Jump to content
FORUMS
Sign in to follow this  
Starym

Opening Moves 3, 4: Cooldowns and Flexibility

Recommended Posts

WtI1wc2.png
 

The opening moves series continues, in WoW as it does in HotS, and we have two new entries dealing with cooldowns and the trading thereof in the third installment, and the importance of flexibility in the fourth. Following the advice of these arena pros will definitely up your game, so make sure to read the entire series when you get a chance.

Blizzard LogoOpening moves #3 (source)

This is the third article our Opening Moves series, where we talk to World of Warcraft esports pros about the metagame and strategy behind the beginning of every match. Read part two here.

Once the gates have opened and the target’s been called, the fighting begins! Swords clash, spells fly, the competing teams test each others’ mettle, as well as their own. But this initial skirmish isn’t just about trading blows—it’s about trading cooldowns.

Each player has a variety of defensive and offensive ability cooldowns, determined by their class, specialization, and talent choices. Offensive cooldowns can increase a player’s burst-damage output, while defensive cooldowns save lives by greatly reducing damage taken, allowing players to stay in the fight. These cooldowns are only available every one to two minutes, however, so timing is key.

It’s important to think about cooldowns collectively: what’s available to your team, and what’s available to your opponents? As your team gains more experience, you’ll begin to realize what you’re capable of in terms of dealing and taking damage, and how to best rotate your cooldowns.

Why Cooldown Management Matters

To learn why cooldown management is so important, we asked Jason “Pika” Smith, one of the most infamous Rogue players in the World of Warcraft Arena scene, to describe his worst-case scenarios for a match opening.

“If you try to all-in someone by popping all your offensive cooldowns, and you don’t even draw out a defensive cooldown, the other team will have the upper hand,” said Jason “Pika” Smith. “Inversely, if another team opens up on you and forces all your team’s defensive cooldowns, you’re pretty much guaranteed to die.”

In both of these scenarios, the “cooldown equation” between the competing teams becomes quickly imbalanced. “A common mistake that teams make is panicking and overlapping cooldowns unnecessarily, which puts them behind for the rest of the match”, Pika added. Be sure to communicate with your team to avoid using two cooldowns where one would have sufficed!

One of your most useful tools in making the right decision in these cases is game knowledge. The better you understand your opponents’ cooldowns, the more efficiently your team can theirs. “Many cooldowns and abilities have very schematic responses,” Alex “Alec” Sheldrick observed. “For example, if a Mage casts Icy Veins, a Death Knight should trade their Anti-Magic Zone to protect their team because those two abilities have similar cooldown lengths.”

openmovesantimag.png

openmovesicy.png

Keep Them Guessing

However, not every decision you make should be automatic, Alec says. “I try to make my opponents less comfortable by playing in ways they might not expect. For example, many Mages use Invisibility for a stronger opening; however, I use it as a defensive ability so that my team can play to win by attrition—not by brute force.”

“Most people use their abilities in the same way, but I encourage you to ‘break the meta’ and experiment. Grow your own comfort zone, and focus on putting your enemies out of theirs.” – Alec

Though complex, cooldown management isn’t quite calculus, so keep practicing, keep experimenting, and stay tuned for the next entry into our Opening Moves series, where we’ll discuss reacting to the moment with professional World of Warcraft Arena players to help level up your play.

 

Blizzard LogoOpening Moves #4 (source)

his is the fourth article our Opening Moves series, where we talk to World of Warcraft esports pros about the meta-game and strategy behind the beginning of every match. Read part three here.

Even with a clever strategy, pristine positioning, and efficient cooldown usage, you may still find yourself on the back foot after the initial clash of your Arena match. But nothing ever truly goes according to plan, especially when you have three opponents trying to disrupt your movements and force you to make mistakes. Alex “Alec” Sheldrick, team captain of the World of Warcraft Arena World Champion team ABC, believes the key to recovering from an iffy start is flexibility.

“If you play one playstyle, and you open the same way every match, you may be caught off guard when someone changes things up”, said Alec. “You need to be able to recognize circumstances and react appropriately. Those skills will come with experience and practice.”

Tempo Storm’s Jason “Pika” Smith agrees.

“If you’re going into Arena with one strategy, and it isn’t working well, you need to look for other ways to win”, said Pika. “Maybe instead of training the healer all game, you try to CC them and swap targets. Be unpredictable and keep your opponents guessing.”

The kill target that your team decided on before the game started might not be dropping. Maybe you’re not even able to get a defensive cooldown out of them. It could be time to consider a target swap.

