Tuesday, September 18, 2007

5v5 Arena

World of Warcraft can be a very humiliating game sometimes. Moments like getting out-DPS'd when I shouldn't be, for example, or accidently hitting my bandage macro instead of Soul Shatter definitely keeps me in my place and the ego in check, even being the almost completely narcistic Warlock that I am (but aren't we all? =P). Those moments of disparagement, as face-palming as they are, aren't really all that serious, however. They don't really cause harm to anything but our own. Getting out-DPS'd isn't really a big deal as long as the group's DPS is where it needs to be as a whole. Dying due to misclicking a Soul Shatter is often more funny than it is detrimental to the raid. And everyone enjoys watching a Warlock get owned anyway, so it's all good. All in all, we usually just embarrass ourselves a bit, poke fun at the newb that lives within us all, and move on. No ill effects. No problem.

But what of those moments that do have ill effects; those that actually do have an affect on other people? Drawing aggro on Prince, for example, and getting the Tank Infeebled, essentially causing a wipe. Forgetting to watch the Soul Stone timer, forcing the raid to release after a wipe, only to find respawns at the beginning of the dungeon and thus wasting everyone's time. Instances like that affect everyone and, well, they really are a big deal.

That's what makes 5v5 Arena so painful.

In 5v5 (lesser so in 2v2 and 3v3), everyone's rating depends on everyone's individual performance. No one person can make a mistake without ramifications, and on the flip side, no one person can carry a team. Everyone has to play their part, minimizing mistakes as best they can, or else the entire group suffers. It's like each toon is a supporting beam on a sailing ship -- when all are functioning as they should, the ship stays sturdy even in turbulent waters. However, even if one breaks, there's a good chance the ship will go down, and a sinking ship is no good at PvP, no matter how calm the waters.

So how do help keep yourself and your team above water? Sixis, one of my first WoW acquaintances, one-time guildie, and a damn good PvPer said it best. He likened 5v5 to a PvE raid in which everyone has their responsibilities. There's DPS, Heals, CC, even Tanking of sorts, all of which have to be executed in a timely and organized manner. If your DPS or heals are slack, it's a wipe. If your CCs break and are free to roam, it's a wipe. If people don't take care of their responsibilities, it's a wipe, and a waiting drop to boot, which is almost worse than zoning back in to respawns imho.

But how do we get there? How do we get organized in an environment that's totally not scripted and oh so chaotic?

Well, that's all about planning and experience, imo. Knowing what to do, what not to do, taking into account everyone else's responsibilities, and becoming adept at executing quickly = win. In other words, with practice and effort, it will come in due time. Motor memory and memory in general is like that -- give it some work and it'll repay you almost effortlessly. Things will become "second nature," if you will.

But that doesn't make 5v5 any easier or less complicated. There are many variables to take into account, like the composition of the opposing team, their specs, which Arena you are in, how and where the other team begins... you know, stuff you really can't control. But then there are the issues closer to home, and that stinky little detail about being tied in and dependent on your teammates, their specs, and their actions. How do you manage that?

Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you. I'd imagine it has to do with much excellent communication, individual effort, skill, and sacrifice, and maybe even a little bit of luck at finding a group with just the right amount of chemistry to get things done. "Flow" is what one top-rated Warlock on Tichondrius called it (interview incoming later this week), and while he agreed that luck does play a role, he did say that it comes down to dedication. "How badly does your team want to work for it?" he asked. "Do you just want arena points, or something more?"

Everyone has to want it. Everyone has to put in their all.

Otherwise, everyone will just end up embarrassing themselves in the end.


Arydan/Impervious said...

I would say that arena (especially 5v5) has less to do with skill and more to do with a strong composition. Granted, skill comes into play, but you could be a very skilled 5 players, but in higher ratings if you have a weak composition, you just won't move up.

Anonymous said...

I agree to a point.
skill plays a huge part, more than class composition,(clan hexx for example) and I do agree that in the higher brackets, class composition plays a bigger role, if not an equal role.

Lack of skill in teams is why they are playing in the 1400-1500 brackets even with the right composition (or a heavily favored one)

There's so much things that factor in. But i believe that it is almost the same as learning a new language...take things in steps.

the skill comes down to knowing what to do in a specific situation and executing it.
The luck part? well, we've all been in that position where our opponent either benefited or been hurt from our mistakes.

understanding class roles and using the specials to the teams advantage.

team chemistry is also important, if your team lacks the cohesion to properly work together. say for instance, you have a player that just does what he wants, that will eventually hurt the team in the long run. Great chemistry tells me that jago and nikki will shut down the healers when our target is at 40%. chemistry also tells me that we can work on strats sans the egos. but above all else, chemistry tells me that we have the foundation to push through the hard times and reap the good times as ONE TEAM, not as individuals.

Then there's you, the player.
great attributes would be quick thinking, adaptation, TEAMWORK, understanding your class role despite what you've been taught in pug bg's or raids, court vision, anticipation, etc. etc.

the worst thing a player can do to themselves in the arena besides being selfish, is panic. it's okay to get fired up. i encourage that, but to stay focused is key.
panic causes a player to fumble around his keys, stand motionless or just run away...fight or flight. you've all seen that kind of player..the ones you just think to yourself..what the fuck was he thinking???


JAGOeX said...

Aye. I hear that Six.

Reminds me about what happened in DM earlier tonight. I tried to steal the Razza from Stonemaiden but Allies showed up and it just got really messy. The Allies eventually left, but by that time, Stone had called in a bunch of his RA guildies for help. It was a Rogue, Holy Pally, a 3-min Mage, Warlock, and his Shadow Priest (all 70's) vs. me, a 70 Rogue, and a 70 Warrior. There was a 60 Shammy with us, but he obviously doesn't count.

Needless to say, given the composition and that we were totally out-numbered, we had out asses handed to us. Didn't help we didn't have any heals. :) Funny thing is, we managed to kill a good number of them (some of which were in Merciless, btw -- lol @ that), but the teams were so slanted towards their favor that we knew not to expect much. Composition (and numbers) ftw imho.

Funny thing is that Stone totally missed the obvious and instead had his epeen completely and unreasonably fed. He went on about how I can't hang with "pros" (lol @ calling his "hardcore raiding guild " pro, 9.5 months into TBC and no LV kill), completely ignoring the fact that he died many times, with 4/5 Merciless, and had to call in 4 others to finally get the job done. "Pro?" To me, that doesn't seem like anything to be proud of. And personally, I'd be embarrassed.

But that's the kind of reasoning that got him kicked out of PK. ;) Obviously, he still has a personal matter regarding the whole situation that he should probably deal with. Dementia is ftl, after all.

Sorry, Carlos.