The Gnomepocalypse November 5, 2011Posted by Stormy in PvP.
I awoke to the sound of an alarm bell and the flash of a red light. “EVACUATE!” cried the security guard. I grabbed my shoes off the floor and the picture of my beloved from under my pillow and ran out the door. Dozens of my gnomish brothers and sisters scurried around clearing a path through the infected troggs. I ran to the safety of an evacuation pod and breathed a sigh of relief.
The evacuation pod took me to New Tinkertown, where I was promptly pulled aside by an officer. He hurriedly explained to me that based on my physical characteristics and my experience wielding the Light I’d been selected for a secret, elite squad of the resistance army. I was given some equipment and pocket money and ordered to get a new haircut…and oh yeah, I was given a code name: Lillistorm. I looked around at my new sisters and saw they’d all been given code names starting with Lilli: Lillifyn, Lillicyn, Lilliilli and so on, and we all had matching haircuts.
This harebrained idea is the brainchild of Alas, who posted on her blog yesterday about the idea of a Gnome Clone army. I watched a little bit of the discussion fly back and forth on Twitter yesterday, but frankly I was too distracted by work to devote any energy to what was going on. I picked up this vague notion that there were a bunch of Twitter folks descending on a server to set up a guild, and since I love some of the WoW Twitterati dearly I decided to check it out. It turns out that some of the elder statespeople of the WoW Twittersphere had banded together and assembled an entire framework for a Gnome Clone PvP army, and frankly I cackled maniacally as I read through the planning/rulebook document they’d assembled.
Members of the Gnome Clone army are required to be female gnomes, all clothies/casters and all have the same matching face and matching haircut, dubbed “punk”. We’ve all been instructed to take Engineering as a primary profession (we’re gnomes, after all). Our goal is to level these toons to 24 and twink them, guided by a master gear list compiled by Psynister and others. Once we’re sufficiently leveled and geared, the goal is to combine our superior PvP skills with the element of total surprise and descend on Azeroth’s battlegrounds in pursuit of one goal: total domination. Seriously, could you imagine being some level 24 Hordie zoning into WSG and being met by a pre-made consisting of ten matching female gnomes all named Lilli? Just the sheer “WTF?” factor is likely to give us an edge on the competition.
Moreover, I was excited at the prospect of learning some remedial Pvp skills in an environment filled with masters (Cynwise, Psynister, etc.) where people won’t yell at me. So late last night I logged over to Durotan-US, and following the Gnome Clone rulebook I rolled a new toon: Lillistorm the gnome discipline priest. Those of you who know me are silently asking yourself (as Rush did last night): “A gnome? Are you feeling okay?” Yes. Even as a proud and loyal member of Thrall’s Horde (Garrosh can go to Hell) I feel great about it. I had more fun in WoW last night than I’d had in months, running around Chill Breeze Valley giggling hysterically at the half-dozen little matching gnomelets dominating the local landscape.
The Durotan server was chosen as home base for the Gnome Clone army because it’s the home of <Amicus Fidelis>, guild to Cynwise, Psynister, Fynralyl and others, and the members of AF welcomed us with open arms and showered us with goodies to get us started on our bizarre little journey. By the time I logged out last night, twenty or so new little Lillies had invaded AF and there were more waiting for guild invites.
I have no idea where this is going. I’m so embarrassingly bad at PvP that it’s not even funny. I’m terrified at the prospect of being adrift on a new server and being expected to survive. But I’m in good hands, and I’m handy enough with bubbles and Penance that I hope I can pull my weight. I don’t know that we’re going to become a force to be reckoned with in the 20-24 bracket, but I’m going to have a hell of a lot of fun trying.
Alterac Valley October 15, 2011Posted by Ben in PvP.
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I remember when Alterac Valley was epic. Not quite so far back as when the battles lasted 24 hours, but at least as far back as when they’d last 1-2 hours. When strategy and a good defense was important. This week I’ve gotten a small taste of that again with two resource victories in that frozen battleground.
