Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What Makes a Good PVPer?

Someone on my guild (Pathos Hammer) posts asked a good question: What makes a good PVPer?

He really wanted to show that there's no actual "pvp skill," but that everyone could succeed at pvp. I partially agree. I think everyone can improve in pvp, but there are variables many of us just can't adjust in order to excel at pvp. Here's the response I gave:

Let me dissect the issue first. Let's take a computer AI. Take, for example, two human AI rogues, built exactly the same way, same level, same stats, same gear. Everything is exactly the same. Now have the computer make them duel. Who will win? Is it 50/50? Yes. Why? The laws of statistics tell you it's 50/50. It has to be. It's literally random because both opponents will have exactly the same code to draw from and have exactly the same chance of winning each fight.

But. What really happens? Who knows. Rogue A might win 9 out of 10 times. Anyone know what the odds are that the rogue will win the next match? If you answered 50/50, you're right. Just because one has consistently won doesn't mean the odds change. The chance stays the same.

But that's a computer. Now take those same exact human rogues and let two real live people play them. Oboy! The factors involved now are insanely complicated and absolutely impossible to fully determine. But let's have at a few before we start into "good" and "bad" pvp skills.

First, and unfortunately one of the most fundamental factors since the advent of computer-based pvp, is which player has a slower connection (i.e., more latency). This factor is compounded by a number of things: cpu speed, computer memory, hard drive speed, hard drive I/O, graphics card, video settings, sound card/settings (better believe it, I've won matches and defended flags by using sound! (sit in the WSG flag room and listen... you can actually HEAR enemies dismount upstairs coming from the ramp to the middle section)), ethernet card, router, modem, Internet connection, ISP speed/reliability, distance from WoW hub server, number of other players accessing that hub server, and many more subtle factors. You might think, aw, that's BS! But I've been playing pvp for years and years, starting with serial connections between pcs, 300 baud dial-up modems, and beyond, and I'll tell you, the difference between a 100 and 400 latency is the difference between 1st and 4th place in the Olympics (depending on what game you're playing, of course).

Second: Gear. Not in-game gear, but real gear. Player using a N52? A cordless mouse (which adds its own latency), a low or high-tech keyboard? A fuzzy monitor, or top of the line? How is the person's desk set up? Laptop while sitting up in bed? PVP combat control room desk setup? Something in between? Each of these characteristics comes into play during combat, and is often ignored and overlooked by many players. How many times have you tried to turn 180 degrees, and your mouse hits your keyboard, and you instinctively lift it up, reset it, and move it again? That, friends, takes time and effort. Each of these factors has an impact on your ability to stay in control in pvp.

Third: Physiology. Needless to say (but apparently needed here), assuming both players have the exact same technology, there's a chance one of them taps the right sequence of keys just a bit faster or more correctly than the other. One will get that timing just right, while the other is off. Sure, with a couple of decent players, they may trade off on who gets that gouge in first, when both go for it simultaneously. What makes the better pvper? Consistency. What else? Ability to stay in control of the I/O (keyboard, mouse, etc.) while under stress: you get sweaty hands? constantly hit the wrong key? use a lot of point and click on your hotbars instead of setting up macros? Another physical factor is more basic: have you had enough sleep? Studies show that sleepy drivers are more dangerous than drunk ones, and cause just as many highway accidents. What's that tell you about your in-game reaction time based on sleep deprivation? Nutrition? Other health habits? Although there are raver kids out there, high on Jolt, beating the crap out of everyone in pvp, it's all part of the factor.

Fourth: Mental state. Had a stressful day at work? With the kids? With anything? Having your subconscious nag at you while trying to pvp can be a killer.

Fifth: Knowledge. Are you playing a game for the first time? Playing a class for the first time? Just reset your talent points? Just changed all your gear? Just advanced into a new level bracket? How much do you know about your opponent? Did you know that orcs are resistant to stuns? Do you know what all of your enemies' pvp trinkets do? Did you know that different classes get different types of pvp trinkets? Include in this factor "perception." Have you counted to yourself the number of seconds since that undead priest cast psychic scream? If not, how will you know when he'll be able to do it again? Better pvpers culminate a collection of knowledge about the game, characters, and gear, and their own observations of the actions of opponents while playing.

