Battlegrounds are a staple of WoW's PvP scene. They offer a middle ground between World PvP and the Arena, even though they might seem closer to the former than the latter. These instanced areas pit two teams of players in an activity that fosters teamwork and cooperation through various objectives. This WoW Classic Alterac Valley PvP Guide will walk players through how to dominate this battleground.

What are Battlegrounds, Anyway?

They represent the ongoing conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. Each is a minor skirmish in the war, presented as various activities in the game.

Battlegrounds limit the number of players from 20 to as much as 80. Ideally, that's an equal split between the factions (10 Alliance to 10 Horde players, for example). However, most server populations favor one side, leaving distributions uneven. This makes it harder to queue for the activity, making Blizzard add the same-faction battlegrounds mechanic.

There are three official types of battlegrounds:

  • Resource Race: be the first faction to take over resource-producing areas and keep the other team from doing the same.
  • Capture the Flag: take the opposing team's flag from their base and bring it over to your own. Prevent the enemy from doing the same to your team's flag.
  • Warfare: the most combat-oriented of the types. Ride to meet the enemy, burn their towers, and assassinate or capture high-value targets.

There are also Rated Battlegrounds and War Games. The first gives players pre-made teams to play as, and then pit those teams against each other to keep or rise through the ranks. It also has tighter restrictions and requires higher-level plays from participants. However, it offers more rewards through a higher payout of Conquest Points.

War Games, in contrast, are the more relaxed version of battlegrounds. You can practice against a team of honed players without the pressure of ranking or victory. The only downside is there won't be rewards for participation. It's a mode primarily for fun.

There are three battlegrounds available in Classic and more in Retail. The three in Classic are:

  • Warsong Gulch
  • Arathi Basin
  • Alterac Valley

Here we'll be focusing on Alterac Valley.

WoW Classic Alterac Valley Guide

There are two ways to enter the area. The first is physically entering it from the Alterac Mountains zone in the Eastern Kingdoms. The second is going up to an Alterac Vally Battle Master in one of the faction capitals. The latter mechanic has been removed in Retail, so don't get confused when the PvP Interface is missing.

Alterac Valley is the biggest battleground in Classic so far. It allows for a total of 80 players to join. It is also a Warfare-type, and the team's main objective is to reduce the enemy's reinforcements to zero. Several of those can help in culling the resource:

  • Kill the enemy General (win the game instantly)
  • Kill the enemy Captain (-100 to reinforcements)
  • Burn towers or bunkers (-75 reinforcements per structure destroyed)
  • Capture enemy graveyards (gives the team a new place to resurrect in)
  • Free allied Wing Commanders captured by the enemy
  • Capture mines (grants +1 to reinforcements every 45 seconds)
  • Collect supplies to turn in
  • Kill enemy players (-1 per player killed)

Of course, the enemy will also be planning to do the above to your team. The battleground is about juggling all these objectives and defending your own structures and reinforcements.

Killing the general is the most efficient way to end the activity, but getting to the NPC is easier said than done. They can be considered the instance's final raid boss of sorts and are on par with one. You'll need a team to help you defeat them. The Horde's general is Drek'Thar, while the Alliance's is Vanndar Stormpike. Their locations are polar opposites, with the Horde in the South and the Alliance in the North.

There are more details about the objectives, such as four towers or bunkers for each team. Losing them would mean the faction would lose their Marshalls (for Alliance) or Warmasters (Horde). These units act as protection for the general, so they are a tempting target for the enemy team. They also provide a stackable buff onto the leader, boosting health and damage. The towers will definitely be the first objective the enemy will destroy.

Each team has one uncapturable graveyard. Freeing the Wing Commanders activates turn-in quests. The mines are low priority, as reinforcement loss is 10 or 20 times faster than the gain it provides. Still, killing the boss within them grants some honor, so it could be worth it.

Alterac Valley Rep Guide

It's an excellent way to farm reputation as well as honor. Completing objectives will reward you with varying amounts. Here's a breakdown:

  • Killing enemies:
    • General (389 rep)
    • Captain (125 rep)
    • Air Master (5 rep)
    • Enemy Guard (5 rep)
    • Player (1 rep with bonus varying with Honor Kill and/or Conquest Points)
    • Summonable boss (125 rep)
  • Destroying enemy tower (64 rep)
  • Completing one-time quests (variable)
  • Completing repeatable quests:
    • Hides (2 rep each)
    • Returning a Frost Wolf or Ram (1-3 rep)
    • Armor scraps (gives a different rep boost to multiple factions every 2 turn-ins)*
    • Storm Crystals or Stormpike Soldier's Blood (depends on quantity)*
  • Freeing Wing Commanders (1, 2, or 5 rep depending on who was released)

In addition to these objectives, more reputation points will be awarded if the following conditions are met when the activity ends:

  • Eliminated the Enemy Captain (36 rep)
  • Allied Captain survives (125 rep)
  • Enemy towers burned (24 rep each one)
  • Allied tower intact (12 rep for each)
  • Captured graveyards (12 rep per extra graveyard)
  • Conquered mines (12 rep for every captured mine)

Honor will be awarded to the participating team, not just the player doing the objective and their party. The only exceptions are those marked with an asterisk, which also rewards reputation for one of the four primary ones. Those are only given to the player who turned in the items.

Alterac Valley Tips

Go with the main force of your faction. This way, you won't get lost or encounter enemy players. You can choose between the defending or the attacking force. If you don't like getting into combat, you can stay in the base to do some of the objectives there.

You can ask some friends to accompany you, provided they're more experienced in the activity than you are. They would also be a good source of tips, perfect for getting your feet wet in battlegrounds.

Rewards from Alterac Valley

The activity rewards depend on completed objectives or how much honor they acquired. Your reputation within your faction also affects what rewards you can get. Here are some of the most recommended ones to get:

  • A rare-quality weapon from the quest Hero of the Stormpike (Alliance) or Hero of the Frostwolf (Horde). It could be one of the following:
    • Ice-Barbed Spear
    • Cold-Forged Hammer
    • Bloodseeker
    • Wand of Biting Cold
  • An epic mount when you reach Exalted reputation within your faction (Stormpike Battle Charger or Frostwolf Howler)
  • Don Julio's Band (available upon reaching Exalted reputation)
  • The Unstoppable Force (Exalted reputation needed)

The battlegrounds are an excellent way to gear up for PvP. Some of the equipment obtainable here can be helpful in that game mode and are better than what you can get from PvE. Plus, you can somewhat avoid combat with other players, whereas the Arena pits you directly against them.

The better options come from the Conquest Point shop, which means you'll have to join Ranked Battlegrounds to get them. Participating in the standard version is a good start, or you can be satisfied with what you get from Honor Points.

Either way, hope this guide helped you understand the Alterac Valley Battleground and how to win it. Enjoy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic, and get those rewards you want!