Since November 2004, I’ve been Alliance. What that means in regard to PvP is that I have to be better than 90% of my team if I have any hope of winning. Because of that, I realized that the following six tips really sum up what makes me better than the rest of my team. They’re small things that anyone can do to help turn the tide of a losing battle. These are the kinds of things that Horde players typically do when PvPing and that most Alliance players scoff at. So if you want to be the cream of the crap crop, then take a gander at the following list and show that mean, old Horde a thing or two.
- Communicate. If there are six people coming to attack the base you’re defending, take the type to type “/bg inc mine.” It’s not hard, it takes no time, and I can do it as my heals cast. So can you. It can turn the tide of a battle to just let people know what’s going on. If you tell them you’re alone defending the Mage Tower in Eye of the Storm, let someone know. Despite most people not talking, they do read BG chat. The more people throw out reports about what’s going on, the more people can react accordingly in time for it to make a difference.
- Don’t Fight Between Nodes. It’s very easy to get caught up with a big battle at an intersection and farm kills. But resist the temptation. Even though your team may win that skirmish, while you are preoccupied, their team has has the opportunity to attack your bases. If you always make it a point to fight near bases and not in the road, you’re pulling double duty by killing them and defending the node.
- Utility wins games. If you can throw a spot heal or cleanse or stun or silence of dispel, do it. Just going for being number one on damage/healing done or killing blows in the battleground will pretty much cause your team to lose every time. Every class in WoW has some sort of utility, and the first lesson of PvP is learning to balance your main role (taking damage, dealing damage, or healing damage) with whatever utility you can use to help your teammates. It takes time, but being able to remove a snare on a flag carrier or silencing their healer is far more important than doing an extra 2k damage to that rogue.
- Being said in BG chat does not mean it is the correct strategy. Read up about the correct strategy to win each battleground before even starting PvP. Admittedly, BG strats are fluid and have to change at a moment’s notice, but there are some outlines that tell you what to do pretty effectively. Just because some guy says to capture the Hangar in Isle of Conquest does not mean you’ll win because of it. If people say to get the flag in Eye of the Storm and ignore getting 3 bases, you’ll lose. If you capture 3 bases in Arathi Basin and someone says “now just defend,” you can be sure to lose because you constantly have to attack their nodes. Be informed about what it takes to win and act on that. Make a macro for each BG that tells people what you think should be done; if they follow it, good. If not, play your part the best you can. Just don’t think that BG chat as the ultimate source of strategy because most people who try to play Armchair General are full of crap.
- Two people can turn the tide of a battle. Being a distraction is enough to help the rest of your team complete their main task. Find a partner and work out a strategy. You don’t have to stay with the group. In PvP where you have to capture bases, you and your partner should do your best to disrupt their bases, even if you don’t actually capture them. Be as big or a nuisance as you can, and the other team will flock to you to kill you. You want that to happen. When they target you—the distraction—they’re not targeting your bases, which lets your team rack up points and win. Just note that it’s hard to be a distraction alone because you’ll die exponentially faster than with a friend.
- Roll Horde. Even though this would probably mean a lot more wins in my battlegroup (Vindication), I’m kidding. Paying for a faction change or re-rolling Horde is the easy way out, and there is no feeling in the world like winning when you’re considered the underdog.
If you keep these few tips in mind as you queue for PvP as Alliance, I guarantee you’ll see a difference in how the battlegrounds play out. There’s a reason that Horde wins most of the time, and it’s not that they’re better at the game than you are. They just tend to realize that there are small things each of them can do to further the team rather than themselves. Now, you can, too.