At some point during your WoW career, you might be hanging out on Stormwind or something, just checking the auction house. You might be looking for a couple heavy leather for a new Quiver, or maybe looking for a new sword. And then you notice its Arathi Basin holiday weekend…. and you think… let’s give it a go… We’ve all been there. Even when leveling up an alt, its hard to resist the pull to give PvP a try.
So the question is… how do you, some random dude leveling up, compete with all the twinks that swarm the battlegrounds at the lower levels?
Well, the quick answer is… you don’t. You can’t. You’ll never be “on par” with them. They will have the BEST gear, the BEST enchants, and you won’t.
But you can become competitive with them. It will take some effort, as you will most likely need to swap out some gear sets, maybe even respec. But it can be done.
The most important thing to remember about battleground, and PvP in general, is stamina. You need your healthbar to be as high as you can get it. There really is no stat in PvP that is more important than Stamina. Everything else is secondary after the hit point pool. For example, let’s say you want to try out some battlegrounds at level 39. Before you even bother signing up, check out your gear. Look at how much stamina there is. From head to toe, ALL, or as close to all as you can get, should have + Stamina present. Your gear doesn’t have to be pure + stamina, but you definitely should be getting something that has a significant amount of it.
Let’s make up a hunter. Everyone say hi to Giggles the Orc Hunter! (Hi Giggles)
For our hunter here, if he heads into a battleground with 5 greens that are + X Agility, and + Y Stamina, he’s doing great.
An excellent indicator is to do a battleground, and check out some of the twinks around you. You should be easily able to get half of their hitpoints, and about 75% of them will be a comfortable spot to be. For example, our hunter sees a rogue with 3.5k hp. He should then consider 1750 hp to be a minimum, and about 2600 hp to be a comfortable amount for this bracket.
Another important thing is to have all of your gear at least in the bracket you’re Pvp’ing in, and preferably in the latter half of the bracket. For our 39 hunter here, he should not be wearing a single piece of gear that is under level 35. If he has some really nice blues that are about levels 28-34, thats ok, but there shouldn’t be a lot of them.
I know a lot of people gt indignant over this. Like, you’ll see a level 42 in Warsong Gulch, and everyone will be somewhere along the lines of “GTFO” and “Get off the team, you’re making us lose”. Y’see, in these competitive battlegrounds, having a “lowbie” trying to PvP just really is ruinous to your side. It doesn’t matter how good of a player you are, if you’re a level 40, you will NOT be able to compete against the geared out level 49’s. It just will not happen. You will do nothing except waste space, and drag your team down.
No. Stop. Listen. You are a low level. You do not have the abilities, the talents, the gear to compete with people who are on the flip side of the bracket. If you are level 41, you WILL NOT be able to compete against a 48, or a 49. You just won’t. End of story.
You should only go and do battlegrounds when you are in the last half of the bracket. Essentially, levels x6-x9 is when you won’t be a hindrance to your side.
For our random hunter here, he should be a minimum of level 36 before even considering going into a battleground. Level 37 is better, 38 even better, 39 the best. Its similar to battlegrounds at 70, where if you have a member of your team with practically no resilience, andunder 7k hp. They are without mincing words, worse than useless. They will be unable to contribute to your team efforts in any meaningful way, and even worse, they are taking up a slot that somebody with good gear could be. Again, shut it. It doesn’t matter how much skill you have, if your gear is terrible, you will be sorely limited by that. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been playing a mage for 17 years, have five hundred thousand honorable kills, if your gear is so poor that a 3 year old playing a rogue can kill you almost instantly.
Take this to heart. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT waste everyones time by trying to enter in a battleground if you are not at least level 36, in our little hunters case. And if you are level 36, make sure at least two thirds of your gear is in the 30 bracket. Level 38 and 39 are the best spots to participate in PvP, as you will have all of your best talents/abilities trained up for the bracket, and have the best… err, good gear for the bracket. You can’t wear a level 38 chest of ridiculously high stamina at level 34, now, can you?
