Battleground

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Battlegrounds are instanced areas used for player versus player combat (PvP). In them players can participate in team PvP, struggling for victory in one of a number of battlegrounds against a similarly capable team of players from the opposite faction. Battlegrounds are the main way for players to earn honor points, used to purchase PvP rewards. Players can also gain experience points through participating in battlegrounds, making them a viable option for levelling. The first battlegrounds become available at level 10, with new battlegrounds becoming available as the player levels. Players can queue for battlegrounds through the PvP interface.

Battlegrounds can also be experienced as rated battlegrounds or War Games. Rated battlegrounds are fought between two highly-organised teams of dedicated players, offering additional rewards in the form of conquest points, as well as the chance to acquire a personal and team rating, and rise to the top of the regional PvP ladders. War Games offer a similar experience, but with no rewards or rating adjustments involved, giving organised players a chance to play just for fun against a team of their choice. These types of battleground often vary slightly in their rulesets - see those pages for information. PvP zones are also very similar to battlegrounds, sharing many of the basic features.

There are a number of battlegrounds in World of Warcraft. Each has its own design, location and context, as well as its own rules, objectives and special objects. Battlegrounds range from small encounters of 10 players to a side, to large-scale conflicts featuring 80 players and dozens of NPCs. Battlegrounds are categorized as capture the flag matches, resource races featuring multiple nodes, or general warfare involving the attrition of reinforcements and elimination of enemy objectives. Different battlegrounds may focus on individuals carrying mobile objectives, squads holding fixed objectives, pilots operating siege vehicles, or whole raids killing NPCs, as well as countering those actions by the enemy. Two things all battlegrounds have in common are player versus player combat, and the necessity for teamwork and coordination to achieve victory.

Battlegrounds represent major staging posts in the ongoing conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. Fighting for the rights to valuable resources, access to powerful technologies or control of strategic ground, these battles rage endlessly. Each faction struggles to assert their dominance in these battlegrounds in the name of their faction and for personal honor, gaining rank and standing among their allies as a result of their actions on the field. Those who demonstrate their bravery and prowess will be rewarded handsomely, with the most powerful gear and weapons in their faction's armories.

The two initial battleground areas, Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch, went live June 7th, 2005. Arathi Basin was added to the list in Patch 1.7 on September 13th, 2005. A fourth battleground, named Eye of the Storm, was released with The Burning Crusade. A fifth battleground, the Strand of the Ancients, was added in Wrath of the Lich King. The sixth battleground, the Isle of Conquest, was added in Patch 3.2 on August 4th, 2009. Two new battlegrounds, Battle for Gilneas and Twin Peaks, were added with the launch of the third expansion, Cataclysm. Mists of Pandaria introduced Temple of Kotmogu and Silvershard Mines, as well as Deepwind Gorge in patch 5.3.

Existing battlegrounds

Following is a list of all currently available battlegrounds. Each battleground becomes available at a certain level; players below that level not be able to queue for that battleground, or see it in the PvP interface. Each battleground also has its own group size, such as 10v10 or 40v40, and its own unique ruleset; a rough indication is given below. The earlier battlegrounds have entrances in the game world, although these no longer serve any real purpose.

Warsong Gulch

Factions
Alliance Night elfNight elf Silverwing Sentinels || Horde OrcOrc Warsong Outriders
Combatants
10 per faction
Levels
10-19 → 20-29 → 30-39 → 40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Capture the Flag
Entrance camps
Alliance Silverwing Grove || Horde Mor'shan Base Camp
Bases
Alliance Silverwing Hold || Horde Warsong Lumber Mill
Description
A valley Bordering Ashenvale Forest and the Barrens, Warsong Gulch hosts a constant battle between the Horde and Alliance. As a 10 vs 10 capture-the-flag battleground, the first faction to capture three flags is victorious. Eager to aid their allies, members of every race in Azeroth rush to the Gulch to lend sword, or spell, to the conflict.

Arathi Basin

Factions
Alliance HumanHuman The League of Arathor || Horde UndeadUndead The Defilers
Combatants
15 per faction
Levels
10-19 → 20-29 → 30-39 → 40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Resource race
Entrance camps
Alliance Refuge Pointe || Horde Hammerfall
Bases
Alliance Trollbane Hall || Horde Defiler's Den
Description
The Arathi Basin is one of the main staging points of war between the humans and the Forsaken in Azeroth. Arathi Basin is a 15 vs 15 domination battleground, where each side attempts to control the Stables, Blacksmith, Mine, Lumbermill and Farm for as long as possible. The Defilers' elite troopers seek to sever the vital connection between the humans and their dwarven allies to the south. Meanwhile, the League of Arathor seek to reclaim lost lands for their benefactors in Stormwind.

Eye of the Storm

The Burning Crusade

Factions
Alliance DraeneiDraenei The Exodar || Horde Blood elfBlood elf Silvermoon City
Combatants
15 per faction
Levels
15-19 → 20-29 → 30-39 → 40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Resource race, with Capture the Flag elements
Location
Netherstorm
Bases
Alliance Northern Rock || Horde Southern Rock
Description
Hovering high above the ravaged landscape of Netherstorm is the island known as the Eye of the Storm. Eye of the Storm is a 15 vs 15 domination battleground, where each side attempts to control the Mage Tower, Fel Reaver Ruins, Blood Elf Tower, and Draenei Ruins for as long as possible. The draenei seek to claim it due to its proximity to the naaru's mysterious vessel, Tempest Keep. This battlefield is coveted by the blood elves for its rich energy deposits.

Alterac Valley

Factions
Alliance DwarfDwarf Stormpike Guard || Horde OrcOrc Frostwolf Clan
Combatants
40 per faction
Levels
20-29 → 30-39 → 40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Defeat the enemy General or reduce the enemy's reinforcements to zero; features destroyable bases
Entrance camps
Alliance Headland || Horde NE of Sofera's Naze
Bases
Alliance Dun Baldar || Horde Frostwolf Keep
Description
Hidden within the Alterac Mountains, Alterac Valley is the home of the Frostwolf clan. The Stormpike dwarves have established a foothold in the valley and seek to plumb its depths for riches and links to their ancestral past. A large-scale battleground, each side attempts to destroy each other's tower fortifications and slay the enemy General (Vanndar Stormpike or Drek'Thar).

Strand of the Ancients

Wrath of the Lich King

Factions
Alliance The Valiance Expedition || Horde The Warsong Offensive
Combatants
15 per faction
Levels
50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Alternating offense and defense; use vehicles and bombs to destroy enemy structures, racing to reach the relic
Location
South of Dragonblight
Bases
N/A
Description
To the south of Dragonblight lies the resting place of a legendary Titan artifact known by the Alliance and Horde to possess critical information regarding the Titans and their methods. Strand of the Ancients is a 15 vs 15 battleground, where each side takes a turn attacking and defending the Titan artifact at the southern tip of the island. Prepare yourself for battle, for fate cannot determine success upon this Strand of the Ancients.

Isle of Conquest

Wrath of the Lich King

Factions
Alliance The Valiance Expedition || Horde The Warsong Offensive
Combatants
40 per faction
Levels
55-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Defeat the enemy General or reduce the enemy's reinforcements to zero; features vehicles, destroyable structures and capturable bases
Location
NW of Sholazar Basin and W of Icecrown
Bases
Alliance Alliance Keep || Horde Horde Keep
Description
The Isle of Conquest is a point of strategic importance for the Alliance and Horde campaigns in Northrend, each side determined to secure control of the island. As a large-scale battleground, each side attempts to wrest control of the Siege Factory, Docks, or Hangar in order to secure access to the enemy stronghold and defeat its general (Halford Wyrmbane or Overlord Agmar).

Twin Peaks

Cataclysm

Factions
Alliance Wildhammer DwarfWildhammer dwarf Wildhammer Clan || Horde Dragonmaw clanDragonmaw clan Dragonmaw Clan
Combatants
10 per faction
Levels
30-39 → 40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Capture the Flag
Location
Twilight Highlands
Bases
Alliance Wildhammer Longhouse || Horde Dragonmaw Clan Compound
Description
Nestled in the Twilight Highlands, Twin Peaks has flared as a point of contention between the Alliance and Horde. As a 10 vs 10 capture-the-flag battleground, the first faction to capture three flags is victorious. Lend your strength as both factions struggle to take control of this critical high ground!

Battle for Gilneas

Cataclysm

Factions
Alliance WorgenWorgen Gilneas || Horde UndeadUndead Undercity
Combatants
10 per faction
Levels
25-29 → 30-39 → 40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Resource race
Location
Gilneas
Bases
Alliance Gilnean Stronghold || Horde Horde Landing
Description
As the Greymane wall collapses, the inevitable conflict between the Forsaken and Worgen reaches a new climax. The Battle for Gilneas is a 10 vs 10 domination battleground, where each side attempts to control the Mine, Lighthouse, and Waterworks for as long as possible.

