Life is Cheap #3: The First Battle Grounds as PvE player
Larisa wrote a wonderful post on how she overcame her phobia of Battlegrounds, How I overcame my phobia about battlegrounds (BGs), and took it from a raving fear of BGs to a calm acceptance and confidence in battle.
I was reminded vividly of my initial fear (and a bit of hatred) of BGs, with maybe the exception of Alterac Valley (AV), which is a bit more like PvE, but filled with “nasty gankers”. It opened that part of my brain that holds the memories of 1st time noob experiences, and how I became comfortable with the BGs (one by one, each one held new an unrealistic fear for me). It can be particularly daunting when your 1st PvP experience is at level 70, so I will be writing from that perspective.
I will progress through the BGs, starting not with AV (which I think tends to be a PvPphobiac’s 1st battle) but with Arathi Basin (AB), then I will progress through the others.
The tips I will share with you aren’t high end PvP tips, rather they are ways of slowly overcoming your fear of BGs, so that by the 3rd time you visit, you will be prepared to run around like a headless maniac (which is what you will become) like the rest of your PuG (Pick-up group) BG team.
OK, starting at the beginning… some general tips.
After clicking on the relevant Battle Master, you will have a short wait until one of two things happen.
- There are enough people in your battlegroup (on both sides) to start the BG, or
- A vacancy becomes available in a BG that has already started.
Hope for 1), but 2) is OK.
Note: If you want to join a BG with one or more mates, you need to do something slightly different.
- Make sure you are in a party (or raid if more than 5 of you).
- The leader of the party/raid is the only one that talks to the Battle Master, and rather than “Joining Battle”, they choose the option to join as a group – you will all get joined to the same BG queue.
OK, where I left off. Assuming you happily get option 1) and join a new BG, you will have up to 2 minutes before the BG actually starts.
Now is the time to buff, buff, buff.
Buffing costs no mana before the BG starts, so buff everyone with everything you have got. In the case of a Mage, this means both Arcane Intellect (AI) and Dampen Magic. Everyone, non-mana users as well. Extra buffs take extra dispells from the enemy!
Normal 30 minute AI is fine – It’s unlikely that anyone will make it the entire BG without at least one death or dispell, so it isn’t worth spending a reagent.
Do create a table – they are appreciated by non-mana and mana users alike.
If you can’t see all 10-15-40 raid members, you may need to activate your raid interface of choice (or at least pull out the groups from the default Blizzard interface O – Raid – Drag groups). As a mage, this is mainly important for targeting for buffs, and decursing.
You are in a raid group, right? So to talk to everyone you type /raid (or /ra) <some random comment>, right?
Wrong. BG uses a different channel /battleground (or /bg for short).
1st thing to do is type /bg Hi
Apart from anything else it’s nice to break the ice, but there is a different reason for this.
If you can’t see yourself chatting, or your text appears mid-screen, you are the leader.
Don’t Panic! Ask who wants the leadership and pass it to them (right click on their portrait & choose Promote to Leader)
Checking in with the BG leader.
If (against all belief) someone barks out some orders in BG chat, which include your group heading off somewhere, speak up and say you are new here, and so you would prefer to protect and call inc’s (incoming enemies) from the Stable (Alliance – abbreviated as ST) or Farm (Horde, abbreviated as Farm).
Remember that BG chat is filled with abuse (I think there is a random BG abuse generator out there somewhere), it doesn’t matter whether you are a veteran or not, some abuse will get thrown your way. So speak up often, and ignore the trash talk always.
Death happens to the best of us, the good news is that you will be out of battle for 30 seconds max. When you release, you will be at the spirit healer. Don’t leave, stay there. It will have a timer showing you will be resurrected in 0-30 seconds. When you are rezzed, at full health and Mana, head back to battle. In fact Death can be a great way to refill your mana bar.
Strap on your kneepads, the battle is about to start.
30 seconds before the BG starts, a warning will flash on the screen (and in your chat). Now is the time to mount up (if outside, which you will be in AB & Eye of the Storm (EoTS)), and press your face against the barrier while on auto run. (Everyone else is, so why be different?)
The battle for Arathi Basin has begun.
OK, at this point things are the same whether you have been waiting patiently for 2 minutes, or have entered AB to a battle in motion (ie: the less desirable option above).
Note: Buffs now cost mana!
The race is on!
When the gates open, race directly for the 1st landmark (it will be pretty obvious, you have probably spent the last 2 minutes looking at it), Stables (Alliance) or Farm (Horde), find the flag and right click on the golden cog – Yes even if someone else is doing it, it’s a good habit to get into.
