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|Level 85-90 PvP|
|Tol Barad loading screen|
During the Second War, Tol Barad was an island citadel of the human nation of Stromgarde and the site of fierce battles between the Horde and Alliance. The Horde, having already conquered most of the dwarven lands, struck the human kingdom of Lordaeron by sea. At the time, Tol Barad was being used as a staging point to aggressively strike back at the orc raiders, besieging the orc-controlled fortress of Dun Modr. Commanded by Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer to put an end to the bold attacks the Black Tooth Grin clan assaulted the island, ultimately triumphing. Overwhelmed by the orcs, no life more complex than a few hardy weeds and insects survived the Horde's bloody victory. An aura of death seemed to radiate from the island, and the original fortress was razed to the ground. Tol Barad became a frightening symbol of the Horde's merciless tenacity and barbarity.
After the Second War the island nation of Kul Tiras claimed the former stronghold and the southern part of the island became a fearsome prison. As well as housing dangerous convicts and renegade wizards from amongst the Alliance races, undead and demons too were locked away in separate, fortified cell blocks. The Wardens of Duke Baradin II guarded the island and watched over its denizens, some of whom could not be held by even Dalaran's Violet Hold.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
With the Cataclysm Tol Barad has once again become a battleground between the Horde and the Alliance. Warchief Garrosh Hellscream has sent the elite warriors known as Hellscream's Reach to the island, charged with taking it from the humans. Defending against them are Baradin's Wardens, the army that originally guarded the prison. As the two forces fight for supremacy over the island, something sinister has taken over the prison fortress of Baradin Hold and the whole island in turn, with prison guards murdering each other or letting their charges free, insanity amongst Alliance soldiers, undead corpses rising from their graves and spirits reliving their final battles.
Wizards from both Dalaran and Stormwind oversaw the magical prison, built over the ruins of the old fortress. Its prisoners included enemy mages, lesser and greater demons, warlocks, and undead war criminals. The wizards did not allow anyone near the island and kept the prison's existence secret.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Tol Barad is an outdoor PvP zone in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, very similar to Wintergrasp in Northrend. However, the island is also similar to the Isle of Quel'Danas in that it is a major daily quest hub. Battling for control of the island are the Baradin's Wardens for the Alliance, and Hellscream's Reach for the Horde. Whichever side controls the prison on Tol Barad gains access to more dailies and the dungeon instance Baradin Hold.
In World of Warcraft, Tol Barad consists of two zones:
- Tol Barad - PvP zone (location of the battle) as well as a daily quest hub for the faction that controls it. This PvP area is also home to the Baradin Hold dungeon.
- Tol Barad Peninsula - A daily quest hub for level 85 players regardless of who controls Tol Barad.
Players can enter Tol Barad by portals from Stormwind and Orgrimmar once they reach level 85 or by means of a mage portal, Portal: Tol Barad.
At the beginning of battle, the faction that won the last battle is set as "defending" while the other is "attacking". Defending players start on top of Baradin Hold (players can float down the central chains or off the edges), and attacking players start on the Blackstone Span. To win, the attacking force must capture all three buildings at the same time: Ironclad Garrison to the north, Slagworks to the southeast, and Warden's Vigil to the southwest. The battle lasts for 15 minutes, but can be extended by 5 minutes for each of the towers the attacking force can destroy using the Abandoned Siege Engine which can be piloted by any attacker who has earned an honorable kill in the current battle. The defender's goal is primarily to prevent the attackers from capturing all 3 buildings, and secondarily to prevent the extension of the battle time by destroying the active Siege Engines.
Buildings are captured by a simple presence mechanic - the faction with the higher number of players near a flag will move the capture meter in their favor over time, very much like Eye of the Storm. The rate of capture based on presence is steady, but is affected by two new mechanics. Each time a member of one faction is killed in the immediate vicinity of the flag, the capture meter is "nudged" in favor of the opposing faction. Also, the attacking force gains a 200% capture rate while they control 2 buildings and the defending force also has a 200% capture rate while they control all 3 buildings as of patch 4.0.6.
The Battle for Tol Barad plays out every 2.5 hours. Players may queue for the battle 15 minutes before each starts and while in progress. The queueing system will attempt to match each faction's total players 1-for-1.
