Sunday, July 26

A Quicky Guide to Casual PvP

The last week I've spent playing more PvP, of all things. Seriously, I was quit. I wasn't gonna do it anymore. I swear. After BC I was tired of it, and sick of the way it worked. It just wasn't fun anymore.

Well, okay, I got too serious and stopped having fun. Hard as I tried, I couldn't lighten up about it.

Then Wrath hit and I had things to do.

So now, with the last patch being largely about raiding, again, and the bit of stuff they threw to the rest of us is done, I started up playing Battlegrounds again. I've been able to keep a pretty casual attitude about it so far.

Birdfall posted a couple of interesting pieces that got me thinking. The first is about Scaling Back and taking a more "casual" mind set to the game. I can relate to that. I think this happened to me back just before Wrath launched, but it took me awhile to get it. The second post was about a little PvP encounter that made me smile.

Thinking of those two things got me thinking about how to do casual PvP, specially battlegrounds, my preferred PvP method. Sounds like a guide to me!

Casual PvP: My Definition

Casual PvP Does Mean: Serious play. A casual PvPer isn't interested in being "pro." You just want to have fun by enjoying the various forms of PvP. There's a visceral component to PvP that you just can't get in PvE. You like that. However, you are there to enjoy it, not stress about it.

Casual PvP Does Not Mean: Scrub. Casual players aren't there just to soak up honor. You DO take your roll in a battle seriously enough to want to do a good job. You do like the strategy aspects of a fight. You know, or are willing to learn, the ins and outs of PvP. You aren't going to quit and you absolutely make every effort to complete the objectives of the battle.

Some people are casual because the don't have a lot of time, some are casual because PvP is a mood thing for them, some are causal because they'd like to have fun rather than pump up their epeens (or QQ about having it deflated).

Like all so-called "casuals" they are here to PLAY, not work.

PvP Basics

* You're gonna die.

A lot. Unless you get really serious about it. Which defeats the whole point of Casual PvP. So you die a lot. Don't worry. There's no penalty for dying at the hands of another player except hanging out it a graveyard until you rez, or running back to your body. Try not to die, of course! The trick is not to get frustrated when you do die. A lot.

* Get Better

Just because you're casual it doesn't mean you're clueless. You need to know how to use your abilities in situational mode. In PvE you often have a set of priorities or even a rotation you follow. In PvP you can throw that all out the window. There's a lot of countering other player's moves involved and it takes place unpredictably and at lightning speed. So it takes practice.

* Have a point.

When you play, there should be a general direction for it. Learn, know and understand the objectives of a PvP encounter, where applicable. If you go into a battle and just flail around, you're not going to enjoy PvP much. There's a lot of teamwork involved in PvP, but there's a big personal component to it as well. Go in with the mindset that you're gonna play hard. The outcome may not matter... for casual PvPers it's getting there that's the fun part. But winning is the goal, so do that as much as possible. :)

* Loot is a bonus.

PvP loots that you can get from just honor are pretty good. But it's nothing like what you'll get from hardcore PvE or some of the hardcore PvP options. The PvP gear you get through casual play takes a long time to get and is pretty much good for PvP. Consider it a bonus, not a goal. The goal is a good time.

* Ignore

Use your ignore feature a lot. There's gonna be a lot of socially deficient, rude, obnoxious, epeen swearing morons, particularly in battlegrounds. Yes, on both Horde and Alliance sides. Set these people to ignore at the first signs of QQ. It makes PvP way more fun when you don't have that shit scrolling in your chat.


Not my favorite PvP activity, mainly because it's largely the domain of the epeener. However, there is a marginal value in the activity if you're learning to PvP with your class. You can test out various things against different classes and see how they work. What works against a Druid isn't necessarily going to work against a Warlock. Dueling is practice. Assuming you can find a good practice partner.

It's 1-on-1, though. So the value is limited. In most real PvP the situations are very different and involved multiple payers. If you end up in a 1-on-1 slugfest with someone in a battleground, for example, you've probably done something wrong.

You'll be better served, and most likely have more fun, jumping into other forms of PvP.


