Arena Terrain Analysis – Ring of Trials
Terrain analysis? What the …? It’s a big flat field with four pillars in the middle, isn’t that all you need to know? Well… if you’re a natural, sure. If you’re a plodder like me, no.
Let me tell you how I became a good healer DESPITE not having great twitches. I plotted. Literally, I tried to conceive of every circumstance I could, and then condense them into general blocks based on “this is the best action when this happens.” And then I practiced, and modified both what was in which block AND what the best action might be. But it all started with thinking it through.
I’ve been to arena a couple of times. My current team was, well, largely for fun. 2 man team, holy priest and healadin. When you’re done laughing, marvel at the fact we stayed above 1200. (Basically, we were facing peer level competition. And even as a healadin my daughter was pretty good at twitch-fighting. But I digress.) This time, I intend to do well, and so I’m going to analyze.
Waitaminute. I’m going to go on, but let’s start with an obvious thing that escapes most of you. You can walk the battlefield before you’re fighting on it. Well, not all of them, but… Look. During the fight is a lousy time to figure out the fastest way to get from A to B, or whether that point there is in range when you’re over here, and so on. So do reconnaissance – go there, get as much info as you can, and proceed from there. The easiest place to get to is where we’re going first. The ring of trials, in east/southeast Nagrand. Just follow the perimeter road toward the east and you pass right by the thing.
Your starting points are the gates. In the arena, the wall facing outside is walled off. And the now-open gates to the center are closed till you start. But after they open, and excepting the wall, what you see now is what you’ll see then. So LOOK, darnit. Here are some of the things I figured out.
First, I went to a map – in fact a site with a rough sketch map and basic strategy and information about the arenas. Go figure, it’s an official site from Blizzard no less. Go there, make notes. But it’s got a few holes, and that’s what we’re going to explore.
The sketch shows basically a circle with four pillars in a square in the center. First big surprise – the pillars are not arranged in a square. They’re a rectangle.
The circle is 100 yards in diameter. If you’re in the exact center, you can’t touch anyone unless you’ve got something that’ll reach over 50 yards.
The rectangle is centered. The narrow side is the one facing the door – center to center of the poles is 30 yards. The long side center to center is 45 yards. The bases of the poles are 10 yards in diameter. (all measurements within 2-3 yards – I’ll get to how I did it so you can do your own measurements later.) The two cups on the sides that don’t have your entrances are half-circle with a radius of about 6-7 yards.
Yes, it’s basically flat. Breaking LOS requires the pillars if they’re toward the middle. You can under some circumstances break it by ducking in the entrances or the pockets.
Additional realizations. If you’re standing halfway between the long pillars, it’s between 35 and 40 yards to the opposite two pillar centers. (37.5 if my measurements are accurate.) If you’re in the exact center the pillars are all about 27 yards away. Before you start saying “in range,” remember that’s center of the pillar. 5 yard radius means if they’re standing a bit past the pillars they’re over 40 and over 30 yards away, respectively. By the same token, if THEIR range is, say, 36, well, you can do the math.
I expect I’ll do more with this as I start planning, but I promised to tell you ‘how to do it’ – knowing most of you have already figured it out.
Everybody has ranged stuff. Spells, weapons, buffs, etc. are all over the place. Unfortunately many of these require help from some friends. Unless you’re a hunter or a warlock, it would seem you need two to do the work here. I’ll mention that if you pick up some EZ-throw dynamite, no friends are needed. EZ-throw dynamite throwing range is 30 yards. (How do I know? I found an object on the ground, and moved till the targeting reticle for flare was on the edge of being ‘out of range’ for that object. Then I targeted dynamite, and got the same break point. Repeated to ensure there weren’t environmental peculiarities…) I now have a 30 yard ruler. Now as a hunter I’ve also got mend pet and feed pet. Respectively, 45 and 10 yards. And I can use my pet as a survey pole – put her “here”, click “stay”, and measure. (Those half circles, for example. Pet exactly in the center and me against the wall was “out of range” for feeding, but just a step or two in put me ‘in range’.) There are other ‘survey tools’ you can use – spells and items that will mark a spot so you can check it from somewhere else even if it’s ‘in the middle somewhere’. For example, I direct your attention to smoke flares. 5 minutes is plenty of time for a single measurement, and they’re (relatively) cheap. Heck, they’re at some vendors – limited stock – for 10 silver apiece. Look at what you’ve got and what you’ll need – that’ll tell you what you can do for measurements.
Even if you don’t measure, take the time to recon the sites. I’ll be doing this in another post for Ring of Blood in Blades Edge, but you can do it too. With more difficulty, of course. (If you don’t know why, you’ll have to wait for the next installment. grin.)