Friday, April 9, 2010

So you need to PVP?

Children's Week is coming up in about a month and you REALLY want your violet protodrake. One of the major sticking points for most people with this meta event is the PVP portion. I have several guildies who are already dreading the day this event rolls around.

Fire when ready!
Why do they dread it? PVP is different. PVP requires a different set of skills to play, and is totally unreliable, not at all like raiding. (No phases, no trash mobs, just kill or be killed.) Plus a typical battlegrounds fight is not at all like Wintergrasp.

First off, PVP is more one-on-one fighting. Unlike leveling where the npc cast a predictable set of spells, or attacked a specific way, a decent PVP'r will aim for your weaknesses. You a tank/warrior? I'll try to keep you at a distance. You a caster? I'll try to keep you silent. Despite Blizzards best efforts, they are not going to get the randomness that is a human PVP player.

Second, PVP is about survivability, not damage. The player who can lives the longest wins. Unlike raiding, there is very little communication between battelground players (at least on my battlegroup). No one has a vent server setup  listening for call-outs for "heals!!". You need to plan your attacks so that they revolve around living. CC to keep the attacker distracted. Slow them down with a stun. Use any tricks that return health back to you. While they are busy, damage them. This talent spec may be completely different than what you are currently raiding with. Look into putting talent points into regenerating health, less into direct damage. Shorten the CD or cast time of your CC talents.

To live longer, you need to gear like a tank. This means lots of stamina gems and lots of resilience (keep down the incoming spell crits). Luckily it's rather easy to get a decent PVP set, with what (I think) most PVE players have already, Wintergrasp tokens, Honor points and Emblems of Triumph.

Here's what gear I'd suggest:

  1. Champion Ros'slai in Wintergrasp (on raptor mount)
    • i245 Cloak (25 WG Marks)
    • i251 Shoulders (40 WG Marks) .
    • i245 Neck (25 WG Marks) 
  2. Furious Gladiator Set (i232) (Emblems of Triumph or Honor points) - includes a class specific set bonus. (Warlocks = quicker fear!)
    • helm 75T or 54,500 honor
    • gloves 50T or 43,300 honor
    • chest 75T or 54,500 honor
    • legs 75T  or 34,700 honor
  3. Relentless Gladiator Pieces (i245) (no set bonus like Furious set)
    • Feet 34,100 honor
    • Waist 34,100 honor (Don't forget belt buckle for added gem slot)
  4. Wrathful Gladiator (i264) wrists 43,400 honor
  5. Gems
    • Yellow = Resilience
      • Kharma's grace or Mystic King's Amber for straight resilience
      • Steady Eye of Zul for resilience + stam
    • Other slots, put +stam and your classes favorite stat (warlock = +haste and +crit).

With this gear, plus my regular PVE weapons and trinkets, I've reached 34,000 health totally "raid" buffed (26,000 unbuffed). In my PVE gear, I can typically see 22000 - 24,000 health.

Total cost?
If you start today and play Wintergrasp as often as possible (defending from a canon is easy-mode), winning a round nets 2-3 wg tokens. Do the 4-5 quests weekly, you can net aother 20k honor easily. If you do the daily random dungeon, you probably have a boat load of triumph badges already on hand.
  • 95 Wintergrasp tokens (approx 30 wins)
  • 275 Triumph badges  (~55 random dungeons)
  • 111,600 to 303,400 honor  (if you do 30 wintergrasp, you'll easily have 75,000 honor - make sure to pickup the weekly quests @ 3723 honor each)
 Remember, if you've done any pvp before, your old tokens are no longer valid. You can turn them in for honor points. Also, you can only have 75,000 honor at any one time. So make sure you watch closely and spend it before it maxes out.
Ready to roll!!

Overall, it will take a bit of work. You'll need to adjust your play-style for instant attacks and adding back health. The quicker you can CC and then kill your opponent, the better. Purchase gear that has resilience added where possible. Aiming for gear that completes a full gladiator set bonus is ideal, but not necessary. Gem for stamina and resilience so that you out-live your attacker.

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