The Evolution of a BG Noob: Let the Battles Begin

Paladr at level 48Gitr finally got into some PvP with Paladr this week. Other than about 2 hours of total time in WSG matches for over 40 days played, this was my first entry into hard-hitting PvP. Of course, Deadr grew up to level 66 on a PvP realm and was the victim of hundreds of gankings, world PvP is nothing like fighting in a battleground setting, that is for sure.

This will be an ongoing series of my personal exploits in BGs as a complete and total noob for this kind of playstyle. See it as your one opportunity to openly laugh at me and have a good old time at my expense, because I’ve made some seriously dumb mistakes, but learned a lot already. I’ll be as transparent as possible in an attempt to comfort other noobs who are coming to learn from scratch.

Arathi Basin – Level 48 – Protection Paladin

That’s me, Paladr, and that’s where I am now. We’ll ignore my first AB match the night before… I sucked so much, a Hoover would be put to shame. Let’s start with my questions to Growl the next morning and what I did from his advice that night.

Gitr: I suck. A tankadin has no place in PvP.
Growl: Sure they do – you can give Kings – spot heal – and provide last stand guard on points about to be taken. You won’t be at the top of the killing list – but that doesn’t matter. Your value is in steady irritation to folks trying to cap points. The longer you keep that point contested – the better chance reinforcements will arrive to save the day.

He’s right: tankadins DO have a place in PvP. By the time I was done for the night… um… morning, I was topping the list on healing, being quite an irritation, and constantly being the target of hunters and their pets. There isn’t much more satisfaction available than to stand 30 yards off from combat and toss full heals on a fury warrior as he mows down 4 enemies… at one time.

Gitr: I keep running out of mana when I did try to heal. Should I notch it down a couple of ranks?
Growl: Are you using your Flash of Light heal? I save Holy Light for after fights and use the flash heal for “in-combat” healing. You can spam flash heal for quite a while… and it’s fast.

Man! Talk about an endless supply of mini-heals! I really can hit Flash Heal all day long. It doesn’t do much in certain situations, say a warrior against a caster doing full damage through his armor or on a caster up against a rogue. Then again, it’s better to get a heal off than no heal because you were still casting when they die a miserable death. What Flash Heal often does is match the incoming damage enough to give your man twice as long to make a stand and wait for backup.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears – School of Hard Knocks

Nothing hones your skills like a real battle. I got 6 full matches in and earned 22 Marks, including the 3 from the night before. My honor topped out at 1,100 and I got 286 kills so far, as I was doing about 35-45 per match. I made several mistakes right away:

  • End statisticsI used BoK on everyone but casters. I looked into it, and it looks like BoM should go on Melee and Hunters, and BoW should go on casters. Take the time to sort them out and help out the team. The benefits provided with the correct buff outweigh the time spent using multiple buff types. If you’re “good,” it doesn’t even make a difference in your time.
  • UI arrangement for KlikI waited 2 matches before I enabled Klik. OMG!! This is the single most important tool I had on Deadr for instances, and I would not recommend going into a 15-man BG without some way to heal people using the raid/party UI frames. It wasn’t until I was healing with Flash Heal with the LMB (left mouse button, if you’re a REAL noob) and Holy Light with the RMB that I started to feel somewhat comfortable. I still didn’t know any tactics, but at least people stopped dying in front of me while I looked for them in the mess of bodies.
  • My UI was simply not prepared to fight with so much going on. Instances and grinding mainly keep all of the action in one place. Look out when you get into the fray in a BG. I moved all kinds of things around. Here is what I ended up with, without too much trouble.
  • My battleground UI arrangement

  • Map OverlayPress Shift-M. That brings up a little map of the BG/zone and all of the nodes, who has control of them, where your teammates are, and who is in combat. When you hover over a numbered dot, it displays the name(s) of the people under the cursor. When there is combat, they start to flash red. As sides take over nodes, they turn red for Horde and blue for Alliance. Move it. Use it. Love it. Thank me later.
  • Try to stick with a warrior, or at the least a rogue or ret pally. They will be able to bail you out if you take all the damage and you can really lay on the heals on them and let them concentrate on creating as much havoc and totally wrecking a node that is only guarded by 2-3 people.
  • Don’t just sit on defense! Travel around with the aid of the above classes and kill on sight and take back lightly defended nodes. Be sure to stick the full minute until the possession changes to you. Consecrate the area around the flag if you are defending, as it will interrupt everyone trying to assault the flag.
  • Don’t waste Consecrates if you might need to heal. Consecrate is a huge mana drain, and if you need to start healing, you’d best figure out some other way to do some damage.
  • Save your Bubbles. Don’t bubble up unless you are doing critical healing, tanking, or you need to get away. You never know when you’ll need it in the next minute.
  • Don’t forget to stun with Hammer of Justice when others are in the area to finish off mobs.
  • Use Hammer of Wrath if you’re not on an active heal. It’s fast and will finish of a caster.