Temple of Kotmogu

Mists of Pandaria

Combatants
10 per faction
Levels
40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Resource race, featuring orbs
Location
Vale of Eternal Blossoms
Description
The Horde and Alliance wage battle for the ancient Mogu artifact that is foretold to hold great powers. Temple of Kotmogu is a 10 vs 10 Powerball battleground where each side attempts to control the Mogu artifact for as long as possible in different scoring zones.

Silvershard Mines

Mists of Pandaria

Combatants
10 per faction
Type
Resource race, featuring capturable mine carts
Levels
35-39 → 40-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Location
Stranglethorn Vale
Description
This battleground takes place underneath Stranglethorn Vale in a Venture Co. goblin mine. Silvershard Mines is a 10 vs 10 escort battleground, in which each side attempts to control diamond carts until they reach the mine depot.

Deepwind Gorge

Mists of Pandaria

Combatants
15 per faction
Levels
45-49 → 50-59 → 60-69 → 70-79 → 80-89 → 90-99 → 100
Type
Resource race, featuring capturable mine carts
Location
Valley of the Four Winds
Description
In the new Battleground situated in the Valley of the Four Winds, the Alliance and Horde continue their war for Pandaria's precious resources. While the two factions battle for control over mines, they must also protect their own resources from being stolen and turned against them!

Temporary battlegrounds

Tarren Mill vs Southshore

Southshore vs Tarren Mill

Requires Warlords of Draenor World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Combatants
40 per faction
Levels
90-99, 100
Type
Team deathmatch
Location
Hillsbrad Foothills

Set amid "the timeless struggle" of the Hillsbrad Foothills world PvP during vanilla World of Warcraft, Southshore vs Tarren Mill is a 40vs40 deathmatch, with no real objective other than to slay as many of the enemy as possible. Honorable kills will earn players rank, slowly empowering their abilities but also making them more valuable targets for the opposition to kill. Part of World of Warcraft's 10-year anniversary, Southshore vs Tarren Mill will only be available for a limited period, although it may return again at some point.

Battleground play

Battlegrounds offer a unique experience of PvP. Somewhere between the wild, unpredictable ambushes of world PvP and the honed, highly coordinated combat of arena, battlegrounds offer players the chance to engage in team PvP with dozens of allies, working together to achieve victory against the opposing team.

Alterac Valley, a large-scale battleground involving 80 players, dozens of NPCs and a vast landscape.

Battlegrounds pitch teams of players against each other in large outdoor and indoor areas. While direct PvP combat remains the bread and butter of the experience, players are required to achieve specific objectives in order to triumph. As opposed to most forms of PvP that focus on defeating other players in combat, battlegrounds therefore often shift the focus away from actual combat and toward a more strategic form of victory. Of course, the prime obstacle in achieving these objectives remains the onslaught of the opposing team.

While largely obeying the same ruleset, rated battlegrounds and battleground War Games offer a slightly different experience. For instance, rated battlegrounds tend to feature highly practiced teams with a precise balance of classes and class roles, actively communicating at all times. Rated battlegrounds offer greater rewards than regular battlegrounds, and a loss will likely cause the players to lose rating, resulting in higher pressure than regular battlegrounds. War Games similarly tend to be fought between two honed teams, but offer no rewards of any kind, allowing teams to enjoy high-quality PvP without the pressure of victory.

In comparison, regular battleground teams tend to comprise fairly randomly selected players, with widely varying gear, experience and ability. Players with less powerful gear are likely to find themselves easily defeated, while those equipped with more powerful PvP rewards will often dominate the battlefield. However, at max level, the gear of players in both rated and non-rated battlegrounds is limited by the PvP item level cap. Designed to limit the impact of gear on play, any item above the current cap is scaled down accordingly, giving less well-geared players a fighting chance.

Regular battlegrounds are always fought against the opposite faction. However, rated battlegrounds and War Games may be fought against a team of either faction. In any type of battleground, communication with the other team is prohibited, with any speech in /say or /yell rendered appropriately incomprehensible. Players can however still communicate to some degree via emotes. Emote 'spamming' (the repeated use of an emote such as /spit to irritate or annoy enemy players) is seen at times.

Order of play

Preparation

Trollbane Hall, the Alliance starting area in Arathi Basin.

Players will enter battlegrounds in their faction's starting area (see below). Battlegrounds have a countdown of roughly 2 minutes from their creation before the battle itself commences. Players are usually invited at the start of battlegrounds (see "Queuing", below), meaning that most players will have a short time to wait in the starting area before the game begins. Players can use this time to apply buffs to themselves and their party, summon pets, select gear and specialization, and exchange services such as food conjuring and  [Healthstone] summoning. During this time players are also granted the "Preparation" buff, reducing the power cost of all their spells and abilities to zero. Players joining the battleground after the commencement of the battle itself will still appear in the starting area, but will not have the chance to benefit from the Preparation buff.

A visual element displays the time remaining until the start of the battle, and the final 10 seconds are announced both visually and audibly. After that, gates and entrances leading out of the starting areas are opened, the Preparation buff is removed, and players are free to enter the battleground proper.

Victory or defeat

Battlegrounds continue until either the amount of time allotted for the battle elapses, or one team achieves the battleground's objective (see below). If the battleground ends due to running out of time, a draw, loss or victory may be determined, depending on the rules of the battleground. Different battlegrounds have different amounts of time allotted for a match.

Battlegrounds may end in a victory for one team and defeat for the other, or in a draw for both parties. Various rewards may be granted (see below), depending on the battleground option and whether the player won or lost. In most cases, a draw offers the same rewards as a loss.

Post-match

Once a battleground has been completed, all play immediately ceases, health and resources are returned to maximum, and players become unable to take actions or control their characters. Players remain free to communicate with their team through the /instance channel. The outcome of the battleground is announced, and a scoreboard is presented (see below) detailing the efforts of the participants. Players can click a button to immediately leave the battleground, or will be automatically removed after 2 minutes. Leaving the battleground also removes the score board.

Elements of play

In addition to specific objectives (see below), battlegrounds offer several elements not seen in other forms of PvP.

Starting areas

Each battleground features starting areas for each faction. Typically teams will start at the opposite ends of a map; some battlegrounds are therefore significantly skewed by faction, with certain bases or objects initially far closer to one team than the other. In some battlegrounds, the starting area is also a critical area, for instance in Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks, the starting area is the flag room.

Graveyards

An Alliance Spirit Guide in Warsong Gulch.

One of the key differences between battlegrounds and arena is that in battlegrounds, players can die any number of times without penalty. Upon death, players can choose to release from their corpses, at which point their ghost appears at a nearby graveyard. There a Spirit Guide resurrects all nearby players on a regular cycle, with a dialog box displaying the time until resurrection. Unlike Spirit Healers found in the rest of the world, players resurrected by Spirit Guides are restored to full health and mana, as are any pets or minions. Resurrected players also gain a "Preparation" buff similar to that granted before the beginning of the match, reducing power costs of all spells and abilities to zero for a few seconds.

Each faction has its own graveyard(s). Some battlegrounds feature only a single graveyard for each faction, while others feature a number of possible graveyards, with the graveyard a player's ghost is sent to based on the location of the player at the time of death - although this does not necessarily mean the closest. In some battlegrounds, all graveyards are faction-specific; others feature a number of capturable graveyards which will serve whichever faction currently controls them; if the graveyard is captured by the opposite team, all ghosts waiting at the graveyard will be transferred to another of their faction's graveyards. Occasionally, the time spent in transit between graveyards can cause players to miss the resurrection wave, forcing them to wait for the next cycle before they can rejoin battle. Graveyards featuring capturable graveyards also feature at least one graveyard belonging permanently to each faction, to facilitate resurrection should the opposing faction capture all of the graveyards.

Players can also choose to resurrect in the traditional manner, by running as a ghost to the location of their corpse. While this method does not require waiting for a resurrection cycle, it only restores players to 50% health and mana. Additionally, each player's corpse carries an insignia, which can be looted by enemy players, rewarding them with a very small amount of money. If a player's insignia is removed from their corpse, they will be unable to resurrect from their corpses for the duration of the battleground. Each player's insignia can only be looted once per battleground, and can only be looted from corpses of players who have not yet resurrected. Loss of insignia causes players to automatically release from their corpses upon dying.

Buffs

From left to right: Speed, Berzerking, Restoration

At various fixed locations within each battleground can be found a number of buffs or power-ups, appearing as overflowing treasure chests with glowing icons hovering above them. These buffs can be acquired by moving into them, granting the player a temporary effect. After the buff has been consumed, a fresh buff will respawn after a short while. Some locations spawn only a specific type of buff, while others will generate a random buff each time. Buffs are the feature of a handful of battleground achievements, such as [Take a Chill Pill].

Berserking

Spell nature bloodlust.png

Increases all damage caused by 30% and all damage taken by 10%. Also increases the player's size, and grants a flaming visual effect to the player's hands. Duration 1 minute. This power-up resembles a screaming skull.

