What’s your most and least favourite expansion?

So waking up to a new post on WoWInsider where it asks: What’s your favorite expansion and what do you like most about it? What’s your least favorite expansion and why? Has an expansion made you leave and not come back until the next one?

I’m going to go through the whole history, just for kicks.

piff

Vanilla was a glorious time when everything was new. At first, my friend did not explain the differences between a PVP and a PVE server to me, I just joined him on Horde as a Troll Hunter called Piffleflop. She didn’t get past 21, in part because of the ganking in Stonetalon, and also said friend had moved back to Alliance on another server. PVE thankfully. I don’t like people interrupting my fishing. One of the first things I did as a little human Mage (who is now a blood elf on a different server) was walk to Gadgetzen. Up to Ironforge, onto Menethil, take a boat to Auberdine, and walk down the entire map to Feralas, across to Thousand Needles and then down to Tanaris. I met my guild in Feralas when someone asked in General why was a level 8 there. I loved the world events, like the Scourge invasion, even though I didn’t really do raids (think I did a few, MC and Blackwing Lair). I would spend hours grinding the undead near Chillwind Camp. Still have my Argent Dawn Commission too! I really felt like I was helping something, even if they’d re-spawn, even if I wasn’t doing the big ol’ raids. I wanted the Magisters Set most of all, but alas, did not get many pieces >< And as is the case with hindsight, now we have transmog, I regret not going back to get it, but hey. Hindsight’s a bitch.

leiha

BC  was pretty, oh so pretty! But I never got the sense of a continuous storyline. I changed mains to Balance Druid (which I changed to Resto at 70) and Warlock (demonologist – race-changed to Worgen now) and was on a different server. I did some early raiding, Karazhan I did some of it on both (I remember a Holy Paladin being given Int leather that I’d asked to roll on >< ), but mostly the Heroic Dungeons. I loved Black Morass and the Caverns of Time, when I could visit Southshore, where the NPCs I knew and loved were little. There was nothing in particular I did around here, but I got a taste for the alt lifestyle. I unsubscribed though before the end of BC because I got into university.

Skip forward to the end of my bachelors degree when Cata comes out (my dear friend purchased it for me along with Wrath). Wrath, I completely hated everything about it. It wasn’t epic, it wasn’t pretty, the clothes were awful and the people in LFD rude (for the most part). It may have been that I hated Wrath because I got two expansions at once, and I was dying to get to the new content, I’ll allow that. My druid and priest were the chosen ones at first. Cataclysm was great (controversy!) for me because it had a continuous storyline throughout the new zones. I knew what had to be done and why I was doing it, which I hadn’t experienced for a while. But then leveling and going through heroic dungeons got to me, I got bored and turned to the dark side.

nys

This is my blood elf hunter, as she looks now at 90. I got so bored with Cata (I think I had three or so at max level on Alliance), that I went and PvPed for almost the whole expansion. Just random battlegrounds and Tol Barad, I loved Tol Barad! I got four hordies up to 85 (priest, mage and pally as well).

Nearing the end of Cata, I was convinced to go back to the Alliance and join a mate’s guild, in which I made lovely friends who we still hang together every weekend! We were all waiting for MOP, and doing the Theramore scenario as soon as it came out. I had a beta key to MOP because of a deal they had on at the time. Got a mage to 90 there. It was so pretty!

ketz

In MOP, I changed again to my Shaman, who I had to level up quite a ways since she wasn’t already at 85. The lands were lovely, the quests … kinda had some story to them, but I didn’t care much about it – bloody Anduin running off everywhere! I already hated Dread Wastes from the beta, and it is dull and boring and I hate those damn Klaxxi ><  Don’t get me started on the awful Golden Lotus grind. So many bloody dailies, and I hated them all except the farm and fishing. The dungeons got old quick, but I actually started to raid, both LFR and I tried a few times at Normal, but it was rather boring. There’s only so many times you can tolerate wiping on Garalon before it becomes un-fun. Raiding just isn’t my thing.

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The more exciting parts came with following the stories inside the raids and from 5.3 onwards. Not the least of which was more alt-friendly things, like the commissions. From here I changed back to my good ol Warlock, who got a race change. The Barrens quests (still grindy, but at least they weren’t dailies!) and the Timeless Isle both were really exciting and I managed to gear up all the alts I don’t play so much very quickly (pretty much just use the pally for old raids – took me two level 85+ paladins to realise I’m not very good at melee).

