Tag Archives: pvp

Barrination

So, let’s talk about the Barrens.

My few weeks back in Vanilla left me with two rather uncomfortable memories: being dumb enough to roll on a PvP realm and also being dumb enough to read Barrens chat, which was the Trade of its day.  Fortunately, I’ve since gotten smarter and am on an RP realm in addition to turning off all the channels ever!  So all I really see there nowadays is the yelling of countless Kor’kron commanders and the problems endless Kor’kron caravans are having with that whole staying upright in the face of gravity thing.

There are many ways you can acquire the supplies (wood, oil, meat and stone) you need for the weekly quest/awesome stuff, but there’s pretty much only one way that’s efficient – killing commanders.  Killing regular mobs gets you too few items to be worth the effort considering the damage they do, even if you ignore the fact that you need 150 of each to turn in the quest!  While overturned caravans provide easy looting of said supplies, the map doesn’t update nearly fast enough to make them useful to you whatsoever.  You might accidentally be near one when the map decides to show you where it is, but if you’re not?  Blah!  It’s pointless to go look through the entire zone.  You have a better chance of getting to a commander and trying to help kill it than you do at locating an overturned caravan and looting something from it before Everybody Else does.

Far Away is Safer And a hell of a lot easier.  Or maybe that's the item level talking.

Far Away is Safer
And a hell of a lot easier. Or maybe that’s the item level talking.

You can escort caravans for your faction as well, but there’s one problem – they spawn randomly and in areas that are not always indicated on the map by text or icon, so have fun finding them.  Actually, there are two problems, now that I think about it – the opposite faction can destroy your caravan.  NO THANKS, I NEED LESS FUTILITY IN MY LIFE.

So far, I’ve managed to get Thermalix, Alexalis, Mechalis and Niremere through the requirements for the event title, which includes one run of the weekly quest.  I’ve definitely had the most trouble with Alexalis and Niremere.

Alexa’s problems were almost entirely gear-related – being melee is dangerous since the commanders throw out a lot of damage in their immediate vicinity (especially if everybody misses the interrupts), and the poor girl just kept getting smashed to bits.  Nir, however, had to deal with both low gear AND the threat of getting smashed to bits by the far more numerous Horde.  Blah.

It's the Principle of the Thing There are a lot more Horde here than commanders.

It’s the Principle of the Thing
There are a lot more Horde here than commanders.

My main issue with the “killing commanders” method of gathering is just how easy it is to get flagged by accident, even though WRA is an RP realm.  I’m normally quite careful never to flag myself, as I’m pretty convinced “stranger danger” is totally real when it comes to getting shanked in the back by the opposing faction.  Unfortunately, if some Horde/Alliance happens to be flagged and uses an AoE that I just HAPPEN to get hit by, that’s it, I’m flagged.  If I use an AoE that hits a flagged member of the opposing faction, welp, that’s that.

On most of my characters, I’m pretty competent with single-target attacks and so I’m able to at least avoid flagging myself THAT way.  But poor Nir, poor Nir.  Since she’s a Protection Paladin, my normal mode of operation is GO AND SMASH ALL THE THINGS AND GET ALL THE AGGRO AOE AVENGER’S SHIELD AOE CONSECRATION SMASH HAMMER OF THE RIGHTEOUS SMASH SMASH RAAAR.  This is bad in the Barrens.  Unfortunately, if I change her spec to Retribution (where I am slightly better at attacking with single-target skills but where I am far less capable of good DPS overall), I leave her extremely vulnerable when she does get flagged.  I know, I do better DPS as Protection, WTF.

