PvP – Where big bear butt is the OTHER white meat

Gnomer wrote a post recently that would have had me blushing if I were still capable of it, and along with the love he called me out big time on being a slacker. Which, of course, I am.

What is the one aspect of the game that I have chosen to remain willfully ignorant of?

Shout it out with me, friends; PvP!

Now, I’m not entirely ignorant of what PvP is, just mostly ignorant.

Believe it or not, I have dipped my paw in the PvP pool before.

What, when? Why, back in Burning Crusade, when there were some sweet PvE rewards you could purchase for honor points, especially weapons and high-armor Leather items my Bear craved for the multiplier values.

I took my Druid into battlegrounds… and I took my long abandoned Priest, too. I wanted the epic PvP spellpower mace to help me Shadow it up in Karazhan.  

Yes, I know, surprise! Bear has a Priest. A Priest who has been abandoned since the day after WotLK came out. And now we move past the Priest, thank you very much.

Okay, Priests for 5 more seconds. I have tried to resurrect my Priest several times, and failed miserably. Lately, some Priest bloggers I read, and some Priests I know in Band of Misfits, have all made it look so damn cool and fun to heal as a Priest that they’re tempting me. But no! I cannot! Must. Stay. Focused.

I played in some PvP battlegrounds in Burning Crusade. I did! I wanted those points from the BG daily quests for bonus honor, so I saw all of them at the time, plus my favorite BG when it wasn’t the daily, Alterac Valley.

I liked Alterac Valley. I liked taking part of a massive battle fought in that valley, with multiple objectives, tactical opportunities, spoiler attacks, flanking manuevers, supply lines to cut (graveyards), the whole thing. The scope of Alterac Valley was pretty awesome.

I know this may sound stupid, but I also really liked the story and lore between the Orcs and Dwarves fighting over control of the valley. I did Alterac Valley a bit during vanilla WoW, back when the quests led you towards upgrading your Trinkets, and I still have my own trinket in my Druid’s bags. I enjoyed taking part in that story, it felt so epic. 

So, if it was all so damn great, why did I grind out the honor for the gear I wanted, and never went back?

What kept me out of BGs was a combination of three things; I don’t like PUGs, I don’t like trash talk, and I don’t like being part of a chaotic mess.

I don’t like PUGs. I don’t like playing with silent, faceless strangers. If I’m in a group, I like to be able to chat with them, hear them yell in joy or anger, shout in frustration, bitch when they get eaten by a grue. Vent is king. Plus, coordination and response is much stronger with friends, even if you’re NOT on vent.

I don’t like trash talking, name calling, blame throwing or errant bullshit spewed on chat channels, and from what I’ve seen over the years, that’s about the norm in BGs.

And I don’t like chaos. There is a learning curve to anything, and when you are first introduced to a new BG, with a map that is unfamiliar, names you don’t know, and objectives that aren’t spelled out for you, it’s all a mad swirl.

That’s fine, because even if you don’t read up on them, it doesn’t take long before you understand what’s going on and learn where things are, and what people mean by “Head for ICG!” or somesuch.

What fascinates me about BGs is that, no matter how long they are out, it seems at least half of the group, every single time, doesn’t know anything at all about where things are or what to do or why to do it. Even after all these years, half the people in a BG act like they’ve never set foot in one before.

Are that many players really trying battlegrounds for the first time every time? Am I just fortunate in my zone timing? Or are that many people just incapable, or unwilling, to learn?

I don’t know, but the larger the scope of the battle, the more chaotic it gets, and when you want to win, that is irritating in the extreme. Win or lose because you were outfought and outplayed by the other side, not because your side had the greater number of lost children and fools.

Last night, I entered Tol Barad with nine other guildies, and we proceeded to run around and kill people, and that was a lot of fun.

There were other guildies chatting in vent so there was some fun buzz, and that helped me completely ignore typed chat so I didn’t even see the usual idiocy until people in vent brought it up.

There was lots of tense battling, as Horde defended and we attacked. Excitement! Chills! Thrills! A raid run hanging in the balance!

We lost, but that was okay. It was fun.

Except… if the rest of the guildies hadn’t been there, all the things that MADE it fun would have been gone. What would have been left was fighting for the sake of fighting in a chaotic melee, while people bitched in chat. Meh.

It’s not going to be my last time in a BG. I want a seagull pet, and they can only be acquired through PvP in Tol Barad. So be it. I have a goal. And, much like my time in Burning Crusade, once I have enough points to achieve my goal, I will vanish once again.

The only thing that would keep me going back would be going with friends and having fun with friends, chatting in vent while we lived and, more often, died.

Would I run with the Gnomer? You bet your butt I would! Wouldn’t you? If only to toss a flare on him so the other side could see him more clearly just as his internet took a lag spike and threw him into freeze frame.

What are friends for?

Internet Dragons – Awww, hell yeah!

