Page 1 of 2
  1. #1

    Where does one start with pvp?

    Hi all,

    I'm writing this post cause I've decided to take a break from raiding till 6.0 and give pvp a legitimate effort. My only problem is, I don't know where to start? Google has brought me to several videos and sites for pvp but they all seem to have the same problem: They tell me the best talents, glyphs, stats, etc., but don't actually talk about what buttons to use and when.

    I realize that pvp isn't like pve in the sense that there won't be a 'rotation' or 'priority list' but I'm still left wondering what my best burst is, what all my ways are to get out of CC, Best survival strategy, if there are any macros, etc...

    Some of this I can certainly figure out on my own. I can go through my spell book and find out what all my CC moves are, but I just figured that a guide would help me with this stuff, and my instinct is to revert back to my dps rotation, which is probably completely wrong.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm looking to pvp with a DK if that helps.


  2. #2
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Are you pvping "with" a DK, or "as" a DK? I'm not sure if you are telling us your partner / friend, or if you are telling us your main class.

    In the event that you are pvping as a DK, you need to pick a spec - Unholy or Frost. Frost is generally burstier, but Unholy is often more popular for RBGs and certain 3's and 5's comp that emphasize pressure (and CC that doesn't break on damage). You mentioned you are a raider... but you asked about how to burst - which is a tad confusing - usually PvE'rs are at the very least good at pressure / burst.

    At the top of the PvP forums are two stickied threads, the Youtube Thread and the Stream Thread - both of which contain great links to resources of exemplary players of every class playing. You could watch your own classes videos/streams to see how the best play - assuming you are familiar with your class enough to recognize what abilities they are using - and you can also watch other classes you are struggling against to understand what they are thinking about when they play.

    The biggest thing, as with anything - is a combination of practice and knowledge - you gain knowledge by reading guides (found in the class sections) and watching videos/streams. You gain practice by playing the game. Read some guides, watch some videos, learn some tricks - then go practice and apply them.

    The most important thing is to learn the right mentality. Don't shit on yourself when you die, you will die, a lot. Don't throw a temper tantrum when your teammate dies and blame them and throw your keyboard - you are a scrub - embrace your inner scrubness (Seriously)

    You will not get better by stomping green-geared fresh 90's in random battlegrounds or world PvP. The best opportunity to learn is to get slaughtered by great players, and take note of what they did to you and how they did it.

    With time and smarts you will recognize the patterns in their play, you will know when you are overextending, when you are LoS of your healer, when you should be playing defensive because your team doesn't have a kill anytime soon, and when it's OK to go LoS of your healer or overextend to secure a kill (hint: almost never).

    Watch how good teams communicate with each other - particularly the non-Bahjeera/Swifty types who actually call their abilities and their strategies rather than just voice-overing for the sake of entertainment: they are not teaching you how to play.

    Sometimes it's not actually best to watch the best teams in the world play: Reckful and Soda and Talbadar have been playing with and against each other so long they don't really need to communicate spare by some form of telepathy they have developed. You won't understand what Rank 1's are doing yet, and if they are comfortable enough to communicate 90% of stuff non-verbally - then they aren't telling you what you need to hear to learn. So it may be better to actually watch the 2k players first - because they (depending on comp) will need to communicate meaningfully to score kills: and often aren't telepathic yet.

    It's somewhat disconcerting that you are asking us what your best burst is, or ways to break CC - do you not know your abilities? That stuff is pretty definitive - open your spellbook and read your abilities.

    As a DK, particularly an Unholy DK - a PvE DPS rotation that maximizes DoT uptime is ideal for a pressure comp like Shadowcleave or Unholyplay (or TSG). The one important distinction though is to remember that kills will only happen during burst windows. To burst - just as in PvE - you want to save up your runes, your cooldowns, build runic power as best you can - and then drop all of it while the enemy healer is strangulated: and coordinate this with your teammates burst.

    A good initial 3v3 comp for you would be TSG - it takes very little skill at low rating and will get you PvPing. The risk of running TSG however is that it will form bad habits - since it's entirely possible to land accidental kills without coordinating CC chains - or burst windows. A better comp for learning the game might be Vanguardcleave - UHDK, Ret, Healer - since you will actually need to coordinate CC and burst to land kills.

