Taking Battleground PvP Lessons From Team Fortress 2

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Not pictured: Spy. OR IS HE??

While taking a brief break from World of Warcraft, I played quite a bit of Team Fortress 2. It’s always an entertaining break from the same old games - I like the concept of a class-based shooter, but I’m not into the gritty realness of a Battlefield or Modern Warfare, so TF2 it is. I also did a little bit of PvP on my warlock, and it occurred to me that there’s a lot of similarities between a class-based team FPS game and WoW battleground PvP.

Seriously, hear me out.

Lesson #1: Everyone has their own job

In TF2, I typically play the Heavy. Big, high-health, slow, and wields a friggin’ mini-gun. For a change of pace, I occasionally switch to the Scout - moves faster than anyone, has a variety of dirty tricks to stun people while on the move and harassing them with a multitude of small hits (sound familiar?) - or the Medic - his gun shoots medicine, don’t ask.

Heavies specialize in dealing massive damage; Medics specialize in healing; Scouts specializing in being really fast and capturing points. Everyone can do these things, but generally classes are good at certain things.

In WoW, you might be a rogue, sneaky with your stunlocks and the ability to make everyone in a 20-mile radius hate your guts for simply being in the same battleground. You might be a prot warrior, wading into combat and shrugging off damage like water off a murloc’s slimy fins. Me? I’m a death knight, and I’m going to go straight for the squishiest-looking caster, interrupt him eight ways from Sunday, and hopefully pummel him into the ground with this big ol’ axe. (I am Heavy Weapons Guy, and this… is my weapon.)

The first thing to accept about PvP is that everyone is good at something, but not everyone is good at everything. Not every class is fantastic at running flags, holding towers, or fighting in the middle of the road (though everyone always seems to be practicing that one). One of the keys to success is finding what you’re good at and doing it well, then learning to get passable at the things you’re not. I, for one, try to never get into a one-on-one fight with an arms warrior - on top of reducing my self-healing, they also deal massive damage with Bladestorms and Sweeping Strikes, and generally just turn me into a messy pulp. Give me a warlock, I’ll fight him instead.

Lesson #2: Stand on the dang point, mister

A Heavy on his own is easy pickings for a Sniper. They have extremely fat heads and they move very slowly, especially when firing. This is especially true for a Heavy away from his team, especially the loving embrace of a Medic’s Medigun, and when I can get ubercharged? That invincible 8 seconds is the pinnacle of damage-causing teamwork, and can usually clear a capture point or stop a team from moving their payload towards our base - at least for a little bit.

In WoW, especially in maps like WSG - where two people are usually the focal point of everyone’s attention at any time - or AV - where you might not see anyone for minutes at a time, depending on how spread out the fights are - it’s tempting to just go do your own thing. However, one thing you can’t forget is that you are there to do a job, whether it’s capturing flags or capturing towers, and if you’re not helping accomplish one of those goals, you’re not helping your team win. Furthermore, you’re away from teammates who are there to do their job, and who would help you, if you weren’t fighting in the middle of the road. Strength in numbers.

Who cares if you’re not capping the flag? You can still go slow down the people who are. Pester them with ranged attacks, stun them, slow them, do whatever you can to attain team glory. That’s really what it’s all about: teamwork. Not personal glory. Things like massive numbers of honorable kills will come in time!

Lesson #3: You’re going to die a lot - learn something from it

It’s just a matter of life: you’re going to die. A lot. This one’s universal across TF2 or WoW or nearly any multiplayer game, in fact - especially when you’re new, but even at all levels of skill, you will die a lot, and people will probably call you a n00b. Stop and think, though: do you really care about earning the respect of the kind of person who feels the need to belittle new or unskilled players? Help them learn. Don’t be that guy yelling across battleground chat about how much your team sucks. As Dusk said:

Less Talk More Fight

Enough is enough. BG chat is for calling incoming, not telling some guy from Suramar he’s a scrub because he didn’t heal you exactly when you wanted to be healed.

It’s far too easy to trash talk your own team when there’s almost no chance you’ll ever see them again (1.12 damn near ruined bgs), but god, enough.
It’s a video game, calm down and look at what you’re typing. What are you getting so upset over? It’s a video game.
It’s not worth it, whatever it is, whatever he said, whatever he did, who cares?
Do you care?
Stop for a moment here, please, take a very deep breath and ask yourself ”why do i care?

When you engage in a fruitless, useless and ultimately retarded flame war over something you will not remember in one hour, you are:
Distracting your entire team
Obscuring vital information, like where the hell the flag is or how many people are coming to the LM
*Removing yourself, your flame war opponent, and anyone who responds on any point, from your side. When you are typing, you are doing nothing useful.

Nobody is ever impressed with tough talk on the internet.
Speaking of which:

First complains, least skilled. No exceptions.

The first person to say “you guys all suck” when you are losing is the worst player on your team.
No exceptions.

So with that out of the way, the only thing to get over is dying. If you’re coming from PvE (in WoW) or a game where you’re used to thrashing the AI (say, going from Half-Life 2 to TF2), you’re going to die. A lot. But take heart! In both games, basically all it costs you is a respawn timer. No repair bill, no corpse run. The important thing is to learn from your death. During the 30 seconds you’re down waiting on the Spirit Healer to rez you, think to yourself: what did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Sometimes there’s nothing you could do - you simply get rolled over by an entire team from the other side because everyone else is fighting in the road.

Sometimes, though, there’s a lesson there. Maybe you need to put your Frost Nova in a more easily reachable position so you can quickly Blink away from a frozen opponent and rain arcane death down upon them. Maybe you need to pace out your Strangulates and not use them on less-useful spells. Maybe you need to not use your trinket on the first stun the rogue puts down, because he’s just going to apply another. Things like that!

You’re going to die a lot. Learn from it. Don’t let it get you down.**

(EDIT) Lesson #4, courtesy of nagrarok

@stoppableforce On a related note: http://bit.ly/cBLRsQless than a minute ago via TweetDeckChris V.


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