BG errors and stupidity – EotS

I died, a lot, during my BG runs yesterday. Oddly, I think I learned some things while I was at it.

Since it was Eye of the Storm (EotS) weekend, that’s where I did almost all my runs. As a reminder I’m looking for ONE piece of gear to start — the trinket, so I can quit being QUITE so subject to fear and other minor frustrations.

Digression. The more I examine it, the more I think I should have picked that up a long time ago – at least the lower (5 minute cooldown) version. It’s just got too many uses even in PVE. Sure, you sacrifice stats, but there are these bosses every so often where, well, Fear Kills, Stats just delay things a bit.

So… The first thing I discovered is that most people don’t really understand where the points come from in EotS. I was, at the start of the day, the same way. I got frustrated with nobody giving an answer – not to mention all the chaotic running back and forth (more on that in a bit), and did some research. Allow me to summarize.

The battle is won, just like Alteric Valley (AV) [Correction, Arathi Basin (AB)], by the first side earning 2000 points.

Owning towers ticks for points every two seconds. You earn 1, 2, 5, and 10 points per tick for 1 through 4 towers respectively.

Capping the flag – that is, capturing it and taking it to one of the towers you own – earns points based on how many towers you own as well. Again respectively for ownership, it’s 75, 85, 100, and 500 points.

One more point before we go into strategy. It takes 10 seconds to pick up the flag (you know the gear wait drill). A FAST carrier (ghost wolf, sprint, etc) can get the flag to a tower in about 25 seconds in a perfect run. This means if everything – EVERYTHING – is going your way you can cap a flag every 35 seconds.

Obviously if you’re both holding towers it’s better to be the one capping the flag. But is ‘just capping the flag’ the best strategy? 35 seconds… let’s call it 36 so we can get a solid 18 ticks, ok? That’s a “perfect” run. We’ll be hitting that again in a bit.

Let’s have both sides grab both towers simultaneously. Now, you let the other side do perfect runs. Meantime you spend runs grabbing (and holding) a third tower. Let’s walk the points a minute, shall we?

The instant you grab the third tower, the new point-scheme takes effect. The other side is earning 18+75=93 points every 36 seconds. You are earning 90 points in the same time. If the other side can do perfect runs all the time, they win. But there’s only a 3 point difference. How much time do you need?

If you can delay the runs by one measley tick, you get: Them – 94 points; Us – 95 points.

Let’s run another concept. What if we have two and we keep swapping ownership of the third. That is – 30 seconds unowned, and 16 seconds of one side or the other? No, let’s make it 18 seconds of ownership for some “perfect flag run” intervals. They get 9 ticks at 2 points — 18 points — and 27 at one each for a total of 45 points from towers. We get 9 ticks at 5 – 45 – and 27 at 2 each – 54 – for a total of 99 points.

If they get one run in there – regardless – and we get none, then they win that sequence. If we trade runs, we win. Over time, we can afford to be SLIGHTLY less efficient at running – especially if we can get a cap during our three-tower period.

And so we see the conflict. If both sides hold two towers pretty much consistently, then the side that’s better at running the flag wins. If, however, one side’s second tower is contested then the other side can be slightly less good at running and still win. And if one side can hold three towers for most of the battle, then as long as the other side can’t make perfect runs (that is, takes more than 36 seconds between caps) then the three-tower side wins.

A great strategy, then, goes as follows: One group splits 2-2 and takes the two nearside towers. The second group plus one person from each of the other two groups goes for a third tower. The third group (less one person) goes to contest the flag. Subsequently, the two ‘attachments’ to the second group stay at the third tower, and the remaining four people of group 2 become a reserve assisting whichever tower the other side attacks. Or, if opportunity presents itself, attacking the fourth tower. (This is really, really hard even for pre-mades.)

