PvP Servers 101
Let me be the first to admit that I suck at PvP. The most experience I have is on my hunter pre-Wrath. I farmed honor for the season 2 gear, and gave up a bit before Wrath launched. Anyway, I’m terribly panicky when a red-named player charactes comes towards me. Usually I run. Sometimes I attempt to slow/freeze/distract/hamstring/beg them. Every time, I wind up dead. And I play on a PvE server. So, if you’re traversing the world of Azeroth on a PvP realm (you brave soul) I have some tips for you. There was a time when I was, too….before paid server transfers.
- Find a buddy. Or a group.
There will be people questing in your zone. Make a shout out in general and see if anyone is interested in a little gank-protection. There is safety in numbers, at least against enemy players of your own level. Questing with friends or guild mates also makes the whole questing experience a little less boring. Even if you dislike grouping for anything, it’s something to keep in mind. You are not as easy a target in a group.
- Do not quest in areas at the very lowest level possible.
If you’re struggling to find yellow and green level quests in a zone, back out slowly. Struggling to kill a mob puts you at risk by lowering your health and commanding your cooldowns to defeat something 3-4 levels higher. If you’re struggling, backtrack a little. Find a zone where leveling is easier.
- Do not neglect your health, mana, buffs, etc.
You should eat/drink/bandage after every mob as needed. Letting yourself get even below 80% health or so is a no-no. You become 20% easier to kill. If you run out of mana, remedy that immediately. Take precautions while fighting not to run out of the magic blue stuff. If you’re attacked during or after a fight, being out of mana and/or low on health is a death sentence. Keep your buffs up, no matter how trivial they seem. Invest in +stamina food if you can. That little bit may be the difference between killing your opponent or being killed.
- Stay off the roads.
On a PvE server, roads are wonderful. You can avoid most wandering mobs if you stick to them. On a PvP server, they’re highways of trouble. Stick to the wilds. The mobs are less likely to kill you that a traveling level ?? enemy.
- Avoid highly contested areas.
A few that come to mind are Gadgetzan, Southshore, and Darkshire. Keep an eye on the local defense channel to see when it may not be such a good time to stop in. Quest in faction-appropriate zones. For example: Horde would quest in Swamp of Sorrows and Alliance in Duskwood, not the other way around. This means you’ll have a better chance of avoiding conflict and having backup if it finds you.
- Gear yourself.
You stand a better chance of whalloping an at-level enemy in decent gear than in crappy quest greens or low level gear. Take the time to run a few dungeons. Or, invest time in battlegrounds for gear that is more appropriate for PvP action. Stamina enchants are a good idea, too.
- Select your spec carefully.
While your character’s specialization is your choice entirely, certain ones are not conducive to staying alive – at least not until higher levels. A lower level healer is easy pickings. Unless you’re just that awesome, choose a spec with better damage output: feral, enhancement, retribution…
- Be aware of your surroundings.
When on the run from an enemy, knowing your terrain is important. Remember that tricks for losing a mob are not going to work for a player. You cannot run into a river to stall them at the banks. You can, however, run into a pack of friendly mobs or guards to have the same effect. Use line-of-sight techniques to disrupt enemy spell casts. Never corner youself in a building or up against a cliff. Know the location of hidey-holes if you must leave the computer for a short time, and use things such as hollow logs, abandoned buildings, etc, to shield your character from view.
- Always be on your toes.
Surviving means paying attention. Don’t run blindly. Don’t advertise your presence by yelling or talking, because nearby enemies will see the garbled text and know you’re near. Be careful when questing and keep your eyes peeled for signs of another player in the area, such as dead mobs on the ground. Zoom your camera out a bit to take in more of your surroundings. If you hear the sound of stealth, run like hell.
- Never, ever go AFK.
Life happens, and taking quick breaks to refill a drink, let the dog out, or stop your kids from killing eachother is routine during gameplay sessions. However, while these might be harmless on PvE servers, diverting your attention on a PvP server is deadly. The enemy is watching for someone standing around idly, waiting to be sure they’re AFK for a quick and easy kill. You leave the keyboard for three minutes and come back to a corpse and a triumphant emote. If you must AFK, do so in a safe location such as a friendly town, and don’t do it in the middle of the Inn. Hide somewhere where the enemy is less likely to look, such as the inn’s cellar. Remember that even AFKing in a friendly town isn’t foolproof. The enemy attacks these, too. For near 100% safety, spend your idle time in a faction capital.