Friday, January 25, 2008

PVP nub + tangents galore.

You know how you'll hear a word somewhere and then suddenly find yourself noticing that word a lot more? Or a song or whatever? Well lately PVP has been that song for me.

I'm no leet PVPer by any stretch of the imagination so let's just get that establishment of credentials (or lack thereof) out of the way up front. I do however really enjoy it. There's nothing that gets my adrenalin going quite as much as testing myself against a human foe.

Raiding, sure I like it a lot. I want the shiny purples yes but it's the team work aspect I enjoy the most.

In fact...
/wailing sirens
WARNING: TANGENT ALERT!!
/end wailing sirens

My intial objections to playing WoW back when I was a pirate-head was that WoW was

1. A level grind
2. Based on gear accquired through level grinding rather than skill per se (yes I was wrong there is a lot of skill but there is still the level thing)

which differed significantly from Pirates where your 'leetness' factor was based purely on your skill at the different puzzles and navigating as opposed to having killed x/y annoying screech making spiders ad nauseum to get to the level cap and the fat lewtz. Remember I hadn't really played at this stage.

So I've played for, well, long enough to have a considered opinion I think, and the point I am laboriously trying to make is that raiding is really ultimately learning a script. Let me expand on that by a comparison to pirates. No wait let me not because that is a post topic all of it's own. Let's just leave it for now at: raid - script and therefore markedly different from PVP.

Which is, no doubt, at the root of the tension in WoW between the PVEers and the PVPers (there was this tension in Pirates too.. but that was more about the carebear factor). I've never thought about it before but maybe I'm a PVP style player at heart who just hasn't realised it yet? (And is pretty damn noobish about PVP lest we forget).

It's amazing what a few well timed comments can do to educate you though. And this is where we heave this massively derailed post back on track.

So PVP yeah. I did a bunch of PVPing in the last month or so before TBC came out, mainly because there was no point running instances/raids for gear that would shortly become redundant. I don't think I was very good at it though. I was pretty huntardy at that time too but more on this another time. At any rate in the last month I have a renewed interest in PVP and also arenas. It seems there has been a massive jump in PVP interest generally in WoW although I'm not really sure why. I can only speak about myself and I think the influx of some new players into the guild who are into PVP has piqued my interest. Also the gear is pretty sweet!! Maybe it's the realisation of raiders that you can get good as, or better gear, via PVP more easily than lots of raiding and DKP and etc. Then there's the whole 'welfare epics' thing which people have even written (hilarious) songs about.

I don't really care if I'm on Welfare. I play to have fun and that includes both PVE and PVP.

So I'm no BRK with a shizload of PVP kills under my belt (well they were pre TBC so do they even count? hehe) but I've got some comments on PVPing as a hunter too. More about play style than gear or talent spec though. I'm still working out the gear/spec thing.

See your shots are completely different in PVP. In a raiding or even general PVE situation as a BM you're probably going to be doing something similiar to a 1:1 shot rotation of auto shot, steady shot throwing in some specials like arcane, multi on cool down and stings when needing to be refreshed, and of course those lovely Kill Commands every time they proc.

In PVP you'll be loving concussive shot, arcane shot, stings (to a lesser extent) and aimed shot. And of course, my favourite - multishot. TBW is your best friend and Intimidation is also really useful for the 3 second stun (thanks for the tip on that one Eszti!). Kill Command is just as wonderful in PVP as it is in PVE too, but if you're using 'the' hunter macro you're going to have to get used to executing the action yourself rather than letting the macro do it for you.

See the way I see it, in PVP the hunterly role is to slow up your target enough that a) they can't run out of range or into your dead zone and b) can't get off a cast (in the case of casters) so that you and your pet can chew them up as rapidly as possible.

I don't have a particular preference for who I fight against in a BG - mostly it's circumstantial anyway.

Kiting ability is definitely a must. It has given me great pleasure to have successfully kited an annoying rogue or warrior while Sooty chews them up. Ditto on jump shots - being able to kite and keep firing off shots is important - concussive shot to slow em then throw in an arcane once you get a bit more range again is nice.

Feign death. I only just learned this myself through a few arena encounters with other hunters - FD is really useful to make whatever is attacking you lose focus. I'm still working on remembering to use this ability in PVP but it is definitely a useful one.

Traps. Really are a hunters best friend. Depending on the situation frost, freezing and snake are all great options. In a BG like WSG I'll use a frost trap for it's slowing purposes whereas in Arenas the freezing trap is great. I always drop a freezing trap as my first move in an arena match. Either it will stop someone attacking me OR it can be used by my squishier team mates to kite someone attacking them into it.

Hot-keys. Reaction time and attention to the action are extremely important in PVP. Clicking is favoured by some but precious seconds are lost while you mouse over to that particular icon. Also clickers generally use the WASD keys or similiar to move and this means not using the camera to the best advantage.

So there's my take on PVP as a hunter thus far.

As far as speccing for PVP - well I know that there are talents more suited to PVP in the various hunter trees but personally I am not taking my PVP seriously enough to respec all the time (unlike some of my fellow guildies!). Maybe that will change, we'll see.

As I learn more through experience and research I'll share here.

1 comment:

Eszti said...

- don't forget the completely underrated Wingclip ability. Anything that reduces the mobility of your target and makes it that much easier to turn into a pincushion is a good thing.

I was running Arena games this morning in my 2v2 on Csilla and there was this hunter/druid pair we kept running into. The first game, I got trounced by the hunter (a full T3 Beast Mastery hunter who I remember impressing me a lot). In particular he reduced my mobility in the Blade's Edge Arena, reducing my ability to LoS the sonnova and stay alive. He would Wingclip and Concussive Shot me to prevent me from jumping down the bridge and getting away from him. He was also very good at using Intimidation to prevent me from getting a timely heal off.

The only thing that upset me about him was that he was relying on the tried-and-true Steady/Auto shot rotation and not relying enough on Arcane Shot (removes one magical effect), stings (Viper Sting in particular would have been good against me), or Aimed Shot (to reduce my effective healing on my partner).

The thing with PvP as a hunter is that it's entirely different than raiding. You use entirely different skills, you might spec for entirely different talents, and even the gear might be different in order to increase survivability. The important thing, however, is that you're playing to have fun. Otherwise, even "welfare epics" (and, to be honest, I loathe that term because I recognize that the gear you obtain in PvP isn't better than raided epics in general, excluding weapons) aren't worth your time.