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#13220112 May 01, 2017 at 01:55 AM · Edited over 4 years ago
Commander
59 Posts
Contents

Chapter I - A brief history A context for the emergence of this tactic within our guild. What we were struggling against and why we adopted this system.

Chapter II - A comparative review Weighing the Pro and Cons of roaming raids as opposed to our raiding method at that time.

Chapter III - A simple explanation Infographic detailing the general outline of the tactic.

Chapter IV - A proposed hierarchy An advanced method of distributing responsibilities and provide a guideline among members to ensure micro-management across several raid groups if necessary.

Case Study#1 - Redridge Mountains The details of our Redridge invasion, afterthoughts and advice. Basic roaming strategies.

Case Study#2 - Stranglethorn Vale The details of our Stranglethorn invasion, afterthoughts and advice. Advanced roaming strategies.

Chapter V - A final consideration My personal opinions and conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of this tactic.

About the author and guild

My name is Nymis and I am the Commander of the Kor'Kron guilds - the largest World-PvP guild on Zeth'Kur and one of the most recognizable guilds across on all of Elysium's realms. My interest in vanilla WoW deals exclusively with World-PvP and I intend to put my analytical skills as well as experience with leading raids and engaging in open-world PvP combat across several MMOs (WoW, GW:2, Aion etc.) to good use here in order to elevate World-PvP combat and the general public's perception of it.

Below you will find a collection of images, notes and insights I have gathered over extensive raiding into Alliance territory. Everything you will read here has been proposed, adopted and successfully implemented in my guild. Whether you seek to utilize these for your own guild's benefit or whether you seek to undermine our effort, I am glad that you have found your way here and I hope that, by the end of this guide, I will succeed in sparking your interest in World-PvP by elaborating upon the tactical depth applicable within the World of Warcraft.
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#13220118 May 01, 2017 at 02:00 AM · Edited over 4 years ago
Commander
59 Posts
Chapter I - A brief history

When the servers were launched and the hype numbered about 12.000 in our server's queue, we managed to recruit fast and plenty. Having more than one raid available for several nights a week was not uncommon for us, and during those first weeks after the server launch we've had many memorable moments including our Redridge raids and Battle of Hillsbrad.

With that, we've also started encountering some major problems which hindered our ability to raid into Alliance territory, most importantly the fact that we quickly became outleveled wherever we went. Setting the different leveling conditions and different class priorities (Alliance having almost as many Hunters as Warriors at launch), we were also falling behind due to the frequent raids we were performing into their territory, raids which cost time and rewarded us with no gear.



Now of course that wouldn't be a problem for us in theory if not for the game's punishing mechanics against casters. Whereas melee attacks might still hit a target 10-20 levels above you, spells will almost always be resisted and that severely hindered our ability to deal with the bane of all zerg groups - fucking Mages.

Whether we're talking offense or defense, no matter how spread you try to keep your group against their Blink-Frost Nova combo, your raid will likely get wiped if their combo is timed with a push on the main raid and not just wasted in vain just for show. If you want to see this in action just take a look at this crucial moment which wiped my raid at 1:50 in this video.

With this in mind, I realized that our raids needed a fundamental change. Not that zerging was a bad tactic but it just wasn't adequate to pursue once the enemy managed to get this advantage over us for the simple reason that no amount of skill, discipline or combos could bypass game mechanics and prevent the inevitability of my raid wiping because of 2-3 fucking Mages.

I started thinking through this problem for a while. It felt certain that, in time, our levels would be able to deal with those pesky mages eventually, that we could perhaps adopt various formations or target macros with instant cast abilities. I felt something was missing from the bigger picture though and that addressing this particular problem would not close the gap between us and our great victory. Our purpose there was to disrupt and piss the fuck out of the Alliance while having a blast, but I felt that somehow training ourselves to do a monkey dance around every gnome with a popsicle in his hand wasn't going to get us anywhere.

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns wrote Sun Tzu in the Art of War, and indeed I felt that we were missing out on the object of our victory by persisting any further. And then it hit me. Within two nights of chatting with my guild and working with hipster templates over some infographics, I had an answer: raiding in roaming groups, "wolf packs" as I originally called them. It would servernot only as a counter to the Mage nukes but it would also provide us with an upper edge against our adversaries and achieve our long-lasting goal of completely disabling an entire area for the Alliance. It would serve us well.


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#13220126 May 01, 2017 at 02:14 AM · Edited 4 years ago
Commander
59 Posts
Chapter II - A comparative review

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#13220173 May 01, 2017 at 03:02 AM · Edited 4 years ago
Commander
59 Posts
Chapter III - A simple explanation

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#13220193 May 01, 2017 at 03:27 AM · Edited 3 years ago
Commander
59 Posts
Chapter IV - A proposed hierarchy

No matter how bad you are at PvP or how under-geared you might find yourself at any point in the game, preparation is the one advantage you must always have against your enemy. Unlike PvE raids, WPvP raids tend to be a lot more volatile - people can come and go out of your raid at random, people can die in strange places or slack behind the group. Some players might be slower than others while others might not even be on voice chat to even hear you complain about it. To this end, you have to be versatile and prepare as much as you can for the inevitability of being overloaded with information and requests.

