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How not to be seen

September 13, 2010

There is an art in avoiding detection. The classes that are obviously best at slipping under the proverbial radar are Druids and Rogues, using their stealthy ways. However, there are things any player can do to decrease chances of detection. (Pictured right, how not to do it.)

Shorten your Character name

If you turn off your title (and for preference, have a short name to begin with) you will be harder to spot from a distance. There’s only so far that nameplates above heads work, and names tend to pixellate at a distance – for example a short name like Seia could easily be barely visible at a distance, where as something like Abacadabacus, Champion of the Frozen Wastes is the PvP equivalent of a ‘shoot me now’ sign.

Hide behind things

One of the wonders of Warcraft is its camera system. Unlike a whole host of other games I could mention, (although admittedly not many MMOs, but my point still stands) WoW is not limited to first person perspective. Therefore there is no visual impairment if you hide in a bush, or out of line of sight behind a pillar, box or tree stump. You will be untargetable, easy to miss and best of all you can easily rotate your camera to still get a full eyeful of what’s going on. Mastery of this is essential for drinking in Arena Matches, by the way.

Take a non-obvious path

If given the chance, avoid people when carrying something valuable like a Flag. There are routes in a BG that people simply don’t bother guarding, patrolling, or even checking. Of course, they aren’t a guaranteed win, there are always those that buck the trend and camp the unlikely spots, but you can generally find one or two obscure paths in a BG that you can merrily trot up and down in several times before people catch on. This is mostly because A) It’s too far away for the enemy and his group, and they can’t be bothered, B) They didn’t spot you (thanks to the obscure nature of the path) or best of all C) They don’t even know the path exists and won’t be expecting you to take it. People in the C category tend to stand at the tunnel mouth in Warsong Gulch and shout rude words when they realised the flag carrier ‘got past them somehow.’ Here’s a quick guide to the paths a flag carrier could take in WSG, enough to flummox even the brightest of Blood Elves.

I recommend the Blue path. I’m also not liable if this gets you killed; but feel free to write and tell me if it does.

Don’t stick out like a Tauren at a Gnomish Tea Party

There’s a certain kind of moronic behaviour that might not seem moronic from the perspective of the moron. That is to say: Blithely announcing your presence to all and sundry. Here is my list of offending behaviours, in order of how hard your team-mates should hit you if you’re caught doing it.

  • /Yelling anything. Outside or inside an enemy city, out in the open, whatever. You’ve just notified most of the zone that you are in the area looking for trouble, and in a city raid, that can be the difference between success and failure.
  • AFKing randomly. You may have picked up this anti-AFK whilst PvPing vibe in my previous posts; let me re-instate it. An AFK target with PvP on is a sitting duck. Even decent players are tempted to descend upon an AFK enemy, blades whirling and spells a flying. There’s something about those 3 letters that brings out the worst in most people.*
  • Remember my handy box grid on what types of player there are? Don’t be a blue. Anyone half decent will spot you a mile off and head for you like a moth to a candlelight.
  • No massive mounts. Nothing is easier to click on than a Tauren riding a Mammoth with Bloodlust, conversely nothing is harder to target than a Gnome on a Mechano-strider with Noggenfogger shrinker on.

That’s about it really. If you’re wondering where the title of this post came from, why it sounded familiar, or simply want to see that famous Monty Python Sketch again, the link is here. Warning: Contains Dark British Humor. Those of a sensitive disposition should return to whining on the forums about Varian Wrynn’s Haircut.

Hide on!


*I’m aware that it’s technically now <Away> rather than <AFK.> However, technically be damned, if you’re AFK you’re AFK.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 6:47 pm

    Operation Gnomeregan presents Alliancers with an additional tool in this regard – the Gnomish Pride trinket or whatever it is called – changes you to a Gnome for a few minutes. 4 hour cooldown, but still. I’m sure there are useful and inventive ways to use it.

    Now watch them turn it off in BGs and arenas, if they haven’t already.

    • September 14, 2010 12:23 am

      There’ll always be Noggenfogger and Pygmy Oil for the same purpose 😀

      And @Zal: Zomg, totally missed this post, was browsing my reader and caught the title and you know my obsession for Monty Python :p brilliant post too. I actually took the blue path.. but to the left of the map rather than the right when I got Ironman. Nobody even challenged me for the flag, nobody else tried to take it, one person tried to attack me and got owned, nobody noticed I was there! It was great. Those side paths are really awesome for flag carrying.

      • September 14, 2010 7:17 am

        @Grimmtooth, Gnomish Pride can’t be activated whilst in a BG, but you can enter with the buff on. Not sure if that’s a bug or not. And most certainly all form changes are disabled in arena… except for the Deathbringers will trinket transformation, which doesn’t defeat the purpose of the whole venture, obviously. ¬¬ But on the whole, yeah, transformation stuff is a fun way to throw people off. Sindorei orb works in BGs, I wonder if I’ve ever not been attacked in a split second by a Horde wondering if I was just a mind-controlled toon 😛

        @Jaedia Yes indeed 😀 It’s rather startling how many people will either focus on a zerg somewhere between the two tunnels or stand slack-jawed at the entrance! Got Ironman myself the same way recently, had a Shadowpriest helping me, random dude, very cool. 🙂

  2. September 13, 2010 8:16 pm

    AFK flag while sitting with a PvP flag. With 3 buddies stealthed around you.

    Good times, playing bait.

    • September 14, 2010 7:19 am

      I’ve done that before, it must be said. Mwahaha. Doesn’t even have to be AFK, I’ve seen my base is a lot more likely to be attacked if I’m just sitting down with my back turned to the action. Doesn’t mean I’m watching their every move, or indeed, stealthed people are sharpening their knives as people draw closer!

  3. September 14, 2010 1:37 pm

    AFK = A Free Kill

  4. September 16, 2010 8:19 pm

    In past experiences where I take the blue path (well, the mirror of the blue path) in the 10-19 bracket… I still get attacked a lot. >.>;; I think a lot of twinks who hang out in the 10-19s know to scan the sides while controlling the middle. But perhaps at max level you get more people who don’t know what to look for in WSG.

    Of course, while at 80 I’m probably a blue easy kill, so maybe that has something to do with it. 🙂

    • September 16, 2010 8:23 pm

      Hehe. I had a nasty experience today, ran down the blue path to find 4-5 waiting there. Highly unusual, and painful 😛

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