So season 15 has already been underway for over 2 months now. As such this is a basic guide for anyone new looking to get into PVP.
PvP has always been a very competitive, widely discussed and flavor of the month in WoW. With the game having been out for 10 years now, things have changed but predictably a lot is the same. PvP comes in 3 parts currently, Battlegrounds, where you earn mostly Honor and a small amount of Conquest Points for wins, Arena and Rated Battlegrounds where you earn Conquest Points. Each week you have a cap of conquest points, and the cap is decided based on your rating in Arena or Rated Battlegrounds. If you haven’t PvP’d at all and are late to the season, Blizzard introduced a catchup feature, so that some of the cap accumulates for people that missed doing PvP, and they can then catch up with gear, to the other players who’ve been playing a lot.
Being new to PvP you want to start out with normal Battlegrounds, so you can get together a full set of Honor PvP Gear.
There are 10v10 matches – Warsong Gulch, Twin Peaks, The Battle for Gilneas Temple of Kotmogu, Silvershard Mines.
There are 15v15 matches – Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, Strand of the Ancients and Deepwind Gorge.
There are 40v40 matches Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest.
You can queue for a random battleground and get both extra honor and conquest points for a win, after the first win, the reward is halved once for the rest of your wins in that day. You can also click the dice on the honor tab, and exclude two battlegrounds from the random choice. For Horde, I’d recommend excluding Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest, for Alliance, Strand of the Ancients and Silvershard Mines, this is based on win statistics, so if you care more for fun, exclude your least favorite maps instead.
A battleground tactic guide will be posted on the site separately. Each battleground has a specific objective, and your best bet is to always focus on objectives over kills, and always either cc or kill healers as a priority.
Getting your full set of Honor PvP gear should take about 1-2 weeks of playing an average amount of time. Other than battlegrounds, you can get honor from doing :
- Timeless Isle Daily PVP Quests – 525 Honor
- Krasarang Rares – 3 units that can be killed once a day for 250 honor each, residing at the enemy factions base in Krasarang Wilds, on a 30-50min respawn timer, party tagged.
- Convert Justice Points to Honor – You can convert 500 Justice Points to 250 Honor, if you are a tank or healer(or a dps with time to wait for queues) you can queue for heroic dungeons, get 400-500 justice points per run, and finish the run in under 10 minutes.
- Tol Bard Win & Weekly Quest – 400 for win, 400 for weekly quest. Tol Barad isn’t very popular so this can be an easy source for honor.
I’d say it’s definitely worth doing the first win of the day bonus from battlegrounds, but for a more guaranteed way of getting Honor, I’d advise the above 4 options, as you will gain honor very quickly.
Once a week, you can fight one of the celestial bosses, and get a chance at Conquest PvP gear, you can also use a Warforged Seal roll, to get another chance. Press O and go to Other raids, and list your name for Celestials if you want a quick group. The only conquest gear that doesn’t drop are Weapons / Helm / Chest / Shoulders / Trinkets .
Which to Gear to Buy First
It doesn’t particularly matter which gear you get first for Honor, as you’ll quickly get it all in a couple of weeks. Weapons are the biggest upgrade, but you need 7250 honor gained that season to buy them. You might as well buy Gloves and Insignia Trinket early as they give you bonus functions, as well focusing on getting 4 piece bonus from the core pieces : Helm/Shoulders/Chest/Legs/Gloves. After that just make sure you gem and enchant any piece you get, as it will make getting conquest points in arena and rated battlegrounds much easier.
Your first priority is getting the Conquest Weapon as soon as possible, again this requires you to get 7250 Conquest points for the season, similar to the honor situation. The items that make sense to first get other than weapons, are Helm/Chest/Shoulders. This is because you don’t get these from Celestials, and there’s no chance of wasting the conquest points. You can also get 1 ring early on, because of needing 2 rings, you are statistically unlikely to get 2 ring drops from Celestials. Trinkets are also an option to get early, but I tend to leave them last, because they have no core stats on them, and beefing your stamina and main stat is a priority.
Most people know to get the Insignia trinket, so you can remove cc on yourself. But one question many people have is ; on Use Dmg Trinket, or Proc Trinket? This choice often comes down to your class and what classes you play with(e.g double dps in arena). The on use trinket obviously works well with high burst champions who don’t survive for a long time. The Proc trinket is much better for prolonged fights and classes with a more stable damage output. If you are a pesky human, then you can have both as you have a base racial trinket, and if you are a class like a mage and don’t do 2s much, you can also forgo the insignia and just go for more damage with both.