Thanks to the PvP changes that have taken place (THANK GAWD, I DON’T JUST FALL OVER DEAD and THIS IS AMAZING), getting flagged isn’t ALWAYS an immediate disaster.  Since I’m not terribad at hunter, Therm can actually defend herself now, which is AMAZING.  (Did I mention how it’s AMAZING?  Because it is.)  Mech is fine if she gets flagged.  She’ll Asphyxiate you, get you all good and infected and then Death Strike to survive until somebody else comes along to help.  Alexa never had flagging issues because she was just dead already nine times out of ten.  But Nir?  I just can’t do Ret to save my life.  Last time she got hit by some Tauren DK’s AoE and got flagged, I gave up, stood there and waited to die (which didn’t take long, thanks to bad gear and lots of Horde).  I didn’t even bother to bubble/hearth.  It was like, “GET IT OVER WITH, GAWD, SO I CAN RUN BACK AND LOOT THIS THING.”

Anyhoo, Thermalix managed to loot the Latent Kor’kron Helm and Boots, while Cal donated two shoulder tokens to her.  I was about to squee for IMPROVEMENTS YAY, until I learned that they turn into 489 gear.  Therm’s shoulders, bought after I devoted far too much blood, sweat and tears to the sadistic pandas known as the Golden Lotus, are already 489.  Her helm is 502.  Her boots are 502 (twice over now, thanks to Tortos).

She did waste one shoulder token because she wanted to know what it looked like, but she sent the rest to Mech and Alexa.

CAN I LOOT THIS YET GEEZE Sorry, the loot you are trying to reach is currently unavailable.  Please try again or give up el oh el.

CAN I LOOT THIS YET GEEZE
Sorry, the loot you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again or give up el oh el.

There is ONE THING that I really want to happen in the Barrens RIGHT NOW.  MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR MULTIPLE PEOPLE TO LOOT THE COMMANDERS AT ONCE.  GAWD!

“Derp vs Derp,” or, “In Which Prinnie Finds Hope”

Fel Reaver Ruins, Eye of the Storm.

Her fellow Hordies left Therm and her pet alone, just like always.

She should’ve been used to it by now, but Therm was still far less composed than Roffles the  Zen Master Goat.  Thermalix just couldn’t feel comfortable being alone, because “alone” meant she was the ONLY target in the area.  She couldn’t enjoy the silence, because silence sometimes hid a rogue, and rogues always caused sheeyit to go bad real fast for her.  Therm didn’t LIKE sheeyit going bad real fast!  She ran back and forth, tossing flares and traps to keep herself occupied while nervously awaiting the inevitable stun from the back.

Empty Is Good It means the people that might kill me are somewhere else.

Empty Is Good
It means the people that might kill me are somewhere else.

She could see the others fighting over the flag far below, in roads like always. For a moment, she debated yelling something like, “get out of the freaking roads and get another freaking base, Gawd” for amusement’s sake, but instead she decided to avoid drawing attention to herself.  Therm checked the nearby bridge.  It was empty, which was comforting.  Unfortunately for her sense of safety, however, she realized there was a guy on a horse standing right behind her.

Oh.  MY.  GAWD!  A HORSE.  A horse meant Alliance, of course!

The small portion of her brain devoted to logic registered “Death Knight” and “Night Elf,” but could contribute little more.  Therm wheeled around, leaped backwards with Disengage and started shooting.  Muscle memory alone chose Serpent Sting and Concussive Shot.  It had to do this without help because the rest of her mind was busy steeling itself for instant, Gawdawful, agonizing death.  It was coming.  It was going to be swift, merciless and 100% unpleasant.

It took her a moment to realize that the Death Knight wasn’t already gleefully jumping on her poor corpse, brutally smashing her skull into the dirt.  Actually, she still had some health.  Wait, WTF?  She was ALIVE?

As the more of her brain function shifted from “OH GOD GOING TO DIE HELP HELP HELP” to “I HAVE A CHANCE TO SURVIVE THIS,” she began to realize that the Death Knight might actually LOSE.  He definitely wasn’t a regular and/or good PvPer, given the way he sometimes tried to take Roffles out in order to get to her.   She clearly had the DPS advantage if she could keep him at range.  If he used Asphyxiate, she could use Bestial Wrath.  If he Death Gripped her, she could just Disengage.   Concussive Shot and Ice Trap would slow him from getting to her, just like the way she soloed mobs back in the day.  Potions and healthstones had a cooldown of eternity, so if she could keep him from Death Striking pretty much ever … why, she could … she could kill him.

%@#$ YES.

So she Disengaged off the hill to the road below and shot him dead from there.

She kept Fel Reaver Ruins.  She – Thermalix, floortanker extraordinaire – kept it!  She LIVED.  This result apparently didn’t sit so well with her erstwhile opponent, who thought a tower with one defender really OUGHT to fall, especially if that defender was a goblin with a goat for a pet.  He came back – and this time he remembered to bring his undead minion with him.

So Therm shot him some more because what else are you going to do in a situation like that?  Fortunately, Goa and Cal were able to make a visit to Fel Reaver Ruins, and with their PvP weaponry and skills, they greatly assisted her in speeding up the Death Knight’s second demise.

By now the entirety of her brain had come to realize that she was still alive.  The information overloaded her mental capacity to the point where she was capable of saying either “THIS DK HATES MEEEEE” or “as;lfjas;lfja;slfjaslfja;lsfkja;lsf,” but not much else.  She stopped running in circles, mostly because it was really hard to run in circles while simultaneously freaking out about the ENORMOUS RESPONSIBILITIES AND RISKS OF LIVING.  What do you DO if you’re ALIVE!?  What do you DO with yourself if you’re not waiting to resurrect?

It figured that the Death Knight chose this moment to show up again, this time with friends.

Fortunately for Therm, the movement of four or so bodies away from the roads and up to Fel Reaver Ruins (combined with her panicked squeals of “INC FR!! SERIOUSLY!!”) drew attention, and the invaders were followed by three or four members of the Horde who were more experienced in the fine arts of PvP.  Thanks to them, the Alliance players were dead – and Therm was still alive – by the time Cal and Goa were able to come back to save her again.

For one moment, there was understanding.

PvP didn’t flat out suck.  Suddenly, PvP was no longer an insane exercise in futility that could only be mastered by engaging in more of the same.  For once, PvP did not feel like the game was taking a hammer to my fragile glass soul, beating the shards into a fine dust and then forcing me to chew on my soul’s grainy remains.

I actually stood a snowball’s chance in hell.  I could do something.  Maybe not much, and maybe nothing real significant, but something nonetheless.

Good job, Blizzard.  Seriously.

As someone who has never had a PvP gear advantage and as a result someone who gets more or less utterly obliterated over, over and over again, I love the changes with this patch.  I survived one on one against someone of similar (low) skill level.  Mr. DK wasn’t able to rofflestomp me in the face while laughing his ass off.  Now, Mr. DK AND his friends could have and would have rofflestomped me had they not been met with equal force.  A superior PvPer could rofflestomp me still, no problem.  Anybody with an actual PvP weapon could easily kick my ass, patch changes or no.

Healers are totally OP now, they say.  Well, I was never able to put a dent in ’em in the first place, what with that four second fear, shields and so on, so I don’t really see how “now” is worse than “before.”  People with LFR/Raid gear are more OP than they deserve to be, they say.  Like I haven’t effing worked to get this gear, I say.  Go ahead and complain about people showing up in PvE gear – but you won’t hear me whining about the people who run heroics, LFR, actual raids and scenarios in their PvP sets because it’s all they got.  You show up wearing something that’s reasonable for your spec, and it’s good enough.

I, Prinnie, shot a DK and got the killing blow on him twice.  I got those killing blows without fancy PvP gear on, but that didn’t make my two killing blows any less deadly for the DK.  I’m not crowing about my amazing victories here, and these two kills do not make me think I know what I’m doing or am suddenly an actual honest to Gawd PvPer.  They’re hugely important for me, however, and killing blows like these could possibly be important for other PvE folks who would like to try the “other half” of the game.