I'm not a big fan, so I'm gonna kinda gloss over this. There are plenty of casual Arena players, and they do well and enjoy themselves. Mostly, though, you're gonna be doing it to spend some time with a small group of friends in PvP play.

Arena tends to be very focused. Because you're on a team, there also more expectations. That's not a bad thing, but be aware of the time commitment. It's not 25-man raids, but you still have to show up on time.

Arena is primarily the domain of hardcore players. Casual isn't going to get you up the ladder very far. However, you can get up far enough to get some nice loot! Everyone loves loot!

If you like the idea of small teams working together to defeat another small team in an enclosed environment, then Arena might be for you. Give a try at least. If you're having a good time, the loot and the ladder won't matter much to ya. They'll be nice bonuses.

World PvP

World PvP takes place out in the middle of a zone. No instancing, you just ride in and start fighting. Many of them have quirks or timers, but when you enter the zone it'll show the objectives at the top of your screen.

Wintergrasp is the de facto world PvP spot now-a-days. Even when the battle isn't going on, you might stop in there to finish up a daily quest, or to grind on the numerous Elementals out there. Regardless of why, there's always someone from the other faction present, and that often leads to a fight.

If you play on a PvE server, this can be quite exciting. Or annoying depending on how you look at it. It's better to look at it as exciting.

The battle itself is an awesome experience, particularly for those that prefer to play from a casual mindset. Tip: Get in a tank. Fun! :D

Most other world PvP is now focused in the Grizzly Hills. There's Outland and Old World spots, as well, but they are fairly empty now. Try them all, though, for a taste. I particularly like The Eastern Plaguelands in the Old World, and Naagrand and the Bone Wastes in Outland.


These are instanced, like a dungeon, and you have to get into a queue. Unlike World PvP, you're going in with people from your Battlegroup, not just your Realm. A Battlegroup is a collection of Realms that all fight together.

As far as casual friendly, the bigger the battleground the better when you're just starting out. Running with the group, helping other more experienced players, and getting a feel for the objectives is important, even for casual players. The smaller battlegrounds, however, offer a lot of fun, so don't hesitate to try them out when you're a little more familiar with the format.

Casual players in battlegrounds (or any PvP) are huge asset to more experienced players, but only if those casuals do what they're suppose to do. Most times, you'll have someone that will step up and issue orders. Follow these orders if you can. The plan may not work. But it'll work better if everyone plays along.

The most important thing to remember about battlegrounds is that you must be tuned into the objective. You need to be aware of what the group is doing and how your class fits into the big picture. That's what more experienced players will mean when they say you need to know your job (or less kindly "L2P!!! NOOB!").

Mostly this just takes some exposure to the battleground. Maybe a little reading on how it works. After you know this, though, you can get to the really fun part, which is doing what you can to win. Or at least lose without getting completely smashed. :)

Casual is PvP

Simply put, most PvP players are going to be causal. Some are just new and will learn. Some are pure experts, as good as the hardcore players. Some are really bad at it. The latter make great cannon fodder. :) Really, it's just about having fun. Like anything in the "casual mindset" it's not about pwn'ing some noob for epeen, or grabbing the latest and greatest gears. (Well, sometimes.) It's about playing. It is "just a game." But it's a game where you can have some serious fun, if you're inclined to think that way.

Go into PvP casually. Learn to casual well. Do it for fun. But mostly, go into it to PLAY.


Friday, July 24

Casual Friday: Why PvP Still Sucks

Because it's so freakin' fun, that's why! There's nothing more fun than being completely undergeared, getting completely pwn'd constantly, and running around not having any clue what going on... and having a blast doing it.

Attempt #2 to make a Casual Friday post on Friday. 15 Minutes or less... ready, set, go...

K, I haven't done any battlegrounds or anything PvPish since just before Wrath launched. It's been awhile. So, my guildmaster gets me going in Wintergrasp and it's meh. And then I turn down the graphics so it's not like fighting in soup (a really heavy bean and stuff filled soup, not that wimpy stuff). And I kinda take a few minutes to look at the map and figure out where things are . . .

Now I don't miss it if I can help it and I'm installing an add-on tonight to keep a timer up so I don't forget! It's total chaos!

