Author Topic: Ashran  (Read 2615 times)

Marco

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Ashran
« on: February 13, 2015, 01:20:34 PM »
For some reason I decided to gear up my rogue in PvP, so I have been doing a lot of Ashran.

There are basically three things to do in Ashran:

* The road battle.  It proceeds from flag to flag, going north if the alliance wins and south if the horde wins, until one faction has seven minutes or so to kill the other faction boss.  Then there's a half-hour cooldown before it starts again.  It awards 350 conquest points50 honor points and, once per day, a gold strongbox which occasionally contains a conquest item.

* The four event areas.  Each of these has a daily objective to kill NPCs which awards honor, and a periodic event which either the alliance or horde wins.  If you're present when your side wins, you get 150100 conquest points, with no daily limit.  After each event there is a half-hour cooldown, then a 10-minute period where the event can randomly announce, and then a three-minute timer before the event begins.

* Killing rares.  These drop a lot of artifact fragments (which can be converted to honor), but they can't be soloed and I don't see groups doing them all that often.  They also drop class books and other Ashran-specific items.  You also get 25 conquest points from killing the other faction's warlock portal, big road NPC, or ogre champion (when they first spawn).

There is often a queue to get in.  The queueing system is currently terrible because they didn't originally plan to have one; there is no estimated time, it doesn't make much noise when it pops up, and you have to confirm within an hour.  It's supposed to get better in 6.1.  You get teleported in when you accept, so you don't have to stay in Stormshield while you're in queue.

There is usually one big group, which you can get auto-invited to (if it isn't full) by saying "invite" in general chat.  If you run AshranBuddy, it will show you timers for each of the four events (gray if on cooldown, red if on 10-minute random announce, blue if announced, green if in progress).  Groups tend to focus on events and the road battle.  Doing the road battle usually means missing a few events.  Events can also happen simultaneously, making it mostly impossible to get both.

The success of the alliance group is highly variable; I've been in a lot of really successful groups, especially late in the evening, and a lot of groups which lack focus and get overrun by the horde.  Even in bad groups you can usually pick up some conquest when the events happen in quick succession, or by doing the road battle when the horde is focused on events.  Groups tend to work best when they have an active, unquestioned leader, ideally one who threatens to kick people from the group if they don't go where the group is.

If you get a lot of artifact fragments, are prone to dying, and still need honor, you'll want to turn in fragments often as you lose half your supply when you die.  The intro quests will give you a device with charges which lets you turn in fragments remotely, and you can also get scrolls of town portal which can save time.

Melee do not do especially well in evenly matched massed combat.  I generally hold back and kill enemies who come in too far, or go off to the sides and try to kill people who drift away from the group, or stunlock a healer for a few seconds and run back to my side, or try to gank enemy reinforcement as they trickle in.

The most fun moments are big, competitive 40v40 battles during events, where it's not obvious which side will win and the nature of the event forces the two sides not to stay in big massed groups.  Or when one side outnumbers the other but comes in during the middle of the event after the other side has already started, so it's a race to finish the event or wipe the other side's group before they can finish.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 08:48:14 AM by Marco »

Honorata

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 02:57:41 PM »
I do a lot (a lot) of Ashran, and will probably post here with tips/tricks in a bit.

For now...

Conquest sources Marco missed
- Every time you kill Kronus (or Fangraal if you're filthy Horde.) I cannot remember if this is 25 or 50 conquest.
- Every time you kill the other faction's warlock gateway defender you get 25 conquest. (Must be in the raid group that tags.) Can earn this conquest multiple times/day.
- Every time you win the Ogre King event you get 25 conquest. Can earn this conquest multiple times/day.

Honor sources
- Bonus objectives in each of the four "event" zones.
- Turning in artifact fragments (1:1, with the exception of captain's whistle turn-in which gives 400 honor for 100 fragments)
- Killing opposite faction's leader (50 honor each kill)
- Winning events. (Events, as well as winning Ogre King, can also award lockboxes which can include Aspirant's (600:660) or  Honor (620:675) gear.)

Where do I get artifact fragments for the Apexis daily?
Honestly, the best source for this is to get a group together and go kill ogre elites at the ring near the Market graveyard. Another option, again with a small group, is rare hunting.

If you're living dangerously and want to go it alone, you get extra artifact fragments from killing NPCs if you're on the Horde half of the map. Try to avoid zones currently being fought over due to events.

The least efficient way of gaining artifacts is actually PvPing.

What group do I want to be in?
During peakish hours there may often be two groups going per faction: event group and road group. When you zone in and ask for an invite, it can help to specify which group you want.

If you're not sure:
- If you're here for conquest/honor, you probably want event group.
- If you're here for HKs/nemesis quest progression, you probably want road group.
- If you literally do not care, just say so. I have absolutely said "Just bored and killing time. Invite to literally anything. I'll come to you."