Sixth: Experience. If all you ever played before WoW was Starcraft, you might be great at setting up overall strategies and executing them, but you might not be so great at being able to turn constantly to face a slippery rogue, intent on getting a backstab in. By my count, I've had about 21 years of pvp experience, which includes all forms of pvp: DnD and other tabletop games, computerized jet fighter combat games, real life combat simulation games (such as lasertag, paintball, and SCA), all varieties of modern pvp games (quake, quake TF, unreal, cs, uo, swg, coh, etc.), and ten years of Marine Corps training and experience. I'm not saying I'm the best pvper out there. I get my butt kicked all the time. But I'm the type who can tell you exactly why I got my butt kicked. Exactly what I did wrong each time, and I often return the favor the next time around, having learned from my mistakes.

Seventh: Luck. Only the unlucky hate luck. I can't stand it. Luck is what makes one AI vs AI win 9 times out of 10, even though there's a 50/50 chance every round. Luck is what makes your gouge miss three times in a row. Luck is what gets you killed in two hits, or saves your life at the last possible second. Luck is something that cannot be calculated or relied upon. Just hope you're lucky.

Eighth: Percentiles. Some might throw this in with "luck." It doesn't belong there, because luck, by definition, cannot be improved. What can be improved is chance. We started off with the basic template of AI vs AI having the exact same stats. But what if one got a +1% to dodge item instead? Does that automatically make him win each round? Not by far. But does it change the 50/50 chance? YES. It does. By definition, it must. It might be by less than 1%, considering all the factors involved, but it's an advantage that cannot be overlooked. "Good" pvpers (or at least the wary ones) will research and implement as much as possible gear that increases those odds in that person's favor. The mere fact that someone happened to have acquired some of that gear and equipped it does not mean that player is a "good" pvper. Not by far. Gear, in itself, does not make anyone a "good" pvper. It merely gives that person a better chance that something will happen in that person's favor. This includes having stocks of potions, scrolls, and other buffs.

Ninth: Build. This came close to falling under knowledge, but I felt it needed its own category. The more you've played a particular class, and the more you've studied it, the more you will know about what talent builds are effective for you. You probably won't really find one that's best until you've reached level 60, which is why most talent guides out there are based on that level, but there are plenty of resources out there with vast amounts of information and statistics about each talent and each build. Some will say to start out with a cookie-cutter build, and go from there. Others will say just put points in what you use anyway. There's no real answer except that the best pvpers really know how not to waste these precious points on stuff they don't need or won't use. And, they use these skills all the time, with the determination to win each fight.

Tenth: Nature. You're not going to like this one, but it can't be helped. Although I'm a firm believer that everyone can become better at pvp, I'm also quite confident that not everyone can be the best at pvp. Whether or not you interpret either to mean "good" at pvp is up to you, but in every human pursuit, there are always people who are better and people who are not so better. In other words, if you've maxed out 1-9 above, and you're still not kicking pvp butt, then you might just be at your max. At least in the game you're playing. I know some people who rule in one game, and get beat miserably in another, even though the games are very similar.

This doesn't mean you should hang up your sword, though. The nice thing about WoW, as well as most MMORP games is that much combat relies on teamwork. If you've noticed, most of what I've said so far seems centered around the individual. It is. It's mostly a "how can I improve my individual pvp ability?" guide. However, there's an additional set of factors that apply to group pvp combat. Even if you're totally lousy at individual pvp, you could be one of the best team supporters ever.

Team pvp factors should start with the 1-10 above. To be a good teammate, you should know your class as much as possible. Perhaps you're not a "natural," but if you know your class and you know your teammates' classes, you're much better off. I'm not going to list the team-based factors here, but if you follow what's above, you should be able to figure it out.

