Interview with a PvP Hunter

I had a fun conversation with Ruuaarr after a Heroic ToC run a few nights ago, and I thought the conversation was well worth relating here for a bit.

Ruuaarr is a member of our guild, and is known mostly for playing his Hunter.

I’ve played with Ruuaarr in raids like Naxxramas, in 5 man runs, and more recently in our takedown of Onyxia.

He’s always provided some serious DPS, and can be counted on to play attentively and with great skill.

That being said, he’s a bit of an oddity in our rather laid back social guild.

You see, Ruuaarr’s first love is not for PvE content in groups.

Nope, Ruuaarr is, instead, a devoted afficianado of PvP.

Any time of the day or night, you could expect to see Ruu in Wintergrasp or one of the other Battlegrounds, presumably pwning face.

Because of my PvE background, the world of PvP for me is a bit like a closed book. Talking about it, aside from telling stories about this really bitchin’ Alterac Valley I did on my Druid back in Burning Crusade whilst grinding towards some epic shoulders, consists of “PvP, huh? So… fun, then?”

The conversation started when Ruuaarr dropped his third Fish Feast for the group, after a ‘I died and ran in and died and ran in but the bastards are dead so screw it’ encounter.

I commented that I really needed to get to farming some fish to give to him, since he was being so very generous with dropping the Fish Feasts for the group.

Ruuaarr replied that he didn’t mind, he had plenty of fish. All the fish he could ever want.

He got them while fishing for Rogues to gank in Wintergrasp.

Well, there’s a story just begging to be told there, so I had to learn more.

“What I do”, Ruuaarr said, “Is go fishing in Wintergrasp, and I’m the bait. Rogues can’t resist trying to kill someone just standing there fishing. So, they stealth in to take me down, and that’s when I destroy them.”

Wait… somehow, this sounds like you’re cheating, and destroying these poor unsuspecting Rogues… but to do it, you have to stand there motionless and fish. Just standing there. And you have to wait for them to come in and make their attack.

“Yes, they come in to gank me, and when they do I kill them. That’s why I’m there. But I get a lot of fish, too.”


That’s awesome. But this leads me to ask… why the vendetta against Rogues?

“Back when I first started playing, my son had been playing for a while and liked PvP. I wanted to try it, and went to join a Battleground. My son warned me, wait until I was 28 or 29, but I didn’t listen. I went in at level 25, and I was killed instantly. There was this Rogue there, and he just stayed and killed me over and over. The match seemed to last forever, and I was killed by this one Rogue 18 or 19 times. I refused to stop resurrecting, and I refused to stop playing, but he spent the entire match doing nothing but waiting for me and then killing me. That was when my war against the Rogues began.”

Well, I can certainly see how that might irritate a person. You must really hate people that corpse camp, after having to deal with something like that so soon in your playing. 

“I don’t hate them, but the way I see it, if you are going to corpse camp someone, you deserve what you get. There was one time, my son was playing and got killed, and the other player corpse camped him, killing him over and over for 15 minutes or more.”

“I logged onto my main, and went and found the player corpse camping him, and killed him.”

“Then I sat on him and corpse camped him back, killing him five or six times.” 

“He logged off, logged onto an Alliance character and asked why I was being an asshat and corpse camping him.”

That would make my day, personally.

It sounds as though you mostly like playing to have the challenge of an evenly matched battle. What are your thoughts on twinking?

“Twinking would work a lot better if they opened the pool of players to be cross game, and not just cross battlegroup. There just aren’t enough players in one battlegroup taking part. I think looking for the most advantage you can is built into the desire to twink… to be able to gank your opponent mercilessly and be overpowered. There are people that enjoy twinking their character to play in the twink only matchups, but if Blizzard wants that to be a success, they need to open the potential pool of players. There just aren’t enough in one battlegroup right now.”

It sounds to me like you don’t look for opportunities to destroy weaker opponents. Do you always play looking for an even match, in level at least?

“There was one time, and I still really feel bad about this. The arena in Stranglethorn Vale, I don’t know if you’ve done it, but it’s a free for all arena. You can kill people of your own faction in it too.”

