Sunday, March 23, 2008

Owned in Arena

Oh, oh, what a noob I was yesterday when I was running around with a flag attached to my bottom, trying to catch a glimps of the opponent team.

Our little improvised 2x2 team had six losses in a row and the fastest match was over in like... 10 seconds. All because of me. The opponents probably just couldn't believe their eyes. What kind of a strange little mage was that, that was merrily strolling around, and then stopped up, just stood there like a statue? What was she actually doing? It was supposed to be a match, not an execution. Why didn't she show any resistance at all?

They couldn't know that they had been lucky enough to encounter the worst PvP player on the whole Stormrage server. Being teamed up with an excellent Arena veteran of a rogue wasn't enough to save it. It takes two for a tango, as the saying is.

What was the problem? Well, first of all I think it was my lack of mobility. To see the targets quickly, to catch them, get myself into spellcasting distance and actually DO something. There's no time for standing and contemplating - nobody else does it. One thought too many - and you're owned - believe me.

Then I must admit that I had a hard time to find my way at all in there. "Take left and run up the ramp to the bridge", my partner suggested when one of the matches was about to begin. Still somehow I managed to miss the ramp, run in way too far and got completely lost.

Mind you also, neither my gear, nor my spec is suited for Arena games. Larísa was built for raiding purposes, without any compromises. And the same thing counts for my spells and keybindings. I do have for instance Dragons Breath on hot key, but it's not one of the weapons I use daily. When I throw it I have to think first, it doesn't come naturally.

Did I improve? Well, maybe. A little, if you put it nicely. I got a feeling of what Arena matches are all about. I had another macro on my repertoire, a combination of frost-nova and blink, that isn't bad to let off a second faster than before. In one of the games I actually managed to first counterspell and then sheep an opponent - and keep him sheeped, which helped my teammate to take down another player. Yay!

Above all I got the insight that I need to practice, practice, practice. And I actually don't believe that I need to run real Arena games to do that. I should start from the very beginning, by duelling. So from now on I'll stop doing as I've used to do by instinct, clicking "decline" whenever someone challenges me. I'll grab the opportunity to duel whenever I can if I'm not occupied doing other things.

Of course I'll be humiliated, but who cares? The main thing is that I'll learn, I'll improve little by little and slowly crawl up from bottom of the trashbin of lousy PvP-players. My intention is not to climb the ranking lists or to be able to say that I've won so and so many matches. It's not to enhance my PvP statistics in Armory (right now it looks like if I haven't a single hk, which is wrong, I've actually killed 687 players, but there seems to be a minimum level to be shown).

No, If I'll improve in PvP its only because I want to become better in PvE. I want to know my own class better as well as understanding other classes. And above all - I want to become a bit quicker in my feet, more movable. Right now I often find myself just standing there, like tired and heavy, just throwing my fireballs over and over again from the far distance. Many times that works very well - but not always. Some fights demand that you're more like a jumping frog - something that seems to come natural for PvP players.

Playing PvP is good for you, no doubt, but is it fun? Well, that adrenaline rush that my partner enthusiastically talked about I didn't feel at all. Of course I needed to be focused and present, but it wasn't close to the feeling when you take the last dps out of your mana pool, when the raid boss got a few percent hp left and the major part of the raid is dead. When you're on the verge between success and despair after a long evening of hard work, and when one single crit in the right moment can be crucial. That is what I mean by a kick!

But what do I know, maybe a horde rouge got the adrenaline rush of his life yesterday by taking down Larísa. Good for him. See it as an easter gift from Larísa.

PS I now noticed that Arcane Brilliance has published a lovely article: 10 things every Mage should know before going into the Arena. If you read it it was only expected that I would die. If you don't have a healer in your party, you're always the first target. The opponent will kill you before you can say Iceblock, the writer says. So true. But you get quite a few good suggestions in the article and I'll try to learn from them. Who knows, next time I may survive a whole minute!

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