Happy Patch 2.3! I know that Blizzard gave raiders Zul'Aman, but the rest of the game really became much more casual friendly. This week we're going to talk about many of the Battleground benefits that are there for those of us with limited playtime.
First, let's talk about this weekend's Call to Arms. Eye of the Storm is the battleground giving the bonus honor this weekend. Levels 61 and up can participate in EotS and the battles are often only 15 minutes, not including queue time. Or course, one of the benefits of the Call to Arms is the reduced queue times.
I can't guarantee that the EotS queue times will be that much lower this weekend, however. The fact that Alterac Valley has recently been changed may mean that a lot of people will be trying that battleground out instead of EotS. Also, whatever battleground is in the PvP Daily Quest may affect queues as well.
Speaking of the Battleground Daily Quests, they are not as straightforward as I was expecting. The battleground changes according to server and day and faction and possibly time. So if you have alts across multiple servers, you can't assume that everyone has the same battleground for their daily quest. The level availability differs with the BG. So if the Daily Quest is for Warsong Gulch, anyone level 10 and higher can pickup the quest. But if AV is the battleground, then you must be 51 or higher for the quest to be available to you.
Otherwise, the quests are very simple. Go win a particular BG and return for cash, honor and presumably experience if you aren't level 70. Why do I say presumably? Because the Horde on my server can't seem to win a WSG in any bracket in which I have characters. "They're all twinks. Let's all stand on the hill by the graveyard until they win." Grawr! So, I am writing this column during enforced graveyard breaks in between flag carrying attempts. (Tough job, huh?)
Anyway, if you are trying to gear up a level 70 without raiding, you have a little more time to collect honor before Season 1 gear is available. As you may know, Arena Season 3 has been delayed and the ability to purchase Season 1 gear for honor along with it. But you'll still be able to buy purplez with honor on November 27th (28th for Europe). So running the BG Daily Quests and taking advantage of the honor bonus weekends and trying out the new AV is a great way to spend your limited playtime.
(It's gotten to the point where my warrior just looks nekkid without a hunter's mark over her head.)
Let's talk about AV a bit. Some people say it's great and others say they don't see much of a change. Regardless of whether the strategies have changed in the AV you get into, there is now a kind of time limit. Those useless battles on the bridge? Every death on either side gets you closer to the end of the game. Is a turtle (a side does nothing but play defense) bogging down the gameplay? Your sacrifices onto their defenses will at least bring the game to an end, even if it isn't the end you want. The point is, for those of us who don't have much time to play, Alterac Valley isn't as much of a time sink -- though it is more PvP oriented. (Update: According to the commenters, AV game time results may vary.)
Much like this week's column is more PvP oriented. I know that PvP isn't the way everyone wants to spend their 1 to 2 hours a session. I actually stink at PvP, which the twinked-out Gnome Rogues who jump around me like fleas can attest to. But you don't have to be good at killing other players in order to be extremely valuable in BGs. Healers are particularly valuable. Just pick a warrior, follow, buff and heal. Let everyone else worry about the kills. In WSG, follow and heal the flag carrier. You'll be a hero.
If PvP still isn't for you, I promise that next week, we'll cover more things you can do in 2 hours or less that don't involve players DOTting and sicking their pets on you.
As of this writing, Robin Torres still doesn't know what it's like to win a Warsong Gulch after patch 2.3.