Restoration

Spell nature healingtouch.png

Restores health and mana. Duration 10 seconds. Taking sufficient damage will cancel the effect. This power-up resembles a large green leaf, and adds a nature healing spell visual effect to the player.

Speed

Inv enchant essencenetherlarge.png

Increases run and swim speed by 100% for 10 seconds. Extremely useful for flag carriers and those seeking to evade attackers. Note that it does not increase mounted speed. This power-up resembles a very impressive boot.

Scoreboard

At the completion of a battleground, players are presented with a scoreboard displaying each player's class, name, total damage, total healing, honor gained, honorable kills, killing blows and deaths, as well as a few other statistics specific to that battleground, such as the number of flags captured by that player. Columns can be sorted by clicking on the title at the top of that column, and specializations can be revealed by mousing over the player's class icon. Players can select the 'Alliance' and 'Horde' tabs to view exclusively the data regarding that faction's players, or the default 'All' tab to view all data. The scoreboard also sports the button to leave the battleground.

Players should bear in mind when viewing the scoreboard that it represents a very simplistic measurement of performance within the battleground. Invaluable contributions such as crowd control, dispelling, buffing and timely intervention or self-sacrifice are not shown. Defenders and flag carriers, while performing a vital role, will frequently rank extremely low on the battleground's scoreboard. In addition, total healing shown includes self-healing and healing of pets, but does not include any absorb effects, which can present a skewed impression of the efforts of healers such as Discipline priests.

It is easy to become caught up in attempting to reach the top of the relevant meter, measuring one's skill and contribution to the team solely by the scoreboard. However, this is a highly inaccurate reflection of players' performance, and should not be mistaken for a true measure of skill or anything else. Good play frequently requires players to waste the opportunity to increase their standing on these boards, with the greatest opportunities for combat often involving objective-less combat similar to that desired for honor farming (see below). Consequently, the top ranking players on the scoreboard are often those who have paid the least attention to assisting their team.

Deserter debuff

Leaving a battleground before its completion will earn players the Deserter debuff, preventing them from entering another battleground for a short duration. This is to discourage players from abandoning battlegrounds simply due to preference, or because their team seems to be losing. Leaving a battleground to answer the call to a PvP zone does not apply the Deserter debuff.

If a character goes AFK, they will automatically be removed from the battleground, also gaining them the Deserter debuff. You can report an inactive player by right clicking the player's portrait and selecting "Report AFK". When enough reports are registered, a 60 second debuff will begin to count down. Once the timer is up a new debuff will appear that will prevent the player from gaining any honor or marks while it is on. This debuff can be negated as soon as the player engages in PvP combat. This system is often abused, since a player can have good reasons for not participating in PVP, for example when they are defending.

Faction asymmetry

As well as differences caused by the location of each team's starting areas, many maps also feature overall differences in layout that provide an undeniably different experience for each team. Regular battlegrounds are always fought cross-faction, with any given character always experiencing the same face of each battleground. In rated battlegrounds and war games, these differences are no longer necessarily bound to a team's faction, but still influence play.

The Quarry in Isle of Conquest, situated close to the Alliance base.

Most battleground maps are notably asymmetrical. Rather than simple open fields or symmetrical spaces like arenas, these battlegrounds present idiosyncratically unique terrain on which to do battle. For example, Horde players in Twin Peaks find themselves defending their flag in a base surrounded by water, while Alliance players must cross that water to carry their opponents' flag up to the Wildhammer stronghold among the peaks. In addition, the placement of each faction's graveyards can influence play, with one faction having further to run to get back into action after resurrection. Some battlegrounds such as Isle of Conquest, Battle for Gilneas and Arathi Basin place factions far closer to certain resources, significantly influencing tactics, while a few battlegrounds - Warsong Gulch, Eye of the Storm, Temple of Kotmogu and Strand of the Ancients - offer a more symmetrical playing experience.

These asymmetries have lead to numerous accusations of unfairness and imbalance over the years, due to perceived advantages to one faction or the other. By becoming aware of these differences, players can adapt their tactics accordingly, giving their team the best chance of victory.

Level scaling

Players entering battlegrounds are automatically grouped with other players of similar levels (see "Brackets", below), with lower-level players placed within an appropriate 10-level bracket. However, in order to balance and equalise the playing experience for players of differing levels, players in low-level battlegrounds will have their effective level raised to the maximum level allowed in that battleground bracket. Players' base stats and spells are scaled accordingly, and are treated as the same level when determining hits, misses, and critical effect chance. This feature has no effect on max-level players. Note that although players' stats and abilities are scaled, lower-level players will still lack new abilities and talents not gained until higher levels, and may still therefore find themselves at some degree of disadvantage.

Heirloom items are normalized to the maximum level of the bracket. Normal gear does not scale.

Scaling was introduced with patch 5.2. Before the introduction of the feature, below-max level players in battlegrounds often found themselves facing off against players of significantly higher level and therefore greater power. Players at or near their bracket's maximum had a large advantage, often capable of defeating several lower-level opponents at once, while those near the bracket's minimum often found themselves struggling to make a significant contribution to the game, easily defeated by most other players. The overall effect of this disparity of level and power was to unbalance the nature of low-level battleground play. This often led to players avoiding battlegrounds while near a bracket's minimum, as well as choosing to participate in battlegrounds more often when they were near a bracket's maximum. With a potential 9-level difference, players might one game find themselves gods of the battleground, able to single-handedly win the match (especially in smaller battlegrounds), and the next relegated to the bottom of the next bracket up, often killed within seconds of resurrection and unable to defeat any but the weakest of opponents. The level scaling feature aims to remove this imbalance in low-level battlegrounds, making for a more balanced and enjoyable game.

Objectives

Halford Wyrmbane, Alliance general in Isle of Conquest.

Each battleground features its own objective. These include being the first to capture a certain number of flags; accumulate a certain quantity of resources; or defeat the opposing General. While the means of achieving these objectives are often varied, each battleground has a single objective, and only achieving that objective will result in victory.

Objectives perhaps represent battlegrounds' most significant deviation from other forms of PvP; no amount of honorable kills will result in victory in a battleground unless the objective itself is achieved.

While organised teams tend to focus efficiently on achieving objectives, randomly assembled groups often present varying degrees of commitment to this task. Achieving objectives can require certain players to wait for minutes at a time without experiencing combat, something which is often at odds with players' basic desire to engage in PvP. Consequently, in regular battlegrounds some players are often to be found diverting from the main objectives in favour of some simple player vs player combat. When large amounts of players get drawn into unorganised combat, battlegrounds can easily be lost, or descend into a free-for-all melee as flags and resources are forgotten.

Overlord Agmar, Horde general in Isle of Conquest.

Those who prefer to focus on achieving objectives - typically including those who are more dedicated to winning the battleground - often do not appreciate these players deserting the team's cause, and such diversion from the main purpose of a battleground is indeed often the cause of a team losing the match. On the other hand, many assert their right to engage in simple PvP, especially when tired of forever taking the strategic option of retreat or defence, leaving some players thirsty for action. Some may also choose to focus on PvP combat for the purpose of honor farming (see below), while others may simply get drawn into combat 'mid-field' (either literally or simply in the sense of failing to achieve any objective) and find themselves unable to break free.

Coordination

The objective-oriented nature of battlegrounds creates the potential for a kind of strategic coordination not seen in other types of PvP. Each battleground presents a number of potential strategies, many of which cannot be successfully enacted without communication between players, with the pursuit of objectives often requiring patience and sacrifice from team members, as well as a degree of specialization not found in other forms of PvP. Coordination is an extremely powerful tool in any group play, and victory in battlegrounds is often determined by the degree of communication and responsiveness between the members of the team. Players can communicate in the /bg or /i channels to attempt to coordinate their team's actions, and click on the minimap to direct allies to specific locations.

While players in premade groups tend to be in continuous communication via online chat services, regular battlegrounds are typically composed of players thrown together from numerous realms, with no experience playing together, and tend to be far less communicative. Players may find themselves debating tactics with several others, or the lone voice in an apparently silent battleground. Nonetheless, even a little coordination can make a big difference to a battleground's outcome.

Players should aim to be in regular communication with their team, alerting them to the movements of the other team, calling for help as required, and coordinating efforts to ensure that objectives are achieved. Players' failure to do so, such as defenders allowing themselves to be defeated without calling for help, is often the direct cause of a team's failure. While communication in a random group can be difficult, the results of successful coordination are undeniable.

Offence and defence

The Horde keep in Alterac Valley.

The very nature of objectives brings with it the suggestion of specialised roles. Depending on the objective of the battleground and the various opportunities for achieving it, a number of roles are possible.

