World of Warcraft previews two expansion races, nixes Strand of the Ancients battleground

    
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Baaaaad writing.

Feeling a little primal and savage? You’ll be able to tap into that nature by rolling up one of the new Mag’har Orcs or Dark Iron Dwarves when World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth arrives.

While these allied races have been discussed and covered extensively among the WoW community, Blizzard recently gave them their own official preview page. It’s here that you can learn about their background, eyeball their available classes and racials, and even dive into some of the extended media that Blizzard has put out over the years.

And while these races are arriving into the expansion, one of the game’s most hated PvP battlegrounds is departing. Blizzard confirmed that it will be removing Strand of the Ancients as part of a new PvP queuing system. Will that make you rejoice or grieve?

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Sorenthaz

See, I don’t get why they’re removing Strand of the Ancients but are keeping in Isle of Conquest. Isle of Conquest seems to bring way more confusion to folks and is a lot more complicated in nature. Strand of the Ancients just sucks because it’s an Attack/Defense map that rotates rounds.

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Bruno Brito

Potential, i guess. Isle is incredible when the fights happen, it’s just that takes a bit too long, the nodes are too sparse and confusing, and several battlepoints are uninteresting.

More LoS, a better lay of the land ( not that plane crap ) would make the battleground better, i suppose.

Also, Isle would benefit a lot from mobile npc squads.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

I actually liked Strand, but the BGs most people hated (like AV) were the ones I liked. The only “BG” I really remember not liking was (I think) Tol Barad. Like most of the scheduled world PvP battles between factions, the offense always felt like it had an advantage, but TB’s felt so much worse. The strategy was often fairly simple but people’s zerg mentality made it so a small organized group could make the defense fairly solid. I know because I was one of those organizers, and since the alliance was dying on our server, we felt we had to throw games to ensure they didn’t remain on the endangered species list.

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Bruno Brito

Well, AV is hated because after all those years, never had it’s core issues fixed. It was good when no one understood the map and fought for weeks, but even the rose-colored glasses fell there. AV is a mess even on Vanilla Pservers because it’s a rushdown map. When you understand it, you avoid fightning and try to rush objectives to end it quick.

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Dreema

I always liked SotA and thought it was a much better battleground than most people gave it credit for. I don’t understand the need to remove it, but then I seldom understand the reasons why Blizzard remove content. If anything, they should have removed Twin Peaks and / or Battle for Gilneas because they’re just re-skins of Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin.

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Bruno Brito

Strand was a piece of garbage. Let them rework that.

While on that, rework AV too, so it isn’t a rushfest without any resemblance of war.

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Randy Savage

Since the very beginning of the game, I wanted the Dark Iron Dwarfs to be playable, but I always thought they should join the Horde. It’d be a much more natural fit for them. Plus, it’d mean the Horde getting dwarfs so I’d never look at the Alliance with longing eyes ever again. But I digress.

It took Moira Bronzebeard suffering an extreme case of Stockholm Syndrome and marrying her Dark Iron kidnapper, Thaurissan Weinstein, to bring the Dark Irons back into the fold. If only the #MeToo movement happened sooner to spare us all this atrocious storyline.

And another point of concern is that the Alliance now has three options for the Shaman class while the Horde still only has two options for Paladins. If they don’t pull the trigger and allow Zandalari to be Paladins, I’m going to be rightly pissed. It already exists in the lore thanks to the Loa, Rezan, so I’m holding out hope that Blizz has just been teasing and misdirecting so that they can shovel some more coal in the BfA hype train.

But the Mag’har look cool even if their racials are a bit on the weak side. Apparently three sets of color variations on their heritage armor have been data-mined, each corresponding with one of the three major orc tribes: Warsong, Blackrock, and Frostwolf. The RP’er in me very much approves of this so I hope it comes to pass.

As far as Strand of the Ancients goes, it has been fraught with problems since the very beginning between crying carebears complaining about it being too long, to turrets and vehicles not performing properly. I actually greatly enjoyed the Battleground in its first incarnation, but alas it did not last. I’m currently finishing the last leg of achievements for the place. It’d be nice if Blizz gave us a title or something for those of us that enjoyed it enough to complete the meta achievement before it was removed, but I doubt that will happen. Oh well.

borghive
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borghive

They use the same exact models, they are nothing but reskins. I’ve been playing the new races on the beta and they only offer a few cosmetic differences. These additions, a long with the other allied races just feel lazy. I don’t even understand why the over all population was in such a tizzy over the rep requirements for such minor cosmetic differences.

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Dreema

Me too. I was interested in allied races until I realised they weren’t coming with any new classes to go with them. As I already have a high level character of every class, why do I need another? A nightfallen warrior won’t play any differently than an orc warrior and a void elf hunter won’t play any differently than a night elf hunter. They’re basically just cosmetic differences which people seem to be hyping way out of proportion.

