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Thread: How To: Improve Your Arena Ratings

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    How To Improve Your Arena Ratings

    Defining Arenas
    So you want to get better at PvP? Well you've come to the right place. This article is designed to put you on the path to becoming a better player and in turn improve your performance in arenas. Lets take a step back and try to define exactly what Arena is:

    Arena is the competition of two teams against each other in World of Warcraft on their computer. The teams are comprised of 2,3, or 5 characters. Characters are controlled by people through their mouse and keyboard.
    Using this definition we can be sure that everything is covered in the article.

    If you have anything that you think will improve the thread please let me know. Feedback is always welcome. It was created using multiple sources that I have found useful along with personal experience. This is not meant to be a guide for gladiators. It is merely meant to help maximize your potential. What you do with it is up to you.
    Your Computer
    Let's start with your computer. It is the medium through which you communicate with the game. It is important that this runs smoothly or everything else with suffer as a consequence. Your latency is very important. Latency is how long it takes your computer to communicate with the server so, naturally, the lower the better. Another important stat is your frames per second(FPS). In the case of FPS, higher is better.
    • Keep your desk clean. Clutter is going to get in your way and be distracting.
    • High Speed Internet is a must.
    • Configure your video settings to attain better FPS. PvP is all about your interface. Graphics aren't important so don't be afraid to turn your settings down.
    • If you have some spare cash you can always upgrade your computer's actual hardware. Your RAM, Video Card, and CPU are what you should look at. Tiger Direct is one of many places to shop for these. Don't be nervous about installing them; it's a very straightforward process. Anyone can do it.
    • There are many programs on the internet that reduce your latency for gaming purposes. They edit your registry to change your TcpAckFrequency. The best one that I have found is Leatrix Latency Fix. It work for all Windows operating systems.
    Controlling Your Character
    A keybinding is a shortcut that allows you to use your abilities quickly without interaction with the mouse. Clicking does things slowly and thus is less effective than someone who uses keybinds. Clicking forces you to watch your action bars and hinders you from watching what is going on around you causing tunnel vision.
    • To change your keybinds:
      • Press the Esc key, click on Key Bindings in the menu that appears in the middle of the screen, and scroll down through the various different abilities. The function of the ability is described on the left side, and the two boxes in line with the description are the two possible keybindings. To assign a new keybinding you click on the left box and press the keybinding you wish to assign. Click Okay after you’re done changing things.
      • If you're a Bartender4 user, type "/kb" and you should be able to clear and assign keybinds by hovering your mouse over the desired button.
    • The first keybinds you need to worry about is your movement base. These are the buttons you use to control which direction your character runs. Most players use "WASD" keys for their movement base. That would be W Forward, A Left, S Back, and D Right. Players with large hands use "ESDF" to take advantage of the extra keybind space.
      • These setups are aimed at right handed players. Left handers will either have to learn to play right handed or develop their own method.
      • You need to rebind your turn keys as the strafe keys. That would be A/D or S/F depending on your setup. You are unbinding the turn keys because the right mouse button is used to turn. Strafing moves your character right and left while still facing the same direction.
    • The most common reachable keybinds are 12345QERTFGXC. Of course, if you can reach further go for it. You can combine these with modifiers (Shift/Ctrl/Alt) to keep keybinds within reach.
    • Some players also bind things to their mouse wheels or extra mouse buttons.
    • The general idea is to keybind your most used abilities close to your movement base and branch out from there. This makes it easier on you and keeps your hand from cramping up.
    • Keeping similar abilities together can help you memorize them.
    • I find that Caps Lock is a great button for ventrilo.
    • Combining spells into macros helps save keyboard space.
    • Accelerate your keybinds through downloading an addon that activates your spells on key press rather than key release (default).
      • SnowfallKeyPress will do the trick. Install it and forget about it unless you have certain keys you do not wish to accelerate.
      • If you are a Bartender4 user, the option is available to you in the menu. Type "/bt4" then click on bars. Check the "Toggle actions on key press instead of release option".
    Your Team
    Teamwork is key to success in arena. Work on teamwork and communication and you will see a drastic improvement in your ratings.
    • Run a viable arena team.
    • Work on teamwork and communication. Call out heals that are going out, crowd control (CC) that is going out, CC that is coming in, damage taken, kill opportunities, etc.
    • Raid symbols can often be a huge help to track the movement of your team.
    • Practice with your team and develop complex strategies. Simply using basic strategies like “attack the healer” will not get you to the top of the arena ladder.
    • Get your teammates to work on improving as well. They should be doing these things just like you should be.
