A couple of days ago I found myself at a bit of a loss for things to do. It was late and it seemed everyone was rammed into a zerg fest fortress thing, something I can rarely be bothered with. I noticed my guild’s infamous duelling Sorcerer “Infexion” was off in Etaine. On Karak-Norn Etaine has become the server’s sort of official duelling zone (when not unlocked for RvR of course), it’s generally acknowledged that you leave the duellers to it, unless you want to join in. So with nothing else to do, I figured I’d take my Chosen over to Etaine and try out this duelling lark.
It was an interesting change of pace. I’m pretty handy with my Chosen in group/warband oRvR, on even terms my guild groups are a tough prospect and losing is not something we do that often. Also whilst in scenarios and roaming generally, I fairly often get in 1v1 situations and it’s a very rare occasion that I lose, so I was fairly confident about duelling. This was probably a bit naïve, as I’ve now realised there is one huge difference between random 1v1s and the organised duels. That difference being: preparation.
When I’m scrubbing about Tier 4 or in scenarios I’m using equipment and tactics that will put me in a good stead for any situation and opponent. I’m using an all round, cope with anything set up and due to how suddenly combat can start, normally I won’t have time to switch tactics or gear. The same applies to my opponents. Duelling however is totally different. Prior to the fight starting people are selecting the optimum tactics and equipment set up for that particular opponent. This is something I totally failed to get my head round and I just went in with my standard set up. I've no idea what the best set ups for 1v1 fights are, I've had to just wing it so far... So how did it go?
Actually it has gone pretty well. I’ve won more than I lost (over 27 fights I had a roughly 3-1 wins/loss ratio), but I have found myself consistently losing to one class; Swordmasters using shields. There are also some classes I’ve not yet duelled (KotBS & Runepriest), so I don’t know how I will fair against them. I’ve had a chat with a couple of the big name duelling Chosen about my Swordmaster problem and they initially put it down to my gear. I’m using Invader & Darkpromise armour (I can’t equip my Warlord yet, the price of having too many alts…), which means I’m running (with my aura on) at about 800 strength. These guys are in the 900+ region, which certainly makes a difference and I could see them hitting harder, but I now suspect the main thing is actually tactic choice rather than that 100 strength difference. After further discussion with one of the guys I discovered (amongst things) he was using a tactic that boosts our DPS by 15%, but reduces our armour by 33%. This is something I wouldn’t normally even consider using, it’s too risky for my normal group play. But this isn’t group play, this is duelling and the environment is totally different. People are using different tactics for different opponents, which I suppose is obvious really, but having not duelled before, I hadn’t considered it... It’s got me wondering how many different tactic set-ups I actually need to for fighting different classes.
After a year of WAR it’s fascinating to discover I’ve got a whole new style of play to learn. Though I'm also preparing myself for some brutal spankings as I go up against more of the seasoned pros... :P
That and I need to pull my finger out and instead of having multiple RR5x characters, lots of nice LV gear on them and a bazillion other alts, I need to become a renown whore and get my Chosen’s RR up big time...