WoW : Intro to PvP for rogues!


This article is out of date. Click here to return back to the Rogue Guide to find newer articles. This one is from WoTLK, some of the information may be useful but overall is very dated. However, the basics behind Rogue PvP hasn't changed much, so there are still many lessons to learn.

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You’ve killed a
hundred different bosses in innumerable instances, slain every
conceivable creature that walks on two or four (or as many as eight!)
legs, and now you’re getting bored. What’s a
bloodthirsty rogue to do? Well, the answer is……
(Cue booming cool voice)….you now hunt the greatest prey of
all…..night elves…or tauren….or orcs!
That’s right, other players! Why hunt down and kill other
players in WoW? Well, besides the sheer joy of watching them attempt to
flee and then fall beneath your blades as you chortle with unholy glee,
there are some other benefits. Chief among these is that you can get
some cool roguish gear to suit your thieving lifestyle. However, you
mainly due it for the fun and, hopefully, for the glory.

This handy dandy little guide
is here to help ease you into the treacherous world of PvP (player
versus player). Our aim is to have a brief overview of the different
ways you can PvP in WoW, what benefits you can gain from engaging in
PvP, and what rogues can do to earn their keep (ha! Other classes
should be thanking us for helping them in combat!) in PvP. What this
guide will
not do
is to tell you how to
fight the different classes, what build you should have, what attack
rotations you should use, or other such nonsense. The main reason is
that there is no one way and only that one way. Every player has their
own playstyle and favorite way to do things. Yes, I know that certain
methods are better than others, but those can change over time (and
with patches, they usually do). What works one day can be nerfed in the
future. We’re here to help you learn the basics, not master
quantum physics.

A quick note on your first
forays into PvP world; don’t get discouraged. You will suck
at first. You will be killed often and in many different ways. Then,
you’ll have to watch one of the opposing players do a dance
over your corpse just to mock you. Get over it. Until you get a firm
grasp of the strategy you need to employ as a rogue, learn to work with
other good players, and get better equipment, you will be at a
disadvantage. Just suck it up and take the harsh lessons to heart. In
the end, you will become better and you will strike fear (and your
dagger) into your enemies’ hearts!

of PvP

There are several ways to
engage in PvP in WoW. They are dueling, battlegrounds, random PvP,
arenas, and zone or world PvP. Some methods provide rewards and some
don’t. The usual PvP reward is honor points. You get honor
points if you kill somebody that is equal to your level, higher level
than you, or up to 8 levels lower than you. Now, let’s
examine each PvP method real quick.

Dueling is strictly a one-on-one fight when you challenge (or are
challenged by) another player. You’ve probably already done
this since if you stand still for 5 seconds outside a capital city or
instance, some bored nutjob will probably constantly challenge you.
Sadly, there’s no real reward for dueling except for the
satisfaction of killing the bastard.

Battlegrounds are instanced areas where the two factions (Horde and
Alliance) can duke it out. To play, you have to enter the queue (the
line to get in) by talking to a battlemaster in a capital city or at
the portal instance entrance (if there is one). Most battlegrounds are
of the capture-the-flag or gain points by taking various objectives
variety. The number of players per side can vary from 5 to 15, with href=""
target="_blank">Alterac Valley
allowing up to 40 per side. Playing in battlegrounds can give you Marks
of Honor and honor points. You can use these to purchase special gear.
You can start playing in battlegrounds at level 10.

This is just when you
encounter a person of another faction and they happen to have their PvP
flag turned on, which allows you to attack them. However, if you do so,
your PvP flag will be turned on and last for 5 minutes, allowing you to
be attacked by others. A common trick is for a group to have one person
flagged for PvP (the bait) whilst the rest hide nearby. When that
person is attacked, the others spring out and kill the attackers. If
you see a lone person nonchalantly walking around with their PvP flag
up, watch out! It’s probably a trap. You can earn honor
points for random PvP.

At level 80, you can compete in arena matches in order to gain Arena
Points. Lower level characters can do practice matches, but do not
receive Arena Points. To play in the arena, you form a team of 2, 3, or
5 players per side. You’re allowed double that number as a
roster. For example, if you create a 2 man team, you can have 4 players
total on that team, but only 2 can fight at a time. To gain Arena
Points, your group must compete in at least 10 fights during the week
and your character must have participated in at least 30% of those
fights to be eligible. The end result is that you can spend Arena
Points on really high quality gear, if you’re willing to put
in the time and effort to grind it out.

