In the Burning Crusade Classic, the arena seasons are going to be very competitive, even more so than they were 13 years ago. Here are the reasons:
– Battlegroups will be region based
An improved MMR system might be implemented to reduce queue times
– The player base is just that much better
– Private server players have been playing the burning crusade for a decade now, so they’re going to be well-practiced straight from the start.
– Team compositions that are very competitive will be used from Season 1 onwards.
If you put all these things together, they’re just going to lead to a very intense and competitive situation where it’s going to be very difficult to be in the top 0.5% to get a gladiator title. So if you’ve got your eyes on the prize and want to obtain one of the most exclusive and prestigious titles out there, here are 10 tips that can help you secure that.

Tip n°1: Don’t get tilted 

This one’s very obvious but also very important because it negatively impacts your performance instantly, as well as your teammates. Your desire to win is going to help you become a gladiator, but you have to control it as well because falling into a negative spiral just brings the whole team down. Bear in mind that some things in the game are just out of your control, especially in The Burning Crusade where RNG is often a game-changer. Sometimes an ability will miss or dodge or parry, and it will cost you some games, you have to accept that it’s going to happen. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control but rather what you can control which is your attitude.

Put it this way, if you start getting riled up and you know you’re starting to get into a bad mood, queuing up again will easily cause more defeats, leading to more rating loss, and usually – not to say from experience – it just becomes a downward spiral.

Do not lash out at your teammates!

At the end of the day, you need to remember that the arena is a team effort, so your teammates are not going to want to play with you if you become very toxic and blame them for losing. 

S E L F  C O NT R O L 

Sometimes, if you have to take a break, be it ten minutes or even a whole day, just do it and play a different day. The point is that you don’t want to lose unnecessary rating just because you’re not in the right state of mind.

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Tip n°2: Know your enemy and know yourself

This one is important because you need to have at least a very basic understanding of what every class can do in the arena.

If you don’t have this understanding and get caught off guard by their particular abilities or talent specs that they have, then quite frankly you’re not going to be able to get to a gladiator.

Gladiator teams know what they are up against just by assessing which classes they’re facing, but  just as important or probably even more important is they know what their class can do.

In 2021, there are loads of discord servers, websites, and resources on YouTube that you can use to absorb all the information like a sponge, so use them! Hint, Silent Shadows is one!

Tip n°3: Play a metacomp 

A lot of people enjoy being creative or going against the grain, but let’s be realistic about this one: The burning crusade PVP meta is quite well established, especially in 2v2 which always was the most popular bracket on private servers, but even 3v3.

With the amount of theory crafting and the player skill that there is today, there may be new team compositions that might be discovered but that’s the exception, not the norm. Everyone likes to think they’re that special snowflake that is the exception, but more likely than not, you are the norm, just like a vast majority of players (you, me, etc.). That means that you really need to be thinking about what sort of team composition you can be a part of that top 0.5% of players.

Speaking of 3v3 comps as a rogue, some team compositions are much better than others: for example, RMP (rogue, mage, priest) is a top tier composition every season, but there are more, such as RLD (rogue, warlock, druid) or RLP (rogue, warlock, disc priest).

For non-rogue players, yes, RMP is a very powerful comp but it doesn’t mean that it’s an undefeatable composition. You need to be aware that RMP can match up against many comps very well, and that’s that sort of advantage where if there’s a particular team comp that they struggle against, they may not always play against that particular type of team so if they do very well against the other comps they face they will still be looking at a very high win rate percentage leading to higher ratings. At the end of the day if you’re winning a lot more than you’re losing you’re going to get into that very top bracket, so you may have to do a bit of soul searching and decide which comp is really going to help you get to the top and how well it fits into the meta. 

Tip n°4: Prepare your game plans ahead of time 

I will use myself as an example: I already know what comp I will be playing in The Burning Crusade Classic, and I know who I’m playing with. What I’ve done is I set objectives of what we want to do as our main strategy to find our win conditions. So I made a list of all the most popular other comps that I am most likely to face, and just wrote quick notes of what their main objectives are, their playstyle, and how they’re most likely going to try and beat my team…

So what’s going to happen then is – if you memorize the opposing team’s strategies – and this won’t take too long once you do this continually – you will understand what their objectives are, and what they’re trying to do. When those arena doors open, your entire team must know exactly what to do at the opening stages, and then you can start reacting to what starts unfolding before you, because what you don’t want to be doing is, to hesitate on which player to kill or control, and how to proceed, etc. You need your entire team ready and knowing what the game plan is from the first second of the match.