Gear Item Level
Arenas, battlegrounds and rated battlegrounds is are affected by the PvP item level cap. This means that any pieces of equipment that aren’t PvP gear, get their item levels reduced to balance out well geared PvE players having an unfair advantage over players who only focus on PvP. This cap doesn’t affect World PvP currently, so the best World PvP gear is the Upgraded Heroic Warforged gear from Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar.
The objective of Arena is to kill all your opponents, unlike battlegrounds where there is a specific objective such as points from flags etc. There are 3 types of arena, 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5 . Comp is short for composition, and there are many different comps that do well in arena. The best comps are usually called Fotm(flavor of the month), and dominate the top standings of arena, but most people don’t need to be too concerned, as all classes are viable and nearly every comp can do well, it’s more about co-ordination and playing your class well. You gain 180 conquest points per win.
But it is a good idea to know the different comps not just so you can try to form the best possible combination for success with your class, but also so you know the tactics and dangers of each comp. That said there are some classes that do extremely well in different arena brackets, and you shouldn’t be discouraged when you find it impossible to fight them.
Some basic techniques for you to know, are:
- Swapping; when you swap quickly to another player, to focus down, usually when your crowd control hits diminishing returns on a target, or defensive cooldowns are up.
- CC Chaining; when you call out your cc to your partner, and co-ordinate to keep one of the enemy locked down through different cc that you both can use, but so that you don’t overlap the cc, but time it so it lasts as long as possible, and isn’t interrupted.
- Training; when you just stick to a target and whittle them down, bursting early to get them to be defensive.
- Res; if you have the ability to res, and your friend died, you can try to get away or set up cc, then res your partner, this is risky, but if you pull it off, is going to obviously help a lot.
- Splitting dps; if you are double dps without much cc, you can often split dps if you’re against a healer+dps, this can work well or work terribly, but often puts out too much pressure on inexperienced healers for them to handle.
- Pillaring; this is basically you running around a pillar to make it hard for the enemy to kill you, a common tactic by healers or classes that can kite well; Druids etc.
- LoS; this mean Line of Sight, and is part of pillaring, you can quickly run behind a pillar to LoS any casts of cc that the enemy might try to throw your way, then run back out to heal/cast.
Basically use your offensive cooldowns at an opportune time, use your defensive cooldowns, when you are in a bad situation and can’t escape, know everything your class can do, and work on your reactions and strategies vs whatever comp.
There are a few different maps in Arena ;
- The Ring of Valor in Orgrimmar
- The Ruins of Lordaeron in Tirisfal Glades
- The Ring of Trials in Nagrand
- The Circle of Blood in Blade’s Edge Mountains
- The Dalaran Arena in the Underbelly of Dalaran
- The Tol’Viron Arena in Uldum
- The Tiger’s Peak in Kun-Lai Summit
You’ll get used to each arena quite quickly, and they all contain somewhere to LoS and a fairly similarly sized area to fight.
Some other things to note about Arena
- Dampening is applied after 5 minutes for 2v2 games, and after 10 minutes for 3v3 and 5v5 games. Once this time has elapsed, each player will gain a stack of Dampening every 10 seconds.It reduces healing received and absorption effects by 1% per stack. It’s designed to stop draws from happening.
- If neither team has won after 20 minutes, the match will end in a draw.
- Positioned in each arena are a couple of Shadow Sight orbs. Moving over one of these orbs will grant the player a 15-second Shadow Sight buff, significantly increasing their stealth and invisibility detection, but also increasing their damage taken by 5% and preventing them from entering stealth.
- You can choose to leave the arena at any time, to forfeit.
- When entering the arena, players start in small preparation area with a door. Health, mana, and energy are all restored, all buffs and conjured items are removed and pets are dismissed (debuffs will remain, and pets can be re-summoned once you zone in). Players are given the Arena Preparation buff, which removes the resource cost of all abilities.
- After 60 seconds of preparation, the match commences. All buffs with fewer than 30 seconds remaining are removed and rage/runic power is reset to 0.
- Players can also reset their talents during the preparation stage at no cost, allowing them to customize their talents in consideration of the opposition. Any changes made to a player’s talents during this time are reverted after the player leaves the arena.
