Article by Shin.

A collection of practical and cheap tips for WoW server administrators to boost the (Battleground) PvP in their realms without much effort.


Battlegrounds are one of the funniest things about World of Warcraft. One of the reasons I’ve created the PvP stats system was to enhance them by adding an extra level of competition, giving players one more reason to queue for BG and increase the number of games on the server.

There is a list of things that you can do on your private server to give PvP an extra boost. Everything listed here is merely the outcome of my personal experience and of course just my personal opinion.

Who is this guide for

This guide is for administrators of WoW private servers of all sizes. Most of them are currently using WOTLK expansions, but generally, my suggestions should be applicable to other expansions too.

Most of my suggestions listed below do not require much effort to be introduced. This is it: in my experience, I’ve noticed that there are some very easy but important things to be done in a private server that would make the PvP experience much better… if only the server administrator had thought about it.

Who am I

As a player, I started playing WoW in 2006 with the Classic edition, then I played TBC and WOTLK too. I’ve always played in private servers.

As a private server administrator/collaborator, I started with my little home-made private server a couple of years later. Afterwards, I collaborated with medium/big size international servers like GamingConsortium and administered small/medium national servers like AzerothShard.

As a developer, I’ve always tried to contribute to open-source projects related to the WoW emulation, starting back in the days with the old MaNGOS and then moving to TrinityCore later on. In more recent times, I’ve contributed to the launch of AzerothCore.

I’ve developed PvPstats as part of my Master’s Degree thesis (delivered in 2016) and observed its impact on several private servers of different sizes and nationalities.

How to get more Battlegrounds on your server

1) Use a Team-queue Announcer

In 2015 I’ve created a simple mechanism to globally announce to your players whenever a faction is ready to join a battleground for a specific level bracket. So whenever the MinPlayersPerTeam is reached to start a BG, a global announcement text will be displayed, like:

[BG Queue Announcer]: [10-19] Alliance is ready to start Warsong Gulch


[BG Queue Announcer]: [80] Horde is ready to start Random battleground

and so on.

The implementation is available here. By default, it excludes level 80 to avoid too much spam, but you might want to remove this limitation for very small servers (to do so, just remove the && q_min_level != 80 part in the outermost if condition).

2) Enable the Battleground.QueueAnnouncer

I bet you did it already, but if you didn’t, open your worldserver.conf and set:

Battleground.QueueAnnouncer.Enable = 1

It’s nice for players to see how many other players they need to start a BG, so they can talk to each other and call more people.

3) Don’t wait for MAX_LEVEL to join BGs

Don’t make your players wait until level 80 (or whatever is the maximum level of your expansion), PvP until level 79 matters too!

It is very common for small and medium-size private servers to have zero or very little activity in Battlegrounds of brackets prior to 80 (10-19, 20-29, etc…). The good news is, this can be changed with some little efforts. Keep reading.

3.1) Change the MinPlayersPerTeam default value of Battlegrounds

Trust me, a Warsong Gulch is fun even with 2 vs 2 players. Once it’s started, it’s even easier that more players will join. Then of course, the more the merrier. It is crucial to change this limit if you want to see people joining Battlegrounds at the earliest levels (10-19) since it’s the only one they can join. There is another good reason to do it: people at level 80 might not always have the numbers to start a Random Battleground (for example in late-night hours or in very small servers). Just do your players a favour and do it: set MinPlayersPerTeam of Warsong Gulch to 2.

Arathi Basin and Eye of The Storm can have their MinPlayersPerTeam set to 4 or 3. Isn’t boring to play an Arathi Basin in 3 vs 3? Probably it is. But keep in mind that if you have 3 players per faction waiting in the queue for the BG to start, they might get bored and leave the queue to do something else or even go offline. So when other players will queue, they will not reach the right number too. On the other hand, if the BG starts at 3vs3, they will stay there and more players will most likely join them soon.

You probably want to set the MinPlayersPerTeam value of the Random Battleground the same as the one you set for Arathi Basin and Eye of The Storm. According to my experience, the best value is probably between 3 and 5 (depends on the server population).

In order to change those limitations, edit the battleground_template table of your world database.

3.2) Allow your players to gain exp doing BGs

WoW has been around for a while already, and veteran players will already know too well most of the quests around there. They will get bored to do the same things over and over. So why not allowing them to gain experience by fighting in the Battlegrounds?

What you need to do is firstly edit your worldserver.conf and enable the XP for kills in BGs:

Battleground.GiveXPForKills = 1

Also, ideally, you want to allow the players to gain exp in the BG with the same (or higher) speed that they would do by doing simple quests. Keeping in mind that when you kill someone in BG, the exp is divided with all the players of your team that are around you when the kill occurs, you need to set this value very high.

