Posts Tagged ‘PvP’

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Beta Cataclysm: A Look at Tol Barad [Updated]

August 14, 2010

The Addition of Tol Barad…

The latest Beta Patch has brought us the islands of Tol Barad.  What is Tol Barad you ask?  To put it simply, it is Cataclysm’s cross between Wintergrasp and Sunwell Island.  It offers two separate experiences, an Open style Player vs Player interactive zone with set objectives and a Daily Quest Hub when your faction controls the PvP zone.  Both of which are in extremely early phases.  You are only able to test the Pseudo-Wintergrasp timed PvP battle system at the moment.

Wintergrasp 2.0?

The encounter is a cross between Isle of Conquest and Wintergrasp.  The goal is to capture the island by taking control of the three “flag buildings”.  These buildings seem not unlike Isle of Conquest’s areas where eventually each one will give a specific buff to the controlling team.  However, this portion of the encounter is not yet functioning.  It is obvious from the lay of each Flag building that one will definitely involve added siege engine usage.

The second objective is to destroy the three “Guard Spires” situated around the prison island.  In order to do this you need to accomplish two things.  Just like Wintergrasp you need a “Pilot’s License” to gain access to Vehicles on the battlefield.  So get to killing those Horde (or Alliance if you swing that way.)  Then you must successfully pilot a Siege Tank from the center area of the Map to one of the towers and “transform” the vehicle into an Auto-Turret.  At which time the vehicle will continually fire on the tower eventually destroying it.

Pretty simple concept at the moment.  The battle system is far from complete.  It is beginning testing purely for a feedback as they develop it standpoint.  Right now each battle lasts 30 minutes and you control it for a specific amount of time afterward.  While these are obviously placeholder numbers, the current time you possess the zone after successfully completing either the Attack or Defense goal varies depending on how many successive times a faction has owned the island.   During the time you possess the zone the daily questing hub that is made available

A Sunwell Island without the Naruu.

The island is pretty well populated for the advent of its Daily Quests.  Whether or not this is going to match Sunwell Island and its slowly phasing motif is yet to be seen, but its an eclectic selection of smaller subareas all packed right on top of one island.  It has both a feel of all fitting together and not meshing well at the same time.

Because the Daily Quests are not available until 85, this area is currently untestable.  Well, if you really want to jump in the water and get eaten by the huge elite Shark with a wooden harpoon in its side and call that testing, go for it.

Otherwise, we can see that the island is a haunted one.  Everything from ghosts ready to jump out at you and say “Boo!” on a creepy mountain overlook, to the overly common graveyard with zombies and ghouls and one big Elite in the middle.  The area is entirely too cliche for its own good.  Right down to the entirely overused mechanic of the two factions fighting in a central area.

You also have the cursed living in several areas of the island just to even out the monster types that can be found here.  The only disappointment was there were no murlocs to be found.  I honestly was hoping for some Murlocs or Naga on the island.  It would only be fitting that they would be around.  It’s a damn island after all and it’s not far north of Vashj’ir.  At the very list some Kvaldir would have been a really nice touch here as it is an “undead island” after all.  They are much more interesting than the same ghosts and ghouls we’ve been seeing since the first time we happened across Darkshire.

The the biggest thing you will notice, is there is no return to the Vault of Archavon model here.  The draw here is to gain access to the daily quests so you may purchase the first tier epic rewards.  While they are nice epics, time will only tell if its enough of an incentive to keep people competing for control over the course of the expansion.  VoA was a wonderful idea, even if it did fail in terms of execution.  One can only hope that Blizzard learned from it and improve on the formula this time.

The island itself has some potential.  I am not a huge PvP guy though and if the Daily Quest Hub area retains the Open PvP of the Wintergrasp section, this place can go die in a very big fire.

Take special note of the new default raid UI.  With it you can quickly and easily dole out Raid Marks as well as handle your Healers, Tanks and DPS simply and effectively.  You can even hide and show individual groups with a push of a button.  The Raid UI is also detachable as well as lockable to any portion of the screen you desire.  Combine that with the Compact UI format and the default UI has come a very long way.

Edit: Looks like I was premature on the “no raid” part of Tol Barad.  New datamining has pulled a map of the Baradin Hold raid.  Which indicates that there will once again be a PvP based raid dungeon in Cataclysm.

