Saturday, February 16, 2008

Why Warsong Gulch is the Shiznit for hunters

Before I wax lyrical about WSG and why it roxxors for hunters I first want to get all excited about my newest piece of PVP gear: the Gladiator's Chain Helm. I finally amassed enough honour this Tuesday just gone and decided to take the plunge for the helm since it gave me the opportunity to add itemisation with the 2 gem slots and purchase a glyph rather than needing to gather mats for either an enchant or leg armour. I decided to go for the Enigmatic Skyfire Diamond for the meta slot mainly because out of all the hunter suitable meta gems I had the right 'other gem' requirements in my current PVP gear set up and a Shifting Nightseye for the red slot since it has stamina plus agility. I also shimmied on over to the friendly Cenarion Expedition quartermaster in Zangamarsh to pick up a Glyph of Ferocity to slap on my new shiny. So all in all I'm very happy and my resilience is now 113 which although not at all good is definitely a step in the right direction.

So on to what I intend to be the meat of this post. One night this week just gone we were supposed to run Kara, having recently started up an Aussie week night run now that we have enough Aussies in the guild. Unfortunately we didn't have enough people to do the run so we did a quick 'attunement' run of SV, Arc and BM to key up an alt of one of the guildies and then set up a premade to run the PVP daily Warsong Gulch.

Now I confess I used to hate, loathe and outright detest WSG as a battleground. This was before I understood the strategy and how to use my class to good effect though. Now my opinion is thoroughly changed, in fact I believe that WSG is a BG which really allows the hunter class to shine.

Game objective
Capture the flag - a battlefield objective known well by anyone who has played multi-player FPS type games. One side tries to capture the flag of the opposing side and return it to their base whilst making sure that the other side doesn't capture their flag and do same. You can only capture the opposing teams flag if your flag is at it's base. A simple enough premise yes but not always simple to execute. Hunters with our particular skills are able to add a lot of value with this kind of game objective.

Using track humans and track beasts it's possible to provide important information about the opposite factions movements. It's important to continually monitor the movements of the opposite team. See a druid heading tunnel toward the flag room? Throw up beast tracking and watch to see which exit route they take to get across the mid. The earlier you can announce to your team which way they are trying to go the better your chances of taking them down and recapturing the flag. I should note here that with patch 2.4 allowing anyone to track the flag carrier after 45 seconds(I think and unless anything changes which is wont to happen when a patch is still on the PTRs) this will make hunter tracking abilities not quite as critical. Still useful though - 45 seconds until you can track is still a long time in a BG.

Trapping is great in any battleground and WSG is no exception. Guarding your flag carrier? Head up to the roof and drop freezing traps and flares at the only entrance to the roof. Know which way the opposing teams flag carrier is heading? Drop a freezing trap to slow them down long enough for the defense team to arrive and start taking them down. Inthe mid embroiled in defense? Use freezing or snake traps to assist the other classes in controlling and containing the attack. Which brings me to an important point which applies to all PVP situations.

Contain and control
Every class has skills and abilities which are used to control the action and a hunter is no exception. Whether on offense or defense (and a hunter can do both very successfully) the aim is to control and contain the encounter. From my perspective this means keeping your opponents in one place long enough to take them down. Especially the flag carrier.

I personally tend to prefer playing defense in WSG so here's an example of what I see as a good use of hunter abilities. That druid heading tunnel to grab our flag that I mentioned above? Ok, he's (or she's, but I'm gonna stick with he) exited via our GY and is heading down the that side of the mid avoiding all the shenanigans going on in the centre. Since I spotted him going in I've got track beasts up because I know he'll be in travel form when trying to return to his base. I see him going GY announce it in vent/bg chat and race over having mounted up as soon as I saw him head up the tunnel. No point chasing him into our flag room since he will be more vulnerable in mid and the defense team will be able to get there quicker. So I get in range and dismounting on the run immediately send in Sooty with Intimidation to stun and slow him. I then follow up with Concussive shot to slow him further. With Sooty nibbling at his kneecaps he's forced to shift to caster form and self-heal which slows him down further. I'll get in front and drop a freezing trap and if I get within melee range while doing this I'll wingclip him too. Everything I'm doing is designed to slow him down so that the defense team can arrive and start making druid chop-suey. That said, this also means there is time for the opposing team to send in support. Ok that's fine, keeping up as many slowing effects as possible on the flag carrier I'll also be looking to a) take out any healer support he may have and b) provide support to the defense team - like a rogue beating on the frost mage or our healer and etc. This is where I'll go TBW since now there is danger of CC from the opposing team and start using abilities like viper sting to mana drain healers and casters and multi-shot to cause as much damage as possible. RAWR.

See the other important thing in any battleground apart from controlling the action is supporting your team. So often in BGs I will see this 'everyone for themselves' mentality. Doesn't work, sorry. You heal me I can do more damage and exert more control. I support you as a healer when getting attacked and you'll stay alive longer to provide heals. When everyone plays for themselves it becomes incredibly easy for the other side to pick you off and then you can never gain momentum as a group because you are in a constant round of rez, run back to action by yourself, die again, rinse and repeat. I see this particular mistake made frequently in the other 'node controlling objective' BGs.

So there you go, my opinion of why WSG is a great BG for hunters as a pretty new PVPer. I'd be interested to know, did I miss some other useful abilities or do you think this kind of approach is totally wrong? What are your experiences in WSG or any BG? Play a different class? Tell me how you deal with hunters so I know to try and avoid/control it hehe ;)


Pike said...

Grats on the helmet! I loooove that helmet.

I also love WSG, it's easily my favorite battleground.

Telrunya said...

I play for the Horde side. I play D 90% of the time in WSG. I will drop a frost or snake trap by the flag, then put my pet(cat) on aggr and keep him right next to flag(I use prowl in BG's as well). With flares going anytime the CD is up my pet will attack anything that comes close. I also have aspect of the beast up at all times. Most classes won't see me in the FR so I get that much more of an advantage. Helps with rogues and druids big time. Also I rotate Stealth in the mix. I can't tell you how many times I will find a rogue or druid just sitting in our flag room.

Another thing I see a lot is people leaving the speed boost available. On D I grab it everytime it comes up. Why leave it there for an Alliance to snag it and get that much of a jump on us. Just stupid in my opinion. If I see our flag carrier coming up our tunnel. I will leave my pet by our flag and run down the tunnel, drop a frost, concuss shot and DING..cap. Though on Baelgun we only own AV. Seems like we go up against a lot of premades in the other BG's.

Telrunya & Sanders - Baelgun server - US

Kestrel said...

Great article (and grats on the helm!--hoping to get the shoulders this weekend).

I hate WSG; it's by far my least favorite. But now you've given me a lot of ideas on how to better my play there. Unfortunately, the other 9 Allies I'll be grouped with probably won't see this. ;)