There are many factors you can probably think of to add to the list, and, heck, you should mention them in the comments. But my space and time are limited, so I spouted out the first "top ten" that came to mind.

[post script: someone near and dear to me commented (unfortunately not here) that I should include "common sense" into the factors list. I partially agree. I actually think it's already there, as the ability to perform most of the factors decently. I perceive "common sense" in two ways. First, "a culmination of certain bits of helpful knowledge that the majority of people in the society in which you live possess." I think this is what most people are really talking about when they say, "Hey, boy, you ain't got no common sense!" If you lack this type of common sense, you are often deemed "out of it" by other members of society who are "in the know." It's not just straight knowledge, but a certain demeanor, and it's impossible to infuse someone with this type of common sense, but apparently it exists. In my above factors, this would be the culmination of bits of knowledge and experience from most or all of the categories in such a way that you "fit in," perhaps even better than most. I'm not sure, though, that having common sense makes someone a "good" or even "better" pvper, but lacking it certainly hurts one's chances. My second common sense definition focuses more on the "sense." It's one's ability to perceive, interpret, and act upon sensations. Yes, this refers to your "common senses" - seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, and smelling. It's my firm belief that some people can "fake" having the first type of common sense by focusing on the second type of common sense. In other words, if you're more observant of your surroundings, and you can manifest efficient reaction to those observations, then you appear "keen," and "aware." Not bad things. This type of common sense is embodied in a combination between Physiology and Knowledge. It's really the intent or ability to be a good observer, and the link between those observations and your physical ability to act upon them. So, in essence, I'm saying that I've embedded common sense in my factors without explicitly saying so. Till now. :) ]

And that is what makes a "good" pvper.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're pretty close. One factor prolly fits under Physiology is what I call the "Twitch Factor". You prolly have a pretty good one. some folks will freeze up a bit when surprised.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Yes, that's pretty much included in Physiology, reaction time, coordination, "twitch factor", etc. I agree, many times I've seen the "deer in headlights" reaction (or lack of reaction) from surprised players, and those few precious seconds can often make the difference. It's how I was able to take out so many higher level characters (in addition to the fact that they nearly always underestimated me, and therefore chose not to burn cooldowns that would have turned the tables on me).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 1:07:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I agree strongly with pretty much everything you have here.

I'm not terrible at PvP. I'm not great either. I know how to play up some advantages (gear, listening to others talk about strategy and adopting bits that work for me, figuring out what I'm not good at and avoiding it), but I have some inherent difficulties that fall largely under your "nature" heading (ADD/etc. cause me to be particularly poor at dealing with overwhelming sensory input, juggling too many diverse skills, etc.).

I compensate for this in several ways. Part of it is just that I accept that I'm not going to be the grand marshall or whatever. That's fine. But mostly I concentrate on being a damn fine team/support player. Instead of being the person who goes for the flag in WSG, when I play a warrior I pound on the guy who goes after the flag-carrier. Where I hear people complaining that priests in BG never heal, I spend all my time as a priest healing & shielding others so they can do *their* jobs better. Of course, I also figured out that this doesn't make me a good candidate for a PvP server since I do my best work in a team setting, which means I switched to a PvE server.

You may not be able to be as good as someone else, but if you understand your strengths and weaknesses you can play to them, and that to me is one of the most important factors in PvP.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Okay, so, egotism has to come into play somewhere. Remember you pointed out that one of the things that made you a better pvp player than you would otherwise be was your tendency to analyze your play and figure out what you did wrong? I was just in a BG that reminded me of how poorly things can go wrong when you end up with a few people who are convinced that they do everything right, and that anything that goes poorly must be the fault of someone not supporting them or not following their instructions.

In truth, most of these people are making pretty obvious mistakes, such as saying "back me up" and expecting everyone to figure out where they are and how much backup they need of what type (true you can check the map, but much of the time you don't have time to open it and mouse over every one of your team's dots--even a little cursory info on location helps). And once they get frustrated with the results and start yelling and shouting and cursing at everyone around them... well, things unsurprisingly go downhill from there. No one does their best when being browbeaten.

