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Domination Battleground Guides 5.4

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This guide will cover Domination battlegrounds. These are battlegrounds where multiple bases need to be controlled in order to reach a certain amount of points before the opponent. There may also be additional mechanics that make the battleground more interesting, like a capturing mechanic in Deepwind Gorge. The pure Domination battlegrounds are Arathi Basin and Battle for Gilneas. Eye of the Storm, although classified as Domination, will be covered in a separate guide because of its different concepts.

We will therefore cover the following three battlegrounds:




General Information

Most of the Domination battlegrounds in World of Warcraft are for 15 players, except Battle for Gilneas, which is designed for 10 players because of its size. The goal is to reach a certain amount of points quicker than the enemy by capturing and holding more bases than the opponent. The exact amount of points varies, as does the amount of bases involved. The basic tactics do not depend on these factors, so we can cover them in this general section.

Important to know is that you only have to hold a certain amount of bases in order to win. That is usually one base more than your opponent has, which works because the amount of bases is odd, but it gets more complicated for Deepwind Gorge, which we will discuss later. Having all bases under your control usually gives a huge buff to point generation, but holding the maximum amount of bases is very hard and thus risky.

To capture a base controlled by the opponent, a player has to click the flag, which is colored in the opponent's faction color. In order to successfully mark the base, the capturing player needs to take no direct damage for 7 seconds, from the moment they clicked the flag. Direct damage excludes damage done by debuffs and periodic damage, so a player that is affected by a debuff can still attempt to mark a base. After a period of one minute their team finally owns the base and the opponent can only capture it back by contesting it. While a base is contested, it is possible to capture back the base through the same mechanism as above, but the base goes into ownership of the defender instantly without first going through a contested state. This allows to quickly recover from the capturing of a base by a single player, because the local defense did not pay attention or did not even exist, which is unfortunately a common case in games played with random groups.




As coordination is key to winning the game, you should try to communicate with your team members. At the beginning of a game the team should agree on the bases that are first to be captured and held. Although the optimal player distribution at the beginning will be discussed in the battleground-specific sections, it is of course essential that at least as many bases are captured in the beginning as are needed to win.

After the bases have been captured, at least one player should remain at the base at all time. As opponents need to stay clear of any damage for a period of 7 seconds when capturing the base, a single player can prevent multiple enemies from capturing for a significant amount of time, usually until they die, that is. The player should thus play a durable class. A team composed of at least one healer and another player is even better, as they can tank a group that outnumbers them for a long period of time. This is especially true in random battlegrounds, where the opponents are not as strong as they are in the rated variants. Nonetheless, the defending player(s) should try to stop the capturing players as long as possible.

Communicating that enemies are attacking a base is mandatory for the coordination on the field. A defender should therefore, as long as the situation allows, call for help if the enemy force is expected to win the team fight at the base in the long run. A clearance of the attack should also be announced. The former is usually done by writing things like "inc farm 5", where 5 indicates the amount of players in the incoming attack; While the latter can be announced by writing "farm clear" in the chat. Players will usually use short forms of the base names.

In order to defend a base appropriately it is important to send exactly as many players as needed. In practice this can not be decided quickly enough as too many factors are involved, such as the strength and skill of the individual players and the amount of reinforcements on the enemy side. It should however be clear that a base where 3 enemies are attempting an attack should not be defended by more than 4 equally good players by any stretch of the imagination. Every additional player sent to an already stable base is a wasted resource. Striking the balance is key to defense, and this makes communication so essential in Domination Battlegrounds.

Attacking a base should only be done when you need one to win or when you are absolutely sure that you can dispose of force in the defense. For example, if you are in Arathi Basin - which has 5 bases - and hold only 2 bases you should try to attack another base while not losing your current 2. On a contrary, if you already hold 3 bases, instead of trying to gain control over the other 2 bases, you should try to defend and hold your current bases. A huge push by the enemy may increase the chances at capturing other bases significantly and it might be needed to switch to another base to mitigate the base lost by the enemy push, but you should in no situation take unnecessary risks. Managing risks is the second key to win in Domination Battlegrounds.

Playing Alone

As discussed in the Communication section, coordination is key to win. As a solo player in a random battleground you should always try to play with your team, not against. This means that you should defend attacked bases if the need arises instead of pushing that fourth base alone, that you should stay at a base if you are the last one there, even if it is notoriously boring to do so, and that you should by no means argue with the players in your team. You are the team, and arguing with another player is like arguing with yourself. Matters should be handled professionally and flaming another player for his inability to defend a base will only cost you valuable time. It is more professional to talk to such persons after the game and try to give them useful tips. Although this applies to every aspect of the game, it is very important in Domination, as every second a player resource is idle could be a lost point.

Playing alone is simple, yet hard. You basically just have to flow with your team, but determining where to defend and when to attack is sometimes very hard and requires a sharp tactical mind. Do not start attacks without coordination and do not try to capture anything completely alone.