For instance, in Capture the Flag type battlegrounds, a single player will often take the role of flag carrier, usually one who has a tank spec or at least sports a high degree of survivability. A dedicated healer or two may choose to spend their time assisting the flag carrier, along with any dps players who may wish to join them. Flag carrying players in this way become similar to tanks in dungeons, with the team's success hinging on their survival. The role of defence in these battlegrounds is often far less exciting than that of offence, and failing to keep hold of the team's flag may be met with frustration by some players. Nonetheless, defence is a vital role in these battlegrounds, without which the team cannot triumph.

In resource race battlegrounds, teams are often split between different bases. It is almost always wise to leave at least one player at each base currently held; however, this is a far less exciting task than rushing off to assault a new base, which often results in players leaving bases undefended rather than risk spending the entire battleground merely waiting. Players can frequently by heard in the chat for these battlegrounds compelling players to defend the team's bases - although those players may prefer to nominate others to perform this vital yet less than thrilling task.

Honor farming

Since battlegrounds generally offer a 50/50 chance of victory, many choose to focus on free-form PvP within battlegrounds as a more efficient way of 'farming' honor. Since this tactic can lead to the failure and frustration of a team which is trying hard to win, this lack of focus is often unappreciated by more serious players. When large numbers of players become drawn into such unorganised PvP, it is often left up to a few dedicated players to focus on the objectives of the game.

Some teams will focus exclusively on accumulating honor, to the extent of repeatedly 'farming' the other team at their graveyard. These players will gather around the graveyard, quickly killing players when they respawn. While this can in itself be an effective tactic for victory, some teams will intentionally employ this tactic for extended periods of time in order to gain as much as honor as possible, often while refusing to simply win the game. This extended form of farming is often tedious and frustrating for those being farmed, who are unable to survive more than a few seconds against the assembled onslaught of the waiting team. Since leaving the battleground will result in players being flagged as deserters, often the best choice in these situations is to simply choose not to resurrect; the farming players will then be deprived of some of their honor yield, and if sufficient players take this action, may choose to simply win the game.

Special elements

Often related to the battleground's objective, many battlegrounds feature special elements that can be interacted with to achieve victory. Some are directly related to victory - such as flags, orbs and resource nodes - with interaction with these elements provided the sole means of winning the battleground, while others - such as vehicles and enemy structures - can help players gain an edge, or open the door to victory. See individual battleground pages for more details.

The involvement of special elements often leads to certain players devoting themselves to achieving certain tasks. For instance, players with a tanking spec may specialize in carrying flags, while others may choose to enter a vehicle to focus on destroying enemy structures.

There are many different elements employed in battlegrounds, but a few are described here as examples:

The Blacksmith in Arathi Basin, under the control of the Horde.
The Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin.
The Hangar in Isle of Conquest. Capturing it enables the controlling faction to board a powerful airship to bombard the enemy keep.

Resources

Resource nodes are probably the most common element in battlegrounds. Most nodes come in the form of a base that can be captured by players. While that base is held, the team will accumulate resources. Resources may also be generated through other means such as holding orbs or capturing mine carts. Resource race battlegrounds are won by generating a set amount of resources before the other team.

Flags

Flags are special elements found in games with an element of Capture the Flag. Right-clicking on a flag will cause the player to pick it up, granting a corresponding buff. A flag can be dropped by right-clicking the buff. Dying will cause a player to drop any flag they are carrying. Flags remain for a short while after being dropped, and can be picked up or returned (depending on the battleground) by other players before they despawn.

Flags are typically used to score points or generate resources, by carrying it to an appropriate 'cap point' and 'capping' the flag. Battlegrounds may feature multiple flags or only one; numerous possible capping points or only one each. The position of flag-carrier is usually a vulnerable one, with enemy players seeking to kill you in order to make you drop your flag. Flags may cause players to become more vulnerable to damage as time goes on.

'Flag' can also refer to the capture point for bases and graveyards (see below).

Focused Assault and Brutal Assault

In Capture the Flag battlegrounds, these two debuffs serve to progressively weaken the flag carriers, discouraging turtling and overly defensive play, and increasing the speed and activity of the game.

  • Focused Assault is a stacking debuff that increases damage taken by 10% per stack with a new stack being applied every 30 seconds after all flags have been picked up from their bases. Upon reaching 5 stacks, Focused Assault turns into Brutal Assault.
  • Brutal Assault is a stacking debuff that increases damage taken by 10% per stack and limits the character to normal running speed. A new stack is applied every 30 seconds with a limit of 15 stacks.

The Focused Assault debuff is first applied 30 seconds after both flags have been taken, and steadily increases the flag carriers damage taken by 10% every 30 seconds until they are suffering from an additional 150% damage taken. In addition, after 2 minutes 30 seconds, the Focused Assault stacks will convert to Brutal Assault, also limiting the player to normal running speed.

Bases

Bases can be found in many battlegrounds, and offer a variety of benefits. Some are a form of resource node while others may serve the function of graveyards or defence outposts. Some bases can be repeatedly captured by alternating teams, while others will remain captured for the duration.

There are two different means of capturing bases, depending on whether or not it has a flag. To capture a base with a flag, right-click on the flag. This initiates the capturing action, which will take a few seconds to complete; any movement or damage taken during this time will cancel the action. Successfully capturing the flag will start a timer after which the base will be captured by your team - however, the opposing team may re-capture the flag in that time to cancel the takeover. These flags are therefore fought over fiercely.

Bases without flags use the presence of players to automatically capture them. To capture a base, simply remain within range of it (a visual element will display the current balance of power and the direction in which it is shifting). The presence of more players of one team than the other at a base will slowly cause the base to be captured.

Capturing a base will cause your faction's banners to be displayed over it, changing corresponding flags to your faction's crest. In some battlegrounds such as Arathi Basin, capturing a base will additionally transform its appearance, changing the race of nearby non-interactable NPCs to match the controlling faction, while in battlegrounds such as Alterac Valley, capturing certain bases may cause numerous defending NPCs to spawn and begin attacking nearby enemies.

Demolisher.png

Vehicles

Some battlegrounds such as Isle of Conquest and Strand of the Ancients feature various vehicles which can be employed by players to demolish enemy structures, attack foes or even launch friendly players over the top of the opposing team's defences.

Bombs

Found in battlegrounds such as Isle of Conquest and Strand of the Ancients, bombs usually serve the purpose of destroying enemy structures. They can be picked up from certain areas and deposited in vital areas to deal substantial damage to these key structures. Be aware however that planted bombs take a few seconds to detonate, and observant enemy players may try to disarm them in this time.

Grouping

In regular battlegrounds, players will find themselves pitched into a team of fairly randomly selected players. Players may be sourced from any number of realms, and may include foreign language realms, although this is kept to a minimum. The matchmaking system (see below) does its best to gather a balanced selection of players, but at times players may find particular classes dominating the group or absent entirely.

In rated battlegrounds and War Games, players must first assemble their teams before queuing. This tends to make these types of battleground more balanced, with a desirable ratio of class roles and even dedicated players with specific purposes, such as that of flag carrier. In rated battlegrounds players are pitched against a team of roughly similar rating, while War Games allow players to choose their own opponents.

Brackets

One of the main ways of ensuring some measure of balance in battlegrounds is the use of brackets. Each battleground instance is designed for players within a 5 level range, with the top-most bracket admitting only max-level players. Brackets are automatically selected for the player based on their level, and gaining a level while queuing for a battleground will cause the player to leave the queue. It is however possible for players to gain levels while inside battlegrounds.

Players level-capped due to not having the next expansion, and those who have chosen to turn off experience gains through speaking to Behsten or Slahtz, will be placed together in separate brackets to other players.

Matchmaking

Battleground teams are assembled from a large group of players, with a number of matchmaking criteria to make the match as fair and balanced as possible. However, judging the skill and ability of players is extremely difficult, and while the system is designed to create exciting, close games, in practice there will always be some games where one team is significantly superior to the other. In addition, the benefits of an extensive matchmaking process must be balanced against the resulting queue length.

Entering battlegrounds

Battlegrounds can be queued for through the Player vs. Player interface. This can be opened by clicking the PvP icon on the micro menu. The same interface can also be accessed through talking to the battlemasters and Call to Arms NPCs found in capital cities. Additionally, the 'classic' battlegrounds (from before The Burning Crusade expansion) have entrances in the game world, from which players can likewise queue for any battleground.

The Alliance entrance to Warsong Gulch, found in Ashenvale.

The reason for this range of options for entering battlegrounds is largely historical. Each classic battleground (Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley) has two red instance entrance portals - one for the Alliance, and one for the Horde - and crossing these portals was originally one of the only ways to enter the queue for their respective battlegrounds. There were also individual battlemasters - one for each battleground - to be found in capital cities. Players were greatly limited in only being able to access battlegrounds through travelling to one of these places. Since the implementation of the PvP interface, players can access any battleground from any location, and there is no practical reason to access battlegrounds through any other means.

Note that it is not possible to join a battleground while dead, a ghost, in combat, falling, jumping or in mass-transit. Being under the effects of fatigue will also prevent you from joining a battleground. However, taking damage will not prohibit access to battlegrounds. None of these restrictions prevent players from queueing for battlegrounds, only from entering them.