But I guess this overlaps with concepts of teamwork.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Good responses, but, as you note, my post was 95% individual pvp based. Like, what can you do on your own to develop your own personal pvp goodness.

Team-based pvp isn't an "entirely different thing," since it's at least partially based on individual ability, but there are many factors that don't really belong on the individual list. You've listed a few. Some basics could look like:

1 - always pick a leader early on, and then follow that leader's strategy as a group

(good luck doing that in pickup group battlegrounds)

2 - intra-team support is extremely important, and should be a priority when arranging a raid group

3 - consider the ultimate objective in determining strategy: it's likely "getting honor", and quick wins are significantly more honor profitable than farming honor kills in a slow game, or basing your strategy on a slow defensive position

4 - have a plan (and a backup plan), but always be flexible

5 - encourage detailed field reports. Field reports (e.g., 2 inc LM) are exactly what the leader needs to make important decisions and to prepare defenders. If the majority of the raid group is reporting, the law of averages added to the volume of reports will grant the leader fairly accurate and up-to-date information.

6 - Discourage chatter and negativity. Some cheering and comments are fine, but "we'll never win!" or "the leader sucks!" or such negativity warrants quick removal or a good talking-to. Don't confuse this with reporting. "OMG, there are like 10 horde/alliance at LM, and they pwnd us!" That's potentially more informative than negative, and most let it slide unless it turns into a rant.

7 - Follow the "Leader", not the leaders. You'll have a plan, a leader, and set up teams, and will be riding to your destinations when someone will ALWAYS say (in a PUG), "Hey, BS only has 2 defenders! Let's go there!" Or something. Sometimes worse. Often this person goes there anyway. Despite the potential target, if it's not the target under the plan, this is a distraction that has caused the downfall of many groups. It's the responsibility of the leader and players dedicated to winning to follow the plan. The leader should inform the group to continue as planned, but to take the new information into account. Perhaps if another target is overwhelmed, it might be good to try to take a softer target. However, that's not the place of non-leaders to decide.

8 - As a member of the group, place the highest priority on the goal, not on your personal agenda. In WSG, when I'm escorting a flag carrier, most of the time I don't stop to finish off a pursuing enemy because I am trying to apply crippling poison to ALL the pursuing enemies. If I stopped, I could get a few HK in, but it wouldn't protect the flag carrier. Apply this just about everywhere. In AB and AV, it's much more important to interrupt multiple potential flag cappers than it is to kill an individual flag capper. Chances are, you'll die doing so, but if it gives your teammates time to come to the rescue, you've done your job. (In short, don't be greedy).

9 - Be a good individual pvper, based on the other factors. If, for instance, three horde cannot defeat two alliance of the same level (and approximately the same gear), with no interruptions, the horde haven't been doing their homework. I've seen it happen both ways, and much worse. I've seen two horde beat five alliance. The level differences weren't that great, but the alliance were falling too easily, obviously based on pvp inexperience. You don't have to be #1 scorer to be good at pvp, but you should strive to be better.

10 - Have fun. In any pvp situation, if you're playing while frustrated or angry, or stressed, or depressed, or anything, then why are you playing? It's certainly not going to help your ability, and undoubtedly you'll shout out something you'll later regret, and get people mad at you. Your pvp rank is never worth such extremes. Sure, you'll get mad because someone should have done something you think they should have, or you screwed up. Hey, it happens. Most likely, you'll quickly get over it. But if you find yourself not getting over it. Apologize to the team, and take a break after the next game. Go for a walk, relax, watch a movie or read a book to get your mind off playing. You'll find that when you later return to the game, you'll feel much better about it, and can contribute to the team more effectively, as well as optimistically.

Okay, that's what I came up with off the top of my head. Yeah, I could have gotten into something more technical, but that's what forums are for. If you're interested in trolling some forums that discuss strategy and tactics in more detail, feel free to head on over to www.pathoshammer.com and visit the forums there.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 5:39:00 PM  
Anonymous tomas said...

8 - As a member of the group, place the highest priority on the goal, not on your personal agenda.

I can't tell you how frustrating this is...After having dozens of WSG games lost because the oncoming alliance zerg you are part of completely falls apart at the entrance to the Horde base because all the dolts run off to gank the 2 or 3 defenders that are rushing to engage them.

I don't think that some folks understand that to win you frequently have to sacrifice yourself and others in order to make sure that the flag gets capped.

The problem that I've discovered with the majority of the alliance I've played with is that they're either all hopelessly focused on the enemy in front of them (ala FPS addiction) or that they're all wanting to be the hero - and that the thought of 'taking one for the team' is a strange and frightening concept.

Friday, March 03, 2006 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Brock said...

Another interesting topic, and great post! I've just recently discovered the blog, and it's great.

All good points, and I agree with them, although my own experience is limited (so far) to lower end PvP in WSG. That said, the comments about the team approach are valid, but I'd just add that figuring out the 'team objective' in a pick-up group is chancy at best. As a relative newcomer to the scene, I don't feel comfortable trying to direct the actions of others... but neither can I effectively support the team when the team has various tactical objectives. The skill I'm trying to develop now is to be more effective at supporting individuals, beyond just being a good 1-on-1 fighter. This way even when the team scatters to the four winds, I can at least get the back of some of the other key people.

But the real reason I wanted to comment was on #10 - Nature. I have found my instincts are relatively combative, but that this 'nature' is actually counter-productive in some circumstances. Add to this is a strong identification with the team concept, and you get an attitude which is actually counter-productive at times.

Case in point, if I see someone on my side getting nailed by overwhelmingly superior numbers, say 5-2, 3-1, etc., and they are a fair distance away... the logical part of me says "that skirmish is lost... by the time I get there our side will be dead or nearly so, so I'll just be an additional HK for the other side." But I usually go in anyway.

I do this for a couple of reasons. First, you see someone in trouble; you want to bail them out. Second, there are those rare cases when you can get there in time and tip the balance. Third, some part of you thinks, that's what teammates do, isn't it? Wouldn't that be what I'd want my teammates to do? Fourth, part of me just yells banzai!

And almost invariably I earn myself a quick trip to the graveyard. Oh, I often take one of them with me, but that's only advantageous under certain situations. And frankly, I'm not usually thinking enough to figure out if this is the right time to swap a death or not.

I also suspect I tend to rush in because I *do* recognize that hesitating is the same as making a decision. If you wait, you are consigning your beleaguered comrades to getting whacked.

So I find myself wondering: am I limiting my effectiveness until I deal with this? And do I even *want* to change? Maybe that style is part of why I have fun doing it.

Part of my problem may be that I still have not fully reconciled the 'getting killed means nothing' aspect of the game. Having company while waiting to res is hardly much consolation, is it?

(Less rhetorically, I have decided I DO want to change my behaviors if I'm hurting the team effort in the interest of helping one player in a particular moment.)

In a related comment to Tomas' post: I think in part people's perceived lack of willingness to take one for the team stems from not understanding HOW to take one for the team in a meaningful way.

Friday, March 03, 2006 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Welcome, Brock, and I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. Excellent comments by everyone.

Brock, you've brought up a great point that I've had my share of experience with, as well, and I'd like to comment on it. Just to clarify, it's the situation where you approach a group of opponents beating up on a single ally, and you're presented with the question of "Should I go in there and get my ass kicked, too, or should I stay alive and try to help elsewhere?" I think we all have likely experienced this at some point in time.

Obviously there's no "right answer." Anyone who ever says that you should do the same thing every time is an idiot, and I think I've been yelled at by a number of those very same idiots for not coming to save their butts. Sorry, but just like in ANY combat situation, there's an evaluation. Whether or not you make it in a subconscious one-second decision, or whether you wait a few seconds and think it out, it's a tactical evaluation of the situation.

My impulse is almost always to dive into battle. But it depends on the situation. Every time.

I'll address some common situations, and what I'd likely do.