When you are commanding in a zerg group, the raid becomes an extension of yourself: what they see is what you see, what they attack is what you attack, where they go is where you go etc. Power is the strength of the perfect zerg group and consistency is what you are aiming to achieve when commanding such a group; if everyone interrupts the right abilities, targets the healers first, spreads and reengages at the right time, there are few powers in the game capable of opposing you.

Take now the perspective of commanding a roaming raid. Without communication, you are blind and vulnerable to attack. Without planning in advance, you will move slowly and act inconsistently. What they see is no longer what you see, where you go is no longer where you go and what you attack is no longer what they will attack. For this to work, you will need a hierarchy of roles and attributes distributed among raiders to aid you in the process of managing your raid down to the very last player in your raid so that they may function adequately even in the absence of explicit details on where they should go, what they should attack, what should be prioritized and so forth.

Please note that what I am proposing here is in no way perfect or fail-proof and I strongly encourage you to disregard what I wrote here and create your own hierarchy for your own guild's needs.

Also, please keep in mind that I made this hierarchy in the context of engaging 2-3 full raids into a roaming operation - which was, at some point, a realistic expectation for our Kor'Kron guilds in the first weeks of server launch.

For most practical purposes, a full raid may be successfully conducted by 1 Overseer (acting as Commander) and 2-3 Officers (acting as Pack Leaders) though be warned that it is a very intellectually intensive process. Needless to say, avoid conducting these raids if you are not comfortable taking quick and rational decisions while tracking the entire raid's movement while constantly talking and listening to your raid while also playing your character.















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#13220236 May 01, 2017 at 04:22 AM · Edited 4 years ago
Commander
59 Posts
Case Study#1 - Redridge Mountains

We decided to test out the roaming operation on our most familiar ground at that point. Before the raid started,
I presented the general outline of the path we were going to take and I made sure there was at least one person in every group to acknowledge it.



The most difficult part is the beginning stage, at the deployment process, when you need to make sure everyone is in position before starting the rotation. Once arrived in Redridge via Duskwood as one solid group, I attempted to minimize the time needed to start the raid using the following schema for deployment:



I have a bad habit of sometimes making things look more complex than they are but in essence this is a very easy operation to conduct once you understand that all we were doing was dispatching one group after another at the roaming points of interest starting with the furthest ones.



This is a screenshot provided by one of my Overseers during the event. Remember that nothing is perfect and no matter how good you try to organize people, some will be left behind and overlap occasionally. It is these imperfections which make the roaming tactic so devastating in my opinion. If you could make the groups run in an exact sequence and pace then the enemy could catch on to it and just avoid you as always. The fact that some groups will go a bit more towards the right, others will circle around the left, some will have a delay while others will skip through one of the checkpoints ensures that no enemy can ever figure out what your raid is doing.

Problems: None.

Advice and observations: The operation was a lot easier than we thought it would be. A slight oversight made the Murloc leveling area a refuge for them until we caught on and sent the S.C.U.M. group to wipe them there. The little resistance they had was crushed along with the hopes of leveling in Redridge for an entire hour. This is an easy area to invade and roam around and thus you can try and couple of with Duskwood if you have the numbers and speed in your raid to do so.

Conclusions: The operation was a critical success.


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#13220566 May 01, 2017 at 11:02 AM · Edited 4 years ago
Commander
59 Posts
Case Study#2 - Stranglethorn Vale

Having successfully convinced my guild that we were perfectly capable of properly coordinating over an entire map, I decided to profit off of our morale boost to step it up a notch and test how far I could aim with my specifications.

Because I knew the levels in my raid would range between 20 and 50, the first thing I did was pull out my old World of Warcraft game guide (which came with my Battle Chest) and do a general mapping of all the mobs and their respective levels in Stranglethorn Vale.



As you can probably guess, I wanted to avoid the elite 40-50+ areas while also properly dividing my raid so that those within the 20-40 range would take the Northern part while the highest levels would take the Southern paths. I presented my guild with the following outline of our invasion:



The added twist of alternating rotations relates to the stress testing of specifications I mentioned earlier. It also felt more "natural" to have this rotation, perhaps due to the fact that it resembles the leveling path most Horde players will generally take.

Deployment was a bit more tricky this time. Since there would be two groups within the raid, we had to synchronize and perform two deployments at the same time and waste as little time with this once the invasion started. We deployed our groups in the following manner:

  • Northern and Southern groups were amassed at Grom'Gol and Booty Bay respectively
  • the Northern groups first and foremost took the Hemet Nesingwary area while proceeding to dispatch groups towards A,B and D
  • the Southern groups split at the Spirit Healer junction with two groups taking the two sides of the beach and the others making their way for the jungle area

The important thing you should note was that you shouldn't allow the Hemet Nesingwary area to be engaged by just one group on the first transit. It is a very popular quest hub and lots of players group up in order to attempt the quests there. You have to first and foremost wipe and disperse whatever force might be stationed there before you can begin transit around that area.

