Let slip the Bears of War

As you may have seen Gnomer mention in a few posts, I might have maybe sorta played some PvP this last weekend.

Gnomer, Keredria and the Pugnacious Priest along with many others from their guilds did some pre-made xrealm Arathi Basin over the weekend, and were kind enough to invite me along. I went willingly… on my Druid.

I know, right? I understand my PvPing on a druid is considered canon as the 13th sign of the eschaton. Sorry about that, just remember to use cocoa butter oil based sunscreen. It doesn’t protect you any better, but you will be tastier when fried in a lake of fire. Just trying to help!

As a non-raiding player of World of Warcraft, I have surprisingly good PvE gear thanks to LFR. I’ve had some really lucky rolls, I’ve invested in 397 Valor gear, and I optimized everything… for tanking.

When I go into LFR, I do 22k DPS, but all of my gear was gemmed, enchanted and reforged for Bear tanking. I just use a kitty DPS spec for my offspec, switch to DPS trinkets, and go for it.

Yes, it is gimping the LFR raids. At the same time, I only tank for friends, and I feel that right now 22k DPS is adequate. Or, as Shadowson would say, “Do the bosses still die? Right then, whats the problem?”

What this ends up meaning is, when I went PvPing without resilience gear, I had a gazillion Dodge Rating up the furry old butt, high Stam, and a kitty DPS spec. I wasn’t really a glass cannon, I’d say I was closer to ceramic.

The evening was fun. As Keredria said, playing with a bunch of folks with exotic accents is cool, it does bring home the international flavor of the experience. I didn’t know how long people intended to go, but I lost myself in killing Horde until Cassie tapped me on the shoulder and told me it was time to get my son to bed. I blinked, and realised three hours had blown past.

Time is so elastic. It compresses to get tons of things into a blink of the eye while killing, and then uncoils into slomo when waiting at the spirit healer for a rez again DAMNIT.

To be clear, no I do not recommend Bear gear with Cat spec as a good alternative to PvP gear. But it did aid me in burning down the squishies, and you’re supposed to kill the healers first, right?

My favorite moment of the evening was in one of our last Battlegrounds.

The others in the group, being professional BG gankers, had these addons that analyzed the opposing force structure.

Gnomer comes over vent, “Bugger, they’ve got nine healers!”

Holy crap. I can’t even remember if we won or lost. What I do know is that it was like fighting cockroaches, they just would not die. Stomp, stomp, stomp, NO DIE! Damnit, why won’t you die?

Gnomer mentioned I was working on a Shaman and he came and helped out. Let me elaborate on that for a moment.

We were fighting around Blacksmith, and there was a nice big scrum going on. I did the whole Prowl prep to Pounce thing, looking around for a healer to gank. Sadly, this was a target rich environment for healers.

I picked out a Shaman, on the grounds that this Shaman was chain casting and using totems and acting as a force-multiplier, and if I could take the group-buffing totems out of play for a few, that would be a net asset to the offense.

So I pounced and stunned and stuff. I went to town attacking that Shaman. The Shaman didn’t move, just kept casting.

So I kept attacking. Boom, boom, boom, down to 75k, then back topped off. Boom, boom, boom, then back up.

I stopped running and bouncing around. The Shaman wasn’t trying to evade in any way. Just stood there, chain casting and taking it. So I settled in, got all nice and comfortably positioned for an all day camping trip, and proceeded to use every tool at my disposal built around Skull Bash in an effort to kill the Shaman before she could heal herself back to full.

I failed. Completely and utterly failed.

What blew my mind was this turned into a private war at Blacksmith. Neither of us was moving, I was 100% offense, she was 100% defense, and it was total stalemate. Nobody came to kill me to get me off her, she didn’t try to run away, and when I finally mentioned in vent that this Shaman was pissing me off, Gnomer came to add his explosive contribution to the battle.

We still couldn’t close escrow, because that just meant one of the Horde Priests started dropping heals on the Shaman in passing while running around healing other people.

Grrr! Impressive. Very impressive.

