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Warsong Gulch Battleground Guide

Background and Location
The Warsong Gulch battleground is physically located between the zones of Ashenvale and The Barrens, although few players will visit the actual physical entry to it any longer. The area represents where Grom Hellscream and his Orcs ravaged the forests in the third war for lumber. The orc faction is called the Warsong Outriders, and the Orc entrance is along the northern edge of the Barrens.

Warsong Gulch Rules
On the surface, WSG is purely a game of "capture the flag." Two flags, two bases, and your main objective is to bring the opponent's flag to your base three times (i.e. earn three points before your opponent does). One significant rule change from the traditional game is this: that you have to defend your flag in order to score a point. In order to score, your team must touch the opponents' flag to your flag in your home base. Note that the honor points you accumulate from capturing the flags far outweigh what you'll get by "HK (honorable kill) farming" midfield, so doing what it takes to help your team win the flag battle should always take first priority.

Experience Gains
As of patch 3.2 you have been able to gain experience in Battlegrounds. This means that if PvP is your thing, you can do it almost exclusively and still level up a character. The experience you gain is based on the level bracket you are in and is granted for different accomplishments. For example in the level 70 bracket you gain about 6,000 experience for capturing a flag. This obviously is less at lower levels. You also gain experience for killing flag carriers and winning the battleground.

Getting into the Queue
All the major cities have a "Warsong Gulch Battlemaster." Talk to this NPC to get into the WSG queue, then go about your business. When a battleground opens up (it takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and more, depending on how many Alliance and Horde in your level range are running WSG), you'll be given the option to join. Note that if you don't accept in a few seconds' time, you can still join for a limited time by right clicking the faction symbol icon located around your minimap.

The Battleground Queue tool
Also you can queue from anywhere in Azeroth by clicking your PvP button. This brings up the battleground queue tool. From here you can queue up for any battleground while questing, farming, grinding, or anything else you are up to. When the queue is ready, you get transported into the battleground, and when you are done you are returned to where you started. Talk about convienience! Just be sure to move to a safe location before entering the battleground, as you will be returned to your exact location upon completion.

Communication is Key...
So whatever role you serve out, talk it up! Many hardcore PvP guilds have dedicated VoIP servers, which allow freeflowing voice communication between teammates. VoIP has one major limitation; unless everyone's listening, someone will always be left out of the loop. So if you're limited to the keyboard: here are a few commonly used terms, though the definition of these terms (and the terms used) may be different on your server.

Center, Left, Right - When the other team has your flag, messages that "he's going center" means that the flag is probably coming out of the center tunnel and going straight upfield. When your team has a flag, a cry of "go your right" probably means that hostiles are covering the left-to-center side from the flag runner's perspective. Any good instructions you can give your flag runner are always appreciated, as they're usually taking a pounding and are prone to tunnel vision. Also, calling "2 coming your left, D" lets the defense know to expect company on the raised platform in the flag room. Note that using cardinal directions (e.g. east, west, north, south - as per the map) takes the "your left or my left?" confusion out of the mix, but takes a little getting used to.

Here are some of the best places I've found to hide the flag: 1) flattened against the wall just inside a doorway (most will run right past you without turning around), 2) nestled inside the small obstacles behind the graveyard, 3) on the opposite side of the upper terrace area, 4) flattened against the doorway wall inside the small outbuildings (use this one only in a pinch, the flag trail on any part of the mid-field stands out like a sore thumb, but you might be able to snag the heal icon buff when the enemy comes. You can cut down on your profile a smidge by sitting down.

Offensive Tactics
While on offense your goal is to get the flag carrier to the enemy base and back to your base. This can mean that many times while on offense you are at your own base guarding the flag. Don't get field position mixed up with your role. While you are trying to score with the enemy flag you are on offense.

The key to a good offense is having a group able to move quickly and keep the flag runner alive. This means having at least a healer or two and some crowd control and DPS to keep the enemy off the flag runner. While many times the flag runner wants to hurry back to the base, you must ensure you stay grouped up, and not lead with the flag. Watch for openings across the field and make your way for them. Lead the group with some DPS to engage and destroy the opponent if they are alone.

Once you have reached your base, the objective is to trap the flag (as above) until your defense can obtain your own flag back so that you can score. Once the flag is being held at your base, you can free some of the players up to help out on defense. Generally all that is needed to hold the enemy flag is a healer, DPS, CC, and the flag carrier. If a large push comes, you can always call for assistance.

Defensive Tactics
While on defense your goal is to defend the flag and to get your flag back should the enemy capture it. This sometimes means that defense is in the enemy fortress. Don't get field position mixed up with your role. While you are trying to prevent the enemy from scoring you are on defense.

When starting on defense, your goal is to prevent the enemy from getting your flag, so you should use as much CC as possible to slow them down and prevent them from grabbing the flag. Make sure that if you are ranged or a healer you use the walls and LoS to your advantage, moving around throughout your base as required. Assuming that you eventually die and the enemy gets your flag, wait at the graveyard for any other players that died before running into combat again (unless you were the only death). This allows you to meet force with force, rather than walking into a fight outnumbered.

Honor Gains
Warsong Gulch still offers all the old PvP rewards, and there are the WSG Tokens that you earn from fighting in the Battleground. If you win, you gain 3 Warsong Gulch tokens, if you lose, 1 Token. These tokens are used in both the new PvP system to gain rewards such as potions and epic level items, as the old world "former" reputation rewards. You can also collect tokens from six of the different battlegrounds and turn them in for bonus honor as a repeatable quest offered in any major city, so even if you've outleveled the gear rewards from WSG or don't care to pick up any of the PvP reward ground mounts, the tokens can still come in handy for earning extra honor to be spent on a decent set of epic gear.

The honor you earn in WSG varies depending on how much you contribute to the fight, how long it goes on, and most importantly on whether you win or lose. On average though, you should count on a match running about 15 minutes long and granting roughly 300 honor to the winners and just under a 100 to the losers on top of any honor earned by completing various objectives in the battleground. If it's the WSG holiday weekend, you earn double the honor points in this battleground. Also, be sure to check with the Battlemaster in major cities to see which daily battleground quest is being offered. Simply winning the offered battleground will complete this daily and grant additional honor and arena points.