Strand of the Ancients (originally called Sands of Ulduran, but sometimes spelled Sands of Alduran), is a battleground located off the southern coast of the Dragonblight. It may be synonymous with the Northern Islands, though this is speculation. It was introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. This battleground consists of 3 walls which have to be destroyed to continue, capture points and a graveyard after each wall. The overall goal is to be the faster team to break through the last wall and capture the relic inside.
Strand of the Ancients is played in two rounds, each lasting up to 10 minutes. The players will be assigned to be either the attacking team or the defending team. In Round 1 the Alliance attacks, while in Round 2 the Horde attacks. Attackers prepare for battle split into two boats that approach the northern end of the strand, while defenders spawn at the southern graveyard and should move toward defensive positions.
The attacking team lands on the island at the start of the battleground and will use siege weapons to break through the island's walls and capture graveyards along the way. After the first team captures the relic, or 10 minutes have elapsed, the factions will switch, so the attacking team will become the defending team and vice versa. It is described as a "D-day invasion scenario".
A current plan for patch 3.2.0 is to implement the "coin toss" for Strand of the Ancients. The solution to the issues preventing it from originally randomizing who starts on offense/defense is in the works right now.
Players must be at least level 71 to be eligible to join the Strand of the Ancients Battleground. Brackets are 71-79 and 80. Players must interact with a battlemaster to join Strand of the Ancients. Battlemasters are located in all capitals back in Azeroth, Shattrath City in Outland's Terokkar Forest and Dalaran in Northrend's Crystalsong Forest. (As of patch 3.1.0, you can now enter all battlegrounds via the "Battlegrounds" tab in the "Player vs. Player" window). There is no known physical entrance at the moment. It is possible that an entrance will be at Moa'ki Harbor and/or The Forgotten Shore, even though this is very unlikely.
As of patch 3.1.0, a player may queue up for the Strand of the Ancients anywhere in the world by going to the battlegrounds tab of the Player vs. Player window. They will return to the location they chose to enter the battleground, not the queue, when the game ends.
- The attacking team starts off-shore on two boats, splitting the attacking team, and moves south toward the relic.
- The defending team starts at South Graveyard and moves to defensive positions on the beach or on the turrets next to the walls.
- There are a total of 6 walls. There are 2 sets of 2 on each side, and then 2 in the middle line to block the way to the end.
- There are Siege weapons which will help you destroy the walls, buildings and enemy players.
- As you capture graveyards on both sides, more siege engines will spawn at the depots behind the first gates. This will allow faster attacks on the remaining 2 gates.
- Graveyards can not be re-captured by the defending team once they have been capped.
- Defenders can make use of the turrets on the walls to destroy siege vehicles and kill enemy players.
- The faction who reaches the relic in the quicker amount of time wins. The second round attackers have as much time to capture the relic as the opposing team took to attain it, making it (at max) a 20 minute game.
- If neither team captures the relic, the game is considered a tie.
Honor Reward System
Strand of the Ancients items are available by spending honor accumulated and a varying amount of Strand of the Ancients Mark of Honor. Each victory in Strand of the Ancients awards three marks, and a loss awards one mark. If neither side breaches the final gate the game is drawn awarding all participants a single mark.
Bonus honor is awarded as follows (level 80): Attacking Team
- 62+19 honor for each gate destroyed. Note: for gates that are in pairs (blue/green or red/purple) honor is only awarded for the destruction of one of these gates.
- 62+19 honor for capturing the relic.
- 62+19 honor for each gate not destroyed. Note: for gates that are in pairs (blue/green or red/purple) honor is only awarded if both gates are intact.
- 62+19 honor if the relic is not captured.
End of Game
- 124+124 honor at the completion of the game for losing.
- 248+124 honor at the completion of the game for winning.
- Main article: Siege weapon
- The Demolisher has a short range attack (a ram with knockback) and a long range attack (boulder throw).
- It is meant to destroy walls up close with its ram attack. Since it is slow to turn and the boulder throw takes time to hit, it is less effective against enemy players.
- It can hold up to 3 passengers, including the driver. Passengers are exposed and can be targeted individually. However, the side passengers can cast while the vehicle is moving if they're in it.
- Although it is very powerful, it is slow and not easily maneuverable. It is about as fast as running speed, and has a fixed turning speed.
- The Demolisher has 80,000 HP at level 80.
- Shoots a explosive in the targeted area for 6,000 or so damage on demolishers and about 4,000 on players in the 80 bracket. (2 second CD)
- The Turret has 60,000 HP at level 80.
- Players on the attacking team can pick these up at the docks or at the vehicle emporiums.
- When laid, they explode after ten seconds, doing about 25% of the walls' HP.
- Defending players can defuse these, and it is imperative they do.
- When a player dies while holding one, a barrel will spawn, allowing it to be carried on.
