PvP – an accessible guide on getting serious and stepping up your game
Intro - Getting in the right mindset
Welcome to my PvP guide. This is an ongoing work in progress and is aimed at people new to serious PvP in general or looking to step up their skill to another level.
The first step to improving one's skill is to first be aware you have room for improvement. This game is quite intricate and complex, and even gladiators can play better in certain situations.
Being in the right mindset is imperative for PvP. Try to always be thinking of what you can do better personally, and to be aware of why you win or lose versus another player/team. Always be open to constructive criticism, and don't be offended when others give suggestions as it's all part of the learning process. Most importantly, make sure you're having fun while you play. Losses can be quite frustrating, especially when it seems to be a result of something out of your control. Remember that we usually learn more from losses than wins, so try to make that loss work for you later on by learning from it.
I know a very helpful video in this regard that I'll include in the links section.
The hardware you play on can have a massive effect on how well you play. While it is possible to play with high latency or low framerates, you will always be at a disadvantage to players with a good hardware setup. You should be playing on a broadband connection, ideally with a latency not over 150ms but up to 300ms or so is decently playable. If you live in an area without much bandwidth and are serious about PvP you may want to consider tunneling your game's connection though a VPN which can dramatically decrease your latency, especially as an Aussie playing on US servers, as a common example. There are many reliable and affordable VPN providers and abundant guides on their use.
As for your framerate, you should aim for 60fps constant with Vsync on but 30+ is acceptable for arenas/RBGs. If you don't have a suitable graphics card, try reducing graphics settings as needed before spending a good chunk of cash on upgrades. The only setting you shouldn't reduce all the way is view distance as you want to be able to see foes coming across the map. Closing background apps such as virus scanners can be helpful if framerate is a real issue for you.
Aside from a suitable computer the only other necessary piece of hardware is a mic or headset.
A comfortable headset is ideal, with a microphone that others can hear you clearly with. You don't need to go splurge on an expensive gaming headset, a $25 walmart headset will probably do, just make sure to test it before you toss the receipt. You'll want one with a built-in mute button.
UI and Addons
Once you're in the right mindset for PvP, your next priority should be making sure you have a proper UI set up. All the tools you need should be clearly visible and conveniently placed. Excess addons showing on screen can detract from your situational awareness, a real disadvantage in any PvP scenario.
Here I'll show you a screenshot of my UI and some of its more important elements/addons. You'll have to open link in a new tab as WoW forums don't allow direct linking.
Notice I'm using several PvP addons and UI elements to improve my situational awareness.
Among the addons I use and recommend to anyone halfway serious about PvP:
Gladius - Far superior to Blizzard arena frames, displayed above my transparent minimap during arenas. Tracks diminishing returns (DR) on Ccs, trinket CDs, many announce options.
Battleground Targets - Lets you target any enemy player in range without having to use /tar which is ineffective with special characters anyway. Absolutely essential for quick hard swapping when you may have 2 dozen nameplates on screen.
InterruptTracker - Shows the interrupt CDs of all nearby or recently nearby enemies, incredibly useful for fake casting ('juking'). No caster should be without this or a similar addon.
Quartz - Replaces default Blizzard cast bars, looks nice and has nifty features like the ability to display latency in the cast bar.
There are many other useful addons so it never hurts to look. Just make sure addons you use are unintrusive, contribute to playing better, and couldn't make you lose any games. (Oqueue for example, which can cause you to be unable to enter a rated game.)
Once you've got the essentials of your UI in place and configured, the next big thing to do is make sure your keybinds are in order.
Continued in other posts due to character limit.