1 - Arathi Basin, ally is trying to defend an ally-held base flag. Hopefully by now, this should be obvious. I'll immediately defend with my life, and usually that's what happens. In this situation, I know that the longer I keep the opponents distracted, the better the chance that allies will rez at this base and assist me. The ally I'm helping will probably die, but in less than 30 seconds, that ally will return, probably with more help, at FULL HEALTH. As I've mentioned on other posts about AB, a base properly defended by 3 allies is equivalent to a base defended by 6 allies if the flag is not capped by the enemy.

2 - AB, ally is trying to solo cap an already opponent-capped flag, and I'm the only other ally in the area. This happened to me recently, and the ally trying to cap hasn't spoken to me since, and has refused to allow me entry into her raid groups. Needless to say, I did not rush in to help. I dismounted, stealthed, and hid. Why? First, I wasn't in the raid group, so I had no clue what was going on. I had spent the first three minutes of my time there asking for an invite, but the leader (this same person) was busy soloing groups of horde, apparently, and no one else had been given authority to invite. In a pickup group, this is dumb. That should be the first thing the leader does (promote everyone). So, figuring I needed to do something, I mounted and rode to the Mill. As soon as I reached the summit of the ramp up to the mill, I saw this: 6 horde surrounding and pummeling 1 ally, who was at about 1/5 health. Pop quiz. What's the very first thing I determined?

If you answered: the state of the LM flag, you get four gold stars! AB flags come in four states. 1. untouched. This means no one has attempted to capture it, and it's the default state of all the flags at the beginning of the game. If left untouched, they'll never initiate resource acquisition for either side. This flag is Grey. 2. In contest. This is the state of the flag after a member of either side "captures" it (right-clicks on it, and finishes the capture without interruption), but before the flag has changed colors and begun to allocate resources to the capturing side. This flag is Grey. It's also un-clickable by members of the faction that initiated the capture, but clickable to the opposing faction. 3. Captured or Held. This flag is either blue or red, and represents a base that has begun to allocate resources to the respective faction. It's clickable by the opposing faction. 4. Challenged. This is different from in contest because it's when an opponent initiates a capture on a red or blue colored flag, and turns it grey. The reason this is different is because if the faction that possessed the base prior to the challenge clicks the flag before it is fully captured by the opponent team, it will immediately return to the ownership state without the normally long wait associated with a full capture challenge or the original capture.

There are also semi-states of the flag. This is when a flag is in contest or is challenged, and while the opponent to the challenge is trying to recapture it, the flag reaches a captured state before the recapture is complete, thus interrupting the player trying to recapture it. This might seem confusing, but it's annoying, and once it happens to you, you'll know what I'm talking about. It means that even if you were 9/10 away from recapturing the flag, you'll have to click it again, start from scratch, AND wait the full amount of time to convert the flag to your side.

Okay, so now that we know the various states of the AB flags, we can get back to the scenario. I had to determine what state the flag was in before I decided whether to jump into battle and get my ass kicked. First, the flag was grey. If it were blue (meaning my allies held the base), I wouldn't hesitate to run in and protect it. Second, it wasn't clickable. This is where the decision-making got tough. It means that someone on my "team" (although I was never invited) had initiated a capture on it, and the timer was on for us to capture it. In other words, if no one touched it for a few more minutes, we'd control the base, and thus have the ability to respawn there. Since I didn't start with this group, I had no idea how long it had been since someone clicked it. It could have been 10 seconds or three minutes. Third, my ally died at the exact moment I reached the top. Fourth, I counted six horde. Four had been pummeling the ally, one was already standing at the flag, and another was nearby. The four were between me and the flag. I would have had to fight my way through four, probably five horde, just to get to the guy who was already clicking the flag. I also knew (from having looked at the map before heading to the mill) that there wasn't a cavalry of allies right behind me to back me up. Actually, it didn't appear as if anyone on my faction really cared about the mill at all.

