In the very early days of this blog, I had a post called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Raiders“. Well since that original post, I have moved from a raider to a PvP BG leader. Given this change, I decided it was time to rework those habits into being effective PvPers. And not suprisingly, the main title of each of the seven habits are going to be identical. The only difference is what you do with each of the habits.
1) Prepare – In rated BGs, this is probably the most different than PvE. You can’t use flask. You can’t use the Goblin Barbeque or the Seafood Magnifique. But you still have to prepare yourself. Be in full PvP gear. Be gemmed, enchanted, etc. with the best possible enchants for PvP. Some enchants are different. Some enchants are the same. Make sure you are in a proper spec for PvP. All these things are things that should be done before stepping into PvP.
2) Readiness – Make sure you are on time and are prepared to come in. With the elimination of 15 vs. 15 rated BGs, there may be a chance you will have to sit. If you do, be on standby. Be in Vent or Mumble if your leaders need someone.
3) Optimize – While it is still important to make sure your computer is in top shape and won’t disconnect during fights, the strain is a little less in BGs compared to 25 man rating because the BGs are spread out. If you had 20 people in an arena BG, I’m sure that it would lag like anything. Also, as I mentioned earlier, you should optimize your gear. Buy the blue honor gear to get started and go from there by using Conquest points to buy the epic PvP gear.
4) Research – While PvP is alot more fluid than a PvE setting where bosses have certain mechanics, you can still research. First, and the most important, is to know your class inside and out. You should know what CCs you have, who they are the most effective against, what things can maximize your DPS output in BGs. Also, know the BGs inside and out. Know where the power ups, like Beserker and Heals, are since they can turn the tide of battle.
5) Learn – As I mentioned in the original post, learning comes from education and experience. If you find a PvPer of the same class who is doing better than you, ask them to help you out and figure out what you are doing wrong. However, experience is the biggest teacher in BGs. You will find out which targets are the healers or are the most dangerous. You will figure out kill orders. You will figure out what strategies work and which ones don’t. Best way to get experience is to run random BGs and arenas. BGs will help you understand your DPS rotation. Arenas will help you learn coordination and CCing.
In addition, there is two type of experienced learning in BGs. Short term experienced learning is something you need to learn in this BG for this BG only. For example, if you have Mage X who is CCing your healers and killing your DPS, you know that he is a high priority target so you will need to CC healers to kill the mage first. The other type of experienced learning is long term experienced learning. This would be overarching principles such as kill or CC healers first, how not to allow ninja caps, how to tell if someone is squishy by looking at HP, etc. The only way you get that type of experience is doing BGs and arena.
6) Observe – I thought that PvE raid awareness was something you had to get used to and it took a while. Awareness in BGs takes it to a whole other level. Let me give an example. We typically have 3 healers on the flag carriers in Warsong Gulch or Twin Peaks. If all 4 healers are around our flag carrier, I can back off and use CC to get melee off of our flag carrier. There are many instances where this can occur. If you see a healer healing your target, kill them or CC them to kill your target. Sometimes, you really almost need eyes in the back of your head to have PvP awareness.
7) Communicate – If I was going to reorder my list from the original list, I would have put this as number 1 easily. Communication is the single biggest key in PvP. The team that does not communicate loses. What should you communicate? Let me count the ways: kill targets, CCed targets, nodes being attacked, flag carriers being attacked, healers protecting flag carriers die, flag carrier dies, enemy flag carrier dies, enemy flag carrier’s location, our flag carrier’s location, strategy, and reporting what is occuring at nodes. And this is just with the 3 BGs currently available for 10 vs. 10 rated BGs. The place this is best learned at is in arenas. Learning this type of communication is vital in arenas and it translates very well over to rated BGs. The more comfortable you can get with communicating, the better your team will be. This also means that if you are on a rated BG team, you have to get comfortable with Ventrilo or Mumble and speaking because you talk a whole lot more in BGs than you do in raids.