The announcement of the newest map for Heroes of the Storm, Alterec Pass shows how much hype Blizzard’s biggest IP can create.
Not only is it the first original Warcraft battleground for Heroes of the Storm but it also takes place in the Iconic setting of the Alterec Mountains from World of Warcraft, better known as the Battleground, Alterec Valley.
However, Heroes of the Storm is still missing at least 1 Warcraft themed Battleground as all the other major Blizzard Franchises have two unique maps each.
So we thought it a perfect time to go over some iconic locations and events in Warcraft history that the next Battleground could take place in.
1. Warsong Gulch
Okay, Alterec Valley is very iconic and I can see why Blizzard went with that setting with the upcoming Battleground. However, Warsong Gulch probably remains the biggest fan favorite even to this day and many Battlegrounds later.
This fight is iconic if I’ve ever seen it. The struggle for dominance of northern Kalimdor between the ruthless Orcish Warsong Clan and the Night Elven vanguard, the Silverwing Sentinels.
Texture: This battleground takes place at the borders of Ashenvale and the Barrens. So the terrain would be lush night elven forests on one side and rough, red dirt on the other.
Concept: The orcish Warsong versus the Night elf Sentinels. A Heroes of the Storm remastered version of the iconic World of Warcraft Battleground.
Concept: A Heroes of the Storm remastered version of the iconic World of Warcraft Battleground.
Hero releases: Grommash Hellscream & Cenarius. This is not only a battleground in World of Warcraft but also the location of the legendary fight between the demon-corrupted orcs and Cenarius that resulted in the demo gods death.
Capture the Flag: A flag spawns at a random location on the map. This flag needs to be channeled and brought back to your teams turn in. The flag functions like an item and will drop if the carrier dies.
Flag Runner: The team that succeeds in capturing the flag will send a flag runner with a large health pool down that lane. When the enemy team slays the runner it will drop the flag and mark that location.
Airstrike: Chimaeras(Night Elf) or Bat Riders(Orc) will fly in and bombard a large area where the flag was dropped, dealing massive damage to buildings. The size of the airstrike will depend on whether or not the runner managed to reach an enemy structure.
Think along the lines of the Uruk that blows up Helms Deep in the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. You have to kill the flag carrier before it reaches your base.
2. Icecrown Glacier & the Azjol Empire
It is home to the most Iconic villains of any Blizzard franchise, Arthas Menethil, also known as the Lich King.
The theme of Northend and Icecrown is well liked and is iconic both due to its Warcraft 3 roots and due to being the location of the most renowned World of Warcraft expansion.
Texture: Polar ice terrain on top and Nerubian empire underground.
Concept: A two-layered map with Icecrown as the main floor and Azjol Nerub below where you aid the Lich King(Pre-Arthas) deal with the Nerubian rebellion.
Hero releases: Tirion Fordring & a new in-game Arthas Model. All of the significant Scourge lieutenants are already in the game, but Arthas really need a new in-game model and of course we need the Ashbringer to battle this new and improved Lich King.
Enter Azjol Nerub: Enter the Nerubian underground empire to gather scales from the Nerubian rebels.
Aid the Lick King: Turn in 50 Nerubian scales at Icecrown spire to gain the aid of Naxxramas on one of the lanes. Naxxramas has X amount of health and will spawn additional Scourge minion waves every 20 seconds.
Book of the Damned: Once Naxxramas is destroyed, the Book of the Damned will spawn at a set location on the map. Claiming the book will add Necromancers to your minion waves that reanimate enemy minions when killed. This effect last until Naxxramas reappears.
3. The Dark Portal
Likely the most well-known structure of the entire Warcraft universe and also the most important one. Without it there would be no Orcs versus Humans, in other words, there wouldn’t have been a game, to begin with.
Texture: A mixture of swamp and dirt, representing the Badlands and the Swamp of Sorrows.
Concept: A Heroes of the Storm recreation of the first orcish invasion. Taking inspirations from Warcraft 3 custom maps.
Hero releases: Anduin Lothar & Orgrim Doomhammer. These two iconic generals were in charge of the armies of Azeroth when the first invasion took place, making them an obvious fit for this release.
The Dark Portal: The Dark portal stands in the center of the map and sends waves of Fel Orcs down all lanes. The waves grow stronger and bigger every 5 minutes. If your minion wave survives the Fel Orc wave then it will run to the Dark Portal and attack your opponent on the other side.
