Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Zaphind's Guide to Warsong Gulch


Warsong Gulch has two 10-person teams. Each team starts inside its own fort. The two forts are located at opposite ends of a field that is roughly 200 yards long.

Within each fort is a flag. The goal is simple in concept: pick up the opponent's flag, and capture it by returning it to your fort. The first team to successfully capture 3 flags wins.

In reality, it is a lot more difficult.

In-Game Mechanics

You pick up the opposing team's flag by right-clicking it. When you return it to your fort, it automatically "captures" when you run over your own flag. However, you cannot capture if your flag is also in play. In this situation, your teammates must first rescue your flag and return it to the base before you can complete the capture.

To rescue your flag, you need to kill the flag carrier. Once he is dead, the flag drops at that location. At that point, any other player can right-click on the flag. If another player from the capturing team clicks it first, that person will become the new flag carrier. If a player from the defending team clicks it, the flag is safely returned to its base, and the offense must start again from square one.

Resurrections in Warsong Gulch take place at a graveyard located just outside of your team's fort.

Strategies and Tactics

Warsong cannot be won without huge group coordination. Players who run around and try to do things on their own without the coordination of other team members will find themselves killed early and often, and will be of little use to their team. Always stay with a group of other players.

The team needs to split up into at most two groups: one defending their own flag, and one on offense to capture the opponents' flag. The optimal number and makeup of each group will vary depending on the tactics of the opposing team, which means that people have to be prepared to switch from offense to defense several times during the game.

The flag carrier needs to be someone with a lot of health and/or self-healing, because he's going to take a beating from the opposing team when they catch up to him. He will need a large group protecting him, pulling defenders away from him, and healing him.

When it comes time to get your flag back, you will need to attack with ferocity and numbers. It will become especially difficult if the other team is also well-coordinated, and has healers protecting their flag carrier. Finding a way to stop the progress of the flag carrier can be daunting. More advanced players will have very high resilience and resistance ratings, and may be able to deflect or absorb a lot of the damage and spells you deal to them.

When your team takes control of the enemy flag, its location will immediately show up on the map. All available team members should rush to help the flag carrier. Don't unnecessarily engage opponents who aren't posing any immediate threat in other areas. Let them waste their time if they so choose; don't let them waste yours.

When your flag is taken, it will not show up on the map right away. Thus it becomes very important for anyone who sees where the flag is to call out that location to other team members, so that they can come and assist in its rescue. Clicking on the mini-map to signal the location is also helpful.

Know the Forts

The layout of each fort presents certain tactical opportunities and challenges. Knowing the layout of each fort is extremely important. First, each fort has three entrances:

  • There is a lower tunnel leading directly to the battleground.
  • There is an upper tunnel that leads out to a hill that overlooks the battleground, but it does not provide as direct access. (You can only come up the hill from the opposite side of where the entrance is located.)
  • It is also possible to go up on the roof of each fort. The flag room of each fort has an open roof, so it is possible to jump down from the roof directly into the flag room.

Within each fort, there are several places to hide, at least temporarily. This can be useful for ambush attacks on either fort, or as a place for your flag carrier to hide while waiting for your flag to be returned so that he can complete a capture.

  • Right next to the flag base is a small area that is hidden from view of the roof and the lower tunnel entrance.
  • There is a small room near the flag with a one-way window that allows you to see players coming up the lower tunnel without them seeing you.

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