Ok, Hufflebarn is only level 13, so heís really too low to go start picking a fight with the Horde, no matter how fun it sounds. I was doing a little exploring and quest finishing in Westfall and there was a lot of traffic on the general channel talking about a raid group forming. Initially I resisted, but I gave in to just see what it was all about. The devil made me do it, as they say.
The first part was pretty uneventful. We all stood around Sentinel Hill waiting for enough people to make the group worthwhile. While I was standing there, I got challenged to my first duel. I thought it would be interesting, but I was wrong. The first was a bikini clad, level 2 human mage. Hufflebarn was quick to show the effect of a rank 3 Fireball. The next challenger was an adequately clothed level 12 mage. My hopes for an interesting encounter rose, but it was to no avail. After two fireballs and a quick fireblast, Hufflebarn emerged victorious. Pretty small, meaningless victories, but victories nonetheless. A little bit after that, the group hit the magical number that was big enough for the raid. I really think the leader just got bored waiting for more, so we started. We had around thirty characters from level ten to level twenty eight all moving to attack the Horde. Iím sure they were quacking in their boots.
Now, raids are different than the normal groups of Warcraft. A normal group is up to five characters. The group can share quests, kill totals for various quests, and get decent xp for shared kills. Raids are groups of groups. Up to eight groups of five can be linked this way. So, you can get up to forty characters all linked together in groups of five. The raid has a shared channel for communication, and folks in the raid are visible on everyoneís minimap. There are some cons to this sort of thing. The raid does not share quests and they canít share kill totals for quests. Basically, there are two reasons that I can see for a raid. The first is that you form a raid is to go kill some uber-monster that requires a lot of firepower to take down. The second is to simply get a bunch of people together to go slaughter the other faction.
Back to the huge troupe running across Westfall. We made our way to the coast and then starting swimming. I guess the plan was to swim south around to a Contested Area called Booty Bay. No, not that sort of booty. It took a good ten to fifteen minutes swimming to get to this place. Booty Bay is a harbor type place that is ran by goblins. This was the first place the enemy was sighted.
As the group started climbing up onto the docks, we saw an Orc Horde warrior. I was busy swimming, so I didnít have a chance to fire off anything. It was not needed, anyway. Maybe ten seconds after I saw the Orc he was dead to the spells of raid. There were a few other Horde folks walking around Booty Bay. Itís quite possible they were simply shopping or doing other innocuous things. The raid was merciless. We all ran to the griffin point, so we wouldnít have to swim here again. Then the plan was to wait at the Bay for a boat that would take us to Horde lands.
The boat took a couple minutes to arrive. As it was pulling up to the dock you could see some Horde characters on it. It was clear that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I did feel a bit of remorse for the level 10 Tauren that was just waiting to get off the boat. Not enough to stop my fireball or anything, but there was a twinge. The whole group got on the boat and we were off to Kalimdor and Horde territory.
The boat arrived at a small village type setting. There were a few Horde PCs, but they were slaughtered pretty quickly. The party then started moving inland. This was the first time I got to see what it was like to be in enemy territory.
One cool thing was that we couldnít attack folks that didnít attack us. This is one of the crucial differences between home territory and contested territory (at least on a PvP server). When we were on Horde lands, we could only attack Horde folks that had attacked us. From some comments made, it seems like the NPCs donít necessarily attack us until they see us kill some Horde folks.
So, the group started heading inland. There were some Horde characters pacing the group, but they didnít attack us. Iím sure they were just spying on us and broadcasting our levels, whereabouts to folks. A couple groups of three to four Horde characters tried to attack, but they were quickly taken down. Then I noticed this large group amassing behind us. In case anyone does not know, when a character or creature has Ď??í listed for its level, that means itís way too tough for you. Those in the group that I could see where mostly Ď??í. All out battle started.
The battle was interesting. I would run around trying to escape the attention of the powerful Horde guys, while at the same time shoot off fireballs at Horde guys that were near my level. I think I was able to take out maybe one or two before a Horde shaman decided to concentrate on me. That didnít kill me right off, but the level ?? Orc warrior quickly finished the job.
I became and ghost and stood guard over my body. The idea was for us to wait until the Horde folks got bored and left. Then we would resurrect at the same time and start running to the graveyard. Since ghosts start at the graveyard, there would be less dead time. Also, there was a house that would provide some cover and shelter. The house worked for a while, but some ?? level Orc warriors decided to just come in slaughter everyone. That worked really well for them.
At this point, I figured I had enough of the PvP for one night. I revived behind the house where it was easy to hide. I used my hearthstone and in a matter of seconds I was comfortably back at the Stoutlager Inn.
Columns by Marc