As far as I can tell there's no way to actually win or loose. I mean, someone does win and someone does loose, but mostly it's people running around smacking each other... with BIG FREAKIN TANKS. Most battles boil down to who can build thier BIG FREAKIN TANKS up fast enough, and have enough players clever enough to actually go get one, and then pile everybody into one spot and run over the enemy players. It's wild and choatic and loads of fun.

Just turn down your graphics.

Best of all, if you're just a casual player looking for some grins, this is a great place to get lost in the crowd. Just stick with the crowd and do your thing... you'll be having fun in no time. And you can gets some nice gears to hand down to your alts in the form of heirloom items. Bonus!

I know there's a lot of people who are going to really, really dislike me saying that... :) But I don't care. If you're not having fun in a battle... g'away! Shoo! Scram!

The other one I'm enjoying most right now is Strand of the Ancients. It's fast, furious and focused. Yah there's some strategy here, but it's no Arathi Basin. It's more like the Alterac Valley zerg but both sides get a chance to try it... oh, with gates you have to knock down with, you guessed it, BIG FREAKIN TANKS.

This is an amzingly casual friendly BG. Just go where the big letters on the screen say to go and where all the dots are at. Can you find the Yellow Gate on the Map? Goooood! Go there when it says the Yellow Gate is Going Poof. Guess where you go if the Purple Gate is getting smashed? It's like battlegrounds for Dora the Explorer fans. Where do you go? Purple Gate! Where do you go? Purple Gate! Purple Gate! PUUUUUUUUUUUURPLE GATE! You'll never go the wrong way again! Yah, if you're playing against an assload of Pally's and DKs who pile up in front of the gates you're gonna get creamed. But you'll be having so much, you won't care.

Oh, and by all means, in either of these battles jump in a BIG FREAKIN TANK! It's only fun a few times every now and then. But it is fun and well worth the ride. Some of them even let you jump on them and shoot stuff without having to drive. Casual friendly? Oh I think so.

As always, a word of caution: Make liberal use of the ignore feature. There are some major buttholes in battlegrounds and they're horribly whiney and annoying. Ignore them and, if you can, run them over with a BIG FREAKIN TANK!


Friday, July 17

Casual Friday: New Alt and some stuff

I thought I try Casual Fridays again on, you know, Fridays. So now it's Sunday and I'm finally getting it published. HA! Best laid plans and all that. Maybe I should start writing this on Monday. Hmmmm....

Since I don't have anything important to say that wouldn't take more than two hours to finish writing (and then still not be important, of course) I thought I'd take up the Twitter habit, and some other bloggers habits (SWIPE!), of posting links to stuff I like. So just click and have fun dammit.

At the end, I wanna take a moment to introduce everyone to my new main alt, enhancement shammy Sunaris!

First, the blog posts I liked this week. Yah, the is very random and I'm probably missing a few. My apologies to the bloggers I skipped. Remember: my attention span is less than zero, so this'll be all the posts I liked until I get tired of copying and pasting links.

Flowchart Friday and In Which I Rant About Belts from I Like Bubbles. Warrior tanking AND fashion rant in the same week?!? Genius. As for the deh bewbs... to borrow a quote from Teri Hatcher when she was on Sienfeld: "Yes, they are real. And they're *magnificent!*"

7 Things I have learned about Specing from TankingTips. Great advice and he made up a word: "Specing." Make up words are the best!

Translating Blue from Tanking for Dummies. One of the best tank sites takes a pessimistic view of the Warrior Q&A posted by Blizz this week. Loved it! It's funny AND accurate. I'll be taking a more optimistic (sorta) look at it here in a bit, but Tarsus pretty much nails what a lot of other Warriors (inc m'self) were thinking when we read the Q&A.

Arms Elementary School from Pixelated Executioner continues the series looking at Level 30-39. If you're thinking of trying Arms warrior, READ PIX'S POST FIRST! This is the readme.txt for aspriing Arms Warriors. :)

Want to Buy a Tanking Dummy by Pretty in Plate. This is such a great idea I'm surprised it's not in the game. As it is, the only way to figure out how you're doing as a tank is to go out and do it. And get beat up a lot. Tanking dummies would be a nice addition.

I'm not the Kind of Hunter... from Escapist Scrawl. :D People are strange... Oh, and... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Smelling the Roses from Holy Discipline. Good advice, as well. Play as you wish. :)

This week's top pick: I Found a Newbie from Awakening in Progress. I still love newbies. :D

Now on to the Shammy Power!

Here she is.

I'm not quite into her hair yet, but I'll play with that at the Barber Shop. Apparently the Exodor doesn't have one?!? K.

I like moon shots. Dunno.

Yup, nother moon shot. I know they're spose to be Space Goats,
but the bottoms that match this top would have been WAY too furry.

The whole key to being a good Shaman is having as many glowy,
spinny, twirly, flappy and wipsy things on you as possible. So, yes
the moth is required.


Stop and enjoy a sunset occasionally.
(Just mind the bear that's about to bite your big, bouncy booty.)

Sunday, July 5

Flower Picking Plate Wearers in 3.2 (So Far)

Warriors themselves are not really getting any love in WoW 3.2. We don't need it to be the most fun class to play, of course. :)

But the changes so far have been... meh to wtf?!? I won't even go there until after the patch. At this point, I'm taking a wait and see approach, even if my inclination is to rage and bitch and throw a fit. Ahem.

The more exciting changes for Warriors are coming in professions, and if you're a casual flower-picking plate wearer, things get really fun!

All subject to change of course. Some links are from the PTR version of WoWHead, so they'll break eventually. (And, let's face it, the chance of me going back and fixing 'em are pretty slim, so after 3.2 hits ya mights need to do a little searching. :P)


The first big news is that pots will now stack to 20. Ha! Okay, why not 100? Oh well, 20 will do. You'll be able to pack enough of those Indestructible and Speed Pots for several dungeon runs, extended questing, or long raids without having to refill.

Professionally speaking, it'll mean less runs to the bank alt to unload all those pots you've made for sellin'. And you can sell in bulk for larger at-once pricing. It won't necessarily change the per item cost, but it'll make it more convenient to rake in the golds.

On the other hand, maybe people will get so comfortable with the 20 stacks that they'll burn through them quicker. Which means they'll buy more. Selling is all psychology anyway. :)


The bennie ya get from Mixology is getting a boost, but no word as to what or how much yet. For Warriors, this is always huge. Any buff is a good buff. I'm hoping for more than just longer duration. A 2-3% or so increase to the effect would be nice. Popping a Deadly Strikes or Endless Rage and getting a bigger bonus would be wicked good for DPS warriors.

A new alchemy quest! "The recipe for transmuting a Cardinal Ruby can be learned from a quest, given by Linzy Blackbolt in Dalaran." Any time we get a new Alchemy quest is a good day. No, no daily yet. Keeping fingers and toes crossed for that one, but not getting expectations up. The quest, apparently, is just transmuting the other epic gem enchants. Meh. I hope they change that. Epic gem requires epic quest, not standing in front of the mailbox wiggling your fingers.

Not exactly sure why each profession doesn't have a daily quest or five. Hmmmmm.

Speaking of transmutes... Has transmutation become a viable specialization again? Not! We ARE getting new transmutes for epic gems. I read that the cool down is currently set to 20 hours (subject to change). Which is fine. Start grabbing those gems and eternals for the initial wave of jewel crafters wanting to cut them. Do it early cause miners are gonna be charging an arm and a leg for the raw gems after the patch hits. You'll want to farm up all your Crystallized what-have yous, as well.

Warrior alchemists will, obviously, want to set aside a bit of epic goodness for themselves. Banana Shoulders has an AWESOME guide to the new gems thus far. Be sure to check it out and plan your transmuting accordingly.

Tip: If you're going for the golds, take a good reading (using AuctionLite or r) for the next few weeks of which Rare quality gems sell best. The Epic versions of those will most likely be pretty popular.

Warriors will be mostly interested in:

Red: Bold (STR) and Precise (Expertise) Cardinal Ruby
Yellow: Rigid (Hit), Thick (Def) and Smooth (Crit) King's Amber
Blue: Solid (Stam) Majestic Zircon

There's also Orange, Green an Purple combo versions of the above, of course. I'll be transmuting up and getting cut some Smooth King's Amber because my Crit sucks so bad.

