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This FAQ was compiled by for the users of the SPF (Single Player Forum) It's based on GM (good manners) duels and will therefore sometimes be inappropriate for the uncontrolled PvP encountered in public games on the realms.


Welcome to the FAQ. Here you’ll find a list of questions duelers came and come across when they tell about their games. Some of the questions will already be answered (multiple times) in the guide, but if you’re looking for something specific this will help out. I'll start out with a run down on how a PvP game will actually work, after that we'll get to the questions that are asked a lot and after that some random questions.

How does a PvP game works? What do I do if I want to kill someone?

Welcome to PvP. If you've never PvP'd before then it is a good idea to just join a PvP game and start by watching. You can enter the dueling if you like, but normally it's good to understand a bit of the slang and some of the rules. I'll walk you trough a PvP game step by step.

Take your pick, you either host a game or join an existing one. If you host, post it on the forums to make sure people know it's up and will join.

When the game goes up the host normally starts a Hell difficulty game. This is to give caster pretty much a fair chance as the extra -100 difficulty resist will help them out. It originated from the Bnet time where someone would Mat/Pat his char and then only could see the Hell difficulty games (so hosting a NM one wouldn't attract that much players).

Alright, the host makes a Hell game and goes to Act 1. Normally all duels take place in act one right outside of town in the Blood Moor. The Blood Moor is a good choice for duels as it's easily cleared of monsters, if has various hole, houses and bushes which characters can use to their advantage and it is quite spacy.

Preparing the Arena

If no one enters early then the host can probably clear out the Moor himself. Clearing the Moor means you kill all the monsters there. This will prevent people from getting hurt by them in the duels or using the monsters to their advantage (charging up or anything). If people enter while clearing the polite thing to do is to help the host clearing. If the host hasn't cleared yet because he has a hard time doing so (a fire based character comes to mind, since the fallen are fire immune), then normally the others will clear soon enough.

Right, now the game is ready. Let's see if the players are too. The best thing to do if people start entering the game is to tell everyone who you are. Most of the time your character name has no reflection to your forum name. This way people will know who they're dueling and can use those names to stop confusion.

Normally two or three people are in a game and maybe later on there will be others. If there are only few people in the room then you can do 1v1 duels. One dueler challenges another to a duel (which of course gets accepted). These challenges are just normally someone saying hey <name> let's duel. If you're going to duel, make sure you're hostile to the other player. Just open up yuor party screen (press P) and click the two swords button next to the names of all the players. The name turns red and you're hostile. Alright, now the game is ready and the duelers are too. Take a moment to make sure you know all the rules. Look at the standard rules and explanation in this guide and ask your opponent if he's GM (using all the rules) or BM (using only few of them). If you've checked the rules you can walk out into the Blood Moor.

Now a side note here. You can do this before the duel, but after is also fine. If you're up against a new opponent make sure you know what kind of build he is. You can ask before the duel, or just duel and find out that way. This prevents you from going up against a lightning sorc while you geared against a cold one (pretty much giving him a free kill).

Starting the Duel

Back to the Moor. Two duelers now walk out on to the Moor. You can see the other dueler on your map as a red X or red name. If you want to duel each other, move outside of map range (the name disappears of the map) so that each of you has some time to cast, buff or get ready after the go signal (a good example is a trap assassin). If you're of eachothers maps you make sure you are ready by saying ready. Your opponent will do the same. If he doesn't respond you can poke him verbally by saying something like hey <name>, are you ready?, please wait for a bit for him to respond on his own though. If he also states his readyness you say go. This means you're good to go, however this does not mean you can immediately start attacking, you have to wait untill he says go too. After that you can assault eachother. Different settings include person A saying ready and person B saying go immediately (skipping his ready) which only leaves A to say go and start the duel. Another one is person A saying ready on your go or on your go, leaving B to say go and start the duel.

After you duel and one of you dies, the best thing to do for the other is to go back to town. This clears the Moor from minions, traps or anything else that can hurt the other. The one who died can now run on to the Moor and collect the corpse.

Multiple Duelers

With multiple people in the room, please be polite. Give others the chance to duel too. If you're new you might want to get as many duels in as possible constantly standing on the Moor, but maybe others might want to duel others too. Normally two people duel once and either it's part of a 3 duel (meaning they duel quickly 3 times in a row) or one of the duelers wants a quick rematch (meaning they duel 2 times in a row). Other then that it's polite to let others duel after you just had your shot. The difference in this is of course if multiple people want to challenge one person. Then the one person can't help being out in the Moor a lot.

Now if there are four or more duelers things get a bit chaotic if there's only room for 1v1 duels. Normally when there are quite a few people in the room three things can happen. 1. FFA. 2. CP. 3. TD's.

FFA means Free For All. This is basically a chaotic duel where one person does not take another one on, but every person in the room walks out on to the Moor and tries to kill everyone else. These duels tend to be a bit chaotic, but it gives a great rush if you're the last one alive (not to mention if you see two people duel and you rush in and sneak a kill in on one or both of them).

CP means Cold Plains. The Moor is a good place to duel, but so is the Cold Plains. Only one waypoint away and you have the same dueling grounds as the Blood Moor. The worst part of it is of course that you have to clear it before you can duel too. Normally two duelers clear it together (watch out you don't kill each other by accident). This way you have two dueling grounds making way for duels to go on simultaneously.