I'm trying to progress on my Nemesis quest, but it's really slow!
Generally anything that isn't blood elf and possibly orc will be slow. However, you can speed your progress by trying to be in the same party (within a raid group) with others on the same nemesis quest. I got a lot of progress done on Nemesis: Huojin's Fall by being in the same group as 4 other guys working on it.

I got in to Ashran and the Horde are camping our base
It's possible Alliance is getting rolled, but it's also possible that Alliance is probably sacrificing road to focus on events. Ask in general chat.

To escape: If Alliance controls the market graveyard, you should be able to run to that graveyard and rez there. If Alliance does not control the market graveyard, and you have some sort of temp immunity, you can usually run out the side door (near where the druids are) to safety. You are immune when you're in the little purple bubble surrounding the graveyard, so you can also stay there to be safe while you wait for reinforcements to arrive. (Usually event group will swing by to kick Horde out of our base when all events are on cooldown.)

Remember that we get a slight health/damage/healing buff when defending, so a smaller number of defenders can hold back a larger number of attackers!

What do I spend artifact fragments on?
- Summoning Fangraal
- Activating warlock gateway (goes between racetrack and quarry)
- Activating mage portal (portal to base from near ogre ring)
- Summoning alliance paladins to pat around on their horsies and make trouble for the horde.
- Purchasing captain's whistles. (These let you force a summon of one of the Alliance captains that autosummons when Ally get a certain number of kills. These are nice when you're doing a push into the Horde base.)

... More later!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 01:26:42 AM by Honorata »
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Honorata

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2015, 02:44:08 PM »
I haven't been in Ashran since the patch but some major changes went through with 6.1. Grand Marshal Tremblade/High Warlord Volrath no longer give any conquest when killed, only the 1x per day box. Events still give conquest, but 100 per, not 125. Very few players do road now; it appears to be all event farming, all the time.

Queue system for Ashran has changed; have not queued since patch to see what it's like.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 02:45:45 PM by Honorata »
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Chibe

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 02:50:56 PM »
Asheran has slowly gone from being a very fast pace pvp area to a place that no pvper wants to go to.  GG Blizz :(

Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 03:04:11 PM »
Players always react negatively to reward nerfs, whether or not they wind up having positive effects.

I've gone to Ashran twice since patch, but haven't had enough time to stay for more than the daily box.  Both times I got in right away.  On Tuesday group invites were still broken, so not much was going on.  Earlier today, group invites were fixed, but it was early in the day and the alliance raid was really small.

Words from Brian Holinka here:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/16411211961?page=1#5

Honorata

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 03:12:09 PM »
I'd go farm conquest occasionally, but mostly just do road push to farm HKs/nemesis quest so my gut instinct is that i'm not in love with disincentivizing road, but i haven't played Ashran since the changes so idk how I'd enjoy or not enjoy them.
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Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 03:31:46 PM »
Oh, also, I think the new queueing system pulls from all North American servers.  The old one pulled from a specific preset group of servers, I believe.  I'm concerned that the quality of general and raid chat will be permanently lower than what I'm used to as a result.  It was kind of bad the two times I've been in there since the patch, but I can't tell how much of that was people complaining about the changes (or about invites being broken) and how much was the different player pool.

Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 07:25:56 PM »
I got to spend a non-trivial amount of time in Ashran during the evening.  Things seem pretty dark for the alliance right now.  In stark contrast to our little pre-6.1 server group, the region-wide alliance seem to be used to just getting 350 conquest from the road and leaving (as Holinka said in his post).  On average, they don't appear to understand much about how Ashran works or be capable of forming a cohesive event group with enough mass to contest the horde.  I did get one event done when two of them popped simultaneously.

Things may settle out; it depends a lot on how much numeric imbalance the new queueing system allows.  I expect a lot more horde than alliance to be participating in the short term.

Tomorrow I may try looking for a premade group to see if that works better.

Honorata

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2015, 07:37:24 PM »
Yeah, it's apparently quite  different outside of our usual Ashran cluster (where which faction was dominating events seemed to be based on time of day/day of week rather than Horde taking events and Alliance taking road all the time); most people are saying that there are Ashrans where Alliance is dominating events and it's just a matter of searching premades until you find one, but at this point I think I'd have more fun in random BGs with guildies.

(Aside, now I know how people who complain about BGs not being server-specific feel like; this change, like that one, makes queues much more manageable, but I really liked recognizing names on both sides when I'd go into Ashran before.)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 07:39:39 PM by Honorata »
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Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 08:46:54 AM »
I got into a good Ashran this morning where the alliance were winning every event, without using the premade group finder.  It was pretty small-scale, maybe 20 people on each side in the zone, and the alliance just had more people going to the events by a factor of 2 or 3.  There was a short queue to get in, maybe three minutes.

