So last night Hilde rounded up a group of TWW people just insane enough to do a little 5v5 PVP. I hopped on Syp, my 70 warlock, and quickly tried to remember what all of the 60 buttons do. Soul link? Do I need that? Sounds good… guess I do. Oh! I have pets! I forgot about that!
I found it helpful to create a new hotbar (shift+2) solely devoted to a PVP layout. Back in the day of AV and AB, before Burning Crusade came out, I immersed myself in the PVP world for a month or so, and learned that about 70% of the skills you have are near useless in PVP. Taunts don’t work, so it’s stupid to have your pet on growl or suffering. Any skill with a cast time over a second probably won’t get off in hot-and-heavy PVP unless you are left alone for some time. So ultimately, it’s all about identifying all of the instants and one second casts that can do some damage, in addition to about four to five other PVP-situational skills (good skills with hefty cooldowns are good for PVP on the whole).
For Syp, I made 1-3 my DOTs (immolate was a lean 1.5 second cast, but I was usually able to get it off), 4-6 my fears (deathcoil, howl of terror, fear), then curse of tongues (against mages/casters), banish (for other lock pets), and seed of corruption (to experiment with). Nothing fancy. I didn’t have time to get off shadowbolts or channel any spells when I’ve got two rogues slicing my head up five ways from Sunday.
We took our lumps early on, losing a quick couple games. It wasn’t until about the middle of the matches when I even scored a kill — and that’s pretty unusual for my PVP experience. The difference about arenas, compared to BGs, is that you have one life — period. You can’t afford to be as suicidal, knowing that you can just pop back up from a graveyard. Although I have soul link and some serious health, I’m squishy and a prime target for rogues and warriors.
In our third match or so, we noticed that a team that steamrolled us did so by mounting up before they were even out of the gate and storming to our position. It’s all psychological — after all, they’re still coming to us — but the lack of preparation/maneuvering time threw us off. BAM! They’re in our face, and we’re dead. So… why not copy that? TWW rose to the copyright infringement, and did so. The mount rush strategy paid off in spades — instead of letting the enemy have time to feel us out and figure out their prime targets, we were on top of them with mass chaos. I would try to rush, drop my horse, and then attempt to get my two second Howl of Terror off — when it did pop, there goes half of their team running around like sissies. Fun stuff.
My typical warlock PVP routine usually involved throwing my two insta-DOTs on targets, tabbing, and repeat. This didn’t work so well in arena, where people are running around all willy-nilly, and I kept losing track of who was where. So I practiced focus fire — I would target a guy, pump out all three DOTs, and get my pet on his butt. When, and only when that happened, would I change to a new target. Often, players would resist/throw off my DOTs, forcing me to reapply them. Which I did, happily.
As for rogues, my only defense against stunlock is to position my felguard about fifteen feet away and click “stay”, while putting him in defensive mode. The second I’d get attacked (and stunned), he’d charge in and stun the rogue who did it for 3 seconds. Not tons of time, but it helped. Deathcoil is a nice little “go away!” if you can get it off. And God bless ritual of souls, which helps to make a nice 2400 healthstone before each match — I told everyone to slot it into their hotbar, and I hoped it helped.
So on the whole, we did good. I died, a lot, but by the end we were kicking ass and taking names, and Hilde was sobbing with joy. Good times.