    • You and your teammates should share the same goals.
    • You should be able to meet for a few arena sessions each week.
    • They need to be around the same level of skill that you are to make sure neither player is holding the other back.
    The Game
    Warcraft is a complex game. You need to research and make sure you are playing at the most optimal level.
    • Look up PvP guides for your class.
    • Look up the top players for your class. Take note of their gear scheme, talents, and glyphs.
    • Watch Arena videos and streams. Preferably of your class but just any class can help you to gain perspective and strategies.
    • Try to do as many duels and 1v1's in BG's as possible. This will help make you a better player and increase your knowledge and ability to guess what classes will do in different situations.
    • Try to learn each class's Talents/Abilities/Cooldowns/and Durations. You can ask your friends, play other classes on the PTR, and look things up on Wowhead along with your general experience.
    • Know where to line-of-sight your enemies, and know where they can line-of-sight you. Know where your enemies are going and know where your teammates are going.
    • Don't overreact in a 1v1 situation after your partners have died. If you get nervous you will play badly and won't be thinking clearly.
    • First Person Shooters (FPS) can seriously improve your play level. They help improve pretty much every aspect (communication, reaction time, predicting opponents etc.) of WoW arena and is generally done at a much faster pace. Some popular FPS games are Halo, Call of Duty, and Counter Strike. There are plenty of others, I'm just naming a few off the top of my head.
    • I personally couldn't see myself playing without nameplates showing. You can turn them on by pressing V. This puts a floating healthbar over your enemies. Since 3.0 you can see these for your opponents no matter how far you are from them in an arena. You can also set these to display class colors through the interface combat tab. You can download addons like Aloft to configure the appearance of nameplates. With that addon you can turn off certain things like pets and totems to avoid clutter.
    • Being able to see what is around will greatly improve your situational awareness. Copy and paste the following script into chat to make your camera distance go to the maximum possible setting: "/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax",30)".
    • Macros are an important thing to have. Create/find macros for your class that improve your performance, reduce keybinds, and make things easier.
    • Use focus target to have a better idea of what is going on. Combine focus target with macros to play more efficiently. Focus macros are useful to have for roots/slows, CC, and interrupts.
    • WoW PvP is very interface driven. All of your critical information is displayed by the elements of your interface.
      • Keep your addons up-to-date.
      • You want to have more space and less clutter.
      • Don't use addons if they aren't doing anything for you.
      • If you have a large screen, try not to put anything important along the right/left edges. If you put important things along the edges it will be easier to miss something important if you tunnel vision.
      • It is important to be able to see everything you need to without taking your eyes off of the main action.
      • On a larger screen it is easier to forget to look at something if it isn't scaled up so make sure the information you need is large enough.
      • Gladius is an enemy arena frame mod. It has a ton of useful settings such as announcements and trinket tracking.
      • I made this addon list over a year ago but you may still find it useful: Wrath Mod List.
    You
    You are the final and most important part of arena success. Through practice and discipline you can move up the arena ladder.
    • You will always have room to improve. Once you accept that you can start getting better.
    • To win you must successfully recognize what your opponents are doing/planning and act in such a way that their plans do not succeed or force them to deal with your actions
    • Look for and correct mistakes you make. After you cast a spell think about if it was the correct thing to do. If something isn't working experiment to find better ways.
    • Skill in PvP can be described by what you do with your GCD. Some players use the comparison to chess (Each GCD= a turn). While there are some exceptions that are off the GCD, like vanish or interrupts, for the vast majority of actions the speed of performance is neither highly variable nor an indicator of player skill. The skill in this game, just like in chess, comes from which action the player chooses to make each turn. The more turns the game lasts and the more choices the player makes, the more they have a chance to influence the game by how well or poorly they play.
    • If your computer is good enough you can record your arena games with FRAPS. Go back over your games and you can critique your own gameplay to prevent making the same mistakes twice.
    • Ask more experienced players for advice and information.
    • Avoid tunnel vision at all costs.
    • Don't forget that timing is everything in arena. If you don't take timing into consideration you won't get very far.
    • Don't get frustrated and just play to have fun. There's zero reason to yell at each other over a video game. If you aren't enjoying yourself or you don't even want to play it (to practice at least) then you won't succeed.
    • Try to be unpredictable. Distancing yourself from what the other team expects gives you an edge. Remember they've played your class and comp tens of times and have learned how to be victorious.
    On AJ: How To: Improve Your Arena Ratings - Arena Junkies Forums
    Last edited by Bloodwraith; 01-02-2011 at 11:31 PM.