And that’s where we are up to now! I have 8 full level 90s, 5 over ilvl 500 and SoO worthy (my friends got mad as hell when my poor abandoned horde hunter got five burdens of eternity! Overall I’ve gotten 18, but only two on my main. The RNG gods hate me and love my alts!).

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Battleground Basics for Beginners

It seems to me that as WoW subs change so much, it’s important to go over the basics. Everyone will have been in a random BG where someone wants to go off on their own and take the wrong graveyard. I thought I’d type up a bit of an overview about the different kinds in WoW, the types of strategies and a look at how both sides tend to play.

So if you are a new player, new to PvP, and whether leveling or max level doing random bgs, this is for you! While some of these things are simple or obvious, other suggestions below can depend on what strategy your team has chosen, so listen out for instructions if anyone gives them and be willing to change. There are different ways to win some BGs, or to delay the enemies win.

Also, I haven’t done as much Temple or Silvershard, but if you have suggestions for them or any of the BGs, just leave a comment and I’ll update it!

~

General

  • If in a battleground with siege weapons, always target them first.
  • In every battleground, focus healers. To identify them quickly, use an addon like Healers Have to Die. It can be difficult with a group, no one is psychic to who is casting what and if the enemies trinket or racials are ready – CC’s, traps will be broken frequently. Use silencers and stuns solely on healers if they are there.
  • With AV/IOC, save all the big (5+minutes) cooldowns for the end boss. Knowing when to use them in a battleground without a boss is quite tricky. Don’t waste cooldowns on a single player.
  • Use the map to your advantage. Learn the choke points and advantageous positions.
  • While it’s always good to have healers, you won’t necessarily win or lose based on how many healers the other team has. Silvershard Mines and Temple of Kotmogu, you’ll really feel the difference, but in the others there is usually enough space that you can out-strategise the other team.
  • Warning for engineers: Nitro boots use makes you drop the flag!
  • Always report incoming enemies (e.g INC 3 LM – 3 incoming enemies at Lumber Mill). Don’t be fooled by someone on their own – they could have stealthers nearby as support.
  • Don’t be a jerk and say “we’ll lose” before the battle starts. Also don’t be a jerk and say “Alliance/Horde always loses” because both sides claim they always lose ALL THE TIME. Super annoying ><

Warsong Gulch (similar to Twin Peaks, although WSG is a smaller map and different layout)

Basic strategy: Capture the enemies flag three times, or more times than your enemy before the time runs out

Common stuff-up: Fighting mid with no one defending/attacking the flag or the flag carrier (FC)

  • Druids are great for flag carriers (all the speed!), warriors and other tanks of course, but anyone else will do in a pinch. If there alone, just take it! If you have the opportunity, give the flag to someone better suited. Never drop the flag if there are enemies around or if the person you want to give it to hasn’t reached you. It takes less than a second for the enemy to take it back.
  • Use movement slowing spells/attacks on the FC and keep those debuffs up as much as possible
  • The best place for the FC is the top of your own base. It’s easy to fall to the centre of the base and capture it when your own flag is returned and obstacles can cause LOS (loss of sight) easily.
  • If you have only one healer, they should be with the FC at all times. Also have at least one other DPS defending.
  • After the flags have first been taken at the start of a game, people will disperse and there won’t be the full on attack by the whole enemy team (usually). You can keep a few stealthies protecting the flag.
  • If you have the flag, remember about Sprint/Dash etc. Use it as much as possible while traveling across the map.
  • Holding mid can be useful, but the whole team cannot be doing it. Someone (with some backup and especially some heals) must be going to take the flag.

Arathi Basin

Basic strategy: Take at least 3 bases to win resource points.

Common stuff-up: Splitting attack groups when both are heavily defended.

  • Alliance will almost always go Stables and Lumber Mill (and usually Mines)
  • Horde will always go Farm, Blacksmith and usually attempt a push at Lumber Mill too.
  • Lumber Mill has a distinct advantage, high sight over the whole map, and being able to slow fall/levitate/glider off the cliff to other bases. Few people look up when defending. But if you have LM, be careful. Thunderstorm and Typhoon will most likely kill you (damn stealthed druids). Don’t stand too close to the edge.
  • A good way to split their defense is send a rogue/s to a base to sap people. They’ll get more people to come. Then attack the other base.
  • Stealthies are also great cappers and defenders. Send stealth to scout enemy movements. Pretend one of your bases is weak with stealthed and lure in the enemy one by one.
  • If there is a force oncoming to a base, do NOT leave the flag. Stand your ground, AOE the flag with ring of frost, traps etc. Never, ever, ever leave to fight on the road. Ranged can keep them away, but stick to that flag.
  • Always have a minimum of three defending a base.