To be honest, Blizzard could have added a few extra sliders to the character creation screen or the barber shop and allowed people to customise their existing characters and it would have ended up just the same as this whole allied races idea.

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Randy Savage

At first I agreed that Allied Races seemed lazy. They mostly boil down to cosmetic differences as you said. They do have new racial abilities but those do not have such a huge impact on gameplay to really make that much of a difference. That being said, the more cosmetic options in these kinds of games, the better in my opinion. And they’re giving the fans of the game what they’ve been asking for for years now.

Dreema below says they could have just added some extra options to existing character races but not exactly because these are distinct races separate from their cousins. To do their different flavor justice, they needed to be separated into their own category complete with their own racial abilities, mounts, heritage armor, totems, etc. It would not make sense for Mag’har orcs to have the Blood Fury racial ability when they never drank the Blood of Mannoroth. Yes, it’s ultimately just a flavor thing, but that’s one attribute of RPG’s that makes the world seem more diverse and interesting.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah the Dark Iron stuff with Moira is honestly a pretty hamfisted storyline. It’s headache inducing to me to wonder how they could think that anyone would buy it, when they basically tried to retcon Thaurissan to seem like he was just fighting for the Dark Iron’s freedom (they were enslaved to Ragnaros I guess?) and we’re supposed to somehow think that Moira didn’t develop Stockholm Syndrome.

tbh though I don’t get why Strand of the Ancients is getting axed but Isle of Conquest is remaining. That seems to bring more confusion and complaints than any other BG beyond Alterac Valley (which is only a problem because people turned it into a mindless PvE zergfest and people don’t understand that back-capping/defense is necessary for the Horde to have a chance at winning).

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Randy Savage

Strand being removed has a lot more to do with it being a buggy, problematic mess that worked perfectly fine when they made it but as player power increased, the fatal flaws in Strand’s design were exposed. IoC at least works, even if many people don’t like it. That’s why it’s being moved to its own queue with AV, with possibly more being added to it in the future like Ashran. I’m personally holding out for Wintergrasp but that suffers from the same scaling issues as Strand. Blizz must have learned something from engineering those two that they were able to correct with IoC but couldn’t apply the fix to WG and SotA for some reason or another. *shrugs*

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TheDonDude

People have wanted Dark Iron dorfs for a while now… I have to admit, it’s pretty tempting…

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

I agree. Thats the thing though, I wanted dark iron dwarves before I already had multiple characters at endgame. That aside, nothing else about this expansion is enough to entice me to return and I’m just going to hold out for classic.

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TheDonDude

I sort of have that issue too. I really wanted a new class so that I could roll through the improved leveling system. But do I really want a 2nd Class _____?

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Utakata

…as well as the Mag’har d’orcs! o.O

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Vicarious Fan

I wanted Wild Hammer Dwarfs but this will do for now

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Michael

Strand of the Ancients has been my least favorite battleground since the first time I did it. Thank god.

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Utakata

…it sorta became PvP’s Oculus I gather.

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Neurotic

I’ve wanted DIs for years, and I’m very pleased that they’re finally joining the fray.

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Vicarious Fan

On one side i’m pretty much against removing ANY content from the game. On the other hand Strand of the Ancients is absolutely terrible. I’d say the better choice would to just add one more ignore battleground option. That way those who hate it can ignore it and those sick twisted humans who enjoy it can play it and be separated from the rest of us.

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Randy Savage

They’re removing the Ignore option completely. The only three that were ever ignored were Strand, Isle of Conquest, and Alterac Valley so they’re removing Strand because it’s an unsalvageable mess and they’re moving IoC and AV into their own queue tentatively titled the large battleground queue where Ashran might eventually end up, but for now has been disabled. Hopefully they’ll let us join both queues at the same time.

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Vicarious Fan

still not a fan of removing content permanently. I do like the idea of a separate queue for AV and Isle. But yeah I agree they must make it so you can queue for both.

I can’t imagine they wont do that as you can duel queue for almost everything else.

I ususally blacklist a BG if i get it like 2 to 3 times in a row, usually it switches between The Temple, Silvershard mines and Pandarian Mines.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

i first encountered strand in cata at endgame and it was excessively and abundantely in my face how awful it was.

and then a bunch of totally not wow clone mmo’s ended up making different iterations/skins of the same basic design

and those were also terrible.

meanwhile it’s 2018 and we still haven’t gotten a decent mmorpg bg version of the quintesential core MOBA design with towers creeps and such. gw2 was playing ti up but the thing they out put was… not really desirable and there’s probably good reason i’ve seen zero mention of it since the half hearted defenses of it when it was in player testing however long ago.