I could not enjoy PvP before.  About the best I could do was not outright hate it to the point of cussing up a storm while feeling horribly stuck and/or dead in the Eye of the Storm.  Gearing up by getting myself ripped to pieces over and over again just seemed like a really @#$%ing bad unfun waste of time.  How the eff do you learn to PvP if all you do is run in, get stunned, get killed, and spend the next fifteen seconds waiting to res – repeatedly?  It isn’t fun, the experience isn’t useful, and it overall sucked.

I can’t say I enjoy PvP yet – my feelings of bitter angry frustration due to past endless rofflestomping run pretty deep.  Also, my Dinoland battleground will never happen.  But simply “having a chance” of surviving long enough to defeat someone else makes a huge difference in my perspective.  I’m willing to keep trying bit by bit until I suck a little less, because it no longer feels like somebody’s trying to shove a fork in my eye for fun.

Pain vs Potential

They Both Have a Plan One's more optimistic than the other.

They Both Have a Plan
One’s more optimistic than the other.

I am not a natural PvPer.  With the exception of mosquitoes who must and will die the moment they get within my reach, I generally operate somewhere between a “live and let live” type philosophy and a “leave me the hell alone” sort of lifestyle.  I don’t derive much enjoyment from the notion of beating an opponent, skilled or otherwise – I’d just rather not deal with said opponent in the first place.

My friend Goa has been attempting to get me more into PvP these days. Because I think that you should be open minded about things and I like to hang out with my buddies, I agreed to give it more of a shot.  He crafted a set of PvP armor and a good axe to get Mechalis started, but overcoming my personality and habits is still uphill work.  So far, he can get me into maybe three or four random battlegrounds, max.

Usually, one or more of the following will happen multiple times:

  1. I finally get to the site of action, only get my head smashed in by four or five different players at once before I get more than one skill off.
  2. I get rogued in the back, and have to stand there stunned while I get my head smashed in by four or five different players at once.
  3. I get rogued in the back, and the rogue proceeds to cheerily mince my kidneys before dispatching me with a solid stab to the spine.
  4. I get left alone at Blood Elf tower and I lose the joint to the Alliance.
  5. A priest will let me try to smack them down, then get bored with me and Fear me.  By the time I am un-Feared, said priest is gone, and so is my dignity.
  6. A boomchicken will laugh at me.  THEY MOONFIRE ME EVEN!
  7. I get left alone at the Farm and I lose the joint to the Alliance.
  8. I get really cheesed off by the way all my opponents insist on jumping around like monkeys on crack.  STAND STILL WHILE I WHACK AWAY AT YOU FOR GAWD’S SAKE, IT’S NOT LIKE I’M GOING TO GET ANYWHERE ANYWAY!
  9. I make the mistake of reading the bg chat.
  10. I make the mistake of responding in bg chat.
  11. I make the mistake of doing both in the same bg.
  12. I try to kill the healer, but nobody else is helping me and I’m terrible, so the healer just keeps on healing his/herself back to full.
  13. Speaking of healers: I get rogued in the back, and I survive the initial stun and ensuing damage to my vital organs, but while I am trying to murder said rogue in a blind rage, a healer comes up and heals the blasted cad back to full health.
  14. I click fruitlessly at the warlock candy or potion button, waiting for the rogue to stop rogueing me in the back already so I can at least pretend to do something here.  THEN I DIE.
ROGUED AGAIN Rogues, they're like an infestation OF DEATH.

ROGUED AGAIN
Rogues, they’re like an infestation. OF DEATH.

I get that the element of combat (and hence regular personal death) is part and parcel of PvP.  I’m fine with dying, I really am.  It’s just that I suffer from a feeling of intense hopelessness when I’m dead two seconds after waiting twenty-eight seconds to resurrect, or when I die immediately after running all the way to where the fighting is.  I end up feeling frustrated that others can smash me to pieces so easily when I can barely put a damn dent in their armor.