So, maybe not so grim.  I will probably still see about using the premade group finder in the evening or tomorrow, since I didn't finish capping conquest.

Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 06:50:38 PM »
I tried a premade group and it seemed to work well, until the servers died when I was three conquest points away from cap.

Of course, for every organized group tromping around dominating all the events in an Ashran instance, there has to be a roughly equal number of opposing-faction players milling around getting nothing done and complaining about how much their faction sucks in raid chat.  Eventually those players will figure out how to use the group finder, or stop doing Ashran or whatever, so either queue times will rise in winning Ashran instances or premade groups will start running into other premade groups.

Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2015, 03:17:32 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlFq277pneo#t=134s (you can stop after five seconds)

After another week or so of observation, I'd say the patch 6.1 changes to Ashran haven't been terribly successful.  My experiences are:

* If I zone in individually, I usually (but not always) get an Ashran where horde are winning events and alliance are milling around and yelling at each other in general chat about not winning events.  Often I can win the road battle pretty quickly, which generally my goal when I do this.  One of the side-effects of the new queueing system is that it enables "Ashran shopping," in that you can leave and come back in to get a different instance.

* If I join a premade group before queuing, I almost always get a group which is completely dominating every event.  The horde might be putting up a token resistance but there's generally not much contest.  Premade groups tend to load up with like ten healers which means everyone in the group is basically the Terminator as long as they don't stray too far from the center of mass.  The big downsides of premade groups are (1) I've sometimes had to wait as long as ten minutes to get into Ashran, and (2) there's often a non-trivial amount of lag; the game can't really handle focused 40v20 battles very well, and there may be some issues on top of that when long-running Ashran instances.

Overall it's still a pretty efficient way to get conquest points and the very occasional piece of gear from the road battle, but I haven't seen much in the way of competitive PvP.  There's still something kind of neat about fighting on the peripheries when you don't know whether allies or enemies will trickle in.

Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 12:48:50 PM »
A few days ago Blizzard hotfixed Ashran to get rid of the individual event timers; instead, a random event is picked every 10-15 minutes.  The intent was presumably to promote engagement between events, because groups can no longer just set up at the next event location and enjoy a defensive advantage against the other faction.

In that they seem to have succeeded, but now the less-organized faction basically gets nothing, instead of being able to win the road battle.  I think I'm hitting diminishing returns on the gold strongbox anyway, so I'm just dropping that from my daily activities.  If I hop into an Ashran solo at this point, it will be to farm the four daily objectives for gold and find small-scale engagements.

I think if Blizzard goes for the fancy outdoor "PvP lobby" again, they should work harder to split people up, since the game just doesn't work very well with giant 40v40 battles.  My initial idea is something Arathi Basin-ish where each faction get rewards based on the number of zones controlled, but gaining rewards simply for being in the zone would create a terrible botting problem.

Honorata

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2015, 04:17:45 PM »
Went into Ashran on my fresh 100 Horde to get her geared out so she can start guild shopping (she's on emerald dream, so I don't have the huge social network there I do here.).

- It still seems like the fastest, most painless way to go from quest greens to aspirant's/contender's gear. My toon's been 100 less than 24 hours and I only have three slots without at least aspirant's gear in it.

- You probably want to find a premade if you want to win anything. find your premade before you enter Ashran and make sure you're in that group's Stormshield/Warspear before you queue for Ashran or you can end up in the wrong Ashran and just cause trouble for yourself and everyone else.

- Looking through Ashran premades last night, it seemed like you could probably find at least 1-2 nemesis groups, if you're mostly doing ashran for nemesis quests.

- With the change to events, most groups are pushing road when events are down. I still feel like they've overnerfed the reward from killing the opposing faction's general, though.

- Conquest catch up is probably faster in low MMR 2s (unless you're a healer. Nothing like those 10+ minute dampening games in 2s, amirite raz?)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 04:19:26 PM by Honorata »
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Marco

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Re: Ashran
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2015, 02:04:40 PM »
Brian Holinka did a PvP interview yesterday (VOD here) and about 45 minutes in, gave details--tentative, I assume--on how rewards will change in 6.2.  This wasn't really covered in either the mmo-champion or wowhead summaries unless I missed it.  What I heard was:

* Existing conquest and gleaming strongbox rewards will be eliminated.
* There will be a weekly quest to kill 300 players which will reward 200 conquest.  Aimed at players who just want to get their 200 bonus conquest for the week.
* There will be another weekly quest to win all four events and the boss, which will reward the gleaming strongbox and 500 conquest (maybe more).
* After that there's a repeatable quest to win all four events and the boss which will reward additional conquest.

It also seems likely, but not certain, that you won't be able to queue in with anything larger than a party, so no more big premade groups stomping on the other faction.