    If you just want to be a 1600 kid, run TSG and maul everything to death - but if you are serious about learning to PvP - pick a harder comp and focus on learning to play as a team: it will serve you far better - and take you far higher - in the long run.
    Youtube ~ Yvaelle ~ Twitter

  3. #3
    Thanks for the thoughtful response!

    Yeah, playing "as" a DK is what I meant. I definitely know how to burst in PVE but I guess I don't really know if that looks the same in PVP. I guess I'm just struggling with how to effectively translate my mentality of understanding my ideal rotation and then translating that to mechanics of a fight, to understanding that in PVP where the fight is not predictable (or maybe it is?). And then, it's also knowing when to burst. I know when to burst in a raid fight because I know the mechanics.

    I'll check out those video threads though. Given the choice, I'm thinking Unholy, simply because I raid as Frost and figured it would be a good way make it feel different so I don't have to deal with fighting instincts that would serve me in a raid but hurt me in pvp.

    If anyone has a recommendation for videos or feeds RE: Unholy DK PVP, I'd love to hear it!
    Last edited by odoylerules; 2014-04-15 at 03:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by odoylerules View Post
    I'm writing this post cause I've decided to take a break from raiding till 6.0 and give pvp a legitimate effort. My only problem is, I don't know where to start? Google has brought me to several videos and sites for pvp but they all seem to have the same problem: They tell me the best talents, glyphs, stats, etc., but don't actually talk about what buttons to use and when.

    Learning how to play your class is like lifting. You can read all you want about lifting, but nothing is going to mold your approach like practice.

    Watch good players of your class and incorporate some of their strategies. If you can, record your own games and watch them. Keep practicing.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  5. #5
    Definitely what's been said about trying not rage when you die - you will die a lot in the beginning. Finding a good partner helps no end, by good I don't mean R1 or multi Glad. I mean someone that can help you when you screw up, understand their own mistakes and be able to talk about them afterwards.

    I found a friend who was gearing up a new class and did a number of Random BG's with him as a Party, this may not have a big impact on your abilities but will help you develop meaningful communication. Things like target calling / calling CC's - asking for Peels etc etc.

  6. #6
    1) Tell yourself you can't do sh*t atm and that you're going to die. A LOT.
    2) Try to find 1-4 peeps for Random BG group. It doesn't seem like it, but it really does make a difference.
    3) Don't focus on how well you're doing, just try to learn what class can do what and what can you do to counter it (at least in theory)
    4) See number 1

  7. #7
    Mechagnome Toralin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    51st State
    PvP is one of those things you just need to practise a lot and you'll realise/work-out most of the important stuff by yourself. If you can grab a couple of guildies/friends to play with whilst doing normal BGs you'll have a great time. Just remember, you'll die a LOT, especially with non-optimal PvP gear.. but don't let that dishearten you!

    After you've played a fair amount of PvP, then is the best time to look for guides because you'll end up thinking "oh that makes sense" rather than thinking "when and why would I ever bother pressing that..."

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Like someone said above, prepare to die a lot. Lots of PvE folks start PvP, die a few times and give up. Don't give up. Dying, specially in BGs, does not mean you are doing something wrong. If you distract 2-3 guys for some time and die, you gave your team an advantage. But as you get better and learn more of your class, you'll die a lot less and kill a lot more.

    PvP is about learning your class. Rotation and damage every good player knows, but defense, damage mitigation, keeping yourself alive longer despite taking grievous amounts of damage? Not everyone can handle that. How many melee DPS don't know that keeping yourself facing your opponent will allow you to parry/dodge his attacks sometimes! Learning how to survive is essential for PvP.

    As for gearing up, do the Isle of Thunder PvP dailies and kill the rare faction mobs from Krasarang each day. That'll give you 1350 Honor and 50 Conquest per day. Try to win at least one random BG per day, since you'll get around 400 Honor and 150 Conquest for that. Convert some Justice into Honor. With Honor, I suggest buying the PvP Trinkets first, then the weapon, that will give you a lot of PvP Power and some PvP Resilience. As you get conquest, I suggest buying chest and shoulder slots, then go for weapon. Then proceed to buy the rest of the set pieces. Celestials may drop legs, hands, wrists, feet, cloak, rings or amulet, so try to kill them weekly and leave those slots for last.

