The later you are into the season, they more likely geared PvPers are queuing up to ruin your day in order to quench their boredom with the lack of new content.
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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.
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.
Battlegrounds continue until either the amount of time allotted for the battle elapses, or one team achieves the battleground's objective see below.
Region Wide Battlegroup Matchmaking Update
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. 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. 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.
In addition to specific objectives see below , battlegrounds offer several elements not seen in other forms of PvP.
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.
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.
Battleground - Wowpedia - Your wiki guide to the World of Warcraft
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. 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. 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 ]. Also increases the player's size, and grants a flaming visual effect to the player's hands. This power-up resembles a screaming skull. Restores health and mana.
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. 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. 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.
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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. 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. 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. 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. Players entering battlegrounds are automatically grouped with other players of similar levels see "Brackets" , below , with lower-level players placed within an appropriate 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. 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. 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 favor 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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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.