Arenas and Rated BGs

There is an article out on WoW Insider about coming up with basic strategies in arenas.  I suggest a read of it if you missed it… it’s here.

As the author mentions, it isn’t in depth, that will come next week.  It’s a very simple piece meant to provoke some people to think about the way they pvp.  There are too many players who just mindlessly approach all pvp as “I hit it until it’s dead” and see nothing else of import.  We have many such in our guild and that is not because they are dumb but rather because they are inexperienced with high level pvp.  They’ve probably leveled through pvp and have farmed full sets in random battlegrounds, maybe even occasionally dabbled in some 2s arenas.  They know HOW to play, they know the idea of pvp, they just don’t have any grasp at all of a bigger picture.  Get the flag? Ok, let’s get the flag and attack only the flag carrier, ignoring everyone else such as the 4 healers.  Win an arena match? Ok, let’s just hit and hit and hit until someone dies.

I refuse to label them “bad”.  They are players who just don’t know any better.  I was fortunate to pvp at low levels when there was no real honor farming in the same manner as there is today, and when strategy in Alterac Valley mattered more than anyone starting to play today could believe.  My favorite battleground at level 49 was Arathi Basin because I would fight my way to blacksmith and then sit astride my undead horse and pretend I’m Napoleon orchestrating the battle.  Delusional in that I believe people listened to me?  Probably most of the time, but I rarely bossed anyone around, I simply enjoyed seeing the whole battleground at once and announcing what was happening.  The team usually responded once they realized I wasn’t making stuff up.  Maybe it’s just my approach to pvp, knowing there are thinking humans on the other side of my opponents’ characters, that I always try to see the battle and not my individual fights.  I try to understand what the other team is doing and try to anticipate their next move… and most importantly, I try to understand what the other team thinks my team is trying to do… and then do the exact opposite.

In arenas, I’ve got much to learn in terms of strategies, especially since Morgania and I keep switching team comps.  Frost Mage / Resto Druid and Affliction Lock / Disc Priest are the ones we are most likely sticking with, and it’s a big process of relearning how to play a 2s match.  We got very used to S.Priest / Resto Druid but their cooldowns worked differently together.  CC was more limited.  Frost Mage / Resto Druid can shut down a caster-healer for a good long time.  Warlock / Disc Priest can’t, but there are other forms of control and massive amounts of damage being dealt all around.  Different strategies, different tactics… all must be learned.

What I need to help my guild understand is that we will continue losing rated battlegrounds very badly unless we start looking at overall strategies.  You can’t have a leader like in a raid because there is rarely just ONE thing happening in a battleground.  You may have up to 5 different battlefronts in Arathi Basin, for instance.  You may have 3 battles in WSG.  You may have just one.  The options are there, so it’s a matter of players getting a feel for an overall strategy and then learning to execute it.

For example, we’ve had problems with focus firing a single target.  It seemed we were solving that with one of the dps finally agreeing to call out the targets since he’s always with the attacking group.  He was good at it, people listened.  People WANT to listen, they know there are ways to improve their play, they YEARN to listen to good strategies (I like to think so). But with focus firing now comes the second part… let’s control the other targets.  Let’s cc the healers.  Let’s determine if the focus target can die with a quick burst of damage or if secondary and tertiary targets must be taken out first.  Maybe a feint has to be done on the flag carrier, some cc on the healers, and a hard switch onto a squishy dps that is hindering stuff.  The possibilities really are limitless, but that’s part 2 of learning to focus fire.  Once they get CC working, they’ll come upon a third problem, a good balance between CC and DPS, or even how to not CC the same targets…  there is always something that will be worked on.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, other than to say that every player on your rated battlegrounds and your arena teams must be involved in understanding the strategy.  They can’t coast through it like in pve because the fight is static, neverchanging, and predictable.  PVP is meant to throw you off.  Even the perfect strategy executed flawlessly can fail if the other team behaves unpredictably.  If your team(s) is(are) struggling, work on getting onto the same page first, success will slowly shape itself out of that.  I’m blessed that my guild is there to stay, regardless of success, so long term progress is always possible.  Wooo.

1-8 in the last rateds I’ve done does this to me.

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6 Responses to “Arenas and Rated BGs”


  1. 1 Tania August 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I think a big part of it with our guild is that most of them haven’t raided at any serious level, so they’re used to running in small groups and doing their own thing with everything they’ve done in WoW, and working in a team environment where they’re expected to do XYZ as role ABC isn’t something they have practice doing. I am hopeful this will get better, because well-coordinated rated BGs are so much crazy fun.

    For arena, part of it is how I have different keybinds I’ve learned for different abilities leveling themage and playing Morg, so switching it up between themage and Morg can sometimes make me use the wrong ability. Like… using icy veins when I meant to use my trinket.

    And remembering to use Ice Block, because as much as I get a kick out of the idea that I make you rage every time I don’t (SO MUCH FUN), it also means we’re more likely to lose and I like to win.

    • 2 latusthegoat August 31, 2011 at 4:54 am

      I am considering skirmishes just to practice killing a flag carrier…. Think that would work or nobody would take it seriously

      Im not too worried about our arena. We will get better, my guess is around 1700. We both suck at the teenage pvp skill though… Prove me wrong! I even went affliction for it all….

  2. 3 Tania August 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    You deleted your drunk comment! So sad.

    Probably no one would take it seriously, I don’t think – they want the rewards, but just don’t have the mindset to win them.

    I don’t know how I can prove you wrong that we both suck at teenage PvP skill without somehow standing over your shoulder and saying NEED MORE PIMPLES AND AWKWARDNESS. And other associated teenage male things…


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