Becoming a veteran of Wintergrasp

18th June 2009 – 5.18 pm

Gnomesblight, my death knight, has finally reached one hundred victories in the battle for Lake Wintergrasp, granting her the achievement of 'Wintergrasp Veteran'. The last few victories took a while to get under my belt, what with the Horde being so powerful at defending of late and my continued drumming in Guitar Hero and other console games taking up some of my time. However, despite the Horde's recent dominance it is worth noting that the Alliance already had control of the region and defended successfully for my climactic victory. The average level of control of the region appears to be cyclic in nature, where one side dominates for a while before the tables get turned. I have a theory about this.

It seems reasonable to me that despite the frantic open PvP of Wintergrasp it will not be able to maintain the same excitement perpetually, which personal experience shows. The more seasoned Wintergrasp players will eventually enter the battle less frequently, either having completed all the achievements, bought all the equipment available from honour and token rewards, or merely looking for something different to do, taking their wisdom and specific knowledge of Wintergrasp strategies with them. Following in their wake are newer or less experienced players, either with their own ideas of tactics to implement or learning everything from scratch.

When one side has the more experienced players fighting on their side there is a distinct advantage against players who may not realise the relative merits of the different siege vehicles, the significance of attacking or defending the southern towers, or the importance of controlling the external workshops. Experience in general PvP combat also offers a distinct advantage. It takes time to learn all of these aspects of the battle and only some of it can be disseminated through raid communications, particularly when players either assume a similar level of experience is shared amongst everyone or that other people pay attention to what they write. The most valuable experience is that gained from actions, and sometimes we simply need to let people learn the hard way.

But eventually familiarity is gained and the newer players become valuable assets to the battle. And just as they get warmed up to the sophistication of the battle to become a potent combined force some of the more experienced players are returning less frequently whilst newer blood continues to join. There looks to be a natural cycle to this flux, one that I assume to be reflected in one or the other faction's current dominance in Wintergrasp.

However, the most important lesson that can be learnt in the battle for Lake Wintergrasp is that no battle can be considered lost until the very end. My one hundredth victory in the region seemed lost from early on, when the Horde may have exploited the system to gain early access to vehicles, but a successful assault on the southern towers combined with a strong defence helped secure the victory for the Alliance. Attacking Wintergrasp Fortress may be the more straightforward battle strategically, but every new player to the battle needs to learn that defending Wintergrasp is quite possible, even against a determined aggressor force.

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