Monday, September 27, 2010

Conquering PvP Realms

mortal_combat Good morning readers. Instead of sitting down with a cup of coffee and start up my WoW, decided to instead fire up my Live Writer and dedicate some thoughts down on a subject I came upon rather by accident. Credit goes to Tatiiana, a dear friend of mine who plays a mage of the same name on the Tarren Mill EU realm. The reason why this is significant is because I play on Neptulon EU, which places us both in pvp Realms. For those who do not know, this means that in pvp realms your pvp will flag on automatically in certain areas which makes world pvp so much more common and indeed, it is one of the reasons many choose to play on these servers.

However, in this article I decided I would delve into the misconceptions of playing on pvp servers because like myself actually, prior to moving here with my guild, many players who reservations, quite needlessly about the day-to-day routines on pvp realms and thus, in my opinion, miss out on a lot.

The main thing that a lot of people miss the quality of players, which is by average higher on pvp realms if you compare to pve realms. No, this does not mean that players on pve realms are not good or even better than many who play pvp realms. That is not what I am saying, but the fact is that people who get caught in pvp develop a certain level of awareness and skill that pure-pve’ers do not. Pvp encourages reaction, speed, and awareness. While it is perfectly possible to obtain this by just playing pve, it comes much more naturally to pvp players. This was our guild’s, The Increment, main reason for moving to Neptulon because we wanted to harvest on that potential of players, which we have.

Now, the main misconception people have about pvp realms is that people pvp all the time. That you, in fact, cannot go 100 yards from Ironforge without running into people pvp’ing and therefore, e.g. leveling a character is an utter nightmare to go through. This is an utter and complete load of bullocks.

First of all, your pvp will flag on only in contested areas. This means that major cities, starting zones and the immediate zone next to those are safe. This includes Elwynn Forest, Westfall, Dun Morogh, Loch Modan, etc. Areas where you should watch out are Southshore, Stranglethorn Vale, naturally all of Outland and so forth. But even in contested areas you will run into minimum trouble. I have personally tested this when I revitalized my warrior and leveled him from level 13 to 80, during which I got attacked total of two times. Most people you run across will want nothing to do with you. A good case of example happened just two days ago when I was exploring on my warrior and crossing the border of Southshore and Silverpine Forest. Just I went over the border, a level 80 blood elf mage rode past me. We both stopped about 60 yards of each other, most likely eyeing each other, checking what the gear looked like, the mount, titles, etc. Anything that would tell us if this was a fight we wanted to get into.

After only few short seconds, we both continued on our separate ways, figuring “no, screw it” and that’s how it usually goes. MAD
“Mutually Assured Destruction” is a powerful incentive and you never truly know how good someone is until you try. Many times the attacker actually gets killed himself, as happened between my death knight and a hunter when I was mining, couple of weeks ago. He landed and started shooting on the fly. However, I managed to beat him. Same case scenario when both me and a tauren shaman were farming the same rep in Outland; he actually attacked me while I was killing an elite mob and still I killed him and mind you, this was a guy in some pretty cool gear and with obvious skill. With that bare in mind that I am actually a total scrub in pvp and ofc these events were all very far in between.

Most of the time I got to run around, farm rep, doing dailies and gathering mats in total peace. Now, I am not saying that you will never get attacked, as shown by the examples above, but what I am saying is that it is a lot more rare than you think. I shall take a screenshot for you guys, the next time I go do my fishing daily in Sholazar Basin because almost every time I do, I complete it right next to horde players.

Naturally, you will die occasionally, it’s unavoidable but part of that just needs to be accepted as part of the realm and in fact, looked as part of the fun. One of the consistent world pvp events that I have seen happened in front of Icecrown Citadel entrance, where every raid night, we gather in mass to block the door and kill any horde who try to get in. It’s hilarious and naturally, they will occasionally do the same to us but none of it is done with menace or to be nasty. It’s all good fun; we kill few of them, they kill a few of us and always manage to laugh about it on vent.

So what am I actually trying to say here? That pvp realms are not evil, nor as chaotic and malevolent as many make them appear. Most of the time, you wouldn’t even notice the difference to a pve realm. There are indeed many benefits to playing on pvp servers and having experienced it myself, I definitely encourage everyone to give it a go.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Journey Continues

Fellow greetings again Internet. I know I have not been very active on this blog and I do apologize for the inconvenience. As it currently stands, I have taken up the duty of keeping up with writing raid tactics and our Guild’s insider blog on, which sadly eats most of the time I have for writing blogs. However, I currently find myself sitting in Dalaran and having plenty of time to spare before our next raid so I decided to start up my Writer and and put some words down.


First, for those who are interested you can check our Increment Insider blog at our tankspot. For those who insisted on screenies of our progression should find plenty in there. Progression-wise we are currently holding at 9/12 in ICC25 HMs. A fact we are very proud of and have had several experimental goes at three different HMs; Professor Putricide, Sindragosa, and Halion just to see which we would like to commit our time to.


A lot of news filter in about Cataclysm almost every day. Many times I’ve gazed upon them and thought to myself “that deserves a mention in my blog” but there are so many that it is impossible to keep up and in the end, this blog isn’t really about publishing latest news. Just what seems important to me. On that note, details about the new Tier 11 gear sets have been released, with a couple of screenshots.

The part that strikes me about these sets is the fact that tanks might again care about the Tier bonuses, which we clearly did not need to do towards the end of Wrath. Sure, they were a nice addition but was somewhat mellowed by the fact that Blizzard decided to add much more sexier gear pieces to both the frost vendor and drops from ICC. Looking at the Tier 11 bonuses I feel a certain excitement as a tank, a feeling that these might almost be a must-have thing.

Warrior’s Earthen Battleplate:

2pc - Increases the damage done by your Shield Slam ability by 5%.

4pc - Increases the duration of your Shield Wall ability by 50%.

Death Knight’s Magma Plated Battle Armor:

2pc - Increases the damage done by your Death Strike ability by 5%.

4pc - Increases the duration of your Icebound Fortitude ability by 50%.

I do wish Blizzard would get out of their habit of adding a threat boost to our tanking sets and more complicated elements, like added health regenerated by our Death Strike. The whole concept of threat has a very controversial feel for me. I wouldn’t want to make it trivial but nor do I want to generally worry about it. Some tanks have whispered about the return to TBC’s type aggro where tanks where holding aggro was the single-most hardest thing to do in the game.

That’s ridiculous in my opinion and I’m glad to report Blizzard has officially agreed with me on numerous occasions. Tanks should have all the tools they need for holding aggro, if they use all their respected abilities properly. If you’re only spamming one button through the entire encounter you deserve to lose aggro but otherwise, for players who know what they are doing, it shouldn’t be an issue and not warrant threat bonuses in Tier sets. To me the pleasure of tanking is in pulling, positioning, taking the hit and surviving it so rest of the raid can do their jobs.

Likewise, for me  Tier sets represent an addition to your abilities, not their completion. Seeing that Shield Wall’s duration goes up by 50% is awesome and means I can survive for much longer. Seeing a threat modifier in the sets just means threat would be partially gimped prior to getting the set. That type of sets also inevitably lead situation during the next upgrade process, when you will not have that ability, thus making your performance rather poor until you get the two new pieces, or worse the next set will not have it at all and you run on half power for the rest of the patch.