From 1400 to Gladiator – ignoring ELO Hell and actually getting better


I wanted to start a World of Warcraft blog for some time, but I never had anything interesting or unique to write about. I didn’t want to write about something that every other player is doing, but I also didn’t want to write about something that only appealed to an obscure percentage of players.

The Past and Inspiration

I have played World of Warcraft since the middle of Vanilla. I have also been focusing on PvP since the middle of the Burning Crusade.

My highest rating in arena was 2.1k on my Unholy DK during Cataclysm. It was a couple of weeks after the start of the expansion, and I had very eager teammates. After we hit 2.1k with a ridiculous win-to-loss ratio, I figured that my personal level of skill would be able to carry through into any team I join and I would only get higher and higher rating. I took a month break from the game to focus on school, and when I came back I needed to find a new team.

Throughout many different teams from the middle of Cataclysm through the end of Warlords of Draenor, the closest rating I achieved to my old record was still 300 points shy.

I knew that I wasn’t a bad player, but every loss to a triple DPS team was so frustrating that I eventually slipped into the idea of “ELO Hell” and never made it a point to make myself any better. I ultimately gave up on my death knight as well as damage dealing in general and picked up a healer. Since the switch, I have been even less successful in arena, and every loss is more and more frustrating for myself and my teammates.

At the very end of Warlords of Draenor, a couple of real-life friends approached me and said that they were interested in getting started with World of Warcraft. I knew both of them from previous competitive games (LoL, DotA, Starcraft, Guild Wars 2) and I knew that they were both good players.  Teaching them “how to WoW” would be a little rough but with time anything could be accomplished.

Individually we played our characters well and going on winning streaks for 10 or more rounds in 3s skirmishes was normal. However after doing competitive ranked arena for a week, we didn’t break 1400 match making with an even lower current rating. It didn’t make sense that we should lose as much or as badly as we did, especially because we were able to succeed so well in the skirmishes. Frustration ensued, and I began recording our matches. What I discovered made me smile, because despite playing together on the same team, we were not playing as a team should.

No longer would I ask myself what we were doing wrong, but instead we are able to work at and fix the issues now that we see them.

The Present and the Turning Point

We discovered this information roughly a week ago from the publication date of this post. Since then we have attempted playing as a team and gained 400 rating after our first two days of play. Not everything is perfect, but it is much better than it was before.

Since we have discovered what the issue was, and since we are all new on our characters this expansion, we decided to re-roll our characters and see how hard it would be to gain rating. We are going to start running Restoration Shaman, Shadow Priest, Wind Walker Monk later in the week in hopes to climb rating.

The Purpose of this Blog

I have frequented Skill-Capped for a few years, and learned how to play many classes effectively. I have read all of the latest posts on Arena Junkies and followed Reddit for advice on what to do against certain comps. Despite this, I have been hovering between 1500 and 1800 rating. I feel that tips and tricks are great to know for a character, but the most important thing to know is how to work with your team and getting over frustration.

I will be posting recordings of many of my team’s losses either daily or weekly as well as reflecting on what we could do better as a team instead of yelling at each other saying that we are all awful.

The main purpose of this blog is to compile a large database of information for each of the brackets (1400, 1500, 1600, etc) so that it is possible to track our overall progress on the road to gladiator.




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