Rosavin and Cynwise did bad, bad things tonight in the unlocked 85-89 bracket.

We’re going to keep on doing them, since it’s a long long way to 89. There is no reason to lock anymore, but there’s also no reason to rush to 89.

And we’re going to bring friends, because our guild has been spawning 85 twinks like rabbits. Vicious killer rabbits.

Maybe that should be our arena team name?

The effects of 5.2 Battleground scaling, illustrated.

Pictures on the left are unbuffed stats in ‘normal’ Azeroth. The right are in a 85-89 battleground, now affected by stat scaling. From top to bottom, these are my Defensive PvP set (lots of Cata PvP gear, some Mists gear), PvE set (full Mists blues), and my Offensive PvP set (a little PvP gear, Mists gear gemmed for PvP Power). 

These don’t appear to be tooltip issues. Stuff hits weaker. Spells cast slower. Health pools are larger but damage is down. Oddly, I missed a lot tonight. I never miss! But I was missing tonight.

If this is supposed to equalize the brackets by bringing me up to the level of 89s - it’s not doing that. It’s actually doing the exact opposite by weakening my overall ability. Bringing characters - but not their gear - up to the max level of the bracket puts them at a worse disadvantage than they were at before.

My guild has started joining me in the locked 85 bracket. It provides a nice way for them to PvP on an alt without having to grind out gear each season. It’s nice to have friends in the BGs again.

We had a … not really a rocky start, just a grumpy holy pally in Arathi Basin who kept complaining about fail DPS, so it set a bad tone. Rezz did three times as much healing as he did, and we were constantly on the move trying to keep bases flipped to Alliance, but even 4 folks working together can’t stop the tide if the rest of the team isn’t executing. 

Next up was IoC. It was a cluster, there’s no other way to describe it. 40 mans are like that, sometimes you just get people fucking around with the siege and demos and you’re wondering what the hell they think they’re doing. We went Docks (DOOOCKS!) and I circled back to harass the Workshop while the gates started to go down. The initial achievement spam was pretty funny as everyone got [Back-Door Job] one right after another.

Most of the time I can give a pretty clear recount of the battle, but I’m definitely feeling this cold and was tunneling pretty hard. I ranged all over the map until I rezzed at WS and saw Rezz/Rosavin running past on his Raven Lord mount. Soon he was joined by Dee on her Yak (I love how they run) and I followed them into the Horde Keep. Someone said they could actually tank, so I switched into PvE gear (keep your gearsets keybound, you WILL need to switch fast sometimes) and headed upstairs. Calls came out that the Horde had already pulled our general.

Overlord Angmar is a tank and spank. I don’t think I’ve ever really tanked him, so my job is to bring the heat and bring it as hard as I can. We were behind in resources, we had bad position, and the Horde had a head start, so it was a DPS race to get this level 89 boss down.

This time, we had four DPS twinks on the boss - Me, Dee, Zable, and Huntudown-Stormrage, all pulling 10 million+ damage on Agmar. We had a twink healer - Rezz - who did almost 10 million healing on the various tanks.

We probably should have lost that one. Sometimes, you can have 4 good players and they can’t make a difference in a BG. 

And sometimes you do.

For Arathi Basin, my last achievement was [To The Rescue!], recapture 50 bases. This involves:

  1. Having a base you control 
  2. get attacked by the enemy
  3. and you recapture it in the 53 seconds before it flips to their control.

I started off with a paltry 13/50, having spent my career in Arathi Basin defending bases to prevent them from flipping in the first place, and never, ever leaving my post once I was defending the flag. I had to change my mindset from doing things “right” to becoming as aggressive as possible with the flags. 

This wasn’t a bad shift, actually. By constantly running to the attacked base, even my late recaps (and there were a lot) usually helped retake bases before they could be reinforced by the Horde. (And if the base I just left got assaulted, that gave me another base to chase after. I don’t have a lot of shame.)

This took weeks to finish. At first it was slow going; I had trouble getting into the right rhythm, I wasn’t aggressive enough, I didn’t focus on clearing bases really quickly. 

But after 20 or so, I found a groove. Most games saw a recap, some 3-4. The games were infrequent but productive. I watched my AB rep climb (worth noting for the eventual Justicar grind) and remembered how this BG is one of the best. I love Arathi Basin; it’s a great mix of strategy and PvP and it lets me use all my engineering toys.

Oh yes. Engineering toys; the Goblin Glider is incredible for covering distances quickly. If you are approaching the Mine from the ST/FM, ride a little along the upper road and then hit your glider. You’ll get all the way down to the flag much faster than when mounted. (Plus you sail over any defensive perimeters they may have set up.)

Water walking on the Felsteed also helped tremendously. Not even going to think about lying there.

So: 2/5ths of the way to Battlemaster. All that remains:

  • 10 WSG wins
  • 5 WSG flag returns
  • 25 Strand wins
  • 39 Eye of the Storm wins

WSG will be next, I think.