The WoW Classic Alterac Valley Battleground is the largest of the World of Warcraft Classic Battlegrounds. Infamous for extremely long battles, sometimes lasting multiple days due to the potential for stalemate and effective nearly unbreakable defense. WoW first launched Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley on June 7, 2005. As of December 10, 2019, both are now available in WoW Classic.
The popularity and infinite replayability of Alterac Valley created the template for all Epic Battlegrounds that have followed. It features a unique 40 v 40 player environment in a sprawling North-South oriented zone. Players will fight both enemy players and powerful NPCs in order to achieve victory! There are many in-depth mechanics present in the zone including resource gathering in order to upgrade and summon powerful allied NPCs including the iconic Elemental Lords Ivus of the Alliance and Rokholar of the Horde.
Alterac Valley was initially designed as a PVP zone. There is no reinforcement mechanic to artificially bring a battle to a close. As a result, it was not uncommon for battles to result in a stalemate. Notorious defensive locations such as the bridge leading into Dun Baldar, the Alliance base in the North, can be held indefinitely by competent defenders. It was not uncommon for thousands of players to die in a single battle, for players to log out of a battle one day and rejoin the same battle the next day.
Joining Alterac Valley
WoW Classic Alterac Valley is the 1.12 version of the battleground which means players may queue via the Battlemasters located in each capital city.
Originally it was only possible to join Alterac Valley from the battleground entrances located in Hillsbrad Foothills, the battleground entrance camps are still necessary to visit in order to purchase powerful reputation-based rewards.
Alliance Battlemaster Locations
- Ironforge: The Military Ward
- Stormwind: Stormwind Keep
- Darnassus: Warrior’s Terrace
Horde Battlemaster Locations
- Orgrimmar: Valley of Honor
- Thunder Bluff: Hunter’s Rise
- Undercity: Sylvanas’ Throne Room
Effective planning, familiarity with Victory Conditions and basic class fundamentals are essential for success. In WoW Classic a combination of excellent communication, best in slot gear, effective use of PVP consumables (potions, grenades, etc) as well as a viable strategy provide an enormous advantage in obtaining victory!
Practice! Even the perfect strategy with inexperienced players will be unlikely to result in a victory. Successful PVP teams practice with a specific battleground for long periods of time in order to perfect the execution of their strategies. Remember many players have been running Alterac Valley for 15 years and are exceptionally competent!
Even if you lose a battle if you have fought well you will be awarded enormous amounts of experience, honor and fun nostalgic gear!
Victory can only be achieved by defeating the enemy Commander located in their respective faction bases: Drek’Thar of the Horde and Vanndar Stormpike of the Alliance!
In order to achieve victory, defeating enemy players, capturing and destroying enemy towers/bunkers and eliminating powerful enemy Lieutenants and Commanders is required for all but the most over-geared teams!
Once the enemy general has been killed the match will end.
Take your time!
With no reinforcement pressure or time limit constraints the ultimate objective of completing objectives, defeating Captains and Lieutenants while clearing to the enemy base is something that should be done gradually. Rush strategies simply do not work in this Classic version of Alterac Valley.
A methodical objective-based offensive in which specific graveyards and Towers/Bunkers are focused on until they are captured and destroyed is preferable to spreading your team out over multiple objectives and failing.
Each player must work as part of a larger team. For our most successful premade groups classes are assigned in five-player squads by role, ideally with the best-suited healer. Ideally, stealth classes, ranged DPS and tank groups are assigned based upon their ability to respond to battlefield needs.
Ensure each player is ready and prepared to fight. Expect that each battle will last at least an hour!
Make sure that each player is able to communicate, is appropriately geared and has a PVP focused class specialization. PVP Consumables and appropriate buffs provide significant advantages, use them! Keep calm and focused! You will die in this battleground, repeatedly. Focus on learning to fight well and expect to participate in multiple battles in order to complete your achievements.
Effective leadership at the squad and premade level is extremely valuable. Due to the scale of the Alterac Valley map, it is critical that vocal, experienced squad leaders communicate constantly about conditions in their area, the status of battlefield objectives and make effective target calls for their group. An overall raid leader that has experience running Alterac Valley that can work well with squad leaders, understands all relevant mechanics and objectives should work to assign squads for specific tasks.
Stealth groups are excellent for moving passed the front line fighting to capture battlefield objectives that are lightly or undefended. They are also ideal counters for enemy stealth groups attempting to do the same.
Tanks specialized, highly survivable classes are critical in Alterac Valley due to a high number of elite NPC defenders throughout the battleground. It is essential that a competent and well-geared tank be present to take on both the Enemy Captain and General.
Ranged DPS/AOE specialized classes are exceptionally effective in Alterac Valley for Offense. Due to the large numbers of players and closed quarters respawn conditions at graveyards the ability to pressure large numbers of players with a continual area of effect damage is critical. Low health enemy players and those who are affected by line of sight and can not receive healing are ideal focus targets for quick elimination.
Voice communications and premade groups of up to 40 players are allowed and encouraged. A well-organized team of 40 players on a voice communications platform such as Discord provides for a decisive advantage. Individual players and five-player squads can easily be requested to handle specific objectives.
Call out enemy numbers and locations.