Alterac Valley

Basic strategy: Take enemy towers, defend your own, kill their boss

Common stuff-up: No re-cappers, no defense, people not the tank pulling the boss and dying (repeatedly)

  • Alliance will almost always send half of their force to kill Galv (the Horde halfway boss) and half to the end to cap the Frostwolf Relief Hut Graveyard
  • Horde: Almost always have all their group stop at Balinda (the Alliance halfway boss)
  • Horde: Do not take Snowfall Graveyard. Doing this will force Alliance to spawn at their base ahead of you, and defend. Alliance: Similar with Frostwolf Graveyard, don’t take it before you take the Relief Hut Graveyard.
  • Either send stealth to the end to cap the last graveyard and towers (usually on Alliance, pallys or DKS with the mounted speed buff head straight to Frostwolf), or keep them at your own base to recap towers
  • Always keep a minimum of 3 defending a tower.
  • You can slow the enemy by defending your side’s halfway boss. You will need at least 5-10 people, including healers. For some reason, Horde are less likely to do this. In particular, DKs will be useful here. Grip all the enemies!
  • One method which has been successful, but needs everyone to abide by, is the whole group staying at your own base and defending. This rarely happens, but both Frostwolf and Dun Baldar have good choke points to eliminate the enemy in droves.
  • Be very careful in the enemy boss room – do NOT pull the boss. Stay to the edges. Even an accidental pull can delay the win and turn it into a loss. Only the tank should be pulling the boss, and should be calling out before they pull.

Eye of the Storm

Basic Strategy: Hold bases and capture the flag to reach 1600 points.

Common stuff-up: Most people go flag, and by doing so, lose the bases. The flag is pointless with no bases to take it to!

  • The best strategy is either to hold 3 bases, or hold 2 and capture the flag. This will often depend on the other side and how smart they are. Of course, holding all 4 bases is a very quick win, but this so very rarely happens.
  • The best people to go mid will be those with knockbacks – ele shamans, or depending on glyphs and talents, hunters and druids. These guys also have a speed increase to race the flag to a base.
  • Again, stealthers can steal a base easily. You cannot takeover a base while in stealth, but they won’t see you coming until it’s too late (especially if there is no one defending)
  • If your side is fighting for control of a base while you hold the flag, don’t cap while only having one base – you get more points for capture the more bases you have, although it can be fine if very close to the end of game.
  • Hold the flag without capping also if your team does not have control of the flag spawn point. You’ll just be giving the next cap to the other side.
  • Don’t be drawn off a base. Hold position on it and let the enemy come to you, because they can and DO run through your team or come around the back to establish position. If there is a big fight, whoever has most on the base will be winning the base.

Strand of the Ancients

Basic strategy: Use demos and bombs to eliminate gates to get through to the end temple and touch the relic.

Common stuff-up: Someone attacking taking the middle graveyard, people not taking demos

  • Use ports often! If a gate goes down, immediately run up to the portal to get to the next gate. If red or purple is being attacked, send people up straight to yellow. I can’t count how many BGs have been lost due to people still fighting on the beach when the enemy is attacking the relic door.
  • Use cooldowns early. If there are way too many enemies around (e.g. they all rush one gate), save them till they are attacking the yellow gate
  • Focus demos first, healers second
  • Trap/CC other attackers/defenders
  • Use stealth smartly. Rogues/Druids are brilliant at stealth bombing, particularly at the final door to the relic. That said, if defending, always keep at least 3 at the back door when the yellow gate is broken to stop them. Use AoE!
  • Defend the lower graveyards – this stops access to more demos.
  • If attacking, never take the middle graveyard. This will force the enemy to resurrect ahead of you.
  • Ideally, try to stack demos when headed for the final door and facing resistance.

