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Blood Sport: 5 frustrations of PVP and how to overcome them


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? That's why Blood Sport is here!

WoW is a big, big game. In most of the game, you get to hang out with friends, do your best, and eventually see all the content. Even if it requires extra levels, raid nerfs, and gear improvement, chances are you will eventually get the chance to kill every boss in the game. Play long enough and keep working hard enough, and you can be guaranteed to see all of the player-versus-environment content.

PVP doesn't work that way. PVP is a zero-sum game. In order for someone to win, someone has to lose. The Arena doesn't end until one of the teams suffers a total defeat. In the Battlegrounds, one team achieves its objectives and the other team fails.

The result of this zero-sum situation is that PVP can be very, very frustrating. We have some tips and techniques that will help you battle these frustrations, either by managing your emotions or overcoming the most annoying aspect of PVP.

5. Your PUG Battleground isn't up to snuff.

We've all heard the legendary frustrations about random Battlegrounds. Folks fight miles away from the flag, do battle in the road, and keep pulling Van while the towers are still up. Joining a random Battleground does have the advantage of making you feel like a superhero, because it feels like nobody is performing as well as you.

How do you fight this frustration? Remember that everyone else in the PUG probably feels the same way. The reason PUGs don't come together is that PUGs don't coordinate, aren't all on the same wavelength, and have wildly different approaches to success. Keep that foremost in your mind.

When you have no hope of winning a PUG Battleground, get laser focused on your own performance. Whether that translates into racking up your personal honor kills, accomplishing achievements, or just being the best player you can be, stay focused on your goals and exceed your own expectations.

4. You just can't beat this team.

Some nights you log into the Arena and it feels like if you bought a duck, it'd drown. You keep getting DK/druid team after DK/druid team. You couldn't peel the enemy warrior if he were a banana. The only healers you see wear plate armor, and they're all handy with the bubbles. Even after dozens of matches, you don't feel like you can win more than one or two.

This happens. That's all there is to it. Off nights happen. If you can't seem to win a match no matter what you do, it might be time to take the night off. Come back to the Arena the next night when you're refreshed, energized and ready to fight.

Obviously, take the time to chat through all of your failures and make sure you know went wrong. But if the only answer you can think of is "This isn't working out tonight," take a walk and let it go.

3. Your gear is holding you back.

Especially for folks who are just starting in PVP, it's easy to feel like you're wearing tissue paper in the Battlegrounds. I've seen plenty of people talk about wearing plate armor as if it were some kind aegis, but the reality is that in PVP, resilience is your only meaningful damage reduction.

If you fall over dead the second a rogue comes out of stealth, then you might need more resilience. (It should take at least 4 seconds.)

Build up your resilience as much as you can. You can gather immense amounts of resilience at this point in the expansion. While valor points are capped on a weekly basis, there is no such limitation on honor points. Keep queueing up for Battlegrounds and fighting in Tol Barad; before you know it, you'll be packing enough resilience to mitigate 33% of the damage you take from other players.

2. It doesn't seem like it's getting better.

You've been fighting in the Arena every week, doing all the Battlegrounds you can, and things don't seem to be getting any better. You still feel like you're a walking target, and you aren't winning half of your matches. What do you do when you're at the quitting point?

If you haven't been already, this is a great time to go hit the PVP blogosphere and start doing some research. Talk to folks at Arena Junkies, do Google searches about the compositions that are giving you trouble, and generally just read everything you can.

The hope here is that you can find out what's going wrong and take steps to improve. You know what they say about the definition of insanity; network and meet other PVP players so that you can talk to them and change your ways.

1. Experiment with another class.

The inevitable final step if you're frustrated with how things are going in PVP, go ahead and give another class a try. This will do two things for you.

First, there's no way to learn the ins and outs of another class like playing it yourself. As you level up a new character, learn its abilities, and try out its capabilities, you'll learn how to defeat it. If a paladin is constantly smashing your face in, leveling and playing a paladin can help you find ways to defeat one.

Second, you might just find you're better in a new class. Not everyone is at their best with every class. Switching things up might land you someplace better for your own playstyle. It's not a perfect solution, but you might just find yourself happier.

Want to ascend the arena ladders faster than a fireman playing Donkey Kong? We'll steer you to victory with the best arena addons and let you in on some rank 1 gladiator PvP secrets. Be sure to check out our guide to PvP keybindings.

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