World of Warcraft Surviving PvP TipsSituational Awareness
Being aware of your surroundings and your current situation at all times is crucial for surviving in PvP. This includes the actual terrain and setting that you are in, your character's current hit points and mana/energy/rage, the status of your abilities which have cooldowns, and the status and location of any nearby enemies. It's a complex set of assessments that must be constantly reappraised, since PvP combat is a constantly changing battlefield.
Strength in Numbers
In any PvP situation, having allies to watch your back is a good thing. When battling in a group, such as in structured PvP situations such as Arena and Battlegrounds, its crucial that everyone work together as a team. Stay in the same vicinity, use communication, coordinate attacks and ability use, and have a strategy. Good teamwork is probably the most important factor for success in group PvP - it also takes time and practice to develop, but its worth working on.
When in a group, try to remain in the same vicinity. However, don't bunch together too tightly, as that will make your group susceptible to area of effect attacks. Instead of bunching up, try to be close enough together where everyone is in range of beneficial effects such as healing spells, and where you can quickly assist a comrade. Sometimes it will be very tempting to leave your group to chase down that almost-dead enemy. Consider that you may be vulnerable to attacks if you separate from your group, and you can weaken them by leaving them a player short. Some teams actually work on this as a strategy, pulling apart strong groups or baiting them into ambushes. You're only as good as your weakest link.
The way level difference affects the relative power between players and computer-controlled monsters is present but to a lesser degree when comparing players of differing levels. Level difference between players can be overcome by factors such as gear, PvP experience and know-how, the setting, and class matchups. Lower level characters should not be overly afraid of a slightly higher level player, especially if they happen to have the advantage of numbers.
Upgrade your equipment with stats that will assist your survivability in PvP. Every class will be able to take more hits and live longer by increasing their Stamina. Resilience is also a useful statistic as it decreases enemy critical hit percentage, critical hit damage, and damage-over-time effects.
Try to learn the opposing faction's racial abilities, as some of them can be used in PvP. Undead, for example, have an ability that counters Fear effects. All Night Elves can use Shadowmeld, which makes them invisible much like a rogue's Stealth. Gnomes have Escape Artist, which lets them escape from immobilizing or movement speed reducing effects.
The epic land mount is much faster than the normal land mount. When chasing down or escaping from other players, those with an epic mount have a huge PvP advantage over those that don't. There are also additional ways to increase mount speed. Mithril Spurs and a the riding enchantment for gloves are two gear enhancements that you can use to increase mount speed. The quest reward Carrot on a Stick grants the same benefit. These bonuses stack with each other to a maximum of 10% bonus speed. Having these speed boosts can allow you to catch or get away from a player with the same base mount speed. In Outland, a new speed-boosting item called the riding crop was introduced. This item increases mount speed by 10% and is crafted by leatherworkers.
Pursuing and Escaping
There is a wide range of player spells and abilities that can momentarily prevent or impede players from running: Polymorph, Fear, Charge, Entangling Roots, Concussive Shot, Frost Shock, Curse of Exhaustion, and many more. These spells and abilities can also be used in the reverse: to escape from pursuers. One of these abilities can buy you the time and distance between your enemy to flee. Once enough time elapses since your last combat action, you will go out of combat and be able to mount. Some class abilities assist in both pursuing and escaping, such as a Druid running into water and escaping in aquatic form, a Priest fleeing on water with the Levitate spell, or a Mage jumping off a cliff with Slow Fall. Hunters have tracking abilities which makes them harder to escape.
Using Items in PvP
Many items, particularly consumable items and those made by certain tradeskills, can assist your survivability. Many items created with Engineering are handy to use against other players, such as the Gnomish Net-o-Matic Projector, the Gnomish Death Ray, and the many craftable bombs and grenades. There are a few one-time use items that can also stop players from running, such as Netherweave Nets which are made with Tailoring. In addition, potions are extremely handy for PvP. Healing and mana potions utility is undeniable, as their timely use can literally be the difference between life and death. Other potions provide valuable utility, such as Swiftness Potions which are great for a quick escape, or Free Action potions which keep you from getting stuck. In addition to crafted items, some special items earned through PvP combat are extremely useful to helping you survive in battle - a notable example is the trinket earned from Honor points which removes crowd control effects from your character.
Use Your Surroundings
Use everything in the environment, such as terrain, structures, and objects, to your advantage. Hide behind trees, logs, rocks, mountains, inside buildings, under bridges, or in the water. Hide there, bandage there, eat there, and be safe. While fighting, use obstacles in the terrain to break line of sight from ranged attackers. If you're a ranged attacker like a Mage or Hunter, use high ground to spot your enemies and shoot them from afar. If you're a small race, particularly a Gnome, you can hide in bushes, behind boulders and trees, and even inside other players!
Distances in Combat
Standing right next to that enemy warrior isn't such a good idea. Neither is running away and turning your back to that Hunter that can shoot you in the back from far away. Distance and direction are important in different ways for each class. Learn your ideal distances for combat and when and where to move. Though you might not be able to move while casting some spells or using some abilities, there are many instant spells and abilities that can be performed on the run.
Rogues and Druids are dangerous PvP opponents because of their stealth capabilities. If you hear the distinctive "whoosh" sound that occurs when a character enters stealth mode or is detected in stealth mode, then you should immediately be on your guard for a surprise attack. The higher level you are in relation to the stealthed character, the better your chance of detecting that character. Some skills such as Flare or Perception can detect stealthed characters, and certain items can improve your chance of stealth detection. Faerie Fire, Hunter's Mark, and damage-over-time spells prevent a character from entering stealth mode. If you are sure that there's a stealthed enemy nearby, then the easiest way to avoid them is to simply run away. Even at higher levels, the movement speed when stealthed is slower than normal.
Dueling other players is a good way to test out your skills, equipment, and strategies against other players. It's also a great way to experiment with different talent and/or ability combinations and new strategies. Learn more about dueling.
First Aid is a must, and since you can take all secondary professions, you should learn and develop it as soon as possible. Bandages are extremely useful in PvP combat, especially those created with high levels of First Aid skill. You can use bandages in combination with crowd control abilities, giving yourself a quick window of opportunity to bandage up. Sometimes in the heat of battle you may not get the chance to complete a bandage's full "casting time," so having better bandages will give more value from that time, as each tick of bandaging will heal more damage.
Watching Enemy Casting Animations
Each spell school such as shadow, fire, and holy has a distinctive spell graphic that is easily recognizable. By watching what animation displays when the enemy is casting, you will then know how to counter it. On the other hand, the counter to that is to cast a spell from a different school of magic to fake your opponent out, then switch to the real spell you want to cast.