Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ebb and Flow

Last night's arena went okay, as there was no respectable ratings change in either direction, but what was valuable was the experience gained at ratings my partner hadn't seen before, especially against well coordinated double dps teams. We must have run into every single Rogue/Mage and Rogue/Lock team in the 1900+ brackets and did okay against them. At one point, I started using my Battlemaster's Trinket just for additional survivability.

To be honest, i'm perfectly fine with the evening's results as those teams are designed to beat Warrior/Druid and an even record against them is sometimes the best you can hope for. We're still working out strats against double dps but the two things that I can say we definitely need to improve on are

1) Positioning (SO important)
2) Defensive Play

I've said before that positioning is one of the biggest keys to success in any form of PvP, and against double dps, that couldn't be more true. It literally will make or break you if you are playing a healer/dps comp. However, while the healer can position themselves perfectly, spells such as deathcoil or any form of fear can place people in exceedingly bad positions. In this case, it falls upon the dps to create a beneficial positioning situation through defensive play so that they a) dont take a ton of damage and b) allow the healer an opportunity to recover.

Lets take, for example, the scenario is War/Dru vs Rogue/Shadow Priest. This fight showcases the warrior's mobility and ability to keep targets controlled. Starting the match, the Warrior will be on the Priest, but due to the Shadow Priest's burst, the Warrior is at risk of being soloed. Pummelling the Mind Blast/SW:D combo is paramount, as is keeping the Priest hamstrung. The Druid should come out as soon as possible in LOS of the Warrior before too much damage is put on the Warrior as a Warrior at 50% can be essentially solo'd by the Priest while the Rogue locks the Druid down. Immediately after placing a couple of hots on the Warrior, the Druid should abolish and hot himself up due to imminent arrival of the Rogue.

This is one of the points at which the game is can be decided. The Priest will be trying to run to the Druid to get a Psychic Scream off and if he does and if the Druid's hots are dispelled, it's essentially game over for the Druid. If the Druid doesn't trinket the fear, he'll be beat on by the opposing team until the fear subsides, at which point he'll probably behind on both healing and have a 5 stack of wound poison up on him. If he does trinket the fear, the opposing team will lead a blind into sap into another fear, while destroying the Warrior.

So, what to do?

To prevent this situation, the Warrior needs to create an opening through defensive play and keep the Priest hamstrung to prevent the druid getting feared and applying pressure on the Rogue in the form of intercepts to give the Druid some kiting room. At the same time, the Warrior needs to recognize when the other team is doing a target swap and instantly sword/board/def stance/intervene. If the warrior can create a kiting/healing/cc opportunity for the druid, chances of success are greatly increased, however, at no time should the priest get close to the druid as it is pretty much a game over whenever that happens (assuming blind is down). If you've ever seen a warrior use intervene into intercept and bounce around like a pinball on steroids, you've probably seen a smart warrior with good defensive play.

Recognizing these types of situations, especially when to minimize damage while the healer is cc'd is an essential aspect of the game. It seems ludicrous to suggest to people that sometimes the proper play is to GTFO and fast, but seeing the number of players who mindlessly tunnelvision in one direction, it does bear repeating.

Also, WotLK is months away. As mentioned to Euripides, unless youre at the pinnacle of ratings, there's always something to be learned, and all of it will be relevant in the expansion.

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