Tol Barad from a Beginner’s Perspective

It’s funny, way, way, back in Vanilla I did my first BG. It was Arathi Basin, and my Hunter loved it. I was awful, this was back in the period where I hadn’t found the AH yet and I was completely decked out in gear like the Cuirboulli Set, yes, nothing but the best gear a vendor had to offer for me! Yeah, I was clueless. So you can just imagine how long I stayed alive in Arathi, but damn, it was fun. I stopped PvPing when I noticed my fellow combatants were filling up the chat panel with hate messages at me. Not because I played poorly, but because I was level 44. So big chicken me just quit and kinda forgot about PvP.

Then came BC and everyone talking about ENDGAME. WTF is that. Oh, okay, I get it. Then I spent the rest of that expansion trying to play as Blizzard intended. It didn’t work out and it’s taken me this long to get back to PvP. The realization that I should try it again came slowly. Navi of the Daily Frostwolf helped a lot. I read all her posts about their raids and one day realized, hey, all that planning and fine tuning and repetition until you get something just perfect doesn’t sound like you at all. I am a spontaneous and somewhat (lying, really a lot) disorganized person who is a jack of all trades and master of none irl. Why? I don’t know, I think I’m always looking for a different experience, and PvP fits perfectly. Same BG, different day, different people, whole new game. So I’m having a great deal of fun.

I’m still not good, but so far it doesn’t seem to matter. I’m guessing I’ve done Tol Barad about seven or eight times now and we’ve only won once. I’m not that egotistical that I think it’s my fault, nope, we’ve all been bad so I don’t stand out. Communication, other than blame, seems to be lacking and I think that’s most of the problem. So when I get excited and somehow hit some strange key combination that immediately dumps me to my desktop, no one notices. Have no idea how I do this. I’ve tried to recreate it but still haven’t figured out how I’m doing it.

So anyway, first thing. I’ve never played with nameplates turned on. It just didn’t seem fair to get a heads up when a creature was behind the next bush. Seemed like cheating to me, should give them a fair shot at me. NOT NOW. I’ve turned those babies on now. And I got Healers-Have-To-Die. Sorry, healer friends, I need all the help I can get. I have yet to figure out how to tell who is the raid leader but it doesn’t seem to matter. In only two battles was there a voice of authority to be heard. Both times they seemed to know what they were talking about. One was ignored and finally quit the raid and we lost. One was listened to, we won.

The same scenario each loss. All but one of these we’ve been defending, we’ve done well, but in the last few minutes players disperse, running around looking for someone to kill outside of the bases. So we’re all spread thin throughout the three bases and the roads and we lose. I now understand what the famous killing machines are talking about. Communication seems to be the key, the most important part of winning. And aside from insults, we’re not doing it. That’s okay for now. I’m still trying to work out how not to end up at the desktop.

And that delicate flower who can’t stand unpleasantness and trash talk in groups? Gone in PvP, there I am over there, the new me. I have absolutely no idea why trash talk in PvP doesn’t bother me, so all’s good. And my little Undead Warlock NEVER wants to leave now that someone /flirted with her. Do you know how long she’s been waiting for that! 85 levels and change. A /flirt is hard to come by if you’re an Undead lady. An Undead lady wannabe killing machine with 169 honorable kills! She’s so pleased.

I wanted to get familiar with Tol Barad before I moved on. I’ll have to figure out which one to try next, but in the meantime I have shopping to do. First it was sitting for hours playing with MogIt. Now it’s sitting for hours in the Hall of Legends picking out what I want. Who knew PvP would turn out to be such a sedentary pursuit!

Oh, oh! Just one more thing! Rogues! Rogues! They are just wrong. Wrong. I have spent so much time starring at my feet … my non-moving feet. Added incentive to level up mine. I want to be that horrible too.

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18 Responses to “Tol Barad from a Beginner’s Perspective”

  1. (at what point can I say I told you so? Never, right?)

  2. Tiny Plates is a great nameplate addon as you can customise it to show other people’s timers. Say for example it’s you and a rogue beating up some Alliance, with tiny plates you’d see the rogue’s stuns ticking down so you’d know when to fear without wasting diminishing returns.

    I’d say the 40 mans are probably the next logical step. It’s easy to blend in with the crowd even if you’re under-geared and in heavy defence games, you can have fun annoying people from a distance.