The first one happened quite by accident. Almost the entire group had raced off for the Alliance stronghold, and in the Field of Strife we watched the other side race by us. When our inital surge was pushed back and we hadn’t captured a single graveyard and lost the one at Iceblood, our entire force was back at the beginning. But somehow the alliance hadn’t been able push deeper than the Frostwolf Graveyard where we’d all resurrected. What followed was crush of group PvP at the base of Tower Point as the Horde held the line and thanks to many fine healers watched the Alliance resource count drop at twice the speed of our own. I chuckled when one member of the group complained, “Aren’t we going to try and win this thing?” to which many responded, “What do you mean? This is AWESOME!”
The second attempt started with a member of the raid making an interesting claim. “The Horde can never win a zerg, but we can always outlast them.” A group still attempted the zerg, but half the group hung back in the lower half of the map. A force defended Captain Galvangar (who survived to the end of the battleground unlike his counterpart), and the rest of us defended and re-capped towers. The line didn’t hold as well, but at one point a good portion of the players were fighting it out in the Field of Strife.
I’m hoping to have some more great experiences in battlegrounds this weekend. And I hope some of them are as entertaining as these.
I’m learning… September 7, 2011Posted by Ben in General Whinging, PvP.
A few weeks back I decided that I wanted to dedicate one of my max-level characters to PvP. Waiting in queues for the eventual ill-fated Stonecore run was not holding the same allure (unrelated, but I’ve noticed that my odds of completing the dungeon are much higher in the Zul’roics than then the regular heroics, although I do have a rather small sample set). I’d already purchased a fair amount of the ilvl 358 blue gear from the AH to boost the stats of my newest 85, and thus my hunter became the guinea pig for my PvP interest.
First, I was amazed at how much less time I spent waiting for a battleground to pop than a dungeon. Rarely more than two minutes would go by before I was yanked through the Twisting Nether to a battlefield. It was exciting. I was accumulating Honor Points as quickly as I used to collect Emblems of Triumph back in the days immediately following patch 3.3. (adjusted for the different reward scheme, obviously), and by the end of the first weekend was decked out in three pieces of the ilvl 371 Season 10 set. Along the way I learned a few things about PvP in general and my own skill level.
1) I need a lot of work on placing traps quickly. Maybe there’s an efficient addon or macro out there that will make sure I’ve cast Trap Launcher before I try to send my Snake Trap into the fray, but I’ve got to stop dropping it at my feet.
2) I need to learn better mobility. PvE has trained me as a pretty good turret, but that’s not very effective when you’re trying to kill that rogue.
2b) I hate rogues. Being stunlocked to death and within 8 yards is frustrating.
3) Turn off Auto-shot BEFORE you cast one of those abilities that disables your opponent. Shooting Wyvern Sting, Scatter Shot or Freezing Trap is more effective if I don’t immediately break the effect.
4) I still love Arathi Basin. Something about that battleground makes me so excited. Even when my faction is getting pummelled, I can’t think of a BG that is more fun.
5) I despise Warsong Gulch (and to a lesser extent Twin Peaks).
6) I miss the pre-BC, pre-zerg days of Alterac Valley. I don’t mean the original multi-day all-out battles in the Valley of Strife, but the multi-hour struggles where defense was just as important as offense. When you’d actually try to hold the line at a graveyard or chokepoint or push to expel your opponent from your keep and push them all the way back to Snowfall.
7) I’m really pretty bad at PvP. I know that I’m going to die much more often in this environment than while doing dungeons or questing, and I’m okay with that. but I seem to visit the Spirit Healer pretty often.
7b) I’m not as bad at PvP as I think I am. I don’t know if the leaderboard at the end of a BG is in any way a fair way to judge your performance, but I sometimes end up high on the list for things like killing blows or honorable kills.
So dear readers, any hints for a struggling and aspiring PvPer? And feel free to tell me that I’ve picked the wrong class, I’m beginning to think that already.