- You are allowed to mount while holding a charge.
Some common tactics include rushing walls with charges, leaving so many charges at the wall makes it hard to defuse them before they all go off, Vehicle assault with melee defending the demolishers, or a combination of the two.
Defenders should make use of the turrets and pick off rushers as they run in. Paladins on a mount with crusader aura make this very difficult, but noticing the rush can save the wall. Also, try to take out demolishers unless a rusher gets your attention; most of the time, you will be in a lot more trouble against demolishers than a single mage targeting your turret.
NOTE: The Alliance always go first, so they get to know their time to capture the relic in the first round; and so can do high DPS on the second round until the time that the Alliance have captured the relic has passed, letting the Horde get the relic. You generally get slightly less Honor this way, however it speeds up the second round quite a bit.
On offense, you want to capture the Eastern and Western Graveyards as soon as possible. Some people argue that the Southern Graveyard shouldn't be captured until the relic door has been destroyed because doing so makes your team respawn away from tanks and bombs which slows down your team's ability to get new tanks back into the fight. However, capturing the Southern Graveyard makes your enemies spawn further away from the Yellow Gate which allows your tanks and bomb carriers to approach the gate unharmed.
On Defense, defend your east and west GY's with a furor. The turrets on the Red and Purple walls can shoot players that are trying to capture them making it very easy for 1 person to defend a GY. Let the Offense cap the south GY if the walls are still up, it will slow them down.
Use Turrets to destroy tanks and defend East and West GYs. A tag team of turret operators at a gate can kill a tank before it reaches the wall. The closer the target is to where the rocket lands the more damage it will take. Up to 6000 dmg against a tank and 3000 against a player.
The turrets cannot hit targets beneath them, so a tank that is left or right justified on the wall can only be hit by 1 of the turrets.
Some people argue that Tanks are the best means of winning this fight. Always capture the Eastern and Western Graveyards to increase tank supply and reduce travel time. Tanks should operate in groups, never go in one at a time. You will get 1) Owned 2) Yelled At 3) Laughed at by opposing team.
A note on tanks: ALWAYS DRIVE THEM TO THE WALL. NEVER USE A TANK TO ATTACK PLAYERS. It's pointless to attack players with a tank, just keep the tank moving to the wall and always use the Ram (2 button) and alternate in the Cannon (1 button). Ram does more damage.
Seasoned players have discovered that Bombs are the most effective way to destroy walls for several reasons:
- multiple Bombs can be placed at a single time on a single target
- Bombs must be disarmed
- Bombs can not be destroyed by Turrets
- Bombs can be carried while mounted
- Bombs can be easily defended
The primary goal of the offense is to get through all the gates to the ancient relic in the keep at the end of the battlegrounds. The gates can only be brought down through seaforium charges and demolishers. When you are coming off the beach, take a seaforium charge if you intend on using it on the gate. This comes useful when you're going against a defensive group that doesn't like to be out further than the gate and therefore wouldn't be able to disarm the charge in time. The defense will probably be waiting by the demolisher on the beach ready to attack it and destroy it before you have a chance to use it. Here and all throughout the game you have to make sure that opposing players on foot can't damage your demolishers, otherwise they'll never make it to the gates they have to knock down. Any players that can do slowing effects and damage from the passenger spots should join the demolishers:
- Mages can Frost Nova and Slow.
- Druids can use Cyclone and Entangling Roots.
- Rogues can use Fan of Knives with Crippling Poison applied or specced into Deadly Brew.
- Warriors can Intimidating Shout or Piercing Howl.
- Warlocks can Curse of Exhaustion, Howl of Terror, single target Fear.
- Death Knights can use Desecration and Chains of Ice.
- Priests can use Psychic Scream.
- Hunters can use Concussive Shot.
- Paladins can use Judgement of Justice.
- Shamans can use Frost Shock, Earthbind Totem or even Thunderstorm.
The defending team will have two turrets to every gate, and it's important that if they are manned that ranged players work to destroy them without placing themselves in danger of getting shot by turrets. It's possible that once the gate is down melee players can walk around and attack from there.
Capturing the first two graveyards will enable the workshops which allow more demolishers and are a good spot to pick up new seaforium charges. If a Shadowstep or Killing Spree Rogue is on the offensive side, they can use their respective abilities to teleport themselves up behind the turrets and either assault them from there to distract the turret's pilot or run past the gate to capture the next graveyard undetected. Capturing the last graveyard will push the defensive side back to spawn in their own courtyard.
If you are having trouble getting tanks through because of players on foot destroying them, synchronize your demolishers to move in at the same time so that focus will be divided, or at least be too focused to take out every tank before they hit the final door.
Clicking the orb at the end will instantly win the round.
