Tagged: Ashran

Ashran Feedback – A Word From Phalanx

With Ashran having opened up in the last WoD Beta there has been a lot of feedback. Game developer Phalanx wanted to respond to the feedback:

Quote from: Blizzard
Greetings everyone! This is my first post on the forum as a blue poster. I’m Chris Kaleiki, a Game Designer on World of Warcraft. I work specifically on Ashran with some guy you may know — Brian Holinka. I previously worked on class design, notably the design of the Monk.The feedback you guys are giving is fantastic! Well appreciated. I wanted to respond.

Wall of text inc —

I have feedback on the “Horde and Alliance Hubs” (aka the staging areas)
The Horde and Alliance staging areas are still being worked on by the world team. As for Ashran the world PvP zone, they have very little relevance. You may see some random PvP skirmishes there in the same way you see skirmishes in any Horde or Alliance capital, but they’re not meant to be part of the overall world pvp zone. While we do want your feedback on those areas, the PvP team’s involvement is pretty minimal so I suggest directing them towards the general discussions in this forum rather than this specific discussion.

I feel the size of Ashran is too small.
During Ashran’s early development we debated whether the zone should be larger, but we ultimately landed on its current size after concluding that if the zone were too big your chances of running into the opposite faction in your day to day excursions would be quite low. We want there to be a feeling that you’re sharing a limited resource with the opposing faction, and you have to fight over that resource. The bigger the zone, the less the opposite faction’s presence matters, and the less tension and ultimately the less world PvP will transpire.

That said, it could be possible that the zone could still stand to be larger. And if more players spill out into the side areas to where it gets too cramped, we may have to make changes. Keep in mind we also want to build onto Ashran in patch content.

What is the philosophy behind Ashran?
Ashran is a new type of PvP design. While it does have the spirit of old Alterac Valley, it’s not supposed to be purely an objective based map. Our goal here was to create situations in where players would engage in world PvP. These situations primarily are the outskirts areas, off the midlane.

In beta it is understandable that players are not reward driven. But on live, we expect players to be driven by getting honor and other rewards for their characters. The PvE on Ashran will be the most rewarding in that regard. The idea is that Horde and Alliance will be fighting over completing the side objectives and spawning and that will create interesting PvP situations (especially since you can loot other players currency). Even within the current incarnation of Ashran on beta I’ve experienced small unexpected fights in the outskirts areas.

We feel we’ve delivered on objective based win condition content through battlegrounds, but we haven’t delivered in giving players a sandbox environment where they can experience PvP similar to that of which you may have experienced before battlegrounds were created. We’re trying to do that with Ashran.

One of my most memorable moments of world pvp before battlegrounds were introduced into WoW was when my guildmates were farming for the frostsaber mount in Winterspring. They were being ganked by a Horde guild over and over, so some of our guildies went to help them out. The Horde guild responded by sending more of their guildmates. Then other random guilds joined in. Eventually, there were so many players in that area we crashed the server.

The spirit of that experience is what we’re trying to go for in a zone like Ashran.

What’s the deal with the middle lane?
The middle lane serves as a centerpiece of Ashran. It’s similar to that of Alterac Valley: a push/pull tug-of-war battle. While the road of glory isn’t exactly world PvP, this type of PvP is appealing to a number of players so we decided to include it in Ashran. It’s also nice to know that there is almost always going to be some battle going on there.

The middle lane wont’ really be very rewarding in terms of honor or currency. And we intentionally don’t have a way to “win Ashran.” Storming the enemy base and killing their commander will give you some reward and an achievement, but it’s not the main focus of the zone. If your time in Ashran is within the middle lane and storming the enemy base, you’re mostly doing that for the intrinsic fun of it.

What is the main objective?
We envision that most players will be coming to Ashran to farm honor and rewards. You’ll do that by killing creatures and participating in the side events. Along the way you’ll find items that boost your characters power (such as the class books, scrolls, wands etc.) and we hope you’ll get some PvP fights.There is no objective like “cap and hold these points, run this flag, kill this guy” like our other objective based maps. We’ve found that more objective heavy maps lead to more predictable gameplay, which lead to less interesting unexpected PvP fights… which defines the idea of “world pvp.”

That said, I would say some goals in the map would be as a faction to maintain the mage portals, warlock gateways, and spawn Fangraal/Kronus. They all serve to help your faction be more efficient in the zone.

Why does Ashran not put you into a group/raid?
Ashran is intended to simulate any other zone in WoW. If we put you into a huge group, that would insinuate that there is some global objective to win… which there really isn’t. We want you to be able to come to Ashran in a small group as you would in any zone to collect honor and other rewards.

