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Using fear to your advantage in arena

fear playstyle

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#1 Guest_Talbadar_*


Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:26 AM

Hey all, I've been thinking about a certain topic the past couple days and I would like to share it with you guys here. First of all, this topic is not about fear as an ability or a crowd control, but as an emotion.

To start, let's talk about what is scary in arena. There are a couple things that are really scary in arena. One is losing control of your character at a time where you think someone might die. The other is taking a large amount of damage in a short period of time. Emotions play a big factor into how well one plays in arena. If you are frightened you are likely to use cooldowns before they are necessary. If you are angry, you are likely to be too busy being angry to remember to use a cooldown or help out a teammate. *Keep in mind something that is NOT scary is doing skilled fancy things. No one is scared of you trying to shadowmeld their scatter shot, but they are scared of high burst damage.*

I think fear is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with. It causes you to use stuff before necessary AND when you let your emotions in the way important parts of the game start to become less important to you. The first one to go is always your positioning. When I'm scared of dying I'm generally playing way back by my healer just kiting away from the enemy. Working towards a kill becomes less important than trying to survive the next burst or whatever might kill me. Next I feel a team's offensive pressure drops when fast kills happen to them. They start to think defensively and forget about going for the kill.

What makes things scary? I think surprise plays a big role in making something scary. Also, when something feels insurmountable and you feel helpless it becomes scary. Taking 2 back to back Eviscerate crits for 130k, 130k is something that comes to mind as scary. Dying in a single deep freeze when you still had cooldowns is scary.

Most of this is obvious, so let's talk about the more interesting part. How can you use fear to your advantage in arena? I think there are certain players whose success has been fueled by fear. I will use the Mage class as an example. There are many good mages I play against on the ladder and the top few of them all have a completely different playstyle. One of them (namely, Watchmeblink) has a playstyle that is feared by many players that fight him. He is absurdly aggressive and willing to sacrifice any defense as offense to get to you and kill you. I remember when I first fought his RMP in Cataclysm. My playstyle changed so much against RMP after a few matches - simply because they were killing us in the opener nearly every time. Because of how scary those games were, I started playing really defensive against them until their pressure went down and we could get pressure and get a kill. The game isn't in a state where I feel waiting for the enemy to run out of pressure in the opener matters anymore, so that strategy has died now.

Anyway, point being: Watchmeblink is a great example of someone who uses fear to his advantage in arena. I guarantee you any healer that fights him thinks real hard about trinketing the first Deep Freeze or first Polymorph that he lands in the opener where against most Mages it wouldn't even be a question to sit. As soon as someone dies in a scary manner they are going to change how they play next time to try to stop that from happening again. Generally this means they will be more defensive and use cooldowns much earlier than needed, and in some rare cases they will play recklessly aggressive because they have come up with no other solution.
*Here's a couple VoDs I found of Watchmeblink doing Watchmeoneshotpeople things if you don't know of him*

In my own games throughout the years I've detected this fear happening with teams that I've faced a bunch of times and beaten as well as after losing a bunch of times with my own teams. Sometimes I'll lose a few times and then lose harder the next 5 games because I'm too worried about defensive and not about getting a kill. I'm sure this has happened to other teams/players as well. I can't say I've really taken advantage of knowing my team is instilling fear in our opponents, but it is an interesting topic to consider.

This was quite a long-winded idea, but I thought it was worth sharing with you guys. What I'm looking for from you now is to tell me how you think fear plays a role in arena and how you think fear has affected your play over the course of the game.

#2 Jacquelol

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:34 AM

nic post =) great read. keep it up!
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#3 Thaya

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:35 AM

Completely off topic, but I laughed like an idiot at both of those videos

On topic, in my own experience, the best players I've played with or against were those who somehow managed to completely block emotions and play cold and calculated even in the most chaotic situations. I remember it because I was always jealous of this trait, I could never do that, especially with frustration when I'm being locked or outplayed for too long - one mistake chains into another mistake, and another, and another... to the point that I'm consciously doing stupid shit and get mad over it. Dealing with panic is the best I could ever do.

Edited by Thaya, 13 April 2013 - 04:41 AM.

