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.