Advanced general battleground strategy

Dear fellow battleground participant,

if you're reading this, I assume that you already understand the basic idea behind each battleground. You know that you can win Alterac Valley by killing the big dude at the other end of the map, and you know that Warsong Gulch is all about capturing the enemy's flag while protecting your own.

If you're reading this, I also assume that you actually care about these objectives and are interested in winning in battlegrounds (as opposed to say, aimlessly running around somewhere in the middle just to gank people).

Where you might still fail however, is understanding the bigger picture and stratetic implications of a battleground. You're the guy who makes a macro with some "guaranteed winning instructions" and spams it at the start of every single match. You're the guy who blames every loss in AV on someone tagging Stonehearth graveyard.

Let me tell you something: There is no one-size-fits-all guaranteed winning strategy for any battleground. Even in Warsong Gulch, the smallest and most basic of all battlegrounds, there are multiple ways of efficiently going about defense of offense, which are conveniently summed up in this article on WoW.com. And they can all work or fail, depending on the circumstances.

The thing with the enemy team in a battleground is that it's not a raid boss. You can't discover one way to beat them up and then repeat it in exactly the same manner week after week. The enemy team consists of thinking human beings, and while they may not all be very clever, sometimes it can be enough for a single one of them to smarten up, fight back and counter your strategy, rendering it completely ineffective. The proper response to this is not to stick to your original plan and try over and over again, or to insult others for not doing what you want, but to wisen up yourself and find a counter to their counter.

To give you an example of what I mean: A few weeks ago I tried to do the daily battleground on my priest, which happened to be Isle of Conquest on that day. In the first match I joined, someone immediately spammed a macro instructing everyone to rush to the docks and use the vehicles from there to take down the western gate of the Alliance base. It would be a guaranteed victory!

As it turned out, it wasn't, even though the whole team had faithfully followed the macroed instructions. We had only just taken down the west gate when the message popped up that the Alliance had won. I re-joined for another attempt and the exact same thing happened.

When I ended up in the same battleground as the macro spammer for the third time I decided that it was time to speak up as soon as he went through his pre-battleground routine again. "Dude," I said, "we did exactly what you said in the last two matches I was in and the Alliance always beat us horribly. They just rushed to cap the hangar and then parachuted into our base on masse. We've got to do something about that."

To my delight, several members of the team agreed, and when the gates finally opened, about half the team set out towards the docks, while the other half went for the hangar. Having fewer people at the docks didn't harm us at all, as the Alliance had long given up on even trying to cap them, but the sudden resistance at the hangar significantly slowed them down there because they hadn't expected it. Guess what? We won. Not because sending half the raid to the docks and half the raid to the hangar is a guaranteed winning strategy, but because in this particular case it was an efficient counter to what our enemy was doing. This is what you have to keep in mind.

Or to elaborate on the Stonehearth graveyard example mentioned above: in general, at least in my battlegroup, someone tagging Stonehearth graveyard will always lead to abuse from someone else in battleground chat. Supposedly it's stupid and makes our side lose. But have these people ever thought about why that is?

When you first rush forward to the Alliance base, it is indeed a bad idea to tag this particular graveyard, but not because there's anything inanely wrong with owning it. What happens is that attacking it means that the Alliance will only be in possession of the two graveyards at their base until they make the first cap of their own, which then in turn means that every single enemy that you kill during that time will resurrect back in their base, creating massive resistance in Dun Baldar. These are usually the matches where the Horde loses by reinforcements while vainly trying to fight its way across the Dun Baldar bridge while most of the Alliance team sits behind it. Not good.

However, once the Alliance has taken for example Snowfall graveyard, attacking Stonehearth will make little difference for their defense while giving the Horde forces a place to res further north. In longer matches that's not such a bad idea at all. And yet you still see people indiscriminately yelling at anyone who tags it, accusing them of "making us lose" and distracting people from things that actually matter.

In summary: Don't be that guy. Look at what happens around you and react to it, that is more key than following any predetermined plans that might not live up to expectations anyway.

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