Rated battlegrounds and War Games can only be initiated via the PvP interface (see below) or by using in-game commands.

The Player vs. Player interface

Main article: Player vs. Player interface

The Player vs. Player interface allows players to queue for all forms of PvP, including battlegrounds of all kinds.

The Casual pane of the PvP interface allows players to queue for battlegrounds. Players can choose from a list of all specific battlegrounds available at their level, or choose the Random Battleground option (see below), which offers additional rewards. Players can queue for up to two specific battlegrounds at a time, or one Random Battleground, and may choose to queue individually, or in a group.

Rated battlegrounds can be queued for in the Rated pane of the PvP interface. This can only be done by the leader of a party with a sufficient number of members. War Games can also be queued for through the War Games tab of the PvP interface. They can only be initiated by the leader of a party with a sufficient number of members for the chosen map, while targeting the leader of another party.

Before joining a queue for a non-rated battleground, players must select one or more of the main combat roles - tank, healer and DPS - indicating which role(s) they are willing to perform in a battleground. Players are only able to select roles appropriate to one or more of their currently chosen specializations, but the role does not have to match their active specialization. For example, a paladin specialized in Retribution and Protection, with Retribution currently active, will be able to queue as a tank or DPS, but not as a healer. This ensures that the player is able to perform their selected role. Players cannot change their chosen roles while already in a queue, and players cannot queue for different roles for separate specific battlegrounds; they must make a single selection for all queues.

When their battleground is ready, the player is informed of the role they are expected to perform, and if the player accepts the summon, their character's role marker will be set accordingly upon joining the battleground. If the player accepts the summon while in a specialization that is not appropriate for the designated role, they will automatically be switched to their alternate specialization, which due to the prior selection constraints, will always be an appropriate specialization for the role.

Role selection is intended to facilitate more balanced team composition by balancing the number of healers on each team. Consequently, once within a battleground, the player is only able to switch between healing specs, or between non-healing specs.[1] For example a Holy priest would be able to switch to Discipline, but not to Shadow, while a Guardian druid would be able to switch to Feral or Balance, but not to Restoration. This means that classes without healer specs are not affected by these restrictions; for example a death knight is able to freely switch between specs while in a battleground, regardless of the role in which they queued.

As well as choosing specific battlegrounds, players can opt to queue for a Bonus Battleground. Two types of Bonus Battleground currently exist: Random Battlegrounds and Call to Arms battlegrounds. Bonus Battlegrounds offer players additional honor and conquest point rewards for completing the chosen battleground. Bonus Honor gained by completing certain objectives is also increased in Call to Arms battlegrounds.

The bonus rewards for completing a Bonus Battleground are displayed in the Bonus Battlegrounds section of the PvP interface. Greater rewards are offered for winning the battleground, while a smaller amount is rewarded for completing the battleground with a loss or a draw. Each day, the first victory in a Bonus Battleground offers a larger reward; after this, the reward for a victory is reduced. See below for current rewards offered.

Random Battleground

Fairly self-descriptive, the Random Battleground option queues the player for a randomly selected battleground, appropriate to the player's level. However, through the PvP interface players can choose up to two battlegrounds to be excluded from this selection process - these battlegrounds will not be chosen for players using the Random Battleground option, allowing players to opt out of their least favourite battles.

Random Battlegrounds tend to offer shorter queues than queuing for specific battlegrounds. The Random Battleground option is also exclusive to all other battleground queues; players cannot queue for a Random Battleground while queuing for any other battleground.

Random Battlegrounds become available at level 20.

Queuing

Once a queue is joined, the 'searching' icon will be added to the minimap frame in the player's user interface. Mousing over it will display the time the player has been in each queue, and the expected/average waiting time. Players can leave a queue at any time by clicking on this icon and selecting the appropriate option. Players can only be queued for two specific battlegrounds, or one Random Battleground, at any time. Queuing for PvP zones will not affect any battleground queues.

Once a battleground comes up, a window will appear inviting the player to enter the battleground. The window also states the role the player is expected to perform in the battleground, and when queuing for a specific battleground, the battleground's name. Players have a one and a half minute window in which to choose to enter the battleground, after which the player will be removed from the queue. However, if the battleground finishes before the player chooses to accept the invitation, the invitation will be cancelled.

The majority of the time, players are invited to fresh battlegrounds which have not yet started. Invitations are usually sent approximately 2 minutes prior to the start of the battleground. However, if players leave a battleground mid-game, another player will be invited to take their place, leading the invited player (if they accept) to find themselves joining a game that is already in progress, or even near completion. Often this is due to players not wishing to remain in a battleground once they have determined that their team is going to lose; however, leaving in this manner can lead to other players' queuing time being wasted. It is possible for players to arrive in a battleground after the game itself has completed, presenting them only with a final scoreboard and no reward for their time spent queuing. Players may also on occasion be invited to a battleground which closes before the player has the chance to accept the invitation, causing the invitation to suddenly cancel.

Being invited to a battleground automatically suspends the player's place in any other battleground queues. Places will be reassumed once the player leaves the battleground, or declines the invitation. While players can queue for multiple battlegrounds simultaneously, they will therefore only ever be invited to join one battleground at a time, and will not be invited to join a battleground while already participating in one. It is also not possible to join a new battleground queue (or queue for PvP zones) while in a battleground.

Rewards

Players are rewarded for participating in battlegrounds mainly through [Honor Points]. Players receive these for honorable kills and for completing various objectives, as well as receiving a substantial portion at the completion of a battleground - especially if their side is victorious. Battlegrounds are the main source for honor points, leading many players to participate in them for the express purpose of obtaining PvP rewards. Players below max level also gain experience points for completing battleground objectives and actions which yield honor, but not for honorable kills.

Rated battlegrounds offer rewards in the form of [Conquest Points], but also in the chance to improve personal and team ratings. As well as being linked to a range of achievements, achieving sufficient battleground rating will grant players PvP titles.

Battlegrounds initiated as War Games offer no rewards, except perhaps the warm glow of a triumphant victory.

Regular battlegrounds

Players can earn [Honor Points] during battlegrounds through honorable kills - gained by defeating enemy players - and as bonus Honor, for completing various objectives. These include gathering resources in resource race battlegrounds, preventing the other team from capturing flags, and destroying enemy structures and NPCs.

Participation in battlegrounds can also earn reputation with the related faction, such as the Warsong Outriders or the Stormpike Guard. These reputations may count toward rewards such as titles.

Random Battlegrounds

In addition to the rewards granted in regular battlegrounds, Random Battlegrounds offer extra rewards for completing the battleground in the form of Strongboxes, containing a random selection of potential rewards including [Honor Points], [Conquest Points], consumables and even gear. Along with Ashran, these battlegrounds are generally the only means for players to gather Conquest Points outside of the far more organised arena and rated battlegrounds. This tends to make these some of the favourite options for those interested in gaining Honor or especially Conquest Points as quickly as possible.

Strongboxes

Players are be able to earn Strongboxes through completing Random Battlegrounds. Three ranks of Strongbox are available: Bronze, Silver and Gold. One or more of these will be awarded to each player at the end of the match, depending on the team's performance in the battleground. Winning the battleground will award a Gold Strongbox. Players are still able to earn Strongboxes if their team doesn't win the match. Strongboxes are awarded to every member on the team, as long as they are present at the end of the match. While players will receive some Honor Points directly, Strongboxes are intended to be the main reward for completing Random Battlegrounds.[2]

The Strongbox system aims to act as encouragement for players to participate strategically in each battleground, even if their team seems unlikely to win. Completing objectives such as resource gathering will still earn players extra rewards in the form of improved Strongboxes, even if their team loses.[3]

Battleground types

According to Lore:[4]

  • In capture the flag battlegrounds (Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks), Strongboxes are awarded based on how many times the losing team was able to capture the flag. One capture will award a Bronze Strongbox, and 2 captures will award a Silver Strongbox.
  • In Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest, Strongboxes are awarded to the losing team based on how many reinforcements the winning team had remaining when the match ended. If the winning team had 300 or fewer reinforcements left, the losing team will be awarded a Bronze Strongbox. If the winning team had 100 or fewer reinforcements left, the losing team will be awarded a Silver Strongbox.
  • In Strand of the Ancients, Strongboxes are awarded to the losing team based on how far they were able to progress before their turn ended. Destroying either the blue or green gate will award a Bronze Strongbox. Destroying the yellow gate will award a Silver Strongbox.
  • Winning any battleground will award a Gold Strongbox.

Achievements

Main article: Player vs. Player achievements

There is a plethora of achievements related to battlegrounds. Most are related to events within specific battlegrounds, while some reward players for their total participation. See Player vs. Player achievements for full listings.