Upgrade your Troops: You can reinforce your minion waves by gathering resources. Lumber and Steel spawn throughout the map and gold is collected from killing minions. Claim 3 lumber to upgrade your archer minions, 3 steel will enhance the melee minions, and 100 gold will increase the number of troops in a wave. Minions can be improved indefinitely.
Tower Defenses: Every 2 minutes your team will send a peasant into the forest to chop wood for a Canon Tower. If the worker survives 1 minute, he will run back and build 1 additional canon tower on each of your lanes.
4. Culling of Stratholme
”Glad you could make it, Uther.”
These words are likely all I need to say before you hear the entire dialogue from the Culling of Stratholme mission replay in your head. It’s that memorable, well executed and just all around iconic.
Texture: City & lush green. Think akin to the classic Warcraft 3 city maps. Foresty green with a large Lordaeronian city in the middle.
Concept: The Cult of the Damned versus the Alliance of Lordaeron. A retelling of the infamous purge of Stratholme.
Hero Releases: Mal’Ganis & Tirion Fordring or Alexandros Mograine. The Dreadlord responsible for the purge of Stratholme and the Ashbringer to re-purge it. Oh, and a new in-game model for Arthas of course.
Grain Crates: A number of crates appear throughout the city that the villagers will eat the next day.
Night Time: At night, each crate can be channeled and claimed for your team. If you are on the Scourge side of the map, you will contaminate the grain. If you are on the Alliance side, you will leave a warning.
Day Time: In the morning the villagers come out to eat their freshly delivered grain. If the Alliance left a warning, they will take up arms and rush down the Scourge lanes. If the Scourge corrupted the grain, they will turn into undead and rush down the human lanes. If neither teams succeed in channeling the grain, the villagers of that area will go inside as if nothing had happened but that will add to the number of civilians in that area for the next day.
5. Gates of Ahn’Qiraj
The opening of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj is likely the most ambitious community-driven event to ever take place in an online game and certainly one of the most memorable events from World of Warcraft for those of us that were there.
Texture: Desert & Qiraji architecture
Concept: Gather resources throughout the map and turn them into the ”Might of Kalimdor” emissary to strengthen your defenses against the incoming Qiraji army.
Hero Releases: C’thun & Saurfang. The Supreme Commander of the Might of Kalimdor and the Old God residing inside Ahn’Qiraj.
Might of Kalimdor: Turn Resources in to receive the aid of the Might of Kalimdor. They will significantly strengthen your forts defenses and give their lives for your structures. The Might of Kalimdor will not hold the Qiraji wave off entirely, but almost. Any surviving Might of Kalimdor soldier will stay to defend against the next wave or opposing heroes.
The War Effort: Gather resources to support the War Effort. Turning in 50 Resources to the Might of Kalimdor Emissary will grant you their aid and open the gates of Ahn’Qiraj. Resources function much like gems on Tomb of the Spiderqueen but are instead gathered from Supply crates that drop around the map and all resources are dropped and up for grab if you are killed.
Gates of Ahn’Qiraj: When a team succeeds in turning in 50 resources an NPC minion will sprint towards the gong in front of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj and open it up. A massive wave of Qiraji and mini-bosses will then pour out, and attack all lanes.
6. War of the Ancients
War of the Ancients is incredibly iconic and would have a very similar texture to the original ”Defense of the Ancients” map in Warcraft 3. On top of that, the event is filled with incredible lore characters that could be released alongside the map.
Texture: A mixture of corrupted and uncorrupted Night elven forests.
Concept: War between the ancient Night Elven forces and the wild gods against the Burning Legion.
Hero releases: Cenarius & Archimonde. These two were both instrumental figures in the original War of the Ancients, and Archimonde even snapped the neck of Cenarius’ father, Malorne. Perhaps he can finally claim vengeance in the Nexus.
Well of Eternity: When the Well of Eternity becomes active, it can be channeled to unleash a powerful creature upon the enemy team. If the Night Elven side completes the channel, a Wild God will go down the enemy lane. If the Burning Legion completes the Channel, a Demon Lord will go down the enemy lane.
Vials of Eternity: Vials will occasionally spawn somewhere on the map. Vials of Eternity can be placed on the ground to empower all minions that run through it. Last for 1 minute.
7. The Troll Wars
Perhaps not the most famous war in the Warcraft universe but having a map take place in the beautiful Eversong woods wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
Texture: Summer green, akin to Eversong Woods.
Concept: Large-scale warfare between the Trolls and High Elves. A Heroes of the Storm remaster of the Troll wars.
Hero Releases: Spellbreaker unit & Voljin(Yes, I know. He’s not an Amani, but he’s a troll, and I want him)
War: A large force of Troll and High elven troops spawn on one of the lanes and battle it out. The power of the wave depends on the number of resources the teams have gathered in the meantime.
Resources: Obtain weapons, armor, and gold to increase the power of your army. Weapon grants your army additional attack damage. Armor grants more health and gold increase the number of units. Armor and weapons spawn like tributes on Cursed Hollow. After 3 pieces of armor or weapons have been claimed by either team, the armies will spawn.
Goldmines: Each side of the map has 2 active gold mines. Per default, each side holds 2 each. You can limit your enemies forces by destroying their gold mines. Gold mines respawn when the next resource gathering phase begins.
8. Elwynn Forest & Westfall
Elwynn Forest is where a lot of players first started their initial adventure on Azeroth and having a map take place in one of the most beloved zones of all time would be great.
In the midst of maps with zerg invasions and fire-breathing dragons, it would be great to have a more low-key cozy map that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Texture: On the border between Westfall and Elwynn forest. Lush green forests and dry yellow fields.
Concept: Kobolds versus Murlocs with Gnolls and the Deadmines being the objective.
Hero Releases: Hogger & Anduin Wrynn. The current king of Stormwind and the most legendary boss from the entire World of Warcraft would be a perfect fit.
The Gnoll King: The Stormwind guards have captured the Gnoll King, quickly! Free the Gnoll king to gain his allegiance and unleash him and his kin upon your enemies. Slay the Stormwind guards and channel the cage to claim the objective.
The Deadmines: When the objective is not live you can enter the Deadmines and defeat Edwin van Cleef and his minions to get the ”Rare equipment” buff. Giving your team 15% movement and attack speed for 90 seconds.
9. Outland – Beyond the Dark Portal
While Azeroth does have a lot of fantastic areas and events on offer, sometimes, you have to go beyond the Dark Portal.
Texture: Hellfire Peninsula. Red dirt with a grain of space and funk.
Concept: Orcs versus Humans with the Illidari being the objective(Nagas, Blood elves, Fel orcs, etc.)
Hero Releases: Hmm, too many options. Durotan, Blackhand, Doomhammer, Nerzul, Killrog, Teron Gorefiend, Akama, Lady Vashj, Velen, Magtheridon, Khadgar, Alleria, Turalyon, etc. The list of heroes and villains tied to Outland is basically endless.
Masters Control Unit: Obtain the Masters Control Unit to gain control of the Illidari until the next unit spawns or until its dropped. The player than channel the control unit will hold it like an item, so it will drop if that player dies. Holding the Control Unit will replace your teams’ minion waves with much stronger Illidari units.
Matheridons Lair: Once the Masters Control Unit has been claimed by either team the portal to Magtheridons Lair open. Enter the Pit Lords lair and slay him to gain his allegiance and have him push down the most healthy of your enemies lanes.
Fel Reaver: Between the lanes there roams a giant Fel Reaver that will attack anything in its path. It is slow but has incredibly strong attacks and should be avoided at all cost.
10. The Cataclysm
The third World of Warcraft expansion saw Deathwing break the world in an event known as the Cataclysm.
The Cataclysm is all about the elemental forces of Azeroth, and a map that displays the elemental powers in a cataclysmic setting could be fantastic.
Texture: The Cataclysm is an event with no set location, so Blizzard could choose any terrain they’d like. However, I imagine a tropical landscape that has been torn apart by the Cataclysm.
Concept: Elemental lords fighting for survival in a dying world.
Hero Releases: Deathwing & Frandral Staghelm. If there ever were a perfect time to release Deathwing, this map would be it. Also, the Majordomo to Ragnaros in Cataclysm makes perfect sense here, and he’s a fiery druid so it really shouldn’t require more reasoning than that.
Reinforced Fort: Due to the objective being solely in the middle lane, that lane has much stronger defenses than the top and bottom lane.
The Elemental Plane: Enter the elemental plane to slay the opposing team’s elementals and defend your own. When one of the teams manages to slay all the opposing teams’ elementals the surviving ones despawn and the Elemental lords wake.
Neptulon & Al’akir: The elemental lords, Neptulon and Al’akir will spawn once one of the teams complete the objective. They will always focus each other first and once one of them falls the surviving Elemental lord will continue down that lane. The Strength of each Elemental is determined by the number of elementals your team managed to slay in the elemental plane. Neptulon and Al’akir will always spawn where the last standing Elemental lord died, so it is a tug of war between the two.
Vulcanos: Vulcanos are scattered around the map that occasionally activates. Spewing lava in a large area around them for 30 seconds.