Isle of Conquest

Basic strategy:  Destroy the enemy’s holds gates and kill their end boss, or eliminate all their reinforcements

Common stuff-up: Not defending siege weapons or attacking the enemies siege weapons, not focusing on ONE GATE

  • Alliance: Always go Docks
  • Horde: Always go Workshop, and usually some to Hangar too.
  • For Horde, group up, stealth if can and particularly use the cloak of shadows, and focus down those glaives. Alliance depends on them completely. Don’t bother attacking anything or anyone else but those glaives.
  • For Alliance, you can slow down the Horde attack – the best way is by sending 10 or so people (including healers) to the Workshop. Put AOEs around the flag. You will all die, but it will give you an advantage since Horde barely ever head to Docks, and since the entire Alliance force is there, they’ll be down in seconds.
  • The hangar can go either way, but usually it goes to Horde. Rather than people sitting around and doing nothing at the enemy base, fill those cannons or have people dropping into the enemy base and use bombs. Bombing is hard since the enemy will be popping in and resurrecting there, so either do it as a force or only send in stealth.

Battle for Gilneas

Basic strategy: Collect the most resource points by capturing and holding at least two bases for the majority of the time

Common stuff-up: Not defending bases.

  • Alliance: Almost always go Lighthouse and Waterworks
  • Horde: Almost always go Mines and Waterworks
  • Always have at least 3 defending
  • This BG is so small that it can change in a second. Stealth is best used for scouting enemy bases if you only have one. Don’t only hit one – they will often send reinforcements to that area, but the other one may have less people, or they may defend one, then send the bulk to the other after your attack, so if you go Mines, Waterworks, Mines, Waterworks, they will see the pattern.
  • As with every BG, stealth is an advantage. Send a few in (resto druids prowling in cat = awesome) and surprise attack!
  • Shake it up – take the base closest to you, and then the base closest to the enemy base. You can keep them pinned down there, but be careful not to leave the flag/s alone!

Silvershard Mines

Basic strategy: Collect the most resource points by escorting mine carts to their capture points

Common stuff-up: Focusing the whole team on one cart and not escorting carts the full way

  • Defense at mid is important here, you want to have force in the middle where both Horde and Alliance spawn and where all three carts come from
  • Have at least 2-3 escorting carts the whole way
  • Stealthies can head to the end and take over an unescorted cart easily, or change the tracks to take a longer path.

Temple of Kotmogu

Basic strategy: Hold the orbs the longest amount of time to collect the most points.

Common stuff-up: Not establishing control in the mid.

  • It is so easy to lose this, particularly without healers or with less than the other side, and this is completely out of the control of random BG player.
  • You must control the mid – this is where your orb holders will get the most amount of points
  • The whole team must be in mid unless returning from a graveyard – pick up orbs if needed, then return to mid.

Achievements or GTFO!

hordeFor over two years, I have joined every group I could talking about raiding another city and killing the leaders. Horde or Alliance, whatever I’m on, I’ll do it! But most don’t get the numbers, fall apart before they get there, or even in the last group I was in a few weeks back, they had invited people under level … 60. Yup. He got toasted just in front of Durotar.

But last night was different! A raid was put together by a PvP guild on the server, they were NOT dumb enough to sit at the entrance to Orgrimmar, and one even set up a trial account to spy on Horde chat. Horde were enthusiastic about protecting their Warchief, but alas, could not save him. They annihilated us after. At Baine, there were a few stragglers that tried hitting us. At Sylvanas, about 5 or so just watched. At Lor’themar, one dude showed up and just sat there. So clearly no one gives a crap about the Blood Elves.

I would be all dramatic that I felt conflicted at killing my precious Banshee Queen, but actually I was looking forward to her the most!

I do wonder what achievements actually do. Of course, we are challenged by them and thus spend more time on the game doing things we wouldn’t usually do (Explorer – totally boring!). Xbox even sweetens the deal by giving you prizes. In WoW, it’s mounts, pets or titles. There are more side-games now to WoW with pet battles and challenge mode dungeons. We aren’t allowed to be bored! For the Sims, there is no reward. You get an achievement for sending your Sim to the shops or buying a book.

Some achievements in WoW are considered worthless or lesser. Every man and his Worgen has the Jenkins! title. Doing achievements on exploration or getting a haircut is not valued, although the overall achievement score is used particularly in forum posts to gauge whether a player is actually worthy of an opinion (a little bit bulls if you ask me!).

While my next alt will bring me up to 5 at max level, worthy of 100 points, I’m much more looking forward to the below achievement, only worth 90, but with a nice title that I can use to strike fear into the hearts of my enemies!

nextcheev