PvE, meet PvP

Those that know me know I don’t really care for PvP much.  At least I didn’t used to.  I’m slowly noticing that I want to PvP more in the past few months or so.  Some of it has to do with completing my own personal PvE goals, and therefore having more time on my hands.  But some of it also has to do with just plain liking PvP. 

One thing I noticed a week or two ago is how PvP experience can transfer over to PvE success if done correctly. 

“Ande, you’re talking crazy talk.”   Yeah…probably, but hear me out. 

Like many other guilds I’m sure, the Faction Champions fight of the Trail of the Crusader initially kicked my guild’s collective ass far more than any other encounter in there, including Anub’arak.  The vast majority of our players do not PvP one iota.  Diminishing returns for CCs and stuns were a new concept to them, and so was a mob that was “untankable”.  We did eventually get that fight down, but I almost think it was pure luck.  But the second week, something happened that made me realize exactly why our raid was having such a hard time. 


In the recent months of my PvP ventures I’ve learned many things.  The most obvious being that there is infinitely more to look out for in PvP than PvE.

In PvE, once the tank has threat on the boss, he owns it.  You know 100% if the tank no longer has control of that mob – either Omen yells at you (and consequently your raid leader probably), or the tank dies.  Aside from that, you’re pretty much gauranteed to not get your face smashed in. 

There are also a limited number of abilities that are going to come into play from the boss.  Some random, and some very predictable.  And you typically know how to deal with them ahead of time.

In PvP the opposite is true.  There is nothing to gaurantee which player is going to be the target of attacks.  In Arena situations, players can guess based on prior experience which of your teammates will be the first to be fired upon, but there is still no guarantee.  Couple that with the 20-40 abilities that some classes have in their spell book, and you really have no clue what to expect. 

Not only do you need to watch out for enemies attack you, you need to be mindful of attacks on your teammates – and if your opponents switch targets.  Knowing when to use a CC, stun, or snare can make or break a PvP battle. 

It’s all about reacting on the fly.  You have no idea when your opponents will use an ability, so you can not really prepare for it.  All you can do it try your best to counter their moves with one of your own. 

Renaissance Men

Going back to that 2nd week of the Champions encounter…  That particular day we had 2 players in the raid that day that normally don’t raid with us, a Shadow Priest and a Warlock.  Both are avid PvPers, and one even an accomplished arena player.  It was amazing the differences those 2 players made for that encounter. 

They were using well timed fears to peel mobs off of healers.  Frostweave Nets were being tossed left and right.  This was a huge change from last week’s encounter,  I did not see any of these tactics displayed at all.  Just 2 players with an eye of the whole coliseum, made that fight infintely easier than the week before.  I can only imagine how much easier it would have been the prior week if all 25 players had the same keen eye. 

The same ended up being true once we got to the Anub’arak encounter (espeically for phase 2).  There were some players that could kit and DPS the correct adds, and some that could not do one or both.  It all boils down to situational awareness. 

Practice for the Big Game

This is not TBC anymore where the best PvE gear available can be obtained through a handful of battle grounds – but players can still gain something from them.  Awareness.  Nothing in WoW makes you more aware of your surroundings than PvP combat.  Even the 6 basic battle grounds will eventually get your eyes to stop tunnel visioning on 1 single target, and widen to encompass the whole battle field. 

You don’t even have to win the BGs.  In fact, losing is probably more beneficial to a new player.  “Ande, you’re talking crazy again…”  No one likes dieing.  No one like running back from the graveyard – or in the case of BGs – waiting 30 secs for the automated resurrection.  Eventually players just get fed up with dieing and start to find ways to increase their survivability.  They start to learn to help other players as they realize that the more of their team that is alive, the better chance they have of surviving also.  Players stop thinking about themselves exclusively and start working toward the team goal. 

All of this transfers over direstly to PvE boss encounters.  Many classes have numerous tools to help not only themselves survive, but also others in the raid.  DPS classes start to understand that it’s not just their job to do DPS, it’s part of their job to make sure the raid is successful. 

The best success in raiding comes from the entire raid working as a team – not 25 individuals that just happen to be attacking the same target.  Sometimes you need to CC.  Sometimes you need to heal.  Sometimes you need to click an orb.  Sometimes the Ret Pally or Fury Warrior thows a shield on and taunts quick to protect a healer. 

Last Words

So, if you’ve generally steered clear of PvP – go try it out.  Start out in any of the regular BGs and get acquainted with them (stay away from Alterac Valley though – it’s more PvE than PvP these days). You’ll soon learn to live longer and help your teammates, all while DPSing, healing and removing debuffs.  You’ll soon find yourself looking over the entire battle ground at who is taking damage, who is damaging you, and who your biggest threats are. 

If you’re comfortable with the BGs and are feeling espeically brave, pick up a partner or 2 and head over to the Arenas (there’s a guy in the Dalaran sewers you’ll need to talk to).  Arenas are quite a different experience from your typical BG and offer a new set of challenges and ways of dealing with them. 

Again, it all comes down to situational awareness.  Preparing for a raid can mean many things.  Enchanting gear, getting flasks/potions, ensuring you’re repaired.  It also means having the proper skillsets needed for the task at hand.  And as far as learning situational awareness – there’s no better place than good old fashioned PvP. 

Battle on Champions.


~ by Andenthal on September 10, 2009.

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