|First Objective||3:00 minutes|
|Announcer||Drek'Thar & Vanndar Stormpike|
|Release Date||June 19, 2018|
- The horns of war echo once again across the snowy slopes of Alterac. Capture Prison Camps and unleash Cavalry to destroy the enemy General.
Alterac Pass is a Warcraft-themed battleground. Invade enemy territory, free allied prisoners, call in the cavalry, and claim this three-lane Battleground for your General—but watch out for those treacherous mud pits!
Background[edit | edit source]
Long ago, the warlock Gul'dan exiled a clan of orcs called the Frostwolves to a valley hidden deep in the heart of the Alterac Mountains. The Frostwolf Clan eked out a living until Thrall triumphantly united many of Azeroth's orcs. The Frostwolves, however, chose to remain in the valley rather than joining Thrall in Orgrimmar – and their relative peace has since been challenged by the arrival of the dwarven Stormpike Expedition. The Stormpike Expedition’s desire to mine and plumb the underexplored caves for relics has invited conflict with the Frostwolf Clan, but opinions are divided on who struck first.
When Alterac Pass was pulled into the Nexus, the Raven Lord discovered it and believed conquering it will help him repel other invaders. After Deckard Cain and Orphea reported the Raven Lord's actions to the Lady of Thorns, she rallied her armies and allies to oppose the Raven Lord's forces in his plans to conquer Alterac Pass. The Lady of Thorns now supports the Stormpike Expedition against the Frostwolf Clan, which are manipulated by the Raven Lord.
Map layout[edit | edit source]
The "Alterac Pass" battleground has three lanes with four Prison Camps above and below the middle lane.
Areas of interest[edit | edit source]
Mercenary Camps[edit | edit source]
There are four mercenary camps to be recruited in this battleground:
After the cavalry has been activated, mercenary camps disappear, reappearing after all cavalry have been killed. As the camp will not despawn if it is already engaged, teams can consider engaging camps just before the cavalry spawns.
Mud Pits[edit | edit source]
- Combatants who don’t mind where they step can fall victim to one of several mud pits that have sprung up within Alterac Pass.
- Any Hero who enters a mud pit will find their Movement Speed reduced by 16% per second, to a maximum of 60%, for as long as they remain there.
- The slowing effect of the mud pits is fairly minimal for characters briefly passing through, but linearly ramps to 60% over 3s, a significant impediment to heroes caught in the area due to some other impairing effect. A hero that passes through the area in 1s only experiences a net ~10% slow, while a hero that takes 3s would experience a net 90% slow.
- Upon finding solid ground, the Hero will regain Movement Speed at 50% per second.
Map objective[edit | edit source]
Generals[edit | edit source]
- Each team’s Core has been replaced by a General who fights against attacking enemies:
- Generals can be attacked after one keep is destroyed, but they gain 20 armor from each keep that’s still intact - destroy all three enemy keeps to diminish their defenses. Destroy enemy Keeps to weaken their General.
- When attacking a General directly, be prepared to finish the job! Vanndar and Drek’thar will regenerate Health once they are out of combat.
- In addition to their Basic Attacks, they can also use two Abilities:
- Whirlwind: Deals damage in an area around the General.
- Charge: The General dashes to the target enemy, dealing damage.
Prison Camps[edit | edit source]
- Three minutes after a match begins, a Prison Camp will spawn for each team. Invade enemy territory to reach the opposing Prison Camp, take out the Guards, and free the allied prisoners to call in a Cavalry Charge!
- Channel an opposing Prison Camp to begin a breakout, and then free the prisoner by preventing the enemy team from regaining control of the Camp for 30 seconds.
- Watch out for enemy Heroes and Guards! They will attempt to stop any attackers and Channel on their Prison Camp to retake control.
- Each subsequent breakout will require the capturing team to maintain control for an additional 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 50 seconds.
- Once a team frees the prisoners at an enemy camp, allied Cavalry will charge down all three lanes, attacking any enemies and Structures in their paths.