In your worldserver.conf change the Rate.XP.BattlegroundKill value to the preferred value. If in your server your normal exp rate is 1x or 2x, you probably want to set the Rate.XP.BattlegroundKill somewhere around 10x-30x. I know it sounds too much: it is not.

Rate.XP.BattlegroundKill = 30

You want your 10-79 players to crave for BGs, and you don’t want them to think like “I would exp faster with quests rather than doing BGs”. Just try playing with this value and you’ll find out what works best for you.

After you do so, you can also add some autobroadcast text announces to inform your newcomers of the possibility of gaining exp fast doing BG starting from level 10 (that’s when joining BGs becomes available in WOTLK).

3.3) Promote Twinks

Twinks are those characters with the experienced locked at a certain level (for example at 19, 69 or 79). I met a lot of people playing World of Warcraft for years and still ignoring their existence. If this is new for you, you are probably wondering why on earth would you lock your experience?.

Actually, there can be several reasons to do so. You might want to lock it temporarily, to accumulate honor and buy your basic PvP set for level 80 before even reaching level 80, so when you unlock it and go to level 80 you are better prepared.

However, the reason most players lock it is to just play a different game.

For example, if you play PvP at level 79 or 69, you don’t need to spend hours of your time doing PvE just to work on getting the best equipment to compete with others. At level 80, you cannot afford this PvP-only life if you want to be as strong as the other players. So people tend to lock at 69 or 79 when they want to do PvP only without being bothered with anything else.

A different story is for twinks of level 19: there you do need a lot of PvE to prepare your character, but of course, the instances are totally different than the 80 ones. Also, the absence of your mount in BG makes the Warsong Gulch dynamics completely different than the ones played at higher levels. So people choose to twink at 19 to play in a different way, they also create guilds to do instances together for that level. There is a nice video from my friend Grasswalker explaining this:

You might want to inform your players of this possibility, to lock your exp you need an NPC. There is one in Stormwind and one in Orgrimmar. Not very easy to be seen. Also, every time you lock/unlock your exp you need 10 gold. It is nothing for 80 characters, but an impossible price for a newcomer who has its first 19 characters and wants to lock it. You may want to reduce this ridiculous price.

I made this configurable in AzerothCore via worldserver.conf:

# ToggleXP.Cost
# Description: Cost of locking/unlocking XP
# Default: 100000 - (10 Gold)

4) Give periodic Awards for PvPstats winners

You can give in-game prizes for PvP winners of every month and bracket, this is something I’ve been doing with the servers I was collaborating with and players really like it.

5) Forbid abusing the BG queue, keep track of the abusers

I’ve implemented a system in TrinityCore (now available also in AzerothCore) to keep track of queue abusers.
For example, the people who queue for BG and then refuse to join it. Because this will cause unbalanced BGs to start.

Of course, you don’t want to punish people for doing it once in a while, because they are probably doing it by mistake/coincidence.
But you do want to punish repeated abuses, especially if you see that they are dual boxing.

The system can be enabled in any TrinityCore/AzerothCore-based emulators in worldserver.conf:

Battleground.TrackDeserters.Enable = 1

this will allow you to track every desertion action to the table battleground_deserters of your characters DB.

The type field has this meaning:

enum BattlegroundDesertionType
    BG_DESERTION_TYPE_LEAVE_BG          = 0, // player leaves the BG
    BG_DESERTION_TYPE_OFFLINE           = 1, // player is kicked from BG because offline
    BG_DESERTION_TYPE_LEAVE_QUEUE       = 2, // player is invited to join and refuses to do it
    BG_DESERTION_TYPE_NO_ENTER_BUTTON   = 3, // player is invited to join and do nothing (time expires)
    BG_DESERTION_TYPE_INVITE_LOGOUT     = 4, // player is invited to join and logs out

We’ve also built some tooling based on that. You can try the BG-Queue-Abuser-Viewer web tool from Helias to have a nice overview of all desertion actions, and decide to take action when needed.

One more thing… Typically I prefer to prevent a problem rather than fixing it. That’s why I’ve created this module to show a warning to a player whenever they cause unbalanced BGs:

the module will give a warning to a player whenever he/she triggers a BG_DESERTION_TYPE_LEAVE_QUEUE or BG_DESERTION_TYPE_NO_ENTER_BUTTON action.

Bonus: consider enabling cross-faction BGs

There are pros and cons to this, but if your server population is not too high yet, you might opt for doing it.
With cross-faction BG enabled, there is a much higher chance to start BGs.

You can use this module for AC originally developed by Winfidonarleyan and improved by Helias. If you use another emulator, you can adapt its code to make it work:

This module also has nice features to keep the teams balanced by team size, player level, and average item level.

Honey’s Throne

By the way, this is the rig of my friend Honey.

How is it related to this topic? It’s not, but it’s cool, isn’t it?

Honey's Throne