Background

Battlegrounds are representations of massive struggles between the Alliance and the Horde, and sometimes have extensive back-stories involving well-known characters and historic conflicts. Battlegrounds may present the possibility for multiple interpretations, with each party holding its own perspective on the origin and nature of the conflict. For example, Alterac Valley involves the clash between the Frostwolf Clan, led by Drek'Thar, and the Stormpike Guard, led by Vanndar Stormpike. The Frostwolves claim rights to the valley as the home of their clan, accusing the dwarves of invading their territory, while the Stormpike Expedition claim to have been unfairly ambushed while searching for titan relics, calling the Frostwolves "savages trying to halt Ironforge's sovereign imperialistic imperative".

Tips

Each battleground presents players with its own rules, objectives and style of play. For tips and strategies for each, see the individual battleground pages. However, there are some simple tips that apply to most if not all battleground experiences.

Raid-wide buffs (such as [Power Word: Fortitude], [Blessing of Kings] or [Arcane Brilliance]) are an important part of battleground play. Through them the players of each team lend numerous benefits to each other. If you notice (especially during non-critical play) that a nearby ally lacks a buff that you can supply, you can reapply the buff, strengthening them and so slightly improving your team's chances. Raid-wide buffs will automatically apply themselves to all nearby allies when cast. Re-applying raid-wide buffs mid-combat may also be useful, if enemy players are dispelling them from your teammates. As well as strengthening your allies, these buffs act as a kind of protection against other effects being dispelled.

Similarly, do your best to provide your allies with other benefits available to you, such as summoning a Soulwell to grant Healthstones, or conjuring a Refreshment Table to provide allies with food and drink. Always take advantage of these options when they are available.

When resurrecting, make sure to apply all relevant buffs. Your allies will benefit too, and hopefully return the favour. However, in some situations (such as when attempting to prevent attackers from capturing one of your team's bases) it will be more important to simply jump straight into combat without stopping to apply buffs.

When players die in battlegrounds, they need to resurrect and get back into combat as quickly as possible. For that reason, it's best for players to swiftly apply all necessary buffs and then immediately rejoin the game. Players can apply most buffs while running, but not while mounted. You can therefore save a little time by running forward as you buff, then mounting as quickly as possible. Some buffs (such as [Shadowform]) can also be applied while mounted, and so should only be applied after mounting. Players can also gain a small edge by moving to just inside the Spirit Guide's maximum range before they are resurrected, moving them closer to vital targets. While the time saved by these techniques may seem minimal, when time is of the essence, such as when rushing to defend a flag, the few seconds saved in this way can make the difference between victory and defeat.

While the main substance of battlegrounds is certainly player vs player combat, allowing oneself to get caught up in simply attacking the opposing team is usually a bad idea. Try to keep your head, and don't allow yourself to get distracted by aggressive opponents or easy targets when there are more pressing objectives at hand. Many players will get caught up in random combat mid-field, while their team mates call desperately for help elsewhere; while it's hard not to let this happen at some point, try to remember to check in with the state of the game every so often, as well as keeping half an eye on the battleground chat at all times.

The direct cause of many a failed battleground, distraction can also be employed more directly to a team's benefit. For instance, a single player may choose to taunt a group of enemy players, using kiting and defensive abilities to lead them in a merry chase across the battlefield while elsewhere the player's teammates are able to achieve their objectives unopposed. It is often easy to tempt players with the promise of an easy kill, with certain classes capable of surviving - and keeping a group of attackers busy - for extended periods of time. While this is unlikely to earn you many honorable kills, it may give your team the chance it needs to seize victory. Conversely, watch out for vulnerable outriders or pesky attackers trying to lead you away, and always remember that just because a player seems to be alone doesn't mean they don't have several stealthed allies nearby, waiting to pounce. Remember your objectives, defend your bases and watch those flags!

The most important tip of all for battleground play is to communicate with your teammates. Report on important events; call for help; keep others informed. Players often fail to report incoming attacks, or call for help when they need it. While other players won't always respond to such information, even a small amount of coordination in a battleground can make a huge difference, and the outcome of a battleground is often determined by the amount of communication within each team. Even more importantly, it can make for a far more enjoyable experience, with a real sense of team effort.

Under development

Early plans for the improved battlegrounds scoreboard

Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

The following features are planned for the coming Warlords of Draenor expansion:

Scoreboard

The battleground scoreboard will be updated to better reflect player performance in each match. A new stat called Battleground Score will be introduced, taking into account objective-based gameplay engaged in by the player, including returning flags, interrupting objective captures, healing, doing damage, and more.

User interface

Planned for some time after 6.0,[5] the battleground map will display objective timers, complete with additional animations. This is intended to make it easier to identify the time until an objective is captured, for players on both sides.

Weather conditions

The developers are "working toward" adding more substantially varying weather conditions to battlegrounds, apparently similar to seasons with features such as snow storms.[6]

Coffee with the devs

In the Coffee with the devs: Mists of Pandaria PvP blog (2012-10-31), lead systems designer Ghostcrawler discussed some of the current "irons in the fire" for PvP, including several for battlegrounds. While many of these ideas have since been implemented, some remain on the drawing board:

Battleground and Arena Maps in Dungeon Journal – While veteran PvP players already know all of the Arena and Battleground maps, we think Dungeon Journal is a good way to introduce the basic objectives and map overlay so newer competitors don’t have to learn to swim while drowning.
Small Groups joining Rated Battlegrounds – We still don’t want to let solo players queue for Rated Battlegrounds because it would undermine the intent of coordinated group PvP, and then they really just become normal Battlegrounds that reward better gear. However, we’ve heard your concerns that getting even 10 players together to queue for a Rated Battleground can be challenging. Our idea is to let a group of 5 players queue together, which we would then match with another group of 5 players. We think this can still provide a relatively balanced and viable team. One of the crazier ideas on the table would be to convert some of our smaller Battlegrounds, such as Gilneas, to have a 5v5 option.
Rated Battleground Participation Rewards – If you’ve PvPed for any length of time, you’ve been in one of those matches where the final score is so close that victory was a breath away. When we do our jobs right and give you one of those really close matches, it’s sad to not get any reward for participating, so we want to give out some kind of small reward. The rewards will be based on the final score to discourage exploitation.[7]

However, while several ideas mentioned in the blog have since been implemented, Ghostcrawler states:

Please understand that you may not see some of these ideas in the next patch, or the patch after that, or any time soon. These are just ideas we’re bouncing around.[7]

More recently, in the Ask the Devs - 5.3 PTR Edition blog, the Systems Design Team stated the following in response to questions about new battlegrounds:

We may spend some time fixing older ones. We have a lot of data now about which Battlegrounds players are voting out of participating in, so that gives us some direction on which Battlegrounds we could potentially fix . . . or even cut.[8]

Design trivia

  • Resurrection in battlegrounds takes place in waves, with all nearby ghosts resurrected once the cycle completes. This is designed to give respawning players a greater chance of surviving graveyard camping, especially against groups of enemies.[9][10]
  • The time remaining until the next resurrection wave was intentionally made unavailable for addons to detect in order to prevent its use in graveyard camping.[11]

Canceled battlegrounds

Gurubashi Catacombs

A "deathmatch" style battleground, it was scrapped early in development but the concept eventually turned into Arena PvP.

Azshara Crater

A battleground similar to Alterac Valley that was scrapped due to issues with Alterac Valley's mechanics.

