But Why Melee?

Hello fine folk on the internet, how’s your day going?

Though it may not look the part quite yet (my webdesigner is a bit busy with irl stuff right now) I’ve created Ruthless Pursuit as outlet on/tribute to all things Melee PvP in the World of Warcraft. My intended audience is melee PvEers with an interest in PvP, as well as more experienced PvPers that like to gobble up any and all information on the subject (this is me).

Some paperwork first:


PvP – Player vs Player, in general video game terms, any action where the primary opponent is a real person.

PvE – Player vs Environment, action where the primary opponent is computer-controlled.

DPS – Damage per Second, also a common label for Damage Dealers in WoW, in which case can be either a melee or ranged variety.

Melee –
(1) Refers to the part of a battle where coordinated attacks cease and the participants come together in a confused tangle of unordered combat.
(2) In table-top and video gaming, refers to any combat done in close quarters.
(3) In WoW, a style of play ensuring, under current game mechanics, you will always be at a disadvantage in both PvE and PvP compared to your ranged counterparts.  It is, quite literally in some cases, bringing a knife to a gun fight.   (But it’s so fun!)

Ranged – in all things, the opposite of melee; also, when paired with *expletive deleted*, something melee grumble under their breath roughly 4-5 times per hour, even when not playing.

The (WoW) Gods Must be Crazy

Most current tier raiders will agree that, thus far, the cataclysm expansion has been unkind to melee dps. The unfortunate truth is that, barring some unique needed utility, a raid group comprised entire of ranged dps has all the tools needed to succeed where an all-melee raid is severely handicapping their potential. Though the complexity of Cataclysm raiding exposes the disparity particularly well, it’s not a new phenomenon. When avoiding Bad, melee classes have a narrow arc behind the boss in which to move to out of in-coming Bad, but they are rarely in charge of where that safe zone goes. Thus, Melee must constantly choose between dealing damage and taking damage.

Ranged, in contrast, have the luxury of moving independently of the boss. So, while a subpar ranged will often stand in, or paint themselves into a corner of Bad due to poor planning, a good ranged can choreograph their movement, with some practice with the encounter, so they can Always Be Casting. The best ranged players will even focus their assigned healer to ensure they are always in healing range. Control of one’s own position means a good ranged will less often have to choose between dealing and taking damage, and healers love them for it (much like in a marriage, at the end of the day only the healer’s opinion really matters).

Why Melee PvEers should PvP

Reading the above, a newcomer would logically ask themselves, “Why would anyone play melee?” It’s a fair question, and one every melee will answer differently. (For myself, I’ve played ranged classes, many in fact, and my reason is pretty simple. I just don’t enjoy it. I love pounding virtual things to a pulp.)

So we’ve outlined the generally known issues for melee in modern raiding. There is one non-obvious game mechanic at play that makes it a bit easier for melee; they don’t have to Always Be Casting. Melee resource mechanics, for the most part, are such that regular, brief times off target are not devastating to overall encounter damage. Melee have built-in burst to counteract time off target. That said, the number one way to improve melee dps in PvE is to increase your time on target. And the best way to, responsibly, increase your time on target is to improve your situational awareness.

Guess what? Improved situational awareness and increase time on target is what Melee PvP is all about. Yes, PvPing will make you a better melee PvEer (this also goes for most other roles in the game, but that’s for someone else to tackle).

And right there is the “mission statement” of Ruthless Pursuit. We’ll be covering (eventually!) every melee-capable class in the game (notice: class, not spec, more to come on this). We’ll be discussing spec advice (actually talking about the talents, no cookie cutters), how to transition into PvP from PvE, melee-specific PvP strategies and best practices, and other PvP and general WoW topics as they pique our interest.

Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading!


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