Why did you choose to play druid-warlock-death knight?

Diziet: It was really a spur of the moment thing. I had transferred to go for rank 1 on my druid last season, but we fell short of the goal by about 50 points, going up to ~2780 rating playing rogue-warlock-druid (RLD). The warlock we played with had transferred off to play with friends for the first half of the season, so Ayume (a rogue I'd played with) transferred his warlock alt to our server to try to find some composition to play. Gutsmek (our death knight), had just reactivated his account, so we decided to try the team out. I had really good gear on my druid (I've got 800 mp5 in pvp gear!), but they had deadly gear to start with.

So we did battlegrounds to get wrathful off pieces and furious main pieces, while saving up for the tier two PvP weapons. We figured we'd give the composition a spin based on working around my defensive play style, with my teammates playing control and outlast. At first we were a little shaky with the strategies we needed, and were a little dismayed at having much worse gear, but we've caught up recently. What's normal strategy for your team? Do you just run in there, DoT everything up, then hide behind a pillar?

Diziet: We vary our approach based on what kind of team we're playing against. Usually we fight for positioning and momentum within the game; we try to put our opponents off balance and have them react to our moves rather than ours. Often, that does not work and we just rely on me healing really really hard for five minutes until the opposing team runs out of steam!

Our death knight plays control vs rogues, he utilizes the synergy between Chains of Ice and Unstable Affliction. That allows us to keep a rogue in check for most of the game. We try to get everyone under pressure at once. It's difficult to talk about broad concepts like control and pressure, but we try to be one step ahead of our opponents and to guarantee a long term victory.

Of course, certain teams such as double healer warrior require different gameplay from us. We coordinate crowd control and target switches, try to run one healer out of mana and kill the other one, etc. What challenges does your team have?

Diziet: Since early February we've been maintaining a 90%~ win rate!

We certainly suffer a case of first game zone into arena in with PvE macros not having played arena for a whole week! Our warlock likes to do this evil thing called raiding on his rogue, so we have to play on Sundays or Mondays.
We also do not appreciate pets bugging out on RoV arena. No no no!

A more real challenge would be melee heavy teams that can put immense burst on our warlock. We've lost a number of silly games to relatively easy teams because they would charge with Crusader Aura to hit our warlock before portal could even go up, and literally Charge into Mortal Strike into Bladestorm to gain momentum.

Usually, if a game goes on longer than 2-3 minutes, the odds are heavily stacked for us to win. We've beaten last season's rank 1 team of protection warrior-hunter-paladin in a long match where we wore them down by playing carefully and not making any mistakes, applying steady pressure and insuring the win. How has your team changed since you've started playing together?

Diziet: We started with two warlocks on the team (because our friend Crome needed points). We even tried playing double warlock druid for one week, and went something like 11-1. However, Crome's internet has been really troubled lately, and he could just could not play with us a lot recently.

We've also gotten to learn each other's play styles a bit more. We've still got quite a bit to go ahead of us, but we're playing much better and anticipate each other's moves a lot more often. It's simple things like my warlock positioning his pet to be in range to dispel me in case I get pressured into a corner, or our death knight landing great death grips just in the moment where there is a lapse in crowd controls or interrupts. In YOUR opinion, are there any overpowered classes right now?

Diziet: Hmm, well, that's quite a loaded question. I mean, I'd like to look at it if there are situations where a class is useless. For example, marksman hunters are actually weak if you sit there and spam dispel poison, but if you add a retribution or a protection/retribution paladin to them the damage + crowd control and options for strong switches makes for something that's very very difficult to deal with.

Rogues can be really strong in RLS compositions (rogue-warlock-shaman). We've had matches against good RLS teams that were high energy and ended very quickly, but with the same token rogues without any sort of dispel (playing with a druid, for example) are really vulnerable to Fears and Chains of Ice.

Warriors can do really ridiculous damage if they time it with their trinket procs, but in the same token a shadowpriest rogue team can make any warrior clutch a shield and mash revenge in hope of getting some kind of damage out, reducing a mighty Bladestorm hero to a helpless kitten.

