Adding a Guild PvP Division

I suspect that this is an option that guilds have considered at some point. After all, in Cataclysm, one of the methods guilds can gain reputation and experience is through rated battlegrounds and rated arena. It was something I had considered for a while since a good number of players in the guild do love their PvP. But as it is, I do not have the time to organize players and run the necessary strategies for a successful PvP team. Not only that, I’m the last person in the world who should do any sort of PvP. I only have enough time to invest seriously in raiding or PvPing (and I much prefer raiding). What I do have is the resources and the infrastructure to support a group of dedicated players.

Conquest is now expanding

But I found a solution.

A couple of players in the guild were leaders within the QueueQ cross-realm pre-form group. After a bit of discussion, it was decided we would have both PvE and PvP interests in mind. The commander of the PvP team would have complete control of his group. As long as the recruits he selects adhere to the basic standards and ethics of the guild, they would be welcome. Just because one player is accepted into one part of the guild doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be green lit into the other. A raider shouldn’t expect an immediate invite into a dedicated PvP team and vice versa. Obviously on days where either groups are shorthanded, we’ll consider all of our options. Common sense, right?

Naturally there were a few concerns.

What about players who both raid and want to commit to PvP? Would scheduling affect it? – PvP nights would not coincide during raid nights. They would be held on other days to maximize availability. We also minimize incidents of players having to choose between say arena or raiding to get their points in.
What would the voice infrastructure be like? – I had to rearrange and setup a few extra channels. Now we’ve got two battleground channels and a channel called the waiting room. Any player in the waiting room can be dragged up into the battleground channels when players are needed.
Gear acquisition? – There is a concern that PvP players would want to duck into raids, get PvE weapons, and leave. Loot council helps address that. If we reach a point where our progression oriented players don’t need weapons anymore, then we’d be able to work something out. Otherwise, raiders get priority.

Why PvP?

Why not stick to something simple? Why not just stick to one primary focus of the guild instead of splitting it into two? I guess I wanted to diversify a bit more. It doesn’t hurt to be a little ambitious. Even though they’re not players I have any say in handpicking, I trust the PvP commander has the right people skills and instincts. Not only that, I mentioned earlier about the guild perks. Having multiple methods to gain guild experience will be beneficial in the long run.

Additional exposure

Just like how running an alt raid for a guild can help drive additional exposure, running weekend PvP premades is another way to attract attention. With two capable preform leaders, we could fire off two 15 mans and a 25 man raid at the same time.

Now if players ask whether or not we’re a PvE or PvP guild, I tend to reply with both. I’ll continue to oversee the raiding team along with my officers. Anyone inquiring about PvP gets directed to the PvP leaders. This all looks fine on paper. Now it’s just a matter of determining whether or not it’ll work. I’ll never know unless I try. This is a chance to change up guild beliefs and philosophy for a bit. If PvP battlegrounds is something you’re interested, you might want to check us out.

I do remember reading about one other guild that was going to do the same thing. I can’t remember so I at least know that there’s someone out there who will undergo the same types of problems or issues. Has your guild thought about extending into formal, organized PvP?

Hope for the PvP Healer

Hope for the PvP Healer

If you’re like me (and frankly, you might not be, but I hope you’ll keep reading), you enjoy a good amount of some world PvP.  Beyond Wintergrasp and the Storm Peaks dailies phase, I’m talking about moments like these:

“Oh sh**! STUPID [insert class]”

“What happened? You get ganked?”

“Yeah, I’m just farmin’ [insert mat]…”

“Where are you?”

“I’m out in Sholazar Basin.”

“On the way.”

…and after 20 minutes, you’re in a real world 5v5, 7v9, 20v17, whatever! You can Rebirth, you can Lay on Hands, you can rez at your corpse.  It’s a “No Holds Barred” cage match.  At least, I think that’s the reference.  Wrestling, right?  Kidding.  Anyway, my point is that I’m an avid fan of PvP.  It’s not my main focus, but I certainly spend a decent amount of time in it.