A lot of it’s skill, which I lack. (I’m not gonna lie about that.)  But it definitely helps to be alive (and not stunned/feared) in order to use what skill you have!  Goa assures me that PvP is much more fun if you have the gear to survive it, but there are two major problems for me in this approach.  First, I had hoped the fancy PvP set he made would make a clear difference in living when compared to wearing full PvE stuff, but it seems that the best use of the crafted PvP set is upping gearscore to get into LFR.  Second, since it pretty much is like wearing tin foil when actually PvPing, that must mean you either have to gear up in tandem with everyone at the beginning of the expansion (which is what Goa did), or have such a burning love of PvP/proving your skills/being the best/SOMETHING that you’re willing to get your ass handed to you in the same settings day in, day out, until you finally can afford the fancy gear that will actually protect said ass.

Reflecting on my weak attempts so far, I can think of TWO times I had discernible fun.

  1. Violaryn somehow managed to get the flag from the Alliance base all the way back to the Horde one without getting horribly mangled.  I am pretty sure the Alliance was sleeping at the keyboard.
  2. I got my camera angle turned around taking a picture, and in trying to straighten it up, I fell off the boat in Strand of the Ancients.  I had to spend the entire bg swimming in to shore.

The first makes PvP sound promising – if I could do that more, that’d be great.  The second makes me think that if I find swimming to shore that much more enjoyable, I may never like PvP.

But I don’t want to give up just yet.  So HOW do you make PvP fun if you’re incompetent at it and very undergeared?  Here are my ideas:

  1. Go in wearing nothing, because underwear always makes things funnier, and it’s not like your gear does a darn tootin’ thing for you anyway
  2. Attempt to screenshot the most spectacular deaths ever, like being mind controlled off a cliff while on fire while wearing one of the “Love is in the Air” holiday dresses while riding a Swift Forest Strider or something
  3. Go in wielding something stupid, like a Dark Herring, and really believe that people notice it
  4. Magically convince Blizzard to make a bg set on the Isle of Giants, where you can use Primal Direhorns to literally squish other players or Primal Devilsaurs to eat those same Primal Direhorns, because everything is better with dinosaurs
  5. Magically convince Blizzard to separate groups by gearscore as well as level
  6. Go in so drunk, you can’t see a thing

I’m thinking 1 and 6 sound the most reasonable.

“Guild Gladiator” Set, or, “The Rofflestomp” Set

"Guild Gladiator" Set

“Guild Gladiator” Set

“Guild Gladiator” Set

Class: Paladin

H: Golden Circlet | S: Furious Gladiator’s Ornamented Spaulders | Cl: Mantle of Fury
Ch: Breastplate of Wracking Souls (Renowned Guild Tabard) | Wa: Stormforged Belt | L: Furious Gladiator’s Ornamented Legplates
G: Furious Gladiator’s Ornamented Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: Wrathful Gladiator’s Greaves of Triumph

Shield: Brutal Gladiator’s Barrier
1h Sword: Fang of Truth

Thoughts: DISAPPOINTED HOPES AND DREAMS started this set, but then gorgeousness finished it.

So basically, I’ve been “working” on a different set for Niremere for oh, I think … twenty four weeks or so by now?  It’s complete except for the gloves, which are from a raid with a weekly lockout WHICH NEVER DROP.  She was wearing the incomplete set when Theramore was first nuked off the map, and she’s been wearing it ever since (the gloves will drop next week … hope springs eternal).  But I was getting tired of wearing it without the gloves, and heck, maybe they weren’t dropping BECAUSE I was wearing it.  You know, don’t tempt fate and all that jazz.

Simultaneously, I decided to start tanking on Niremere again.  I accordingly assembled a bunch of tanking gear, which of course didn’t match AT ALL.  At some point I picked up a Renowned Guild Tabard to cover the chest because of the ACK NOT MATCHING, which is when I realized that damn – that’s one hot tabard!

The Furious Ornamented Gladiator’s stuff matched well, I thought, and although normally, the Breastplate of Wracking Souls would never go, all you see are the dark sleeves and the high neck – so it works.

The problem I experienced with this set was more of my own doing than anything else.  Since I didn’t really want to aim for something that involved yet another raid with a weekly lockout (Ulduar, I’m looking at you), I decided sure, I’ll PvP for that pair of boots and shield.  It may be painful, but at least I’m guaranteed to get it.  (Side note: my current quibble is that the gems on the shoulders are blue, while the ones on the shield are green.  I’m telling my OCD side to shut the hell up.)

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Apparently, Alliance PvP is le suck (or so I’m told), so coping with the weekly lockout and my bad luck might’ve been easier.

Everybody Just Shut UpThat goes for me too.  BEING SMART ON THE INTERNET, IT DOES NOTHING

Everybody Just Shut Up
That goes for me too. BEING SMART ON THE INTERNET, IT DOES NOTHING

ROFFLESTOMPED.

HELP I'M GETTING ROFFLESTOMPEDAnybody?  Hello?  No?  Well ok then.

HELP I’M GETTING ROFFLESTOMPED
Anybody? Hello? No? Well ok then.

ROFFLESTOMPED AGAIN.

Reverse Rofflestomp FailGOOD GAWD THIS GUY DROVE ME NUTS.

Reverse Rofflestomp Fail
GOOD GAWD THIS GUY DROVE ME NUTS.

I COULDN’T ROFFLESTOMP THIS DUDE AND HIS LIGHTWELL!  URGH!  He was just chilling behind this wall by the flag, merrily healing anybody who grabbed it.  So I tried to punch him, but when he didn’t shield himself, he pulled up a Lightwell that had about 1/3rd my HP and because he can, you know, heal in addition to that (and so can I) – we pretty much entered a total stalemate.  I had to get a friend to come over and help me evict him from the premises, because NOBODY ELSE WAS PAYING ATTENTION.

In good news, I got the boots and shield.  I just lost all faith in humanity (again).

“Grasp of Vengeance” Set

"Grasp of Vengeance" Set

“Grasp of Vengeance” Set

“Grasp of Vengeance” Set

Class: Mage

H: Titan-Forged Hood of Dominance | S: Vengeful Gladiator’s Silk Amice| Cl: Gilded Thorium Cloak
Ch: Tarred Robe | Wa: Clutch of Andros | L: Not shown
G: Black Mageweave Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: Sorcerer’s Slippers

Status: Finished

Thoughts: Originally, I wanted these fancypants purple shoulders that glowed, but then somebody gave me a reality check and pointed out that idea was probably insane because it required killing a boss waaaay in the Black Temple.  Furthermore, it’s not like I can expect a whole lot of assistance at the present moment, since Caliverne is gone until the end of December/beginning of January.  (Also, what is up with everything I want right now being from the Black Temple?)  Oh.  Okay.  Well, these shoulders share the same design and are within my reach if I am willing to throw myself off a cliff repeatedly by going into PvP.  I SWEAR TO GOD GUYS DON’T LEAVE ME ALONE ON THE FARM DON’T LEAVE MEEEEEE YES WE LOST THE DAMN FARM WHY ARE YOU SURPRISED I TOLD YOU WE WOULD I SAID DON’T LEAVE ME ALONE HERE JEEBUS.

The hood was also a PvP thing (AHAHAHA I’VE TAKEN THE FARM BACK SINGLE HANDEDLY YAAAAY OH WAIT SHEEYIT OH GAWD OH GAWD THE AGONY), which posed a different problem in that I could only get it if the Horde held the fortress in Wintergrasp.  For the longest time, I swear they held everything but!  There was no way I was gonna go in and try to “help.”  If I can’t save the farm, there’s no freaking way I can land a fortress.

I’m currently using the Clutch of Andros to tie in the shoulders some more (the dark gray/black color), but I’m not sold on it.

Proof for the Future

The Art of PvP

The Art of PvP
I don’t get it.

Here is image evidence that I did, in fact, go into PvP, and got myself totally mauled in the process.  It just now occurred to me that the two rogues stabbing me in the back are wearing almost the exact same outfit.  They also stabbed me in near perfect unison.  (Synchronized killing: the World of Warcraft variant on synchronized swimming?)