  9. #9
    Some of the things that will really help that may not be obvious to a raider (I was primarily PVE for the last 4 years, so had a hard time transitioning to competitive PVP)

    1) You need to learn what all the other specs/classes can do, not just yours. You are fighting a windwalker monk; "why am I dying so fast?!" Check your debuff bars. See that little white/blue icon that looks like Asian writing? Yep, he put Touch of Karma on you. Stop hitting him! Ret paladin on you, glowing gold with big bright wings on his back? You need to either CC him, disarm him, kite him, and/or use your defensive CDs as he has his major offensive CDs up. Warrior running away from you with a shield icon over his head? Don't cast asphyxiate, he has spell reflect up.

    The big thing is being able to recognize what other people are doing and react appropriately, and this can really be the most difficult and tedious thing to learn. You are probably going to be so focused on what YOU should be doing rather than reacting (better yet, preemptively acting!) to them. Just takes a lot of time and experience, especially if you are like me and only played 2 classes, with the same role, in PVE.

    2) If you don't already, get a good nameplate addon. The default one is kinda of big and bulky, and still doesn't give you the info you need. You want to see important buffs/debuffs on your enemies, see their HP and resources clearly in the field so you know who/when to swap kill targets, and you want to see casts for incoming CC.

    3) As a raider you probably don't have many focus target macros, or at least you won't have them for all of the spells you will need in PVP. If you want to really push arena you will need these for things like strangulate/asphyxiate, grip, Dark Sim, Icy touch purge, etc. However, DKs are a good class for beginners because they don't have a lot of complicated CC, and they deal so much damage that you can really be effective just annihilating kill targets (just make sure you swap at approriate times, and save resources for burst kills). Also at lower ratings, and really even in RBGs, you really don't need many, if any, focus macros. You can do pretty well just being aware of what is going on around you and putting as much damage into kill targets as possible.

    Only problem with DKs, particularly frost, is that you are so squishy and lack effective defensive CDs that you will probably be the first kill target the majority of the time. In RBGs you can do okay as frost, so long as you don't overextend past your teammates and instead pull kill targets into your teams kill zone.

    My advice is to find another player or two that is in a similar position and learn together. It will be rough at first and you will die a lot, but you will learn as a team and get better as a team. You could also look around for a low MMR RBG team and try to get a regular thing going. You can use Oqueue to find random yolo RBGs teams, and I have had some really good games this way, but you also won't build up any camraderie with them, and you won't have the synergy you would with a regular RBG team. You will still learn what strategies work and which are risky, but you could also get a lot of random players that don't really give a shit about winning and only care about capping conquest points.
    Last edited by Skarssen; 2014-04-15 at 12:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Appreciate all the thoughts and this isn't meant to take away from any of it, but I'm pretty comfortable with pvp conceptually. I don't mind dying. I'm aware I'm going to do a lot of it. I know practice is key. I know the best thing I can do is to find a group of friends. This is all wonderful advice, but it's also readily available. It's the part after this advice that seems to be missing.

    I'm looking for the nuts and bolts advice. Like if someone comes to me and says they wanna try raiding, I'll tell them everything you're telling me. That they will die often, that practice is needed, to find a good group...

    But after all that, I'll talk to them about their class and what it brings to the team. I'll discuss which abilities are part of a basic rotation and when that rotation does or doesn't apply. I'll talk about cool downs, which ones are worth putting on the hot bar, what should be spammed and what should be saved. In short, I'll take them to a site like Icy Veins, go through it with them, and help them understand not just the rotation, but why it works and which parts are most important.

    This is the part that seems to be missing in the pvp community. I've looked at lots of videos. One of them mentioned that a move was central to rotation as an aside, but didn't talk about what the rotation was. The only other video that talked about rotation mentioned only three abilities. But there's no mention otherwise, and there certainly isn't a nuts and bolts site that I know of like Icy Veins, or even most of the PVE Class forums on this site. One video explained to me to save certain moves for bursting and to let my runes fill up otherwise, but didn't really explain what that looked like. Do I hide in a corner till my runes are ready? Do I use certain moves that use little or no runes? If so, which ones?

