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PVP: Battlegrounds and Arena



Hello, fellow PvPers! This sticky is all about the basics; the battlegrounds, arena, and marked outdoor PvP areas. This thread is NOT about tactics. That is what the rest of the forum is for.
This is somewhat of a work in progress, so if you have anything to add or see a mistake here, send me a PM!

Anyway, on to the good stuff!


There are four battlegrounds currently in-game. Warsong Gulch (WSG) is available at level 10. Arathi Basin (AB) is available at level 20. Alterac Valley (AV) is available starting at level 50, and Eye of the Storm (EOTS) is available starting at level 60. Each battleground is devided by level tiers. Here's the list:

10-19 WSG Only
20-29 WSG and AB
30-39 WSG and AB
40-49 WSG and AB
50-59 WSG, AB and AV
60-69 WSG, AB, AV, and EOTS
70 WSG, AB, AV, and EOTS

At levels 19, 29, 39, 49, and now rarely 59 are players that decided to stop leveling their character and play battlegrounds. These characters are usually decked out in the best armor and weapons they can afford. They are called Twinks. They are a very real part of the game, the armor they wear can go for massive amounts of gold for its level, and as a non-twink, if you get one of these armor or weapon pieces to drop for you, you can make money off the twinks by selling it to them. It is fun, and profitable!

Each battleground has its own Marks of Honor that are awarded at the end of the battleground. The winning side gets three, the losers get one. Each time you make a kill in battlegrounds you gain Honor Points, which when used with the Marks you can buy armor, weapons, and other goodies from Honor Vendors. Note however, if you keep killing the same person over and over, you will get less Honor ever time you kill them.

Now, on to the details of each battleground!

Warsong Gulch

Warsong Gulch is a capture-the-flag battleground. Alliance and Horde each have a base, and there is a large midfield area in which many bodies will be slaughtered. Each team consists of a maximum of ten players. The object of the battleground is to pick up the opposing sides flag three times and return it to your base. The catch here is if the other team has your flag and you have theres, no one can capture the flags because your teams flag has to be in your base. So in short, if your flag isn't at your base, you can't capture theirs.

There is one common tactic I will mention about this battleground: turtling. Turtling is when, for example, the Alliance picks up the Horde flag and hides somewhere in the battleground without turning in the flag. This prevents the other team from capturing (but not picking up!) your flag, which more or less pauses the essence of the battleground and turns it into a honor grinding fest.

Arathi Basin
Arathi Basin is a, well...basin. The objective of this battleground is a five point king of the hill. Each team has a maximum of 15 players. There are five areas to control: Stables, Blacksmith, Gold Mine, Lumber Mill, and Farm. Each area has a banner on a post that must be captured and controlled for at least one minute to capture the area. Once the area is captured, the associated graveyard is also available for use. To win this battleground, one side must control enough areas for long enough to gain 2000 points for their team. Here is the cool part...for each area your team controls, your point gathering increases. So, if for the majority of the game the Horde controls three areas and the Alliance only two, then the Horde will win because they can get points faster by controlling more areas. Again, killing the other factions players grants Honor points.

In this battleground, there is one big thing you have to watch for: the 5-Cap. This is when one team controls all five areas. Points are exponentially increased, and the battle can be over in about a minute. Stop 5-Caps at all costs, unless your team is executing one, then it is a good thing!

Alterac Valley
Alterac Valley was the big level 60 battleground until the Burning Crusade came out. This is a 40 person per team battleground. That's right, a full raid. Pre-made teams can no longer join the battleground as a group, so it is very much a random playing experience. The objective of this battle ground is to get the other factions reinforcements to zero. Along the way, there are graveyards and towers that are captured. Graveyards are captured similar to Arathi Basin areas, except it takes four minutes to capture, not one. Towers are captured by killing the General in the tower, which lowers the reinforcements for the other faction. Killing the Captain at the end of the map sets the other factions reinforcements to zero instantly, making your faction the winner. Killing other players also lowers reinforcements. Capturing the towers is very much a good thing, because once a tower is captured, that also means one less general that you will have to kill in the main fight at the end with the Captain, if you make it that far. Again, Honor is rewarded for killing other players. Offensive and defensive groups are key to winning this battleground. Simply rushing the other factions Captain and leaving yours undefended is not very smart, but the battleground has been won this way before. It is risky.

Eye of the Storm
This is the new battleground that came with the Burning Crusade expansion. This battleground combines the capture the flag play of Warsong with the king of the hill aspect of Arathi Basin. Each team has a maximum of 15 players. There are four areas that can be captured: The Human Tower, Draenei Ruins, Fel Reaver Ruins, and a Blood Elf Tower. Each area is captured by having more of your players at the base then the other faction. So, if Alliance has 4 players at a base, and the Horde has one, then the Alliance will capture the area...and the Horde will likely die. There is also a single flag in the middle of the battleground. The objective of the flag is to grab it and haul it to a base you control. When you get it to a friendly base, the flag will be captured, and your team will get points based off of how many areas you control. First team to 2000 points wins. Again, killing the other faction gives you Honor points.

And now, the Arena!

Arena Play
The Arena is a place where groups of two, three, or five can go head to head for glory and points and blood and all that good stuff. There are two ways to play: a Skirmish, which any level can join, or Rated Battles, which is level 70 only, and for Arena Groups.

Arena Groups are formed at Arena Promoters, which are in major cities. Teams cost gold to form, they are 80g for two players, 120g for three players, and 200g for five players. Once the appropriate players sign the Team Charter, it can be turned in, and the Team is formed. A Flag can then be designed, similar to a guild tabard.

Skirmishes are for practive only, and you can have unbalanced battles, like 2 vs 1 or 5 vs 3. rated Battles are evenly matched based on team sizes and rating. Each team starts at 1500 rating, and you fight other teams in that rating area. If your team wins (kills the entire other team), your rating goes up. If you lose, your rating goes down. At the end of the week, if your team has completed at least ten Rated Battles (not won, just completed) your team is assigned Arena Points based off the ranking of the team.

You can be on multiple teams, but only one of each type. So you can be on a two person and a three person, but not two three person teams. When the points are tallied up at the end of the week, you get the points from the team that has gained the most. So, if your Two Player team gets 200 points, and your Three Person gets 300, you get just the 300. With the points you save you can buy armor, weapons, and other goodies...rather good goodies. Please note, Arena Points and Honor Points are NOT the same thing.