Monday, June 11, 2012

Allow Me to Introduce Myself, My Name is Mud

"...and remember, 'Mud' spelled backwards is 'Dumb'."
--Bugs Bunny

Leveling an Affliction Warlock via BGs has been --for the most part-- an exercise in patience.

You die a lot.  And I do mean a lot.

You also lose a lot.

Yes, I do realize that when you run as many BGs as I have, you are going to have your share of losses, but in the low level BGs especially, clothies are Rogue and Hunter chow.  When that happens in a 10/10 game such as Warsong Gulch, you're essentially giving the other team a few more players advantage.*

In the current environment of random BGs, unless you've managed to use cross realm grouping or you've got a bunch of guildies with alts at the right level, you're pretty much stuck with what you draw.  Most of the time you get players with different strategic and tactical ideas, and that can translate into shouts and recriminations on BG chat.

Sometimes, however, you get lucky.

I ported into Eye of the Storm in time to hear someone ask what the map was about.  "I haven't done this one before," the Warrior said.

Oh oh, I thought.

A DK and myself ran over the basics --capture your bases, try for a third and to control the middle to get the flag-- and I mentioned to call out incs.

"Incs?  Sorry, I don't know the lingo."

"Incoming."  Didn't this person know anything?  Well, I'd been there before, so I wasn't going to judge, but this certainly didn't look good.


The game started out... well... very badly.  We were quickly overwhelmed at the Draenei Ruins while most of the team went to the Mid.  Then, when everybody from the Mid came running to DR, the Horde swept into the Mage Tower.

We very quickly found ourselves down by 500 points before we stabilized things.

"Go to FR!  FR is empty!" another DK was yelling.  "We need bases to catch up!"

I found myself at DR at that point, so I could only watch at first while three people got ahead and managed to take the FR to gray.  The Horde then moved en masse from the Blood Elf Tower to FR.

"Let's go!" I yelled.  "BE is empty!"

Turned out that was a temporary situation, as a Horde Rogue and Shaman reached there just as I did.  I feared them as much as I could, but I got swept under by too many CCs from the Rogue.  Fortunately, 3 or 4 fellow Alliance had followed me over, and we were able to capture that base.

The situation remained fluid.  The Horde had built a lead with three bases and capturing the Mid, but they abandoned that to try to farm kills over on our side of the field and capture both MT and DR.  The Horde got DR and the FR briefly flickered back to Horde Red.

"Let's go get MT!" the newbie Warrior yelled.

"We've got MT," I corrected.  "We need DR back."

"Sorry, this is still new to me."

It was then that a Rogue piped up. "This BG has been around since patch 2.1.  How can you not know about this BG?"

We still had a chance at this game, but if we were going to dissolve into BG drama, it was going to slip away.  "Look," I said, "the dude is probably new."

"I'm not a dude," the warrior replied, "and I am new."

I looked at the Warrior's masculine name, and decided to let it go.  I thought about mentioning the number one rule of MMOs**, but I decided it wasn't even worth it.

We weren't able to retake DR, but suddenly FR flickered to gray and then to Alliance Blue.  We had a 3:1 edge for the first time, and we also had the flag.

But the Horde also had less than three minutes remaining, and we were down by 300 points.

"We're not out of it yet," I called out from MT as we captured the flag.  "If we capture the flag a couple more times, we may pull this off."

Our Shaman picked up the flag again and took off toward MT, with two Horde hot on her heels.  I mounted and intercepted them all, using Howl of Terror to scatter them as she slipped free to capture the flag.  The rest of the crew at MT swept onto the two Horde as I climbed back to MT and cast my DoTs from there.

Down by 100 points, and we were closing fast with a minute and a half left.

Then FR flickered into gray.

"Crap!  FR!"  The newbie warrior led the charge to dislodge the Horde from FR as our Feral Druid picked up the flag and raced toward the same area.

40 seconds.

"Don't cap until we get FR back!" I yelled.

30 seconds.  20.

I could only watch from Mage Tower as the drama unfolded.  "Come on," I muttered.  "Come on...."



FR turned blue, and the Feral Druid captured the flag.

Cheers erupted on our side.

"We did it!"


I whispered to the newbie Warrior that she did a good job, but she'd already ported out.  Well, if a certain newbie Warrior happens to come across this post, I'll raise a pint to you.  You acquitted yourself well, and didn't rise up and take the flamebait, either.

