Earlier this week, Blizzard opened up World of Warcraft's Arena Tournament servers for public signups. Every time they open, players can pay $20 for access to a separate server loaded with max-level characters, the best gear/enchants/gems in the game, and unlimited gold to spend—all of which adds up to provide the perfect competitive PvP environment for arena fans. The last time the tournament server was live, Josh grabbed a few of his friends and gave it a shot. We'll be sharing their thoughts on what they learned and if they thought it was worth the money over the next few days.
Acting is Re-acting
I have always been an enthusiastic participant in Arenas, if not an entirely capable one. One of my limitations is that I PvP as a Priest with a healing spec; it's a combination I've played for many years but it's not renowned for its armor or firepower. So I to join a team on the Arena Pass realm and see what serious PvP competition was really about.
The first thing I did was set up my gems and enchants, focusing on resilience, intellect, and spirit (in that order), and picked out a Discipline spec. I met up with Josh's Mage, Bookie, and Marty's Warrior, Tickler, and got ready to rumble.
My notes from our first few sessions start out clear but end up a jangled mess: “Rogues = many stuns” appears frequently, and my final note is, “Death Knights everywhere ahhhhh!” Our biggest problem was a lack of coordination. We weren't sure whom to target first, and often I lost track of my teammates in the chaos.
After a couple of nights of losses, I knew it was time to hit the internet and see what I could learn about Arena play. Of particular interest was a thread on Arena Junkies titled “Positioning as Disc Priest,” which really emphasized that I needed to be more dynamic and tailor my positioning to the composition of our opponents. Instead of hiding in a bush and hoping the melee didn't see me, I needed to keep better track of where my enemies were and what they were doing.
When our team met back up again, Bookie had a killer Frost spec, Tickler was tweaked for maximum DPS, and I had a new appreciation for player positioning. Lo and behold, we were pretty good! I kited Death Knights without dying, caught a Druid before he could resurrect a teammate, and mana-burned a Paladin healer with glee. Bookie laid down the snares and Polymorphs, and Tickler did a great job of peeling opponents off of me when my kiting faltered. We didn't win them all, but we had great fights and I felt proud of our performances.
So take heart, my fellow squishy healers! We may not have plate armor or amazing offensive critical strikes, but with practice and an understanding of the dynamic strategy required in Arenas we can all become legendary fighters...or at least pretty good ones.