“Target swapping can totally change the game”, Pika continued. “Your main goal is usually to set up on the same target over and over again, but sometimes you can catch someone out of position and draw out a defensive cooldown.” Creating that kind of quick, unexpected pressure can turn the tides in your favor and open up new kill opportunities that didn’t exist previously.

So what are some considerations for choosing a new target on the fly?

“Try to deduce what talents your opponents are using when making your decisions,
 suggests Alec. “For example, during our [ABC] elimination match at BlizzCon, the enemy team had a Feral Druid that wasn’t our main target—most Feral Druids take the defensive Guardian Affinity talent. However, he eventually cast Solar Flare, which is only available with Balance Affinity, so we swapped to him because we knew he’d be squishier.”

“If you’re going up against a Resto Shaman, pay attention to who they cast Earth Shield on”, says Method Synergy’s Ryan “Trill” Costello. “There’s a six-second cooldown on Earth Shield, so if you can draw it out on one target then swap to another, you’ll have a short window of opportunity to do some unmitigated damage.”

“One of the most commonly picked healing talents is Vim and Vigor, which buffs output by 20% as long as the healer is above 80% health”, Alec points out. “If you can keep the healer below that health threshold, they’ll have a harder time keeping their team up.”

There are plenty of signals to look out for as your Arena matches unfold, and as you continue to gain experience against different compositions, be sure to remember what worked well—and do more of it. The more options you have to respond to pressure, and the more you’re able to correctly identify opportunities to mix things up, the more success you’ll find in the Arena.

“The more information you have, the better your decision making will be.” – Alec

The match isn’t over ‘til it’s over, so stay on your toes, keep fighting, and remain vigilant for the final entry into our Opening Moves series, where we’ll discuss the importance of learning from mistakes with professional World of Warcraft Arena players in an effort to help level up your play.

Previous installments:

#1 - Before the Gates Open
#2 - Preparing the Front

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opening move is to not queue for PVP in WoW and play a game that's designed around PVP instead.

 

Works really, really well. I advise everyone to do it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Starym
      Update 2: It's 6 down and 6 to go as Complexity Limit take a significant lead, 2 bosses ahead of everyone else.
      Update: We have 3 bosses down already, with Complexity Limit and Midwinter fighting it out for the top spot, and I forgot to link to Method's live site coverage where you can follow the race without checking the streams.
      Mythic Ny'alotha has arrived and the race starts today (for US and OC guilds at least), with two streaming events to watch! We'll also be doing our usual daily coverage in the form of summaries every morning (and more if something unusual happens) and this is the place for all those articles!
      The race should be a damn good one this time around, if the Eternal Palace is anything to go by, as Method and Limit were very close at the end there. As the final raid of the expansion, this one holds a bit more prestige then others, and with Method having taken 3 of the major races and only lost the smaller, Crucible one, the pressure will be even higher for them to maintain their throne.
      You can check out the streaming events which are already live right here (Limit not going for a slightly different name for their event is an interesting choice):
      Method's Race to World First Ny'alotha stream Complexity-Limit's Ny'alotha Race to World First stream The US/OC servers are scheduled to come up at 7 PM CET, under 3 hours from now, but might come up sooner as well. Meanwhile, you can check out all our previous coverage of the race, including the recent N'Zoth double-loot drama (which still hasn't been resolved) and the WF Heroic kill on him.