Patches and hotfixes

  • Hotfix (2016-10-28): "Fixed a bug where several items from Ashran, Tol Barad, and battlegrounds were not usable."
  • Hotfix (2016-07-27): "Players are no longer immune to all damage when positioned in a Battleground graveyard that belongs to the opposing faction."
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.0 (2015-06-23):
    • Capturing a point in the following Battlegrounds now takes 6 seconds (down from 7 seconds).
      • Arathi Basin
      • The Battle for Gilneas
      • Deepwind Gorge
      • Rated Eye of the Storm
    • Picking up a flag in Rated Eye of the Storm now takes 6 seconds (down from 7 seconds).
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.1.0 (2015-02-24): A new queuing system is in place to help improve matchmaking for Oceanic arena teams hosted on Australian game servers. This new system will attempt to match an Oceanic arena team against another Oceanic team before looking for opponents from the broader North American player pool. There's an expectation that queue times may be a slightly longer as a result but the increase should not be significant.
  • Hotfix (2015-01-08): Capturing a point in Arathi Basin, The Battle for Gilneas City, and the Rated Battlegrounds version for Eye of the Storm should now take 7 seconds (down from 8 seconds). This change restores time to capture a point back to what it was for these Battlegrounds in pre-6.0.2.
  • Hotfix (2014-11-13): Resolved an issue where item levels for Battlegrounds, Arenas, and Skirmishes brackets below level 100 were not scaling correctly.
  • Hotfix (2014-11-05): Characters should now receive a popup notifying them with the amount of bonus Honor that was awarded at the end of a Random Battleground match.
  • Hotfix (2014-11-03): Increased Honor gains for Arathi Basin, Deepwind Gorge, Eye of the Storm, and The Battle for Gilneas. Honor is now awarded for every 150 resources gathered (up from Honor being awarded for every 250 resources gathered).
  • Hotfix (2014-10-16): "Battlegrounds now award more Honor Points. The amount awarded will return to normal once the portal to Draenor opens. An explanation and details on this temporary change is available on the forums."
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14):
    • Players can no longer queue for roles that are not appropriate to at least one of their current specializations. If the player joins the battleground while in a specialization that is not appropriate to their designated role, they will be switched to their alternate specialization.
    • The battleground Call to Arms feature has been removed.
    • Players can now accept summons to queued battlegrounds and arenas while in combat or dead.
    • Random Battlegrounds no longer award bonus Honor and Conquest Points. They instead provide rewards in the form of Strongboxes.
    • Level requirements for existing battlegrounds have been adjusted to provide a wider variety of battlegrounds at lower levels.
    • Battleground brackets have been restructured to be every 10 levels instead of every 5 levels (10-19, 20-29, 30-39, etc.). Players will still have their effective character level increased to the maximum level for that bracket.
    • Random Battlegrounds are now available at level 20.
    • Flag carriers in Eye of the Storm and Deepwind Gorge are now subject to the Focused Assault and Brutal Assault debuff.
      • Focused Assault is a stacking debuff that increases damage taken by 10% per stack with a new stack being applied every 30 seconds after all flags have been picked up from their bases. Upon reaching 5 stacks, Focused Assault turns into Brutal Assault.
      • Brutal Assault is a stacking debuff that increases damage taken by 10% per stack and limits the character to normal running speed. A new stack is applied every 30 seconds with a limit of 15 stacks.
  • Hotfix (2014-05-13): " [Demonic Gateway] can no longer be cast during the Preparation phase in Arenas, Battlegrounds, and Rated Battlegrounds."
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10):
    • Conquest Point rewards for winning a random or call-to-arms Battleground match has been increased.
      • First win of the day now awards 150 Conquest Points (up from 100).
      • Subsequent wins now awards 75 Conquest Points (up from 50).
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.3.0 (2013-05-21):
    • Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas now have an ilevel cap. All gear will be scaled down to ilevel 496.
    • To facilitate a more balanced team composition, players now need to select a role when queuing up for a Battleground or Rated Battleground. Role selection should have no effect on queue times. The matchmaking system attempts to balance the number of healers on each team based on the ratio of healers and non-healers queued.
    • Down-voting a battleground no longer prevents players from queuing for it through the Call to Arms or Specific Battlegrounds options.
    • Picking up the Alliance or Horde flag while in a Rated Battleground now increases damage taken by 50% for characters in a tanking specialization, and increases damage taken by 20% for characters in a non-tanking specialization.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05):
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27):
    • Dungeon Finder, Raid Finder and Battleground groups now feature a new "Instance" chat channel (/i) separate from the Party chat. Using /p or /raid to switch channel will be redirected to the Instance channel, unless you were already in a pre-formed party or raid group when you queued. Using /bg will likewise be redirected to the Instance channel.
    • Rated Battlegrounds now share the same spell restrictions as Arenas.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.5 (2012-09-11): Players should no longer be placed into battlegrounds that they have downvoted while queueing for a Random battleground.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
    • Silvershard Mines and Temple of Kotmogu added.
    • Players can now choose to down-vote up to 2 battlegrounds through the PvP interface. These battlegrounds will not be selected for the player when using the Random Battleground feature. It is not possible to down-vote the current Call to Arms battleground, however.
    • The Call to Arms battleground system has been changed. There is now always a Call to Arms battleground available.
    • Entry for Random Battleground has been moved nearer to the top of the list, just below Wintergrasp and Tol Barad.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.3.2 (2012-01-31): You can now form same-faction raids with Real ID friends, allowing you to enter Raid Finder in groups larger than 5, run older normal or heroic raids, or participate in Battlegrounds.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29):
    • When queuing for multiple specific battlegrounds, players can now enter and complete battlegrounds without losing their place in any queues for other battlegrounds. As soon as the player is invited to join a battleground, any other battleground queues are suspended until the player has completed the battleground or declined the invitation. However, the player's place in any other queues is maintained, which often means that upon completing a battleground the player will immediately be invited to join any other battlegrounds they were queueing for. Previously, entering any battleground would remove the player from all battleground queues.
    • Random and Call to Arms battlegrounds which result in a tie game will now award bonus honor equal to the bonus honor for a loss.
    • Real ID parties that comprise players from different realms can now queue for battlegrounds together.
    • The countdown timer when announcing that a battleground/arena is about to begin now has a sound effect for the last 10 numbers.
    • The Eye of the Storm is now a rockier place, and is once again a part of the rated battleground rotation.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): A countdown timer has been added displaying the time until the battle begins. Also, players are now able to ride smaller flying mounts with legs (such as gryphons, wyverns and hippogryphs) in battlegrounds, although the mounts will be unable to fly.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23):
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3 (2010-11-16): When queuing for a battleground as a group and a player is unable to join the queue, an error message tells you specifically the name of that player.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12):
    • All Arena Points, Honor Points, Battleground Marks of Honor, [Stone Keeper's Shards], [Venture Coins], and [Spirit Shards] have been converted into new Honor Points.
    • Honor Points will be awarded instead of these currencies, with the exception of Arena Points.
    • Higher-tier Conquest Points will be awarded to players competing in each of the latest Arena or Rated Battleground seasons after the launch of Cataclysm.
    • Battlegrounds will no longer close when both sides are below the minimum player requirement.
    • Players level-capped due to not having the next expansion are now placed in the same battleground brackets as those who have experience turned off.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.3 (2010-03-23):
    • The amount of Honor awarded for an Honorable Kill has been increased by 100% for characters of all levels. Since all Honor is awarded based on a conversion rate from Honorable Kills, this change will effectively double the amount of Honor received from Honorable Kills, or for completing Battleground and Wintergrasp objectives; however, the amount of experience gained from completing Battleground objectives and the amount of Honor rewarded for completing each Wintergrasp quest remain unchanged.
    • Players can now be queued for battlegrounds and arenas at the same time.
    • The Random Battleground system has been added! Similar to the Random Dungeon system in the Dungeon Finder, players can now queue for a random Battleground.
      • The Random Battleground option can be found in the Battleground tab of the PvP frame and is only available for level 80 characters at this time.
      • If this option is selected, players may not queue for specific Battlegrounds and a random Battleground simultaneously.
      • Similar to the Random Dungeon system, players will not know for which Battleground they are chosen when selected from the queue until they zone into the Battleground.
      • The Random Battleground option will only allow a group size of 5 players to queue together.
      • Bonus rewards will be offered for choosing the Random Battleground option.
        • Winning a Battleground using the Random Battleground option for the first time in a day will award players with 30 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency and 25 Arena points.
        • Winning additional Battlegrounds using the Random Battleground option after the first random win will award players with 15 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
        • Losing a Battleground using the Random Battleground option will award players with 5 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
    • Daily Battleground quests have been removed in place of the Random Battleground option.
    • Battlegrounds will no longer award Marks of Honor.
      • Players with existing Marks of Honor can still turn them in to their respective faction's quest givers, including individual marks for those who may have more marks for one Battleground than another.
      • Items which previously required Marks of Honor will have their costs adjusted to remove these requirements.
    • Whenever a Battleground has the holiday bonus active, it will now be referred to as "Call to Arms" in the Battleground tab and Calendar. In addition, Call to Arms Battleground Honor rewards have been changed.
      • Choosing a specific Battleground with the Call to Arms bonus active will yield the exact same rewards as when choosing the Random Battleground option.
        • Winning a Call to Arms Battleground for the first time in a day will award players with 30 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency and 25 Arena points.
        • Additional Call to Arms Battleground victories after the first win for a player that day will award them with 15 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
        • Losing a Call to Arms Battleground will award players with 5 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
      • When using the Random Battleground option, players will not receive additional rewards if the Battleground chosen is under the Call to Arms bonuses. In addition, the rewards for the first victory of the day cannot be earned more than once, regardless of whether or not it is obtained from the Random Battleground system or the Call to Arms Battleground.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.2 (2010-02-01): All healing abilities (including items such as potions) will be decreased in effectiveness by 10% when in Battlegrounds, Arenas, or Wintergrasp.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08):