Three Tol Barad Commendations are awarded for a win.
- Main article: Tol Barad quests
Several daily quests become available to the controlling faction in between battles in the center of the map at Baradin Hold. One set of quests is always there, the other focuses on one of three cellblocks around the island.
Maps and subregions
|Baradin Hold · Blackstone Span · Cursed Depths (Galus' Chamber) · D-Block (Svarnos' Cell) · East Spire · The Hole (Warden's Chambers) · Ironclad Garrison · Slagworks · South Spire · Warden's Vigil · West Spire|
- Main article: Tol Barad NPCs
- Tol Barad (zSprawl.com)
- Tol Barad Preview
- Tol Barad (WoW-Serbia.com)
- Tol Barad (Cataclysm beta)
- Tol Barad daily quests (Yogscast)
- Tol Barad Peninsula
- Tol Barad Peninsula (WoW-Serbia.com)
Concept art of Tol Barad in The Art of World of Warcraft.
The strange, dark magic that has raised many of the inhabitants of the island's north, both recently killed and long dead, as various forms of undead is almost surely the same cause behind the insanity within the prison complex. It is possibly the result of the powerful demons held within Baradin Hold, but many of these creatures appear to have been let out by their own jailers, the deranged Wardens seen across Tol Barad, in league with at least some of their former prisoners. As such it could be feared that whatever ancient horrors lurk beneath the Great Sea are behind the madness of all Tol Barad. Alternately, Alizabal and the other demons did do it.
- This zone is not affected by the cross-realm zones feature.
- "Tol" is Sindarin for "isle" (as in Tol Brandir) and "Barad" is Sindarin for "tower" (as in Barad-dûr) according to Lord of the Rings' appendices. "Tol Barad" would thus mean "The Isle of the Tower" in Sindarin.
- Before the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Tol Barad was, lore-wise, in Baradin Bay between Hasic and the shores of Khaz Modan. The reason for the move has been left unexplained.
- Tol Ronal, a location featuring only in the demo for Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness has both a similar name and purpose in the game. If not a seperate location, it could be an earlier, production name for the island.
- The Tol Barad art was the instance loading screen for the Scarlet Monastery before it was split into four wings.
- Tol Barad Peninsula is not a peninsula.
- Although Tol Barad is visible on the map of the Eastern Kingdoms, it is housed in a separate instance and thus cannot be accessed by flying from Vashj'ir or the Ruins of Gilneas. Instead of the two islands, the main map only has fatigue water at their supposed locations.
- There is an island south of here; through a sight spell it's just unimplemented terrain.
- Although called a kingdom in Day of the Dragon, Tol Barad has never been noted as an independant nation. The prison was also formerly run by a Duke, unlike any of the other human kingdoms. It does, however, appear to have its own unique cultural emblem, the owl, separate from those of both Stromgarde and Kul Tiras.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27): The growing conflict between the Horde and the Alliance has spilled across the face of Azeroth: level 90 players can now queue for Wintergrasp and Tol Barad via the PvP tab to battle one another in these epic conflicts.
- Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29): The queue in the Honor frame now displays the status of and lets you queue for Tol Barad and Wintergrasp while on every continent.
- Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08):
- Attacking forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control 2 keeps.
- Defending forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control all 3 keeps.
- Daily quest creatures, herbs, minerals, etc. will only spawn when Tol Barad is in the quest phase between battles. There will be 5-minute and 1-minute warnings before the quest phase ends. The quest phase ends 15 minutes before the battle for Tol Barad begins and queuing is made available. At that time any players in the daily micro dungeons will be ported just outside. This does not apply to Tol Barad Peninsula or the daily quests there.
- The weekly PvP quest "  Victory in Tol Barad" now awards 200 [Honor Points] and 3 Tol Barad Commendations.
- Players can now see the status of Tol Barad on the World Map no matter where they are. The time to the next battle is displayed by zooming into the Tol Barad section of the map. The current controlling faction can be seen on the Eastern Kingdoms map.
- Patch 4.0.3 (2010-11-16): The leader of Wintergrasp raids can no longer kick players from the raid (this change will also apply to Tol Barad in Cataclysm).