Tuesday, June 2, 2009

[Paladin] Have We Plateaued in Arena?

Two weeks ago we broke 1550 in our 3v3 team. Earning this achievement wasn't in doubt due to knowledge of our MMR (yay for transparency), but it was sure sweet to see it. We powered through to just over 1600 before we called it for the week.

The rating was high enough that I could buy my Furious neck and our hunter his gloves. (I didn't have the arena points yet because I'd bought my Deadly libram.) We were getting better as a team and our MMR continued to go up. I'm not sure what happened, but we really kicked it in gear that week. We faced multiple 1800+ teams, and event beat a 1900+ one.

We were feeling pretty good about ourselves.

Then this past weekend we ran in and it was like hitting a brick wall. Suddenly we kept losing matches, with the worst part being when we were 1-5 for our win record for the week.

Both our MMR and our actual team rating took a hit, and ruined my dreams of getting to 1650 for the week. I started having flashbacks to season 4, where I never got to buy my best arena gear because the time I had the points I no longer had the rating.

Fortunately our DK, who is something of our team leader, is more prosaic about arena and reminded me that ratings go up and they go down. Sometimes you hit a bad streak, but then you hit good ones as well.

The funny thing was, almost immediately after we had that conversation, our luck changed and we fought our way back up to 1600 again. We didn't have a lot of time to play this weekend, so we decided to call it there. No gains, but no losses for the week, and I would be guaranteed to get my Furious gloves once I got my arena points on Tuesday.

...Which I did, this evening. I'm now sporting my first piece of Furious Gladiator gear and it's nice enough that I'm thinking of tossing my PvE gloves away (non-set from Naxx 10).

This week we're going to try to make that push to 1650. Even though I had my plateau fear... I look at the 1800 teams, and even the 1900 team we beat two weeks ago, and I really don't want to think those victories could have been a fluke.

We probably just got a bit sloppy, and I know I'd made some judgement errors. I don't think there's a person on my team as self-critical as me, since so much of the survival of my teammates depends on me being able to stay out of CC and keep them healed.

Of course it'll be rougher now that Hand of Freedom has been nerfed (as if the nerf to my Nitro Boosts wasn't bad enough), but the loss of the four seconds shouldn't be game breaking. I'm specced for the improved version so mine lasts for 10 seconds, which is still decently long (or so I tell myself).

The next achievement milestone won't be until 1750, and I probably shouldn't raise too many hopes of getting there, but if we play like we did two weeks ago it should be possible. We just need to play a little smarter, gear a little more (I just finally broke 500 resilience), and I need to have fewer of my "oops" moments.

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