Alterac Valley is a battleground in the continuing war between the Horde and the Alliance. The two opposing sides are the Frostwolf Clan (led by GeneralDrek'Thar) and the Stormpike Guard (also known as the Stormpike Expedition, led by General Vanndar Stormpike), both of whom lay claim to this secluded territory. Alongside the Generals are their two Captains, Captain Galvangar andCaptain Balinda Stonehearth, respectively. Aside from Lake Wintergrasp, Alterac Valley is generally considered to be the battleground that delivers the most Honor points per battle. You can queue for Alterac Valley(AV) from level 20.
|Advised level||20 to Level cap|
Alterac Valley is a battleground players fight in frosty Alterac between the Frostwolf Clan (Horde) and Stormpike Guard (Alliance). Alterac Valley is notable both for how many people can queue per side (40) as well as how much honor each game rewards.
Alterac Valley is won when the enemy's General is killed, or the opposing team's resources are reduced from 600 to 0. 1 reinforcement is lost when each player dies, 75 lost per each destroyed tower (4 towers total), and 100 for the enemy Captain. Two mines can be captured that replenish reinforcements every 45 seconds--but this is trivial and should only be used in a very long turtle.
Killing players is secondary to destroying towers. For each tower destroyed, the enemy's General becomes easier to kill. Most players will rush for the enemy's graveyard closest to the General first, capping other graveyards in the middle after. A "turtle" is when both teams rez in inconvenient areas and spend most of the battle fighting at a chokepoint, instead of capturing objectives. It is important to defend your own towers and cap graveyards in a strategic order.
Alterac Valley was initially seen as a zone that was both a battleground and questing area. Before cross-realm battlegrounds, games used to last for days. There still are a fair number of quests players can do (and it's a great way to level at 45 for easy experience), but longer games meant more elaborate quests that have been removed--including a summoning ritual that created a friendly elite that would stomp on the enemy.
Reputations associated with Alterac Valley are: Stormpike Guard and Frostwolf Clan.
PVP is a fast-paced, goal oriented component of the game. Just as some players specialize in raiding end-game content, others focus their efforts on player-vs-player gaming. Because of this, queuing for a battleground can result in a multitude of personalities. As usual, try to identify the players who are acting as leaders and follow their instructions - other players may chime in, but the majority of the group will agree upon one course of action. Unless you're going for a specific personal achievement, it's best to stick to this plan.
If possible, bring a friend (or two or a dozen). If you're going for specific achievements, it can be helpful to have someone else there to assist, keep you alive, or just to look out for you. By the same token, try to stay with the group for the most part. Unless you know what you're doing (and I mean really know what you're doing, the group is the safest place to be.
Be patient. A lot of these achievements are things you'll get close to a few times before you actually earn it. That's why they're achievements. Some take practice, others take timing, and others take the perfect mix of a good group and luck. But just remember that statistically speaking, if you keep going for it, eventually you will.
Try (and I do mean try) not to get caught up in the aggression and insulting that is prevalent in PVP. Gaming is about having fun, not to mention that arguing amongst one's own team is a waste of resources, effort, and most importantly, time that could be spent trying to win the battleground or kill the enemy. If someone thinks you're doing something wrong, either stick to what you're doing if you know you're right, or ask one of the battleground leaders or a guildmate. Chances are, if you show you want to improve, most people will take the time to help. That's not always true, of course, so don't take it personally if you're ignored - unless it's by a guildmate, but that's another issue altogether.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, gear up as you're able! There are vendors who specifically sell PVP gear using the marks you'll earn PVP-ing, and craftsmen can create gear as well. Resistance is your new best friend. It helps you stay alive as you fight other players, so while your PVE gear might be the best in-game, it's not for PVP. Get the appropriate gear or you'll be the other team's favorite punching bag.
Alterac Valley is a battle to kill off the opposing team's reinforcements - this can be done by slowly whittling away at a team by killing the players and lowly NPCs, as well as through killing higher ranking NPCs for bigger drops in the reinforcements. Reinforcements can be replenished to a degree through turning in repeatable quests, the items for which are obtained by looting characters in the battleground. Taking out the different bases of a team will also speed up their defeat, and claiming a graveyard allows players to resurrect closer to their goal. Many teams, for this reason, will split their team into two uneven groups. The larger group forges their way to the opposing faction's garrison to kill the "boss" while the smaller group stays behind and defends their own "boss" from attacks.