    Every single PVE player I know that has any interest in PVP is apprehensive because of this. And maybe it's silly to PVP players but when I queue for a BG, I can have my stats, glyphs, enchants, etc. set up like I've researched. I can have the talents. I can be fully prepared to die repeatedly. But then the point comes where I run into the enemy and I've got 27 abilities hot-buttoned and no idea which one to push. I can do my PVE opener, which might be the right thing to do (I don't know cause I can't find a source to tell me), but then all that's left is to trust my muscle memory and go into a PVE-like rotation.

    Sure, I'll use survival cool downs and abilities to break stun or snare, but they keep coming along with more damage, and I really don't know what to do. This would be valuable learning if I had a sense of where I screwed up or what I could have done differently, but I really don't have that, or if I have some theories, there isn't a resource to confirm or deny them.

    Watching twitch feeds or videos helps a bit to understand strategy and cool down coordination, but they don't call out their rotation.

    But maybe the thing is that this kind of a resource simply doesn't exist for PVP, and that's just part of the learning process. If this is the case, I'd love to know so I stop looking. If that is the case, I would also observe that the PVP community is missing a tremendous opportunity to bring legions of players over, simply by offering this sort of thing. After all, it was this sharing of knowledge that made raiding so popular.

    Anyways, I hope that helps to articulate what I'm wondering about. And again, thanks so much for the thoughts and I look forward to any more replies. I hope I've managed to type this in a tone that doesn't come off as complaining or whining, because that really isn't where I'm coming from. I'm definitely not declaring anything to be lacking or broken, other than my brain's ability to grasp these concepts.

  11. #11
    Skilled capped website is pretty good, but I think it's subscription based.

  12. #12
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Groz View Post
    Skilled capped website is pretty good, but I think it's subscription based.
    It is but the subscription is very cheap - worth the cost at least for a few months until you run out of content IMO
    Youtube ~ Yvaelle ~ Twitter

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Yvaelle View Post
    It is but the subscription is very cheap - worth the cost at least for a few months until you run out of content IMO
    Totally agree. It was very helpful to me.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Gandrake View Post

    Learning how to play your class is like lifting. You can read all you want about lifting, but nothing is going to mold your approach like practice.

    Watch good players of your class and incorporate some of their strategies. If you can, record your own games and watch them. Keep practicing.
    Pretty much this and trying not to blow your gasket whenever you die (I have trouble with rage sometimes, it really hurts your level of play). Sometimes there really won't be much that you could have did in a certain situation, but that doesn't mean you should feel cheated or like the game is incredibly unbalanced, try to think about how you could have not gotten into that situation in the first place.

    Example: Opening up on a DK with all of his defensives as a rogue while you have all of your offensives, even a berserking. Chances are even if he doesn't trinket for a few seconds, he's still likely going to turn around and smack you for what you did to him in the entire stun lock within a global or two, a rogue isn't the best at frontal attacks and even if you're at 100% and he's at 15%, you could still lose if you don't have the right CD's. What i'm trying to say is that you need to be able to pick your fights as well as perform well in them, some of them you just won't win if you don't line it up properly no matter how well you play.

    The only way that you're going to recognize this kind of stuff is practice. A guide is NEVER going to really help you in PvP, you might get a few tips and pointers here and there but it's not going to improve you drastically.

    A few key tips to help you start off that you need to make sure you pay attention to:

    - Make sure you're not keyboard turning and all that nonsense, this may already be common sense to you but I see it a lot - Make sure that you use key binds and are comfortable with moving this way, you need to be able to turn fast, especially as a melee.

    Here's the keybinds I use if you currently don't use any: QERTFGZXCVB12345\`F1F2F3 - Each of these is used up to 4 times with ctrl/shift/alt modifiers. Some of them obviously don't get used with stuff like alt because it'd just be silly to press, but you should easily be able to come up with comfortable buttons with just that. I don't use a razer naga, having the extra '67890' buttons would really help so if you're struggling to come up with key binds and are willing to spend a bit of money on a mouse, go for it; But it's not essential.

    - Macro's. There's tonnes of macros that you can use, but there's one that I REALLY recommend you get used to using. /focus mouseover. It does what it says, you mouseover a player and it will focus them - You can also assign key binds to automatically target/focus arena members but I wouldn't worry about that just yet.