In other news… I can now do what all Druids should aspire to; I can assume my Dragon form.

When I played AD&D, the Druid class was one of my favorites there too. I loved the concept of nature as the ultimate weapon, and I loved Druids being able to shapechange into any other animal form they were familiar with, depending on the hit dice of the critter they were taking on. The higher in level you were, the more powerful an animal form you could assume.

Those might be house rules we ran with in the service, to be honest I can’t remember what the actual first edition Druid rules said about shapeshifting.

I do remember when someone decided to take on humpback whale form, because we all wanted to slap the silly bastard for jumping the shark breaking the genre. Just because the rules say you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should.

I also remember the sad day when the ruling was made in our group that Dragons were not natural creatures, but instead inherently magical due to the wingspan issue, so they could not ever be a Druid form.

A Druid well studied in archaeology might take a Dinosaur form, however.

I always wanted to be the Druid that could turn into a dragon. Always. Surprise ambush by Rogues in the woods? Dragon. Attacked by an army of the damned? Dragon. Bar fight? Dragon. Behind in your taxes? Dragon.

It’s the best answer to any problem. Once you apply Dragon to it, it goes away.

Last night Bigbearbutt learned how to transform into a dragon.

Now, Cassie doesn’t really see why I’d be so excited. After all, I can’t herb in Dragon form. The claws are just too big to get ahold of those itty bitty herbs. And it takes more time to shift into Dragon form, because hey… it’s a Dragon. A fast bird is a little thing of feathers and fluff, but we’re talking Dragon. It’s gonna take more time.

But utility ain’t the POINT. I’m a freaking DRAGON.

Wanna go for a ride?

Raiding – looking for more, please have a sense of humor. I need to be kept entertained.

In other news… Band of Misfits on Azuremyst has three raid teams, Team Teddybear, Team Snuffalupugus, and a third team whose name escapes me at the moment. I feel bad, but I can’t very well look it up right now.

I am in Team Teddybear, and Team Teddybear’s co-raid leader, Matheo, would like me to let you know that there is a strong need for a healer to join us in our raids. He’s looking for, hopefully, a Paladin or Shaman healer. The server is Azuremyst-US, on West Coast time, and the raid times are a fixed 5:00 PM start going for three hours Saturday and a 5:00 PM start going for 2 hours on Sunday.

The raid team is working on Nefarian in BWD, and is looking in a menacing way at the Ascendant Council in BoT.

If any of that is of interest to you, please send ingame mail to Matheo to let him know.

I ain’t raiding this weekend at all myself, since, you know….

The TERRY PRATCHETT convention is going on this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin! And I’m gonna be there!

Woot!!!

18 Responses to “PvP, Dragons and Raiding”
  1. bigbearbutt says:

    UPDATE/CORRECTION: The server is Azuremyst-US, on West Coast time, and the raid times are a fixed 5:00 PM start going for three hours Saturday and a 5:00 PM start going for 2 hours on Sunday.

    I accidentally put 7:00 PM as the start times, because that is what they are in my own local time in Minnesota. So the raids, for me, are 7 to 10 and 7 to 9, which ain’t bad. So, 5 and 5, west coast time. Sorry for the mistake.

  2. Herr Drache says:

    Congrats on Dragonform. It’s awesome. It’s wonderful! And it’s one heck of a grind ;)

    I share your opinion on PvP. I’m leveling one of my alts through battlegrounds (which works amazingly well up to 80!) and it’s really quite interesting. Re-capping in AV? Getting 3 towers in Eye of the Storm? In AB, figuring out that if 10 people attack your base, you should be able to take at least one of the other bases, because they should be near-empty? Naaah, can’t do that. NEED BIGGER DPS NUMBERS!!!
    On the other hand, dear Blizzard, WSG is a pain if you don’t have a single healer. No, 4 warlocks, 3 deathknights, one rogue and 2 mages is really not a good composition. Especially against 3 pallies, 2 druids, a priest, and assorted others. Yes, that was my weekend… Oh well! :)

  3. Cayro says:

    who is Terry Pratchett? And is this the “vial of sand” that allows you to transform into a dragon?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Yes, it is Vial of the Sands that allows you to become a dragon. With a level 25 guild vendor cost discount, each of the 8 Sands of Time cost 2700 gold, and I believe the Flask itself was 4300. A significant savings from the original 3000 and 5000.

      And as far as who Terry Pratchett is… why, only the most gifted and brilliant fantasy novelist I have ever had the pleasure to read.

      • Cayro says:

        ok, thanks! I was wondering. And now that I know who Terry Pratchett is…. I can die now :D

        Happy end of the school year get-a-way to ya and your family. Drive safe!

        P.S. Cassieann you havent lived till you watched a Korean soap. I make up my own lines when watching as I only understand a few words and complex sentances.