That’s all for now, kids. If you like this feature, drop us a line and we’ll keep them coming. There is always time for a little PvP, as long as the queue isn’t too long.


  1. says

    Played around in AB last night myself for the first time in forever trying to do the daily BG quest. As a warlock, I will state, without hesitation until the day that I day: I hate rogues.

    And I don’t know what it’s like on the Horde side of things, but do they have a tendency to bicker with one another in BG chat the way we Alliance folks do?

  2. says

    For the most part – Horde battlegrounds are strangely quiet. Everyone just sort of knows where to go and what to do. We call out INC’s and there’s always some good natured chatter about how fast a point fell or to curse a particularly evil twink. Not a lot bickering though – not at all. We see it from time to time – but it’s usually short lived.

  3. says

    Right… In the 20 matches I’ve been in, only one of them had bickering. Someone said ‘worst AB evah!’ and the obvious leader simply said, ‘you obviously haven’t been in many.’ 🙂 There were about 8 ROFLs that followed.

    The horde seem to naturally take over 3-4 out of a roaming effort to maintain control. The only time we lost was was when people stayed on defense and got constantly zerged.

  4. halite says

    Always use rank 1 of consecrate when you’re just covering a flag … it’s not such a mana drain then. =)

  5. says

    Perhaps, then, I need to join the dark side and roll Horde? Dunno if I have it in me. But Alliance BG chats are awful. And the results leave a lot to be desired as well. I did two AB runs last night. The first one we had a grand total of 20 resource points before everyone seemingly laid down arms and admitted defeat. It hurt the military man in me.

  6. says

    As Horde, it is unbelievably funny when the Alliance pulls out. Trudging along… 2 nodes, 3 nodes, 4 nodes, 5 nodes… Go, Go, Go! Then you realize that the only players around are ugly or belfs. The points really rack up fast when it’s a pull-out. Those matches have lasted 6 or 7 minutes.

    3 AB Marks, please. Thank you.

  7. says

    Faction choice is usually a fairly personal thing. If you don’t feel “right” in a particular toons skin – you’ll never level him. For myself – I have *tons* of great friends and know a *ton* of awesome players on the Alliance side. So – while the grand majority of those you see in the battlegrounds are better left in the vegetable isle – there *are* good people out there.

    What it comes down to in the BG’s Horde v. Alliance a lot of times is that to do well in Alliance BG’s often requires a pre-made. To do well with the horde, you can usually get away with a pug.

    This isn’t always the case though. Check out the battlegroup forums over at Blizzard. Find one where the Alliance is doing particularly well. Maybe look at transferring servers. Still – most battlegroups run rather cyclically with one faction doing well one month and another the next. If you’re bracket is sucking – just wait – it might get better.

  8. says

    Great post!

    Ah, I remember my first time in the BG with a 20-something level mage. I might as well have worn a tabbard that said “Fresh meat!” I was pathetic and overall it was quite horrible.

    Recently, though, I started a new alt (a hunter) on a new realm and I entered Warsong Gulch once I hit 18. It wasn’t pretty but I forced myself back in again and again. I started learning what worked and what didn’t. I found a guild that had several 19 BG geeks and learned the ropes on what works well and what doesn’t.

    And I got better. MUCH better.

    Now I love it. You really get to know all the nuances of the class, gear and talents. The Hunter class is particularly cool because you can track the opposing faction in your minimap. I can identify patterns of movement and get a feel for their strategy from it. It rocks! I’m getting about 60 honor every match (on average) and am working towards the trinket that removes stun affects.

    Only 30 more battles to go!

    Of course when I get that I’m going to have to see how it works so I’ll probably be there for another 20 🙂 I’ll be Exhalted in Silverwing before I’m 20…LOL.

    I’m Alliance and from my experience there’s not a lot of chatting going on. It’s pretty quiet. I’m usually the chattiest to alert folks, boost morale or suggest a change in strategy.

    And for me, with all due respect, Warlocks just rub me the wrong way. There’s nothing I hate more than being Feared. Hunter’s Mark usually goes on them first 🙂


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