Assign an adequate number of players/squads to counter enemy action. For example, if a Tower or Bunker is taken by ten enemy players, ensure that at least two five-player squads are sent to recapture. Remember, certain classes, excel at defense and area denial requiring more players to defeat them and recapture a point!
Defense is Offense
In Alterac Valley ensuring that enough players are on defense to protect your Towers/Bunkers and that pesky enemy stealth players are not harassing your objectives is critical. Do not panic if a Tower or Bunker is captured, there is plenty of time to recapture if appropriate action is taken.
The Alliance and the Horde each have captains located within a structure overlooking the central battlefield of the Alterac Valley Map. Captains provide periodic buffs to your team, regenerate reinforcement NPCs. Generally, a competent tank, healer and support damage classes will be required to defeat them.
Alliance: Captain Balinda within Stonehearth Outpost
Horde: Captain Galvangar within Iceblood Garrison
NPC Lieutenants and Commanders
4 Alliance and 4 Horde Commanders guard their faction’s Bunkers, Towers, and relief huts. They provide a buff that heals and empowers nearby allies. Commanders generally should be killed as a priority before attempting to take down any support elites for this reason.
6 Alliance and 6 Horde Lieutenants guard or patrol various locations of the map. These powerful NPCS deal significant damage and generally will require a tank or effective DPS team to kill particularly when defended by player characters.
Bunkers and Towers
The Alliance has four Bunkers. The Horde has four Towers.
Capturing the flag within an enemy Tower or Bunker and preventing recapture until the structure burns will eliminate a powerful NPC Warmaster protecting the enemy general. It is essential that each team protect its Bunker/Tower while destroying that of the enemy.
There are a total of seven Graveyards in Alterac Valley. Graveyards are respawning locations, if and when your character dies you will respawn at the closest graveyard. The distance between a battle and a graveyard is a decisive factor for reinforcements and the ability to sustain an offensive or defensive location. Fighting for graveyards is the single most important objective in order to gain control over a region. Make sure to provide sufficient defenders at graveyards once captured!
One of the primary objectives in Alterac Valley is to summon the Elemental Lord for your faction. Ivus the Forest Elemental for the Alliance, Rokholar the Ice Elemental for the Horde. These powerful NPCs can easily change the tide of battle. Summoned in the middle of the map using resources harvested from the bodies of enemy players. Once summoned the elemental lords advanced steadily towards the enemy base, dishing out extreme single target and area of effect damage.
Upgrading friendly NPCs
Different quests allow for the upgrading of your faction’s NPCs. There are three tiers of upgrades for 500 scraps each for a total of 1500 scraps. This gives your side from 10% to 30% buff to the damage done.
Turning in armor scrap quests also provides an additional 10% armor buff for thirty minutes. Upgrades require 500 scraps
Alliance: Armor Scraps and More Armor Scraps available from Murgot Deepforge in the Alliance Stormpike Base.
Horde: Enemy Booty and More Booty! From Smith Regzar in the Horde Frostwolf Base.
Ground and Air Support Quests
Turning in Irondeep and Coldtooth supplies to your faction’s Quartermaster summons a powerful ground NPC assault.
Alliance Coldtooth Supplies 280, or Irondeep Supplies 70.
Horde Irondeep Supplies 280, or Coldtooth Supplies 70.
Powerful mounted units will ride from your base along the main roads, attacking enemy players and NPCs.
Quest: Empty Stables.
Requires: Alterac Ram or Frostwolf Hides 25.
By rescuing friendly Wing Commanders from enemy territory, Air Support will be summoned. Resources are gathered from looting the bodies of enemy players and NPCs. Players with a sufficient reputation (Revered) can call in a Gryphon (Alliance) or War Rider (Horde) to bomb the enemy base.
Alliance Wing Commanders
- Slidore: Tower Point
- Vipore: Frostwolf Village
- Ichman: West Frostwolf Tower
Horde Wing Commanders
- Guse: Icewing Bunker
- Jezto: Stormpike Lumber Yard
- Mulverick: Dun Baldar North Bunker
Rewards are purchasable from your faction’s quartermaster located outside of the Alterac Valley entrances in Hillsbrad Foothills.
Completion of The Battle for Alterac quest by winning an Alterac Valley will grant access to Hero of the Stormpike and Hero of the Frostwolf quests. These quests provide access to excellent blue (rare) weapons:
- The iconic Ice Barbed Spear
- Wand of Biting Cold
- Cold Forged Hammer
A variety of reputation-based rewards are available, from your faction Quartermasters. For example, The Alterac Valley Trinket gives players the ability to teleport back to their base. This is extremely useful for not only defending your base, but also turning in resources. Generally expected as part of many strategies due to the mobility advantage.
Excellent epic weapons and items are available upon reaching Exalted reputation with your respective factions. All rewards are tailored for PVP and are often best in slot for Phase II PVP!
- The Unstoppable Force: Excellent Two-Handed Mace
- The Lobotmizer: Powerful melee dagger
- Don Rodrigo’s Band: Outstanding critical strike and magical resistance debuff
- Don Julio’s Band: Outstanding critical strike and hit chance
- Alliance: Stormpike Battle Charger Mount
- Horde: Frostwolf Howler Mount