“I was in there once, and there was a big fight moving all around, and I was taking on any target I saw, and I saw out of the corner of my eye someone enter the arena area and become flagged, and I took him down instantly. It turned out to be a level 31 or so of our own faction. I still feel really bad about that, I normally look to see what level someone is first, but in the arena I saw someone flag and just turned and took him down.”

Ruuaarr… thank you very much for giving me this look into the life of a PvP player, that truly does not fit in with any of the stereotypes I see all the time.

It was really refreshing to talk to someone that loves the PvP game, someone that really lives for the hunt and the hair trigger tension.

I hope that your story will help a few other folks remember that PvP isn’t all about corpse camping or ganking lowbies. A lot of very mature people love it too.

They just don’t get all the publicity. And maybe they should.


A wonderful little movie…

…with a title that just about banned it from the blog.

But I’m going to take a chance on it, and leave you with a warning that the title is inappropriate, but the subject matter is hilarious…

I’m thinking of respeccing elemental after watching this…

At the table of the High Warlord

I was at a party earlier today, celebrating the 50th birthday of Cassie’s older sister.

Among Cassie’s cousins are a few that play WoW.

One of them, Jason, plays an Undead Rogue named Grimmjaw.

Jason prefers PvP. He has very little interest in PvE at all, except that he goes on guild runs in Karazhan for Badges. That’s about it.

For those that wish to know Jason’s credentials, he achieved that rank of High Warlord on his server, Gilneas – US, long before they changed the PvP Honor rules to remove decay.

That’s right, Jason is one of those crazy folks that fought their ass off to achieve the rank of High Warlord the hard way, with honor that would decay and position that would change week by week, where there could be only one High Warlord on your server/faction at a time.

I was chatting with him about PvP today, and of course we settled on trading war stories of Alterac Valley back and forth. He told me how depressing it can be for horde when Alliance win 80% of the battles on his Battlegroup.

I joked about how funny it was, that smart Horde would simply turtle half the time in our battlegroup, run into Drek’s room or camp a party in Galv’s chamber, and the Alliance would see a turtle start and quit in disgust and take the deserter debuff, basically handing over a win out of laziness to fight it out. A brazen move that I think takes strong guts, since what the Horde are doing is saying, “You want to win, you’re gonna have to commit to standing your ground and earning it”… and hey, give ’em credit, it’s not the Horde that quits those fights early to concede victory. And sometimes the Alliance wins, so it’s all good.

I also mentioned how much fun I have found it to be, as a Shadow Priest, that if I push on offense and die on the way to rez up north, to just enter Vandar’s chamber, and when I see a Hordie poke his head in, I Psychic Scream them. Fear sends ’em all over, pulling the whole room. It’s a lot of fun… and something the Horde are very good at doing to us.

That’s when Jason gave me a bit of advice. Scraps from the table of the High Warlord, so to speak..

“When you’re on your Druid on defense, and the enemy is getting set to go into Vandars’ room, stealth in there and just hang out and wait.”

“When the offense gets set,and they are ready to pull Vandar, let them. Let them get a good head of steam.”

“Then, use Target of Target to identify the main tank on Vandar… pop out of stealth to Cyclone their main tank. And watch as Vandar runs around slaughtering the healers and ranged DPS.”

“Good times.”

Epic loot from the BGs at last

Eye of the Storm was FUN last night!

Well, not the ones that the Horde steamrolled us on. We had some very strong Horde teams, and a few wierd ally teams in there. I zoned into one that had 12 Alliance Paladins in the BG. It did not go well. Mostly, I think, because they were there to mess around, not because 12 Paladins were ineffectual.

But there was one EotS which started with the normal attempts at communication, “Team 1 push to Fel Reaver Ruins, Team 2 MT, Team 3 Draenei Ruins, once held leave 3 in defense and others support center”.

It doesn’t matter what the strat is, because many folks just turn the chat off. When that match started, I actually watched as the entire Team 1 headed for the DR. Sooo…. not so much the FRR assault force, eh? Maybe the Fel Reaver frightens them?

Anyway… I did my usual, head off to cap Mage Tower then look to see where the actual assault force was going. Cassie prefers take and hold, and she wins her matches far more often than not, but I like to push the bastards on their ground and take the initiative away.

About 8-10 minutes in, the Horde’s superior communication and coordination are beating us, as we have 800+ to the Horde’s 1500 points out of 2000 to win, and they hold 3 locations to our 1.