The mats you'll want to start stockpiling now are:

Gems: Scarlet Ruby, Sky Sapphire, Autumns Glow, Twilight Opal, Forest Emerald, Monarch Topaz

Eternals: Fire, Life, Shadow, Air.

At this point, no Eternal Water. And Life and Shadow are actually used in two of the new transmutes. Don't forget to check your transmute eternal-to-eternal thingie. If you have Herbalism, for example, you'll end up with piles of cheap Eternal Life, which can be transmuted into the rarer Fire and Shadow Eternals.

Flask of the North is the new Neverending Gobstopper for Alchemists. Weeee! Currently you need four Frost Lotus to make one. Expensive for non-herbalists, but you only have to make it once. It gives you a nice boost to either Spell Power, Attack Power, or Strength. No word yet on if this is a random effect or you can choose to make a specific type of flask. WoWhead lists one recipe that appears to be a random effect version, and then one each for SP, AP, or STR. I'm hoping for the latter. If so, Warriors will probably make both the AP and STR version, but again, ya only have to do one of each.

While this won't replace your main Flasks or Exlixir combo, it's a perfect buff for running dailies, PvP, questing or normal/heroic dungeons on the cheap. Save those Flasks for the big runs!

I do wish these were profession specific non-BoP items, though. I know that other Alchemists can make 'em, but they may not have Herbalism which makes getting Frost Lotus a bit expensive. So why can't I farm up the Frost Lotus and make one for them? Dunno.

Endless Healing Potion and Endless Mana Potion now gives 2700 to 4500 instead of 1680 to 2160. Can't use it in arenas any more. /fine. This is an awesome boost. This, combined with your Alchemist trinket and, if you have Herbalism, Lifeblood and add in built-in Warrior healing abilities... bah, who needs a healer any more! Ha!

Okay, I do. And I love each. and. every. one. of. you! Really. I was just kidding. Heal me. Please? :)

Finally, apparently rage potions can now be used by Druids. Didn't know they couldn't... but um, hey more business is more business. Hooray for ragey druids! :D


Lifeblood gets a boost. From 2000 over 5 second to 3600 over 5 seconds, currently. Yah! The patch notes also say that it scales slightly with maximum health. I imagine that'll be a small percentage that balances out the total percentage healed between toons with medium-range health and toons with high health. So... Warriors will obviously get a healthy boost from Lifeblood. (Sorry, first and final pun for this post.)

Yet More Wishful Thinking

For Alchemy, I'd still like to see a new application or two. For example, I still like the idea of salves and oils that can be applied temporarily to provide an item buff. Those are fun. Nothing huge that would be "required," of course. Or incense that can be burned to provide an AoE buff/debuff. I know Blizz got away from this sort of thing, but it always added flavor to the professions that I think is lacking now.

For Herbalism, the only thing I'd like to see is a few more nodes added, and/or maybe sorta a faster reswpan rate. Not much, mind you, but just a touch. All too often lately, with two professions using herbs now, herb prices make it impossible to justify making the finished materials.

I do Glyphs, on Neveron, and Pots and simply won't do them if the price per mat isn't right. Professionally speakin, it kinda kills the market for finished goods. Mats should certainly be profitable, but they shouldn't be more profitable than the final product!

I don't think, sometimes, Blizz is terribly interested in the WoW economy, but it is a fun aspect of the game for many. A little tweaking to make the material goods professions a little more profitable would be a Good Thing. Yes, the gatherers should make golds, too, of course. But going to the expense and time needed to level up a crafting profession should have much greater rewards. With associated difficulty and cost to get there, of course.

Anyhoo... Alchemy and Herbalism are offering a lot more for Warriors. That's always awesome. If the Crusade patch keeps going the way it is, Warriors in general are gonna be visiting the proctologist to remove the nerf bat. Sigh. So take what you can get where you can get it!

Oh, and I finally found a class I like almost as much as Warriors. Don't know why I didn't try it out a long, long time ago. Shaman! :D Yah, I made a baby Dranei Enhancement Shammy... and she's a blast! Very Warriory like, yet.... very different. Different is good sometimes. :)