs and are fairly simple to train into areas where they can easily be killed. The standard Horde strategy is to train Ivus to the entry tunnel and to kill him there. But if they are guarded carefully, they can easily turn the battle and end the match.
|Requirements:||120x - Slidore
60x - Vipore
30x - Ichman
60x - Jeztor
30x - Mulverick
|NPC:|| - Held in Tower Point / Attacks Frostwolf Graveyard
- Held in Frostwolf Village / Attacks Frostwolf Village
- Held in West Frostwolf Tower / Attacks Outside Generals' Fortresses
|NPC:|| - Held in Icewing Bunker / Attacks Stormpike Graveyard
- Held in Stormpike Lumber Yard / Attacks Dun Baldar Bunker Area
- Held in Dun Baldar North Bunker / Attacks Stormpike Aid Station
|Reputation:||Revered or higher to ultilise aerial assault when ready.|
Through rescuing lost Wing Commanders and completing a series of quests, you can gain the ability to summon aerial units that patrol from your base to the center of the valley. Alliance and Horde players gather three different items. Each item can be turned-in to a specific Wing Commander once they have been rescued. After you have brought the requisite number of the particular items needed, players of Revered or higher faction reputation can receive a beacon to place on the map. The beacon, once placed, orders an air strike that lasts for a time. If the wing commanders are not rescued, you will be unable to turn in the items needed. These particular items will disappear if you leave the battleground.
Once you have rescued the appropriate Wing Commanders and turned in the required number of medals or amount of meat, you have two options for each flight (assuming you have the required Stormpike Guard or Frostwolf Clan reputation level.)
Placing A Beacon
|Aerial Assault Beacons|
|Alliance Wing Commander||Horde Wing Commander||Crater Location|
|East Field of Strife Crater|
|West Field of Strife Crater|
|North Field of Strife Crater|
You can request a beacon from any of the Wing Commanders that must then be planted on the battleground. (All beacons share a 30 minute cooldown before you can deploy another. If you want to have multiple beacons deployed, other players must deploy them.) The beacon takes 60 seconds to arm, during which it can be disabled by the opposing faction. When the beacon arms, it will summon an or to patrol the Field of Strife and alert nearby ground troops there when they spot the enemy.
Ordering A Strike
|Aerial Assault Strike Targets|
|Alliance Aerial Assault||Horde Aerial Assault|
|Frostwolf Graveyard||Stormpike Graveyard|
|Frostwolf Village||Dun Baldar Bunker Area|
|Outside Generals' Fortresses||Attacks Stormpike Aid Station|
This will launch the Wing Commander by air to assault the enemy's base. Each Wing Commander will leave to patrol a specific area of the enemy base, and support ground troops there. Since the wing commander leaves the base to lead the attack when you order a strike, you can not pickup a beacon afterwards (if you have not already done so).
AV battle quest summary
|AV Battle Quests Summary|
|Battle Quest||Stormpike Guard||Frostwolf Clan||Reputation|
|Unit Upgrades||500x per upgrade (1500 total)||500x per upgrade (1500 total)||Honored|
|Ground Assault||280x (28 turn-ins)
- OR -
70x (7 turn-ins)
|280x (28 turn-ins)
- OR -
70x (7 turn-ins)
|Cavalry Assault||25x Tamed Alterac Rams
|25x Tamed Frostwolfs
|Ultimate Unit||200x (Batchs of 1 or 5)||200x (Batchs of 1 or 5)||Neutral|
|Aerial Assault||120x - Slidore
60x - Vipore
30x - Ichman
60x - Jeztor
30x - Mulverick
Note: Once you order a strike, you will not be able to pick up that wingman's beacon - it's best to pick up the beacon 1st before ordering an aerial strike.
Alterac Valley was originally conceived as a persistent non-instanced zone. Quests and NPCs were added in order to give players things to do when no players from the opposite faction were around. When the battleground became instanced, the original design persisted, including quests that took players away from the main battle and NPCs with a good chance of killing players.