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#4 Braindance

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:38 AM

Cdew and Flubbah must be completely fearless because they don't pop cds even at 10% and still live like bosses

View Postjustchecking, on 10 November 2014 - 11:58 PM, said:

Going to blizzcon looking for a fight is like going to the official wow arena forums for pvp advice :)

View PostRenaissance_Man, on 31 July 2013 - 04:31 AM, said:

If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Hitler, bin Laden, and you, I would shoot you twice.

View Postsimonfra1234, on 25 August 2011 - 08:46 PM, said:

bro you got +rep'd by rapture...

#5 Thaya

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:39 AM

Yeah, I also remember Cataclysm Blizzcon that the Asian PHD won. The paladin saving cooldowns and bubble even in the most ridiculous situations vs MLS.
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#6 Guest_Talbadar_*


Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:43 AM

View PostThaya, on 13 April 2013 - 04:39 AM, said:

Yeah, I also remember Cataclysm Blizzcon that the Asian PHD won. The paladin saving cooldowns and bubble even in the most ridiculous situations vs MLS.
It's funny you mention this because it is completely on topic with what I'm talking about. A great example of fear. I played against that PHDK at Blizzcon with Azael and Cdew and lost convincingly 1-2. The first game I was struck by fear and died without doing anything offensive. They were all in our faces with 10 CCs on Cdew. I fought them again at a tournament a couple months later in a different patch where PHDK was much stronger. I fought them with players I had not played with before either, Diziet and Conrad - and without being scared of them and knowing what to do we easily beat that team. That was probably the most fear driven series loss of my tournament career.

#7 Synkz

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:45 AM

I feel like fear (and emotions in general) are the main things that seperate a 2k player from a 2400+ player.  Both of these groups of players know how they should play, but one group lets fear direct their play while the other group doesn't.

I think another fear, much more common among low-rated players than high-rated players, is the fear of someone's title.  If a 1700 Rival goes into a game and sees Gladiator titles on the other team, they're gonna be nervous and likely will make mistakes.

Edited by Synkz, 13 April 2013 - 04:51 AM.

#8 Pritchard

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 05:40 AM

View PostSynkz, on 13 April 2013 - 04:45 AM, said:

I think another fear, much more common among low-rated players than high-rated players, is the fear of someone's title.  If a 1700 Rival goes into a game and sees Gladiator titles on the other team, they're gonna be nervous and likely will make mistakes.

i 100% agree on this, everyone that i play with, i always tell them to turn off titles and never look at it.  Hell i don't even have names on gladius/etc, just the HP.  I feel like some people i've palyed with, and even currently play with see "gladiator" or r1 and just assume its an auto loss and kind of give up.

#9 Pradafiend

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 05:48 AM

fear karenwalker

#10 Poseyx

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:52 AM

I believe when im not playing with a healer im 100% trust i tend to be a little more afraid to blow defensives a lot easier rather than when i play with a healer i trust.
www.Twitch.tv/wushington - Multi Gladiator feral stream

Mrlindv - Youtube channel

#11 mackazar

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:00 AM

So you are telling me that emotions play a role in a competition between players?! This is ground breaking news thank you lord of shadow priests :)

#12 Thaya

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:08 AM

It's more about learning to control them and that it's not just panic that can affect your gameplay
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#13 Pawzz

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:04 AM

Those videos perfectly show Reckful panicking and the mage not giving a fucking and globaling everyone LOL.

#14 Zaephyr

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

HAHA big +rep for the vids
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#15 deprivelol


Posted 13 April 2013 - 12:13 PM

when ever u step in da arena never show mercy

#16 Saru93

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 12:51 PM

View PostBraindance, on 13 April 2013 - 04:38 AM, said:

Cdew and Flubbah must be completely fearless because they don't pop cds even at 10% and still live like bosses

well most likely because they are f*cking legends

#17 Salutations

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 01:51 PM

so funny

Edited by Salutations, 13 April 2013 - 02:13 PM.

#18 wtfbro

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 02:40 PM


#19 Unappealing

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 02:43 PM

the way I combat this "fear" is by not caring at all about the out come of the game and just have fun, the better the opponents the more fun you have. I feel like fear is such a bizarre way to explain it, more of an anxious nervousness that I thought for most people, on aj anyways, went away. For tourny players I suppose it's unavoidable during those games that actually have a shred of importance, but during ladder play I can't fathom how any experienced player could still feel this?

#20 moelol

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 03:22 PM

u know what i fear?

when i get deepd or get danced on.

:paladin: :paladin: :paladin:

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