  2. #2
    mkay this'll take a min to read
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodwraith View Post
    Any feeling on how much hindrance this could be?

    I've been messing around with a mate recently and just playing 10 games a week we have made it pretty easily to 1000 rating. We were going to try and knock out 200 games next lockout and try and push for high teens.

    http://www.wowarmory.com/team-info.xml?r=Barthilas&ts=2&t=Steak+N+Chips&select=S teak+N+Chips

    Our win ratio isn’t great (57%) but its pushing up (70% this week). We are playing Prot Pally, Resto Druid. I can already see some weaknesses of the setup and I know we are going to hit a ceiling at some stage and it would be good if I could estimate it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irat View Post
    Any feeling on how much hindrance this could be?

    I've been messing around with a mate recently and just playing 10 games a week we have made it pretty easily to 1000 rating. We were going to try and knock out 200 games next lockout and try and push for high teens.

    http://www.wowarmory.com/team-info.xml?r=Barthilas&ts=2&t=Steak+N+Chips&select=S teak+N+Chips

    Our win ratio isn’t great (57%) but its pushing up (70% this week). We are playing Prot Pally, Resto Druid. I can already see some weaknesses of the setup and I know we are going to hit a ceiling at some stage and it would be good if I could estimate it
    Your matchmaking rating is usually a good indicator of where you will be stuck around.

    For example: My 3v3's matchmaking has been around 1950-2050 for a few weeks now. The team rating has basically bounced back and forth between these numbers. I switched frost for games yesterday and we started improving because it countered teams with rogues (RMP Especially) and I was able to put a stop to pressure teams owning my druid with AoE freeze. I'm a lot more bursty which can cause trouble for the enemy healer. I alos picked up DMC: Death to help with burst.

    If you're not willing to go ret for example you're going to hit a wall and it most likely will be around whatever your matchmaking rating is.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Bloodwraith,

    Im leveling a Hunter and Rogue to swap out and he is leveling a priest but we wanted to get in and have some fun with that setup.

    Great thread.

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    Updated this to include Snowfallkeypress addon. I highly recommend downloading this addon.

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    thanks for the addon suggestion bloodwraith. downloaded it last night, found a random 2s partner and tested it out. there really is a noticeable difference with the addon.
    -Jimmy

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    Sounds like a pretty nifty addon. Must look into this later.

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    Very nice guide.

    Also... Snowfallkeypress... probably the most useful WoW addon there is.

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    might not be worth mentioning in the actual how-to, but i prefer skype over ventrilo for arena communication due to having less lag (for me anyways) and a better/easier to configure non-push to talk option. taking out the keybind needed to talk to your teammates really helps since that finger can be used for something else, and it's faster to just say something rather than think to push the button, push it, and then talk. plus it's free.
    -Jimmy

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  11. #11
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    Another addon that for me is a must is ClCret its a FCFS babysitter. Because we do have a lot of utility somtimes its east to get lost in all the smashing, its just a little reminder of what to smash next. Helps alot.

    Here is the link, because most pallys are lazy =P

    http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...ls/clcret.aspx

    ~Neo

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    Arena does not have the best graphics. If this does not consider spending a little money and modernization of equipment. Upgrade your RAM and video card substaintially can increase the performance of your process of updating computer hardware is very simple and direct. You get More knowladge Arena videos and streams. Preferably in its class, but any class can help you take a step back and strategies

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotomassmith View Post
    Arena does not have the best graphics. If this does not consider spending a little money and modernization of equipment. Upgrade your RAM and video card substaintially can increase the performance of your process of updating computer hardware is very simple and direct. You get More knowladge Arena videos and streams. Preferably in its class, but any class can help you take a step back and strategies
    Can I buy a translator please, Engrish is my bane.

  14. #14
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    Arenas doesn't have the best graphics, but you may still want to consider spending some money to modernize your computer by upgrading ram and video card. This can help you watch good arena videos and streams. Preferably ones of the class you're of, but any class videos and streams will help you learn strategies.

    (Wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic or not)
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    New version of this is now available!

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    Please review this guide and post a new one for MoP statistics.

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