- Subsequent Prison Camps will spawn at random within a range of time after all Cavalry from the previous event have been eliminated. This range of time is determined as follows:
- From 110 – (# of game minutes elapsed * 2) seconds to 150 – (# of game minutes elapsed * 2) seconds.
- For example: If all Cavalry from the most recent event are defeated at the 10-minute mark, the next set of Prison Camps will spawn at random between 90 and 130 seconds later.
Cavalry[edit | edit source]
- Cavalry units generate an aura that increases nearby Minion and Hero Movement Speeds, and grants a 10% damage bonus to nearby allied Heroes.
Destroy Keeps to Spawn Reavers[edit | edit source]
- When a keep is destroyed, the enemy team will begin to spawn melee Reaver minions instead of catapults. Reavers lead your other minions into combat, and serve to tank the brunt of the enemy General’s attacks.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Alterac Pass became available for Versus A.I., Quick Match, and Unranked on June 19. Alterac Pass will be available in ranked play on July 9.
- The Secrets of the Storm Comic sets up the lore and the central conflict behind the Alterac Pass battleground.
- Alterac Pass is a homage to the original and infamous World of Warcraft Alterac Valley battleground. During Vanilla, the only way for an Alterac Valley to end would be by killing the final generals, Vanndar Stormpike or Drek'Thar. Alterac Valley soon became a battle of attrition, which would last at least hours, if not days. It was not uncommon to stay a couple hours in an Alterac Valley, go to bed, then go back the next day, still in the same battle. Because of that, getting in an Alterac Valley battle was often as hard as winning the battleground. That led to the addition of reinforcements in Burning Crusade, to prevent battles from lasting so long. In Heroes of the Storm, the Cavalry units come back as a map objective.
- Various other map details are from Warcraft:
- The music in Alterac Pass is derived from the various classic World of Warcraft PvP themes used in most WoW battlegrounds, including Alterac Valley.
- Alliance melee minions are Human Footmen: The backbone of the Alliance and a staple human unit in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II, and Warcraft III, and a common sight in Alliance armies and settlements across World of Warcraft. The iconic plumed helmets seen on most footmen, including those on Alterac Pass, were first introduced in WC2.
- Alliance leader minions are Night elf druids: Druids are guardians of nature with a deep connection to flora, fauna, and the mystical energies of the spirit dimension known as the Emerald Dream. Druids first appeared as various night elf units in Warcraft III and are a playable class in World of Warcraft.
- Alliance ranged minions are Dwarf Riflemen: Armed with their legendary single-shot Blunderbuss Longrifles, they have served as brave protectors of their mountain kingdom of Khaz Modan for centuries and have more recently offered their marksmanship to the Alliance. They serve as a basic ranged unit for the Alliance in Warcraft III and are found aplenty in dwarven territories in World of Warcraft.
- Horde melee minions are Orc grunts: Grunts are powerful orcish warriors equipped with mighty battle-axes and battle-worn armor. They have been a staple Horde unit in every Warcraft RTS game and can be found as basic guards and soldiers for both the Horde and various other orcish organizations all over World of Warcraft. The grunts in Heroes of the Storm wear horned helmets, a signature feature of grunts and many other orc units in the RTS games but one that's missing from the vast majority of WoW's grunts. The Alterac Pass grunts also use shields like in WC1.
- Horde leader minions are Blood elf priests: Priests are devoted, spiritual casters who channel the Light to heal wounds and smite the wicked. Their staves resemble a common staff model in WoW that is mostly associated with priests, and the symbol floating behind their head depicts the phoenix used as a symbol for the blood elf capital of Silvermoon and the blood elf race as a whole.
- Horde ranged minions are Troll headhunters: Headhunters from the Horde-aligned Darkspear tribe of jungle trolls serve as a staple ranged Horde unit in WC3, where they provide important cover fire for other Horde units.
- Alliance Keeps are based on Keeps: These are the upgraded version of town halls, the central buildings of human military settlements in WC2, WC3, and WoW. The keeps' "birthing" animation at the start of a match is based on that of various human buildings in WC3. The symbol seen on the shields adorning the keeps is the "L" of Lordaeron, a human kingdom that served as the leading nation of the original Alliance during the Second War.