And someone gets on chat to, and you can guess which one; Exhort us on to victory? Seize control and lead us to victory? Or maybe… to call us all retard noobs?

I’ll let you decide which is the most likely choice.

Hah, and I responded asking him if, instead of wasting time venting, he’d like to show us his genius and direct the fight. “Just tell us where to ALL steamroll, and we’ll go there right now. Maybe that’ll work instead of calling us retards and checking out.”

So he said “Fine, go to BET, whatever.”

And I said, “Okay, everyone free head for BET, NOW!”

So, I went to BET… and lo and behold, there were only 2 defenders, and 6 of us whomped ’em and took it away.. and I said “That worked, so let’s go take FRR, all in, screw defense.”

And we went and did that as a group, and took that away. And we still held DR. So we three capped, and folks were so stunned Alliance side that they started thinking, or at least obeying directions. We got people to actually shuffle around to defend, and then bogged them down in the center.

And we went from being down 800 to 1500 to WINNING that damn BG.


Think on that the next time you see your EotS team down by 200 and people start giving up.

If you are in PvP, and you’re losing, before you just check out and give up, remember the immortal words of GySgt Tom Highway from Heartbreak Ridge.

“Don’t give the pricks the satisfaction, sir.”

Oh yeah, and I gots me my Merciless Gladiator’s Gavel. I also have all the mats for my insanely expensive Soulfrost enchant for it… I just don’t know anyone with the enchant.

Once I have the enchant, according to my math, with self buffs, food, weapon oil and flask, I’ll have +1309 Shadow Damage.


My thoughts on PvP gear in general

My previous post came out of playing a lot of PvP over the last few weeks, as you have heard about ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.

I started by identifying Shadow Priest upgrades, seeing what a big jump the merciless Gladiator’s Spellblade was over my crafted Eternium Runed Blade, and decided to go for it.

Along the way, I encouraged Cassieann to join me and go for her Merciless Gladiator’s swords, because I knew from talking with every other Rogue we game with that the PvP swords just kick the hell out of the other options we have. And agrees.

But then I started wondering… is there anything worth getting for my Druid? I knew I had just about the best gear I could get otherwise… but shoulders have always been my weak point.

So I went and checked them out, did my comparisons, and left Champion’s Hall flabbergasted. The Merciless shoulders are HOW good?

Now, I browse the Merciless gear for both my favorite 70s, and I see that, for example, the PvP cloth Bracers are equivalent to the Runed Spell Cuffs, or better… and wouldn’t cost me hard-earned Badges. I could take the Badges I’d earn and spend them on something else, like the Icon of the Silver Cresent.

So… what are my thoughts on all this?

It’s complete bullshit.

Continue reading

My first PvP shoutout

I would like to thank Killersand of Hellscream for representing your server’s PvP population with maturity and honor.

Your threat to visit me at my house, and ‘bring a shotgun or two’, filled me with awe and respect.

I have seen some things in PvP chat that has impressed me, surprised me, and even at times disgusted me.

But rarely, if ever, have I laughed out loud nearly as hard, nor as long, as when I saw that.

Thank you.

After reflection, and killing a few more Horde at Blood Elf Tower, I grew afraid… deeply afraid for the consequences of daring to ask that you stop calling everyone else in the Eye of the Storm run ‘the worse noobs in the entire game’, and instead ask that you, like… play? Your 5 Honorable Kills and 11 deaths filled me with great fear, it really did.

In the future, I will remember, when I see you enter the fight… that if you stand up, I need to sit down.

For you, with your two shotguns, are The Man.

All must fear. ALL must fear.

BTW… email me, if you live in the Twin Cities. I would be DELIGHTED to meet you. There is a contact form at the top of the page.

You’re welcome to bring friends, if you have any. And if you can fit through your mom’s basement door to leave the house.

God, I’m still laughing, even though we got crushed in that BG. It was worth it for that.

What retard scrote threatens to go to someone on the internets’ house with two shotguns? Are you freaking kidding me? For being called out on being a useless asshat?

Just… go away from the internets. /facepalm

I’m sure your guild, Voracity, is very proud… and it’s nice to see you are such a master of PvP with your 1282 rated 3v3 Arena team.

