Friday, September 12, 2008


I can completely understand that for some people, the Arena can be a terrifying and strange place where there is no quarter given and none expected. This is a place where egos are made and dreams are crushed. For those who perform at an exceptional level, there are far more rewards given than to those of average skill. However, at the end of the day it is still a part of the game for every player to enjoy, but, for a new player to succeed, reading strategies and trying to understand tactics can often be an exercise in futility as some of the established strategies are quite difficult.

One recommendation that I can make to newer players is to follow the age old acronym of KISS, or Keep It Simple, Silly (or Stupid, for you purists). Overcomplicating strategies only add to the things a newer player has to worry about, beyond staying alive and performing primary class functions.

Let's take an example. When my Warrior/Enhancement Shaman/Druid team started playing, our success in the 1800's was fairly stagnant. Up until last night, our strategies were as such:

Against Warrior/Warlock/Druid: Warrior and Shaman should start on the Warlock, stop fears, and swap between the Warlock and the Felhunter, with the eventual goal of killing two pets and working the Druid's mana pool down through constant pressure. The Druid should control the opposing Warrior and Druid as much as possible, but prehot himself to avoid the inevitable swap.

Against Rogue/Mage/Priest: Warrior and Shaman get on the Mage, stop polymorphs on the Mage and slow down the dps output of the mage while forcing the Priest to heal instead of mana burn. The Rogue is a viable swap target if the other targets are not accessible.

As of last night our strategies have become: Kill healer, Druid controls whoever is controlling the shaman.

Much simpler, right?

Overthinking the various matchups have caused alot of indecision, with our melee often targeting different targets, not utilizing the strength of the composition, which is to use Mortal Strike in combination with the Shaman's utility and Windfury to RNG (Random Number Generator) someone in seconds. Last night, after some silly losses, we put all of the advanced theorycrafting aside and basically played 'gangbang the healer'. We did have some losses where the complicated strategies would have come in handy, but we also won several 20 point games.

The interesting thing about this strategy (if you can call it a strategy) is that it forces the opponents to play differently. Warlocks expected to be trained down, and when they were ignored, found that they couldn't help their Druid with fears through Tremor and Cyclones. Mages were also used to be the main target, and when they werent, slowed their own damage output by focusing on peeling for their priest, thus allowing me to a) avoid mana burns, and b) cc chain the mage as the healing output required was much lower.

While such a zerg mentality will not probably get us past 2000, it has definitely our opponents to play differently from how we're used to seeing them play, which, in turn, makes it feel like we're more in control.

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