- Alliance Healing wells are Moonwells: Moonwells are sacred pools found in night elven territories, bound to the magic of nature and closely tied to the moon goddess Elune. In WC3, moonwells are a night elf structure that provide the food necessary to create units and can also heal nearby friendly units, while in WoW, moonwells can be used to create a crafting reagent known as mooncloth.
- Horde Forts and Keeps are based on orcish great halls, the fortified central buildings of orc settlements in WC3 and WoW. The keeps' birthing animation is based on that of orcish great halls, strongholds, and fortresses in WC3.
- Horde Towers resemble orcish watch towers, a basic defensive structure in WC3.
- Horde healing wells are Tauren totems: Tauren totems are structures where powerful tauren warriors reside and train through contact with their spirit totems. While in WC3, totems are used to train tauren units, they are barely ever seen in World of Warcraft.
- The Halls of Storms in Alterac Pass are based on the Altar buildings from WC3: Each of the four playable factions in WC3 has an altar structure at which they can train unique hero units as well as resurrect dead heroes.
- While a player is dead in Alterac Pass, a Spirit healer can be seen at their faction's Hall of Storms. These are angelic beings of death and rebirth that can resurrect players after death in WoW. In HotS they are also found as an easter egg on Towers of Doom and as a skin for Auriel.
- A number of mine entrances, sometimes complete with mine carts, can be seen in some locations of the battleground. This is likely a nod to the various mines of Alterac Valley, which can be captured by the Alliance or Horde to generate resources for their faction.
- Scattered around the battleground are static ballistae and catapults. While these siege weapons are used by a variety of factions, they were most famously used by the Alliance and Horde during the First, Second, and Third Wars.
- According to Lead Hero Designer Matt Villers, the wooden bridge in the center of Alterac Pass is a reference to the infamous bridge serving as the only entrance into the Alliance base of Dun Baldar in Alterac Valley. This "bridge of death" is notorious for being a deadly chokepoint at which the Alliance can easily defend Dun Baldar from attacking Horde players, such as by forcing them off the bridge into the ravine below with mind control and knockback abilities. Since there aren't really any similar chokepoints leading into the corresponding Horde base of Frostwolf Keep, many Horde players have cited the Dun Baldar bridge as an example of how the terrain in Alterac Valley supposedly favors Alliance players.
- The stone circle Vanndar is standing on is carved with the shape of a dwarven "mountain and hammer" sigil that is also featured on many tabards and flags representing the dwarven kingdom of Ironforge in WoW.
- The carpet Drek'Thar is standing on features the sigil of the Frostwolf clan. Specifically, it's the version of the Frostwolf symbol that was first used for the Frostwolves in the alternate past version of Draenor in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, which has since also been used for the main universe version of the clan.
- A glowing blue spear can be seen at the entrance to the cave next to the uppermost ice giant mercenary camp. This is a reference to the Ice Barbed Spear, a two-handed polearm weapon rewarded from a quest in Alterac Valley that can be recognized by its visual effect consisting of an icy blue glow. Bryan Marony, the Blizzard artist who created the doodads for Alterac Pass, confirmed on his ArtStation page that he colored the spear on Alterac Pass blue as a reference to the Ice Barbed Spear.
- Another elusive units in World of Warcrafts Alterac Valley are the World Bosses: By collecting enough Storm Crystal or Stormpike Soldier's Blood and turning them in, you will summon Ivus the Forest Lord or Lokholar the Ice Lord to help you win the game. In Heroes of the Storm, although Ivus and Lokholar are not making a return, Ice Giants that do resemble a mixture of both bosses appear as a boss-level objective for the Alterac Pass battleground.
- This is the first and only to features female minions (both factions' leader minions).
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Videos[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- World of Warcraft: Alterac Valley
- Secrets of the Storm
- WoW Classic Spotlight: Alterac Valley
- StuntedSlime. (2018, June 22). Lore of Alterac Pass – Battleground Lore. /r/HeroesOfTheStorm. Retrieved on 2018-07-30.
- Bryan Marony: Warcraft Horde & Alliance Weapons, Armor, and Crates
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