Classic AV Continues To Entertain

Over the course of the past several weeks I've returned to AV for a few afternoons and evenings to farm some more reputation. I've made it up to revered, which netted me a nice new quiver.

That said, queues have been a pain. And to think I complained about having to wait twenty minutes for a match two months ago! Nowadays the wait times for Horde are easily double that if not more. That does have the advantage that forty minutes are enough time to actually do something other than sit in the queue, such as fish or farm, but if playing AV was all you really wanted to do that play session it still sucks.

Ultimately this wait has largely meant that I haven't actually played that many matches, but just based on the ones I did get into it has been interesting to watch the evolving meta. As Kring already mentioned in the comments on my last post, the instant queues for Alliance meant that they were trying to organise a lot of pre-mades, which was great for the people in those pre-mades and pretty awful for everyone else. For Horde, it resulted in pretty hit-and-miss matches for a while, depending on whether you ended up facing a pre-made or not.

The situation was exacerbated when Alliance players started to drop out as soon as it became clear that not enough members of their pre-made had made it into the match, and apparently there was something wrong with the backfilling mechanism as well, which meant that some matches would start with only ten Alliance players vs. forty Horde. Let me tell you, I felt bad for those guys... but after waiting in the queue for half an hour or more the Hordies were in no mood to make it quick and painless, instead taking their time to bring down every single bunker, kill every NPC that gives honour, and even engaging in silly fun like summoning Lokholar the Ice Lord just because they could.

Blizzard actually felt the need to step in there, fixing the issue of matches starting with one team half empty, and also removing the little number indicator for the battleground, which pre-mades could previously use to co-ordinate which match to enter.

This served to further increase queue times, but I have to admit that the matches I do get into lately have been very fun, with Horde winning most of the time despite of the perceived Alliance bias of the battleground.

It's been very interesting to observe the evolving meta as well: Early on, most of the matches I won had about half the Horde raid splitting off to defend Galv and wipe the Alliance assault there, which would force them to reorganise and buy us the extra time needed to kill Vann before they could get to Drek. It still tended to be a relatively close thing though.

In my more recent matches though, the Horde has been a lot more confident and living up to its name - no more hiding in Galv's shadow and trying to defend. Instead people fan out across the Field of Strife (the joke used to be that it's a misnomer because nobody fights there and people just ride past each other), ping where the Alliance assault is approaching, and then we just form a sort of battering ram and charge right into them. The advantage of taking the initiative aside, I'm still not sure why this works as well as it does.

Not only do we usually wipe out the initial assault, but we then proceed to cap Stonehearth Graveyard - remember when that used to be a meme? When people hated anyone doing that because they wanted the Alliance to have a respawn point that would allow them to keep advancing instead of clogging up the roads on their half of the map? Well, no more of that - in the current meta, the Horde wants to pen the Alliance in and farm them for a while.

The Horde holding Stonehearth Graveyard until both Stonehearth and Icewing Bunker have been destroyed causes the Alliance to trickle back down only slowly, making it easy to defend against them. After collecting a number of the drops from trade-ins, some people will start to recall to Frostwolf Village to do hand-ins, and things like the Icelord summon may well happen for fun.

The final push tends to be hard because the Alliance forces are concentrated in their base by that point, but at the same time they'll be yearning to break out, so eventually the defense disperses a bit, and by that point it doesn't matter anymore if they make a try at assaulting the Horde base, because we're already in their base, killing their dudes. So the long wait tends to pay off with a match that lasts about half an hour and brings with it insane honour and reputation gains for Horde - good times if you can stand the wait.

We'll see how things continue to evolve and whether the Alliance comes up with a proper counter to the currently prevailing Horde strategy any time soon.


  1. I still haven't returned to AV after the disaster of getting into it as an L53 --and discovering to my dismay that it's not L51 to L59 but actually L52(or so) to L60-- which led to Az getting wiped like boots on a doormat. I think I'll give it another try once she reaches L57, but she's got a ways to go, given that I've been working on other things (like mounts for Cardwyn).

    1. To be honest, if the situation in the US is anything like on the European servers, you're unlikely to have a good time as Alliance regardless of level. Though I guess as a stealther you could always focus on things like capping mines and still get some credit.