An Ex-Gnome Tank's World

Player versus… Ally?

May 2nd, 2009 Posted in General

Ahhh, Childrens’ Week! I don’t know why, but it’s one of my favourite holidays. Probably because the activities revolve around a small storyline and have a definite linear conclusion, unlike the “drink yourself stupid” activities of Brewfest or the “Why the hell do the Alliance even particiapte in this?” puzzle that is Hallow’s End.

This year, as usual, I’ve picked up my orphans from Stormwind and Shattrath, plotted out a course that minimises the amount of backtracking I have to do, and gone forth sightseeing.

However, there’s something else to be done, too, as there is every in-game holday – achieve a new title and progress toward that ever-elusive Violet Proto-Drake.

I’ll admit that I was dreading Childrens’ Week for exactly that reason – I took one look at the PvP achievement, School of Hard Knocks, and knew I was in for a challenge. I’m a prot warrior. I barely PvP, and when I do it’s usually because of a holiday achievement. I have memories of pain any time I tried PvP in the past, so I stay well away, especially for Warsong Gulch where I don’t think I’ve won, ever. So how, in the end did I find the process?

Warsong Gulch

Easy. Easier than easy. As a protection warrior what I don’t have is a lot of DPS, but what I do have is something much more useful for chasing down enemy flag carriers – Warbringer. Combine this with the stuns from Concussion Blow and Shockwave, and while I can’t kill a flag runner quickly, I can bring one down. Got the achievement in the first battleground, before I’d died even once.

Arathi Basin

Harder than WSG, but not by much. In fact all I had to do was waltz in past the horde that were defending a flag from my teammates and capture it. Plenty of opportunities here as bases change hands so often.

Eye of the Storm

I was expecting this to be tricky, but in fact within seconds of the BG starting (I had slow fall), the flag was in my hands and then delivered to the Mage Tower. I can imagine if I hadn’t been first to the flag, things would have got much sticker and I’d have been there for hours.

Alterac Valley

The pain point if ever there was one. There are four towers to capture in AV; once captured they are unlikely to change hands again (at least in my battle group). So during a prime-time Alterac Valley match, there are likely to be 40 people all who want to capture a tower. That’s a success rate of only 10%. Suddenly the battleground takes on a whole new direction entirely, as the need to slay the opposition turns on its head and it’s a race to the finish line. The first time I failed miserably because my Mammoth wouldn’t fit through the gateway of the Horde base. The second time I was just too slow. Paladins with their speed boosts taking a non-optimal way there and still getting there faster were a big annoyance. What eventually prompted me to throw in the towel for the evening was being overtaken at the very last second, at the top of the tower by people using speed potions.

The key to winning at anything is to stack the odds in one’s own favour, whether it’s by being a paladin, using temporary speed boosts, or anything else that will give you an advantage. My only advantage was knowledge – outside of peak there would be fewer people queueing for the battleground and hence less competition. So, I came back the next morning. Even on a weekend, mornings are quiet. So quiet in fact that in the first AV I joined, only myself and one other person were chasing achievements, and it was as easy as the others. 

A lot of people, most notable WoW Insider, have said that they expect the Hard Knocks achievement to be removed from the meta-achievement. It won’t. The end reward is supposed to be hard to get, but not impossible (hence the changing of some of the harsher RNG-based achievements from past holidays). In this case it’s much easier to stack the odds in your own favour, by either coming up with a cunning strategy (such as the best time to try) or simply forming a group to achieve the objectives together. There’s no single way of doing this – it’s up to you to come up with your own strategy. Players have a lot more control over the PvP achievement than they do the random number generator.

  1. 3 Responses to “Player versus… Ally?”

  2. By Fleischmann on May 4, 2009

    Not sure about your server, but my AV went like this. Game started, I mounted up and ran to the other end of the map (didn’t fight/cap/defend anything). Went to one of the Ally bunkers near the head honcho, took it, got the achiev, then ran away. No death, easy achiev! I may have gotten lucky, but the Hard Knocks wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

  3. By Namthe on May 4, 2009

    Yeah, in my battlegroup everyone seemed to have that idea unfortunately, and I can’t compete with classes with mounted speed boosts.

  4. By Daagaak on May 4, 2009

    The EOTS one wasn’t that hard with Elu, we just waited around till a Horde/Ally capped and people were distracted running back. Ninja flag + run like hell. Though I wasn’t doing achievements, the chicken was so I was personal bodyguard.

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