Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coupling Couples

The more I PvP, the more I realize the little things that give you an edge can really matter.  Now, the Devs admit that 2v2 isn't really balanced.  And, while rated BG's are better, you're not usually in an even numbers situation (or at least I'm not).  So, it can be tough to gauge how you do in a "fair" fight.

That is to say, the little things generally get masked by the big things.  Gear, uneven numbers, vast differences in skill or experience... they are the major factors in most matches.  Still, the littler items of strategy, teamwork, and communication are not to be overlooked.  You can overcome a large gear deficit with an effective strategy.  You can win a 2 on 4 with solid teamwork.  Communication can make up for lack of skill or experience.

One of the benefits I've noticed, made plain to me in PvP but also effective in PvE, is how well couples play together.  Well, not even exactly couples.  Just people in the same room.  In our guild, this is generally all the couples, but it doesn't have to be.

I think it's clear why: communication is far easier.  Even when you have vent, the simple necessity of having to key in takes time.  I wonder if running with an open mic would be better or worse.  If you're in the same room, you hear all the blurts and nuances of a person's conversation.  Communication becomes far more effective.  This simple fact, I believe, has contributed to some early success in the 2v2 realm.

It's not a major factor, but I think it's noticeable.  People in the same room simply coordinate better.  Even if most of their communication is yelling or grunting... there's something about co-location that helps.

I've started to bring this idea to raid leading.  Often, when I think about strats, I try to find ways to put the co-located folks together.  Working in pairs seems to pay off.  Have the healer sitting in the same room as the add tank heal that tank.  Have the tank/healer couple go up top.

It can work with DPS too.  I find that when I'm on a task with Fuu, her situational awareness skyrockets.  Some of it is probably me yelling my head off at her to move (which I know she loves), but also I think she feels more comfortable knowing I'm focused on the same task she is.  There's safety in numbers.  She's not so worried that it's all on her shoulders, trusting that her husband has her back.  She plays more confidently, and it shows.

There are cons, too.  It can be quite stressful, and you also probably have to hear about how you failed from your significant other.  Yet, I think it pays tangible dividends.  In any case, it's something to consider when breaking down a fight.


  1. LOL, Ful, that's TMI! Reading your post like a fortune cookie, brings a smile to me on this wednes-hump-day.


  2. I see posts all the time about couples posing problems for guilds. A good couple can be a huge asset. I'm one half of a tank/tank couple [our GM says we're the first one she's known of]. You'd be amazed how much vent chatter that can cut and if one of us is going down, the other can be there to pick it up before we're down. And tank swaps? As easy as breathing. In addition to that, we've been tanking together since Naxx... so moving as one team is almost instinctive.

    The only real con to our situation is that when one of us is having an off night... well it affects us both. We don't have fights over gear or anything like that and if we screw up... well team tank screwed up and fixes it.

  3. Agreed. I suppose a lot depends on the couple. Stable couples that have been together a while are probably better than flings. At least, that would be my assumption.

  4. I would guess that in my younger years if my wife/girlfriend was in the same room my WOW would actually go down to 'other things' going on. :)

    But I agree. My sons play lots of Modern Warfare etc and they always do better when in the same room or in the same room with their friends coordinating strategy.

  5. Eh, there's plenty of time for both ;-).