May 302011
 

::Warning Big Post, But Loads of Fun!::

Feral PVP is something I know nothing about; however, running around in end game raiding gear and 2 shotting alliance in this world of ours is something I’ve grown very found of. When I decided I wanted to look into getting better at the PVP side of this spec of ours I knew I had to find the someone who knew what it meant to be on top of the feral PVP world. Miirkat has become the face of feral PVP as a seven-time gladiator of the feral spec no one is more knowledgeable of beating the odds as arena has become a game riddled with flavor of the month classes and huge imbalances.

Miirkat works as a contributor of Skill-Capped.com where he frequently writes articles and releases videos with commentary discussing strategies, tips, and tricks for both novice and advanced Feral gameplay. Skill Capped also provides a method to directly ask Miirkat any questions through private messages or on their forums, as well as positive discussions with other members of the site. Skill Capped is a great resource for starting Ferals to plunge into PVP with the necessary information and tools to succeed. Miirkat also maintains a Youtube channel where he showcases entertaining and high rated PVP matches, however, if you’re looking for the in depth strategies and commentary, check out his videos on Skill-Capped.com. With the introducions done lets get into what Mirrkat and myself had to talk about.

 

  • Q: So pretending the fluid druid readers are complete novice for arena battles we both know how easy the bloodthirsty gear is to obtain now. When getting ready to start a new season of Arena how much resilience do you try to have between your gems and gear and if you could take a moment to walk us through while you feel it’s the best number?
  • Miirkat: Of course, the more gear you get, the higher Resilience you get. Resilience is an extremely powerful stat, especially as you obtain more of it. While I can give you a good number of Resilience to work with, there is a much better way to think about it so that you can be educated and make an opinion for yourself. The aim for Resilience is for a defensive stat that will help you live. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Am I dying? Do I feel squishy? Is my healer having a lot of stress keeping me up?” If you answer yes to any of these, then you probably need more Resilience.
  • Now, dipping down in health isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s normal. Healers are often controlled or locked out causing you to take a few seconds of damage with no healing. This will make your health drop. But, you want to be at a point where you won’t die while your healer can’t get you, as well as being able to get you back up once he does.
  • Once you get to a point where you can survive, you start considering your offensive pressure. “Maybe I need more Agility or Mastery?” This is where you start getting a feel of where your Resilience needs to be at and gem and reforge accordingly.

For anyone who has ever been forced to go bear for their guild I believe that feral PVP runs the same way as the infamous Agi vs Stam debates. If damage is too high then you prolly need more Resilience. As you get comfortable with the damage you have coming into you; you can now move with more Agi in order to have more outgoing damage.

 

  • Q: Well now that your gear is ready for the match up, what do you suggest in terms of first timers? Is it better to hope straight into a 3v3 match or should people get more comfortable to the pace of 2v2 before entering into 3’s. With that in mind currently what classes mesh well for ferals in 2s and 3s and from your experience why do we play so well with those classes in particular?
  • Miirkat: Experience is experience. Don’t worry about getting your feet wet and just dive in. Try everything from dueling, world PVP, different brackets of arena, and battlegrounds as well as rated battlegrounds. The idea is to just get comfortable with playing your class, but really experience for yourself the flow the PVP. Each form of PVP is different, and that’s something you’re going to notice the more you play, and force different play styles and thinking.
  • With that being said, you’re going to make mistakes, and tons of them. I constantly make mistakes even at my level. The big issue I see with less experienced players (not just Ferals) is that they lock up because they’re too afraid to make the wrong move. None of us were born with amazing PVP skill. You have to go out and make those mistakes, fall down, but get back up and learn from those mistakes. These mistakes will strengthen when you do make the right decision and build confidence with how you play.
  • Some of the strangest things happen when you make mistakes or do things you don’t actually intend on doing. You may find different ways in improving your rotation, or even ways on pressuring or juking your opponents. This is where experimentation also comes in.
  • As for meshing with other classes, I believe Ferals had a lot of justice done to them in Cataclysm to allow them be a lot more universal. In fact, I think that many comps can and do work, even if they aren’t a tier 1 Feral comp. I don’t think this is something lower Ferals should concern yourself with. Just find partners who are willing to play, and understand that you are all learning. The best partners are those who can remain chill while losing, but also work with everyone on the team to improve! These are the kinds of people you want to mesh with, not the class they play.

