Topic [PvP-guide] Strand of the Ancients
Edited by Gismokvack on 04/09/11 12:27 (BST)
Being one of the two new battlegrounds which was introduced during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Strand of the Ancients is a battleground based on the use of vehicles. One team is the defender, and the other is the attacker. These roles are random, and there are two rounds, so each team will both defend and attack.
The defending team is to guard an ancient fort which is practically a large safe for a relic of high archeological value. The attacking team, however, are to assault the fort, destroy the gates, and claim this very relic. Assuming most of us are loyal to our own faction, we will want to prevent the relic getting into the wrong (the enemies’) hands! The bold parts found throughout the text is there to highlight especially important information. Do not read it aloud like it was caps lock!
I shamelessly copied the layout of the "[PvP-guide] Alterac Valley" thread made by Martenus on this forum. It looks really good, be sure to check it out aswell! I hope you can forgive me fellow guide-crafter :-)
Edit 4th of september 2011: I am not actively playing right now, therefore, if changes arrive that affect this battleground, I might neither hear about nor add them. If you miss something in this guide, please do send me a link where the changes can be read about! Based on my limited knowledge, this guide should still be up to date, though.
What is at the disposal of the teams?
When you have picked up a bomb, there is a buff without a timer which tells you (and others) that you have a bomb with you. You can only carry one bomb at the same time. The defenders are able to disarm the bombs if they are quick enough; this is countered by simply dealing damage to the players who try to disarm it.
If you are unsure about whether the bomb may be disarmed by a player if you leave it alone, then stay with it and defend it until it detonates, which happens after ten seconds. These bombs are dropped (dropped, not deployed) to the ground on the death of the player who carries it, and this enables other friendly players to pick it up, or enemy players to disarm it. Note that if you use an engineering bag with space left, the bomb will automatically place itself within that bag if you pick it up.
The player driving the demolisher lose control of their character and gain control of the vehicle, thus receiving a new action bar which contains two new abilities that the driver can use. The first being Hurl Boulder, a catapult-like attack which throws a fiery boulder onto the designated area chosen by the driing player. The boulder deals decent damage against players, but its intended use is for the gates. The second ability is called Ram which is also a damage dealing ability, but executed with the front “bumper” of the demolisher, dealing moderate damage against players and knocks them back. This ability also does damage against the gates, even more than the boulder in fact.
The boulder deals 1000 siege damage and the ram deals 1500 damage, but ramming means you will have to be in melee range of the gate. The demolishers scale quite a bit with the gear of the player currently driving it; the better gear, the more health the vehicle has. I think the demolishers now move at about 150% movement speed, i.e. you will catch it on your mount, but not when running. They can be slowed and rooted, since the latest patch, but they still cannot be stunned. These respawn at the spot where they were picked up quite quickly after being destroyed.
Edited by Gismokvack on 17/02/11 03:46 (GMT)
The demolishers and bombs can only be used/driven/picked up/jumped on to by the attacking players, and the turrets and teleporters can only be used by the defending players.
1.0 Attacking the fort
So your team are the ones who attack, and you are all on your two boats which will take you to Omaha Bea… err… the Strand of the Ancients. What are you going to do? The demolishers are vital to a successful win in this battleground, this means you will want to get as many as you possibly can, as soon as they spawn. You will also want to keep the remaining players from your team - who are not using a demolisher - to defend the tanks; the tanks die quickly on their own!
Any player defending a demolisher should always prioritize preventing the enemies from killing vehicles, by any means possible. That includes slows, stuns, knockbacks, silences, interrupts, disarms, and killing. If you are not inside of a tank, you can jump the enemies before they even get close to the vehicle and dispatch them there. If you cannot kill them, try to make sure that they cannot reach it by slowing them.
Damage alone is useful, but often simply stunning/fearing/polymorphing the enemies is worth more than letting them continuously hit the tanks while slowly being killed themselves. You will have to assess the situation yourself and decide if it is more useful to try and kill the enemies or to control them. While one cannot heal the demolishers, one can dispel them from various debuffs like poisons, magic effects, diseases and curses. This is extremely useful as classes who rely on potent damage over time effects are nullified, reducing a large amount of threat against the tanks. Since the tanks are now slowable by most kinds of slowing effects and roots, dispelling the tank has never been more important!
The driver have to steer the vehicle against the gate which he/she has mentally selected to destroy, and use the tank’s two abilities to destroy it. Remember the ram ability dealing more damage than the boulder? This means that the most effective way to dispatch a gate is to move towards it, constantly hitting it with your boulder ability until you get in range for the ram ability, which you will try to use every time it is ready.