Most teams have a "2-base" approach in which they destroy two of the opposing team's bases before grouping at the "boss" in the garrison. Some players are left behind at the team's own "boss" and a few trickle off to defend bases, but the majority of players head straight to the other team's garrison to take on the "boss". Four NPCs surround him, each one representing one of the team's bases. As a base is destroyed, the NPC that represents it disappears. As stated previously, the most common approach is to destroy two bases, and with them, their NPC "mini-bosses" before attempting to kill the opposing faction's "boss".
Vanndar Stormpike has been given orders from Ironforge against making peace with the orcs, and appears to agree with the orders. He dismisses the orcs as "savages trying to halt Ironforge's sovereign imperialistic imperative". He wants to slaughter all orcs including Drek'Thar, believing that when the General falls, the land will finally turn over to its rightful owner, "Ironforge". See also, Vanndar's book The Frostwolf Artichoke: Tales of Stormpike Glory.
Lieutenant Rotimer clarifies that the "sovereign imperative" originates from Ironforge, and was issued by King Magni Bronzebeard. He claims that they are fighting a brutal battle in the valleys of Alterac. The cannibalistic Winterax trolls attack them from one side and the savage Frostwolf Clan from the other. He believes both must be exterminated in the name of King Magni Bronzebeard. "The taking, culling, and turning of that land is a sovereign and territorial imperative to the kingdom of Ironforge."
Wing Commander Ichman, said he had spent three years in the hell hole. Three years as a prisoner of war to who he believed were "damnable Frostwolf Clan". He believes he was made to sit in their tower and listen to them endlessly whine about the bridge to Dun Baldar. About how "unfair" the war was... even if "War isn't fair!". This is a humorous reference to player complaints about how the Dun Baldar bridge is a 'choke point'.
The Alliance Brigadier Generals believe that the Horde was quite right when they said that Alterac Valley is Frostwolf Territory, it was never Ironforge territory. They claim that Stormpike Expedition arrived as peaceful visitors to the area in search of ore and relics. They believe that the Frostwolves reacted with the most brutal and uncivilized act of aggression the Alliance has experienced. They never want to forget the brave dwarves that perished in that "cowardly unannounced attack".
Prospect Stonehewer lets it slip that he recently plundered a few treasures. It is likely from the Frostwolf clan as they offer the same reward and the weapons all have an ice theme. It may also be from the Winterax trolls.
Drek'Thar sees the valley as Frostwolf territory and that the Stormpike Expedition has no right to take their land away. He has no intention of making peace with the Stormpike, instead wishing to execute them all to the last man (Vanndar himself) following the Rules of military conduct. He believes that the Stormpike have copied the Frostwolves' defense plans and knows exactly how the Frostwolves' own forces are set up, although Vanndar would claim otherwise (this is likely a reference to the gameplay balancing of the battleground). Drek'thar wants players to ask Vanndar to surrender (likely knowing that he would refuse), and orders his forces execute him whatever the response.
The Horde Warbringers, claim that the truth is that "the Stormpike Expedition invaded Frostwolf Territory". They believe that the day the Horde allows the Alliance to invade Horde lands without a forceful response is the day they will hang up their axes and live the rest of their lives in shame.
Ravak Grimtotem was sent to the war-zone by the Elder Crone to research the other races. More specifically, he was to collect gnome samples. Magatha was primarily interested in their survivability. They believed, that the gnomes ¡ª while pitifully weak and minuscule ¡ª exuded great resilience both in and out of combat.
The Wing Commanders of the Frostwolf Clan wanted hundreds of pounds of flesh from the Stormpike soldiers, lieutenants, and others to feed to their fleet of War Riders. They wanted the riders to consume their enemy.
Commander Louis Philips believes his brother is undoubtedly the most dangerous of the four Stormpike commanders. He believes that, perhaps if he is slain, the Banshee Queen could make his brother what she made of him, and show him the error of his ways...However, both brothers have abandoned the battlefield, as have the Commanders and a great deal of the NPCs.