I can safely say that playing with a druid and warlock, a warrior is the best third choice (or maybe a hunter). But I've got no warrior to play with, so am I just to give up? Of course not, but I am playing from a weaker position. What do you think about PvP gear being more accessible in the next patch?

Diziet: I think, of course, the problem is that the cost of entry into arena is so high in terms of time investment. It's just so time demanding to grind out a new set of PvP gear, I've done quite a bit of grinding myself, though --- to get moonkin pieces, but I can really understand how hard it is on people that don't have a lot of time they can spend next to a computer doing other things while just barely participating in battlegrounds. I mean, I can sit down and start working on reading current scientific literature, or study for exams while taking care to press a few buttons every minute in a BG. So I can get through getting honor gear slowly, but many players have got two jobs or a wife, or kids, or all! The barrier for entry is pretty tough.

It takes a lot of time to level a new class too, and you've got to gear it out, and you've got to start somewhere -- run heroics, run Wintergrasp, do the reputation grinds, get those trinkets, it's all so hard if you want to look at arena as a competitive thing. What do you think about the benefits of PvE gear in arena?

Diziet: Don't get me started on PvE gear. I had to sit through roughly twenty hours of 10 man ICC to get that ring, and I'm lucky that I am a druid and there aren't that many great pieces of PvE gear.

Some classes, like melee characters and mages, they scale really well with PvE gear. You know, I've got a mage alt that was my first character, and I've got it on a different account -- and that makes doing all the bg grinding stuff a lot easier; I can queue up for WG on two characters at once, and since our faction almost always wins, I can get both done in the same time. But I made some Wowhead profiles online for my mage, in the kind of gear that I can get (all wrathful) and the best pve gear -- and I felt really discouraged.

I mean, the difference is so huge -- you're looking to making a character set like Vileroze, with about 1000 haste with some PvE pieces, and PvE trinkets that are SO MUCH BETTER than the PvP stuff, and you compare it to a full wrathful mage, and you think to yourself: Every time you got someone to 15-20%, the PvE character would have killed it. Every other time you had that priest Shadow Word: Death your Polymorph, the 400 extra haste might have made it go off before they could do anything. Those Wind Shears might have not landed, etc. It's that huge of a difference.

For melee characters, you can have a warrior set up with 400 higher armor penetration rating, and more attack power and crit, all at the cost of about 150 resilience. When that kind of a warrior hits a cloth or leather target, it hurts. It's really really different to play with best in slot gear vs PvP gear only.

If you're hitting for 10% harder, that's more than just 10% damage. That means the healer has to heal for 10% more, and it's not like simply pressing a different button. That's the difference between having the luxury of having my HoTs outheal or or having to cast Nourish, or having to just sit there and heal with HoTs and Nourish vs having to cry on Skype over the overwhelming damage while throwing off Nature's Swiftness in the first 10 seconds of the match on the Bladestorm, it's really different.

When damage scales even 15% higher, the healer has to put in almost two times the work, and the people taking damage --- they feel pressured, they feel flustered and overwhelmed. They make mistakes.

You know, we've won some games where we played vs really well geared characters, and I would look at the end of the game meters, and it would look something like this:
  • Opposing warrior: 400k damage
  • Opposing death knight: 800k damage
  • My warlock: 200k damage
  • My death knight: 300k damage
And then you consider that they've got Mortal Strike, that's so much more pressure they can just put out! I have to do so much more healing, and it's not even simple to say that I can sit there and stop it with a Cyclone. I've got to sit and heal, because they know and we know that if I go and cast a Cyclone, they will Strangulate, Death Grip, Intercept, Anti-Magic Shell, Gnaw, Bladestorm, PvP trinket... all these outs. If I fall behind a little bit, they hit Summon Gargoyle and it's over.

Of course, when I play vs TSG (warrior-death knight-paladin) on my mage it seems fairly easy to crowd control them and kill their paladin, but they make so many mistakes compared to what I would imagine a top TSG would do.