Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Like I'm Doing Arenas In A Movie Theater.

"I'm sorry I didn't see that guy attacking us... my monitor is too big. I had to look way over there to the right."

That's basically something I had to say the other day. See my wonderful wife Rytes decided that because I'm one of the most handsome men on the planet, not to mention an awesome dad, I deserve something nice for Christmas. So just as the snow was starting to come down here in Portland I got a ride to a store and brought home a 24' widescreen monitor. Now I know there are some people who have larger, I could have bought a larger one, but for the price and features they didn't have what I was looking for. I'm glad I didn't though because honestly if this were any bigger, it would be too big.

The first couple of days that I sat down in front of this monster, the glow being bright enough to light the room behind me, I actually had trouble playing WoW. Not just because my eyes kind of hurt due to not having adjusted to so much... stuff... being in front of me, but because now everything is in a different spot. The fine muscle memory I had developed for moving the mouse to click things like my bags or certain spells was useless. I also had to turn up the sensitivity of my mouse so that it didn't require large sweeping motions to move the cursor from one side of the screen to the other. The biggest problem was that the health bars, minimap, and chat logs were all spread out. Before on my 17" monitor I could fix my eyes to the center of the screen and basically see everything at once... now I have to actually look around the screen. It might sound like a pain but after a couple of days I'm used to it, my eyes no longer hurt and my clicking skills are back... besides... it's worth it... it's 24" widescreen.

WoW business has been the usual, running heroics to gear up, except now a guildmate of mine, Lilim, has reached level 80 on his Death Knight. We've been running them together and he's doing great, especially since he's cruising around in quest greens and blues. Then we got bored and decided to start a 2v2 arena team... this has been interesting to say the least.

Our first couple of matches we were completely destroyed within a minute. Usually everyone would target me being the clothie and with the difficulty of kiting two characters, especially like a warlock/pally or rogue/hunter combo, things didn't work out well. I got fed up and decided to leave behind the badge gear I was rocking, drop around 1800g and buy the mats for a full Frostsavage set. I'm convinced that tailoring is punishment as well, because I only gained 9 skill points off using all this stuff. This is what 1800g in tailoring mats looks like (plus a few extras I didn't feel like moving out of the picture).

Using this set I've lots a LOT of haste, about 2k int, and 200 spellpower. I did however gain 2.5k health, 300 resilience, and around 9% crit. I've got to say I am really disappointed that it doesn't look cooler. In fact most of the high end cloth gear seems to have basically the same look as random quest rewards. I'm sure part of it is because I'm Undead and so everything is tattered and has bones sticking out, but I I mean come on... where are my crazy looking outfits... I want some spikey shoulders... even if casters have no use for spikes.

A respec was also required. The first few matches I was rocking my pure 71 point frost build, which I destroy 5-mans and heroics with, but I needed to dip into arcane. I took out some points in improved water elemental, improved blizzard, and I don't remember what else. I then did the standard frost pvp build which took me down into the arcane tree to get counterspell with the 4 second silence. I then had to redo my keybindings which I'm still getting used to and has honestly cost us a couple of matches (WHERE THE HELL IS MY WATER ELEMENTAL!? DOH! THAT'S ICY VEINS NOT COLD SNAP!).

So forget the theorycrafting behind the frost mage/DK combo. It just doesn't work out the way people think. We are two dps classes going up against combos that make much more sense. Basically every fight starts with both of the opponents charging at me, I don't care if it's a warrior and a holy priest, even the priest is smiting me. This left me running, blowing my CD's and basically trying to stay alive for very long, which I ended up failing at. They would ignore Lilim and whatever death knighty stuff he was doing and focus completely on me.

Now it's not as if either of us are new to PvP. We've both been PvPing since before there was an honor system... we've just never done arenas. It also didn't help that Lilim was playing a Death Knight, which means less play time than any other class he's had and was wearing those quest reward items I mentioned earlier. Gear was an obvious problem, especially since I could identify some of the pieces our opponents were using... they were armed to the teeth.

We were getting frustrated with our losing streak, trying to figure out what we were doing wrong aside from our class combo not being optimal. We did come up against a bunch of gimmick teams, for instance we got completely destroyed by two tree druids and their army of little trees... some combos we couldn't figure out how to handle... especially a certain priest/hunter combo we kept facing.

As we sat complaining about how we've PvP'd for years and world PvP being much different from arenas we began for formulate a strategy that worked for us. Both of us being more than seasoned PvP veterans who can hold their own against most opponents we began turning every match into two 1v1 matches instead of a 2v2. We would select our targets, I'd use my tricks to kite and otherwise incapacitate one of them while he finished off the other, then we had a 2v1. It may seem like basic strategy to seasoned arena veterans but to the two of us it was a new concept. We had completely re-worked our thinking of the fights.

After about 12 fights with scattered wins, we began performing much better. Even against teams we had already faced who had destroyed us... like the priest/hunter duo. I was surprised at how well we did in some cases. There was a druid/warrior combo which we completely wrecked every time we faced them. I would fly my warrior kite, keep him away from Lilim while I helped counterspell and spellsteal the druid... then we'd finish the warrior. The best match was when we faced another frost mage/DK team. The mage and I died first having basically killed each other with the help of our DK partners, then it was left to Lilim and the other DK. Lilim was a small percentage of health above the other DK and killed him, at which point the DK turned into his zombie thing... and ended up killing Lilim. That's when my teammate came back as his zombie and ended up winning us the match with 12% health if I remember correctly. After that match every time we faced that combo they would isntantly leave the arena once they realized who we were.

As it stands now we're on a mission to get Lilim some gear, get our rogue Stiletto to 80 for 3v3's, and keep working on our arena skills. It was nice to see an obvious improvement over the course of 30 or so matches. It's like leveling up but without an xp bar. I'm completely addicted to arenas and I can't see myself ever not doing them in the future... especially if I keep getting better.

Oh and I little shout out to Besnell, the 80 mage on The Venture Co who messaged me in game after reading my blog. Hope work wasn't too boring and sorry I didn't post this earlier... you could have had something to read.

42 comments:

Kammorremae said...

Arena PvP is always a smack to the face the first few times. Some people get so caught up magebashing they beat themselves by ignoring the other player. And that's true of any game, not just WoW or GW.

Having to respec to achieve a viable PvP build blows, but you certainly sound like you went all out on it.

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