Monday, December 19, 2005

Arathi Basin Notes

In AB, there are two main strategies that seem to work:

1) capture and hold 3 bases

2) capture and hold 3 bases, then make offensive strikes to take the weaker of the remaining two, lose it, then take the other, lose it; rinse, repeat

Although #2 might seem silly, both methods are viable, depending on your overall raid group makeup, and more specifically your small team makeup. Most AB groups go with the default 5/5/5, with each team loosely assigned to go cap and defend a base. Two or three usually end up defending while the others go run off to find their personal fortunes elsewhere (often dying quickly as a result).

Theoretically, if you can cap and hold 3 bases the entire game, you will win, albeit slowly. Assuming you have five fairly strong players on each base, and the horde can't organize a full assault, you can generally hold out. If the horde do launch a full assault, that leaves their other base open, and you can just move your newly dead there, and wait again for the next assault.

So, there are two main arguments that I see people yelling about in /raid while this is being attempted. One is, "no one move from your base, total D on three, and we win, don't go try capping other bases!" The other is, "yes, we need to hold, but we also need to keep the horde on D on the bases they have now so they can't mount a full assault!" Of course, I cleaned up the arguments a bit.

Both, perhaps surprisingly, are right! But if you were the leader, which one would you do? (assuming anyone would listen to you). Well, that's where a guild raid comes in handy. You know your group's strengths and weaknesses, and you can assess the strength of the opponent. Based on how easily you've been holding the three bases, you should be able to determine whether you can afford to take people off of defense to mount small assaults to keep the horde on defense.

I don't know how many times during those games that I was either assaulting or defending the blacksmith (take the blacksmith, it's worth it!) and just watched 4-5 horde standing, unmoving, at the farm flag. They weren't moving because if they did, and they came to help their comrades try to take the blacksmith or the mill, they knew that one of us would sneak back and ninja their flag while we mounted a small assault at their front door. This, I'm thinking, is great! I have a guaranteed minus four horde trying to pound me!

Enough of that.

On to tactics. (strategy = big picture, tactics = small picture)

Take a guess, if you dare, what I shout about most to the people who play nearby me?

Go on, guess.

No, it's not "HEAL ME!"

Ah, "Morons!" is a good guess, but that's not it.

Ah, finally, you got it. It's "KILL THE PRIEST!!!!"

Every skirmish I get in, everyone does what they always do. They attack the warrior first, then the rogues, then the shamans, then maybe the druids, and then the priests. Oh, but wait. By the time they get the warrior to half health, we're all dead. Because the warrior has like 3-4 totally untouched healers! Arrgh!

The horde has the same damn problem! Hah! As soon as I got with a healer that actually saw me as an asset that shouldn't be left to die immediately upon horde attacking (rare!), just a handful of us decimated every single horde attempt to retake the farm and the blacksmith. The farm was my favorite. There were horde swarming us. Every single one of them was trying to tap the flag. Every time someone tapped it, I tapped them. I did the unroguely thing by switching targets just so I could get all the horde near the flag interrupted. When I interrupted them, they figured they needed to get rid of me first. So, instead of tapping the flag again, they went 1v1 with me. GOOD!

Why was this good? They totally ignored the druid who "found" me and kept me from dying. End result? None could even come close to matching my DPS, so all I did was focus on one, whack him till he was dead, then the next, then the next, all the while staying barely alive thanks to the druid. I didn't have to think about running away, or how I hadn't had a healing potion in days, or anything. I was totally uninterrupted, and nothing survived.

Why did this happen?

No one attacked the druid! Hah! See, the moment a horde puts the heat on my healer, I'm SOL. I would have taken down one or two of them, but then I'd be done unless I could get to the druid and protect him. Surrounded by horde, that would be difficult.

We just need to reverse this mentality and totally focus on eliminating healers.

There was one undead priest in a few of the games I kept hunting. She should have died about 20 times by my hands alone. However, every single ally around me totally ignored the priest and concentrated on every single other horde.

Okay, given the choice, do you fight a druid in bear form or a priest? A shaman in lion form or a priest? A shaman in lion form or a shaman in humanoid form? A shapechanged druid or humanoid druid? A shapechanged druid or a priest? Pick any combination, and your answer should always be the same (with some exceptions).

You take out the humanoid healers first. Priests first, druids second, shamans third. Priest are 100% healers, and have the mana to do so AND protect themselves, but they cannot withstand a bashing by 2-3 melee classes. Once they're out of the way, at least one of the shapechanging classes will have to convert back to humanoid in order to do any healing. Ones that are already in humanoid form are there for one of two reasons 1: crowd control or 2: healing. If a druid or shaman shifts back to humanoid, what do you think they're about to do? Ever duel a druid? Yeah, HEAL. Either themselves or an ally. Take out the humanoid druids first. They're surprisingly soft. Shaman are a bit meatier, but they heal a lot less than druids. Take them out next.