I love PvP, and I hate a skilled rogue.

Now, not because I think they’re OP, but because when a rogue is good, it’s near impossible to survive.  Again, let me say that I’m meaning this more as a compliment and not a QQ thread.  With that “rogue ego stroke”, I’m grateful that an announcement was made (I know, it was back in March) with regard to what we’ve come to call the “stunlock”:

Rogue burst is also scary today because they can deliver it while a target is chain stunned. We’ve also said that’s not a particularly fun place to be (for attacker or defender) and we need to shift rogue defenses away from short-duration immunities (which includes the stuns) and more towards being able to stand toe to toe with other classes a little better.

In a one-on-one standpoint, this was nigh-impossible to survive.  With a Cheap Shot, Kidney Shot, Blind chain, I’ve been forced to just sit and watch my health go from 100% to 0% in a matter of seconds.  Before you all “LoL L2Trinket” me, trust me, I’ve done it.  Like I said, a skilled rogue is a nightmare.

So, in the Rogue Preview put out, this lovely morsel is given:

In PvP, we want to reduce the rogue’s dependency on binary cooldowns and “stun-locks,” and give them more passive survivability in return. One major change is that we’ll put Cheap Shot on the same diminishing return as other stuns. The increase to Armor and Stamina on cloth, leather, and mail gear will help with this goal as well.

Obviously, the intent is to make a rogue tougher to kill, but I look at this from a healer’s standpoint: fewer stuns means more chances for us to survive.

Cataclysm is going to bring about a lot of changes, and we all know the constant struggle to balance PvP and PvE.  Since I’m a fan of both, I’m excited and scared of what the future will bring to the table.

How do you feel about the upcoming changes and how they’ll affect you in the arena/battleground?  Rogue feedback is welcome as well!

 

Email: elder.thespius@gmail.com | Twitter: @Thespius

How to Earn Those Seemingly Impossible Alterac Valley Achievements

av-achievements

Before attempting to shoot for several of these achievements, it is strongly advised that you have the following:

  • AV Preform Enabler installed and ready to go
  • A group of 10-15 friends
  • Several hours to kill

I won’t go into much detail about the AV Enabler. Veteran BG players understand why it’s useful and nearly a requirement in most preforms. There is no exception especially when it comes to AV.

Loyal Defender

This Achievement involves you killing 50 players while defending your general. It’s either going to be Drek or Vann depending on your faction. If you happen to join an AV in progress where you are losing, then it’s the perfect time for you and your crew to make their stand. Ideally, your defense will involve a couple of Death Knights. Have them Scorpion any unsuspecting Horde (or Alliance) players in.

As DPS, strafe in and out of sight as much as possible. Sneak out and try to bait players in, but take care not to get yourself caught outside. Death Grip from Death Knights work both ways.

Line of sight everything as much as possible. There are two columns in the back of Vann’s room which I’ve found perfect for the job. I’d be able to partially conceal myself behind it and still heal players around me. There’s probably something similar in Drek’s room as well.

The most important thing here is to don’t ever release. If you’re lucky, opposing faction members won’t loot your corpse allowing the healers behind you to pick you up manually.

I was able to get this achievement in about 3 minutes after dying and doing the run of shame back into Vann’s room.

Now make like Braveheart and hold!

The Alterac Blitz

Ready for the fastest AV ever? Here’s the roles you’ll need:

  • 2 tanks
  • ~4 healers
  • Miscellaneous DPS

You’ve got six minutes to win Alterac Valley. Once those gates open, your team is on the clock.

This is straight forward, PvP brute force tactics at its finest. With your team assembled and buffed at the gate, mount up and make straight for Drek’s room. Evade, sidestep, and ignore as many Horde as possible. Alliance players will be riding through the Fields of Strife along the west side while the Horde are going the opposite direction along the east.