In the process of talking about how much fun that was, I had a simple question on Twitter yesterday.

Since we were able to do xrealm RealID BG pre-mades with ten people by timing the queues, is it possible to do xrealm RealID Alliance vs Horde pre-mades?

To be blunt – is it possible to field a Horde blogger vs Alliance blogger pre-made BG match?

Lassirra and Gnomer and a few others seem to think that it is.

Wouldn’t you just love to see PvP bloggers on Horde and Alliance face off in a BG for bragging rights? Beyond that, wouldn’t you love to join one side or the other and take part in the big fat kill?

I hope this takes off. I really do. I’d love my chance to die at the hands of some of my favorite writers, and I’d like to see what kind of rivalries could spring from this… at least so long as people keep their perspective and a sense of humor.

19 thoughts on “Let slip the Bears of War

  1. I’d be in for an event, and can go Horde or Alliance, whichever team wanted a really bad pvper who can’t use his mouse to turn because I play left handed due to pinched nerves in my right neck…keyboard turner. I like Tesh’s idea of all DK’s to balance it out, but anyway to team up with the blogging community would be pretty cool.


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  3. I still think it would be interesting to do an all-DK event, just grab a bunch of new baby DKs and go to town. That’s about as close to an even playing field as is possible, player skill and experience aside.

    …it has the benefit of being healer-free, for what that’s worth.


  4. Somehow from our discussion on twitter I had thought you’d come on a mage! It makes more sense (from reading Keredrias post) that you were there on your druid! If you are looking at doing more PvP – Clay (of Team Waffle fame) gave me some recommendations for a hybrid bear/cat pvp spec that I could tank in (good enough for LFR and heroics) and still do some pvp with it. Of course that lead me to dropping my boomkin spec and picking up a feral pvp spec (with some kitty dps preferences) and I’ve not looked back!

    Likewise I run as full crit/exp/mastery in my tanking gear which is more than fine for LFR (a lot of the bears I know run that setup in normal 10s and perhaps heroics as well) – which would give you a bit more umph when you go pvp in the gear.

    But yeah – unless you are being focused – being in PvE gear works wonders. One week I had been doing some arenas… and it wasn’t until halfway through our games I realised I was still in my PvE gear (after a rogue/kitty team destroyed me really quickly).


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  7. If you guys end up doing alliance vs horde I’d love to participate. Would be funny to have both sides in the same vent!


  8. Catalla, my understanding is Blizzard introduced some logic a long time back that does some group matching even in regulars.

    By group matching I mean that if you queue as a party (even just you and one friend) the system will first attempt to match you with other groups, then fill the gaps with individuals.

    To circumvent this, groups will coordinate individual queues so it appears to the sysmtem to be a random collection of individuals (eg: QQ – which is why they will kick anyone they suspect of group queuing).

    We weren’t doing that, we had 1-2 defined groups at queue time and queues as groups. The option is there on the “H” tab and we used it.

    tbh I think we might have won about 50% of games, so theoretically on par. We were definitely communicating more than your average pug, and a lot of that was in BG chat.

    A lot of our voice comms was consumed with…

    “wow your accents are hawt”
    “It costs how much for gas downunder (considerably more for the record)”
    “OMG, Bear is a Night Elf!”
    “You can by electronics (headphones) and ship them to Oz from the states for 1/2 the price we can buy them in Oz… Mmm business opportunity”.
    “OMG, that Gnome really is a ninja”.

    Mind you, when my mates & I group queue, it has always been for fun rather than domination. We tend to play pretty loose, we are there for fun, not achieving a 100% win rate.


  9. I love pvp. I’m super glad to hear you had fun.

    However, this story makes me cringe a little. This kind of “time it right to all get in the same bg” is exactly what the current bg system tries to prevent by putting premades against premades. It is in no way fair for some random people who’ve never met each other before to be facing 10 coordinated players working together in vent. Or even 5 coordinated people and 5 randoms. That’s what RBGs are for. It makes for miserable bgs. Not “We lost, but man was that fun” miserable, but “I’m just going to quit spawning. There’s no point in me being here” miserable.