So, what’s the heal-priest’s role in all this? Healing, obviously (grin). More seriously… You can be part of the flag team, in which case you’re healing the battle to take the flag, then healing the carrier. If you’re part of the tower assault team, you’re a party healer. Expect to go out of mana. Stay as unnoticeable as possible – range and terrain will help here. Consider NOT using the frisbee – it’s distinctive and tells (or reminds) everyone that there’s a heal-priest over there. Alternately, what I wound up doing (finally) was putting the frisbee on myself. Once I’ve been found and hit I can be pretty sure some of the other side will talk. (“Fresh Meat here.”) If you’re part of the “hold the tower” team, you are healing only when attacked. Be advised that one attack is to sneak in a rogue to occupy you so your partner can be overwhelmed. Alternately, they’ll tie up your partner so no rescue is possible and swarm you. Either way, it would not be amiss to keep your frisbee in constant play ‘just in case’ – again, on yourself might be as useful as on your partner.

Also, for both flag and tower teams, don’t forget your Mass Dispel. It’s an almost perfect opportunity, and especially at the flag battle pretty much everyone will be in range. Accept the pain of a Warlock’s Unstable Affliction.

So, I said I had a lot of errors and stupidity. Some of it’s implied above — those are painful lessons learned, the things like when to send the frisbee. (Four horde suddenly turning from their respective foes and charging me was entertaining in some ways.) By the way – if you hear the zziiinnng of the frisbee going off, it means there’s a priest close-by. Nothing wrong with turnabout being fair play here. Anyway, I’ve got a few more lessons.

Never be alone. Seriously – never. If you are, head for other players even if it means abandoning a tower you’re the only one occupying. Staying in a tower only makes sense if you can delay the seizure long enough that reinforcements can stop it. You are squishy – 10 seconds is a long duration against an assault. If you stay anyway, you are a tripwire. YELL IN RAID the instant you’re attacked. In fact, go ahead and write your first raid comment – “xx tower under attack.” If you get time to add “## attackers,” great. But if you’re typing you’re not running/fighting – and you do have some things to reach that 10 second point.

If you haven’t done so, go ahead and buy an elite ground mount. Yes, I’m guilty of this – cheapskate that I was. The problem with doing without is, well, see “never be alone.”

Don’t waste time dismounting. When you cast a spell your dismount happens automatically. Take advantage of this fact.

sigh – always. ALWAYS. Inner fire. Go ahead and shield just before you mount – odds are it’ll be gone before you need it, but every so often you get this really skilled horde. Shield should also be the first spell you cast when you rez – graveyards can be camped, and that instant of time can make all the difference in the world. My pattern on rez was shield, IF, buff (x3 – I have IDS, fort is obvious, and shadow has saved me more than once), mount. Yes, it ate mana. By the time I got to the battle I was usually close to full again.

Psychic scream will probably not work. Don’t make it your first button on panic. In fact… Shield and nuking myself with heals kept me alive a lot more when it was anything but a rogue. (Warriors hate it when you do that – I became a favorite target in one battle, and he never, ever got me to zero before help came round.)

Last – most important. MOST IMPORTANT. As in if you do nothing else DO THIS….



At a minimum, find a warrior or other tank-type and send a tell, “Wanna team?” You don’t have to run the thing, just start reporting: “3 inc BT over bridge.” “Lck, War, Hnt at flag.” You get the idea. And as I discovered about the fourth game, when YOU start doing this – and do it early enough – then so does everyone else.

Oh, by the way? How to know if you’ve found someone trying to lead? If the groups start changing. It’s the first clue you might have joined a pre-made. It doesn’t take much of that to discover things are going your way.

~ by Kirk on February 11, 2008.

16 Responses to “BG errors and stupidity – EotS”

  1. The problem with Psychic Scream failing is (somewhat) solved by +spell hit enchants.

    This was (and still is) the hardest decision for me to come up with. The simplest way to get enough +spell hit for PS is via the (only) two enchants available.

    Communication is the most underrated part of defense in all BGs. Responding to such calls for help, even with a simple “omw” is even more important.

  2. And thanks for the information on how the scoring is. I always thought that the flags always had the same point value regardless of how many bases you have.

    As a Priest, my most beloved place to be is the middle. MC FTW!!11one

  3. I completely think that the best way to really get a feel for your class is to throw down in some BG’s, that being said… man EoTS makes me wanna punch a guy in the face…. That place is so frustrating… and purple.