Many more screenshots of Tol Barad after the break.

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Bear Run… Part Deux

December 18, 2008

For the Alliance!

murlocdualOur guild’s raid week has been continually condensing itself down into fewer days.  The last 2 weeks we have had 3 day weeks instead of four.  Last night we came to a crossroads as to condense ourselves into a mere 2 days for all 25 man raid content, or do something fun.

We chose the fun.

Racing against a Trade Channel PuG, we circumnavigated Azeroth leaving death in our wake.  We laid siege to each of the 4 Horde leaders like they were nothing.

Lor’themar Theron –

Defacto leader of the blood elves now that Kael’thas has shown his true colors.  Lor’themar is the weakest of the 4 Horde leadership.  While he is the only leader to have more than 1 guardian, both Halduron Brightwing and Grand Magistar Rommath are rather weak.  Rommath is a lame Magistar and hardly (if ever) casts anything.

Lor’themar and his guardians are the easiest of the four.  His court and city guards are actually 5 levels lower than those of the other cities, being only 75.  Ride right up to the door, training any and all guards you get, and AOE the cityguards down.  They have ~12-15k health total and are easily dispatched.

Lady Sylvanas –

The newly reminted and sexy as hell Sylvanas is still a pushover.  Her room however is full of a few more guardians and Battleground NPCs so they make her a little more difficult as the Battleground Master NPC’s are a heck of lot more hearty than the level 80 city guards that will arrive to protect her.  Unlike Lor’themar and Thrall, she has no secondary boss near her to deal with.

Tip to anyone that attempts her.  She vanishes, give her a raid mark.  She dissapears and drops threat at an extreme rate at times.  Having a mark on her will allow you to find her a lot easier and get the encounter done and get back out of Undercity.

Thrall –

Logistically the most difficult task of the four.  Where in Silvermoon City and Undercity, you probably did not have many players add, Thrall almost always will have players trying to thwart your advance.  This is made worse with Winterveil being an Orgrimmar centered event.  You WILL get horde.  Use whatever methodology you see fit to stop them.  Typhoon and Blastwave spam at the door will do you well to a point, but having specific group set aside to kill people works as well.

Or you could do what we did, and had all of our mages just spam aoe and offtanks solo the healers.  (Holy Priest vs Prot Warrior = dead holy priest.)

The biggest issue with Thrall is not Thrall himself.  It is not even the PvP element of the encounter.  It is Vol’jin.  Unlike the guardians of Lor’themar, Vol’jin is a serious threat to your raid.  He will cast an AoE Hex periodically.  So if you value your raid, not only have offtanks standing by.  But have a druid tank.  Multiple tanks using PvP trinkets or Every Man also will work well here.

Thrall himself is a push over.  He does not have near the power he does inside the Mount Hyjal raid.  He will periodcally cast Chain Lightning.  This has an extremely long cast time and really is no threat to your raid regardless.

Cairne Bloodhoof –

Cairne can knock you off Thunder Bluff.

That is basically the fight.  Cairne is located near a building, tank him inside it.  Put your back to a wall.  He is the hardest hitting of the 4 bosses.  If you can deal with the bursty damage on your tank and handle the periodic threat drops, you will survive to throw some steak on the BBQ.

Again, he is also easy to isolate from incoming players because of the size of his door and the ease at which a pair of mages or moonkin can knock people back from it.

Closing Notes –

Some interesting things to note about doing these.

1) It is possible to get phased into the Siege of Undercity questline when entering the city via the sewers.  This is a real inconvenience.  However, you will get credit for killing Sylvanas even if you are phased.

2) The quickest route from Undercity to Orgrimmar is to hop on the Blimp.  However, the guards will attack.  Also note that Orgrimmar Blimp tower guards both use nets and have a ranged attack that knocks you down.  This includes knocking you off your mount.  Using vehicles here such as Grand Mammoths and Choppers is a great use here.

Doing this was about the most fun I have had in a while.  Beating out the PuG group that was trying made it a little bit more fun, I must admit.  Waving at them gathering at the sewers as we left made me smile a little deep inside.  I know am I bad or what?