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Blood Sport: Why do we play arenas?

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in Blood Sport.

Why does anyone even play arena? Every time we enter, it's a deathmatch on one of five maps. No dragons, no intricate storyline, no phat loot. The same team compositions show up again and again. Titles only last for a season unless you have the drive and ambition to hit rank 1.

It's pretty depressing when you think about it, isn't it?

I'll tell you why we do it: competition. People are naturally competitive. We always want to be better than the next guy, and arena is an outlet for that.

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Blood Sport: Staying offensive on the defensive

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in Blood Sport.

We'll be taking a detour from our guide on how to make a new character for PvP to discuss something a bit different today. I get questions from time to time about a variety of PvP-related issues. I mean, I'm verbose, but I didn't think I could write over 1,000 words on one question, until Veni recently asked:

C. Christian,

You say that you are at your best when you are being focused in arena, and you barely let your damage slip.

I play a frost mage, and have only enjoyed success up to around 2k arena rating, and one of the areas I feel weak on, is sustaining damage when being focused. I consider myself to be very strong positionally, and mechanically.

Does the ability to sustain damage and remain strong while being focused yourself come from a great knowledge of your oppenents abilities? when you can and cannot get away with that extra cast? or exceptional communication with teammates, knowing when they are going to peel, allowing you to squeeze in an extra nuke.

Regards, a weekly reader

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: How to make a new character for PvP, part 3

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in Blood Sport.

Please check out the last two articles on how to make a new character for PvP, part 1 and part 2. Those articles discuss trying to narrow down which class is right for you before you play it at 85. We all have that friend who levels an alt up to max level expecting to play on it forever and ever, only to abandon it two weeks later. Don't be that guy!

This week, we'll be discussing the most efficient and arguably logical ways of bringing you up to speed on a new character. Keybinds, leveling strategy, and gearing up are important aspects of any class and three of the major traps new altoholics can fall into, especially for PvP.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: How to start a new character for PvP, part 2

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in Blood Sport.

Please check out last week's article on starting a new character for PvP; we discussed different ways to analyze your own playstyle and alluded to this week's subject of strengths and shortcomings. I asked four important questions about playstyle and gave my answers to the questions; however, because some seemed to be left wanting, here is a little more information on those questions.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: How to start a new character for PvP, part 1

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in Blood Sport.

How do you know if your class is the right one for you in PvP?

One of the best ways to find out if you really want to play the class is to analyze your playstyle. What are your tendencies as a player? Do you rush in and try to battle it up, even if you're a healer? You might want to try out a warrior or death knight. Do you stay back and try to play as defensively as possible? A mage or hunter might be more suited to your tastes. Perhaps you like to annoy opponents by jumping behind pillars when they switch targets to you -- an affliction warlock or holy paladin might be right up your alley.

Arena has a flavor for almost everyone. I determined long ago that I love to rush in and play as offensively as possible. My first character I ever made in WoW was a retribution paladin! However, I shifted around a bit before discovering the power of warlocks. I stuck with warlock for the longest time because DoTs were incredibly overpowered and it felt like I couldn't die against seven monsters. Deciding to play a class because it was overpowered while leveling was probably not the best decision, and I wish I had thought about PvP more when deciding on a main character.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: The art of switching characters for PvP

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in Blood Sport.

I've spent my time in the skin of many different classes when striving for gladiator. Even though my Cataclysm main has been a warlock for some time now, I've enjoyed the time I've spent on my mage, warrior, druid, rogue, death knight and paladin. While I also have a level 80 hunter, I quickly decided it wasn't for me (not being able to shoot people from point blank range bugged me far too much) and moved on to greener pastures. I have yet to play a priest or shaman in high-level arena, but I definitely wouldn't be surprised if I got the urge.

For better or for worse, I know a few things about switching main characters.

My overarching purpose in leveling up each of those classes was to use them for PvP reasons (including my warlock). I'd be lying if I said all my decisions were correct ones; most of them worked out very poorly due to lack of foresight. However, I have learned a few things from personal experience and from watching friends play Chutes and Ladders with alternate characters.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: Arena should be more like rated battlegrounds

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

Rated battlegrounds -- like them or love them, they're here to stay. While rated battlegrounds aren't perfect, they're definitely a lot of fun and a great way to pass the time. One of the things Blizzard placed a heavy emphasis on with rated battlegrounds, which you may or may not have noticed, is the simple and elegant rating system. The rated battleground (or RBG) system is pretty different than most other systems in the game.

I've been very impressed with it -- so impressed that I believe Blizzard should just copy it for arena. The whole world (of Warcraft) would benefit from making arenas more like rated battlegrounds, at least in this regard.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: PvP keybindings -- ESDF and roaming index finger variants

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

Our last Blood Sport article featured the first in a two-part series about the strategies of PvP keybinding. You'll probably need to check it out for this article to make sense, seeing as there's lots of confusing colors and everything.

That article had lots comments praising ESDF hand positioning. Well, we're going to start things off with a crowd favorite.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: A guide to PvP keybinding

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

Listening Music: Radiohead's The King of Limbs. How could I not post a brand new album from the greatest band on earth?

Many (if not most) high-caliber PvPers will speak poorly of players who click in arena or battlegrounds. Keybinds are a tool that many newer players do not take advantage of -- much to their detriment, since keybindings allow the PvPer to keep the focus where it belongs: on the battle at hand.

However, even seasoned gladiators can improve their keybinds by changing the specific keybinds of individual abilities. I have my own personal way of assigning keybinds to class abilities that I want to share with you today. Don't worry, I have lots of color-coordinated pictures via the magical wonders of Microsoft Paint. Want a taste?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blood Sport: How to cultivate successful PvP attitudes, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 Gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

Last week, we discussed how to expect victory and be self-critical instead of blaming, as well as the importance of being lighthearted. This week, we'll be discussing a similar topic -- this could easily be part two in our series of successful PvP attitude.

Staying optimistic is much more relevant when "big things" happen. One of your teammates just quit your team after you've been pushing for gladiator for a month? You disconnect against a rival team? Patch notes say that you're being nerfed to the ground? If you've weathered the small storms that have passed by with a good attitude, you'll be much more prepared when tornadoes and hurricanes hit.

Looking at the world optimistically comes much easier for some than others. I've played with partners who can't be brought down, no matter what goes wrong. If we lose five straight, they're still eager to PvP because they believe something good will happen from it.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)