  4. I was in a semi-premade yesterday for two EOTS fights. There were 8-10 in the premade; the “rest of us” kept getting put in Group 3. Orders were “Group 1 – BE Tower; Group 2 – FR; Group 3: Near towers.”

    So I went to the Mage Tower both times. Fairly boring first fight: We won in 7 minutes. But 3 marks were nice. Second one, I saw a little action. Horde were better, but only a bit: 15 minute fight and another 3 badges.

    Even a bad premade has a chance, unless the group you’re up against is very well-geared. (Getting one-shot by a warrior sucks.)

  5. Did you take into account the time it takes for the flag to respawn after someone captures it? I don’t remember how long it is but I don’t think it is instant.

    Also something to note is that if the other team is holding 3 towers and you have 1, it’s generally a bad idea to cap the tower.

  6. When going for the pvp trinket, I highly suggest the 15k honor one that includes 20 resilience and a (much) shorter cooldown. That thing is a godsend.

  7. @Ravageclaw – Ah, I wasn’t clear. I hit with the spell, it’s just that everybody had a trinket or WotF or was berserker or… As for the points, you’re welcome.

    @Cheetara – yes. purple. The official color of the Draenai. (shudder).

    @Kestrel – premades, even partials, are great if they’re on your side (grin). And yes, I can see that working as well.

    @Raydenui, yes, that’s “assuming” zero delay from cap to flag respawn. I’ve not been able to confirm, but it’s what appears to be there. FWIW, the running time is an estimate and may be off.

    @Zerei – I want that. But when you have nothing, the “little” trinket is phenomenal. So… save for one, or just accept the extra hours. Decisions, decisions….

  8. Birgin sent me:

    “The battle is won, just like Alteric Valley (AV), by the first side earning 2000 points” – quote from your most recent post.

    I think you mean Arathi Basin (AB).

    AV is when you get reinforcements and burn bunkers.

    AB is where you have: Farm, Lumber Mill, Stables, Mine, Blacksmith and the more you hold, the more points you get. 2000 wins the match.

    I didn’t want to post this on your comments, as I have a blog of my own and don’t want to post any corrections for you under my name 🙂

    my response – never fear to offer factual correction. Tell me I’m an idiot, ok, but be prepared to back it factually, and I’ll thank you. Do NOT call me an idiot but offer polite correction – as you did – cheers me immensely. (Call me an idiot based solely on your opinion and I’ll be more dismissive.) Thank you, Birgin.

    Edited, fixed.

  9. People also need to learn to jump of the rock right… a squishy jumps off and they are down to less then half health yelling. “Y arent i getting any heals..” Also find reaction time for at lest Allies on our Battlegroup is important.. Dont assume you have 2 min to prepare when you enter Bg, and get off that rock! – Makes a difference to capping the two towers as early as possible.. and helps moral as well. And a simple macro telling people standard tactic helps as well.. give people something to follow.. The rez buff mana cost in 2.3 has so improved the chances of getting all the buffs up.. I used to only do Shadow form and innerfire – but now I can fit my fort and Shad protection without losing my mana. – Good breakdown.. 😛

  10. From what I read you are too slow with your INC calls. If you are in combat, you’re too late. People have to disengage, mount and travel to the node that requires assistance. Most of the time people have tunnel vision, and only realize that they need assistance AFTER THEY DIE. This is the absolute worst thing a defender can do. If someone does this more than once in a BG, consider them useless as a defender and take it upon yourself to defend that node.

  11. Regarding the EOTS strategy part, I’ve always been sporting a “Three towers you win no matter what” strategy. Now I know it’s not mathematically true, if you just sit at the towers and let the other team do P-runs they’ll win as you just proved.
    But i think we have to consider the following facts
    -Once one side has three towers i find it very difficult for the other side to run the flag because the 3 towers team can now apply pressure on both sides of the flag bridge.

    -Most players assign a high value to the flag and the flag area naturally get clumped during the course of a game, as constant fighting somewhere tend to suck players in like a black hole of Honor Points.

    -Constantly shouting for the towers could actually bring some of them to leave the flag, leaving the right amount to give a tough match at the flag while we enough to cap one tower.