  4. Cassieann says:

    As usual, BBB is confused :-) This weekend is NOT the Pratchett convention (that’s July 8th-11th). This weekend is our end of the school year get-away surprise for Alex who doesn’t know that we are going to Wisconsin Dells (apparently BBB doesn’t know where we are going either, even though he was involved in the planning). :-)

    • Hedwig says:

      Thanks BBB for the shout out! And thanks Cassie for keeping him straight! LOL

      The PVP was fun and I NEVER say that about PVP. I wholeheartedly agree that doing pvp with guildies is what makes it fun. :D

      BTW Cassie, how are you liking Greek? :)

      • Cassieann says:

        Hi Hedwig,

        Things have been so crazy with it being the end of the school year this week that I’ve only had time to watch 2 episodes of Greek so far. Seems like it might have potential if I can get over feeling SOOO very, very old as I watch it. College seems like many lifetimes ago and I don’t remember being that young even when I was in college *grin*

        I was going to have BBB whisper you and pass on my recommendations for shows out of the ordinary that he hadn’t mentioned you asking if I watched:

        1) Drop Dead Diva (third season starts in a couple of weeks on Lifetime) and you can get the previous two seasons between Netflix and Hulu for instant streaming
        2) Being Erica (a Canadian drama) with all 3 current seasons available on Hulu for free and that I found to be pretty good
        3) McLeod’s Daughters, which is an Australian drama that has 8 seasons available for instant streaming on Netflix. I’ve only watched the first 6 or 7 episodes of that one and a slower pace than American dramas, but looks pretty good.

        Now after that brief girly break to about tv shows, Hedwig and I return you to your regular WOW blog conversation :-)

        • Hedwig says:

          LOL, yeah I LOVE Drop Dead Diva and Being Erica, but I’ve never seen McLeod’s Daughters. I’ll have to give it a try. Netflix now has Melrose Place (the whole series) on demand so I’m excited about starting that when I’m done with Greek. I’ve never watched Melrose Place, but it seems like the kind of show I’d like. Meanwhile, I’m two episodes behind on Grey’s Anatomy and probably 5 or 6 shows behind on Brothers & Sisters. Anyway, we should exchange emails so we won’t clog out the wow blogs with our girl chat. You probably have my email from this post so shoot me an email sometime! :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Hey, if I knew what I was talking about, I wouldn’t be allowed to write it, right?

  5. Fal says:

    Ah Alterec Valley the best battleground Blizzard has ever made. Personally I enjoy PvP, yes I play on a PvE server mainly to be able to have alts not get ganked; but I still enjoy the hectic/chaotic flow of BG’s. What I have disliked since I started PvP are some of the same things you posted about the verbal abuse and or the abuse of the language by some of the other people in the bg. I have happily found a way around this, I would even offer it here for those that also enjoy PvP. There was a channel created for rated bgs, seeing as how they are invite only groups, we can manage to avoid the know miscreants and still try to build a winning group. We have access to vent which makes coordination easier, and while not the same fun as a guild group for bg or pve play it does allow those that wish to enjoy the fun without the horse nonsense possible.

    Also hope you get your pet and many wins in Tol Barad extra dailys for all.

  6. Thistle says:

    Quick note: You can get the seagull pet just doing the dailies in Tol Barad. There’s no need to set foot on the pvp island whilst battles are going on if it’s not your cup of tea.

    • BlackDragon says:

      ^ This.

      The seagull pet costs about 50 marks. You can also get a land mount for 165 marks and a flying dragon mount for 200 marks IIRC. So no need to suffer the PvP anguish if you don’t want to =)

      As for me, I’m doing the TB PvP so I can convert all the Honor points to JP, and once 4.2 hit live I’m finally buying my T11. Go me!

      – BD

      • Grim says:

        Believe the pet is actually only 40 marks. And if you’re into companion pets, may as well kill the (yellow) baradin foxes…there’s a 1/200 drop chance for a “fox kit” companion.

  7. Minos says:

    When I played AD&D, the Druid class was one of my favorites there too. I loved the concept of nature as the ultimate weapon, and I loved Druids being able to shapechange into any other animal form they were familiar with, depending on the hit dice of the critter they were taking on. The higher in level you were, the more powerful an animal form you could assume.

    Those might be house rules we ran with in the service, to be honest I can’t remember what the actual first edition Druid rules said about shapeshifting.

    If those were house rules, you can boast about being well ahead of your time. That’s pretty much exactly how it worked in 3rd edition. I think that’s when the distinction between “animal” and “dragon” became clear, too.

  8. Klepsacovic says:

    I will be visiting Madison this summer to prepare for grad school. Maybe I can time it for that weekend! See that right there, a Pratchett weekend, that is truly useful information.

  9. Blackbear says:

    Yay! Team Teddybear shout out!

    :D

  10. […] I brought it up in the last post and it seems to be a popular topic right now, I thought I’d provide a healing 101 post on PvP. According to one of my favorite […]

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