Thursday, September 25, 2008

So Fresh and so Clean Clean.

Work's been ridiculously busy these past few days, but I've had the pleasure of having a little bit of extra time to level my alt Priest. We're now close to 62 and riding the rest xp bandwagon as much as we can, with plans of hitting Zangarmarsh mid 62. There's really no rush with the recent announcement that Honor and Arena points and all Marks of Honor will be wiped clean with the expansion.

From a pragmatist's point of view, I can't say I disagree with Blizzard's decision with the currency reset, because an even starting point is a great way to have a serious resetart, and what better time to restart or revamp a new arena season than with the expansion? However, from the point of view of a person who doesn't really enjoy Battlegrounds when their Battlegroup has an overwhelming number of stupids, grinding out the immense amount of honor needed to stay competitive is already overwhelming.

That being said, some friends decided that Stormstrike was devoid of all pseudocapable Horde and have sampled the waters of Nightfall. As such, we may be transferring there (probably to Kel'thuzad), especially now that my 75k honor and 100 WSG/AB/AV/EOTS marks are utter trash. Sure, I could spend them on some new gear that they're releasing for people spend their hard earned honor/marks on, but honestly? If it's going to be replaced by 80, what's the point? If anything, I'll use those resources buying some feral gear and testing out the new lolferal changes with 3.0.2... Or flesh out my Boomkin set and run around nuking people while dancing like Chris Farley.

Anyways, we're looking forward to Shadow Word: Death at level 62. The mana efficiency will be nice, as VT>SW:P>MB>MF>MF is a ridiculous mana sink. We actually ran around killing level 60-61 Alliance a few days ago, which resulted in someone calling in a lvl 65 Warrior. He killed me quick while the 61 Paladin that I ganked 3 times /lol'd at me. The funny thing about it all is that when people can't fight on even ground and feel the need to 'one up' me, it only prompts escalation... which, of course, led to a lvl 70 Druid killing every damn Alliance lowbie in HFP. Moonfire FTW! The poorly geared 70 Rogue that the 65 Warrior swapped to tried to protect the lowbies in the zone, but lets be realistic here: if you're going to world PvP in Outlands, your crappy slow flying mount isn't going to let you respond with any sort of expediency...

We are definitely going to love the world PvP in Northrend.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I played like crap last night and nerd raged until 3AM when sleep consumed me. Operating on 4 hours of sleep feels like I'm doing penance for my late night bitch fest.

I think fully half the teams we fought last night were Gladiator teams. Maybe they're grinding rating before 3.0.2 hits and their specs become poop? One rogue (both Glaives) was named Serennia. Not sure if it really was him, but he hit like a beast.

I don't really know, but it's time to regrind that lost rating before my spec/comp becomes poop.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Defensive Play (aka GTFO!)

Playing defensive in the arena often gets you nowhere, as without pressure being applied on them, the opposing team is essentially free to do whatever they want, especially gaining better positioning or a stronger mana pool. This was the case yesterday in a long and incredibly stupid match against a War/Sham team that practically copulated with the pillars in Nagrand. With no pressure against me, and with both opponents doing the Maypole dance, I was able to keep my mana pool high and essentially heal them to death.

Now, the case for defensive play can often be the right call, but it shouldn't ever be the focus as a means to win a fight (nor should draining mana). It should be used to stabilize a bad situation or put your team into a better position to go on the offensive.

I've downloaded quite a number of WoW PvP arena videos, and one of the best displays of defensive play is from a recording from the recent North American Regional Finals. This match was Warrior/Warlock/Druid (Rhaegyn/Glickz/Hafu) vs Resto Shaman/Shadow Priest/UA Warlock (Kollektiv, Offcell, Mazud), aka Shadowplay comp. On paper, the combined might of offensive/defensive dispels, Bloodlust, and two sets of dots in addition to the dreaded silence/spell lock combo heavily favors Shadowplay.

So how did WLD win an unfavorable match up?

At the start of the second match, on the Nagrand map, Glickz (Warlock) was the only player from WLD to step forward into the open area. None of the Shadowplay team members ventured far from the safety of their pillar and for a good minute or so, it was a bunch of dot trading on both sides. Throughout all of this, Rhaegyn (Warrior) stayed mounted behind a pillar as the Shadowplay team moved as a team to dot him up.

author's note: The Warrior is the prime target for caster teams as he has no way of self healing, takes extra damage when in Berserker Stance and must get into melee to apply pressure. The Warlock is a bad second target as Fel Armor, Soul Link, Siphon Life, high resilience and a high HP pool make the Warlock a very difficult kill target.

This sort of defensive play by Rhaegyn forced the Shadowplay team to overextend their positioning, allowing the felhunter pet to be killed (by Rhaegyn from behind a pillar, no less) and putting the Offcell (Shadow Priest) in a bad position, which lead to a kill during in a nice cc chain from Glickz and Hafu.

To get to that point, the dots from Glickz forced the Shadowplay team to move closer to their opponents' side of the map. As the match went on, Offcell was forced to spend mana, effectively limiting the match duration due to mana issues. Furthermore, Rhaegyn's play of not exposing himself to the Shadow Priest and Warlock dots until his need for healing wasn't a liability meant that Hafu only had to concern herself with healing two people instead of three while avoiding fears. This was quite reasonable, especially with Glickz LOSing the opposing DPS to get a new set of hots before heading back out. With the effective use of defensive play, Hafu and team effectively neutralized Shadowplay's advantages and clinched a decisive win.

So, if your team is just not in control of the situation, consider playing a little D until you get an opening to turn the tides.