Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We're Back! First week of Arena

Apologies to our readers, work has taken me to far and distant lands and away from my most popular diversion. That being said, I'm back now, and in time for the Holiday Season. Even though I don't bring in the ho's like Santa (oh stop it, Mrs. Claus!), I'm still committed to bringing raunchy stories and dirty experiences from the PvP floor.

Ok, no raunch.

In the few days that I've been able to log in some serious game time, I've not only ground massive amounts of honor, but also spent both Badges of Heroism and Badges of Valor on mediocre gear. It somewhat feels like re-rolling a character only to hit max level at the start of a season where all you can afford is the Season 1 Honor gear because you didn't save up 5k Arena Points at the end of last season for Season 2 gear. Yes, I know I couldn't have saved up Arena Points as they were all wiped the instant I hit 71, but this awkward transitory phase where no one has any arena gear is quite... amusing. Deadly gear, being a tad out of reach right now is that dangling carrot. I'll get there, but first, I need some way to live for more than 15 seconds!

Last night, out of sheer need for Arena Points, my DK buddy and I got a few 2's games in, and we went 8-0 (there were already 2 games played on that team) for the Achievement [Just the Two of Us: 1550]. Granted, its nothing to brag about because many of the teams just didn't have any gear or any strategy, but we capped off the 2's streak with a 2-0 'streak' in 3's, giving us the [Hot Streak] Achievement. Yay! Crowd goes wild! Well, not really, but it was kinda cool to flaunt that in /g chat. Honestly? 1550 is a joke. Go grab someone, focus fire and grab an easy achievement if you're a badge whore.

/g chat went something like this:

DKbuddy has earned the achievement [Just the Two of Us: 1550]
Rukuz has earned the achievement [Just the Two of Us: 1550]
[Rukuz][Guild]: Just the two of us, we can make it if we try,
[Rukuz][Guild]: Just the two of us, you and I.
[Guildy1][Guild]: LOL!

I plan on copying some more extensive lyrics from Will Smith's tear wrenching hit when we hit 1750 and getting some lyrics down when we get the [Three's Company] Achievement in 3's.

To touch more upon the environment, if you're a raider or just a heroic runner, the Hateful PvP gear can be a good filler for some of your pieces. In addition to being a gear gap closer, for those raiders who have already experienced much of what LK has to offer us in both 10 and 25 mans, which I presume is a pretty sizeable portion of the playerbase as there are PUGS for everything except Heroic Malygos on my server, it's something else to do.

So, if it's so easy to focus fire someone down, how did I stay alive? Well, aside from having ~600 Resilience from some crafted and gladiator gear, it all came down to spec and glyphs. For these fights (2's and 3's) I specced Borrowed Time/Spirit of Redemption (50/21/0) with the Spirit of Redemption (SoR), Dispel Magic and Holy Nova glyphs. The name of the game was personal survival while providing some additional utility and trying to save some mana wherever possible.

Besides the funky things you can do with Borrowed Time's haste bonus, such as casting instants very quickly with the reduced GCD and pushing out some incredibly fast Flash/Greater Heals, the real winners for many of the matches were the Holy Nova glyph and the SoR glyph.

With the Holy Nova glyph: Your Holy Nova spell heals for an additional 40%, but deals 40% less damage, the time spent between your instants (PW: Shield, Mending, Renew) while running from some angsty melee class is filled with the spamming of either Dispel Magic or Holy Nova. Why Holy Nova? Well, sadly, it's the only other self heal that you can cast while on the run. With the Borrowed Time haste buff, the instant heal for ~1800-2100 every 1.2 seconds were enough to keep me alive by a hair in many of the games. Honestly? It's better than trying to cast a Flash Heal through a) Mind Numbing Poison (screw you Deadly Brew) or b) the threat of getting Counterspelled. Give the glyph a try. You won't be disappointed! (But you will run out of mana super quickly. C'est la vie)

Taking a different approach, the SoR glyph straight up won us some games through dumb luck. Flat out won. Why? Well, the glyph itself: All heals cast while Spirit of Redemption is active have a 20% chance to increase the remaining duration of Spirit of Redemption by 4 sec, is ridiculously powerful if you just 'get lucky'. With a few procs of this glyph, I've turned a bad situation into a reasonable one. There's no denying the power of an unkillable healer spamming Flash Heal with the odd Prayer of Mending for 45+ seconds. I think I healed more as an Angel in some of the fights. Sad but true. But hey, I'll take the 'W'. As they say, "Better lucky than good!"

I'm looking forward to continuing to use this spec in future PvP or even trying a deep Holy spec again. One thing's for certain, there's going to be much more honor grinding in the future.

Give the spec a try, and keep in mind the immortal words of the Fresh Prince:

"But yo push come to shove

You was conceived in love"

Amen, brotha.