    - More on macro's, just worry about having focus/pet macros for now. E.g:
    /cast [target=focus] strangulate
    /cast [target=focus] gnaw
    /cast [target=focus] leap

    Pet move macros are important, try to keep your pet on passive and make him attack only when you tell him to; it'll take a bit to get used to but it really pays off.

    - Alts - Alts take up a lot of time so it's understandable if you want to skip this part, but the best way to learn about a class is to play it yourself. It's very easy to go 'Wow ice lance is ridiculous, frost mages just have 5 million CC's and can global me with instants', but when you play the class yourself you usually find yourself realizing how many hundreds of annoying weaknesses the class has, helping you further know when you can and when you can't attack that player, obviously the skill level of the player you're attacking matters as well but sometimes it's really obvious if you should attempt an attack.

    If you don't have time for a billion alts - Duel. Dueling is a bit weird atm because the healing isn't scaled down, but despite that it can really help learn how to handle individual classes and you'll learn a lot of really handy tricks that perhaps not everyone knows. You'll find out which classes are just a pain in the ass for you and which classes are easier to beat whenever circumstance A happens or harder to beat if circumstance B happens etc.

    All in all, just make a few macro's, key bind, grab a few friends (and take a few beers to chill you out) and practice. You want to get better so try to focus but still have fun, you're going to get incredibly frustrated if you go in with the mindset that you're going to wreak havoc after having read a guide about how to 1 shot players. Work on controlling multiple players at once, co-ordinate CC's with your friends, try switching to one person at the same time while CCing your current target, just generally try to get better at multi-tasking.

    All in all, just practice - A lot. There's nothing on this planet that you can read or use that's going to make you miraculously better - Just. Practice.
    Last edited by Zypherz; 2014-04-17 at 10:59 PM.

  15. #15
    I am Murloc! Scoli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    If you're going to play as a DK it will be worth it to find a healer when you're going to do BGs. Why? Dks are relatively horrible as a solo class in BGs, which won't help you at all when trying to improve.

    Besides that it's all practice. When you start becoming a bit more serious and knowledgeable you should try doing arena with a healer. I say with a healer because playing double dps will make you tunnel -too- much which means you won't be able to get any practice. Playing with a healer in 2s makes it so you can focus a bit better as well as learn how to CC properly.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Zypherz View Post
    - More on macro's, just worry about having focus/pet macros for now. E.g:
    /cast [target=focus] strangulate
    /cast [target=focus] gnaw
    /cast [target=focus] leap
    JUst a small hint: to use less chars in your macro, use @ instead of "target=". Like:
    /cast [@focus] Strangulate

  17. #17
    Here is something I have learned about pvp. If you plan to do RBGs learn how your server is to see if you can. For instance, if you're a DK on my realm you won't ever find a group unless you can call targets. Also see how elitist your realm is. I took a break this past couple weeks. Now everyone else has their weapons and I still have my griev weapon. Now I'm screwed and can't get into any groups. Can't afford to pay for arena carries to get it, so I can't pvp anymore this season.
    If what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Then I should be a god by now.

  18. #18
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Download and install an addon called Oqueue - it's how you YOLO to your weapon this season: everybody does it
    Youtube ~ Yvaelle ~ Twitter

  19. #19
    Fix your UI so you have everything important bound to good binds, have the important buffs and debuffs shown, remove addons you don't need in arena because you're not driving a spaceship. Play random bgs, duel, play random arenas, talk to high rated players you meet that aren't douches.

    Asking for what buttons to press without providing any kind of material to discuss is meaningless. Post some frapsed games and we'll tell you all the shit you and your mates are doing wrong. We could talk about setting up burst - do pve rotations until garg is ready, then save death runes and asphyx and look for possible trinket/fallen crusader procs - burst. Seems rather simple to me? When to use defensive cds? Has the rogue smokebomb ready? Better save trinket/icebound or you'll die. Will the mage have pom poly/trinket orb ready soon? Better hold onto that ams/trinket or you'll die. Has the enhance ascendance ready? Better save ams and don't LoS your healer or you'll die. Seems pretty straightforward to me, so we need more specific questions than what you posted to be able to help.

  20. #20
    1. be ready to die and die and die and just blame it on gear.
    2. once you have gear blame it on devs.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts