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Children's Week Guide - School of Hard Knocks How-To
on 2014/04/28 at 3:30 PM Pacific
underway, players shooting for
What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been
will be wanting to check this holiday off their list.
brings the meta's most hated achievement:
School of Hard Knocks
. Wowhead has a short and sweet guide to help you get this done with the minimum of fuss. Let's go from the easiest to the hardest. If you're looking for a full guide to all the achievements and rewards from this holiday, check out
Wowhead's Children's Week Guide
This guide assumes you have little or no PvP experience, and we've got tips for avoiding PvP if you're a die-hard PvE-focused player who just wants to get this done and never enter a Battleground again.
have your orphan out in these battlegrounds. No exceptions - you wouldn't want to complete one of these objectives only to realize your orphan wasn't there to see it and your hard work was for nothing.
Assault a flag in Arathi Basin
This achievement can be completed very quickly and straightforwardly with a little nouse and speed. To assault a flag, you will need to be the first to reach one of the bases at the start of the match, or to assault a base later on in the match.
The view to the right is the start of the game from the Alliance end of the battleground, the
looks much the same. Note the glowing flag in the foreground - that is your target, or one like it. Your tactic is simple, at first: mount up, be by the gate pointing at the base you plan to assault, and running in that direction. As the gate begins to open, you will pass through it, run directly in a straight line to the base you plan to assault, ignoring the roads but dodging any obstacles.
Hover your mouse over the flag, and as soon as the cogwheel turns from grey to gold, click it. The cast to capture a flag takes a short while, 6.5 seconds in
, and the first person to complete it will have assaulted a flag. Obviously, movement will break the cast, so keep still! There are a couple of tricks you can pull to prevent others from capturing, if you are feeling particularly dastardly. Paladinss can cast
Hand of Protection
on a team-mate, which will prevent them from capturing, or a friendly priest can
Leap of Faith
another would-be capturer to ensure your success. Don't be surprised if this doesn't win you any friends - it's pretty shady behavior.
But, if you don't manage to be the first to the flag, all is far from lost. The flags will change hands fairly regularly throughout the match, so be around when there are big team fights, or furtively sneak around to try to capture undefended flags. All you need to do is to be the first one to complete the cast on a flag that is being captured.
There's a map to indicate the locations of the bases in
below, the red and the blue ones indicate bases that will generally go straight to the Horde or Alliance with no contest at the start - simply because they're right by the bases! If you don't succeed with those, and indeed, it's likely that they will be prime targets for players wishing to complete the achievement, then you should default to either Lumber Mill or Gold Mine. Thanks to the location of the two bridges, Alliance may be able to get to Gold Mine more quickly and Horde to Lumber Mill more quickly. This is simply because you can cut across land in a straight line without water getting in your way. If you are a
, or have water walking from another source, there will be no difference.
If you're trying to avoid doing PvP as part of the achievement, then definitely avoid the Blacksmith. This is the strategic center of the map, and usually the base that sees the most PvP action. Instead, you'd do well to head to Gold Mine or Lumber Mill, bearing in mind that there is a slight strategic advantage to taking Lumber Mill over Gold Mine, thanks to its elevation, so it's possible there'll be more fighting to be done there. That means, though, that Lumber Mill will likely change hands more often, so could be a good spot to assault the flag later in the match.
Assault a Tower in Alterac Valley
If you've read the above section on
, this is little different. In Alterac Valley, there are several towers, all of which have a flag on the top level. Just like in
, you'll need to be the first person to complete the cast of
on a flag at the top of a tower. Unlike Arathi Basin, there is less clarity on which towers are the best to go for, and depending on your faction and region, you may have a harder or easier time getting this done.
The map above indicates the towers. The Alliance begin at the top of the map, Horde at the bottom. Horde will need to capture Alliance towers, as indicated, and Alliance will need to capture Horde towers. Unlike in
, the towers do not change hands regularly as an inherent part of the game. Instead, the flags are destroyed after the towers have been in conflict for four minutes.
During Children's Week on some regions, efforts will be made to ensure that they do change hands, but most regions are not so kind. It is reasonable to expect, therefore, that each tower can only be captured once. That being said, everyone will be heading for the first tower they can reach -- the ones in the center of the map. It may, therefore, be profitable to head directly for the second tower, and straight to the third and fourth towers if you are too late there.
Within the game itself, the towers and flag locations are as follows. Remember when looking at the below that you will be capturing the opposing faction's towers.
