Last night I logged into my hunter briefly, sifted through her inventory a bit, and then decided to park her in the inn again, as I’ve been playing her quite a lot. Mr. Ess didn’t feel like playing our duo, so I logged into my priest for a while. She had a lot of stuff to disenchant, so I took care of all of it, and then switched over to my mage (my “main” — har har). My mage was in Tanaris, although most of the quests there are now “low level” for her. I still thought I’d get some decent XP from the turn ins, plus the kills would be quick, so she wandered over to hassle pirates for a few minutes… and then got bored. Huh, bored? Sooo, I logged into my pug mage to look for BFD group. No dice. For a moment, I thought I might have a Gnomeregan group (of all things), but it fell through…
My pug mage was in Thunder Bluff, fishing while in the LFG, and as I was realizing I wasn’t going to find a pug, I noted the Warsong Gulch battlemaster across the pond. Hm... So, I did it. I put myself in the queue to join the next available group for a round of capture the flag against the Alliance. 🙂
At only level 24, I knew there wasn’t much I’d be able to contribute in terms of DPS, especially against a bunch of level 29 twinks. Plus I didn’t really know the map, and I don’t know the mechanics of dealing with the flags, not to mention that my only PvP experience thus far has been a few rounds of dueling with my guildmates. But, what the heck… I decided to jump in with both feet. Since this toon wasn’t in any way connected with my main toons or my guild, reputations would not be damaged much if I totally stank it up in there.
Within about two minutes, I was added to a raid and entering the battleground. There was nobody in the little starting area, and after subsequent matches, I realized I must have been a mid-game replacement of someone who quit (or maybe a late addition). This first match was all kind of a blur… I generally followed the strategy I use when I’m in regular groups and the mobs aren’t being marked. I tried to stay off to the sides of battle and potshot whoever was already taking the most damage. I had no idea who had the flag or where the flags were, but I was certain that I wouldn’t need to be a flag carrier anyway. Doesn’t seem that mages five levels below the cap would be good candidates for that. 🙂
Almost everyone else in the BG was level 29, though I did see a 26 on the Alliance team, and I went after them as much as I good. Our team also had a level 22 warlock, and they probably got squished more times than I did. I died a lot, but ultimately, I did get some kills in, and it was really fun. At one point, I was skirting the group that was battling it out, and went up to some trees. Apparently there was a level 29 rogue hiding in there, and they killed me in like one stab. It was hilarious.
The Horde lost the battle. I wasn’t surprised to see myself at the bottom of the scorecard in terms of total damage done, but I was surprised to see that I didn’t have the least number of kills. Go me! I jumped in the queue for another match immediately.
I had a slightly better feel for what I was supposed to be doing during the second go. As a squishy, I knew I’d be best off sticking with other people, too, so whenever I died, I stood in the graveyard a sec to see if anyone else appeared so we could run out together. I spent a lot of time hanging with a druid who healed me several times and saved my butt when the Alliance hunter’s pig was trying to eat my face. We ended up making a pretty good team and killed a few rogues together. In this second match, the Horde was triumphant! For the HORDE!
Since the queue times were so short, I went into Warsong Gulch a third time, eager to apply what I’d learned from the previous runs. Again, I tried to stick with a small group of people and not wander off on my own. I ended up protecting the flag carrier for a bit, and got some nice kills in when the Alliance came after her. Ultimately, we were overpowered, however, and lost. Still, much fun.
First impressions… good times. I didn’t mind losing, I didn’t mind dying, and when someone killed me in a surprising way (by being sneaky or just killing me in one shot) I thought it was pretty funny. It was also clear that any type of teamwork gives a huge advantage. Because of this, I was a bit surprised at how little communication there was, but I suppose there wasn’t much time for it. Everything seemed to happen so fast. (I was tuned into the in game voice chat, but nobody was using it.)
After getting my feet wet in Warsong Gulch, I decided to make my way to Arathi Basin. The queue times for AB were longer, with the average wait around 10 minutes when I first joined up. I tabbed out while I waited, studied some maps I found online, and read about the objectives. And then into battle I went, once again…
This time, someone did step up and take charge, and said for a team to run up to the lumbermill. Although I’d just looked at the map, my terrible sense of direction made me unsure where that was, so I just followed a small group of people and ended up there. Woo! We took the node successfully and didn’t get challenged for several minutes. The Horde took two nodes right away and seemed to be battling for the third one. The Alliance only had one node for most of this time, so this gave us a good head start on them.
Alliance did come up and challenge us at the lumbermill, but they seemed to be coming up one at a time. We’d run over, squish the the intruder, and then that would be that. For the most part, I lingered off by the mill itself, but I noticed the other two folks guarding the node favoring the right path up the hill, so I eventually wandered over to keep an eye on the left path. I did catch someone coming up and hit them with a frost bolt, and then ran back toward the node to get the attention of the others guarding it. We all unleashed our DPS on the poor dude… hee hee hee.
We got control over that third node, but then lost it to even things to 2-2. We were then called to help defend the farm, and so I ran there (from the graveyard, as I recall), and a shaman and I guarded the node together. He had totems up all around it, and one of them exploded when a rogue approached. I immobilized them with a frost nova and then we destroyed them. It was awesome. (Maybe I am a PvPer after all?) The Horde won, we all congratulated one another.
By this time, I was addicted. Must… queue… again. The queue time was estimated to be 12 minutes, but it was a full 15 minutes before I was back in Arathi Basin. It was starting to get late, but I wanted one more run…
I’m not sure how long the previous match took, but this second one was over in about 2 minutes. Literally. I ran up to the lumbermill just like the time before, and we seized control of it for about 5 seconds before there were 5 Alliance there taking it back. We never got a foothold. “They’re trying to 5 cap us,” someone said. And they did… Alliance took all five nodes, and had 2000 resources before we even had 200. It was a complete and total smackdown. Daaaamn.
So, of course I wanted to go in there one more time! I queued again (queue time now up to 16 minutes), and went to UC to see if I could do any training. Much to my embarassment, it looked like I hadn’t been to the trainer in a really, really long time. (Oops. That would explain why my DPS was so crappy in that recent BFD run.) I trained in everything possible, and then hung around UC for a few minutes. I tabbed out to check my e-mail at one point and the game crashed! Noooo! It was about 12 minutes into my wait, too… bah. By this time, it was midnight, so I decided I’d better be off to bed…
… where I dreamt of an Orc rogue alt. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm… 🙂
Resolution achieved. I have dipped my toe into one of the PvP parts of WoW, and I think it’s super fun. (I do like green eggs and ham!)