The random ramblings of a casual tankadin

Monday, October 24, 2011

Random battlegrounds: Arathi Basin

This is possibly the BG I like the most.

Five objectives, two teams.

I prefer getting a solid hold on the Lumber Mill because you can stand there and call incomings. Conversely the Gold Mine leaves you blind to what's happening.

Obviosuly you should capture your own 'starting' objective and keep a defensive force there or at least ready to intercept anyone going for it.

The Blacksmith in the middle is usually heavily contested. I'm not entirely certain why as it can be attacked from all sides and is the objective with the longest distance to another objective. In my mind it's best used to tie up enemy resources while your team holds on to Farm/Stables, LM and GM. A decent alternative is holding LM with an oversized force, and smaller defensive force at BS and an even smaller at Farm/Stables. At least if you have a decent number of people who can parachute down from LM.

As a tank I prefer defending LM for the duration of the battle, calling out incomings and notifying my team of the number of defenders at enemy held objectives. Well, barring GM which is invisible to be.

Being a random BG you can sneak in in full sight and snag Farm/Stables all too often, and swarming the enemy starting objective is quite often a solid response to them zerging one of our bases. You're not planning to hold it, just force them to return back home. In such a scenario a tank is quite useful suiciding at the enemy starting objective in a fruitless attempt to 'defend' it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Random battlegrounds: Battle for Gilneas

This is a three flag competition.

Each faction starts close to one flag of their own, and there's one in the middle.

The battle is very much about holding two flags, or rather rotating forces so that you always hold one flag more than the opponents. My experience is that you want to zerg the middle one as quick as possible while avoiding a humiliating loss of your 'starting' flag.

As a tank I've come to the conclusion that the best job I can do is to head for the enemy starting flag immediately. Not to take it, but to suicide. The reason for this is to tie up resources. In a best case scenario I'll have three or four enemy players spend well over half a minute killing me when I do my lonely assault. That is almost always enough for us to get the middle, or Water Works, flag.

After this the fight usually splits into one out of two scenarios. The enemy tries to hit WW while being careful not to lose their starting flag. I spend those fights rushing their flag alone, which is usually enough to see us winning by keeping two flags for the entire battle, and obviously never getting close to taking the third.

One useful trick is to get 'caught' by the enemy respawned players as they rush to hit WW again. As I play horde I also get the benefit of getting trapped in plain sight of those defending the Lighthouse, so they tend to stay there while I get chewed up by the force who ought to have let me be and hit WW instead.

The second standard battle is when the enemy hits our starting flag instead of getting caught up in a slug-fest for WW. Defending our flag is very often the most important job I can do now. The point isn't to kill the enemy players but rather to disable them from capping our flag by being a general PITA and refusing to die. If things start to get really dirty, a lonely rush for the enemy starting flag surprisingly often pays off. Just make sure noone else in your team isn't already trying to ninja-cap it before you head away, though.

It's also highly important to remember that this is a Random BG. You'll have players leaving their toons at the flag and going AFK in the hope noone will notice (players never leaving the spawn points are always noticed). Thus it's perfectly viable to hit the enemy starting flag in plain sight and cap it. You're likely to find out if there's really a player behind the keyboard of the defending toon.

I've used this defensively as well. As I can't see a stealthed player I'm forced into a guessing game. However, stealthed players tend to CC me before trying our flag, in which case I'll have to lay down AoE and notify my team. The best way to handle a plain-sight ninja attempt isn't to attack the enemy immediately though. Wait for them to start capping. Make sure you can break CC, and give them a slap. Preferably a ranged attack. Sometimes they'll try the flag again, and get slapped, and try again. Normally, though, you'll get caught up in a duel none of you can win, but that's good enough. The flag stays secure.

All in all this is a BG where you'll doing your job best if you keep dying slowly against multiple opponents killing you rather than doing tehir job -- capping or defending flags.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

4.3 and valor slots

So, the quoted blue post on MMO Champion is quite interesting. We learn that any hc, including the first Cata ones, will yield 150 VP at the end, with a weekly VP cap of 1000 instead of today's 980. The new LFR splits the new raid into two, and yields 250 VP upon completion of either half.

We also learn that VP will buy you gear for a lot of slots "including cloaks, rings, ranged weapons, necklaces, trinkets, chest pieces, helms, gloves, bracers, boots, and belts, all of which are ilvl 397." From earlier posts we've gotten to know that tier pieces won't be there for VP any longer.

So it would seem we're depending on either the new five man heroics for an ilevel 378 version, or the LFR for an 384 version of slots helmet, shoulders, weapons, shields, one trinket, one ring and legs. Obviously FL will become supremely puggable, and thus a 391 ring and a 378 trinket becomes available from AH reputation, not to mention 378 drops from that raid. Given what people have had to say about Shannox, you could get lucky and get a shot at 391 loot from that specific encounter; a little bit like the lootship fight in ICC.

If you're lucky enough to pug a proper raid then loot tables for normal mode drop 397 gear. The big guys who knock Deathwing over can look forward to 403 loot. Hardmode versions yield 410 and 416 loot respectively.

I haven't seen any notes on a quest hub with 'free loot', but given that the PTR is up and running I would have assumed voices on that by now if it were the case. This makes me believe we won't see a crap-ton of daily quests rewarding us with 384 loot like the Molten Front 365 loot.