Longtime fans of the World of Warcraft franchise are well-versed in the importance of Alterac Valley in the ongoing war between the Horde and Alliance. Now, Hearthstone players have been tossed into the fray.
On Tuesday morning, the Hearthstone development team announced that the upcoming expansion set is titled Fractured in Alterac Valley and is set to debut on December 7.
Through promotional videos, assets, and the choice to choose which side players will fight for throughout the expansion upon logging in for the first time after patch 21.8 went live, it's clear that Alterac Valley is a big deal in the WoW universe.
But what else can players expect and what makes this frozen wasteland so important?
To put Alterac Valley's importance into perspective: it was one of three battlegrounds brought back for WoW Classic and is, undoubtedly, the largest in scope.
In order to achieve victory, players must team up and work with one another to trek across the hostile terrain, engaging in PVP and PVE combat along the way, until they make it to the other side with the ultimate goal of slaying the opposing faction's general (Drek'Thar for the Horde, Vanndar Stormpike for the Alliance). Drek'Thar was protected by his elite orc boss, Captain Galvangar while Vanndar had Captain Balinda Stonehearth by his side.
As all players were automatically set to level 60 upon entry, strategy and teamwork acted as the deciding factor when battles began.
By manipulating chokepoints, controlling buildings/towers, and capturing graveyards that act as spawn points, those sitting at home playing can feel like true generals themselves. Which strategy to employ (Ex. Rush, Turtling, etc.) at the right time could be what turned the tides of combat and led your faction to victory.
Battles could be so intense and even-matched at times that players have reported skirmishes lasting days on end back in the vanilla version of the title.
Now, unless the upcoming expansion removes the ability for both players to take fatigue damage, it's unlikely that a single Hearthstone match will last days. But only the most skilled and battle-tested survive Alterac Valley.
Which side are you on?
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.