Okay.. back to the joys of Eye of the Storm on bonus honor weekend.

Maybe it’s just me?

Back when I drove a truck cross-country for Dick Simon Trucking (the skunk trucks!), we had no nationwide cell phones, no satellite uplink computers to browse the internet, none of the new stuff you damn kids take for granted. Get off my lawn, damn you!

That’s a damn good thing, now that I think about it. I was single, I was making pretty awesome money, I lived in the truck so I had zero personal expenses except food and clothes…. the only reason I stopped driving was because I was lonely out there with no one to talk with or share things with. If I had a computer in the truck that I could connect to the internet with via satellite to play WoW on during federally mandated rest periods?

Yeah, I never would have quit trucking… I can admit that. It’s a fact.

Point is, I used to listen to audiobooks on cassette all the time, and comedy albums on tape.

Jeff Foxworthy, before he transformed his career into a family friendly persona, did some good old fashioned raunchy humor back in the day.

I was on the road listening to this show he recorded before a live audience, and he’s telling a story of how he was doing a stand up act near a local military base, and when in the course of the show he happened to mention the nearby military base with some 5000 Airmen (or whatever it was), he said that a cranky female voice piped up from the back of the audience to loudly announce “And every one of them is a bad lay.”

And he said he stopped, totally surprised, and said, “Excuse me, ma’am?” And she called out again “You heard me. Every one of them is lousy in bed.”

And his reply just floored me, I was laughing so hard… he said, “You know, ma’am… after a while, did you ever stop to think…. maybe it’s ME?”


I have carried that bit in my head as a universal truth ever since. Years pass, but I’ll never forget the lesson in there.

If you’re doing something over and over, and you are bitching and complaining constantly about how everyone else is screwed up… take a step back. Maybe it’s not everyone else… maybe it’s you?

Used to be a funny little office sign you’d see in cubes… “If you are calm and collected while everyone about you is losing their heads… maybe you’ve failed to grasp just how deep in the shit you really are.”

Where am I going with this?

Well, as I’ve said before, Cassie and I have been PvPing in battelgrounds to earn the Honor for our Season 2 Merciless weapons. She has more than enough for her main hand, but she wants to have all the Honor she needs so she can buy them both at once. She even already has mats for both Mongoose enchants.

Her favorite BG? Eye of the Storm. She LOVES the fast paced action and sudden changes in fortune that can occur in the blink of an eye.

Me? I love me some Alterac Valley. I can’t help it, I love the large scale coordination it takes to make it all work.

Last night I popped into an AV, pretty late, just before bed. And it was one of those awesome battles, where everyone seems to know just where they should go.

I charged into the offense, as I am prone to do, and for the first time, instead of stopping to help down Galv, I decided to push on to help secure the first tower and hold it.

And I promptly found out what happens to those leading the pack past Galv… they die. And rez in the damn northernmost graveyard, with the entire Horde between you and the offensive team.

Okay, well, I remember from my pre-BC days that the easiest way to get through the cut when the Horde is inbound is to run down and under your own bridge, cut down through the valley on the west and kinda sneak up on the high road and wait for a gap in the Horde flow.

Funny how the Horde NEVER seems to decide to charge the graveyard by leaving the main high road, taking the dive down to the west into the deep canyon and coming up from that route under the bridge… no one ever defends it. I used to play defense on turtles and keep an eye on that avenue of approach worriedly… and never once have I seen a Horde mass attack through there to take a turtle defense from behind. Only lone rogue type folks take it, it seems.

Anyway, I take the valley approach to flank teh road from below where there is some cover, wait for a large pack of horde to flow past, then charge up onto the high road and hop/skip past the straggling Horde into which I appeared and made it safely past to rejoin the offense.

I passed each tower and GY, each was defended and held, got to the Relief Hut, and the timers for capture countdowns were nearing the end, got there just as the call went out “ALL IN”, charged in and identiifed the tank and spent the rest of the fight casting Flash Heal… boom. Alliance victory, 15 minutes into the fight.

Flawless Victory.

So what the hey… 15 minutes? if I rejoin immediately, maybe I’ll get most of the same team!