      World First race related articles
      N'Zoth Loot Drama - Re-kills Possible on Same Reset
      World First N'Zoth Heroic Kill Video by Imperative
      Complexity-Limit to Host Their Own Ny'alotha Race Event
      Method's Race to World First: Ny'alotha Announced
      The Raid History World First Timeline
      The Eternal Palace Mythic Race Summaries Hub
      Method Down Queen Azshara Mythic World First + Video, Raid Comp
      Mythic Jaina World First by Method!
      Ragnaros Classic Down World First by APES
      Method and the Future of the World First Race Coverage
      Red Bull Announce Their Own Eternal Palace Race Event
      Method to Livestream Uldir Mythic Progress for First Time in History
      This is the place to check for all our Ny'alotha race coverage.
    • By Stan
      This week's maintenance marks the beginning of the World First Race with Ny'alotha opening on Mythic difficulty. Players of item level 410 or higher can queue for the first wing called Visions of Destiny and defeat Wrathion, Maut, and Prophet Skitra for item level 430 loot.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Delve into where nightmares dwell in Ny’alotha, the Waking City, set in the Void-shrouded heart of the ancient Black Empire. Confront mad heralds and inscrutable horrors, and ultimately go eye-to-eyes with N’Zoth himself in a fateful battle for Azeroth’s survival.
      Ny’alotha, the sleeping city has awakened. For the first time in millennia, N’Zoth sits on his throne within the Black Empire. His armies flood from their dark halls, once again wreaking havoc on Azeroth. As the world shudders from these invasions, a desperate plan is hatched. Champions of the Horde and Alliance are gathered to face this ancient enemy within his own realm for one final confrontation that will decide the fate of the universe.
      Raid Bosses: 12
      Difficulties: Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic, Mythic
      Level: 120
      Raid Finder Minimum Level: 410
      Raid Unlock Schedule:
      January 21 – Normal and Heroic Difficulties
      January 28 – Mythic Ny’alotha and Raid Finder Wing 1 (Vision of Destiny: Wrathion, the Black Emperor, Maut, The Prophet Skitra)
      February 11 – Raid Finder Wing 2 (Halls of Devotion: Dark Inquisitor Xanesh, Vexiona, The Hivemind, Ra-den the Despoiled)
      February 25 – Raid Finder Wing 3 (Gift of Flesh: Shad’har the Insatiable, Drest’agath, Il’gynoth, Corruption Reborn)
      March 10 – Raid Finder Wing 4 (The Waking Dream: Carapace of N’Zoth, N’Zoth the Corruptor)
      VISION OF DESTINY
      Wrathion, the Black Emperor
      Despite all his precautions, Wrathion could not avoid succumbing to the madness that claimed his father. With his mind twisted by N’Zoth, he believes that the only way he can truly defend Azeroth is to rule it in the Old God’s name. A prince no longer, Wrathion now takes his rightful place as the Black Emperor.
      Maut
      As the ancient aqir arose from the desert sands, their prophets set about the construction of an obsidian destroyer imbued with the essence of the Old Gods. Driven by an insatiable thirst for magic, Maut consumed the mana of its creators once it awoke and left their corpses to rot under the scorching sun of Uldum.
      The Prophet Skitra
      A master of illusion, Skitra delights in terrorizing his victims as he breaks their perception of reality. Those who fail to see through his deceptions become lost in Ny’alotha for eternity.
    • By Stan
      Weekly Chests this week contain Corrupted Items and the loot found in the end-of-dungeon chests scales up to item level 465 at Mythic 15 and Gladiator. Check out the overview for more details!
      Grand Challenger's Bounty Loot (Weekly PvE Cache)
      The item level of gear rewarded by the weekly Grand Challenger's Bounty is based on the level of the best keystone dungeon you completed the week before as shown in this chart:
      Best Keystone Season 4 In Dungeon Season 4 in Weekly Chest Mythic 2 435 440 Mythic 3 435 445 Mythic 4 440 450 Mythic 5 445 450 Mythic 6 445 455 Mythic 7 450 460 Mythic 8 455 460 Mythic 9 455 460 Mythic 10 455 465 Mythic 11 460 465 Mythic 12 460 470 Mythic 13 460 470 Mythic 14 465 470 Mythic 15 465 475 Weekly PvP Cache
      The item level of the reward in the weekly chest is based on the highest tier for the format in which you won at least one game last week.
      For example, if you won a 3v3 Arena at the Duelist tier, you will receive an item at Duelist tier in your cache; however, if you were rated as a Duelist in 3v3 with no games that week and rated as a Combatant in 2v2 with at least one game played, you would receive the Combatant level item.
      If you didn't play any ranked games last week, your reward will be for the unranked item level.
      Tier Rating Season 4 Cache Azerite ilvl Season 4 Cache ilvl Unranked 0-1399 445 445 Combatant 1400-1599 460 455 Challenger 1600-1799 460 460 Rival 1800-2099 475 465 Duelist 2100-2399 475 470 Elite 2400+ 475 475
    • By Starym
      We have another huge batch of 8.3 hotfixes before the weekly reset, with big changes to Corrupted items and the raid being the main focus. We also get a buff for lesser vision rewards, huge nerfs for Twilight Devastation and Echoing Void in PvP and a lot more. No word on the double-kill on the same reset and missing achievements for N'Zoth we talked about earlier today unfortunately.