Depending upon what
type of server you play on, you’ll come across whole zones
that flag you for PvP when you enter. Some zones have some PvP required
quests or objectives that you can partake in ( href=""
target="_blank">Eastern Plaguelands,
and href=""
target="_blank">Hellfire Peninsula
for example). In Northrend, the href=""
zone is different as that the entire zone is one giant battleground
that resets every few hours. Wintergrasp is different from other PvP
areas as that you can gain ranks through killing enemy combatants or by
taking or defending the keep. You can create various weapons and
vehicles depending upon your rank. Wintergrasp has up close and
personal combat as well as siege combat. Once you achieve the rank of
First Lieutenant, you can gain Wintergrasp Marks of Honor by
participating in a battle. You can spend those marks on special gear
from vendors in Wintergrasp Keep if your faction holds the keep. If
your faction controls the keep, then you can also gain Stone Keeper
Shards by defeating dungeon bosses or doing daily PvP quests. You can
turn in the shards to your faction quartermaster in Wintergrasp Keep
for various items, enchantments, and jewelcrafting recipes.

role in PvP

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Laying a smackdown on a priest!

So, the question is; what is
your role as a rogue in PvP? The answer to that is simple; it depends
upon the situation. For random or zone PvP, you’ll have the
basic function that you normally do as a member of the group or solo.
For battlegrounds, that role can differ from being on defense (guarding
a flag or objective) or on offense (helping to take a flag or
objective). In arenas, your role is determined by your teammates.
Normally, your role (in any PvP setting) is to take out the weaker (by
hit and armor type) members of the opposing side. In arenas, you might
actually be the tanking member of your group! It’s pretty
rare, but possible. The end result is that you try to do what you do
best: sneak up and unload a world of hurt on the bastard opposing you.

In all PvP, communication with
your teammates is vital. Formulate a strategy with clearly defined
roles for each member. If you’re expected to hang back and
guard a vital point, then do so. Keep your side informed of any changes
(such as you being attacked). Arena combat really focuses on a group
working well together. Basically, use common sense. Don’t be
a hero and try to capture an enemy flag in a battleground and run
through a gauntlet of foes to bring it home. You’ll just get
yourself killed. Let the tank do it; that’s his job.


Most high level characters tend
to keep 2 sets of equipment. One set of href=""
target="_blank">PvE gear
and one of PvP. For us rogues, this boils down to a couple of stats
that have greater weight in PvP. The first is resilience. Resilience
reduces the chances of you receiving a critical strike or critical
spell effect. In addition, it reduces the damage taken from criticals
and damage over time spells. The only way you can increase resilience
is through gear, enchantments, gems, flasks, or elixirs. You start with
zero resilience. Normally, resilience is only found on level 60+ gear
or items as that it was introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion.
Therefore, don’t worry
about it if you’re lower
level and happily ganking other players.

The second stat is stamina.
While stamina was nice in PvE gear, it is vital in PvP gear. When
you’re raiding in a large group, the tank was normally the
one being beat up on. In PvP, there’s only you. A tank
can’t force a player to target him and ignore you. Therefore,
you’ll need to be able to take some shots, which requires you
to have more health. You’ll want to have as much stamina as
you can get your grubby little hands on.

A useful item in PvP is poison.
Normally, your poison types depend upon your spec, but in PvP, href=""
target="_blank">crippling poison
is extremely useful. A lot of your foes will try to kite you. That is,
they’ll keep running away from you trying to keep you out of
melee range, but within their ranged attack range. Their hope is that
while you can’t hit them, they’ll be able to drop
you with ranged attacks. A nice crippling poison on your off-hand will
keep them from getting away from you.


As stated earlier in the
article, participating in PvP can give you some nice rewards (besides
the satisfaction of disposing of those pathetic losers who dared to
think they could be better than you!). You can gain some really good
gear and enchantments by turning in honor points, Arena Points, or
Marks of Honor. Listed below is a sampling of what you can get.

  • Savage Gladiator’s
    Leather Tunic
  • Deadly Gladiator’s
    Leather Helm
  • Titan-forged Leather Helm of
  • href=""
    target="_blank">Brutal Gladiator’s Leather
  • href=""
    target="_blank">Hateful Gladiator’s Band of
  • href=""
    target="_blank">Anvil of Titans
  • Deadly Gladiator’s

All in all, playing PvP can be
extremely rewarding, but it does present some challenges. Fighting
another player is vastly different from fighting a normal mob, and each
class has a myriad of abilities that will take some time getting used
to. Your attack sequence will probably be different from what you
normally use and you’ll use a lot more of your abilities than
the norm. However, there’s nothing like the rush of being
able to sneak up and take out another player, knowing that his response
could be as unpredictable as the player himself.

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