    On Garona EU as Horde it has become a general strategy even for pug’s to consistently aim for 4 towers and no flag. We assign one full group to each far tower, one person to hold each of the near towers and 3 persons just to keep the flag busy.
    This puts a lot of pressure on the far towers right from the start, and with that many of us in the tower zone of influence it can delay their capture by quite some time.

    Usually we can get away capping one of them and from that point we try to keep as much pressure on the last tower having them defend their tower instead of attacking ours is always better and it will make their flag runs more difficult.

    Meanwhile the 3 guys at the flag are doing all they can to prevent the flag captures, not really trying to get it themselve.
    3 players is actually enough to prevent even 5 players from capping for quite some time (20 seconds delay is easily done, and id they reach 35 they are actually doubling the time to cap)

    I really like EOTS because i think it reward players for being able to lure the opposing team into applying the wrong tactic. Lure more of them to the flag then take the towers, lure their defense to Mage and cap Ruins. Players serve their team by being able to occupy the opponents somewhere while being outnumbered to allow more ressources to do something else.

  12. Nice mathifications, Kirk. Wish I could make everyone read it.

    On the subject of calling out incomings, I keep macros handy to call out “XX needs help” – lacks precision, but it do save time.

  13. […] enough rambling: What’s the secret to winning BGs? Over at Priestly Endeavors, Kirk did a great analysis of Eye of the Storm with some theorycrafting thrown in. If you have a premade for EoTS and run it regularly, read […]

  14. Very interesting read 🙂 I never really spent much timing thinking about the point scoring etc for EotS – I feel much more confident about strategy now! I definitely agree re communicating early and often. And great idea on the macros Ratshag! I might try that!

  15. Just a correction, as a disc priest, I don’t consider myself “squishy”.

    Personally, the “3 cap and hold” strategy is good, but it’s hard to do. Ignoring the flag works as long as you can continue to defend, but it’s easy for the other side to zerg a tower.

    Rule #1 of battlegrounds: it’s all about distracting. Your goal is not to “kill the other guys”. Your goal is to waste their time while you win.

    In AB:
    Constantly attack. Small harassment attacks (2 people) can often take undefended or weakly defended (1 person) nodes. More often, though, they cause the other side to overreact. If you’re losing, having 10 of the other side’s players defending a node is a great way to make the OTHER nodes weak so you can ninja them. And if you’re winning, having 10 of the other side’s players defending a node they already control is a great way to keep pressure off the nodes you’re trying to defend.

    Push your advantage. Once you have 3 nodes, the other side is OBLIGATED to attack. That means they aren’t defending, or are doing so poorly. This is the perfect time to pick up a 4th node. And if they try to defend with their whole team, well, they aren’t attacking your nodes. Meanwhile, you keep picking up points.

    Push when you’re losing. When you have 2 or fewer nodes, you need to attack. Every second you sit back and “try to hold what you have”, the other side gets further ahead.

    Stay on the node. You should never, ever lose a node when there are friendly players nearby. Your ONLY goal when defending is to prevent the other side from capping. Killing the other players is important to make sure that you don’t get overrun, but DO NOT spend time chasing them down. If you need to die to prevent a cap, DO SO.

    Try to bait the other side off the node, then cap. Rogues/Druids work best for the capping part, but really it’s pretty easy to do for any class most of the time. This works amazingly well.

    In EOTS:

    Never do half-assed assaults. Send at least 5 players. Unlike AB it’s really hard to “ninja” in EOTS because caps are really slow with 4 players.

    Stay at the nodes. If you’re not at the flag or one of the nodes, you’re wasting time.

    Try to draw the other side off the nodes. Having one of your players “bait” the other players off the node is a really good idea, just like in AB. This is an exception to the above rule.

    Again, don’t worry about the flag if you only have 1 node. You’re gonna lose if you don’t get that other node back, regardless of whether you cap.

    Never leave the flag undefended. Remember, capping isn’t the only goal of being in the middle. Slowing down caps (which takes surprisingly little) is a great idea when you’ve 3-capped. Caps won’t win it for the other side, but they can keep the game close if you ignore the flag, which leaves you vulnerable to losing a base and finding yourself suddenly behind while the other side chain caps.