I'm also not too proud to admit that my initial impression of that team proved to be wrong.  After all, I've never been happier to be called 'mud'.

*Unless they have Locks that can be Rogue chow too, and your side has Rogues who aren't afraid to take advantage of that.

**Nobody knows your gender unless you volunteer it, and sometimes, not even then.


  1. I find as a Warlock in random BGs at level 85 that I am 'chow' to most classes one on one.

    Rogues in particular seem to go for me at every opportunity, but any decent melee will beat me, whether it's Enhancement Shammy, DK, Ret Paladin, Feral Druid or Warrior.
    When it comes to ranged classes, Mages have so many tricks that they are very hard to kill, and a decent Hunter can take you to pieces without effort. Enemy Warlocks are mostly just a nuisance, and not something to be scared of sadly.

    WSG or Twin Peaks I really dislike if not outright hate in random BGs. Quite often you are lucky to get even one healer in the group, and you know half your team is going to be farming honour in mid-field and putting no effort into actually winning the BG, so it feels like you are either tied into a lost game lasting 15-20 minutes, or you have the option to /afk and then get the deserter debuff. My win ratio in those 2 BGs is probably 1 in 10, I kid you not!

    I think where a Warlock shines in most battles is CCing healers and getting them away from Flag Carriers for example, allowing your team mates to kill them. In WSG I have 60 EFC kills and only 2 flag returns, which I think is indicative of that.

    1. The secret to getting a Mage (and I play a Frost Mage Hordeside) is persistence. If there's only one, you can wear down their CDs and then they're a sitting duck. They also don't have the capability to drop all of the DoTs an Aff Lock has once they've used Iceblock, so as long as you can manage to stay alive, a Mage will suddenly turn brittle.

      A Lock is at it's best when it's in a support role, much like a Mage. Wreaking havoc with the enemy healer is a specialty of a Lock, and if a healer isn't paying attention it can very quickly get rendered impotent.

      I hate WSG for the lack of coordination, but also for the many times I've had Rogues and/or Hunters corpse camp my Lock to the exclusion of all else. (Arcane Mages too, especially at low levels, are OP.) I think that if I leveled a Rogue I'd have a different opinion, but that's just me.

  2. enjoyed the post, keep 'em coming!

    ps - i've been out of the game for a year now, have they really nerfed 'locks that bad? i used to hate the sight of a 'lock in a BG more than anything.

    1. If you get a Lock player who's a real virtuoso, they're still a thing of terror. For the most part, however, they're reduced to a support role.

      If you're up for a detailed read, Cynwise did a multi-part series on the Decline and Fall of Warlocks in Cataclysm that really explores why Locks are the least played class in WoW at the moment. Here's the link:

  3. I find that your number 1 rule of MMOs looks more like "Everyone assumes you are a man until stated otherwise." It gets tiring after a while!

    It's sweet that the newbie was comfortable asking for explanations, and that you were nice enough to give them. I'm always nervous about speaking up, but if you don't know the general atmosphere of BGs it must be easier to ask questions. Hopefully that warrior goes on to learn and dominate in PVP :)

    1. You could say that the two rules are corollaries of each other. Hell, when I've been on Neve, I've been mistaken for a woman. Or a mom.

      I wouldn't have called it sweet, but bold. There's a certain subset of BGers that is a win-at-all-costs crowd (kind of like what you see in sports), and I think we were just lucky that we didn't get the "YOO SUCK NOOBZ!!1!!" people in our BG. I'm pretty sure that Rogue was warming up to that level, but he wasn't quite there yet.

  4. My first character back in vanilla was pretty much clueless but was having a fine time in Arathi in spite of it until I saw chat, I got the "YOO SUCK NOOBZ!!1!!" people instead of your group, I was so traumatized it took me until now to start slowly getting back into BGs, lol.

    Oddly it never bothers me when I'm called dude, mate, buddy, etc. I'm always so happy they aren't yelling OMG, it's a Mommy! If I talk too much I'm pretty sure it would be evident.

    1. I was lucky in that the first BG I was ever in, WSG of all things, I didn't run into the "YOU SUCK NOOBZ!!1!!" crowd. (Having your side steamroll over the other side helped.)

      Still, I got introduced to it big time when I started playing BGs in earnest. By then I'd already gotten used to that attitude in PUGs, so it kind of rolled right off me.

      I have been tempted to occasionally post in BG chat that "This ain't XBox Live, Dude!" But I realize that it just won't matter.