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Long ago, the warlock Gul'dan exiled a clan of orcs called the Frostwolves to a valley hidden deep in the heart of the Alterac Mountains. The Frostwolf Clan eked out a living until Thrall triumphantly united many of Azeroth’s orcs. The Frostwolves, however, chose to remain in the valley rather than joining Thrall in Orgrimmar – and their relative peace has since been challenged by the arrival of the dwarven Stormpike Expedition. The Stormpike Expedition’s desire to mine and plumb the underexplored caves for relics has invited conflict with the Frostwolf Clan, but opinions are divided on who struck first. Were the dwarves who arrived in the valley peaceful explorers who were massacred by the orcs, or did they plan to poach and conquer?
To triumph in Alterac Valley, you’ll capture objectives (like towers and bunkers), slay enemy players, and kill NPC captains to whittle the opposing team’s reinforcement score down to 0. Slaying the enemy faction’s general (a significant challenge) will grant you an instant win – but they’re protected by scores of soldiers, so you’ll want to capture enemy towers to make sure your opponents are sufficiently weakened, and claim graveyards to improve your army’s foothold on the map.
Unlike some other Battlegrounds, Alterac Valley is a zone unto itself – expect to encounter unaligned creatures like troggs and wolves, which you can attack (and be attacked by) as you traverse the battlefield.
An Alterac Valley Battleground ends in one of two ways:
Reinforcement Victory – Reduce the enemy team’s reinforcement score to 0 through a combination of capturing structures, killing enemy players, and defeating captains.
Slay the Enemy General – If you kill the enemy team's general, their reinforcement score will be instantly reduced to 0.
Alliance heroes begin on the northern part of the map, with Horde heroes starting on the southern part of the map. Between these two battle lines lies the massive Field of Strife, a snowy killing ground filled with objectives (and well-suited to the clash of armies). Each base houses a general and several other important personages.
As you range throughout the valley, you’ll find enemy structures (towers and bunkers, located on their side) that can be destroyed to reduce the opposing team’s reinforcement score.
You can also capture locations. Taking control of a new graveyard allows members of your team to 'respawn' (return to life) in that area, while commandeering a mine will give your side a small, consistent increase in reinforcement score. To control or assault a tower, bunker or graveyard, you’ll need to right-click on it, then hold the location for a short period of time (a few minutes) to accomplish your goal. Enemy players can interrupt your control by right-clicking on the location to defend it - slay them as soon as they appear. To take ownership of a mine, simply slay the enemy taskmaster - a challenging NPC - who dwells inside the mine.
Losing your structures to enemy players will lower your team’s reinforcement score, so protect them to the best of your ability. You can recapture lost structures to recover your missing points – but your enemies can do the same, so attack and defend carefully and tactically, and adapt to the messages that appear on your screen telling you which locations are under attack.
Completing optional quests and objectives can provide advantages for your team (like weakening enemy fortifications and guard NPCs), though some of these quests require a high standing (reputation) with your faction (Horde: Frostwolf Clan | Alliance: Stormpike Guard).