There are, however, certain scenarios where moving closer to the gate is less effective than simply standing at the maximum range of your boulder, one being the gate is heavily defended by the defenders; moving closer would most likely bring more attention to the tank and get it destroyed. Standing behind a tree somewhere will most likely give you more time to use boulders which will perhaps get the gate down. Now when the demolishers move as quickly as they do, it is even possible to kite players! Move around the gate and throw boulders. Often works wonders!
Edited by Gismokvack on 17/02/11 03:50 (GMT)
As soon as you destroy one of the first two gates, you will be able to capture the two middle graveyards. This will make you spawn in the mid-east and mid-west of the map, instead of on the middle of the beach in the north. You will also have access to more bombs and demolishers. After you destroy one of the second gates, you will be able to capture the southern graveyard, which is the last graveyard available for the attackers. This will add an additional spawning point for bombs, and make the attackers able to resurrect in the southern part of the map.
The southern graveyard does not yield more demolishers, however. The defenders will resurrect at each and every one of these graveyards (whichever is the closest) until the attackers capture themexception being the beach one where the attackers resurrect normally. The last graveyard for the defenders is at the courtyard of the relic chamber, which is just like the beach one for the attackers; not capturable. The defenders cannot re-capture the graveyards when they have been taken by the attackers.
When you have reached the last two gates, or even the last gate before the relic, you will see that more often than not does the defenders get serious and defend better. Since they spawn right between those two gates, they will be able to defend with ease. This makes attacking the gates with demolishers going solo close to useless. What the attackers need to do is to gather up their vehicles, and charge as groups; four tanks together will get much further than four tanks who are coming one by one, allowing the defenders to snipe them out.
If you find that the last gate is close to crumble, but you cannot seem to get that last demolisher through, then it is most likely time to use bombs. If you have captured the last southern graveyard, you have access to bombs inside of the courtyard. Use these and run towards the last gate and place them there. The defenders will most likely try to disarm them so try to keep interrupting them.
Sometimes, if many of the attackers do this during the last one or two minutes, it seems that the defenders are so focused on disarming the bombs that they forget to check the map. Surprise time! Use this time to get your last demolishers towards the last gate. The defenders might be ready for it, or they might be completely taken by surprise, and they will simply not have the time to destroy the demolisher before the gate is destroyed. Your team right-clicks the relic and you win that round! However, you have not won the Strand of the Ancients yet. You also need to be…
2.0 Defending the fort
Yeah, that is correct; this battleground has two rounds, one where your team defends, and one where your team attacks. It is, as said before, completely random as to what your team will do in the starting round. In this guide, your team begun as attackers, and your team captured the relic. Depending on how quickly you captured it, the more/less time you have to defend against the other team which will now attack; if you managed to capture the relic quickly, you will have less time to defend the next round, and if you did not manage to capture the relic at all, you would have to defend for the whole ten minutes. This means you will always have to do your best.
As the defenders, you will spawn on the southern graveyard. The ships with which the attackers arrive will get to the docks shortly; you will have to get in place on the beach to defend against them. The demolishers should now spawn when the ships arrive. When the boats arrive and the game starts, you will want to focus all of your damage on the demolishers that will now be targetable. As they are slowable, it is imperative that you do so immediately; the demolishers will easily outrun anyone on foot if they are not slowed!
There are as mentioned two at each side of the beach, and the attackers will jump into these immediately and drive towards your two first gates. You can either deal damage to the vehicles with your character as you normally do, but you can also use the turrets at the gates. Note here that if you have good gear, your damage (and utility) will most certainly reach much further on the scales than the damage with the turrets, but remember that inside the turrets, you are invincible until the actual cannon is destroyed. Consider jumping into these if you want to deal decent damage far away from danger.
Edited by Gismokvack on 17/02/11 03:52 (GMT)
Oh no, the attackers breached one of the first gates, you will need to try to defend the middle graveyards for as long as you may. As long as you keep them the attackers will only have demolishers which respawn at the docks. This will net you some time where they really cannot do much else than mindlessly attack everything else than the gates, as there will be a shortage of tanks. This means you will want to leave the beach and move to the next section as soon as your gate is down.
As defenders, you will have to be prepared that the attackers might very well do the exact same thing you would have done when you attacked; this means that you might be slowed/stunned/disoriented/polymorphed when you try to destroy a tank, but just keep at it.
The second last gate is where magic often happens. This is where the team usually gathers when the prior gates are down. Just remember to not lose focus on the map where you can see both empty demolishers, and those currently on the move. If you see that no tanks are on the move, you can get to the unused tanks and get them down to approximately 10% health. This is much more effective in the long run than destroying it on the spot, as the tank will respawn if destroyed, but if it is left at low health, it will be quickly dispatched if someone cares to use it.
