Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Blast from the (Infamous) Past

I periodically make a trip back to Ravenholdt, on the border between Alterac and Hillsbrad, because that's the one place I wanted to see as a Rogue in Classic. When you're an Alliance Rogue in the low L20s and you get that quest to "come visit" Ravenholdt, you have to traverse not only the Wetlands but Arathi Highlands, where the wandering enemies can be over 10 levels higher than you.* As a Rogue that means that you pretty much go through all of Arathi stealthed as much as is prudent, but even then I was chased by one of those damn buzzards for what felt like an eternity.

But once you're high enough level --and you've already gotten the Southshore flightpoint-- Az made her base at Hillsbrad as it was the closest a low-mid L30s Alliance toon would get to the Scarlet Monastery without having to run through the Western Plaguelands.** I spent the Halloween season hanging around in Southshore, watching the occasional Horde incursion to throw rotten eggs around the town.

Once I moved on from Scarlet Monastery, Az left Southshore to entrench herself at Theramore instead. But me being me, I'd still occasionally send Az back just to wander around. Seeing Hillsbrad as it once was warms the heart.

Anyway, the other day I was visiting Ravenholdt and Alterac when I got into group for Uldum. I figured that a quick jaunt down to Southshore and catching a flight to Thelsamar was faster than hearthing to Theramore and catching a ship to Menethil Harbor, so I stopped bashing ogres in Alterac and ran towards Southshore. I quickly passed the Tarren Mill spur on the road from Alterac, where a Horde toon gave me a wide berth even though I wasn't marked for PvP.

There I ran --almost literally-- into a group of L60 Alliance that were coming back to Southshore after a successful foray into raising hell in Tarren Mill. They were bouncing around, taking their time, and one of them waved at me as I caught up to them.*** Even though I started playing WoW on a PvP server, it still felt very weird being surrounded by allies with green colored names. Perhaps because this was Hillsbrad and I was once a Horde lowbie getting ganked by those evil Alliance, I suddenly got the creeps.

I turned off the main road toward Southshore, and everything exploded around me.

Figures with skulled yellow nametags were everywhere, swarming all over the Alliance group. At that point I was eternally grateful that none of the Alliance PvP group had decided to buff me or something, as it would have made me a sitting duck.

I had one Swiftness Potion left in my packs, and I used it to quickly get the hell out of there and reach the Flight Master before the Horde could gank her. Good thing, too, as when I flew away I turned around to see the much larger Horde retaliation group right on my heels, having dispatched the Alliance group.

Okay, I should have had absolutely nothing to fear, as I wasn't marked PvP. However, I know from experience that accidents happen and I could quite easily have been buffed by a PvP late comer or someone not part of the Tarren Mill raid. I also have a lot of dark memories of being ganked in Tarren Mill, to the point where I stopped calling it "ganking" and started calling it "being Tarren Milled". Since this was open world PvP, I wasn't prepared for it in the same way that I'm prepared for a battleground.

So when I read online in places (Reddit is the loudest party here) about how the heavy Horde skew on PvP servers is making Alliance players leave in droves, yeah, I can appreciate where they're coming from. Yes, these players should have known this was coming when the Honor system dropped, but still it can be quite a shock to the system. And it makes me glad I rolled on a PvE server.

But this has also hardened my resolve. Bring on Alterac Valley; I'm ready.

*And that's not counting the elites that wander the zone --and the road-- on a regular basis.

**Not recommended, although some plate wearers in my various SM groups died only once, and that was at the armed border crossing from the Western Plaguelands into Tirisfal Glades.

***The people who I first grouped with those first few weeks of Classic had long since passed me to max level, and it was entirely possible one of them recognized me. However, I think that it was more that they'd had their fun and were enjoying the chaos they'd wrought.

EtA: Corrected some grammar.


  1. Yeah, there was a lot of PVP activity around Southshore which always creeps me out. I think the only time I PVPed on purpose was when I got annoyed about being continually challenged by a silly person while on my Horde Warlock. Afterwards I felt guilty as I thought what if it was a little kid, lol.

    1. I've been in that situation before. One notable time was when I was on Quintalan right after I had just dinged L80 for the first time. I'd caught the zeppelin from The Undercity to Org, and the entire way this L10 toon kept trying to duel me. I ignored him, but I wanted so badly to crush him like a grape. Especially after the 5th time he requested a duel.

  2. I'm pretty sure that being buffed or healed by a PvP-flagged person doesn't flag you too, only the other way round (you buffing/healing the flagged person).

    1. At the end of the Missing Diplomat questline, one of the Archmages that hangs out in Theramore buffs you, which caused Az to turn green. Were it not for that, I'd be inclined to agree with you.

    2. I can finally say definitively what happened here in Theramore, as I finished this questline for Cardwyn.

      It's not the buffing itself that turns you green, but when you attack the traitor out in the swamp that you turn green.

      That being said, when Cardwyn got into an SM run she buffed a fellow Alliance who was green and got turned green as well. I wasn't paying attention and was loitering outside the entrance to the Graveyard and a bunch of Horde showed up and attacked me. I got wiped before I realized I had PvP turned on. And in true Horde fashion, the Shamans there put down a ton of totems outside the Graveyard entrance so I'd be zapped as soon as I completed my corpse run. Luckily for me, I managed to resist at least one of their totems and was able to jump straight into the instance. (After the PvP flag expired, I ran back outside and flipped them off.)

    3. So the net result is that I probably need not have worried, but you couldn't have told me that in the middle of the firefight.