Write your strategies.

It’s as simple as that. With your team, just take the time to build a google document, and write down all the common team compositions that you’re going to be against.

– Are they aggressive or defensive?
– How are they going to try and beat you?
– What’s the strategy that you’re most likely going to use to try and beat them?

You might be surprised just how effective this strategy is, and if everyone on your team is on the same wavelength, this little bit of preparation beforehand goes a massive way to our tip number five 👇

Tip n°5: Effective communication 

When you’re with your team, you need to communicate very clearly about specific information. For example, if you spot a kill opportunity or someone is out of position, or you need to switch to a target, you need to have effective communication rather than too much unnecessary information. 

You need to focus on your objectives and your team needs to have that effective communication that’s going to help them secure kills and pretty much when you secure a kill you’ve pretty much won the game in most scenarios.

Obviously, if it’s very close, it can come down to 1v1, but that doesn’t tend to happen too often. Although I would add that if it is a 1v1 scenario let your teammate focus and don’t be a backseat gamer telling him what he should or shouldn’t do.

Tip n°6: Have a growth mindset 

If you are part of educational circles or know something about teaching pedagogy, you’d have heard of a growth mindset before.

fixed mindset vs growth mindset

Essentially, this is having the mindset that everyone is willing to improve, everyone has the capability to improve.
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset where you pretty much accept some limitations and assume that you’re not able to change that, and if you apply that to an arena team scenario, like a particular comp that you always lose against, then you’re not willing to put in the work and have the willingness to be open-minded and understand where your shortcomings are.

Looking for how to improve

– Is there a particular part of the game that you’re always struggling against?
– Where is that weakness that leads you to lose?
– What could you improve to deal with that? (positioning, synergizing cooldowns with your partners, etc.)

That’s where the growth mindset comes into play, because, honestly, there’s no such thing as a perfect player. Everyone has room to improve, and everyone has that opportunity to learn and that’s pretty much what a growth mindset is. If you accept this statement, you are going to increase your chances drastically to become a gladiator.
For a lot of these players, they didn’t get there by just being good. No one is just born good at the game. They had to practice, they had to understand what their comp could do against other comps, they had to practice skills over and over again, and reassess their abilities. That is part of all growth mindset, so whenever you’ve looked at some kind of challenge and you’ve overcome it, it’s because you had a growth mindset, and if you are stuck in that fixed mindset, then there’s no point really pushing for a gladiator because you’re just not going make it.

Tip n°7: Reflect with your team

This leads on from a growth mindset because, in 2021, everyone has access to recording software or can stream.

A lot of players have repeated this for years, including Sbkzor

Once you’ve finished your games, if you have the footage saved, you guys should come back and have a look at this footage together. 

Look at the matches that went either really bad or that seemed really tough and usually, those are the dead giveaways that you know your team is doing something wrong. This is your opportunity to apply that growth mindset to find out where those faults are, so you can be critical about your own performance, and find out exactly what you can do to improve.

Use collective language

There’s one thing I would advise, especially when it comes to collaborative efforts. When you’re reflecting and trying to be self-critical, try using collective language.
Why? Humans by nature don’t like to be told something is their fault. 

For example, if something happened in a particular match, and you say “oh you were out of position which caused you to get polymorphed which caused us to lose the game” and using the word “you” is very direct and can be felt as aggressive. What happens is that usually people get defensive and they shut-off and that’s not what you want, so by using collective language, saying like “okay, so we’re in this position at the moment and it looks like this is the part where we are getting caught out because we’ve got polymorphed this caused us to lose the game”. 

If you use that collective language and it’s all of you together, then it’s a lot easier to get your messages across. The last thing you want is your teammates not being on board with the advice that you’re giving or even when it comes to you as well, you know you don’t want to switch off if someone’s trying to give you some kind of constructive criticism to improve your performance. At the end of the day, even if one person improves their performance, it still increases the overall performance of the team, so make sure that you do set aside time to reflect on your losses.