    Next thing you know, you’ll be running around yelling /chicken at people! :D

    • Thanks for the tip Erinys, I’ll have to get Tiny Plates. Okay that sounds like a plan, I’ll try the big ones and try to hide in the crowd and hopefully I’ll soon be a deadly purple demon yelling /chicken with all running in fear before me!

  3. That stupid addon is my bane. I hate opening with a healing spell, I get jumped like anything.
    Sounds like you’re having fun! Soon you’ll be like Erinys doing unladylike things like spitting on people in BGs to taunt them!

    • But I sure need an edge, between getting immobilized by rogues and somehow suddenly appearing at my desktop!

      I found even doing it badly is a whole lot of fun!

    • JD Kenada Says:

      Tell me about it. No offense (to tome) but I’m sick of addons that do nearly everything in this game and one that puts a giant spotlight on a healer in PvP just seems horribly broken to me. It removes a key element of gameplay as far as I’m concerned.

      /endrant (lol)

      • I’m fine with it. The dangerous people, the ones who can kill me because they have bound their kicks, interrupts and other such annoying spells can already recognise healers.

        My husband actually has it for the other component, the “Mr Orc is attacking Y friendly healer” because as a melee, whilst persecuting the enemy healers, he can’t always see what’s happening to his without switching camera angle which isn’t good when you’re trying to time kicks so the poor undead Priest can’t do anything for 15 seconds except die.

        • JD Kenada Says:

          Valid point. I think my frustration stems from people who literally could not do a dungeon when Cataclysm launched because healbot hadn’t updated. Not “wouldn’t,” but “couldn’t.”

          It’s a case of becoming dependant on the addon and I think that’s where my point of view comes from. I think once you can’t play the game without the addon it’s a bit much.

          Hope that made sense…it’s really early, and no coffee yet.

        • I’ll have to go look at your posts on PvP, you always have great info for noob me. To the archives I go!

      • I could do a whole post on this. I play with Blizzard’s UI and Titan Panel is my only “must have” addon. If there was/is a game with no addons, threat meters, damage meters, etc, now that might be a wow killer for me.

        The most fun I’ve ever had was playing an almost naked Ironman and having only a few useable spells because of insufficient mana.

        So no offense taken JD! I know exactly what you meant.

        • JD Kenada Says:

          Glad to hear it. As I say, I have my preferred addons as well (though I use hardly any since I switched to Linux. Just never bothered reinstalling most of them). It’s just my personal feeling that at some point it seems the addon is doing the work instead of the player. But the beauty of such a thing is “to each their own.” :)

  4. JD Kenada Says:

    You summed up PvP in a nutshell…communicate and you’ll do well. Fail to communicate and you may as well just hope you get a reasonable amount of honour.

    Speaking of which, try random bg’s. More honor, same amount of fun, and you get to see them all (well, relateively).

    Aside from dabbling in Warsong Gulch in my early days, I wasn’t introduced to PvP really until Alterac Valley and that was back in the day when it wasn’t just “who can zerg the other guy’s boss first.” So much fun. I know I talk about not having lengthy time opportunities in WoW, but a good hour long (or more for some people) AV was just so much fun.

    • I hadn’t wanted to do randoms as I don’t know the BGs and thought I’d be a hindrance, lol, now I see I was being silly as I don’t think it would matter.

      • JD Kenada Says:

        I did Strand of the Ancients for the first time this morning. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. So I just healed my allies and attacked anything red.

  5. I think that’s why beta is kinda fun, no addons so it’s back to basics and making mouseover macros for everything. That said, on live, they’ll pry my addons from my cold dead fingers.

    Also nesting comments need to nest more!

  6. The rogues’ horridness is exactly why I leveled mine up – it’s so wrong but you can have so much fun throughout the leveling experience, not just at 85.

    On a sidenote, you can check who the raid leader is by opening your friendslist, then clicking the “raid” tab, and when in a raid you are able to see who is the RL, who has assist, who is MT/OT and so on – it should work for a TB raid group as well, I expect.
    As you said, though, not that it matters, since you’re randomly assigned to it – though it’s nice when you know what has to be done!

    • It’s beginning to look bad for me, I love evil Warlocks and sneaky Rogues! Good thing the Druid balances them out.

      Oh thank you Töki! Next time I’m in TB I’ll check the raid tab.

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