Monday 17 August 2009

Fight Club

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 na├»ve, 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...

1 comment:

  1. Heh thanks for the mention Boots. I just wanted to share some thoughts here. First, when i started dueling about 3 months back i was being very sceptic about it. People where calling duelers Crest and Renown farmers. Which was partially true because back then crests and warlord gear was dropping often from solo kills. Renown, not that much because if you wanted juicy renown the best source was scenarios. But now after 1.3.1 crests don't drop from solo kills, and the juicy renown is found around keeps. So that put aside i want to share what dueling has to offer.

    As you have already said it's a new whole experience. You have the luxury to ''weigh'' your opponent before and prepare. Ofcourse practise always makes perfect.If at first you fail try again. Find what you are doing wrong and fix it. Find your opponent's weakness and take advantage of it. Try new specs and tactics until you find a reliable way to beat him persistently. Practise how to kite or avoid being kited. Takes a lot of effort and thats what makes it fun when you finally get the satisfaction of beating an opponent that has a class that was meant to kill you (i.e a sorc beating a WH).

    Another very interesting aspect is learning about the abilities of the enemy classes and evolving into a higher level of gameplay. Which also makes you a lot better in RvR. Let me give you an example: As a sorc i spec for ''Tapping the Dark'', an ability which makes a shield proc when you do damage. When fighting KotBSs i found myself getting shred to pieces when they were up close, while with other tanks i didn't have that problem. I could stand still and absorb the damage from them especially from S&B tanks. It was only then that i discovered that KotBS were dispelling my buffs that make the shield proc! And ofcourse now i take care to always check my buffs and rebuff in RvR/duels if they do that. I would never notice if it wasn't for duels. Same thing applies to other classes as well.

    Dueling is both fun and educating.


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.