Battleground Tactics – Eye of the Storm

Thunderspank raced down the hill of shattered violet rock towards the smouldering remains of a Fel Reaver Contruct. Upon reaching the flagposts, he wheeled his mount around to scan the shattered battlefield. They almost had the Fel Reaver ruins secured. To the East, Horde flags were rising atop the hill at Blood Elf Tower, its alabaster walls gleaming in the surreal light of the shattered land. Across the chasm to the North and North East he could see the blue Alliance colors rising at the Mage Tower and Draenei Ruins.

Who needs bases? Its thunderpunt time!

“Those halfwits are at it again” said a low deep resonating voice next to him.

Thunder nodded stoically, staring wearily at the tumbling bouncing mass of horde and alliance champions on a sliver of land spanning the chasm where a forlorn green flag fluttered. Both sides, blessed with zealous vigour and room temperature IQs  seemed determined to secure the flag and both seemed oblivious to the larger battle. Tacticus the druid had taken on the form of a large feline and with the base now secured, had merged himself with the shadows. In the distance they saw the less resilient (or surefooted) of their allies emerging from the graveyard nearby gingerly making their way to the Fel Reaver base.

“We will strike at mage tower now. I see a hunter there and a mage. There may be more hiding in the shadows. Once there, near their graveyard and far from our own lines we will be vulnerable to enemy reinforcements. We will need to dispatch them quickly and hold the line for our own reinforcements to reach us.” said Thunder, in a voice that sounded like a litany. These were not new thoughts, but lessons from battles past.

“If we don’t do this now, all this is for naught.” agreed Tacticus.

“Remind me to use my Horde Battle Standard once we’re inside.” confirmed Thunder.

Waiting just long enough to confirm that the newly resurrected allies were indeed coming to Fel Reaver Ruins, they raced out and across the bridge to Mage Tower.

“Make sure to get inside the tower before you stop to fight. That hunter and mage will be at a marked disadvantage in an enclosed space with us.” grunted Thunder as his Headless Horseman’s Mount attempted another decapitation-of-rider-by-slithering-skidding-cartwheel on the purple rock.

“Mwwwroa <click!>” said Tacticus, now in the form of a spotted rug in an oil Sheikh’s dining hall (the <click!> refers to my arena partner, Tacticus’s penchant for letting go of the push-to-talk-button on vent prematurely when excited).

They came under fire as they reached the base of the hill, keeping a 10 yard distance from each other so as to not be caught together in a frost nova by the mage on the hill above them. Skirting past the defenders into the depths of the Mage Tower, they hit the walls to break line of sight hoping that at least one of the defenders would follow them into the room. Natural selection dictates that there are few, if any, mages or hunters alive that wish to be locked up inside a room with a cow that firmly believes itself to be a lion (and equipped with claws, horns and large incisors) and a warrior whose delight in running headfirst into enemies is surpassed only by his love for oversized weapons and sharp spikes on his armor. The two defenders attempted to be heroes and raced into the room hot on the heels of Thunderspank and Tacticus. A few seconds later, under the unwavering glare of the nearby spirit healer, they found time to reflect upon their folly.

“Mathe thowher inthominf! Thendh bhathupth!”came the somewhat muffled roar from Mage Tower… immediate duties taken care of, Tacticus sat down and began to pick out pieces of mage pants from between his teeth.

Alright folks! Step right up, nice freshly vacated warm benches here.

Eye of the Storm was added to World of Warcraft in the Burning Crusade expansion. People tend to either love it or hate it. Given that it is this weekend’s Call to Arms, I will go over some basic tactics for it. But before I do that a few words on strategy:

  1. Bases are more important than flag caps.
    • 1 tower controlled = 1 point/second
    • 2 towers controlled = 2 points/second
    • 3 towers controlled = 5 points/second
    • 4 towers controlled = 10 points/second
  2. The more bases you control, the more points you get per “tick” and per flag cap.
    • 1 tower controlled = 75 points/flag cap
    • 2 towers controlled = 85 points/flag cap
    • 3 towers controlled = 100 points/flag cap
    • 4 towers controoled = 500 points/flag cap
  3. You must control AT LEAST two bases for most of the game.
  4. While you do not want to let your opponent cap flags unhindered, they can not win this map while controlling only one base.
  5. The best odds of winning are from holding 3 bases and trying to either cap the flag, or failing that, restrict flag movement. But try to hold 3 bases at all times – that is the surest path to victory.
  6. See #1.