So... dive in and take one for the team, or turn around and focus on a different target? Honestly, it's a toss-up. Much of it depends on your class, really. If I were a priest, I would have jumped in. Why? Priests have one of the most effective crowd-control skills - psychic scream. I've seen priests scatter well-organized groups, and blast many of them one at a time. How about a mage? Sure, probably. I could have dismounted, blinked through the four horde, done some AOE right at the flag, mana shielded, and continued to keep anyone near the flag interrupted for a good amount of time. I've seen priests do it. Hunter? Maybe. I've seen hunters stand away from the flag, send a pet in, and shoot anyone touching the flag. Everyone wants to cap the flag, but the hunter is so far away... can't do both, and good hunters rely on the fact that the obsession with capping is greater than focusing on the hunter. Add an ice trap near the hunter for added defense, and a decent hunter can keep that timer running on the flag for a while.

Druid? Maybe. I could feral, rush in, and batter people about, but I probably wouldn't last long. Paladin? Hell yeah, paladins are invincible. You can shield up, dive in, and keep them off that flag for a while very effectively, and even use aoe. Warlock? Maybe. If you're good, and you can manage to get a howling fear off, a few AOEs, and some defense, but with five horde pounding you, you won't last long enough to matter much. Warrior? Probably. You're used to dealing with heavy poundings, and you might have an AOE if you get close to the flag. You're designed to jump in and do that kinda stuff.

But... a rogue? I mean, regardless of what spec I am, I'm covered in crappy leather armor. Not only am I not designed for 1 vs 5 combat, I'm also not equipped with ANY area of effect capabilities! I'll tell you exactly what would have happened had I jumped in. I would have targeted the guy at the flag, and tried to ride directly to him. I would have dismounted right at the flag, and would have hit him once, ensuring an interruption. Then I would have been stunned, rooted, and killed. Yes. There's a slim chance in hell that my single hit could have saved the flag. It's happened before. But taking into consideration the entirety of the circumstances, I decided that our faction would benefit more if I survived.

That's a hard decision to make, and a harder one to live with when that ally gets offed anyway. I don't "need" a defense, because I don't think I did anything wrong, but I will say that at least I made a determination based on an analysis of the situation, and it wasn't just "oh, man, I don't wanna get my ass beat!" Ask just about anyone else I've ever teamed with, and they'll tell you that I never hesitate to jump into a losing situation to help an ally, when there's even a glimmer of hope. As a matter of fact, many times, my presence opened up an opportunity to improve the situation greatly, so it's a benefit for everyone. But I don't do it blindly.


Well, that took a lot more than I expected, so I'll stop there. Good comments! Keep it up! :)

Friday, March 03, 2006 5:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Vicius said...

There are a bunch of really good things here about individual pvping, but I want 2 add my little something here. I've learned that over time and couldn't understand it from the begining! Apart from knowledge base, luck and conditions that u pvp there are also 2 things very important that may determine win or loss. First is flexibility with your spec and this apply most at close combat characters thus rogues and warriors. I've tried as a rogue more than 4 effective pvp specs and I find SF-Ini daggers the most that suit me. Even though I've read a tone of different strategies about how 2 beat every class, I ahve 2 say that I consider some of the "difficult" opponents (like hunters) as bread and butter for me with my spec though an other specced rogue may have more benefits over them. So it is really essential to trully "feel" what U play, so there is a possibility to do a breakthrough and not only max out the availiable stuff from your talents but go a bit ahead, and believe me even an exceptional opponent will get caught surprised by what U can do. The second important thing is environmental positioning, a good pvper chooses beforehand the combat field and uses everything the environment provides at the certain moment to hisadvantage. An example is a tree or some big bushes that put you out of Line Of Site of the other player so it is more difficult 2 actually cast a spell or use an ability on you, or find a "dead" edge that you can actually win 2-3 steps towards an opponent, or some obstacles that will make a warrior harder to intercept you after a charge and stuff like that. If you master these things along with the otherz mentioned here then I have 2 say that U get 2 run the show in most of the cases

Saturday, October 14, 2006 2:06:00 PM  
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Thursday, April 15, 2010 9:05:00 PM  

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