When asserting your dominance over your enemies in World of Warcraft, nothing says "you pathetic weaklings" quite like invading the other faction's capital city. It's a faction-wide slap in the face—a broad declaration that no where, not even a city brimming with max-level guards, is safe. That's what happened earlier this week when dozens of Horde players flooded into the Alliance city of Boralus and began slaughtering NPC and player alike. For almost an hour they rampaged through the Tradewinds Market facing minimal opposition from Alliance characters. It seemed like a one-sided fight… until it wasn't.
BennyWoW is a redditor who shared a video of the fight from the Alliance perspective on the WoW subreddit yesterday. It's one of the coolest things I've seen happen in Warcraft in a long time. He tells me he was hanging out in Stormwind perusing the auction house when he decided to see if any of his fellow Alliance players were wanting to do some open-world player-versus-player fighting.
"I happened to find a large group asking for players to help protect Boralus from the Horde," BennyWoW told me. "I joined up and ported to Boralus to see my party running up the mountains behind the town." Without realizing, BennyWoW had just joined an ambitious platoon of defenders calling themselves the Anduin Knights—a hardcore PvP guild known for the gorgeous white gryphons they ride into battle.
Death from above
Just before Battle for Azeroth launched, Blizzard introduced the new War Mode which replaced PvP-specific servers with a much more elegant solution. Now, players can choose to toggle War Mode on and automatically be placed in a version of the world where players can attack one another. As I said in my review, War Mode is a brilliant feature that revitalizes World of Warcraft's long-neglected open-world PvP. With War Mode, every zone is turned into a dangerous battleground full of player-driven conflict.
At the top of the mountain overlooking Boralus, BennyWoW, a night elf hunter, used his Eagle Eye ability to scout the situation down below. It was grim. "We saw tons of Horde running across the harbor into our city," he said. It was then that the group leader announced their daring plan: Anduin Knights and its new recruits were going to ambush the Horde. But since they would easily spot a group of players charging at them directly, they were going to take a different route. They were going to hit them from above.
If you haven't already, go watch the video above to see the daring assault in action. Using gliders (an item players can craft using the engineering profession) the three dozen Alliance players took the the sky and, like eagles, slowly circled down to the unsuspecting Horde below. "They had no idea and didn't see it coming," BennyWoW said.
In the Reddit thread of the video, several of the Horde players in the invasion shared their perspective of the fight. "I didn't see you guys gliding in, someone in the raid started [yelling] 'THEY'RE ON GLIDERS' in a panic," wrote Narcona. "We turned back to get the few stragglers at the market and suddenly there were like 30 Alliance [attacking us]."
Though the odds were relatively even, the fight didn't last long. The Alliance caught the Horde raiding party completely by surprise and within a minute obliterated the invaders. "I was yelling to myself the whole time 'This is so cool! No fucking way this is happening!'" BennyWoW told me. After the daring ambush ended, the Horde raiders disbanded and Boralus was once again safe.
On Reddit, players from both sides of the conflict jumped into the comments to gush over what happened. "Holy shit, im Horde but I would not mind dying like that," wrote '_vritra_'.
"Holy balls this is amazing one of the coolest things I've ever seen for PvP in WoW," wrote ArtimusGG.
As for BennyWoW, it was one of the defining moments of his time in World of Warcraft: "This was one of the coolest moments of playing WoW that I've ever had. I quit WoW back during The Burning Crusade and just starting playing again in Battle for Azeroth. This expansion is different. I'm hooked just like I was as a kid again."
It's good to see the war coming back to Warcraft.