The first side to hit 1600 wins. If you hold one base and run the flag, assuming 2 mins per flag cap, you will have 195 points (120(1 point/second)+75(flag cap with one base)) when you do your first cap. In the meantime your opponents will have with 2 bases 240 points (2 points/second), or with 3 bases 600 points (5 points/second). The flag is only important if both sides hold two bases each and even then you’re better off getting a 3rd base than the flag as a 3rd base will reduce the points your enemy gets from a flag cap and will increase your point generation rate by 250%!

That is pretty much the gist of it. Once we know how important holding towers is, we can look at general tactics.

  • When the map starts, the safe way to come off the starting area is to run diagonally on to the first rock then drop off that rock on the back (towards the hill) and then run down. This can mean the difference between you having 50K health or 150K health when facing your first fight.

    That is how you get down without spraining an ankle!

  • If you are an elemental shaman, balance druid or a hunter with a rhino (thanks Chris!) you want to try to punt people off cliffs as much as possible. While this won’t net you a killing blow, it will keep you from becoming one. A fair trade in my opinion.
  • Bases will not cap while you are in stealth. Stay out of stealth until your faction controls the base.
  • Do not fight on the roads, you could run out to attempt to draw defenders away from the base or intercept reinforcements headed to a base your team is attacking but other than that, try not to hang out on the road. You’re not contributing anything to base control when not at a base.
  • Bases cap when more of a faction are present at a node than another – on the right side of your screen you’ll see a bar that shows you which way the balance is swinging. Whether attacking or defending, you want more of your team in proximity to the flags than the enemy. This is where thunderpunt, typhoon etc are tremendously useful. Especially when used at an elevated base like Blood Elf Tower.
  • Grabbing the flag from where it spawns takes 8 seconds – if an errant fart wafts over you, the capture will be interrupted. Plan accordingly.
  • If you are a rogue and your friend is trying to cap, a smokebomb on him once half the cast is done can give him enough cover from approaching enemies to complete the pickup.
  • If you are a priest, keep in mind that you have mind control and the map has cliffs. Put the two together and there are endless possibilities for fun!
  • If you are horde and melee, you are better off attacking mage tower than Draenei ruins. The enclosed spaces will work well for you and your caster opposition will find it hard to kite you. If you are ranged, Draenei Ruins is a better assault target for the same reason. Pick your battles and play to your strengths!
  • If you manage to get the flag, DO NOT CAP IT until your side controls the midfield area where it spawns. If you cap it while the enemy controls mid, they will have the flag after it respawns. So wait until your side is controlling the flag respawn point.
  • Conversely if the game is not almost over and you want to prevent a cap but you’re too far from the FC, run to the middle of the map where it spawns. Most flag carriers will not cap if they see an enemy at the flag spawn point.
  • Use BattlegroundDefender to call out incoming enemies and use Healers Have to Die to identify and focus fire healers down first.
  • EotS is a small map and reinforcements can arrive quickly. Try to keep 2 defenders per base with the rest on assault. People who die during the assault will rez in the graveyard of the bases you already control so you will have a constant trickle of defenders through the rear bases anyway, any of whom can turn around to assist in defence.
  • Try to get healers to come with you when you go on the offensive – they can help with dispels, buffs, heals and in some cases provide a little bit of cc too.

    So just because they didn’t all gang up on my healer first, we lasted a good 2 minutes against 9 attackers. 2 against 9! Healers first… ALWAYS.

  • Use your faction’s Battle Standard in strategic (read as base defense/assault) fights. 15% extra health for your side is huge. Chances are, the enemy is already using theirs. Bonus points for hiding it where someone won’t blow it up right away.

This map is about executing a basic general strategy of “more towers are good” and then relying on tactics to win and hold bases.

Have a great weekend!

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2 thoughts on “Battleground Tactics – Eye of the Storm

  1. Navimie

    Firstly, Thunder, I love the story before the battle! Now you have ruined my dream of writing tales of my battles because they cannot compare to yours!
    Secondly, great BG analysis and strats. Fantastic read.
    Thirdly, I cannot thank you enough for dropping by to visit me. You have given me great stuff to read this week 🙂

    Reply
    1. Thunderspank Post author

      Thank you for the encouraging feedback Navimie. I do not have much experience with blogging and I’m figuring things out as I go along.

      I was delighted to find your blog too. I hope you do put up some battle stories, they can be as much fun to write as they are to read!

      BTW there are two other short stories under the “stories” category here that I did based on some guildies earlier. 🙂

      Reply

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