Apart from battlegrounds, I finished off a few quests in Terokkar, and moved on to Nagrand. While out and about, I like to keep an eye on any world PvP going on; after a promising start in Hellfire Peninsula, Zangramarsh was a bit of a let-down, and Terokkar managed to be less exciting still. The idea in Terokkar is to capture five towers in the Bone Wastes, and if your faction take control of all of them, for the next six hours they gain a 5% damage and XP buff and the ability to to get spirit shards in Auchindoun. In all my adventuring in Terokkar, I saw the towers go neutral precisely once. It was around 1am one morning; I toddled over to see what was happening as a troop of Horde level 70s on flying mounts swooped past, so I gave a quick shout to see if anyone else in the zone was interested in trying to take the towers (they weren’t), and decided against planting myself on the last neutral tower and bellowing “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” (I’m not sure that scene would’ve been so effective if the Balrog has smirked and flicked Gandalf aside with one finger…) Terokkar suffers from giving no great individual incentive to take part in the fighting, unless you’re intending to venture into Auchindoun; the buff is nice, but everyone in the zone receives that, so the temptation is to let other people do the fighting, you’ll still get the benefit.
Nagrand, on the other hand, has been rather fun. At the centre of Nagrand is the town of Halaa, which can be captured in the same way as other world PvP objectives, by having more of your faction than the enemy faction standing on top of it. To make life slightly more interesting, the faction controlling Halaa also gets the services of 15 rather beefy guards, which make a direct assault almost impossible. To counteract them, the other faction can take control of up to four Wyvern posts near the town, and take part in aerial bombing runs much like those done in Hellfire Peninsula, lofting fire bombs for heavy damage to enemy players and guards. Meanwhile the defenders can sally forth to temporarily knock out the Wyvern posts. All in all, it can get pretty chaotic when there’s a fight in Halaa!
There’s the usual 5% damage buff from being in control of Halaa, and, more importantly, killing enemy players in the area nets you tokens for that all important shiny loot, so there’s a real incentive to form up a raid and do battle. The main obstacle, as with all world PvP, is that it can be difficult for the less populous faction to amass enough players to mount an assault and take control. Halaa potentially offers a way to counteract this, by adjusting either the number of guards or their respawn time depending on the number of attackers and defenders, but I don’t believe this happens. On my server, although the Alliance have a numerical advantage and tend to hold Halla, especially during quiet times, the Horde amassed enough of a force to take Halaa several times over the weekend. One battle royale saw the Horde hold out in the face of a major Alliance raid for a couple of hours; despite weight of numbers, and with the dumb guards thinned out fairly quickly by heavy bombing runs, the Alliance didn’t have the organisation to launch a co-ordinated attack (quelle surprise, in a pick-up raid… to be honest, about the best you can hope for is that everyone’s in the same zone), so the Horde were more than up to the piecemeal incursions until sheer attrition finally got the better of them. Such fights are good for everyone; plenty of kill tokens all round, and with the town changing hands, both sides get to use the NPCs there to cash in the PvP and PvE tokens obtained in the area at some point. With a bit of luck, there’ll be another rumble next weekend.