Blizzard just sent us word about the new Battlegrounds system in World of Warcraft. I wanted to say a few things about this.
First, this is probably the most unique and original idea I have seen in a MMORPG since the original Neverwinter Nights on AOL. This adds an element of gameplay straight out of the FPS genre and I think it is great. Even more interesting is it gives you a chance to buy really cool items not available through traditional gameplay. I hope they realize how important the Battlegrounds will be to the future of their game and continue to put out additional maps. Great Job Blizzard! This is why you have been one of the premiere game studios for the last 10 years.
Here is the full scoop.
The team-based combat maps known collectively as Battlegrounds are now open for war! These special, instanced zones allow large armies to wage climactic battles (as in the massive 40 vs 40 map Alterac Valley ) or smaller groups to fight quicker, capture-the-flag conflicts (like Warsong Gulch , a 10 vs 10 map). All of these battles take place between the factions of Horde and Alliance and are perfect zones to advance your character in the honor system and to gain new, specialized gear and rewards.
Click Read More…. for the rest. In Alterac Valley – one of the two Battlegrounds maps made available in this patch – teams of 40 players face off in a huge battle for control of the Valley. The Hordes Frostwolf Tribe in the south and the Alliances Dwarven Stormpike Clan in the north have had a falling out, and its up to the Battlegrounds players to mediate this dispute – with swordpoint diplomacy. This map is for character levels 51-60 only and the goals are to slay the enemy general and reduce the enemys base to smoldering ash. This innovative and exciting new gameplay not only pits players against each other in an organized player-versus-player war, but also compels you to quest for special advantages. For example, after completing a certain quest progression, a Horde Shaman NPC will call down the thunder – literally in the person of a terrifying and gigantic Elemental that will lay waste to the Alliance team.
The other map released in this patch – Warsong Gulch – is intended for a broader range of players (levels 20+ can compete) and is a quicker, 10-player team battle. This map is pure capture-the-flag fun, and is designed for those that want a swift PvP fix. Players will be matched up within level ranges of ten (players level 20-29 will compete against each other, 30-39, etc.) and will find in this map a fast-paced way to gain honorable kills and contribution points in the honor system.