Updated Tue, Dec 14, 2010 by Cyrak
Battle for Gilneas is the second of two new Battlegrounds that will be released with Cataclysm. Battle for Gilneas (BFG) was originally set to take place inside the city of Gilneas itself, taking advantage of the fabulous assets already in place in the Worgen starting zone. After extensive internal testing Blizzard scrapped it and began development on a second Battleground which is what will be available now.
Battle for Gilneas was originally set to take place within the city proper.
The battle takes place on the North-West shore of the peninsula where players will vie for control of what's left of the seaside structures after the Cataclysm event itself.
The forces of the Forsaken army, bolstered by the rest of the horde, disembark from the ships at the Forsaken Landing Site at the North end of the map. Their easy access to the Mine makes it their natural defensive node similar to the Farm in Arathi Basin. From there they must make their way south towards the Waterworks and West to the Lighthouse in order to achieve domination.
The Alliance forces begin at the Gilnean Outpost in the South West corner where they can quickly take the Lighthouse and advance east to the Waterworks.
This map will be a familiar sight to anyone exploring the Worgen starting area.
The critical part of this map is the terrain located in the central area. There are four separate paths that either force can take as they venture out of their starting area and begin to encroach on enemy territory. The mountainous area in the center is particularly important as it provides a vantage point from which all three resource nodes can be monitored as well as a tactically superior location for launching unpredictable assaults on enemy controlled nodes. Dominating this central area and controlling the majority of the paths through the center will be vital to victory in Battle for Gilneas.
Battle for Gilneas follows the familiar form of Arathi Basin in which players must capture and control areas of the map in order to accumulate points. The first team to 2000 points will be victorious.
Unlike Arathi Basin there are only three nodes to be controlled, so there will be much less focus on spreading out to defend many locations at once. Instead, controlling two nodes at once will be the obvious and safe path to victory.
Nodes are captured by activating a flag which takes 10 seconds to 'initiate' and another 50 uninterrupted seconds to fully transfer control of that node to your team.
Each node comes with a graveyard which is usable once your team has control of that particular node.
Winning Battle for Gilneas is conceptually similar to Arathi Basin in that you must control a majority of the areas for a majority of the game's duration. The strategy comes into play when it comes to deciding how to divide your forces to best accomplish this.
Since there are only three total nodes and you can resurrect at your starting zone and at any nodes you control it is vital to gain control of the Waterworks quickly. The Waterworks is the central node and has the most potential for launching attacks against the Lighthouse and the Mine because they are so far apart. Due to the distance it is almost impossible to control both Lighthouse and Mine against an equally skilled and organized team of opponents.
For example: if an alliance team controlling the Waterworks sends a large assault at the Mine and the horde team repositions to defend it and manages to repel it then the alliance will be resurrected en masse at the Waterworks and shift their assault to the Lighthouse while the horde team is out of position. It is likewise strategically unwise to try to control the node near to your opponent's starting area (unless you already control the other two) since they will outnumber and overwhelm you after repeated resurrections or bypass your defenses if you devote too many players there.
On the other hand, controlling your natural node plus the Waterworks allows you to engage the enemy at the central choke points while quickly resurrecting near the center of the map.
As with Arathi Basin, tactics are the key to victory in BFG. The primarily tactical difficulty is dislodging opponents from nodes that they already control. Due to the requirement of 8-10 uninterrupted seconds to initiate the capture of a node and the ability of the opponents to resurrect nearby, it is virtually impossible to dislodge opponents of equal skill without superior numbers.
For this reason, it's advisable to leave a team of no more than 3 players at the Mine or Lighthouse to defend it. These players are preferably classes that are difficult to kill and work well together (and have heals!). A Protection Paladin alone can be almost impossible to kill in a timely fashion while having AoE abilities to interrupt players trying to capture a flag. When coupled with a healer or two this group will have enough time to receive help from their main force before they're in any danger of losing the node they are defending should they come under attack.
The main attacking force must proceed to gain central control, and control of the Waterworks. This team of players will need to be able to kill all the enemies in the area to gain initial control of the Waterworks. Once that is done, they must merely engage the opponents at any opportunity as they attempt to cross the central area into your territory. A large force of 7 players with the advantage of a nearby graveyard will be incredibly difficult to dislodge from the Waterworks and will be able to monitor and counter any attempts by the enemies to bypass them and head to the Mine or Lighthouse.
For this reason the most important tactical event in a Battle for Gilneas is the initial battle for control of the Waterworks. Even sending 9-10 players there at the beginning of the match is not a bad idea since the Mine (for horde) and the Lighthouse (for alliance) can be re-captured without much difficulty once control of the Waterworks is established.