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“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.

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.