While cannons aren't technically siege vehicles, they certainly play a huge part in siege warfare as these are Wintergrasp Fortress' primary form of defense. For attackers to have any success, it is imperative to take out these cannons, as they deal massive damage to players and siege vehicles alike. Cannons have extremely long range so can deal damage even before attackers reach the keep.
Cannons are mounted between destructible walls, and a pair on each fortress tower. It's good to note that the three Southern towers, belonging to the offense, also have four cannons mounted on top, making them defensible.
Also part of siege warfare are the RP-GGs found on the floor in front of Goblin Workshops. These rockets can be carried in stacks of five and it's always a good idea to carry them around. Firing the RP-GG is a 5-second cast spell, and deals about 5,000 damage per hit to vehicles and splash damage to players. While players can deal more DPS to siege vehicles, the RP-GG has a long, if unpredictable, 150 yard range, allowing players to defend similar to tower gunners. The RP-GG is also usable while riding a Demolisher, extending its range of attack. If you kill a player carrying an RP-GG, they will drop it and the rockets can be picked up from the ground.
The siege vehicle workshops are the key to many Wintergrasp battles. There are a total of six workshops throughout Wintergrasp, two are housed inside Wintergrasp Fortress, on the East and West sides. These workshops cannot be captured but can be destroyed. Two workshops, the East and West on the Broken Ring and Sunken Ring zones respectively, are right outside the fortress and can be captured or destroyed. Two workshops on the Southeast and Southwest, called the Eastspark Workshop and Westspark Workshop respectively, are like the workshops inside the keep. They cannot be captured but can be destroyed.
The number of workshops under a faction's control, whether intact or destroyed, determines the maximum number of siege vehicles that faction can deploy. Each workshop entitles a faction to four siege vehicles. Because each faction permanently controls 2 workshops, players can always create a minimum of 8 vehicles, up to maximum of 16 if they control both the East and West workshops. If a workshop is destroyed, it will no longer be able to produce any more vehicles. So while each side will always be allowed a minimum of eight vehicles, it's entirely possible to cut off vehicle supply. Capturing either the East or West workshop after it has been destroyed will repair it.
Capturing a workshop is similar to gaining control of a tower in Eye of the Storm or the flag in Halaa. The more players of one faction are within the vicinity of the workshop, the more control shifts over to that faction. At the beginning of the game, the workshops inside the fortress as well as the East and West workshops are under the control of the defense. In order to mount an effective offense, with siege vehicles needing to travel a shorter distance to the fortress, attackers usually take control of the workshops at the start. Because of their proximity to the landing camps, the default spawn point for offense, East is usually susceptible to Alliance attacks and West to the Horde. Workshops have about 30,000 hp.
The main fortress is protected by walls and towers. Towers are extremely sturdy, with around 80,000 hp, making it difficult to take down with only one siege vehicle. It grants bonus Honor when partly destroyed at 50%, and again when completely destroyed. It's always best for attackers to focus fire on one point in order to break through as quickly as possible. Each tower is flanked by portals which defenders can use to enter the fortress. There is no physical way for players to enter Wintergrasp Fortress other than to use the portal or to break down the walls. Inside the fortress is a giant version of the portal, usable by siege vehicles to exit the structure.
In order to get to the Titan Relic, attackers must break through three barriers -- the Wintergrasp Fortress Walls, the inner Fortress Walls, and the Wintergrasp Keep Door. Fortress Walls and the Fortress Door have about 40,000 hp. The walls will become partly destroyed when they reach 50%, although they do not grant any Honor. The Wintergrasp Keep Door will become partly destroyed when reaching 66-75%. Attuning the Titan Relic is a 10-second action that breaks when taking damage. The Titan Relic despawns when Wintergrasp is controlled.
In Patch 3.0.8, when the battle begins, elemental mobs will despawn. In the current game, the elementals are something of a nuisance as they constantly aggro players and vehicles. There are constantly respawning Warsong and Valiance Expedition Level 76 elite NPCs at key points of the map, such as the ends of bridges and guarding towers. Players may kill these NPCs to gain rank, which enables even a sparsely populated Wintergrasp to see siege vehicles in play.
In Patch 3.0.8, Blizzard will introduce Tower Control, a buff that grants 5% more damage dealt, stacking up to three times. The Southern towers -- Shadowsight, Winter's Edge, and Flamewatch -- grant this buff to offense at the beginning of the game, giving attackers a slight advantage. Destroying these towers will transfer the buff to the defense, making towers a strategic part of the game and not just a source of bonus Honor. If both sides are equal in number, a 15% damage increase is a substantial buff. It also promotes a better offense, giving more opportunity for Wintergrasp to change control.
Blizzard's answer to foreseeable faction imbalance is a buff called Tenacity. If a side is outnumbered, members of that faction gain Tenacity, a stacking buff that grants 25% more health and faster mana regeneration as well as 18% more damage. This buff stacks as many times as necessary, although it's not certain how much of an imbalance creates a Tenacity stack. There are Wintergrasp battles where players can possibly run around with over 50,000 hp.
If you encounter a player with Tenacity of more than a few stacks, it's generally best to avoid them. Players with Tenacity should pick on solo players or even groups of 2-3, keeping in mind that crowd control can still overcome the buff. A stunned player with 50,000 hp isn't going to be doing very much. Wintergrasp is all about coordination, so even a player with 20 stacks of Tenacity won't be able to succeed against an organized bunch. Conversely, a small group of organized players with Tenacity can be brutally efficient.
Now that we have a grasp of the basics of Wintergrasp gameplay, in the next part of this series we'll take a look at strategy on offense and defense. We'll also be going through the daily quests as well as Achievements in Wintergrasp.
Wrath 101: The battle for Wintergrasp continued
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