As far as the Southern groups go, be mindful about instructing the groups to carefully scout the Troll ruins for hiding players. I specifically chose the areas where those lucrative quests are attempted by both factions but mobs will sometimes spawn far off the path and some players will take advantage of that.

Considering our lower levels and the nature of Stranglethorn Vale, I also felt it was important to remind the raiders about the threat of rogues picking up easy targets left behind the raid and stress the importance of sticking together as groups.

I also highlighted the Spirit Healer's location as a point of interest to visit while roaming. My original intention was to deploy a group consisting of 2 Hunters (for tracking), 1 Rogue and 1 Druid (for stealth/deceit) and perhaps 1 low level character (for bait) to camp the Spirit Healer on the Northern part, but given the magnitude of our operation I felt it was too much of an overkill.

Problems: While distributing mounted/unmounted groups, I made a slight oversight over one group which had an average of around level 28-30. After 20 minutes into the raid, they were wiped by a pack of mobs between the A and C areas of the map. This was the only casualty sustained over a 45 minute raid.

Advice and observations: Very intensive to coordinate two separate groups within one raid. Not knowing how many people are going to show up for the raid doesn't get more punishing than this when you're trying to split them into groups.

Note that within that level range you will have mounted and unmounted units. To minimize the drawbacks, I suggest having only mounted units in the Southern part while allowing most of the unmounted players to patrol the Northern path. If a player with a mount has to be in an unmounted group, have him/her roam unmounted just like the others to preserve the consistency of the group.

I strongly advise keeping at least one 40+ mounted group to patrol the Northern path. In the case of an emergency, you will need at least a group to be able to respond as fast as possible in the event of an emergency.

To avoid congestion and to disperse the groups once they found themselves overlapping, the easiest way to do it is to ask one group to skip the next roaming checkpoint (address it by its letter, not its name) while the other group maintains transit through it.

Don't forget about the Flight Masters between Booty Bay and Grom'Gol!! In the event of an Alliance raid forming in defense of the Hemet Nesingwary area (the major point-of-interest for the Alliance questing in the North), the Southern reinforcements may be deployed in two batches:

  • those in the upper part of Southern STV can simply ride into Grom'Gol
  • those in the lower part are advised to take the flight path from Booty Bay

Keep in mind that killing Alliance players will sometimes "flag" you for Booty Bay Bruisers for around 30-40 seconds. Avoid kills on your way towards Booty Bay if you are asked to transfer to Grom'Gol. I have personally measured the travel time in both instances and in averages out around 4-5 minutes, which is fairly decent.

Conclusions: Lots of fun and challenges if you have a level 40-50 raid, but otherwise it does get pretty dull if there's not that much to kill in Stranglethorn unfortunately. Properly planning ahead and distributing your groups accordingly will turn the threat of jungle mobs into your advantage, guaranteeing you will be in control of the leveling areas and absolutely piss the fuck out of every Alliance player in the area. Maximizing your communication with your team ensures you will be able to carry on with your plans and adequately respond to anything the Alliance might try to pull off before they even try it.
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#13220569 May 01, 2017 at 11:05 AM
Commander
59 Posts
Chapter V - A final consideration

The proposed method of invasion, while being exciting, innovative, engaging and challenging to follow and at times, should not replace the standard methods of deployment and engaging the enemy raids in large groups or "zergs" but instead compliment this method if your goal is to shut down an entire area for the enemy faction.

Should a resistance arise to challenge your raid, you have to be one step ahead of them and realize that they would likely attempt to engage and secure an important point-of-interest or questing area since they will likely lack the coordination, discipline, preparation and awareness of your raid's movement and will likely disregard the possibility of your guild engaging in such a compelling display of power. Having your raid spread around the area means whatever assault they bring in bulk will yield minimum losses in their favor and you will have plenty of time to scout them and decide the next course of action while regrouping your raid in order to deal with the threat. Knowing the route your enemy is going to take in order to arrive at your location allows for some quick counter-play by having a team of scouts (Hunters and Shamans preferably) report on enemy location from where you expect them to come, but it is doubtful that players will give that much of a fuck about it.

In our previous raids we had found that taking control of the enemy's town was not enough to destabilize an entire area. Rarely players would have to interact with NPC's for more than a couple of minutes before returning to their questing areas. Effective destabilization must take into account both types of objectives (quest hubs and questing areas), however it is much easier to take control of a questing hub through roaming groups than it is to take control of the questing areas through a large compact group. For all practical purposes, camping the flight master while maintaining a patrol around the access routes of the quest hubs will hinder almost all attempts at successfully getting in and out of the questing hub.
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