If you’re lucky, you won’t get stalled heading down. Most of the time you won’t. If you do get held up, there’s nothing more you can do.

Assuming everything goes well, you’ll be staring down Drek and his four tower cronies. When Conquest got this achievement, we did it with 2 Paladin tanks. One of them picked up Drek and dragged him to the back of the room while the other picked up the other 4 tower marshals and peeled them away from Drek’s tank. The goal here is to minimize whirlwind damage as much as possible. Pop a Heroism and pray that your DPS is sufficient to take him down with the allotted time. You might have a few stragglers coming in from behind trying to put a dent in your plans. Dropping fear bombs and other forms of CC should delay them long enough for your strike force to take out Drek.

The other faction won’t even realize what happened. I’ll never forget the disbelief in Battleground chat when Drek died. It felt like Conquest went to Drek while the rest of the other players were working on Galv. Lot’s of “WTFs” and “Whoas” ensued.

Stormpike Perfection

Win Alterac Valley without losing a tower or a Captain. You must also control all of the Horde’s towers.

It is imperative that you do not attack Galv at all. I’ll explain why later.

You’ll be playing a tight checking defense at first. When your team comes screaming out of the gate, set up shop inside Belinda’s room and stave off the initial rush. Stonehearth is going to be assaulted at this point. Once Belinda is clear, head straight to Stonehearth and take it back. Use overwhelming force.

At this point, your team will need to split. The bulk of the forces will be advancing south and slowly capping towers.

Strong communication here is key. Definitely keep a player back on Belinda duty. You can watch from far away and see how many Horde players are going in. If it’s a substantial amount, alert the defense. The defense will be alternating between securing Stonehearth and Belinda. If Horde players manage to reach back, send 2 or 3 players to recap. It’s important to maintain possession of bunkers. If one is in the process of being turned by the Horde, and you manage to reduce their tickets to 0, you won’t get this achievement because you lost control of a tower. Even though they haven’t capture it yet, it won’t matter.

The strategy for the offense is to slowly and systematically capture towers. Note that the Horde have to have enough tickets left for this to happen. For example, if they have 40 tickets left and you still have two towers to cap, you won’t get the achievement. One tower will reduce the tickets to 0 while the other is still in progress. This is why you can’t kill Galv as it would drop their ticket count by 100 and reduce the time you have to capture towers.

We came close once to gaining this achievement but we lost a bunker at the last possible minute. This weekend. That’s my goal for this weekend.

Mind Control in BG’s Forcing Opposing Players to "Lose" Out on Tokens

Want to have revenge on that one player who keeps dogging you in Arathi Basin? Fear not! There is a way! I believe it’s a bug but props to Aylii for bringing it to my attention. I thought this was fixed a while ago but apparently not.

You can force opposing players to only get 1 token instead of 3 when they win. I haven’t exactly verified this myself but this happened to my Guildmate last night. When it’s assured that you’re about to lose in your BG, what you can do is Mind Control a player of the opposing faction and hold onto them until the BG ends. I think the game treats them as a part of your faction when the BG ends. As a result, it awards the amount of tokens based on whether your side wins or loses.

However, it’s a known exploit. It’s been around for a while but I figured I’d reshare it again.

Plain and evil, no?

Preform Leaders Revealed: 6 Ways to Attract Players into your Organized BG Group

Some large creature attacking Theramore

It’s Arathi Basin weekend! I had a total blast last night in this PvP preform. Nowadays, it seems that the only way to win or get any real meaningful honor is in premade groups. I’ve been in my fair share of preforms. Some of them fall apart after 1 or 2 rounds. Others continue going for several hours with a core of people that stay consistent. Usually these PvP groups consist of well geared and knowledgeable players. But like an army, these players need direction in order to be focused into a machine. My preform leader (let’s call him K) was different from other preform leaders. I’ll tell you why.