Just like walking into a new raid you really can’t be scared to wipe (a lot) I myself have never been above 1800 in arena but that hasn’t stopped myself from playing well over 300 games. I myself have ran with many different classes and it is very rewarding to get a feel on how these classes work as far as their CDs and abilities. Things you never really learn in a raid setting but are much more aware of in PVP.

  • Q: Alright so I just walked into an arena game what classes would one want to hop on first if any and what makes those classes such good targets for us?
  • Miirkat: With arena it’s important to keep in mind it’s not just you, but a team effort. While a particular class may be squishy for you in a duel, that may not be the best class to have as your target in arena. You have to take into consideration the ability of your other partners and if they can also do well against that target, offensively or defensively. Sometimes the best target for you will be the worst class damage wise, just because you have the ability to protect your team mates when you are on that target. It really comes down to whats the best for your team against that other team.

Like I said from my personal experience you really do get an appreciation for other classes and their abilities in PVP, Using that knowledge in your matches as Miirkat has pointed at becomes vital to landing those kills.

  • Q: So lets hear some stories Miir I’m sure your full of them, what’s been the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in an arena match that really just left you rolling on the floor?
  • Miirkat: The first day my Warrior, Tenk, got his Shadowmourne in S8 we played a game to try it out. Kitty Cleave back then was easily countered by many teams at the time, specifically Wizard Cleaves. Low and behold, the very first game we get were against Bobsauce and Chaimer – Rank 1 LSD players.
  • I just remember struggling against that team because they typically go on me. I manage to get back in line of sight with our healer, and I say to Tenk “Hey you’re out there alone!” His response is “Don’t worry, I got this!!!”, instantly gets swapped to, and feels the angry wrath of wizards release all over his face and body.
  • “Hahaha, I just had to do it!”
  • While I was really upset, I was laughing because I’d probably do the exact same thing.
  • There is one more I’d like to share that’s more recent.
  • We’re playing Kitty Cleave and I end up getting caught in a bad spot and blew up against a team that we were farming, and lose a lot of points. Holepunch, our healer, starts going off on me about how I need to be smarter and that I don’t need to overextend. All I need to do is stay alive because pretty much Tenk can easily get a kill by himself when they are training me.
  • The conversation is really uneasy and we’re all frustrated from the loss. I suggest then that if I just need to survive that I just pop all my Resilience gear. Holepunch retorts that “No! You don’t need to do that, it’s not like you’re taking unbearable damage!”
  • “But I am taking unBEARable damage… they’re killing me in Cat Form!”
  • A few seconds of silence, and Holepunch just goes “Oh my God…” and we all end up all laughing. Being able to break the ice and continue playing without any frustration is what I love about playing with these guys :3

Haha, it’s important to remember how frustrating losing matches can be. It happens to everyone no matter what rating you are and just like Miirkat being able to brush off a lose with some hummer can be the difference between a losing streak and a simple loss.

