Back when we first started playing, in the days of yore when twinks were not separated (even as poorly as they are now), and BGs offered no XP, allowing twinks to hang around forever, my sister and I ventured into a BG to see what PVP was like. At the time, PVP was something akin to prison rape. At the time, many of the enchant loopholes had not been closed: you could use Outland-level leg enchants, shoulder enchants, etc. that now are limited to level 55+. There were level 29s running around with 4,000HP and AP in the 1,500+ range. Oh, yeah, and the brackets were 10 levels deep at the time, so you’d be level 20 and facing off against the level 29s who were literally godmode against you. In those days a twink could plow down an entire BG full of non-twinked toons and not work up a sweat doing it. 5-on-1 wouldn’t even give them pause. Needless to say, it left a bad taste in our mouths, and we haven’t ventured anywhere near PVP in the time since. Until now.
My sister and I have been working on a pair of lowbie rogues, and we’ve decided to enter the world of PVP on them. Only this time, things are a little more fair, and we’re dedicated to doing things “right” and being on the giving end this time around. We’re leveling them slowly, semi-twinking, and making sure we get the best bang for our buck. What we’ve been doing so far is doing random dungeons for the first two levels of a bracket and then turning off XP, acquiring some good crafted gear/dungeon drops and then turning XP back on and hitting the BGs. It’s slow going but a ton of fun.
Some things we learned.
- Gear is important, but not everything. You can beat lesser-geared opponents pretty easily if you know what you’re doing, but even the best-geared opponent is no match for teamwork. A coordinated attack or defense can neutralize a lot of enemy advantages.
- Consumables make a ton of difference. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eked out a win against a tough opponent because I had potions and he didn’t. Elixirs/Scrolls, Potions, Bandages, Professions: these things aren’t cheating, they’re being prepared.
- Enchants are as important as gear, especially at low levels. A big part of “twinking” (even the version we are doing where we plan on leveling) is having a gear advantage over your
victimsopponents. At low levels, enchants can provide you more bonuses than the gear itself. Even when it starts to balance itself out at larger levels, enchants can be worth several pieces of gear in terms of stat bonuses.* For example, the +15 Agility enchants that we put on our weapons is more Agility than is on the gear itself until level 64.
- Kill the healer first. Seriously, healers, esp disc priests, can make a fight almost impossible to win. Take him out first, using teamwork if you have to. Focus them, interrupt them, kill them. Then see about whoever else is hanging around.
- CC is OP. My sister and I can usually defend a base all by ourselves, because between us we can handle up to 5 people pretty safely, and possibly more, depending on the gear/skill of the opponent. Sap 2 people, Ambush 2 others, and then tag-team whoever is left. Heck, if their HP is low enough, we can Vanish and repeat, making 6 or 7 people doable (but difficult).
- Cheating isn’t as prevalent as you think. It’s just that sometimes people are better than you. If somebody is walking through the ground, yeah, feel free to yell hacks. If somebody is hitting harder than you, they’ve probably worked hard to have the gear to do so. If somebody pulls off a move that you can’t understand, stop nerd-raging and start looking up to see how they did it. You might make yourself better in the process.
At any rate, we’re having a good time in the BGs, winning more than losing, racking up honor, HKs, KBs, and achievements like they’re candy. Neither of us can believe it, but we’re actually enjoying PVP now, especially now that we can actually do something to fight back against hunters (fucking hunters! *grumble grumble*). Anyway, lowbie PVP isn’t completely balanced, but it is, at least, more fun and balanced than it was. The brackets going to 5 levels makes an enormous difference. And now, even with some of the twinks filtered out, mismatches are fewer and farther between.
*One of my guildies recently announced in guild chat that an opponent he was fighting was cheating because he was hitting too hard. I looked both players up on the armory. The “cheater” had twice as much attack power (~2500) as the guildie who was losing the BG (~1250). Despite only two iLvls difference in their gear, and being the same class and level (66 rogues), the twink had some gems and enchants (and presumably other buffs) while the guildie did not. The twink understood that sometimes a lower-level item with a socket is better than a higher-level item because you can stick a +20 stat epic wrath gem in it. I explained to the guildie that not only was this guy not cheating, he wasn’t even as strong as he could have been, because only *some* of his gear was enchanted. I don’t know if the guildie believed me or not, he still seemed to think there was some trickery going on. I wasn’t in the BG, so maybe, there was, I don’t know. But I guarantee that when I get to the same level, my toon will have every item enchanted that can be enchanted, and will have the best gear available, so her AP is likely to be even higher.