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.



  1. First, let me get my squees out of the way for being mentioned. "Squee!"

    There we go.

    I'm a big fan of battlegrounds and WG when teamwork plays a big part in the win. I used to do arenas with the family, but they were too intense and ... well, I just never wanted to make the time to do them. I had a twos team with my husband for Wrath, but even then it was hard to find time for our 10 matches because some weeks that was one of just a few times for "us time" and I prefer actually seeing him for couple time.

    I also have to second your advice that PVPers learn what the game is before they get into it. It helps quite a bit if you know the objectives. ^_^;

  2. lol! I could probably write a whole blog about your blog. :D You always have the best topics.

    I tried Arenas one time and just couldn't get into it. :/ I like the controlled chaos of the battlegrounds. And the new one is amazing!

    Blizzard likes to keep things simple in the BGs, mostly, so I hope more people will just take a quick moment to read up on 'em. They don't have to be cartoon generals, but it sure helps to know what people are talking about. :D