Turns out that moving the Horde starting place and nerfing Vanndar and Balinda was all it took to get the alliance back into Alterac Valley. I am happy to report that the queue times in Stormstrike have dropped from an hour and a half to a minute and a half. What the hell changed?
Looking at it from a tactics standpoint, towers are more important now then they were before, due to the stacking buffs they provide to the “boss” NPCs. Therefore, it is in each sides best interests to keep their own towers intact, and their enemies a pile of rubble. And of course, neither side bothers to do this anymore in AV…
Stormstrike has reverted back to the way it used to be, in regards to AV. Both sides simply zerg the others commander, and most games rarely last more than ten minutes. It’s sad, really. I liked the way AV played in 2.3… plenty of PvP, strategical fighting that felt truly like a war. Now it feels like I’m running an alt through Shadowfang Keep or something.
Most matches end with either Horde or Alliance victorious (largely a tossup), with the winning side getting around 300-400 bonus honor, and the losers getting around 200-300 bonus honor. Very few players have higher than ten, maybe fifteen kills.
There are still a few matches left where Horde doesn’t simply all out Zerg, but actually plays with intelligence and clear goals in mind besides “KILL VANN”. In these matches, nearly half the Horde team gathers up in the Galv / Iceblood area, and waits for the inevitable Alliance zerg. Y’see, Alliance still hasn’t figured out how to play this battleground.
Anyways, so the Alliance zerg, usually at least 30 of their team, rushes straight to the Ice Blood area, but has trouble figuring out where to go. Some of them rush at Galv, some of them try to take the graveyard. Usually about 5 attempt to take the tower. It usually takes about two minutes, sometimes three, for their entire offensive to be splintered and destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Horde offense is much more methodical. They take the graveyard by Balinda, cap both the towers (then defend them with a melee/healy type combo), and once the graveyard caps, then they move in and kill Balinda. Most of the offense then pushes on to Stormpike, while the defense, having now destroyed the alliance offense, caps Snowfall, and the majority moves up to join the offense.
To put a long story short, about 5, 6 minutes into the game, the alliance is rezzing at Stormpike, while the majority of the Horde team descends on them.
These matches end with the Horde looking at 600-700 bonus honor, usually about 30-40 kills minimum per player, and our reinforcement count above 400, usually above 500.
Strangely, these matches usually last 15 to 20 minutes.
All I can say is this.
In 2.3, Alterac Valley was my absolute favorite battleground. It was large, had PvP in truck loads, and took serious strategy and effort to not only win, but soundly defeat the other side.
Now, in 2.4, it has transformed back into a race. Expect to see me there honor farming, nothing more.
Otherwise, it’s back to Arathi Basin, or even Warsong Gulch. The “new” Warsong is actually very fun, and there are no premades in sight!