Went into AV number two… and as we charge south towards our usual offensive targets, it becomes apparent the Horde on this AV are playing a VERY different strategy.

They are staying in the southern half of the map, in groups of 8 to 12, and camping all the towers, every graveyard, and the relief hut. All of the Horde, not just a handful of griefers. I tried taking and holding a tower, and 8+ Horde actually assaulted the tower and all of them came all the way to the flag room at the top. Not the usual one or two to make sure it’s retaken, the WHOLE BUNCH in a coordinated move swarmed into the top room.

As I rezzed and rejoined the battle, and worked my way south, I saw that it was true everywhere. The Horde had turned turtle. Pure turtle. Zero offense, in favor of holding all the Alliance target points.

Alliance chat started to have the usual “Can’t you worthless noobs hold a Tower? We’re never going to win if you don’t hold the tower after you take it” comments.

I actually responded to that one, something I rarely do, announcing to the people who are bitching in chat, the same ones that ran straight to the Relief Hut and are now standing there bored waiting for the rest of the raid to do the work of capping and holding the towers and GYs while they sit and wait to rush in, “A mage and I were holding Tower Point, and 8+ Hordes bum rushed it. I’m heading south now and the Horde are camping, in force, every tower and GY south of Galv. Come back north and help retake them.”

I got taken out again trying to take a graveyard, and rezzed all the way north again. And as I watched the BG chat, the rest of the Alliance realised it was not just A turtle, it was THE turtle to end all turtles. Alliance BG chat exploded into hate and blame.

And I looked at the battle map… and I remembered I had all those AV quests you get by physically going to Alterac Valley north of Southshore, quests to get your Alliance trinket, cap a graveyard, burn a banner, take a mine.. those quests.

Well, I’m gonna be here for a while anyway, right?

So off I went, and I personally took a graveyard (FWGY, if you please), and I assaulted a tower (and died, but got credit for the Banner burning first), and I fought my way into the harpy den and got the banner for the Alliance trinket quest… and then I soloed my way deep into Coldtooth Mine, and made me way near to the Horde mine master… and waited in a side passage for the rogue I was certain was there to get bored and leave. I stood behind a pillar and moved my camera to watch, while I hid behind one of the mine supports, kinda sneaky like.

And sure enough, after a few minutes… off runs a rogue breaking their own stealth, secure in the knowledge that the Mine was theirs.

And 30 seconds later I burn down the Horde mine boss to recapture the mine, just as the whistle sounds to signal the Horde have wiped out the Alliance reinforcements.

I had a great time. I kept running around doing stuff, I nailed a few Horde, my only complaint being that EVERYONE resists my Psychic Scream, or is able to click out of it in 1 second it seems. Everyone. I thought that damn trinket was supposed to have a 5 minute cooldown, so I’m pretty sure everyone isn’t blowing their cooldown every time I happen to fire off Psychic Scream. Maybe it’s a Resilience thing, but I didn’t think Resilience had ANYTHING to do with resisting Fear effects.

Anyway, I had a great time. I didn’t get a win, or more than 100 bonus Honor, but I completed all the quests, got my Trinket, got 36 gold (those AV quests are worth 12 gold apiece. Cha-ching!) and that is my first time on Windburn capturing the mine solo. It was just… fun.

And the whole time I’m doing that… the Alliance BG chat channel is just going batshit INSANE with rage and hate and anger at being in a turtle. People are leaving the Alliance side, deserting in a FLOOD. The chat was full of epic hate and bannable language, it was just amazing. I haven’t seen that kind of wild abandon in spewing forth hate in ages. Maybe it’s the effect of being in a BG with people who are mostly from other servers in your battlegroup, that makes you feel even more anonymous than normal, like there are truly no consequences for being an utter douchebag on chat.

Just, the amount of blame being assigned to everyone, all the many reasons we would just WIN if all the REST of you would have done what you were supposed to , you’re all noobs, retards, stupid, etc etc etc. And all the hot replies, oh yeah. Feeding the flames. I’m surprised, totally surprised, it didn’t Godwin out towards the end.

And as always when I see that kind of finger pointing, that assumption that everyone else in the entire raid sucks because of a wipe, or a bad pull, or a failed BG, that line floats up in the back of my memory…

“You ever stop to think…. maybe it’s you?”