Zone into the battleground, and here I am, my widdle premade gnome mage (yeah, yeah, I made a premade gnome, screw you) standing on a boat.
You see, Strand of the Ancients is a Beach of Normandy style of battleground. One side attacks, the other defends. The defenders have the beach, with these artillery cannons they can use to shoot at other players. The attackers spend the preparation time before the battleground starts on this two boats.
The boats themselves first spawn so far away from the beach, you can’t see it. The boats, as people spawn in, move towards the shore.
As soon as the boats hit the shore, the battle begins.
Depending on how the other side set up their defence, sometimes it’s eerily quiet when you get to the beach, and sometimes you jump straight into an all out brawl.
The battle itself revolves around the attackers having to fight there way past all these gates to storm the end keep thingy. The gates can be damaged by siege vehicles and bombs. Both have to be used and activated by the attackers. The defenders have these artillery stations by the gates (note: currently, the vehicles/artillery ddeal about 3k damage).
The battle will last 10 minutes, no more. The attackers are declared the winners if they storm the keep, the defenders are declared the winners if they successfully defend it.
Then, round 2 begins, and the teams swap. The hunters become the hunted, so to speak, and round 2 begins.
If the rounds end in a tie, that is, nobody successfully stormed the keep, then the battleground is declared a draw. If you have a daily for victory in SotA, a draw will not fulfill the quest.
Draws are very, very common so far. Alliance victories are few, and I have yet to see Horde win.
Overall, this is a very cool battleground, and I expect I shall spend many, many hours in here. It is only a 10 man battleground, however, or maybe for some strange reason only ten people from each side ever queue. Either way, the battleground itself is much, much better than WSG.
SotA has two distinct advantages to it: A time limit, and ludicrous fun.
Try to picture the first time you made the terrible mistake of joining AV. It’s like that. Fireballs flying everywhere, people running all over the place, strange colours from a myriad of spells and effects lighting up the horizon in every direction.
Class balance, you ask? Feh, like I care. PoM Pyro is awesome.
Seeing a cat druid leap through the air, landing, taking a swipe at you, and then eating a PoM Pyro to the face is a very surreal experience. *DISCLAIMER* CriticallQQ and all of it’s affiliations do not condone the act of setting cats on fire. Seriously. That’s disgusting. If I ever catch you setting a cat on fire, I will end you.
Death Knights aren’t as bad as they sound. About on par with a warrior, if the warrior had a silence ability and Cloak of Shadows.
Instant cast Invisibility is much, much more useful than it sounds.
PoM and AP on a 2 minute cooldown is awesome.
Mirror Image has been nerfed into oblivion. Either that or it finally scales with spellpower at a .05% ratio. /single tear.
THERE IS A /highfive EMOTE. Sadly, it is not animated. I expect this to be fixed in a future build.
Spells now officially “miss”, and when they do, their animation goes winging off into nowhere, just like a hunter’s shot if he misses. This is extremely embarrasing when you hurl PoM Pyro at someone, and it whiffs off into the air. Downright horrifying when you miss a Tauren at point blank range.
53/18 is awesome. I highly doubt this could be successful in arenas, at least not without a very specific comp. In battlegrounds, however, it is constructed from the very essence of win. There is no reason to ever stop moving to cast, except for polymorph. And when you do, Burning Determination is there to save the day.
The talent may not look like much for arenas. But I’m sure the number of “Immune”s that have appeared over my head must get incredibly annoying. Observe:
I cast Scorch.
Shaman Wind Shocks me. O Noes! My Fierz!
I cast a few instants, and then Arcane Blast.
Shaman Wind Shocks me. I IZ IMMUNE!
Shaman is all “WTF?”
In that regard, it is highly advisable to not cast arcane spells with an actual cast time. It is a very dangerous tree to get locked out of. I use Scorch myself, if that school gets locked down, it’s of no real consequence. And if they do, now that I’m immune to spell interrupts for 10 seconds, all hell breaks loose.
Presence of Mind (and clearcast) apply a buff called Arcane Awesome or something. It increases the critical strike chance of your next spell by 30%.
If you use a PoM Pyro macro, this buff will not apply to your Pyroblast spell. Instead, it will happily sit there, waiting for you to cast another spell.
Meaning, of course, that the old trick of waiting for clearcast to hit PoM Pyro just got a whole lot deadlier.
I think I quite shocked that priest… nothing like seeing Pyro, ABar, and Fireblast all crit in very rapid succession. And then getting silenced. And then getting hit with ABar again.
Did I mention how fun this is?
Warlocks are a joke. With mage armor providing that ridiculously useful anti-magics buff, and the unnerving amount of spell resist you can get (140, to be precise), warlocks just aren’t a threat.
Bwahaha, the duration of all harmful magic effects is reduced by 50%… WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?!
Did I mention that PoM Pyro is fun?