That said, I can certainly see the utility of having a raid group if you’re in Ashran to just do some casual PvP in the road of glory. For that, we will just leave it to players to create those groups naturally. It’s a bit anti-social to be forced into a raid group if you don’t want to be in one.

Faction balance
Balancing Horde and Alliance populations is a priority. Current on beta, there is no population enforcement. It’s something we’ll be monitoring and tweaking going forward.


Thanks for reading all that!

Keep in mind Ashran is still in development. There are bugs, things will change, items will be put in, new side objectives added etc. We hope you’ll revisit Ashran as the builds progress in beta.


Ashran Preview: Prepare to Engage

As three new zones hit the beta servers the third preview was just released by blizzard!

Quote from: Blizzard
Ashran Preview: Prepare to Engage

Built upon the remnants of an ogre civilization, Ashran looks deceptively like a nice enough island just off the coast of Tanaan Jungle. And it probably would be a lovely place to visit if not for the never-ending tug-of-war between the Horde and Alliance taking place in the central region of the zone. Then again, this might just be just your kind of excursion.

Ashran offers tons of opportunities for players to engage in a variety of activities, whether they want to go it solo or join a group, slay monsters, or engage in PvP with their rival faction.


Building World PvP into Ashran

Over the years, players have been asking for more opportunities to engage in world PvP, and we’ve experimented with a variety of approaches to that in places like Halaa and Wintergrasp. Creating opportunities for unscripted, unexpected skirmishes might seem simple on the surface, but they’re often difficult to engineer without sacrificing the unpredictable nature of these encounters. In its purest form, world PvP means no boundaries or limitations on when skirmishes break out. When creating areas specifically designated for PvP encounters, gameplay objectives will always have an impact on how people play and engage with each other. In the end, many will choose the path of least resistance to achieve their faction’s win condition, and sometimes that path involves simply ignoring other players.

In order to create the type of atmosphere that encourages more free-form world PvP in Ashran, we decided to apply lessons we’ve learned from the Timeless Isle. By giving players more personal goals and opportunities—such as killing creatures—players are more likely to find themselves spontaneously engaging in PvP to compete for them. We want players to get caught up in the moment and become emotionally invested in the outcome of each new encounter, whether it’s just getting the drop on a member of the opposite faction player or getting revenge for a stolen kill. While Ashran still has plenty of objective-based conflict (more on that in a bit), if you want that distinctive flavor of world PvP, the island has that for you too.

This Island is No Fantasy

Located off the coast of Tanaan Jungle, Ashran is a large, open PvP zone for players who have reached the max level of 100, and it offers a little something for everyone. Players can reach the island easily a few different ways, including using a flight path or by unlocking quick access within their Garrison once it reaches Tier 3. The more daring—or foolhardy—adventurers could also try doggy paddling to the island, but we don’t recommend it. (Seriously, we wouldn’t try it if we were you. You’ve been warned. In a world where pretty much everything wants to kill you, you’re best off traveling to an island of pure conflict the safest possible way. We really wouldn’t steer you wrong on this one.)

Unlike previous PvP zones, such as Tol Barad or Wintergrasp, no raid group is required to take part in the excitement, and the zone will cap out at approximately 100 players per side, opening the door to some truly epic-sized confrontations. To keep the action amped up, the same large group of regular realms will feed into the zone, so it’s likely you’ll run into some familiar faces whenever you visit, both friend and foe. There will be plenty of room to roam, as Ashran measures approximately the size of the Isle of Thunder. The intention is to provide as much of a true world PvP experience as we possibly can to those who choose to frequent the island. The odds may not always be in your favor, but with so many places to hunker down to either hide or lie in wait, there are plenty of opportunities to achieve whatever goals you’ve set forth for yourself.

The Lay of the Land

At each end of the island, separate from the conflict enveloping the isle, players will find a small sanctum of relative safety. Full-sized Horde and Alliance hubs sit behind each faction’s base, offering pretty much everything a regular city would.

Ready to dive into the fray? One main artery runs through the center of the zone, and it’s here that you’ll engage in an endless faction tug-of-war. At opposite endpoints, Horde and Alliance bases wait to be captured, and you’ll be fighting for control of five additional capture points as you make your way down the lane. Capturing these points along the way will push you and your faction toward the enemy base, making it possible to take the battle all the way to the opposing faction’s base. To effectively hamstring your opponents and hobble their efforts for a time, you’ll just need to take down their General within their base. Doing so will not only garner you bragging rights, but will also deny the opposing faction access to their General, who serves as a Conquest vendor.

