Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Am But A Decoy

Chas wrote what I thought was a really good article over at Righteous Orbs yesterday.  In case you didn't catch it, the short version (or at least the part that I really found myself screen-nodding at) was that sometimes you need to view PvP as an "allocation of resources" type game mechanic.  That is to say, it's not about staying alive all the time or racking up kills.  Sometimes it's about delaying the enemy in order to further your team's objective.  You may end up dead and they may end up with some HK's... but they had to work for them and your team just capped three bases to their one in the time it took them to down you.

In short: Sometimes it's okay to be just the decoy. 

I think this is an important attitude to not only understand in BG's, but also to cultivate; it takes some getting used to.  Especially for us mainstream PvE folks, it can be daunting to spend so much time with the Spirit Healer.  What you have to remember is that at the end of the BG, a win is a win and a loss is a loss.  There are no moral victories in PvP.  You get no bonus honor for having "fought the good fight".  Maybe it helps you sleep better, but the bottom line is that we should all be in it to win it.  Or at least have a lot of fun trying to win.

(With the above viewpoint, you may realize that I get quite frustrated by the sit-in-the-middle-and-farm-HK folks.  While that's not the topic of today's post, I can't help but pointed at the screen and Mr. Stabby-Stabby Rogue atop the kill charts that I know did nothing to help and decry: "but you lost!"  It's nice to top the HK list, but a win is a win and a loss is a loss... get over yourself.)

Ranty aside... aside,  the point I really liked in Chas's article is something that I've really prided myself on during my time spent in BG's.  Often I'll take on several opponents in the face of certain death, but I'll hold 'em off until the cavalry arrives and we keep the base even as I fall.  To me, that's a small victory in the larger war.  I didn't necessarily kill any of them - and they certainly killed me - but in my way, I prevent them from achieving their objective.  That's what BG's should be all about.

In any case, I wanted to highlight the point and throw out a few BG specific examples that I've encountered.  Maybe some folks will pick up on them as ideas.  Keep in mind I'm usually PvP'ing as a Death Knight, but please add any of your own specific little tricks of the trade in comments.  Here are the little PvP things that make me grin...
  • Chillblains is an awesome DK PvP talent.  Especially when you have the Howling Blast glyph.  It basically gives you an AoE slow effect.  Dropping that on a group of melee following a friendly vehicle and watching them all fall slowly behind... priceless.  Or just slowing down that spasmodic Rogue that is ravaging a clothy.
  • Hungering Cold is exceedingly fun right before death.  You may be dead, but now they're all stuck on your dying breath.  Hopefully they've blown their cooldowns too, so you can watch as they sit in a block of ice right next to your flag and your buddies arrive to mop up.  Good stuff.
  • Silencing casters should be a staple of any class.  Fuu and I run as an S-spriest/DK duo mostly.  Thus, between the two of us we can keep casters locked down for a decent amount of time.  Chopping down the smarmy tree that thinks he can insta-heal his way through anything is just plain fun.  Then we grind him up, mash him into paper and print The Bible on him.  (Dane Cook joke if you're into such things... I can't help but snicker at trees when I think of it.)
  • Who doesn't love Death Grip... oh yeah, everyone but DKs.  Yanking people away from objectives really pisses them off.  Especially when you follow up with chain silences.  
  • Frost Chains work for folks heading for an objective as well.  Not just for the yank off the mount/kill technique.
  • All of the above are great for hindering folks trying to beat on your FC in WSG.  I can just see them slamming keyboards and mice, especially when the handful of them gang up to kill you out of frustration while your FC is capping.
  • If you're protecting LM in AB, keep a parachute handy.  Not only does it protect you from Mr. I'm-So-Clever-I-Push-You-Off-Cliff Boomkin Doucheface, but you can paratrooper into BS and show up at the opportune moment.  It's a great "surprise" factor.  With your pocket priest, you also have the slowfall spell.  That works too.
  • The whole Hungering Cold trick works really well with bombs in any of the siege BGs.  Run in, drop your bomb, pop a Hungering Cold.  Hell, throw an Army of the Dead on for more chaos and laugh when your bomb explodes right after you die.  Bonus points if it's the last bit of health on the last wall you needed down.  
  • Warlocks use Howl of Terror, S-priests have that whole Psychic Horror thing... works like Hungering Cold only more chaotic.   Replace "Hungering Cold" with your AoE fear of choice and you can do the same shit.  
Well, that's just a few and mostly DK-centric, but I'm hoping you get the idea.  Most of those don't really do damage and a lot of them won't even stick long on a competent PvP player, but they will also actively delay an enemy player.  Sometimes, just playing the decoy card can net you a victory.  What tricks have you figured out to stop the opposing team at a crucial moment... usually at the expense of your own offensive or defensive capabilities?


  1. My favorite Spell on my Shadow Priest is Howling Terror ( I believe that's what it's called)

    Mainly you see some stupid Rogue stabbing and being annoying as usual. Cast this spell on him & it turns him into a cowering sissy girl. This usually has two outcomes to it:

    A) They cower in my presents while by friends Light him up as I giggle with shadowy glee

    B) He becomes infuriated and tries to come after me. I'm sorry Mr. Rogue but you've blown your trinkets. Enjoy a Fear bomb in your face. DoTs while feared is just Glorious! HOW DOES THAT FEEL ROGUE! DYING WHILE YOU CAN"T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! HOW DOES IT TASTE HOW DOES IT TASTE!

    Wow... sorry about that.

    But yea, being a decoy is pretty cool too

    <3 Fuu

  2. I know that a lot of people, especially in WSG, have this weird "must kill" attraction to one member of the other team. So, if I see a group of enemies coming across the map and I'm all alone, I'll use that to my advantage. They'll usually forget what they're doing to attack me. It work wonders. It can even sometimes pull flag defenders off of a FC.

    I'm all for being the decoy. I wish everyone else thought that way.

  3. I love to delay & frustrate.

    I was holding the BS the other day against 5 others... I knew I couldn't win, so I bounced about and frustrated them.. while 14 of my allies to their bases.

    In a premade I run with, the leader often sends me solo to bases.

    One night I commented on how she liked to sacrifice me. She laughed. She knew I would consume some of their time and maybe even get lucky ans steal the node.

    Fighting on the rode is fine if there is an reason other than HKs

  4. Yeah there's definitely a certain satisfaction to it. And I'll certainly waylay them on the road if I know a group is swooping behind to take their base. Good stuff :-).