Horde Tower Appearance and Flag Location
Alliance Tower Appearance and Flag Location
It should be pretty clear to see that Horde have a far easier time reaching the Alliance flag than Alliance have reaching the Horde flag. The Horde towers are taller, and falling off the external ramps is very easily done indeed. It may well be advisable to practice climbing the ramps, if you can. Horde assaulting Alliance flags should have a far easier time, as all they need to do is find the door, ascend the internal staircase and turn around to see the flag behind them. Furthermore, the usual Alliance strategy does not involve defending their towers. However, should the Alliance decide to defend, their flag is far more defensible than the Horde ones. Once you have ascended the tower it is much the same as above, click the flag, and complete the 6.5 second
cast to assault it. The same shady tricks as we mentioned for
work here, too, only 39 people will be really angry with you rather than 14.
Make sure you are right at the door at the start, and if you have a blink, a rocket jump, displacer beast, ghost wolf, disengage (turn away from the door), or any way to get out of the door quickly and therefore be mounted before the rest, use it. You cannot mount until you have left your starting cave.
Capture the Flag in Eye of the Storm
We've listed this one as harder than the others, as it will likely require you to engage in some actual PvP. The flag in
Eye of the Storm
is picked up in exactly the same way as the flags are captured in
. You need to run to the flag, and click on it, then the cast will eventually complete. Unlike in
, your task is far from over.
Once you have the flag on your back, you will need to run to one of the bases
held by your team
and onto the disc on the ground in order to capture it. Said disc can be seen in the image on the left - you'll notice that the flag came off my back onto the disc as it was captured. It is not enough to bring the flag to the base, you do need to locate this disc and run the flag across it.
Just as before, the two blue bases shown below are the ones generally captured first by Alliance, and the red are the ones usually captured first by the Horde. As you can see, the Alliance begin at the top, the Horde begin at the bottom. The flag is right in the middle of the map, on a narrow bridge. So, once you have the flag, you should be running straight towards a base that your faction holds.
Opening your Zone Map (Shift+M by default) can be very helpful in determining which bases are held. Only solid colored bases are safe, and you should ideally be looking for a clear base to return your flag - one where there's no combat.
If your team holds no bases you can't capture flags
, so help other players to capture bases if you fall behind. Bases capture just by having more of one faction alive inside them than of the other.
In this battleground, leaning on the kindness of strangers seems to work better than in others. Letting others capture the flag after you have your achievement objective completed is good etiquette, others may do it too. What's more, defending a held base and asking players without their orphan out whether you can capture a flag that they are bringing to you can work. That aside, fight in the middle and do your best to take the flag. Remember that only spells hitting you will break the capture cast, so if you aren't being focused you can take it in the middle of a battle!
when fighting on the bridge in the middle, ensure you're facing along the bridge. That way when you get knocked back you won't get knocked off.
Returning a fallen flag in Warsong Gulch
This is arguably the hardest objective of the four, and one of the very best to enlist the help of your friends. Unlike the others, this doesn't relate to speed or to getting a cast time off, but it does seem from my experience to be one of the ones where people are happy to help. It's regularly been the case in my
instances during Children's week that a player from the opposing faction will come in to the flag room and let themselves be killed or drop the flag repeatedly so that people of the opposing faction can get the objective done. If you want to do that, try to target the opposing team's orphans and /point, or spam /wait or something along those lines. You can pick up the flag and right-click off the buff it gives you to drop it, allowing others to return it. It may not work, but I've been the good samaritan a couple of times today and it did go pretty well - someone from the opposing faction needs to figure out what you're doing.
That said, you can't always depend on the kindness of strangers, so let's talk about how best to go about it. You're looking for a person who looks like I do in the image above, with a flag on their back. They can drop the flag, as I mentioned, but unless you get lucky they're unlikely to. Instead you'll need to kill them, and then the flag will go from being on their back to standing on the ground next to them, like in the image to the left. Once it's there, you need to be the first to click it with the cogwheel to return it to its base. Job done!
Where are you most likely to find flag carriers? Well, that varies enormously. Good places to wait include the areas just outside the opposing base, as they could travel down the ramps or through the tunnels to exit with the flag. This is likely to be an area fraught with PvP combat, though, so not ideal if you're not keen on PvPing to get these achievements done. Other than that, you can see the image below that indicates their likeliest paths across the map, they are the sides indicated because of graveyard position: you want to run towards your graveyard with the flag so that any of your team who are ressing will join you in your bid to capture it.
That being said, they could be anywhere in the middle, and ideally, you want to kill them before they get back to their base with your flag. If you get into the situation where both teams have a flag and are holding it - common in normal
battles, less common in
- they are likely to be within their base or on the roof. Simply follow the ramps up - they're more likely to be higher up - until you find them, and communicate their location to your team. You may well need more than one of you to take them out.
is a very strange battleground.
As a final plea, from a PvPer, don't let your experiences during
allow you to have a negative impression of PvP. Children's week is not representative of those four battlegrounds in their usual state.
Children's Week Guide - School of Hard Knocks How-To
2014/04/28 at 3:30 PM
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