At the central hub, the Ogre King stands waiting, flanked by his two bodyguards. Engaging one of the bodyguards and proving your worth in combat will win the Ogre King to your faction’s side, and he will fight for you for a time. But beware! His endurance is limited, and the longer he goes undefeated, the more susceptible to damage he becomes.

As in many Battlegrounds, each faction will have a Resource count available to them. Once a faction’s Resources drop to 100, they’ll get a little extra help via a randomly spawning Captain who will begin to fight for their side. Many of these will bear familiar names such as Swifty, who will fight for the Alliance, or Talbadar, who will fight for the Horde. There’s no guarantee who will ultimately come to your aid, however. Each time a side reaches this Resource count, a new random captain will join the fray.

Beyond the Tug-Of-War

There’s more to Ashran than the conflict in the central lane. Around Ashran there are additional points of interest (POIs) and monsters to slay. The various POIs offer a variety of random events which will allow players to win awards for the Horde or Alliance. Buffs can also be earned by killing other players or NPCs. There are currently seven POIs set around the edges of Ashran—we’ll go into detail on each of these later on down the line.

Righteous Rewards

As you make your way around Ashran, you’ll be collecting currency from other players and from monsters you’ve slain. This currency can then be turned in at your base for additional bonuses for your faction, such as Mage Portals or a Warlock Gateway. Or you can choose to summon a random—and truly epic—NPC to join in the fight. You’ll want to take care, though, and plan your turn-ins accordingly. One losing encounter with a player of the opposite faction can strip you of your hard-fought treasure and have it wind up in their pockets instead.

You’ll also be able to collect zone-bound items (usable only on the island) to give yourself a little extra advantage as you take on the various challenges around Ashran.

For those looking for the next step in gear, Ashran will provide access to Conquest-quality gear that is unavailable elsewhere.


Building on lessons learned from the Timeless Isle and Alterac Valley, we want players who make their way to Ashran to always have something exciting to do, and to offer them a true world PvP experience. Whether your aim is to engage in PvP or take on the various points of interest, there’s bound to be something to get your adrenaline going.

Blizzard released a new WoW Source episode today. WoW Source is their interview / showcase type show where they shed some light on Warlords of Draenor and answer a few community questions. This time they talk about PvP, Ashran and a little about class changes.

It looks like players won’t be able to choose the location of their garrison anymore! The main reason seems to be that garrisons are now much more integrated in the leveling flow. For the horde it will be located in Frostfire Ridge and for the alliance in Shadowmoon Valley. Both their starting zones respectively.

Watcher (Ion Hazzikostas), who was also in the WoW Source episode, announced there will be a lot of information about raiding and the philosophy behind it for WoD next week!

And finally BlizzCon 2014 has been announced!

Quote from: Blizzard
BlizzCon® 2014 Conquers Anaheim November 7 and 8

Steel thyself, O mortal realm of Anaheim! The eighth BlizzCon is coming to your Convention Center this Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8, 2014. Prepare for two relentless days of Blizzard gaming and fellowship, including in-depth discussion panels with Blizzard developers, hands-on opportunities with the latest Blizzard games, and intense eSports tournaments featuring top pro gamers from across the earthly plane.

Tickets for BlizzCon 2014 will go on sale in two batches, one on May 8 at 4 a.m. CET and the other on May 10 at 7 p.m. CET through the online event ticketing service Eventbrite, priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees). In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner will go on sale Wednesday, May 15 at 4 a.m. CET for $750 apiece (plus applicable taxes and fees; BlizzCon admission included), with proceeds benefitting Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Check out the BlizzCon Ticket webpage for more information—we’ve made some changes to how ticket sales work this year, and fortune favors the prepared!

If you can’t make it to the show in person, the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket is the next best thing, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.

See the full press release or check out the BlizzCon Ticket page for more information, and be sure visit www.blizzcon2014.eventbrite.com at the dates and times above for a chance to purchase a ticket to the show. See you in Anaheim!

It’s Saturday again (well it was 29 minutes ago!) which means a new podcast. This week we talk about the alternate progression paths in WoD, some fun facts that were talked about in the interviews from the past weeks and the Heroes of the Storm Hero buying system. After the podcast we noticed the audio is not great in all parts, since then we have discovered one of us had a defect sound card. Sadly it was too late for this podcast, but as the static is not in the entire podcast we hope you’ll still enjoy it nonetheless. However we apologise for the parts where there is static. If you feel the static is too much but you haven’t listened to episode 25 yet, we highly recommend you check it out! You can find it here.