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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.