Right at the start of the game, you want to have people on the turrets for both the blue and the green gates. The rest of the group goes onto the beach getting ready to greet the incoming offense. The demolishers have to be destroyed as soon as possible to prevent the gates from going down. Therefore, the one demolisher on the beach is often popular to destroy first. Demolishers also take priority to kill over players, unless they were hindering your ability to attack the demolisher. If you can crowd control any players trying to intercept your assault on the demolishers, then do so and continue on the demolisher until it is destroyed. Upon destruction, the driver will dismount and be very vulnerable if caught in a large group that just destroyed the demolisher.
Pay attention to your map as well. Just because you're holding off people just fine at the purple gate might not mean the same for red. If there are demolishers incoming to the yellow gate, you will have to fall back and destroy it before trying to push forward again on defense. If the yellow gate goes down, you will have to use it as a chokepoint to prevent players and demolishers from getting past. If your entire group has not moved back and tanks are not going down quick enough before being able to touch the door, you will not have the best chance of lasting the timer.
While in the final courtyard, a few players on the offensive side tend to stray off and go west towards a pile of seaforium charges. If they are not intercepted, they will circumvent your group to the door and plant the seaforium charge.
If the door to the keep goes down, do your best to drag out the timer for as long as possible by keeping players out of range of the orb either through snares, disorients, stuns, or knockbacks. Any player on the opposing team has to be just lucky enough to charge through and click on the orb in order for the offensive team to win the round.
|Kill 100 players in the Courtyard of the Ancients.||10|
|Kill 10 players in the Courtyard of the Ancients in a single battle.||10|
|Destroy 5 vehicles using a turret in a single battle.||10|
|Destroy 100 vehicles using a turret.||10|
|Defend the beach without losing walls.||10|
|Kill 5 players carrying seaforium in a single battle.||10|
|Kill 100 players carrying seaforium.||10|
|Plant 5 Seaforium charges which successfully damage a wall in a single battle.||10|
|Win a Strand of the Ancients battle without losing any siege vehicles.||10|
|Disarm 5 seaforium charges in a single battle.||10|
|Capture the Titan Relic in under four minutes.||20|
|Complete 100 victories in Strand of the Ancients.||10|
|Win Strand of the Ancients.||10|
|Plant 100 Seaforium charges which successfully damage a wall.||10|
| Complete the Strand of the Ancients achievements listed below:
|Overview - Paladin Perspective|
Expected time for completion and record
It is fairly common to win Strand of the Ancients under four minutes. If your team hasn't reached the Yellow Gate after three minutes it is quite probable that it will lose.
The fastest Strand of the Ancient victory belongs to a pickup group which completed the battleground in two minutes and twenty seconds.
- Some classes are able to move through walls before they are down.
- Tank operators and turret operators do not get as much Honor as they don't get as many honor kills. However, Tank operators enhance your team's offense which in turn enables it to win faster. Turret operators enhance your team's defense which in turn supports your team in achieving victory. You must understand that the goal of all battlegrounds is to achieve victory in the quickest way possible in order to gain marks efficiently so that you can join a new battleground.
- Alliance has to wait 5 seconds after defending the BG starts to attack tanks. Horde does not.
- Horde always starts on defense. This can cause a problem if Horde members do not join quickly enough to man turret stations and start offensive attacks. However, the same can be said for Alliance. If Alliance doesn't join quickly the Horde can mount a defense rapidly which will hinder the Alliance's effort to be victorious.
- Classes with pets may have difficulty operating tanks or turrets.
- Massive Seaforium Charge can be disarmed at any distance.
- The game awards more honor to the initial attackers on the average as if the defenders don't get capture the relic in time they lose any opportunity to destroy walls for extra honor in the time remaining. For example if team A takes 1 1/2 minutes to destroy each wall and team B takes 2 minutes to do the same. Then if team B attacks first they capture the relic in 8 minutes, while team A takes the relic in 6, giving bonus honor advantage only for winning. On the other hand if team A attacks first, they capture the relic in 6 minutes, while team B only destroys 3 of the 4 walls, giving bonus honor advantage for keeping a wall un-destroyed and for winning.
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): The faction starting on attack/defense will now be randomized at the start of each match.
- Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20):
- Antipersonnel Turrets will now gain vehicle immunities, use falloff damage, and damage increased to 4000 + 200 per level to compensate for falloff.
- The Strand of the Ancients Demolisher has had its health increased.
- The Strand of the Ancients tower cannon has had its health increased.
- Seaforium charges have been moved closer to the graveyards on the 2nd tier.
- ^ Elizabeth Harper 2008-06-29. WWI '08 Notes from the PvP panel. WoW.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.
- ^ Oli Welsh 2008-05-09. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. MMO Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.
- ^ Zarhym 2009-06-16. Re: strand of the alliance. Archived from the original on 2009-06-16. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.