  • Q: Everyone who reads this site knows how neglected ferals can be in terms of balancing through different patches. Have you ever hit the moment were you thought you should just put your druid on the shelf and roll a more flavor of the month class? What made you decide to just stick it out on Miirkat and prove season safter season you don’t need to be FotM to do awesome in arenas.
  • Miirkat: That time was actually once they announced the removal of shapeshifting breaking roots, and seeing Resto and Balance Druids retain the ability, but my issues started way further back. In vanilla, we were considered a hybrid “Jack of all Trades” class that was good on supporting others. This mentality went on through Burning Crusade. However, once Wrath of the Lich King came out, Blizzard shifted their class design for Ferals to be a competitive class in PVE (in Cat Form because Bear Tanks were amazing in BC).
  • By improving damage in PVE, you have to take away the utility in PVP or else the class is becomes glaringly overpowered with too much utility, control, and damage. Healing was also changed in WotLK making it nearly impossible for Ferals to do any sort of healing while worrying about shapeshifting costs.
  • Now flash forward to Cataclysm, Ferals get even more PVE buffs and a bit of utility that PVP Ferals were asking for (like Skull Bash). As anyone who has played in the last few months know, Feral damage – namely bleeds, were ridiculous. While some of the damage was a bug, we had not only our damage nerfed, but Berserk having its Fear immunity removed and the shapeshifting nerf.
  • Let’s be clear, I agree with most of the nerfs, and I can understand where they were coming from. But this is where I have reservations about the Feral class, as well as many others.
  • Having one of the main aspects of being a Feral, and the reason for picking one, being removed from us is just shocking. Why did someone pick a Feral over another class? I would assume it’s for a few reasons: The ability to shapeshift into an animal, to be the fastest class in terms of attack speed and mobility, and high crit. There is also the aspect of being a hybrid support class which I really enjoyed, and something you find out as you are playing a Feral, or observing other Ferals.
  • Now as I look back over the years, I see our class slowly homogenizing to every other DPS class. In fact, I see lots of classes heading in that direction. The biggest thing I hate about Ferals right now is the feel and need to play like we’re a Rogue. Bear Form is extremely weak, and sometimes trivial. Feral heals are just lackluster and completely counter productive. We’ve been put into a situation to just do damage damage damage.
  • This is where I find it difficult to justifying playing Feral. While we may have some cool stuff now, it’s not the same as when I first rolled a Feral Druid, and there is no guarantee that Blizzard won’t further homogenize the class.
  • With that being said, there are reasons to keep me playing Feral. For one, I absolutely love the Druid community. I find that most Druids tend to be really laid back and chill people who really love to have a good time. I think those who have played a Druid for a long time really accepted the fact that Balance and Ferals, and at some points Restoration, were really sub par classes, but we enjoyed it all the same and had fun.
  • How many other classes can say they have dance parties with the same class on the opposing faction on a regular basis? :P
  • I also like that you don’t see too many other Ferals (or Boomkins). This gives a sense of uniqueness. Up until now, I prided myself in playing a class and comps that weren’t “faceroll” or easily achieved high ratings. I felt it was a sort of achievement to work hard and prove I could succeed with the limitations I faced.
  • For now I think Ferals are in a good spot. We definitely need a solid look at though.

As the PVE’rs we mostly are on this site we more often then not get upset with the fact that a lot of PVE nerfs seem to come from out PVP brethren. However, we never really take the time to think just how drastic a lot of the things we take for granit in our raids really effects us in arenas, Ferals do have the best community in the game and no matter what happens between our buffs and nerfs definitely Miirkat and myself are both very proud to be part of it.

  • Q: Well that’s really all I have for you man, I do just want to thank you for taking the time to work with me on this, who knows maybe we can work together in the future if there’s ever a call for more pvp articles from our community. Now that you have the floor is there anything else you’d like to add for ferals starting in arena’s or just any shout outs you want to toss out there?
  • Miirkat: The biggest thing is to have fun. I know a lot of people say this, but playing a game that you’re frustrated with isn’t good at all. Find ways to really sit back and enjoy the game. PVP can be frustrating, especially in group scenarios. No one likes playing with angry or irritated people. Just relax and have fun. I think once you and your partners can do this, you’ll get a lot farther than angrily slamming your head against a wall.

Well said Miirkat. Again I just want to thank Miirkat from Skill-Capped.com for taking the time to talk with me, I hope you found his insight into the world of feral PvP beneficial. If so, be sure to check out his articles and videos on Skill Capped for insight and instruction, as well as his Youtube channel!
Skill-Capped.com
Youtube.com/Miir
For our readers why don’t you share with us some of your stories from arena matches in the comment section or as always toss up some thoughts onto our forums. Feel free to PM me any questions but it might take a moment to get back to you, I currently have an arena set to grind out for…

 

 Posted by at 8:00 am