In the latest from a series of Cataclysm previews, Blizzard gives us a bit of a history lesson and tells us what we have in store with Tol Barad.
"An island off the coast of the Eastern Kingdoms, Tol Barad is a historic land now sought-after by the leaders of the Horde and the Alliance. Its strategic, isolated location makes it an ideal stronghold from which to conduct military strikes. In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, a battle will be waged to seize control of this prized territory. Should you triumph, unique rewards await you."
Tol Barad is an open world PvP zone, similar to Wintergrasp, and there will be a hub on Tol Barad Peninsula where players can complete daily quests in order to build up their reputation and earn some rewards.
Portals in Stormwind and Orgrimmar will take players to Tol Barad, and mages will learn the relevant skill to create their own at level 85.
Taking place every two and a half hours, the battle for Tol Barad will feature 160 player combat, with 80 players from each side engaged in a brutal battle across the island’s surface.
"Tol Barad will feature capture-point gameplay. There are three keeps and three towers for the defending side to hold. When destroyed by the attackers, each tower will add five minutes to the standard fifteen-minute battle timer. In order to win, though, all three keeps must be captured and controlled by the attackers. If these keeps cannot be taken by the attacking forces, the defending faction will claim victory in Tol Barad.
Similar to Eye of the Storm, Tol Barad determines whether a keep has been captured by the number of players from each side in the immediate area. There is, however, a new twist: each time a member of your faction is killed in the immediate vicinity of a keep, a slider bar will move slightly in favor of the opposing faction. So not only does the size of each force in the area determine who controls each keep, but losing allies during the contesting process determines control as well.
In order to destroy the defenders’ towers, attackers will have access to an all-new type of war machine: Abandoned Siege Engines. Six of these Siege Engines will be placed around the map, and these vehicles can be used to bombard the towers. In contrast to the Siege Engines of Wintergrasp, these machines cannot attack players or buildings while the vehicles are being driven. Instead, players must drive them within range of a tower and jump out, allowing the vehicle to transform into an automated cannon that can lay siege to the tower. The Abandoned Siege Engine will continue to damage the closest tower in range until the machine is destroyed by opposing forces."
By building up reputation with the Tol Barad faction, obtained by completing the various daily quests and handing in Tol Barad commendations, players will gain access to rare and epic rewards, as well as mounts and more. The controller faction, determined by the victor of the battle, will also have access to additional daily quests, so the outcome of the battle will have even more importance than simple bragging rights.
Similar to Wintergrasp, there will also be raid bosses in Tol Barad, which are only accessible to the controlling faction.
"With so much at stake in the wake of the Cataclysm, Tol Barad will be fiercely sought-after by the Horde and the Alliance, but it’s up to you to help determine which side makes this island the next great military port of the Eastern Kingdoms."
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