A new type of conflict is coming to Tamriel in June. Soon, you and your companions will be able to take to the field in Battlegrounds, a new fast-paced PvP game mode exclusive to The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. Battlegrounds are very different from traditional Alliance War combat, so we've outlined everything you'll need to know about PvP combat on the island of Vvardenfell below. Keep an eye out for more information this month on the individual Battlegrounds as we march towards ESO: Morrowind's release on June 6!
Join the Fight
Battlegrounds are designed to be short, bloody affairs between three teams of four players (4v4v4). Unlike PvP in Cyrodiil, teams in Battlegrounds are not bound by Alliance, but are made up of players from any of the three factions. In Battlegrounds, you're not fighting for Queen Ayrenn, High King Emeric, or Jorunn the Skald-King, but for the Pit Daemons (Green), Fire Drakes (Orange), or Storm Lords (Purple). The glory and spoils are yours for the taking!
Joining a Battleground is a similar process to queuing for a dungeon. Simply navigate to the Group & Activity Finder menu and select Battlegrounds. You can queue solo or as a member of a party, and you are able to specify a desired level range (10-49 or 10-50) with the game type randomly determined. Like in the Alliance War, you are able to join a Battleground as long as your character is at least level 10, but you will also need to own a copy of ESO: Morrowind to play (either via upgrade or the full game). When entering a Battleground your character is battle levelled in the same way it is when entering Cyrodiil.
Because Battlegrounds are small-group PvP matches, a game won't last any longer than 15 minutes; a very different experience from the epic campaigns of Cyrodiil. If you're looking for some quick-and-dirty action, Battlegrounds are the perfect places for exciting PvP experience.
There are three unique Battleground game types at the launch of ESO: Morrowind, and each one offers a different kind of action.
Team Deathmatch is perfect for those who don't want to worry too much about mundane things like “objectives" or “teamwork." Find and destroy enemy player characters with each kill granting your team points.
Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag mode is a more structured attack-and-defend styled game type that will be most enjoyed by those who thrive as part of a team. Capture your enemies' flags and return them to your base while carefully defending your own.
Domination will be favored by those who like capture-and-hold gameplay. Seek out, capture, and hold special locations on the map to earn your team points. A captured point will grant your team points for as long you have it.
In each game type, you'll win by either reaching the point limit or by having the highest total by the end of the match.
There are three unique arenas you'll fight in at launch:
•Ald Carac – A dilapidated ruin of an ancient Dwemer city
•Ularra – An old overgrown Daedric worshipping site
•Foyada Quarry – A quarry set in the shadow of Red Mountain
Each Battleground has its own unique sense and style, and we'll have more information regarding each one, including points of interest, in the weeks to come.
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Claim the Spoils of War
When participating in a Battlegrounds match, you earn points as you capture, defend, and kill, depending on the game mode.
In addition to this, you can earn medals for unique deeds that are related to the game type, including:
•Making killing blows
•Earning kill streaks
•Capturing or defending flags
•Healing flag carriers or defenders
It doesn't matter if you're an objective-minded team player or a lone wolf, you will receive rewards and recognition based on how you want to play.
By the time the dust settles and a victor is declared, your points and medals contribute to end-game rewards, including Alliance Points, Experience Points, and items.
On top of this, there will also be a host of new Achievements that are based on and reward Battlegrounds play. For example, you can earn Achievements for defeating enemy players, winning games, or capturing flags.
Finally, competing in Battlegrounds places you on the weekly Battleground Leaderboards. These Leaderboards last seven days and are broken into unique game mode categories. The top players are ranked on the Leaderboards, but you will be able to check your current position in the total list if you don't make the cut. Depending on your final position on the Leaderboard when the week is up, you'll earn rewards.
“Fighting in a Dwarven ruin? You have two enemies: your opponents, and the ruins themselves." – Merric at-Aswala
ESO: Morrowind is including three unique maps at launch. To help you prepare for the battles to come, we are featuring Vvardenfell's battlefields all month. The first map to be covered? The mysterious Dwarven ruins of Ald Carac.
Watch Every Corner
Ald Carac is designed to encourage players to engage in tight close combat, and the stone walls and buildings of the long-absent Dwarven race block line of sight and provide a lot of cover for surprise attacks or quick getaways.
The deeper you travel into the Dwarven ruins, the more cramped and claustrophobic the space becomes. As a result, the center of the Battleground is a hotspot for group fights. Circled by an elevated walkway, the center is vulnerable to players above, meaning those trying to control this space need to keep an eye above for attackers at all times. This elevated threat makes the center very hard to capture and hold.
The center of the map is not completely without advantage, however, as it is the only location that allows an unobstructed view into each team's base. In Ald Carac, visibility is at a premium, making controlling the center an important, but dangerous, strategic option. All Battlegrounds are 4v4v4 matches, so knowing exactly where your opponent is located is vital, regardless of the game type.
Ald Carac slowly opens up the further out from the center you go. The middle ring has more space, but it still features a fair amount of cover, including stairs up to the center overlook that grants vision into two bases. The outer ring finally provides mostly unobstructed views, so you can always travel around the outside of the map if your team wants to avoid surprises.
Path to Victory
In Team Deathmatch, there are no objectives to focus everyone's attention, and because the map is so enclosed, the first thing you and your squad will need to do is try to locate both of the enemy teams. You might think it best to avoid the map's deadly center; however, if your team manages to control that space and the visibility it provides, it will give you a clear advantage.
Domination is a different matter. While three of the capture points are on the outer ring between each team's base, the fourth one is right in the center. If you do manage to take the center capture point, retreating out and defending it from the elevated walkway above might be the best option. Constantly moving from point to point will also help to avoid being caught between the other two teams.
In Capture the Flag, Ald Carac's tight spaces and cover can certainly benefit a flag carrier, but it also makes it hard to avoid ambushes or clever defenders. Because each team's flag is located right at their base, the clear sightlines available in the center will help you identify the best time to attack and defend, but it might not be as safe as navigating around the sides.
How will you navigate the dwarven ruins?
Ald Carac, with its high walls and tight spaces, represents a unique challenge to its competitors. Do you take the open paths around the edges? Or are you willing to dive right into the center and control the map's heart? How your team decides to navigate the ruins could be the difference between victory and defeat. Mmogah have a lot more information coming, so keep an eye out for more details on the individual Battlegrounds this month.
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