Friday, June 26, 2020

Charge of the Ram Brigade

WoW Classic's Alterac Valley has been heavily dominated by Horde wins ever since the Alliance was banned from creating premade AV teams. Even then, the map by default favored the Horde so it would take a superior game from the Alliance --combined with poor luck on the Horde side-- to eek out an Alliance victory.

That being said, in all of my AV runs in Classic I'd never seen Ivus the Forest Lord summoned or the Ram Riders charging into the fight.

I got to see both the other night.

I wasn't around to summon Ivus, as I was defending Stormpike Graveyard at the time, but I was around to help get the ram riders ready.

Here's a few pics for those who have never seen it before:

After the last ram turn-in, they appeared.

All that was missing was the theme from
the movie Patton. (Or Rocky, I suppose.)

Back when the commander led
troops into battle.

Cardwyn followed along
as they charged through Dun Baldar...

...across the bridge...

...into the ravine...

...and toward the Field of Strife.
The Horde never knew what hit them.

We ended up losing this match as it turned into a DPS race at the end and we didn't have enough people south to kill Drek before Vann went down. But still, it was an inspiring sight.

EtA: And when I meant the theme from Patton, I meant the march:


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  2. Hearing about the AV map supposedly favouring the Horde is very weird considering its Alliance bias has been a meme for 15 years. What changed in Classic?

    1. The version in Classic is a bit different than the original version, which did favor the Alliance.

      The Horde's starting area is not at the end of the map like the Alliance's is, so instead of meeting at the Field of Strife the two teams meet instead at Stonehearth Graveyard. If the Horde pushes consistently enough, they will eventually take SHGY and win control of the chokepoint leading south.

      There was also the back door leading up from the harpy area right into Dun Baldar's Southern tower, which the Horde did not have as well. That would allow a determined Horde flanking group to bypass the entire run up through Stormpike Graveyard and instead wreak havoc. I've been in matches where you get about 4 Horde there, including a Shaman and a Warlock, and you need about 6-8 Alliance to eject them. (This has since been patched out to prevent the Alliance from getting up into DB this past week, forcing the Horde into the defensive position that was intended by the map designers.)

      One final piece is the (in)ability of the Alliance to take Iceblood Graveyard. When players respawn in graveyards, they respawn 10 at a time. When players respawn at their cave, it's 20 at a time. Guess what's the closest graveyard to IBGY for the Horde? It's the Horde starting cave. Therefore, if you wipe the Horde at IBGY, almost the entire group respawns and charges back into battle. If you wipe Alliance at SHGY (or SPGY), only 10 can respawn before the Horde capture it. That has a big impact on the ability to push south into Horde territory.

      I also assume that the insane Horde wait times have an impact on their desire to win AV, whereas a decent portion of the Alliance has become resigned to their fate and simply use the really short queues to just to rep farming.

      There's also the banning of premades on the Alliance side, as they were initially mopping up the battlefield in Classic, but I keep hearing from Horde people about how the bots on their side are really ruining things, but it was only in the past week or two --and especially since the back door fix-- that I've seen Alliance really have a chance at winning in AV on a regular basis.

    2. Oh, and there's the tower designs as well. (Forgot about this.) The Horde Commander is inside, next to the flag, while the Alliance Commander is frequently roaming around outside. A couple of stealthies can get into an Alliance tower, kill one or two archers, and then capture the tower, all without killing the Alliance commander. The Alliance pretty much have to kill the Horde commander to have a shot at capturing the tower.

    3. I've clearly not been on attack often enough because I didn't know that about Tower Commanders. What about the backdoor into Frostwolf Village though, that you can get in by simply jumping over the fence? Did that not come in until later?

    4. You mean the way you can shimmy outside the tower to get into the central part of the Frostwolf village? That's still there, but you're already deep into the Frostwolf Village at that point.

      As for the backdoor, it might still be there, but I've discovered that the Frostwolf Commander assigned to the Relief Hut has a very broad aggro radius, so if it's the same area I'm thinking of he almost immediately aggros on you, bringing the rest of the Relief Hut defense to bear on you.

      And for the record, he aggros on you even if you're stealthed in much the same way the dogs in BRD do. Don't ask me how I know this.