    You say you all didn’t win nearly all of them, and reading Gnomer’s posts you must have pugged some/most of the players in at least some bgs so maybe it’s not as bad as the image in my head. The bgs where one side is a full premade are probably rare, they’re just so terrible they leave traumatizing images in the mind.

    I also know not enough people use the RBG system. You can wind up against some randomly amazing groups (like five man arena but worse). I don’t know what the solution is. But, glad as I am that much fun was had, from a casual pvp lover’s point of view, I’m just glad I didn’t run up against you all.


    • Oh no, they were in no way steamrollers. Best we had was 10 people, and usually less, and even then it was always in doubt.

      You are imagining coordination in vent that was not there. NOT THERE.

      What vent was, was a chance to hear Gnomer say “fucking Rogues….”.


  10. 9 healers… They had 9 kazillion healers!

    That was a fun fight, took us a while, hard to kill any of them with them all healing each other, but we cracked their shell in the end. I’m just glad we were defending BS, not trying to take it.

    You were the perfect example of how PvP gear matters little in regular BGs and PvE geared characters are necessarily carried. I really must finish that post… pfft, train ride to work today I guess.

    X-realm match ups in the normal BGs is perfectly doable, and we can check the skirmishes pretty easily, it will be the coordinating people across time zones that will hurt.

    Really only one way to finish this comment, in the worlds of Odin:

    “You see… You see I told you you would like it “


  11. I’m not big or deep into the PvP thing, but wasn’t there a “skirmish” thing? Premades without being rated/ranked, just for the heck of it?
    I might be totally wrong, and it might not work with RealID and all that…


  12. I almost invited you to come pvp with Nymphy and I last night, Bear. Any time you’re looking to pound on some horde (and need an extra couple bodies) let me know. We’ve got a couple of PvP’ers in EtI but not enough to do pre-mades.


  13. BBB glad you had so much fun in there! After about 4K resilience most healers can simply ignore one DPS on them. I have 4600 resilience on my priest and holy pally – by no means unusual this late in a season – what that means is 46% (approx) of all damage being done to me is mitigated by resilience.

    So in reality a healer in ilvl 395 avg pvp gear is not healing against an onslaught from one dps, she is fending off half a dps. And at that ilvl she probably has about 9500 spellpower before procs. That sort of throughput can let them survive two dps unless the two dps sync their cooldowns and take turns interrupting.

    The way a resto shaman’s mastery works – deep healing – their healing gets stronger the lower the heal recipient’s health is. Makes them very difficult to burn down alone.

    As for your question – I know we can do horde-horde or alliance-alliance war games. Not sure if you can do cross faction wargames without GM help though!


  14. Got to love that resilience mechanic. Oh, the pain and rage I experienced when I first started PVP as a resto druid. But once I got a decent amount of resilience under my belt, I began to understand why restoration druids are despised in PVP. Glad to hear that you got out and tried PVP for a change. Don’t let it stop there, Bear.

    Additionally, I love the idea of an xrealm PVP. Not exactly sure of the limitations what with realm battle groups and such, but a little research should provide answers…I’ll have to look into that.


  15. If I weren’t playing on EU, I would definitely be up for a big blogging community skirmish 😀

    I would be that annoying shaman, by the way 😉


  16. Oh, this post swirled me in and got me in the zone — and what a completely amazing idea! That would be sho kewl! And this post plucked a few sweet notes on my heartstrings, too, which all your posts do, Bear.


  17. I’ve faced similar shaman… it’s sad when you’re going full bore and they just shrug and ignore you.

    I was wondering if you let Alex watch the pvp shenanigans – all I could think, when you described prowling and lining up your pounce, was your previous post about Alex doing that in Stranglethorn. Sort of a “ok son, you’ve practiced your little butt off… this is what all that was for – Pounce!” Like a papa lion teaching his son to take down a gazelle.

    Anyway, I’m glad you had fun – PvP is strangely relaxing for me, even in a totally onesided BG where I’m dying all the time… at least there isn’t a boss you get to 30k and then wipe…


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