Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Ret Primer For Strand of the Anicents

As always, Megan is always a step ahead of me. I wanna post about Wintergrasp, she throws a post up and pre-empts me. I wanna post about Strand of the Ancients, she's been there, done that. Well, you're hearing the ret P.O.V. on this BG anyway. Tough noogies.

Strand of the Ancients, henceforth referred to as SotA, is the newest battleground added in Wrath. The premise is basically a mini-Wintergrasp - there is a relic located behind several walls on top of a hill, and one faction must employ siege weaponry and explosives to blast their way off a beach, up the hill, and into the keep where the relic is located. The other faction must slow the attackers' advance up the hill by any means necessary - anti-personell guns, snares at choke-points, knockback effects, whatever. The Alliance starts as the attackers, and then the Horde gets a turn. Whoever captures the relic faster is declared the winner. 10 people per faction may participate.

As a ret paladin, there are several key things you should focus on in this BG. I'm going to assume you know the layout and basic strategy, and delve into a few specifics. First, when attacking:

  1. Get a siege vehicle. Melee can't do anything to the walls without Seaforium Charges or Saronite Bombs, and the key is to get up the hill as quickly as possible. The ranged classes can at least contribute by taking out the gunners on the walls - as melee, you want to get in the siege tank and lob fiery death at the wall and/or ram it 'til it crumbles.
  2. If you are cockblocked out of a tank, grab a Seaforium Charge and protect the siege. Is there a rogue trailing behind the siege, stabbity-stabbing away until it breaks? Show him the business end of your mace. Ensuring the siege tanks get to the walls in one piece is the best thing you can do for your team.
  3. Are you at the wall? Do you have your Seaforium? Good! Drop it and protect it, every little bit helps the wall crumble faster.
  4. As soon as one of the initial walls go down, mount up and bolt for the graveyard flag. Taking the graveyard will a) ensure a closer spawn point to the action, and b) allow for siege vehicles to be built closer to the front line.

On defense:

  1. Get on the guns. Lead your targets a little and blast things to holy hell before they get to the wall. Concentrate fire on the tanks, if they can't get the tanks to the wall there's a good chance the walls will not fall.
  2. If you can't get a gun, flail away at anything that comes into gun-range of the wall, siege tanks are the priority.
  3. Defend the graveyard flag as soon as the wall is breached. You can do this by standing on the flag and introducing your mace to the face of anyone who approaches, or by falling back to the second wall and manning a gun turret, exploding anyone who dares come near your precious flag.

And at all times, remember - the key is the relic, not the other players. You can rack up 100 kills, but if they manage to slip a siege tank past the yellow gate in under 4 minutes and bring down the keep wall, you're screwby-doobied. Stay on target!

All in all, I like SotA. I queue up anytime I need my frenzied siege fix and Wintergrasp won't be happening for a while. Plus, it isn't a total lag-fest like the zerg at the end of a Wintergrasp is!

Good luck, and Light be with you.


Tom said...

I'd like to mention that while you should take the bottom two GY's ASAP you should leave the top one closest to the yellow gate alone.

If you take the top GY most people will spawn there forcing a long run back to the seige workshop for more tanks AND the horde (having fallen back to the yellow gate anyway) will be camping the res area bogging you down from running back to the tanks.

Anonymous said...

Similary, I've found an effective strategy is to not take one of the lower two graveyards when pressing on the yellow gate, because it makes the enemy rezz far from the action.

Frostpact said...

Could not agree more with Tom. Nothing aggravates me more than people capping the southern GY as the offense is making their push towards the relic. Anyway.... If you ARE a ranged class I would urge you to not be a driver of a tank, but rather simply hitch a ride. While the tank is moving, you are stationary and are therefor free to cast frostbolts/flash heals/or whatever with the added protection of knowing the attackers have to destroy the tank first to get to you.

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled on your blog from WoW Insider. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

My best games have always been when offense focuses on one side of the map. When you have two tanks at one gate and two at the other, there's a good chance you'll lose them all. If you have three (or four!) at a single gate, you can plow through unstopped.

I've had many games where I jumped in a tank at the start of the round, and only hopped out to click on the relic. 2 minute wins are a great ego boost.

Anonymous said...

Resto and Balance druids are great as riders. In addition to healing/DPSing, they can Root and Cyclone repeatedly players who are attacking their Devastator.

Anonymous said...

Warlocks on tanks too rock... spam fear and Curse of Weakness to protect tanks, Curse of Exhaustion for afflic locks.

Plus locks probably benefit more than anyone from the added protection of being on a demolisher.

Josh said...

I feel compelled to clarfiy, as the subject of other classes riding shotgun has come up in the comments.

MELEE CLASSES - DO NOT RIDE SHOTGUN ON SotA SIEGE TANKS. Either drive them or run alongside them, protecting them on foot. Let the ranged/casters ride shotgun and do their ranged/cast-y thing from the relative safety of the siege tank. You can only melee stuff from the passenger seat if it decides to stand in front of the tank with its finger up its nose. Drive it, or GTFO, as they say.

Anonymous said...

> And at all times, remember - the key is the relic, not the other players.

As long as the rewards for actually winning a BG don't go up/the rewards for losing go down or are cut completely, the majority of players will still aim at doing the most HKs possibly in whatever BG.

Jarvis said...

Having a ranged CC riding shotgun is invaluable. As a mage I love to sit up there and toss out sheeps. Hunters can use their scare beast on any druids that come their way. Shammies should hit hex any time it's up.
The object is not to kill the player, it's to keep them from killing you. Ten seconds as a sheep is a LONG time, and will put them out of melee range of something moving the same speed as themselves.

Anonymous said...

best passenger is a frost mage... oh ya frost nova and snares? booya. but really a passenger makes a huge difference, and really every ranged dps wet dream is to sit protected by 100k of tank (literally no stealing agro.. yay) while you rain down your personal sytle of death (or just snares, thats all you need) on the other side. never understand how those seats are empty

Euripides said...

Another tip, this one for hunters: If you're beast master, you can't use half of your offense while riding shotgun because your pet despawns. Even though you're ranged, get out there and drop slowing traps and fire concussive shots. Mana drain their hybrids, and sic your pet on their rogues. Honestly though, all our skills are more appropriate for taking vehicles out than protecting them- while we can peel a mage away from a tank as well as anyone, nobody can beat the living snot out of a vehicle faster than us. With our enrage that prevents CC, our pet's ability to intercept charge, and our ability to dish out a fair amount of damage while running after a tank, we can really shine on defense :)