Over time, many of the non-PvP focused elements have been scaled down or removed altogether. Other changes include adjustments to the zone's starting areas and bases to even balance between factions, and the introduction of the reinforcements resource mechanic, turning the matches from unlimited battles that often raged for hours or days at a time, to far shorter and more manageable matches.
For an overview of changes to the battleground over the years, see WoW Archivist: The evolution of Alterac Valley.
- Alterac Valley Mobs
- Alterac Valley Buildings
- Alterac Valley Tactical Overview
- General battleground strategies
Patches and hotfixes
- Hotfix (2016-07-20): "Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest were temporarily missing from the random battleground playlist."
- Hotfix (2014-10-16): "NPCs above level 90 should no longer appear in Strand of the Ancients, Alterac Valley, and Isle of Conquest."
- Patch 5.4.7 (2014-02-18):
- The following NPCs now have more health and deal more damage:
- The following NPCs are now immune to disarm, daze, and :
- Alliance: , Balinda Stonehearth
- Horde: ,
- Terrain outside of Frostwolf Keep has been modified to prevent players from jumping over the walls.
- Hotfix (2012-09-18): "The number of reinforcements in Alterac Valley has been reduced to 500 (down from 600)."
- Hotfix (2010-12-07): "NPCs and vehicles now have the correct Cataclysm values for health and damage in the 80-84 and 85 Strand of the Ancients, Isle of Conquest, and Alterac Valley level brackets."
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Minimum required level lowered to 45, brackets now span 5 levels instead of 10.
- Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): Level 80 characters now have their own bracket and there is a separate bracket for characters that are levels 70 to 79. The level of the bosses in the brackets below level 80 will be reduced to compensate.
- Patch 2.4.0 (2008-03-25):
- Major buffs have been applied to Warmasters and Marshalls; Warmasters and Marshalls now increase each other's maximum health and maximum damage by 25%. This is a stacking buff.
- The Horde cave has been moved significantly south, so Horde players start very near to the Frostwolf Keep.
- Join as Party returns to Alterac Valley. (NOTE: "Join as Party" does NOT mean "Join as Group". Only 5 players can queue at the same time.)
- The time required for the first capture of Snowfall graveyard has been reduced from five minutes to four.
- Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13):
- Additional Warmasters no longer report for duty upon destroying an enemy tower. However, destroying an enemy tower still eliminates the associated opposing Warmaster.
- All Warmasters are linked to each other and their respective Generals and can no longer be pulled individually.
- Honor from capturing towers has been increased.
- All Commanders and Lieutenants have left Alterac Valley in search for other battle opportunities.
- Players will no longer be sent to their starting tunnels on death unless that team controls no graveyards in the battleground.
- Many NPCs in Stormpike and Frostwolf holds are no longer elite
- Bonus Honor in Alterac Valley is now only awarded during the battle for destroying enemy towers and slaying the enemy Captain. Upon conclusion of the battle, bonus honor is also awarded for intact towers, a surviving Captain, and for victory in the battle. The total bonus honor awarded should be similar to the previous total.
- The Horde and Alliance now have a limited number of reinforcements available in the battle for Alterac Valley. The number of reinforcements available is reduced upon player death, loss of towers, and death of Captain Galvangar or Balinda Stonehearth. In addition, all available reinforcements are lost upon the death of General Drek'Thar or Vanndar Stormpike. If a team is reduced to zero reinforcements, the opposing team wins the battle.
- Towers and Graveyards in Alterac Valley are now captured in 4 minutes (down from 5).
- Patch 2.0.7 (2007-02-13): If Primalist Thurloga is attacked and pulled off her pathing on the way to summon Lokholar the Ice Lord, she will now properly path back to the summoning ring to complete the event.
- Patch 1.11.0 (2006-06-20):
- Most of the NPC guard units have been removed.
- Players now drop more quest items.
- Creatures that remain in Alterac Valley have had their hit points reduced.
- The buff that is periodically cast by each faction's Captain has been changed to a flat 20% hit point buff.
- Upgrading troops through armor scrap turn-ins will also now result in your team's General enabling a periodic buff to your melee and spell damage.
- Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28):
- Flavor items from player loot in Alterac Valley will now stack and can be sold for a small value. These are items like , , etc.
- Players in Alterac Valley will no longer drop , Dwarf Spines, Forsaken Hearts, Human Bone Chips, Orc Teeth, etc. and the quests have been removed for these items. Instead when a player is slain in Alterac Valley, any enemies that were in that player's threat list will gain 1 point of reputation with either the Frostwolf or Stormpike factions.
- Frostwolf and Stormpike faction will now be gained by killing players of the opposite faction. Reputation will no longer be split up among the entire raid group.
- Tower Banners in Alterac Valley can no longer be used through walls.
- and his band of trolls have packed up their bags and left Alterac Valley for greener pastures.
- Patch 1.9.3 (2006-02-07): The default graveyards in Alterac Valley for each side were moved further up the tunnels away from the battleground exit. This should prevent accidentally leaving the battleground.
- Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10):
- In order to keep teams in Alterac Valley more numerically balanced, players will now enter Alterac Valley on a one-for-one basis (i.e. if there are 30 players in the battleground for each side with 10 players in the Alliance queue and 2 players in the Horde queue, only two players from each team will be added, bringing the total to 32 per side).
- The minimum number of players required to start a battle in Alterac Valley has been lowered to 20 (the maximum is still 40).
- Points for completing the map and winning have been slightly decreased.
- Graveyards and graveyard capture points are now at different locations. The banners players must interact with in order to capture a graveyard have been distanced from each other somewhat in order to alleviate "graveyard zerging" and make graveyards more meaningful to both defense and offense.
- Several terrain changes were made to fix some geometry exploits as well as to adjust for the new graveyard mechanic.
- Iceblood Graveyard has been fortified.
- The Frostwolf Relief Hut now has appropriate guards.
- A great avalanche has closed off both the eastern and western segments of Alterac Valley. This has displaced the Syndicate, the Wildpaw Gnolls, and many of the Winterax Trolls.
- Due to the avalanche, Korrak the Bloodrager and a small band of surviving Trolls have made the Snowfall Graveyard their new home. Players will find that Snowfall is now under Korrak's control and they must defeat Korrak and his Troll guards if they wish to take Snowfall.
- NPC difficulty has been scaled down. All NPCs have had their power reduced by 15-30%.
- There is now a portcullis at the end of each of the entrance tunnels inside Alterac Valley. They will rise two minutes into the battle.
- Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22): Fixed a bug that would cause players to stand up when a turnin was made in Alterac Valley.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12):
- Each team will now gain additional bonus honor if their towers are not destroyed by the end of the map. The more towers that remained intact, the more honor received.
- If you manage to keep your faction's Captain alive for the duration of a battle, you will be granted extra points upon victory.
- Several Alterac Valley vendor items are now bind on acquire.
- Bosses no longer have unique loot tables.
- The respawn time for tower guards (assuming the tower has not been destroyed) has been greatly increased.
- The minimum reputation needed to send a cavalry charge has been reduced to Honored.
- Players of Revered or higher reputation may now call offensive air strikes if they have managed to rescue their respective Wing Commanders.
- Alterac Valley's guard spawn is now controlled via a more intuitive mechanism. Please check the Officer Supply vendors for your faction to read up on the changes.
- Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented the Alliance team from receiving honor for destroying towers.
- Fixed a bug that was not awarding Horde credit for owning a mine at the end of a game.
- Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Added.
- ^ Official Game Guide - Alterac Valley
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/pvp/battlegrounds/info-alteracvalley.html
- ^ Bill Roper on Gamespot
- ^ Peeling the Onion: The How to Guide on Dismantling the Stormpike
- ^ a b c Beau Yarbrough 2005-10-29. http://www.lby3.com/2005/10/29/blizzcon-blizzard-surveys-the-battlegrounds/.
- Alterac Valley Map with Locations, NPCs and Quests (2006-05-27)
- WoWInsider (2007-11-24)
- Proud Aardvark's Alterac Valley Guide
- WoW Archivist: The evolution of Alterac Valley (History) (2014-02-21)