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My first day as Resto Shaman in Arena

I just leveled up a Resto Shaman to 110 yesterday, so today was my first real day playing it in an arena setting. Despite the games being completely awful, I have to admit that I had some fun. We even managed to secure some wins (In skirmishes… :P)!

We are playing the comp that has been referred to as “Walking with Madness,” “Walking in Madness,” or more commonly known as Windwalker Monk, Shadow Priest, Restoration Shaman.

This was my first game of the day on Resto Shaman. It’s definitely the funniest of the three, but also shows exactly where I am starting off from. I have a total of 3

The first game that I posted is pretty embarrassing, but still a win. I thought that I popped my cooldowns but I hadn’t, and then I almost died a couple of times. I need to work on rotating my cooldowns, but considering that I don’t even have a basic grasp of Shaman yet I think I did alright.

I’m posting this here for all of you depressed arena-goers who lost ten or twenty straight games and tanked 500 rating. At least you can say that you performed better than this.

We have a lot of things to work on as a team, and I have a lot of things to work on by myself. As long as we consistently try to get better, I know we will. The hardest part for us I think will be keeping motivation and drive high when we encounter a tough team.

5 ways to improve your team’s communication in World of Warcraft’s arena

The most important thing to being successful in competitive player versus player is being vocal and ensuring your team knows exactly what is going on at all times. The following tips will help you be a more effective communicator in 3v3 arena.

Tip one – State when you enter Crowd Control

If your team is working toward creating a window for a lot of burst damage, and then you get stunned by a paladin, it is important to say something in order to preserve that burst window for a later time when everyone is able to act as a team.

If you are a healer, it is very important to mention every time you enter crowd control to ensure that your team has ample time to respond by playing defensively or popping cool-downs.

Tip two – State when you Crowd Control an enemy

As an arena player it is important to mention whenever you Crowd Control an enemy; nothing wastes cool-downs more than stunning a target for half-duration when you expected it to be full duration.

Also, it helps to mention for how long the player is crowd controlled. For instance, if you fear the target but the duration is only for half, say that you half feared them so your teammates can follow up appropriately. If you don’t say anything, your team will most likely assume that it is a full duration fear and not pay that player any attention until they deem it necessary.

Tip three – Keep the Communication Alive

Even after pointing out that my team’s communication is weak, we still go through periods of time where I don’t know what is going on with both of my teammates. If I don’t hear anything important (burst in 10 seconds… enemy popped cooldown <x>… I’m going defensive… enemy over-extending… target stunned…) I ask a question that requires a short answer from both players such as “how long until our burst?” or “need anything from me?”

I will try to keep the communication alive if I don’t hear anything from one of my teammates for about ten seconds. If nothing even semi-significant happened after ten seconds then they are playing with their eyes shut.

Tip four – Keep the Communication Neutral

It’s very easy to curse someone out for missing a crowd control, interrupt, or using the wrong skill priority when bursting. It’s also very easy to blame someone else for a mistake; especially obvious mistakes. If my partner accidentally used the wrong skill priority when bursting a target, there is no reason for me to say anything such as “hey, nice burst,” or something more aggressive such as “lear

Picking on players instead of objectively looking at the current game makes the player feel at least slightly more defensive, and also ties up communication for the rest of the game. A player on the defensive or panicking to perform properly doesn’t always perform better, and your team could also be killed while you are bickering among yourselves.

Tip five – Call out Important Events

In arena it is important to never assume that people are going to do the right thing, and it’s never alright to assume that your teammates know when everyone is popping their burst cooldowns. It is also important to track your teammate’s positioning to ensure that everyone is at least close to where they should be.

If one of your teammates gets out of position and you don’t call it, it could potentially cause your team to lose, or at least burn through a lot of cool-downs recovering. If you see all of the enemies popping their burst abilities and you don’t notify your healer, you could potentially lose the game in only a couple of global cool-downs.

 

 

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.