In a skirmish, I've literally ignored one warrior, one shaman, and one druid who were all trying to pound on me just to get a priest. Since that time I actually had some support, I took down the priest. Then the druid, then the shaman, then the warrior. Since priests love to run away, the warrior had a hard time landing shots on me and couldn't build up enough rage to make a difference, and the other classes just couldn't keep up with the druid that was healing me and my dodges. What we ended up with was a tank. And my gear sucks, too! hah

What would have happened had the warrior, shaman, and druid ignored me and gone after my healer? We'd all be dead and we probably wouldn't have even gotten the priest.

So, it's not as if my tactics were perfect, but they took advantage of the horde doing the same thing wrong that we always do.

Remember: Healers first.
Then semi-healers.
Then soft targets.
Then hard targets.

On my oldest server, there was this tauren warrior who became the most notorious on the server. He was very good at pvp on his own, but he also attracted a following. He got to the point where he had a 4-10 priest escort everywhere he went. Entire parties of equal level alliance were slaughtered just by him and his priestly following. The priests all had assigned themselves duties within their group, so that they weren't double-healing each other or wasting mana otherwise, but each priest had another priest to watch out for. Basically, if you saw this guy, you ran. And ran, and ran. I don't know anyone who didn't hate him.

Dunno where that was going. But shows the relationship between melee classes and priests, and the importance to cut that link quickly.


Oh, one other tactical thing:

Sometimes I rez and then run to the "happening" scene and there's a skirmish going on. Before I get even close to anyone, I've targeted all the horde in the skirmish. I'm looking for:
-anyone 30% or lower in health

If I see a healer, I determine whether that healer is in an actively healing capacity in the skirmish. Then I determine whether anyone has engaged the healer. If no one has, then that healer is the most dangerous enemy in that skirmish, and that's my target. Even if I don't kill the healer, I've perhaps saved my teammates a few seconds and given them the opportunity to finish off their quarries without the enemy being fully healed all of a sudden. Then they can come help me finish off the healer.

If the healer is preoccupied already, I look for a target with low health. (or even a low-level target). These I can usually take out with just a few hits, no matter what their class, as long as they don't have a supporting healer. So, if I've determined they're not going to be healed, I jump right in and finish them off.

Am I breaking my earlier rule about healers first? No. Modifying it, perhaps, but the rule of take out the "weakest" comes into play, since even the weakest do full damage. If I'm sure I can take out a weaker opponent, I will do so quickly so my teammates can get some relief and focus on the other opponents. Remember, I only do this if I can either kill in one hit, or if the enemy healer is fully preoccupied and won't be able to heal anyone.


Blogger Shadowgrim said...

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 2:35:00 AM  
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 3:35:00 AM  
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 8:06:00 AM  
Blogger Valdesta said...

Wow, excellent advice. I'm pretty new to the PvP scene and am not good at quickly targetting a bunch of players to see what they are and what shape they're in. I guess I'll head into WSG and do some special work of that before I move into the 30-39 category in 2 levels... back to where I'm a mere distraction to my opponent ;)


Wednesday, January 25, 2006 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Pluto's Dad said...

I know this is an old article but..
as a priest, somewhat ironically I often find myself shouting to the raid "kill the priest!"

So often I get ignored and heal over and over until the enemy is dead. I find, if I stick to heal-over-time spells, I REALLY get ignored, they don't even notice unless they see a big jump in health.

The only time I get targetted is if I'm playing against an organized guild raid. They know what they're doing usually.

Though yesterday, in a PUG I was quite happily suprised when the others on my team actually protected me when I got targetted. That almost never happens in PUGs.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Vash said...

This only works, when they don't defend their healers. Unfortunately this is not the case on our realm. I play a paladin and usually don't have the chance to get to the healers because horde always target me first (as if i could stand more than 3 blows from their epics =( ).

Sunday, September 03, 2006 5:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaman 'lion form' is purely a travel form - they won't be in Ghost Wolf to attack anyone. Not even those lovely weapon buffs (Which I know you alliance adore) apply while in GW - just plain old white damage.

If you come across a shammy stupid enough to try to fight in GW, they can probably be safely ignored;)

Friday, December 29, 2006 8:24:00 PM  
Blogger Robby said...

Priests arent always 100% healers...they can be dps. Just saying

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