Playing in a Small Team

Small teams have to follow the rules solo players follow, but they generally have better communication - assuming voice chat is used - and power, which allows for advanced attack and defense tactics. It is not rare that a team splits to different bases. One part may defend a base the other (random) players forgot, while the other part may attack or defend another base. The improved communication also allows to quickly relocate players if a push is imminent. For example, players that are attacking may be quickly called back to help defend a base. Being in a team also improves the strategic decisions made, as multiple people can combine their ideas.




Arathi Basin




The map above shows the structure of Arathi Basin with the five bases, Stables ( ST ), Gold Mine ( GM ), Blacksmith ( BS ), Lumber Mill ( LM ) and the Farm. The white circles are the graveyards associated with each base; players of the faction with ownership over the base are able to respawn there. The blue and red circles are the Alliance and Horde graveyards, respectively. Power-Ups are randomized.


You need 1600 points to win. When holding one to four bases, each tick will give you 10 points. The time of the ticks depends on the base count, and decreases linearly. One base will let the tick take 12 seconds, three bases 6 seconds and four bases 3 seconds. When holding five bases you are basically completely dominating the opposing faction, giving you one tick per second yielding 30 points. You only need 54 seconds to gain 1600 points at five bases. Based on the state of the game, holding all bases may make you win in 20 to 40 seconds. As it is risky, you should only try to hold all bases when you are absolutely dominating 'dem enemies.


The Alliance will take the Stables at the beginning, while the Horde will take the Farm. Because of the Alliance/Horde graveyard directly to it, the Stables are usually a bad target for the Horde, while the Farm is likewise a bad target for the Alliance. The Blacksmith is an excellent position on the map, so your team should try to control it. From my experience, the Alliance will more likely go to the Gold Mine in masses, while the Horde will go to the Lumber Mill in masses at the beginning of the game; at least in Random Battlegrounds. 


The Stables can be attacked from 3 directions, from the Gold Mine and Lumber Mill over land, while players from the Blacksmith might take the way over the water, assuming they have some kind of water walking, or go over the land like other players. The directions are only about 90° apart, so one player can usually watch the whole scene and report incoming attacks. One player should always stay at the stables to report incoming attacks and prevent solo ninjas from an embarrassing capture of a usually safe flag; the latter happens far too often. Due to the symmetry of the map, these tips apply to the Farm likewise.


The Lumber Mill is placed on a hill with a cliff facing the Blacksmith. It can thus only be reached from the directions of the Stables and the Farm, which makes it a bit easier to defend, but incoming enemies are harder to see, because of obstructions and the 180° angle. Due to the cliff, some classes may attempt to throw enemies off it, which will often result in a death (though not a guaranteed one). Fair or not, this tactic is quite effective. Mind Control and Typhoon are two examples of spells that can be used to throw enemies off the cliff. You can yourself jump off the cliff, but we advise you to use Slow Fall or similar effects to not die and reach the Blacksmith instead of landing in the water or before the water - you can usually just barely make it on the platform, which makes it possible to attack the Blacksmith literally by air.


Because the Blacksmith is in the center of the Arathi Basin, it can be reached effectively from almost any direction. This makes it, naturally, easier to get there and attack. However, the Blacksmith is also the best location to hold, because it will give you a position from which every other base can be reached quickly. The side facing the Gold Mine has a cliff, right at the outer way of the Gold Mine on the map. You can jump down there with a Slow Fall spell there like you can at the Lumber Mill, which might give you a slight time advantage.


The Gold Mine can be defended like the Lumber Mill, but you can not throw players off a cliff, of course. It is a bit easier to see incoming players than it is for the Lumber Mill, but you can not see what stands on the high side of the cliff until it comes from above and tries to kill you.




Battle for Gilneas




The map above shows Battle for Gilneas with the three bases, the Lighthouse ( LH ), Waterworks ( WW ) and the Mines. The white circles are the graveyards associated with each base. The blue and red circles are the Alliance and Horde graveyards, respectively. Power-Ups are randomized. Due to its smaller size, Battle for Gilneas is a 10-man Battleground.


Interestingly, when dying at a base your team controls you do not respawn there, but rather at the closest graveyard to that. So if you die at the Watermill and control the Lighthouse, you will respawn there. If you only control the Mine and die there as a Horde player, you will respawn at your faction's start graveyard.


After accumulating 2000 points your team wins the game. Holding one base will grant you 10 points every 9 seconds. The period is 3 times faster with 2 bases, granting you 10 points every 3 seconds. When holding all bases, you will gain 30 points every second, which is 9 times faster! As always, you should not attempt to hold all bases unless you can dominate the opponent, although it is arguably easier to hold all bases than in Arathi Basin, because there are only three.


