This article is a copy of "Battlegrounds," a series of official articles from the World of Warcraft Community Site. These articles overviewed the different various Battlegrounds available in World of Warcraft prior to Cataclysm. The original articles are no longer available, but they can still be viewed through online archives (see below).
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One of the core tenets of the Warcraft universe is the raging conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. Old hatreds die hard, as they say, and the hate shared between these two ancient foes is deep and primal. That's why the player-versus-player gameplay has always been a staple of the design for World of Warcraft; the war between the Horde and the Alliance simply isn't over.
In the battle for Azeroth, certain territories have become focal points for conflict between the Horde and Alliance. Battlegrounds represent key locations where this struggle has escalated into all-out war. Each battleground presents a different challenge and environment, and victory here must be achieved not through sheer numbers, but through strategy, skill, and grit.
The Isle of Conquest
An island somewhere off the shores of Northrend. A rock, hardly worth a second look. But as insignificant as it may seem, this is no ordinary place. A sound of thunder as waves crash endlessly against rocky cliffs; a sound of fury as swords clash on the blood-stained fields of this island on the edge of forever.
An Alliance and a Horde general are fighting for dominance, overseeing the action from the safety of their keeps. Whichever side manages to eliminate the enemy general first will triumph on the island; failure to protect your leader will bring shame, dishonor, and defeat. There is no peace accord here, and it's an all-out war between the factions.
Strand of the Ancients
On Strand of the Ancients, the Horde and Alliance must race against the clock-and each other-to capture a relic protected in an island fortress. In alternating turns, up to 15 players on each side use siege engines and explosive charges to fight their way from a beach landing and through a series of gates, until they reach the relic. The side that can capture the relic in the shortest amount of time is declared the victor!
Eye of the Storm
Eye of the Storm is an exciting new Battleground located in the Outland zone of Netherstorm that combines capture-and-hold style gameplay with capture-the-flag. The game pits up to 15 high-level Alliance members against 15 Horde counterparts in a battle over two floating land masses. These aerial islands are connected by three bridges. Additionally, four towers overlook the battlefield and serve as focal points for the skirmish, while a single, capturable flag spawns in the center of the map for the teams to fight over.
Long ago, before the First War, the warlock Gul'dan exiled a clan of orcs called the Frostwolves to a hidden valley deep in the heart of the Alterac Mountains. It is here in the valley's southern reaches that the Frostwolves eked out a living until the coming of Thrall.
After Thrall's triumphant uniting of the clans, the Frostwolves, now led by the Orc Shaman Drek'Thar, chose to remain in the valley they had for so long called their home. In recent times, however, the relative peace of the Frostwolves has been challenged by the arrival of the Dwarven Stormpike Expedition.
The Stormpikes have set up residence in the valley to search for natural resources and ancient relics. Despite their intentions, the Dwarven presence has sparked heated conflict with the Frostwolf Orcs to the south, who have vowed to drive the interlopers from their lands.
Arathi Basin, located in Arathi Highlands, is a fast and exciting Battleground. The Basin itself is rich with resources and coveted by both the Horde and the Alliance. The Forsaken Defilers and the League of Arathor have arrived at Arathi Basin to wage war over these natural resources and claim them on behalf of their respective sides.
Nestled in the southern region of Ashenvale forest, Warsong Gulch is near the area where Grom Hellscream and his Orcs chopped away huge swaths of forest during the events of the Third War. Some orcs have remained in the vicinity, continuing their deforestation to fuel the Horde's expansion. They call themselves the Warsong Outriders.
The Night Elves, who have begun a massive push to retake the forests of Ashenvale, are now focusing their attention on ridding their land of the Outriders once and for all. And so, the Silverwing Sentinels have answered the call and sworn that they will not rest until every last Orc is defeated and cast out of Warsong Gulch.
Holidays occur during most weekends, starting on Thursday night at midnight and continuing until Tuesday morning. During a holiday, emmissaries from one Battleground can be found in the major cities, and honor/faction rewards for performing objectives in that battleground are increased. To find out when the next Holiday is happening, check out the Events Calendar.
Patch 1.12: The Drums of War introduced cross-realm PvP Battlegrounds, linking Alterac Valley, Warsong Gulch, and Arathi Basin so that players from several realms will be combined into one huge matchmaking pool. You can check out the full battlegroup list to find out which battlegroup you're in and which realms you'll be competing against.
- Arathi Basin was added in September or October 2005.
- Eye of the Storm was added in November 2006.
- Strand of the Ancients was added in March or April 2009.
- The Isle of Conquest was added in mid 2009.