Now sit tight.
OK, this is where you stay, at least for your 1st BG (or until the flag is taken by overwhelming numbers – I will come back to this).
There is a good chance that everyone else will run off (left to Goldmine – GM, or right to Lumber Mill – LM, or maybe either way to Blacksmith (BS). Reverse this if you are Horde). That’s OK, you stay here.
Now type /bg Inc ST (or /bg inc farm), but don’t press Enter – position your cursor just before “inc”, and wait… patiently.
- Find a nice position to view incoming enemies (At the Stables, I normally stand on the little hill by the lake).
- Don’t hide in the building, your job is to observe enemy movements.. if they can’t see you, you can’t see them… until it’s too late.
- Look around – constantly. Move about – constantly (let’s make it a little harder for the rogues and druids), but never leave the flag.
Note: Never leave the flag (chant with me), never leave the flag. Don’t fight on the roads, behind buildings, anywhere – only at the flag. You must protect the flag even at the cost of your own life.
When you see enemy (in)coming, type the quantity (remember your cursor is just before “inc”) and Press Enter. One of the good & nasty (depending on your point of view) things about having this ready, is you can’t use your keybound abilities until you press enter… good, because you tell the team you have company, bad if you forget and end up with a long string of 11122424111, so just press enter – enemy quantities or not, at least people know)
Do this AS SOON AS YOU SEE THEM COMING! Not once they arrive. You need to give your team mates time to come and help.
If the enemy turn tail and run, then quickly type /bg ST all clear. That way people can go back on the offensive.
If not, then you have one purpose in life – delay the enemy. Yes a kill is great, but if you are on your own, then play it safe… Delay.
Delaying methods (as a Mage).
- Sheep – It will only last 10 seconds max, and less each time it is cast on the same opponent (diminishing returns), but they aren’t capping the flag while getting out of your polymorph.
- Chill effects – Frostbolt, Cone of cold – Slow them down.
- Disorient effects – Dragon’s Breath, Blast wave.
- Freeze them – Frost Nova, preferably away from the flag (them, not you)
If the enemy are ignoring you and capping the flag – that enemy just became your No. 1 enemy.
Stop them, or at least interrupt them using instants – Fireblast, Dragon’s breath, Ice Lance, Arcane Explosion, Blast wave, even Scorch. Every hit causes pushback on their attempt to cap the flag – and gives your team mates precious time to support you.
If the enemy neutralizes your flag, the flag becomes your next priority.
If you now have backup, capture the flag (sure help your mates to finish off an opponent, but not at the cost of the flag. If you capture it while it is still neutral, it will immediately become yours again. If you wait until the enemy own the flag, then you have to wait a bit for it to become yours.
If you die, run – don’t walk, run and recapture (or support whoever is recapturing) the flag.
Rinse & Repeat.
OK, that’s it for your 1st battleground, or is it…
Well the objective of you sitting back in a relatively safe place isn’t to AFK honor farm. It’s so you get the time to get to know the battleground. So while you are guarding the Stables…
- Watch others – How do they fight, which targets do the pick.
- Watch the map – Where do people go, how do they get there, are they successful
- Watch BG chat – see how people are communicating.
Your objective is to mentally record what works, and mentally record what doesn’t. Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.
But my flag got taken!
Not only did it get taken, but it got taken by overwhelming quantities of slathering horde, and they just wont leave!
No worries, this brings us onto what to do in future BGs anyway.. it just came a little sooner than you hoped.
Look on the map, find the next friendly base (or at least a mass of teammates) and skirt the enemy hordes and join in there. Don’t get distracted on the road… head to the flag.
Your 2nd and 3rd BG can, and maybe will be more of the same. However, if your confidence is bulding, then assuming someone else is guarding your flag, head on out to the LM or GM.
Lumber Mill is great as a Mage, especially as a new player.
You get a view of most of the BG, so you will be useful no matter what, while you call out enemy positions.
You are in position to protect LM, and quickly get to ST and Farm as required…. and as an added bonus, when the call goes out to take the BS, you can:
Featherfall, Mount, Run & Jump off the cliff (towards the BS mind you). You will land right on top of the action!
Don’t believe me? Hey try it, it’s worth it just for the fun of it.
OK, enough for today, I will return soon with more BG’s for PvE players.
Remeber to have a read of some guides on Arathi Basin, and a good starting point is WoWWiki.
Gnomer and Out!