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. Read more about this all-new world PvP and questing zone here.
During the Second War between orcs and humans, Tol Barad served as an island citadel of Stromgarde. Tol Barad was of great use to the Alliance as an isolated port for preparing military strikes... until it was invaded by the Horde and decimated. Years later the nation of Kul Tiras reclaimed Tol Barad, establishing a magical prison over the ruins of the old fortifications to contain enemy magi, demons, and a host of other deadly criminals. The existence of such a prison remains unknown to most citizens of Azeroth. In the wake of the Cataclysm and with tension building between the Horde and the Alliance, this will all change. Tol Barad will once more serve as a strategic location for amassing a deadly armada of vessels to lay siege upon enemy strongholds within the Eastern Kingdoms. Because both the Horde and the Alliance are prepared to pay in blood for control of Tol Barad, it is yet unknown which of the two factions will emerge victorious from the war-torn island.
The Fight for Tol Barad
Similar to Wintergrasp, Tol Barad will serve as an open world PvP zone, although there is also a hub on Tol Barad Peninsula for both factions to complete daily quests. Reachable by portals in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, or via a level-85 mage teleport or portal, Tol Barad will accept up to 80 players per faction to engage in brutal combat across the island's surface. Unlike Wintergrasp, Tol Barad will not have Tenacity buffs. Instead, the queue system will attempt to match each side at a 1-to-1 ratio. Battles will take place every two hours and thirty minutes, giving the offensive faction a chance to claim territory.
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.
To the Victor Go the Spoils
Players who win the battle for Tol Barad will be awarded honor points in addition to Tol Barad commendations. These commendations can be used along with new reputations as currency with special vendors who sell rare and epic items, mounts, and more. In addition, the controlling faction will have unique access to extra daily quests. Similar to the Vault of Archavon, Tol Barad gives those who control it the chance to form a raid and best foul beasts locked within Baradin Hold for precious rewards.
Questing for a Living
Aside from the battle to control Tol Barad, there are many quests available to both factions just off of the main island on Tol Barad Peninsula. Members of the Horde will assist Hellscream's Reach, an all-new faction vying for control of Tol Barad. At odds with the Horde are Baradin's Wardens, an Alliance faction also seeking to command the territory. Six unique quests, randomly determined from a larger pool of missions, will be offered daily. This will allow for diversity in completing quest objectives as you explore Tol Barad Peninsula over time. The faction that controls Tol Barad will also have sole access to six additional daily quests. Completing each of these exclusive quests will award experience, gold, and Tol Barad commendations. By accomplishing these tasks, players will learn of the perilous inmates held within the prison on Tol Barad, as well as why this isolated land is of great importance to Hellscream's Reach and Baradin's Wardens. In addition, increasing reputation with these new factions will grant access to incredible rewards.
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.