Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rogue/Mage Day 1

A rogue buddy and I gave Mage/Rogue a try last night after my War/Dru team cranked ourselves up closer to 1900. Anyways, Mage/Rogue games usually go pretty fast, and as PomPyro, they go even quicker. No Ice Barrier, Frostbite, or second Ice Block means that a lucky imp hamstring proc or a lucky mace stun means that I need to pop cooldowns to survive. It's absolutely insane how quickly a mace warrior with some lucky RNG can hose a clothy. However, whenever our target is locked down by the rogue and I'm able to get away to some degree, shit dies. I think I solo'd a druid after my rogue died with the 'ungody chain of pain' and some lucky impact procs. Impact procs are like tasty macestuns, but from range.

We have yet to hit 1700 because I'm pretty bad at my mage, positioning wise, and because my teammate isnt used to running with a mage. Rupture/Garrote on the warrior when we're aiming to eventually poly him after we pull the druid out through pressure means we're eating alot more damage than we need to. I also Ice Block waaaaay too late and forget to cone of slow.

It's okay.

We'll learn.

It was fun to see the different reactions of the various healers when they realize that any target below 50% is a legit target for a 1GCD kill. Some healers just ran around the pillars, some played aggressive and tried to add dps, and some overhealed like crazy. One druid spent most of his mana bar keeping 4 hots on himselves while shifting and running around the pillar while I chain cc'd his warrior. I honestly think that the psychological pressure that a Pom mage exerts is far more than our frost buddies, because the elemental is a dead giveaway of a dps push.

All that being said, I'm going to give frost another try if we run into way too many lucky war/dru teams that can imp hamstring and mace stun on command. I'm going to be SO happy when the patch that nerfs macestun comes.


Hear that mace warriors? That's the nerf train a-comin'!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Line of Sight - It's Not That Hard!

What's the biggest indicator of a good PvPer and a terrible one?

If you said Gear, you'd be wrong.

If you said, crowd control, class knowledge and timing you'd also be wrong.

The biggest indicator is Positioning. You can welfare your way to gear (4/5 brutal, merc shoulders and weapons), cc like a madman, read up on every class, and travelform away while intercept is down like a pro, but if youre standing in the wrong place, you're dead.

Positioning is everything in this game and a majority of the most game breaking and basic skills require line of sight (LOS) : every CC, every ranged dps spell, every heal requires LOS. So why don't more people use and abuse it?

That's a very good question.

The answer is probably because your average PvPer has a mindset of "I'm going to run up to that tower there and spam my abilities and hope that I kill them." or "I should be okay to stand behind these people and spam my heals until i'm oom." And this is probably the biggest reason why your average player gets into the arena and gets demolished or eats a cc train longer than the time spent in pre-match buffing.

Knowing how and when to LOS is all about global awareness, and this applies to everyone from melee to healers. Obtaining a level of field view takes practice, but with it, one can tell when to duck behind that corner and when to pop back out. Is that disc priest's hands glowing black? Better get out of the way of a mana burn. Mage's hands glowing white? Shuffle behind a pillar to avoid that poly.

While this is an obvious statement on awareness, much of the LOS responsibility is also between teammates. Is it really that smart to run behind that pillar when your healer is halfway across the map? Probably not. Are you chasing a target around a pillar to flush it out into the waiting arms of your teammate? Hopefully, yes. Are you standing in the middle of the map when the other team has all ranged burst dps? Hopefully not.

The point is, nearly every situation, except for a certain few, allow for LOSing. Use it to your advantage and be aware of other people using it against you.

Here's a brief list:

  • The huts that contain the buffs are good for popping in and around
  • Entrance archways usually have a little edge to pop behind
  • The floor of upper levels can restrict LOS
  • Flag stand area has little indents
  • The cubby hole in the flag room is great
  • Seige weapons on horde side past the GY


  • Mine: Entrance to mine
  • BS: Smith building and LM/Stables side ledges
  • Stables: Stables building and bridge to LM
  • LM: LM building
  • Farm: Farm building


  • MT: Around the back and the pillars to either side of the tower entrance and the little cubby inside the tower
  • DR: Use the weird ruin building geometry to lose people
  • BE: Around the back and inside the tower
  • FR: Metal junk to the left (while facing FR) of the Fel Reaver.

ROL Arena

  • Tomb (obviously)
  • Starting areas
  • Indents where the sight buffs appear on the outer wall
  • Giant tombstone is hard to see around

Nagrand Arena

  • 4 Giant pillars
  • Starting cubbys

Blades Edge Arena

  • 4 Posts at each end of the bridge
  • Standing on the opposite side of the bridge widthwise if the opponent is casting from the ground level
  • 4 giant pillars (watch out for the hunk of meat)
  • Starting cubbys

Really, there's no shortage of LOS possibilities, except, perhaps the Dun Baldar bridge, so there's really no excuse not to use it to your full advantage! Of course, none of the roads between BG objectives and the EOTS flags have LOS-able terrain... but of course, we don't stop to fight there anyways, right?


It Isn't Easy Being Green

One of the most difficult aspects of group play that is often beyond control is when gamer friends leave, either the game or your server. It begs the question, especially if you know you were a lynchpin in the daily/weekly activities, if you were partially to blame... even if you couldn't prevent it.

One of the biggest problems I have with WoW is the immense impact healers have on the game balanced against the draw of a DPS class. I'll admit it, playing a class like my mage where I can do 10k+ damage in the span of a couple of GCD's (AP/Trink Fireball, POM Pyro, Fireblast, Blastwave) makes me giddy at the power that I can unleash. Compare that to the fact that I can keep a 3 stack of lifebloom up on 3 targets while LOSing CC's and it's quite evident why there are so few healers in this game. It's not flashy, but it's effective. The subtlety of using a Nature's Swiftness Hibernate on an opposing resto druid into Cyclonex3, Bash, Maim is completely lost on the unwashed masses who stand at the road to Stormpike GY chain casting steady shot, frost bolt, or whirlwind with 2 axes. This is WAR and who doesn't want to kill someone. Standing in the back, behind a stone pillar healing the gloryhounds is for wussies.

Because of this, managing arena teams with a group of friends is near impossible if you're the only healer. There's no possible way, short of cannibalizing Personal Rating, to get to play with everyone on 2's and 3's teams. Not to mention the billions of whispers you get from randoms saying, "Hi, I'm 3/5 Brutal with S2 weaps. Let's do 2s for 2050."

Sadly, this is what's happened with my group. Loaded up with DPS classes, I tried to juggle teams, but eventually just stopped because I wanted to committ myself to some synergy building and some real daily effort, and slowly but surely, people have left. I know it's not my fault; I don't believe that I can be expected to help everyone. However,as the only dedicated healer and a once 2k rated druid, managing expectations becomes part of my online experience.

So, cheers to those that have gone to find their fortune on another server or find other (better, of course) things to do with their time. I can only wish them luck, but I miss rolling into a BG, with a variety of classes, with other healers supporting me, and perhaps with me playing my mage. Because, hell, I want to see big yellow numbers sometimes. Not just green.