At the end of the arena season, players that rank among the highest ratings within the 3v3 and 5v5 brackets are awarded titles showing their accomplishments. Players who have been in at least 20% of a top arena team’s matches can receive a title relevant to their standing. Gladiator titles award players with Master Riding and a Custom Gladiator mount. Arena ladders and rewards are no longer battle-group specific, but instead are sorted by region.
The two different teams that you can face, are healer + dps and double dps. 2v2 is either a very fast fight if you are double dps or vs them, or a very long fight if you are healer+dps fighting the same. 2’s is what most people do with arena, as it requires the least co-ordination, and you only have to find one partner. Most people cap their Conquest points in 2s with 10 wins, and leave arena at that. Others strive for hours to get a good 2s rating.
The game isn’t very balanced for 2’s however, there are a few classes that dominate 2s, and have a much easier time. The top 3 probably being, Monks, Hunters and Druids right now. Getting a good rating is basically being able to chain cc one of your enemies, and use your burst to kill the other whilst his friend is cc’d. Or you can do a quick swap whilst your targets defensive cooldowns are up in healer+dps, and catch the healer out of position, setting up a cc chain on one of them.
This is where arena is designed to be balanced for, there are a lot of different comps that work very well in 3s. The majority of comps go 1 healer and 2 dps, but can you go triple dps if you want to gamble for a very fast match, bursting someone down. Double healer and 1 dps used to be an annoying match up in 3s, but has basically been made redundant with the Dampening changes.
There are a lot of comps in 3s that are well known for their co-ordination, one being Rogue, Mage Priest(RMP). RMP has always been very strong in 3s, and is a solid choice to do well in 3s. It is more advisable to do a standard comp in 3s, because they are standard for a reason, they work very well together.
Soon I’ll have a guide up for all the different currently used standard comps in Arena and Rbgs, so there is a resource people can refer to.
5s is where it starts to get a bit chaotic, co-ordinating a 5v5 is much more difficult than 2s for example. The standard comp is 2 healer, 3 dps, and usually the fight is decided as soon as the first person dies. So you essentially nuke the crap out of the easiest to kill target, and throw out as much cc as you can on the healers. There are obviously the most variations in Arena for 5s, but it’s harder to get people online at the same time to do it, which is why it’s the least popular arena bracket. Still I’d say it’s probably the most fun bracket, as the fights are more furious.
Rbgs are a 10v10 mode for Battlegrounds, where you win and get rating, eventually earning the old PvP titles, and potentially unlocking the best cap for Conquest Points, because of the organization of getting 10 people together properly. At the start, doing Arena and normal battlegrounds will net you 1800 Conquest per week max, rated battlegrounds starts off at a 2200 cap. You get 400 conquest points for winning, and 75 for losing. In this way, many people cap their 1800 points from arena, then try to get 1 Rbg win, to cap another extra 400 points.
The battlegrounds up for rbg are :
- Warsong Gulch
- Arathi Basin
- Eye of the Storm
- Strand of the Ancients
- Battle for Gilneas
- Twin Peaks
However it’s very hard to get yourself invited to random Rbg groups if you don’t already have a good rating from your current or previous season play. Your best bet, is to download a mod called Oqueue, which shows people looking for members for many different things, one part is Rbgs, and you can filter the results so you see all the Oqueue Rbg groups, and put your name forward to join or make your own group. With this you should generally be able to get your 1 needed cap win each week, to get Conquest gear more quickly.
Rated battlegrounds, usually involves getting 2 or 3 healers and the rest dps. You essentially want to have someone good at flag carrying, since you might get put in Warsong Gulch, Twin Peaks or Eye of the Storm. The best flag carriers are usually Druids or DKs, but other tanky classes like Warriors, Monks or Paladins can also work, or Mages/Rogues/Hunters for fast caps, passing onto a tankier person if your flag isn’t capp’able yet, because of being taken.
PvP is a very fun part of World of Warcraft, and out of the choice of PvP or PvE, has the least needed time investment, it’s also the only real competitive part left to the game, other than Server First, Heroic Modes or Challenge Mode Times, but is essentially much easier to get into that those. Getting good PvP gear(enchanted and gemmed) and knowing all the facets of your class, and knowing some decent comps you can join; will be your best priorities for doing well in PvP. I wish you the best of luck in your matches, and if you have any questions, please comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer.