Alliance and Horde factions will clash anew as each side vies for control of Twin Peaks, the upcoming 10-man battleground planned for the Cataclysm expansion.
World of Warcraft has seen its fair share of skirmishes between the two factions, but tensions are set to reach another boiling point with both factions claiming ownership of Twin Peaks, a strategic stronghold for launching attacks against Deathwing, the black dragonflight and Twilight’s Hammer clan.
Leading the charge for the Alliance faction are the Wildhammer dwarves who plan to march through Twin Peaks before reclaiming their once-beloved capital of Grim Batol. Meanwhile, the Dragonmaw orcs headline the Horde advance, seeking to sate their bloodlust for dragons.
Winning the Twin Peaks battleground relies on completing capture-the-flag objectives like those found in Warsong Gulch, but with water and cliff environments thrown in.
Like Warsong Gulch, Twin Peaks is also a 10 vs. 10 battleground where each side fields a random group of 10 players who must work together to invade the enemy base and steal the enemy flag while protecting their own from capture. The first faction to bring home three enemy flags before the time expires wins the battleground and earns bonus Honor and Conquest points. These points can be spent on top-end PvP gear.
Despite their similarities in capture-the-flag gameplay, Twin Peaks is not a rehash of Warsong Gulch. For one, Twin Peaks has an asymmetrical field dotted with mountain peaks and a river divides both faction bases. A single bridge connects the two sides and serves as a "choke point" in the middle of the map, but players also have the option of crossing slowly across the knee-deep river.
Both faction bases—the Wildhammer Longhouse (Alliance) and the Dragonmaw Clan Compound (Horde)—contain three entrances and two routes of attack. Horde forces can storm the Wildhammer Longhouse by scaling the plateaus northwest or barging through the middle stairwell. Caution must be taken though to avoid falling off the cliff, which can cause damage and leave a Horde offensive one man short.
Meanwhile, Alliance forces can invade the Dragonmaw Clan Compound by slipping through a southeast river passage or crossing a bridge over the waterfront. The danger here is being knocked into the water and leaving Alliance players vulnerable from inland ranged attacks while heading to the riverbanks.
Outpost Power-ups and Line-of-sight Tactics
Smart players should take advantage of power-ups in outposts located on either side of the Twin Peaks river. These temporary buffs can turn the tide of the battle by bestowing increased damage or regenerative healing.
The Twin Peaks landscape also has a smattering of tree stumps and rocks which can provide valuable line-of-sight advantage. Channeled and long-cast spells can be interrupted or evaded completely through the timely use of line-of-sight tactics, effectively adding depth to this new battleground.
Two Graveyards Per Faction
Another unique feature in Twin Peaks is the use of two graveyards per faction. Defeated players will now randomly resurrect from two spawn points, which according to Blizzard, should "prevent absolute domination by one faction through its control of the enemy graveyard."
With its novel features and fantastic map design, Twin Peaks should inject excitement to the PvP scene in Cataclysm and inspire both factions to fight tooth and nail for each battleground match.