If you are pushed into the courtyard, keep an eye out for attackers who might use bombs to attack the last gate, and demolishers which will enter through the second last gate. If you now successfully defend the relic until the timer expires, you will win the battleground.
You do not have to “win” the first round to be able to win the game; you only have to win the last round. But excelling in the first round is vital in its own way as it makes the last round easier (shorter time to defend, or more time to attack). I have seen games completely turn around on our enemies where we lost the first round with shame, and then expulsed awesome and won the last round easily.
Some cool, pro and other superlative's worth of tips:
I have re-read the text, but I might have missed some parts. If you have questions or want to correct something, please do not hesitate to reply. If you disagree with anything, please reply with a reason why. I would gladly take advice myself; this is what I usually do in this battleground, but what I do is not law, therefore I have tried to keep it neutral.
If you found this thread somewhat less-than-awful, please press the pretty thumbs up in the upper right corner!
Gismokvack of Dark Saints, Ravenholdt EU
Thank you. Fair enough, t'is too long to be a "handy pocket guide", but I have put all of my own thoughts and tips in there. It is lengthy, but it fills most of the different scenarios out quite well, if I say so myself.
Edited by Gismokvack on 05/12/10 02:17 (GMT)
I changed the layout to look like Martenus' "[PvP-Guide] Alterac Valley"; it felt much easier to read that way! Be sure to check his guide out if you have not done so already. I hope this is ok, Martenus. I have also changed the layout of the chapters to make it easier to see where you are in the text.
As long as there are games going in a battleground, there will be the need for tactics to succeed. Aye, the Strand of the Ancients might be a boring battleground in the eyes of many, if not most, players, but I am fairly sure that adding a guide will not make it less accessible. That is, given the guide works.
Dare I say this is not a pointless thread? My goal is to give players more knowledge in one of the six battlegrounds. If I have reached that goal is yet to be known, but saying that I have not is, based on the information we got in this thread, wrong.
Good post, well written and structure. Deserves a bump & Like
Should edit the "Buffs" section. It has a paragraph speaking about which side can use which appliances, and this doesn't seem to fit the context of "Buffs" in the structural sense. Maybe move it elsewhere?
Edited by Palette on 02/12/10 08:49 (GMT)
After the latest patch, demolishers are way FASTER than players (not sure if that was intended or is a bug). This means when one gate falls to more than one demo, usually the others will fall swiftly too.
Unless - unsurprisingly - the defending site features mages. Cone of cold WILL chill demolishers, slowing them in the process. Again, I'm not quite sure if that's intended or a bug, as i have not seen any other slow effect working on the demos, but that might be due to just not having seen them yet :).
Yet another underhanded mage buff, IMO.
Reported for sticky & good work, will help the ones who want to learn ;)
Sadly it dosen't seem like people want to learn. It's so much better to yell "omg you noobs suckzor" after you've been farming the beach and the 2 allies spawning there than chasing after demos that are plowing through the gates.
I assume this goes both for horde and alliance. Amazing how 5-6 people working together can win this silly bg. But hopefully when those 5-6 people go to join rated bg's the ones left behind will learn?
I have no problem loosing to a better team, still fun, but I do have a big problem with people not contributing to the match and then cry when you loose.
Rated bg's here we come!
Im sorry but this was 4 long posts of wasted time. Here is the real guide:
1. Queue for random BG.
2. Enter SotA
3. type /AFK
4. Go do PVE for 15 mins
5. Queue for random BG, pray its not SotA again (if it is go back to step 3)
Edited by Gismokvack on 05/12/10 02:20 (GMT)
I thank you all for the replies, they really help me to change the guide to become more user friendly! I have changed the Buffs section (thankee-sai, Teheran) to not include the short overview of what items and vehicles are useable for what faction; that overview is now immediately beneath the buffs section, written in italic.
Regarding the cone of cold spell slowing the demolishers, I am quite sure this is a bug and is intended to be fixed shortly; there are a lot of unintended problems due to the patch, which Blizzard will fix in due time.
This guide was written before the change of the demolishers being more powerful and quicker. I myself have yet to try out the updated demolishers due to having a busy week, but I am fairly sure this guide applies to the new version of the Strand of the Ancients aswell.
Speaking of turrets, what I would like to see is a kind of slow debuff applied to the area where the turret-boulder hits. I believe, after a bit of tweaking, this would not only make turrets more viable (even for well-geared players), but absolutely crucial to success. As much fun as it is simply using your own character in dealing damage, I am sure turrets with more features would make them fun to use, and thus only add positive effects to the battleground as a whole.