      There's also a minor fix for Classic as quest credit for the Elune's Blessing quest should work better now.
      January 27 (source)
      Achievements
      Fixed a bug that prevented eligible players from receiving credit for It's Not A Cult if a raid member died during the N’Zoth the Corruptor encounter on Normal or Heroic difficulties. Creatures and NPCs
      Credit for rare creatures in the Vale of Eternal Twilight and Vision of the Twisting Sands is now shared. The Spirit Drinker creatures should no longer get stuck in an immune state. Dungeons and Raids
      Ny'alotha, the Waking City Corrected an issue that prevented Protection Paladins’ Blessed Hammer (Talent) from dealing damage to Wrathion, Drest'agath, and Il’gynoth. Wrathion Fixed a bug that prevented players from looting Wrathion if he was defeated while transitioning. Maut The amount of mana gained by Maut through Dark Offering has been increased on Normal difficulty. Mana gained by Maut through Devour Manifestation has been increased on Normal difficulty. N’Zoth the Corruptor Harvest Thoughts no longer counts player pets and guardians when dividing the damage and Sanity loss effect. Slightly expanded the distance at which melee characters can attack Exposed Synapses on Normal and Heroic difficulties. Horrific Visions
      Fixed an issue where Madness: Split Personality and Madness: Dark Delusions removed players from stealth. Lesser Visions
      Starting with this week’s resets, the first Lesser Vision daily quest of the week now gives 3000 Coalescing Visions (was 2000 Coalescing Visions). Items and Rewards
      Corrupted Gladiator's Spite ’s on-use ability cooldown has been reduced to 60 seconds (was 90 seconds). Humming Black Dragonscale ’s levitation effect no longer triggers if the player is affected by a Neural Silencer or Magical Intrusion Dampener . Writhing Segment of Drest'agath 's damage has been increased by 20%. Corrupted Items Echoing Void (Corrupted Effect) can now only trigger from abilities that are on the global cooldown. Echoing Void can now be removed by abilities that dispel Magic effects. Twisted Appendage ’s (Corrupted Effect) health has been reduced to 1% of the player’s maximum health (was 20%). The ground spell effect indicating Eye of Corruption 's (Corrupted Effect) radius of effect is now easier to see on sloped terrain. Lingering Psychic Shell Now applies an absorb shield that prevents 80% of incoming damage, up to the amount of damage indicated on the item. While inside Ny'alotha, the Waking City instance, the wearer’s Corruption Resistance increases the total amount of damage absorbed by up to 50%. Developers’ note: Due to several issues with this trinket, we have changed its functionality to be more intuitive. The tooltip will be updated in a future patch to more accurately reflect the trinket's functionality. Twisted Appendages (Corrupted Effect) can no longer be struck by area-of-effect attacks such as Mages’ Arcane Explosion. Killing Twisted Appendages no longer grant on-kill bonuses from Talents and abilities (e.g. Warriors’ Victory Rush ). Fixed a bug which prevented Ineffable Truth (Corruption Effect) from triggering on some melee and ranged abilities. Heart of Azeroth Corrected an issue where The Crucible of Flame (Essence) sometimes incorrectly healed Wrathion during his encounter in the Nyalotha, the Waking City raid. Player versus Player
      Twilight Devastation (Corruption Effect) has a 12-second cooldown when engaged in combat with enemy players. Twilight Devastation now deals 50% reduced damage when engaged in combat with enemy players. Echoing Void (Corruption Effect) now deals 50% reduced damage when engaged in combat with enemy players. Professions
      Players should be able to discover Cataclysm Engineering recipes again from crafting recipes on that list. Quests
      Players are now able to perform the Nordrassil ritual during “Lunar Preservation ” without breaking any rituals afterward. WoW Classic
      Quest credit for Elune's Blessing should now be granted more consistently.
      Previous hotfixes:
      January 24th January 23rd January 22nd January 21st January 17th
    • By Starym
      We have a quick official reminder of what's changing with this week's reset, from the Mythic and LFR  raid additions to Mythic+, Corrupted item drop and item level changes. You can also check out the Season 4 survival guide and Conquest schedule here.
      Season 4 Weekly Reset (source)
      Here’s a reminder that tomorrow morning, we’re going to see some significant changes:
      Ny’alotha will open for Mythic difficulty and the first wing of Raid Finder difficulty. Mythic Keystone dungeons at +7 or higher, as well as PvP Rank 2 or higher, will now award end-of-run items that scale up to item level 465 (at Mythic +15 and Gladiator, respectively). Weekly chests for Mythic Keystone and PvP activities now contain Season 4 items, which are always Corrupted (if the item is eligible – trinkets cannot be Corrupted). Weekly chest rewards now scale up to item level 475, and do not Warforge/Titanforge.
×
×
  • Create New...