Elder Cynwise

You may ask, why am I standing in a shaft of moonlight, dispensing advice and tokens of appreciation?

Well, the easy answer is that I’m getting paid to do it. But in this case, the easy answer isn’t the right one.

I’m standing here during the Lunar Festival, lit up for Horde target practice, because Khi over at Tree Burglar made an excellent suggestion: offer advice to new players and share your wisdom.

I debated long and hard about taking this job, to be honest. You don’t get to sit down, there are long stretches where nobody shows up and then it’s all rush rush rush here’s your coin rush rush with nary a thank you in sight. And the whining about queue times? I GET IT. And people much older than I am calling me “Elder?” Do I look elderly to you?

Did I mention I haven’t sat down for three days? I think it’s getting to me.

So if you trekked all the way out here into the cold snowy wilderness of Wintergrasp just to see me, the least I can do is give you some tips for starting out in the battlegrounds of Azeroth.

A GOOD ATTITUDE WILL SERVE YOU BETTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

Especially when you’re starting out in battlegrounds, having a good, open attitude is vastly more important than anything else. Persistence and a willingness to experiment – and fail! – will serve you better than the right class, or spec, or gear. A willingness to adapt, to dust yourself off when you fall down and get back into the fight, is worth more than any gear or ability.

IT’S OKAY TO DIE. IT’S OKAY TO LOSE. IT’S NOT OKAY TO QUIT.

You are going to die in battle. You are going to lose battles. You are going to lose battles so badly that you will stare at your computer in shock.

All of these things are okay, as long as you don’t give up. Each death brings you a chance to review what went wrong with that engagement. Each loss teaches you something more about the battleground. Why? Because…

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

There’s an old joke we tell new recruits when they first arrive in Stormwind City. “How do I get to the Hall of Champions?” they ask, all bright-eyed and eager. “Practice, practice, practice!” the vets all chorus.

Soldiers aren’t known for great humor. I admit it.

That said, the advice is sound. Getting good at a battleground means practicing in it. You need practice to refine your skills and keep them sharp.

The experience you gain from practice is what ultimately makes you good.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO DOMINATE TO CONTRIBUTE.

The battleground scoreboard is a funny thing. As a recount, it’s a great tool to measure how you did. But it also lets you compare yourself against others, and that can lead to a lot of bad behaviors.

It’s great to top the meters. It’s an awesome feeling. But it doesn’t mean that you won the battleground, that you’re somehow better than your teammates. You just happened to inflict more pain.

There are a lot of ways people contribute to a fight. Crowd control, defending nodes, running the flag – none of these are reflected on the meters. But they’re all vital to actual success.

Battlegrounds are a team sport. Don’t let the scoreboard fool you into thinking otherwise.

NO ONE HAS THE BEST GEAR.

It’s true. Even in twink battlegrounds, there’s always something that can be improved. As long as you keep striving to improve, that’s what important.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL YOUR LEVEL ENDS IN 8 OR 9 ANYMORE.

This is a holdover from the days before battleground XP. Now that you can level through PvP, the distribution of levels is much more even across sides. So while the upper levels are more fun, they’re hardly required.

REAL FIGHTERS KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT.

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that the first person to complain has the least skill in a battleground.

You’ll find these folks complaining that tenacity is unfair, that the other side cheats, that their teammates suck. Instead of asking themselves what they could do to improve, or how they could motivate their team to do better, they blame others for their failures.

Good battleground fighters don’t QQ. They look at each loss as motivation to improve.

LEARN TO FISH.

Then at least you can be productive while waiting for AV to pop.

FIGHT AT THE FLAG!

You’ve probably heard my last piece of advice before: fight at the flag. Engage the enemy in places with strategic value. Nodes, towers, flags, walls, even graveyards — all have value towards winning the battle. That patch of road over there? Not so much.

Okay. You were good, here’s your coin, and a Healthstone. Nah, really, take it. You’re going to need it out there.

Good luck!

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9 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

9 responses to “Elder Cynwise

  1. Ha, great idea. Well said.

  2. skinnemuva

    I would really like to get the “fight at the flag!” message out to the masses. I am so tired of the, “Ooh, a bridge! Let’s stop and cluster here.” group mentality. I suggest Elder Cynwise reposts herself in Dalaran.

  3. One of the best posts to date, IMO. Expect me to be linking it to poor bastards in the Nightfall battlegroup all weekend. =)

  4. This is why I didn’t do the Elder’s post for the twink blog. ;)

    A GOOD ATTITUDE WILL SERVE YOU BETTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
    This one is probably the most important of all of them, and yet so often overlooked. Sometimes you’re just going to get owned, and that’s the way it is. But it’s not a big deal, this isn’t an iron man competition where your character gets deleted if you lose. You’re dead – so what!? Go back out there and kill somebody.

    YOU DON’T HAVE TO DOMINATE TO CONTRIBUTE.
    Another big point. So many people feel that topping the charts is the only way to play, and that if you aren’t in the top 3 then you suck.

    REAL FIGHTERS KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT.
    This is huge. HUGE! And it’s true, the more you talk, the more you suck. If you’re talking about the match itself, as in alerting the group to the efc’s location” then you’re doing good, but if you’re talking about thing else then you suck. Helping your teammates? You rock. Talking down to them in any way? GTFO of my battleground.

    FIGHT AT THE FLAG!
    You could write a post that said this a billion times over and it still wouldn’t be emphasized enough.

  5. Thanks everyone! I’m glad you liked it.

    And I should seriously do a post on fighting at the flag. :-)

    • Hi Cynwise,

      hey I can’t refer to u as ‘elder’ as I admit to being older but mayb not wiser than u.
      The flag in battle is as old as war itself.
      Yes it is vital in the real and the virtual universes.
      In medievil times it was to identify where the heck ur king/noble/knight was and where the enemies boss was too.

      Taking ur enemies colours is almost a deathknell even in recent skirmihes (Custer, In the pacfic WWII etc) and gave psychological victory to the side who acheived it..anyway u prob already no that…oh wise one…

      Love ur outfit..will b following//// Gareth (one of the Knights of the RT)

  6. Elenac

    I’m a bit late replying here, but I just had to add a “me too” for the “keep a good attitude” and “real fighters keep their mouth shut”. What really, really will sour my mood from doing bg:s (and I love doing bg:s!) is the constant “you all suck” and “l2p n0000bs” as soon as the first setback comes in the game. Bg:s are seldom smooth sailing, there are ups and downs, and you sure don’t win any bg:s by running your mouth!

    Strangely enough, there are very few “let them win” whiners in my battlegroup anymore.

    • I hate those “let them win” people. I hate those “l2p idiots” people too… Especially when they’re either standing in the middle of nowhere or fighting on the road.

      Let’s make this clear: there are only 2 battlegrounds where fighting on the road CAN help you win:
      – AV: because of reinforcements
      – IoC: also because of reinforcements

      As for letting them win? Sure, they can have this victory… but first they’ll have to loot it from my cold dead corpse!

  7. Bob Hope

    You guys obviously don’t play in the Retaliation battlegroup. With about a 20% chance to win (thanks Killing Fields), a positive attitude is the way of a fool or a lemming. It is perfectly natural to get frustrated when 4 out of 5 games you’re going to lose. Immediate queues are nice, but at the cost of your sanity is another thing all together. That battlegroup is so broken.