Ah, world PvP. In many ways, world PvP can be considered the purest form of PvP because when it happens -- if it's not done in association with a quest or other form of reward -- it is PvP for the sake of PvP. Some of the best times I've ever had doing PvP was in Hillsbrad Foothills, defending Tarren Mill and attacking Southshore. I miss the times when the World Defense channel would be flooded by calls to defend the Crossroads. There's also something very pure about coming to the aid of a faction leader under assault. And when Wrath of the Lich King finally arrives, I have a good feeling it's going to happen a lot more often.
I wrote about the many Achievements related to PvP, such as the retroactive Achievements that you can work on before Patch 3.0 hits, as well as the numerous Battlegrounds Achievements. Although PvP for the sake of PvP is extremely fun, Achievements will actually reward something that previously never got anything more than bragging rights and a silly grin. Today we'll look at the numerous Achievements that work to encourage world PvP.
One of the things I'm looking forward to when Achievements are implemented are city raids. They don't happen too often, even on a PvP server, but when they do it can be total chaos and a whole lot of fun. Achievements only make it more fun by putting easily -- for the most part -- attainable goals such as the Wrath of the Alliance and Wrath of the Horde, where players are tasked with killing five enemy players in their home cities. Although all PvP Achievements can be unlocked as a raid, these Achievements can be done solo or with a party and is probably even more fun and fulfilling with smaller groups.
The only difficult catch here is that enemy players are unflagged by default in their home cities, giving them the advantage. There's also the niggling matter of continuously respawning guards. One trick is to run into the city naked and purposely die somewhere close to a building in order to rezz safely at a later time. The bonus is that quite a few players will be baited into attacking you, thus flagging themselves for the next five minutes. One of the best strategies is to insert a Warlock along with two other players -- stealthers, if you will -- and start summoning the raid from somewhere deep inside the city. Of course, if you have a large enough raid, you can do it with a bang and charge willy-nilly through the city gates with all proverbial guns ablaze.
City Defenders get an Achievement, too, by killing fifty enemy players in any of their home cities. This should provide enough incentive to get flagged. Fifty is a huge jump from the five required of attackers, but it's simply much easier to get a kill with the help of endlessly spawning NPCs.
Faction leader kills
If you have a big enough raid, you can attempt to go for the faction leader Achievements. The Alliance are tasked to kill Cairne Bloodhoof in Bleeding Bloodhoof, Thrall in Death to the Warchief!, Lady Sylvanas in Downing the Dark Lady, and Lor'themar Theron in Killed in Quel'thalas. The Horde have their equivalent goals in killing Magni Bronzebeard in Death to the King!, Tyrande Whisperwind in Immortal No More, Prophet Velen in Putting Out The Light, and Highlord Bolvar Fordragon in Storming Stormwind, although I suspect that last one will be changed at some point in the future when Varian Wrynn finally takes his rightful place in Stormwind Keep. Players who manage to kill all four opposing faction leaders will unlock For The Horde! and For The Alliance! Achievements.
The interesting thing is that these are essentially PvE bosses in a PvP environment, so you'll have to throw in some raid strategy into the mix. Each of the faction bosses have their sets of abilities as well as secondary boss NPCs (such as Vol'jin), although most are just tank and spank affairs. Ironically, these Achievements are done best with as little PvP as possible -- that is to say, try to have as few defenders as possible. While faction bosses are strong in themselves -- a full raid is recommended -- the most difficult thing about taking one down are the enemy players defending them.
When going for faction leader kills, it is wise to bring as many players and alerting as few enemies as possible. This can be done by planning assaults during off-peak hours such as 2-3am in the morning and using the Warlock insertion method. The lay-out of each city can be studied -- there are often safe spots in each city that is close to the faction leader such as an adjacent building where Warlocks can summon the whole raid. Surprise is the best strategy here and, done properly, can result in a dead faction leader before anyone even realizes that something is amiss. In fact, most of the time, unless it's Thrall or Magni Bronzebeard, few players will bother to come to the leader's aid.
This means that Velen and Lor'themar are practically free kills, considering the sparsity of players in their cities and how much of a bother it is to go there. Lor'themar Theron has the benefit of a direct portal from Undercity right behind his chambers, however, which can result in rapid reinforcements. Fortunately, in The Burning Crusade and later in Wrath of the Lich King, there are portals directly to each city from Shattrath and Dalaran respectively, making it relatively easy to provide assistance where necessary. It should be interesting to see how players respond to city raids with Achievements in place.
Some Achievements aren't directly related to world PvP but PvP in general, whether it happens in or out of the Battlegrounds. A simple one that any player can achieve is Duel-Licious, which is unlocked by winning a duel against another player, an easy enough task. The more interesting ones, however, are Know Thy Enemy for the Alliance and Horde, and That Takes Class. Both achievable inside the Battlegrounds, Know Thy Enemy is unlocked by landing a killing blow on each of the enemy races while That Takes Class can be achieved by getting a killing blow on each class. The former should be easy while the latter could take a bit more work as some classes are natural foils for others. Both Achievements don't require planning and should come naturally in the course of any player's PvP career.
Last but not least, there's the whimsical Make Love, Not Warcraft, which is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the eponymous South Park episode that featured World of Warcraft. Unlocked by using the /hug emote on a corpse before the enemy has released, this is one of the easiest Achievements to do. Simply spam a macro to targetlasttarget and hug as an opponent is about to die. Chances are, the /hug will land before the enemy releases her corpse, and zing! Free Achievement.
While the current list of PvP Achievements look good, I'm looking forward to a few more added in the future. Many Achievements are one-time affairs and don't encourage repeated PvP. We have yet to see Achievements related to the newest world PvP zone of Lake Wintergrasp, so that should be exciting to review when it finally comes.
Zach writes the PvP column The Art of War(craft) while debating on whether to level his characters in Beta to 80 or pursue the various PvP Achievements on live. On one hand, smashing hammers in Beta is fun as hell, on the other hand, headway needs to be made towards the 100k HK mark...
Do you like PvP? Do you like hearing the sounds of enemies dying and the horns of battle in Battlegrounds? Check out The Art of War(craft) and prep yourself for all the glorious PvP Achievements -- from ones you can pursue now, to the Battlegrounds part I and part II -- coming to game soon.