    • Battleground Experience: Battleground experience gained is now based on the level of the player gaining experience, rather than the highest possible player level in that Battleground.
    • All level 71-80 Battleground daily quests will now award 25 Arena points in addition to their current rewards.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22):
    • Players level 11 and higher will always see a daily Battleground quest, as the quest giver will only offer daily quests for a Battleground in which a player is eligible to participate according to level bracket (i.e. players levels 11-20 will always be offered a Warsong Gulch daily quest, while players levels 11-50 will be offered either an Arathi Basin or a Warsong Gulch daily quest, etc.).
    • Players may now only queue for no more than two Battlegrounds at a time.
    • The dialog box for entering a Battleground match has been changed to reflect the following options: "Enter Battle," "Leave Queue," and "Minimize."
    • The time a player has to enter a battle when selected has been reduced to 40 seconds when not already in a Battleground and 20 seconds when in a Battleground.
    • Players already in a Battleground can now choose "Enter Battle" for a new Battleground under any circumstance (i.e. while dead, in combat, falling, etc.).
    • A new Battleground will not launch until the maximum number of players on each side are in the queue (i.e. 40 players per side for Alterac Valley).
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04):
    • Isle of Conquest added.
    • Battleground experience has arrived!
      • Players will now be awarded experience for completing objectives and actions that yield honor in Battlegrounds (honorable kills not included).
      • Players who do not wish to gain experience through PvP can visit Behsten in Stormwind or Slahtz in Orgrimmar - both located near the Battlemasters in either city - and turn off all experience accumulation for the cost of 10g.
      • Disabling experience gains will prevent a player from gaining experience through any means available in the game.
      • Players with experience gains turned off who compete in Battlegrounds will face off only against other players with experience gains turned off.
      • Behsten and Slahtz can reinstate experience gains for players, for a 10g fee of course. Any experience that would've been accumulated if experience gains were enabled cannot be recovered.
    • Battlemasters in major cities affiliated with specific Battlegrounds have been replaced with a Battlemaster for each faction that will allow players to queue for any Battleground. Battlemasters for specific Battlegrounds will still be seen around the cities during corresponding Battleground holiday weekends.
    • When standing at a capture point that you control, you will gain a buff called [Honorable Defender]. This buff grants +50% honor gained from kills. This currently affects Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm and Isle of Conquest.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14):
    • Battleground quests "Concerted Efforts" (Alliance) and "For Great Honor" (Horde) now require an  [Alterac Valley Mark of Honor] in addition to the current requirements. These quests now award more honor upon completion.
    • Players will now be able to queue for battlegrounds from any location. Leaving a battleground will return you to the location from which you entered.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14):
    • Strand of the Ancients added.
    • Quests can be shared in raids but not battlegrounds.
    • Most buffs are now shared to the entire raid. This includes battlegrounds.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.4.3 (2008-07-15): The time available to accept the option to "Enter Battle" for a battleground has been reduced to 1 minute and 20 seconds (previously 2 minutes) in order to give each side more time to get a full complement of players before the battle begins.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.4.0 (2008-03-25):
    • If a player dies 50 times or more in a battleground, they will no longer be worth honor for the remainder of that battle.
    • When you first enter a battleground, messages about other players joining the battleground will be linked together for the first minute. You will see a message in AV like "28 players joined" rather than a line for each player that joined. After the first minute, it will work as it always has. In addition, all of the messages about other players leaving the battleground and getting marks of honor once the battleground is complete have been removed.
    • Battleground Rune Buffs: Speed, Restoration, and Berserking buffs received from battleground runes will no longer cause Stealth or Prowl to break.
    • Players can now turn in one of each battleground mark for an honor reward. The questgivers for this turn-in are the Horde Warbringer and the Alliance Brigadier General and can be found near the battlemasters in the capital cities.
    • Battleground matchmaking for premades has been tightened, so it is more likely that a premade will meet a group with similar gear. This can result in longer queue times for premades.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13):
    • Daily quests have been added targeting a random battleground for that day. Look for Alliance Brigadier Generals and Horde Warbringers near your faction's battlemasters in all major capitals.
    • Dropping the Flag in a battleground will now result in a debuff that will not allow you to pick up the flag again for 3 seconds.
    • Druids who are shapeshifted when they receive the Restoration buff from battlegrounds will now correctly regenerate mana.
    • Players will now be able to cast spells for free in the Battleground before it begins.
    • Players will now be able to cast spells for free for a few seconds after being resurrected by a Spirit Guide in the Battleground.
    • Portal spells to capital cities can no longer be cast in battlegrounds.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.2.0 (2007-09-25): A new feature for reporting players as being AFK in battlegrounds by right clicking has been added. When enough reports are registered, a 60 second debuff will begin to count down. Once the timer is up a new debuff will appear that will prevent the player from gaining any honor while it is on. This debuff can be negated as soon as the player engages in PvP combat.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22):
    • The new battleground matchmaking system is now implemented and active. This system allows the battleground to select teams of similar equipment quality and organizational level to battle each other. For now, the system will be very forgiving about creating matchups in order to keep queue times low. However, the parameters will be adjusted as necessary when more organized teams become active in the battlegrounds.
    • Raid and Battleground chat options have been added to the chat button that is attached to the chat log.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.0.7 (2007-02-13): PVP flags and graveyard nodes can no longer be captured through collision.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09):
    • Eye of the Storm added.
    • Added a sorting function so that the battleground and scoreboard can be sorted by any of the categories.
    • The 1-minute 'gong' reminder has been reinserted in battleground queues.
    • In the Battleground Stat screen, ranks are no longer displayed. Instead, icons representing the class of the character are now shown.
    • Unused Battleground tokens can now be used to purchase Level 61 Healing and Mana potions. 2 Marks per potion.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): Marks of Honor earned from battlegrounds are no longer turned in for reputation or honor. They are now used in addition to honor points in order to purchase rewards.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22):
    • For the first time in the history of World of Warcraft, you will be able to face off against players from other realms in the Battlegrounds. PvP Battlegrounds link Alterac Valley, Warsong Gulch, and Arathi Basin so that players from several realms will be combined into one huge matchmaking pool. Replenish your mana, sharpen your blades, and get ready for some brand-new challengers!
    • In order to whisper a player from another server in your battleground you must append "-Servername" to the end of their name. These whispers will not show up on your screen, but will show up on theirs.
    • Conjured items are the only type of items that can be traded to players from another server (anything else will give an error message).
    • When you join a battleground, you are automatically added to a raid group. You MAY NOT leave that group. To speak in this raid, use /bg instead of /ra.
    • Leadership of the battleground raid is granted to whomever has the highest PvP rank when the raid is formed (approximately 1 minute before the battleground starts).
    • You may be in a battleground group and a regular group at once, but the battleground group will be the one you see in the party frame as well as the raid tab.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.11.0 (2006-06-20):
    • Release timers have been be removed from instances. This includes dungeons, battlegrounds, and raid instances.
    • Players can no longer queue up other players with the deserter debuff for a battleground by forming a raid and having the leader in a different subgroup, and joining as a group.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.9.0 (2006-01-03):
    • Players will be able to enter multiple battleground queues. No longer must you make the hard decision of which queue to join -- when queued for all three, you can join the first one available or hold out for that particular battleground which you've really got your heart set on. Should a queue open while you are already in a battleground, you may switch to the new battle or remain in the current one.
    • When a player leaves a battleground before it concludes, they will be unable to re-enter any battleground queue for 15 minutes.
    • Reputation rewards for the PvP Battlegrounds have been adjusted:
      • Superior Health Draughts, Superior Mana Draughts, and Battleground-specific bandages are now available uniformly at Friendly reputation.
      • Major Health Draughts and Major Mana Draughts are now available uniformly at Honored reputation.
      • Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin now offer Battleground-specific rations at Friendly reputation.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.8.4 (2005-12-5): Battles must now last at least ten minutes after the start of the battle in order for the losing team to receive a Mark of Honor.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Upon completion of a Battleground, the winning side will be awarded three Marks of Honor while the losing side will be awarded one Mark of Honor.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22):
    • Arathi Basin added.
    • In the Battlegrounds, you will now automatically be resurrected by Spirit Healers unless you choose to decline.
    • Characters that use the Battlemaster to enter a Battleground will now port back to that Battlemaster when they leave the Battleground for any reason.
    • Fixed range check for removing insignia from players in Battlegrounds.
    • Entering a battleground now resets the timer for the AFK flag. This should prevent players being kicked by the AFK timer moments after they enter the Battleground instance.
    • Using the /who command while in a Battleground instance will now only display players in your instance.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Battleground scoreboards now display the time elapsed in a battleground.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch added.

References

  1. ^ Brian Holinka on Twitter (2014-11-01). - Also tested and confirmed from non-healer to healer.
  2. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/14882558570?page=5#82
  3. ^ Warlords of Draenor: Equipping for Battle. Blizzard Entertainment (2014-04-29).
  4. ^ Template:Cite web
  5. ^ Brian Holinka on Twitter (2014-06-25).
  6. ^ Brian Holinka on Twitter (2014-09-05).
  7. ^ a b Coffee with the devs: Mists of Pandaria PvP
  8. ^ Ask the Devs - 5.3 PTR Edition
  9. ^ Brian Holinka 2014-05-06. Brian Holinka on Twitter.
  10. ^ Brian Holinka 2014-05-06. Brian Holinka on Twitter.
  11. ^ Brian Holinka 2014-05-06. Brian Holinka on Twitter.

External links