On that note, however, have a look at the wins and what you did really well, because at the same time if your team is doing something really well, that’s what you want to maximize. It is not always about things that you did wrong!

Reflecting really is something that’s a very powerful tool that a team can do to increase their effectiveness, their play style, and their cohesion.

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Tip n°8: Find when the queues are most active 

This one is not to be underestimated but it can be a bit tricky because again everyone has their own real-life responsibilities, and you’re not always going to be able to dedicate a particular time slot to play, but finding out when the queues are most active is the best time to be playing.

Sometimes you might play in a comp that really struggles against another particular kind and if you’re only facing that one team, it’s a really bad situation where you’re either going to just about scrape a win, or end up losing.

Now, if there are a lot more teams active, that means that you’re going to play against different comps, people of different ability levels and your chances of winning (assuming that you’re still playing well together as a team) will be higher and you’ll face fewer comps that directly counter you as well, so that’s the time where you can get the most amount of rating.

So have a look and try finding when arena prime time is. This can also change depending on what rating you are because the higher rating you go there are still going to be fewer people in those brackets even with the new MMR system. So regardless of the fact that there is going to be a huge region-wide battle group if you are starting to push 2300 rating or more, there still are going to be fewer teams up there at your rating, so you really need to find out when are those teams playing and when you are going to be able to face off against them.

Tip n°9: Use the arena point calculator

Using the arena point calculator is one of the simplest things to do and yet many people do overlook it. It is an invaluable tool to put you in a position of control and knowledge of how many ratings you will need to acquire your next piece of gear.

Imagine the scenario if you were just a few rating points behind what you needed to afford a big piece of arena gear and now you have to wait an entire week for that item. Meanwhile, other teams around you who have planned ahead will now have a gear advantage over you which makes this mistake twice as costly.

You have to make sure that you are not falling too far behind in terms of acquiring your PvP because there are many pieces that are huge upgrades in terms of damage out and resilience. Keeping up with the top-rated players in terms of gear is always something that has to be on your mind if you are dedicated to earning a Gladiator title because while I still believe that skill is more valuable than the gear we would be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit that having the best gear available is a massive help.

There is a built-in Arena Point Calculator here at Silent Shadows so you never have an excuse to make this mistake!

Tip n°10: Prioritize your arena gear 

Before the season even begins you need to be creating a map of your gear progression in the Arena. For many classes going for weapons is usually their first choice since it has the largest impact in terms of dealing damage or healing, although the exception exists for mace wielding Warriors who will want to create Deep Thunder as soon as possible so they have the advantage of focusing on other big items instead.

One mistake that many fall into is that they simply just look at how many arena points they have and then they browse items that they can afford which results in them buying suboptimal upgrades. You have to be patient and wait for the big items that cost more points because these are the items that have more stats, gem sockets and more powerful enchants available. One small thing to note is that the gloves for Rogues provide a ranged interrupt for the Deadly Throw ability, this is something you may want to consider since it can be valuable in many situations but you have to weigh that benefit against saving up for the more powerful items. To assess this objectively I would consider what comp you are playing and if there are any ranged interrupts that can cover for your lack of Deadly Throw interrupt. For example in the RMP team, the mage has Counterspell which means you can most likely save the gloves for later, but if you are in a double melee cleave team then maybe the gloves are something you may want to consider.

In summary, always plan out what gear that is going to be the most beneficial for you, and don’t worry if you have to wait an extra week to buy a large item upgrade because you will scale better than those who buy the cheaper items, assuming your team rating is high enough to get a good amount of points each week.

Some of those tips might sound a bit out there or strange to you, but, honestly, give them a try. This is what helped many players, including myself, become a gladiator in Season 3 and Season 4. 

The more preparation you put into it, and the more you follow these tips it just helps you become that much more well-rounded. If you become a lot more open-minded, you will be able to improve individually, and as a team, and ultimately, this is going to give you every single possible advantage that you can get and you will need those advantages to get into the top 0.5% of your entire region.

-Biosparks

Biosparks is a content creator who covers all things TBC both PvP and PvE and spent far too much time playing it back in 2007. As a teacher by profession, he provides detailed and concise analysis on PvP team compositions and insights on player mindsets and philosophy to help individuals and teams improve. You can find him at his Youtube channel or streaming on Twitch more regularly as TBC Classic approaches.