We hit 76 with the druid and shaman last night, one more level to go and we can fly again!
Despite seeing that giant cluster of red/blue stuff on the map everytime we flew near Dalaran, we didn’t really know what Lake Wintergrasp was supposed to be about except for something about siege battles. So when my wife found out that the next battle was supposed to start in 15 minutes, we decided to give it a try.
There’s a battlemaster/portal conjurer in the BG section of Dalaran that lets you know when the next battle is, and creates a portal to go there. This part is a bit iffy since the portal was there for Yannie, but when my druid went there it wasn’t but it popped up after a couple of minutes with the portal conjurer yelling something about needing reinforcements for Wintergrasp.
When you first zone in, there’s a flight path so pick that up straightaway. The whole zone is pretty big, and chock full of level 80 elementals so beware if you’re in the low 70s.
The initial part plays kinda similar to Eye of the Storm. One side is the attacker, and one is the defender. This might be determined by who last held control, e.g. if Horde controlled it then when it becomes contested Horde will be defending and Alliance attacking. Last night Alliance was attacking, so when we landed we were on the outside of the fortress. There were about 5-6 siege workshops scattered around the map, so first we rode over and capped all of those (similar to capping towers in EotS).
With control of the towers, you can now build and pilot siege weapons. However, you first need to be promoted to Rank 1. This seems to occur as you kill enemy players. So basically, the first stage involves fighting on foot to control the workshops. After just a couple of enemy kills, you should get promoted. Killing more players/npcs then gets you promoted to Rank 2, in which you can pilot demolishers and siege engines, and then Rank 3 which apparently lets you pilot some flying machines but we didn’t get that far.
Building a siege weapon just involves talking to a NPC inside the workshop, and doesn’t seem to cost anything. We then trundled out over to the fortress and started blasting the walls, turrets, players, each other, basically everything. The Horde players were taking control of the turrets to shoot us and also built their own siege weapons to fight back. There is supposed to be a buff to the outnumbered players that increases their damage and hps, which might explain why some horde pally on foot hit my catapult for 8k per hit since Horde was outnumbered as usual. However, I don’t think this makes up for 13 Alliance tanks vs 3 Horde >.<
So long story short, after blasting Horde (and getting blasted back) for about 20 minutes we managed to break into the main fortress area, where the Horde were holed up. From what was being said in chat, it seems like there is a relic in the main room, and our objective was to take that relic. However Horde was not being cooperative and there was a protracted battle outside the room. With 3 minutes to go, somehow we managed to cc/kill the defenders and a stealthed rogue ninja’d the relic for victory. Guess rogues are still useful for something after all…
With control of Wintergrasp, besides the Northrend-wide buff a instance portal also opened up in the main hall in Wintergrasp Fortress, which I believe leads to a raid boss that’s tank and spank and drops T7 + arena gear. There are also portals in the hall to all the BGs and back to Dalaran.
All in all, very fun though it caused us to stay up past bedtime. Remains to be seen how popular this will be, though the benefits are really very nice for the winning side.