    In WSG:

    DO NOT let the other side get your flag back to their base. The “we’ll take theirs, they’ll take ours, then we assault” strategy ALWAYS results in turtles, and no one likes to play 2 hour WSG games.

    Stall, stall, stall. Leaving a couple of people to “guard” the flag is a good idea. They won’t stop the flag from being taken, but they will prevent ninja-steals and slow the other side down. That means that YOUR team has their flag first, and if they fail to pick up your flag (or don’t get out of your base), you get a quick cap.

    Don’t take the flag if you’re not well geared. It makes ZERO sense for people with 6k HP and no resilliance to take the flag. You’re just gonna get demolished. The only time you should take the flag if you’re poorly geared is if the other team is going to cap, and even that’s questionable (usually it just prolongs the inevitable).

    In AV:
    Don’t defend. AV is a race, not PvP.

    AV is where you go to farm bonus honor. If you want combat, play one of the battlegrounds.

    Defending results in some wins, but it also results in a LOT of 2 hour turtles. No one likes those games.

    In general:

    FORCE MULTIPLICATION. If you can take more than one of the other guys out of play, you’re helping your team. Fake assaults in AB are a perfect example: one or 2 of your guys can harass 5 or more of their guys, which means that they have fewer players than you for the rest of the action.

    FOCUS ON THE OBJECTIVES. It never ceases to amaze me in WSG when I’m defending the flag and 6 of the other side’s players show up. Instead of taking the flag and running out (while CCing me), they proceed to waste 40 seconds (yeah, I’m pretty good at surviving) to kill me. That’s 40 seconds that my team has to get their flag and run back. Random fights on the roads in AB/WSG fit here too – in these fights, you WANT to be outnumbered, because it means that you are wasting fewer people (on things that don’t actually help you win).

    Don’t win at any cost. Winning is not the objective in PvP. Honor is not the objective in PvP. Marks are not the objective in PvP.

    It seems odd to say this, but it applies to WoW in general:


    If you’re not having fun playing WoW, stop doing what you’re doing. Period. You’re not making money from WoW (and if you are, you’re a bastard farmer). No one outside of the game will care what gear you get, and your gear will be worthless as of the next patch anyway. Eventually, no one will even play this game. Your standing means NOTHING in this game.

    Challenging yourself and your guild to progress through raid content can be fun (not for everyone, but for many). Leveling your character and discovering the world can be fun. Being competitive in BGs can be fun. Building a team in arenas can be fun. Random silliness can be fun. meeting new people can be fun. Chatting can be fun.

    2 hour battleground turtles aren’t fun. Grinding honor (if you hate BGs) isn’t fun. Wipefest raids that go on for hours aren’t fun, unless you enjoy that kind of punishment.

    If you’re down 500 to 1500 in AB, “give up”. Don’t stand around – go fight the other players (rather than trying to get objectives). It’s just as fun, plus the game ends quicker and you get another chance to start fresh. There’s a reason why players resign in Chess – dragging on the inevitable is boring for both sides.

    If you’re continuously wiping in a raid, you need to be trying easier content. Or, it’s possible that you just don’t have it together that night. Build up your skills (and gear) with easier content, or call it a night and try again later.

    WoW is not a job (unless you’re a farmer). You do not have to play to “make a living”. Don’t let it become a job.

  16. 1) depending on situation, flag control + 2 tower can be greater or less than 3 tower control with no flag control
    2) There are 5 resources on the field, your team’s appropriate action depends entirely on your opponent’s actions. Consider the following
    – team A has 5 at MT, 5 at DR and 5 at flag, what is the optimum strategy?
    keep 1 at the remaining nodes and use 13 players to capture one of the opponents resources.
    – team A has 1 player at 3 capped towers and 12 at flag.
    ignore flag, 4 cap

    it’s never that simple but should illustrate how your strategy should rely heavily on what they’re doing. this will happen automatically to a certain extent as players will not approach nodes where they are heavily outnumbered. the ability to win evenly matched showdowns is paramount, however when contesting towers that are already in control, a disadvantage is given to the attacking team as they will respawn further away from the objective.


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