Monday, March 24, 2008

PVP Tips & Tricks - The Battlegrounds

As a companion to my extensive class-based strategies for PVP, I thought it would be nice to have some general guidelines for battlegrounds and some specifics for each of the four battlegrounds. Since there is less in general to say about each battleground, I’m not splitting this up into multiple posts. Keep in mind, this is still written from the perspective of a Marksman Hunter.

General Observations:

  • While players are not subject to taunt mechanics, many classes have aspects to them that are subject to taunt (for example, other hunters’ pets, warlocks’ pets, shadowfiends, snakes from snake traps, shamans’ and mages’ elementals). You may not want to turn growl off on your pet.
  • Going alone is dangerous. It is almost always counterproductive to assault a node, tower or flag if you are the only one. There are clearly examples where a solo character has taken out two defenders and managed to capture the objective. However, these are most likely the exception rather than the rule.
  • Your various tracking abilities shut off upon your death. If you were tracking humanoids prior to dying, you will need to reactivate it.
  • You will die. There are exceptions to dying, but generally you will die multiple times in a battleground. When you first resurrect you will have a buff that reduces the cost of buffing. Buff yourself. I buff Aspect of the Hawk, Trueshot Aura and Track Humanoids. Some buffs will dismount you. Others will not. Generally auras and tracking won’t. Thus, when I resurrect, I buff Aspect of the Hawk, mount, and then buff Trueshot and Track as I ride to my destination.
  • As a hunter you can’t really buff anyone else. However, before the game begins other classes can buff. Ask for the buffs you want and remind folks that there is no mana cost to buff if they aren’t bothering. Often people say “they disappear when you die” as an excuse to not do it. Don’t buy it!! Having 700 or so more HP from a fortitude buff can mean the difference between living and dying.
  • If there is a refreshment table, take what you need but don’t be greedy.
  • If there is a soulwell, take a healthstone. If there are two soulwells, take two stones if they are of different "sizes."
  • If your pet dies, it is often better to let him (or her) auto resurrect with you at your next death. This doesn’t seem to have the happiness loss that raising him mid battle does.
  • While most conventional wisdom says to ignore hunter and warlock pets, these classes can be limited by removing their pets. If you spy a pet that can be killed with one or two shots, it may be worth it to do just that.
  • Pay attention to which battleground is giving bonus honor on a weekend. The competition is generally better on those weekends. Queue times however can be much longer.
  • If the BG you’re in has the concept of nodes or towers, then someone must guard the nodes you capture. Taking the lumber mill, for example, is of very little long term use if it’s recaptured a minute and a half later.
  • If a goody chest spawns somewhere you are guarding, it is better to use that chest even though you don’t need it than leave it for an attacker.
  • Situational awareness is king! You must know where your enemies will be resurrecting.
  • Be aware of AFKers. These people are handicapping your team by not taking part. I report as AFK people that I notice are not moving. (Note: “Not moving” is not the same as “Defending.” Someone stationary at the Mage Tower is not the same as someone stationary at the start area.)
  • Battlegrounds are a horrible place to level pets. Remember experience isn’t gained in a battleground, thus that pet will never level.
  • A combination of target acquisition via Tab and range coloring on abilities can sometimes allow you to target and fire on targets that are not in your line of sight (i.e. through mountains, rocks, bushes, etc.)
  • Make sure you check what the daily battleground quest is. Nearly 12 gold and 419 honor is not bad just for winning.
Warsong Gulch:
  • There are two primary roles for you in WSG: escorting your flag carrier and slowing pursuit and defending your flag. You may also be called on to hunt down (I pun) a hiding enemy flag carrier. If it’s safe to use Aspect of the Cheetah, you can be a good choice for running the flag.
  • The layout of the two bases is nearly identical. Be aware that it is possible to somehow enter through the log chute on the side of the Horde base.
  • Teams primarily support their flag carrier by healing and protecting. If you can get an Aimed Shot on the EFC, it’ll reduce healing by 50%.
  • Using Aspect of the Pack to escort your flag carrier is risky. First they’d have to be in your group and second they’ll be dazed if hit. Use this aspect only if you are 110% sure there isn’t anything to attack the flag carrier.
Arathi Basin
  • Your primary roles here are attacking a new node and defending. I tend to defend a lot as most other people won’t.
  • When attempting to wrest a node from the other side, the flag must me attacked as quickly as possible. Not claiming the node just means everyone you’ve already killed will resurrect at the same node in a short period of time.
  • Know when a fight is “worth it.” If you’re attempting to re-take the node closest to your starting area (stables for Alliance, farm for Horde) and die, you resurrect at your starting area. The opposing team can quickly determine where the choke point for that is. It may make sense to run around that node to get to a node you hold.
  • Merely holding one more node for the majority of the game than the other side will win you the game.
  • Look logically at where their forces “must be.” If they hold three and are heavily represented at two of them, the third is likely lightly defended.
  • AB is a game of mobility. Call out when a node you’re defending is about to be hit. It gives the unengaged members of your team time to get to you.
  • If you are defending fight at nodes you control. It can prevent the other guys from claiming the node long enough for your teammates to arrive.
Alterac Valley
  • AV is the most raid-like battleground. As such, your role is most like PVE raids – massive quantities of sustained DPS. This, in my experience, is also the BG you are most likely to be healed in.
  • This is not your father’s AV. The rules of the game changed significantly with patch 2.3 with the introduction of “reinforcements.”
  • The game is usually won by fighting at your most defensible choke point.
  • AV Quests contribute little to winning a match, however they will gain you reputation with Stormpike or Frostwolf.
Eye of the Storm
  • Your roles here are like that of Arathi Basin. Additionally, if you have a clear shot from flag spawn to your tower, you make an excellent flag runner.
  • You must understand the scoring. Points awarded for flag captures are proportional to the number of towers you control. Even if your team never captures the flag but controls three towers, you’ll win.
  • Have paladins in your group turn off Crusader Aura prior to game start. It’ll prevent needless loss of health at the beginning.
  • “Hiding” the flag can be a tactic to allow your team time to take an additional tower.
  • Quite often hunters can shoot enemies guarding a base that are hidden by terrain. If you can target them, quite often you can shoot them.

1 comment:

Kestrel said...

Good stuff, Bremm! Just a couple comments:

First, effective today (Patch 2.4) tracking persists after death. YAY!!

Second, conventional wisdom regarding killing pets: If you know you're up against a BM, kill his pet. And Viper Sting the BM. SV & MM hunters don't depend on their pets nearly as much as we BMs do.

Nice synopses of the individual BGs, too--thanks!