Embrace Challenge

More often than not, most preforms I participated in had leaders constantly queue between AB and EoTS (tThat’s AB and Eye of the Storm) in the hopes of running into a pickup group. Over time, the amount of honor stemming from easy wins is mitigated by the endless amount of queuing and re queuing. The first thing I noticed about K was that he was willing and eager to go up against other premades. Others in the groups had their doubts, but after we trounced a Tichondrius preform those doubts were erased.

His secret? He didn’t limit his scouting to just what servers the other team was from. He opened the player listing and identified the amount of potential healers they had. That Tichon group only showed 2 druids, 1 Priest, and 1 Paladin. Every other class was DPS only. While there was no guarantee that those 4 players were all healers, it was reassuring to know that they were all the healers they had possible. They were identified and promptly annihilated.

Flexibility

Good commanders lay out and spell out what the purpose of each group is. Great commanders rarely follow them.

K devises 4-1 initial setups against non-preforms and 3-2 setups against preforms. The numbers refer to the amount of nodes that we aim for after the gates open. But after the dust settles and the smoke clears from the initial rush, K rarely forces groups to go to their assigned places. In fact, from his perch in stables, he’s able to direct players to where they are needed most depending on calls. K doesn’t follow the plans that he lays out. He reacts to situations with whatever players are nearby

Enforcement

When K asks for players to come in, he checks them to make sure he’s getting a player that he wants. He ensures that the player coming in is able to fulfill a requirement that we need (DPS, healer, +150 resil). At the moment, armory is down so he had to resort to other players visually inspecting the ones who wanted to get in. It’s his way of helping to ensure that we get quality geared players who aren’t going to get squished. Almost everyone in the raid had 10.5k health unbuffed. I don’t know about you, but I found that reassuring. I think Megan would approve.

Not only that, but he also enforced usage of voice communication. No vent, no group invite.

Repetition

He tried to keep group makeup the same as much as possible. This helped us get to know each other a little better. I noticed that I continued to be paired with Rogues and Warriors. I responded by dropping WF (at least for the Warriors since I’m not sure if Rogues want poisons instead) and Heroisms on first contact. The warriors noticed that I generally stay out of sight when I heal. I’d hide behind some foliage, heal from the blacksmith hut, or even in the water to remain inconspicuous and to not draw attention to myself. They made sure they fought far enough away so I could heal in peace but close enough to intercept any dirty Rogues that found my hiding spot.

K would repeatedly drill players to not only relay that there were horde coming but to how many people were coming. He held them accountable when they failed to pass out necessary information. If K knows the amount of horde that are attacking, then he can respond with a number of our guys to help repel the threat. He verbally calls out players to go to a particular node. He doesn’t ask for volunteers, he assigns them. By doing this, he doesn’t over commit anymore than he has to.

Vocal

K is almost always talking the whole time on vent. He encourages everyone to speak up if they notice something at all. He actively participates and leads. If taking one node clearly isn’t working, he’ll direct people to a different point. If he notices a lot pf players coming to a tower, he’ll relay it too. He repeats everything seen in raid chat for us players who are too busy to read it. If there’s a lull in the battleground, he checks in with every guard at every node to see if everything is okay (some people are shy). There is always a steady stream of useful and relevant information coming to us all the time from him and other players. Everyone else picks up from that and they volunteer any thing that might be of value (ie, 1 guard at farm, looks like a Priest). We know what’s going on where. This allows us to react quicker in anticipation of K’s instructions.

Any monkey can set up macros detailing vent information and assignments. But it takes a true Donkey Kong to deliver wins consistently. If you ever get into an organized group led by a player who is keenly aware of what’s going on, you be sure to add him to your Friends list. If you’re looking to run your own organized groups, set yourself apart from everyone else and earn a reputation. Great commanders are far and few.

Do you participate in organized BG’s often? What has your experience been like? Are you a leader or a follower? What keeps you coming back?


On another note, does anyone know what that big fish is that’s attacking Theramore? It’s gotta be new. Check out that screenshot at the beginning.