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The Arathi adventure continues

August 25, 2010
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Yes, that’s me with the TCG ‘Owned’ flag stuck in my leg.

The Horde… well, let’s call them the enemy, because I know I have readers on both sides. Fill in whatever side you’d like to see rounded up and AoEd down. You can fit most of them into this helpful grid, designed by Blessing of Fish to help you identify any PvPer you come across, and colour code their difficulty. Judge their gear along the columns, and when you see them in action, rate their skill down the Rows. It’s quite fun, and may just teach you who to target and who to avoid.

That grid might seem slightly stuck up/elitist/cynical, but I have met each and every possible cross of these categories. I’ve landed 5535 killing blows on Players myself, and have been partially responsible for 34000 more (HKs). I’m now at 17,500/21000 for League of Arathor and entering my 525th Arathi Basin. That grid, if slightly cruel, is accurate. It’s so accurate I can tell you what average group composition you’ll get (at least on the cyclone battlegroup), using the colour code shown in the table. I hightly doubt the format would change much battlegroup to battlegroup.

Average AB Team on the Cyclone Battlegroup:

  • 0-2 Reds.
  • 4-5 Yellows.
  • 5-8 Greens.
  • 3-4 Blues.
  • At least two people who want to order everyone else about and swear at them when bases get capped by the Enemy.

Of course, sometimes you can be unlucky. I’ve managed to enter AB’s against premades (or to put it a better way, 12 Reds and a few Yellows), and the experience is akin to throwing your character into a nettle patch (no matter how much you try to do, you’re only gonna get hurt.) The numbers flux from team to team, but there’s always a smattering of most of the grid colours. Feel free to print off my grid and use it as a BoF spotters guide. Put a tick in each box whenever you kill/are killed by some Enemies. Maybe rate your team’s likelihood of success based on gear if you suffer from pre match boredom (Of course, you can’t judge skill, but you can get a quick idea of gear with an inspect. Reds score 5, Yellows 3, Greens 1 and Blues -2. What’s the score of your Team?)

As you can tell, especially by the picture at the start of the post, I don’t always come out on top. I quoted some PvP statistics at you earlier, here’s another: I have died 2281 times in Arathi Basin. My main strategy is akin to a Wrecking Ball – Pop cooldowns and jump into a big group of Hordes, preferably targetting a Yellow/Green/Blue healer to nuke down. I have the 2pt10 bonus maintained in my PvP gear which means my Divine storm can be, for the most part, spammed to my heart’s content. Of course, in times when there are no healers or I’ve jumped into a group of Yellow and Reds, death will come fast. It’s the trying that counts. I’m all for self sacrifice to stop a base being capped. That rather abstractly brings me to something else I wanted to talk about:

The Rules of Defending

  1. Find out what the maximum range you can do damage from is. Go no further from the bases’s flag than that range. You may need to interrupt a sneaky capper.
  2. Buff anyone else who is defending with you. Chances are they will buff you back, and you have increased each other’s survivability in the event of invaders.
  3. Find a good place to be where you might not be instantly targeted. For ranged, that could be behind a tall bush, or on the roof of a building. For melee, hide behind a rock or treestump (or the flag, if you’re thin.)
  4. Should you be sapped, lay down some AoE. You may just catch the Rogue and avoid all their nasty Ambush powers.
  5. If you see a large amount of Enemies incoming, DO NOT RUN AWAY. There is no Death penalty. Type out in /bg: ‘<number of enemy> incoming to <your base>, gonna need some help!’ Then pop your defensive cooldowns and nuke anyone who touches the flag. Chances are you’ll survive until backup comes, and you delay them capping it. This also links into:
  6. If you die defending a flag and there’s noone left to stop the enemy capping the base AND you have not had your insignia removed, go rezz at your corpse and spam AoE. On killing flag defenders, most people are such ‘GIEF BASE’ morons that they haven’t bothered to heal up or remove the insignias of the fallen, and are easy pray for respawns.
  7. Conversely, if you’re defending and win against an attacking force, go round and take all their insignias. This not only makes you money, it guarantees that the normal classes can’t ghost walk up and gank you, and the self-rezz classes like Shamans and Soulstoned locks can’t pop back up and nuke you when you sit down to eat/drink up.
  8. On the opposite side of things, if you are one of those classes that can pop back up again, feel free to do so as soon as their attentions are on the base. Same Rule as Rule 6. This is very effective as an Elemental Shaman dying defending the lumber mill.
  9. Unless you are following Rule 6, always resurrect at a graveyard. Someone might nick your insignia, and it’s generally not worth the health penalty (walking back makes you rezz at half health and mana, graveyard auto-rezz is full stats + pets.)
  10. Defending gives 50% extra honor and it helps you win the game. You receive credit for HKs (and the bonus 50% on top of them) from up to half the zone away. There are no real penalties to it (other than boredom if you don’t get attacked.) The only time you should actively attack bases are when there’s already a lot of defenders who are staunchly standing by your own bases and you are going to win with your current bases held (you can find this out with DBM PvP Timers.)
  11. There is no rule 11.
  12. If you spot an AFKer defending (ie, you die valiently defending your base whilst Uberleetman is sitting on his horse looking out towards the Blacksmith) report the bugger. AFKing whilst defending is the worst thing you can do tactically, because everyone else thinks that base is safely defended and will not go to help you when there’s an inc (because more often than not, only the person at the base can know if there’s stealthers dodging about, unless it’s a mounted charge.)
  13. If a Warrior is running away, it’s only so he can charge back at you again, this time with a Shield and Last stand.
  14. Stun people just as they jump off the Lumber Mill. It’ll stop them opening their parachutes.
  15. Someone with Shadowmourne counts as two or three Reds. Modify your panicked cry for help accordingly.
  16. Once more, THERE IS NO DEATH PENALTY. It’s better to defend a base and die multiple attempts than run away and abandon your post to save your own skin. Only the former will help you win the match.

That’s about it really. Try and bring yourself up to Yellow, or even better Red quality, through either prestigious PvP skills or amazing gear to back you up. Have fun!

-Zal

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2010 8:01 am

    Oh my I enjoyed this one! I’m not entirely sure where I fit on the grid though 😦

    I think I’m a yellow. I hope I’m a yellow. I feel as though I’m a “taken down with a few heavy hits” type. But it’s hard to tell because when I PVP I heal so I rarely go 1 on 1 with another player intending to kill them… I just try and survive until back up arrives which usually works out okay.

    Unfortunately for your guide I’ve got no sense of PVP armor sets so I couldn’t spot a top notch Arena player from a BoA bot!

    • September 6, 2010 8:05 am

      😀 If you can tell your smites from your mind blasts you’re gonna be higher than a blue :p If you have a chance to inspect someone, nearly all PVP gear has ‘Gladiator’ in its name somewhere. This isn’t too helpful against enemy players, but chances are if their armour is bristling with spikes/skulls/shiny orbs and lights, and they’ve rolled through seven of your friendlies like a lawn-mower over grass, they probably have good gear. 😛

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