Do your duty. If you want to win, level up. Giggles should seriously consider not even setting foot into a battleground until he is level 38. You don’t really need to be 39, you don’t get any new abilities. You do, however, get an extra talent point, and the possibility of some slightly better gear.
Early on, spec matters a lot. For example, as an enhancement shaman, you really won’t be much of anything until you have Dual Weild, which you need to be level 40 to get. Trying to PvP any earlier than level 40 as an enhancement shaman would see you… well, basically gimped.
This isn’t really something I can help you out too much with. Whatever spec it is you want to use for PvP, you have to learn for yourself when it wil become viable in PvP. For example, there are no good mage specs for 19 PvP, 29, 39, and 49 are all dominated by fire centered specs, and from level 50 onward, anything goes.
Its quite similar for many classes. Hunters, for example, 19, 29, and 39 are all dominated by marksman specs. Sure, you can spec elsewhere, but for these levels the best talents are in marksman. Past 40, both survivalist and beast master hunters come into their own.
Some classes, like Warriors, don’t even come into their own, regardless of spec, until they are of somewhat higher level. For warriors, if you’re trying to PvP AT ALL before you have Intercept, you are at a disadvantage.
Now, you don’t need to optimize your spec for PvP if you want to do some battlegrounds. Your random leveling spec will do just fine, the only problem is it won’t be good. It will be fine. You won’t be optimized. But you’ll do fine.
You can mess around with your spec if you like, but you don’t really have to, as long as your in a bracket where your spec can work. Like, if your trying to play an elemental shaman at level 29, you are going to fail. Repeatedly. And miserably. At 29, really the only spec thats even halfway viable would be if you went as a Restoration Shaman. Neither of the other two specs have come into their own yet.
As a general rule, anything that resist spell pushback, stuns, things of that nature, are excellent. Anything that causes stuns or otherwise hampers your opponents mobility, is excellent. Consider this example:
Here we have your average fire leveling spec at level 39. This spec is for leveling, opening with Pyroblast, then chain fireballing until dead. Frost Nova as necessary. Rince and repeat, next.
Here we have your average fire PvP spec at level 39. It has some similarities, and some major differences. For one, a fire mage at 39 will very rarely use fireball. The fast paced environment of PvP means that the mage will be using spells like Scorch and Fireball a lot, by simple fact that he needs to be fast. Fireball is not fast. Not at all.
You see the difference there? The first spec can work in PvP, for sure, it just won’t be as good as the second one is. The second one can function just fine in PvE, but it won’t be as good as the first one. At these lower levels, spec is not quite as important as it is at 70. At 70, you can easily number crunch for days at a time about 3 or 4 talent points, but at lower level battleground levels, even if you designed your spec by throwing darts at your brother, it’ll still work fine.
Now the true question… is it worth it to bother PvP’ing while leveling up?
I say yes, most definitely yes. The whole point of leveling up, and the gradual introduction of abilities, is so you learn how to use them in the game. You should definitely give PvP a try, for the sole sake of seeing how the abilities work in a competitive, player versus player environment. If you plan on giving PvP a try at maximum level, you should definitely have the experience from these early levels ready to go. As well, if you randomly do battlegrounds at these earlier levels, you can start collecting honor long before you need to spend the pointson various pieces of gear.
You see all these people at 70, with literally no good PvP gear. And you know, if they had PvP’d at all before, they should have had enough honor for at least three or four pieces. I mean, I was able to buy all the PvP gear that was avaliable at every single bracket all the way up from level 29. (I didn’t do 19, 19 sucked). There really is no reason you can’t spend a week or so at the X9 level, do some battlegrounds, collect a few thousand honor, then move on.
You don’t want to be one of those scrubs at 70, doing EotS for the first time, and wondering how the hell that warrior just ran at you really fast, and then killed you instantly with this “Mortal Strike” thing, do you? I thought so. So do it right. Learn your class, get some honor, and then when you actually hit 70, you will have some very nice gear ready to go, and some excellent experience with your class to boot.
And most importantly, you won’t suck.