Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Warsong Gulch, or "Turtle Soup"

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beaufiful Soup!
Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!
--Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

Turtling: When a whole team gathers together around one point and will not move; in WSG, it's usually around the flag or flag carrier. Turtling prolongs games to unnecessary lengths.


The Game

Warsong Gulch is a capture-the-flag game. You must capture the enemy's flag 3 times to win. Until one team captures 3 flags, the game will not end.

The Gameplay

10 players.

The minimap (shift-M) shows where your teammates are and where your flag-carrier is.

Each side has a starting base (south for horde, north for alliance) with a flag (red for horde, blue for alliance). An enemy player can enter the base and click on your flag, thereby picking it up. That player is called the Flag Carrier or Flag Runner, and attempts to take your flag back to their base, where they must run up to their own flag to capture yours.

If their flag is not at their base (you have captured it), then both teams must protect their flag carrier while killing the enemy player holding their team's flag.

The flags leave a trail, like blue or red dust, for a certain length behind the carrier (who cannot mount but can transform while carrying the flag), so it is fairly easy to follow (around corners, for example). Alliance players will chase the blue flag (to kill the carrier and reclaim it), and Horde players will chase the red flag (ditto). When the enemy flag carrier is killed (called "returning the flag"), the friendly flag carrier can bring the enemy flag to the newly-returned friendly flag in order to capture it (called "capping").

The terrain is such that the bases are far apart with a wide, flat terrain in the middle. The struggle is getting the flags past the people fighting in the middle of the map and keeping those people away from the flag carrier until the flag is capped.

The Strategy

The best flag carriers are classes with enhanced speed: druids in run form, shamans in ghost wolf form, or hunters with their speed buff. Also, mages, with blink, are very good at getting out of snares set for them by their enemies.

Like with AB: know your class and it's pvp strengths, coordinate with your team, and don't join a battleground unless you're in the upper half of your bracket.

In Warsong Gulch, coordination is the most important part. Because you only have a 10-man team, and protecting your flag carrier is directly related to winning, not a single player can be spared to goof off. Either you are keeping the enemy busy while a team runs in to take their flag, you're defending your own flag at your base, you're killing their flag runner, or you are aiding your flag runner. The least important job is fighting in the center. If any other job needs doing, that is where you should be.

A trick to carrying the flag: when you pick the flag up, you get a buff. You can right-click that buff to drop the flag on the ground (this also happens if you die) for a very short amount of time. The flag can be picked up by a teammate if they are very quick to click on the flag (they should start clicking rapidly in the spot the flag will drop to), though an opposing player can click on it and return it to their base. (The best teams I've seen have passed the flag from one dying player to another at least twice in order to run it to their base.)

Also, like coordination, it is important to stay in a group of some size. More often than not, the most annoying Gulches are when you run out by yourself and get killed by five of their players. If you are alone on the field in Gulch, you will die. Period.

This is also the most-twinked battleground. (I covered twinks here.) If you are just leveling through the 19 bracket, it's probably better not to play any Gulches, just because you often go up against full twink teams. (Twinks exist in every bracket except 50-59 and 70.)

If you are the flag carrier (best classes: mage for blink, druid for run form, shaman for ghost wolf): DO NOT STOP TO FIGHT. Keep running. That is your job. That is your only job. Get to your base and let your team defend you. I just got to listen to Manasseh on vent ranting about a warrior with the flag stopping to fight every person who ran up to him. And the guy died. Because that's what happens when you stop to fight -- you are zerged.

The Same Gear Spiel I Gave You in the AB Post

Get some boots with +speed on them from the Arathi Basin vendor in Hammerfall(H)/Refuge Pointe(A). In any battle, you cannot win if you can't keep up with your opponent. (Speed is the most important factor of Warsong Gulch, as you must be able to outrun your enemies and keep up with the flag carrier.)

With gear in general, you want stamina to increase your health -- consider getting +stamina enchants on your gear if you want to be more protected in pvp (though they're expensive). In pvp, you want to outlast your opponent. In case you're a little like I was when I started, here are your five basic stats:
  • +Stamina: +10 health
  • +Intellect: +15 mana
  • +Spirit: Percentage of mana regeneration. This is better for priests than most classes, because priests can use talent points to improve mana regeneration by spirit.
  • +Strength: Percentage of attack power. Good for warriors, rogues, and other melee classes. Useless for casters.
  • +Agility: Percentage of dodge and critical strike chance. Best for hunters and rogues because it also gives them attack power.
My shadow priest, Dustfire, focuses on Stamina and Intellect (as well as +shadow damage) when choosing gear. So Spirit isn't always the best choice for priests.

Better gear will not assure you a win, but it will help you survive.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh... Turtles.

    But what I hate more is teammates who say "just let them win". Especially when if this teammate is just standing, doing nothing in mid-field... and quite possibly if this teammate (and others like him) would participate, we could win. Getting under 100 honor for 30 minutes of frustration is just not worth it. I'll only do Gulch if I ABSOLUTELY need the marks from now on (or if we get enough guildies together to make sure we have at least mostly a good team). ^_^*


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