Hi, it's me again. I've been tossing a few of my ideas around now, and I'm back with yet another one. It's been a while since the last one - in the mean time, we've been told about Mists of Pandaria, which brings a couple of new battlegrounds.
As some sort of tradition, I tend to start these kinds of topics with a small observation about the current amount and spread of battlegrounds:
Battlegrounds in Eastern Kingdoms: 6 or 7; Alterac Valley, Arathi Basin, Battle for Gilneas, Stranglethorn Diamond Mines, Twin Peaks and Tol Barad.
Battlegrounds in Kalimdor: 2; Azshara Crater and Warsong Gulch.
Battlegrounds in Northrend: 2 or 3; Isle of Conquest, Strand of the Ancients and Wintergrasp.
Battlegrounds in Pandaria: 1; Valley of Power.
Battlegrounds in Outlands: 1; Eye of the Storm.
Battlegrounds in Northern Azeroth: 8 or 10; all except for three.
Battlegrounds in Southern Azeroth: 2; Stranglethorn Diamond Mines and Valley of Power.
Even if Mists of Pandaria did give us two battlegrounds that are in Southern Azeroth and one that is in Kalimdor, it's still painfully obvious that there's too many located in both Eastern Kingdoms and the Northern part of Azeroth.
While I had a basic idea of the gameplay of the battleground, I've been toying with a few locations. One location struck me as very nice, as I believe the next expansion will fill up the world of Azeroth (Southern Seas etc., with Queen Azshara and her naga as the main villains): Dire Maul in Feralas. Dire Maul, before it was overrun and ruined, used to be called Eldre'Thalas, a 'proud highborne city'. It was the capital of Queen Azshara's servitors, and is said to hide some of Queen Azshara's deepest secrets. It would make for a nice setting, I figured.
Locating a new battleground in Feralas would be pretty nice, I think. I believe the zone itself is quite nice, and we haven't seen a real, lush forest-like battleground yet. On top of that, locating the battleground itself around ruins of Highborne architecture would make up for a nice and varied map.
What would the exact lore reasoning behind the battleground be?
As said, Dire Maul is said to hold secrets of Queen Azshara, and, again as said, I believe we will see Azshara as the main antagonist in one of the future expansions of WoW. Azshara, who is one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) mages alive, would be nigh impossible to defeat straight up, especially if you take the army that's she's been building into consideration.
The Night Elves seek ways to weaken Azshara, and hope they will be able to find clues in her past. In an effort to complete this goal, they planned on clearing out Dire Maul of its current occupants.
As it stands though, Feathermoon Stronghold is their closest supplier of reinforcements, but between Dire Maul and Feathermoon there lies an Ogre camp - Stonemaul Hold. The Night Elves seek no other option than to destroy the hold in order to create a foothold near Dire Maul.
The Ogres on the other hand have no clue of the secrets than lie in the ruins - but even if the Night Elves would try and tell them, odds would be that they'd bash the messenger's skull before listening. They're currently in the middle of a war started by the Night Elves; the Ogres of Stonemaul only wish to defend their land. They do realize that the Night Elves seek ancient Highborne artifacts - there must be something about them, maybe they should gather them, too.
Enough with that lore, what would the battleground work like?
As I believe the current battleground table, combined with my previous ideas, cover a lot of the traditional battle styles. Ruins of Eldre'Thalas is more of a variation or combination of previous battlegrounds: Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin and Valley of Power.
In Ruins of Eldre'Thalas, there would be three clusters of ruins. In the middle of each ruin there's an ancient Highborne artifact. These artifacts work like a flag, they can be picked up, moved around, dropped on choice and by using certain abilities, such as mounting. A counter would start counting when a player holds one of the artifacts. If there's more players of one faction holding artifacts, the faction counter would increase faster.
It's technically a version of King of the Hill, with player-bound hills.
However, we'd need to stop players from clustering while holding more artifacts than the opposing faction, as it would mess up the battleground royally - those who'd get to two artifacts before the opposing faction would win.
A simple solution that would also work within the lore is found:
Aware of the secrets the artifacts bear, Azshara's Highborne empowered the artifacts: if two of them would be too close by, shocks of arcane magic would be sent out from the core of the artifact itself, hurting those holding it and those near them.
In other words, two people holding artifacts moving too close to each other would put a DoT on all those nearby. This DoT is powerful enough to kill players in mere seconds - healers wouldn't be able to keep up with the damage.
I believe the current idea works best with 10v10, or 12v12 maybe. Battle for Gilneas gives me the idea that three nodes are too easy to defend with 15 players. 10 players would work better for it, in my opinion. If an artifact hasn't been picked up yet, it takes a few seconds to get it - much like capping a flag in Arathi Basin. If an artifact was dropped by a player, people can pick it up straight away - much like the flag works in Eye of the Storm.
How would the battleground look?
I currently envision it somewhat close to being a parallelogram in shape. The Horde base is at the top right, the Alliance base at the bottom left (because that's how Feathermoon and Stonemaul are positioned relative from each other).
Close to the center of the map there's two of the nodes, one being a bit closer to the Alliance base, the other being closer to the Horde base. At the left side of the map, we can find an elevation. Both the Alliance and the Horde have to move up a ramp to reach the area, where the last artifact can be found. While it might not seem like it on the map below, the amount of time it takes for the Horde to reach the artifact should be around the same time as for the Alliance to reach it. On the right side of the map, there's yet another elevation. The ramps up this elevation are curvy, allowing people on that ramp to see what's coming up the ramp easier.
One of the most strategic points of the map is a bridge in the middle of the map, that connects the two elevated areas. Players can move between the elevated areas easily, but can also jump down to join in on a fight that takes place below them. It is this point that both factions would want to control, as it gives a lot of mobility to your faction.
There's also a few trees scattered around the battleground that could be used for line-of-sight purposes.
Quick mock-up of the map.
Q & A (or statements and replies, for that matter):
Q. This idea sucks.
A. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but please, elaborate why you think it’s a bad idea.
Q. You suck.
A. Thank you.
Q. What factions will winning give reputation to?
A. There will be two factions, one is Night Elf based, the other is Ogre based. These two factions will be completely new, and should give new rewards.
Q. There's no playable Ogres, how can there be an Ogre faction for the Horde?
A. Note that there's also a High Elf faction and a Wildhammer Dwarf faction for the Alliance, and a Dragonmaw Orc for the Horde.
Q. Will there be faction bases inside the battleground?
A. Not really, no. Obviously there's a need for a spawning point and a graveyard, but that's all each faction gets.
Q. Are there any power-ups like in WSG and TP?
A. Current ideas tell me no.
Q. Does holding an artifact give you a buff?
A. Other than a cosmetic buff, one that gives you a slight appearance change to show you're holding an artifact, no.
Q. This looks too much like …
A. If you mean that this idea is too close to other people’s ideas, let me tell you that most of the ideas in this thread come from my personal head. Also, to quote Gsusnme in the Warden thread:
I have nothing to GAIN from "stealing" an idea, as I am not getting paid for this, it's simply for fun and the whole "What-If" factor.
Q. What would appear at the top of your screen?
A. You'd be able to see how many artifacts are in your possession, and how many 'resources' you've gathered.