When using the standard strategy, the Alliance will assault the Lighthouse with one or two people at the beginning, while the Horde will assault the Mines. Ideally you will have two people, a healer and a DPS, defending the Lighthouse/Mines, watching and announcing incoming attacks. The Waterworks can be attacked at the beginning of the game by the majority of the team. If the fight over the Waterworks derails in a zerg fest, try to split off and attack the Lighthouse/Mines. In random Battlegrounds a base that is only defended by one player is not a rare case. After getting two bases you should try to defend them at all costs. Only push for the last base if you are absolutely sure you can take the risk. In all cases, communicate with your team to ensure that at least two people are defending each base. 


You can use the Overlook (1) to watch all bases on the map. Although the view is obstructed by a few obstacles, it is a very good spot to view the movements of the enemy and try to predict which base they are attacking. This knowledge may give you the edge you need to defend one of your bases.


To "sneak" from the Lighthouse to the Mines or vice versa, you can use the path (2), which is hidden from the Overlook by a mountain, so it is harder to predict incoming attacks. Likewise, path (3) can be used to go between the Mines and the Waterworks and also features a small mountain. Path (4) can be used to go between the Lighthouse and the Waterworks. It allows you to go around the river, which is useful as an Alliance player when the Horde attacks from the Mines, and is also harder to see from the Overlook because of a fence and a house.


Once the enemy team captured 2 bases and they are defended properly it is very hard to get 2 bases again. You should concentrate your attack on one base and use enough players (4 - 7) to quickly capture it, but you also have to make sure that your only base is not captured. Otherwise it will result in all bases captured by the enemy team, which takes less than a minute to end the game. You do not want the enemy team to have 2 bases, but you do really not want them to have 3.




Deepwind Gorge




Deepwind Gorge is a 15-man Battleground with 3 bases, the Center Mine ( C ), Pandaren Mine ( P ) and Goblin Mine ( G ). It is split into a northern and southern half, which determines where you respawn after dying. If you die in the southern half, you respawn at your faction's northern graveyard and the other way around. Power-ups are shown on the map.


The goal is to score 1600 points. Owning one base gives you 8 points every 5 seconds, each subsequent base doubles that amount, 2 bases give 16 points per 5 seconds while 3 mines give 32 points per 5 seconds. In comparison to the other Battlegrounds discussed here, this scaling is rather shallow. Both Battle for Gilneas and Arathi Basin grant 9 times more points to the player holding all bases rather than 2 or 4 bases, respectively. Deepwind Gorge only grants 2 times as many points. This removes significance from the idea of holding all bases to win quickly, while it still is a bonus big enough to justify holding all bases in some cases, and gives weight to the capturing mechanic which will be discussed in the next paragraph.


Deepwind Gorge has a feature which makes it distinct from any other Domination Battleground. Both factions have a cart at their base which can be captured by an enemy player. Taking it steals up to 200 points from the opponent - their funds can not be lowered to negative numbers, bringing it safely to your own base will grant you 200 points, regardless of the amount stolen. This makes a difference of possibly 400 points, which is huge, considering that when holding two bases and your opponent holds one you need 4 minutes and 10 seconds to make that difference in points. 


The stealing player can not move faster than 100% of his movement speed. This even applies to ability_monk_flyingdragonkick.jpgFlying Serpent Kick, but not to spell_arcane_blink.jpgBlink, as you technically do not move faster during its effect. This makes it easy to intercept an enemy cart carrier and you should attempt to slow them down further and eventually kill them. As so often in Battlegrounds, the hard part is to hold the bases while splitting off players to fulfill the task. Adding to that difficulty is the fact that you need to protect your own cart carrier as well. Killing a player does not immediately return the cart and the points, but you need to click it before an enemy player does so. Note that the points that were stolen are returned to your score when the cart is captured and the cart itself instantly respawns.


As you have to run with the cart over the entire map to get to your base, you should prefer going through bases your team owns. Having a healer might give you that extra edge to capture the cart, because you will simply last longer. If your opponents are close to winning and their cart is currently at their base, you can bring down their points instantly by 200, which might give you that edge as well.


The way to the Pandaren Mine is more straight forward than the way to the Goblin Mine for the Alliance, while the opposite is true for the Horde, so the Alliance will most likely attempt to capture the Pandaren and Center Mine, the Horde the Goblin and Center Mine. After all, one of these mines is named after the faction that will most likely possess them at the beginning of the game - yes, somehow I associate Pandaren with the Alliance, sorry Horde pandas! Both mines have a restoration power-up, which makes it easier to defend and hold the base for a few additional seconds. Use that if you have to hold it!


During the game, the Center Mine is likely to be the most contested one. Like the Blacksmith in Arathi Basin, controlling the Center Mine gives you a good chunk of map control and allows you to intercept the enemy cart carrier more efficiently and get your own cart carrier to the other side more easily. The area around the Center Mine is very open, allowing you to discover incoming attacks from far away; This is not true for the Pandaren and Goblin Mine, which are obstructed by hills or cliffs.



If you have any questions, suggestions or mistakes to point out, feel free to reply here or send me a personal message.

Edited by Marco

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