TDs means Team Duels. If there's an even number of people in the room (or one or more very strong dueler), they can be devided in teams. The teams will be based on the duelers and the character builds. Normally when there are two lightning trappers in the game they get split up for example. The teams also get based on the duelers, meaning that experienced duelers get spread out too. No matter what the builds are, if you put three veteran duelers against three people who just started out, you will get a one sided duel which is not something anyone really enjoys. The teams are usually just made up quickly and if it's too uneven they tend to get switched around. Even when they're balanced though people want to try out different settings and switch around.

Team duels normally require a very different approach as normal duels. When you're with your team getting ready for the duel it's a good way to talk a little tactics. You can either press P and squelch the other team(s) so they can't see your chat, letting you openly converse with your teammates, or you can private message someone by using the /w <character name> before each thing you want to say. However the most common use is typing an exclamation mark ! before your message making is appear right over your characters head in stead of on the chat screen. That way everyone close to you (your team generally) can read what you want to say and respond to it. Basic strategies come down to let's kill that one first or which aura should I use or I'll run around spamming arrows, distracting them, you can rush in and melee them or I'll try to kill them with my ranged attack, you protect me.

Also, if you're done dueling or have to go there are two possibilities. Either you are not hosting and you just say your good byes. Just hang around for a minute, thank the host for hosting and greet everyone before you leave. Don't rush out after a bad loss or because you suddenly realise you have a real life appointment, other might think something went wrong or that you're comming back with another character. You might also be hosting, now everyone is in trouble though, since you're the host you can't leave without taking the game with you. You can either go away from your computer leaving the game up or you could just say you're leaving. Normally people will say aww but generally it's okay. If there are quite a lot of people around someone else could host, letting them continue without you. Now again, take your time. Don't just say sorry I have to go and save and exit. That way everyone in the game will drop without giving them a chance to thank you for hosting, saying good bye to the others or setting up a different game where they can continue. Just take a look at your watch and calculate 5 minutes for shutting the game down. Tell everyone you're leaving, say thank you for the duels, let them chat a bit if they want to continue and give your regards. Next it is polite to wait untill everyone leaves before shutting the game down. You could of course just shut it down if people made a deal on another game, but letting everyone leave on their own assures you they won't leave dropped equipment behind or that they get an error because you disconnected them. If you hosted and posted on the forums, please also post that the game is down.

Which PvP character build is the best?

This question is asked so often. There is only one answer though, no character is the best. Some will have an easier time killing others (like a WW barb), however they have their short comming just as the next dueler. Remember that very good duel characters often require ver good gear too. The best dueler for you should be the character you enjoy most playing and if you can get some kills in with him then you’re all fine.

I've never built a PvP character or played PvP, is it better to go for speed or damage? Hunting sounds like fun.

That’s actually two questions, speed or damage and hunting. If you’ve never played PvP before then you will likely be ‘obsessed’ by getting as high damage as possible. You may think you need to do great damage in orde to compete with others, but here’s a question for you: If you have great damage but get killed in one hit, do not have enough FR/W or FHR to chase then will you get a lot of kills? No. Your main concern should be your own safety and indeed your speed. FR/W, IAS, FHR etc. You would rather have a 10 attacks per second attack that does 100 damage per swing then a one attack per second attack that does 2000 damage. It’s half the damage, but more chances to hit, lock, stun, open wounds, poison, kill your opponent.

Dueling usually takes place in NM or Hell, what are the resistance penalties in NM and Hell?

The resistance penalties are the same as in PvM. You start in NM with a negative amount of resist of 40%. Hell starts at –100%. You have to calculate these amounts in your resistance (or stack) gear. Remember that you might think you’re okay, but if you die the Anya bug kicks in.

Wait the Anya bug?

Yeah, rescuing Anya in all difficulties gives you 30 resist in total by the scrolls Malah gives you. However, while you think these 30 resist will help you out they actually disappear when you die. Meaning if you get 100 resist from your gear you’ll see 30 resist all in hell on your stat screen. (-100 + 100 + 30 = 30.) When you die you’ll still see the 30 resist all but the 30 you got from the quests will have vanished leaving you with 0 resist.

What is the Physical Damage Reduction cap in 1.10 PvP?

You can equip two different types or PDR, namely PDR per percentage and straight up PDR. PDR per percentage is far more useful then straight up as someone will hit you for 1000 damage it’s better to reduce it by 10% then by 10. The PDR per percentage is capped at 50%. Meaning you can equip something like 60%, but the game will still treat it as 50%. The straight up PDR is not capped. You’ll have a hard time getting enough of that though.

How important is max blocking in PvP?

Some say it is vital to every character available, others say that if you know how to play your character right you don’t need it. There are two kinds of blocking in PvP: Max blocking and no blocking. Generally you either go with max block or you don’t go with block at all. I think there are very little characters that can go without blocking. Namely two-handed melee attackers like shifting druids or WW barbs who ofcourse couldn’t even block if they want to and teleporting char in a BM surrounding (like a fast cast bone necro). The last type of characters still is in danger as they will get hit whenever a melee opponent comes close. The general consensus is that if you don’t go two-handed you need block.

How important are max resistances in PvP?

Either it’s vital or it’s nonsense. If you’re facing elemental attackers you need your resistances period, if you’re facing a melee crowd only you don’t need it. If you don’t have resist (like –100 in hell) then you’re giving an elemental attacker double his damage without him even doing anything. If you keep your resistances up to 75 (which is normal) you cut all the elemental damage in fourth (after the pvp penalty). Now say you’re facing a good orb sorc and she does 1k orb damage (that’s 1k per shard), if you don’t have resist that would be (1000 : 6) * 2 = ~333 damage (talk about 10 shards hitting you), which is quite a lot. Now if you take the same orber and have 75 resist: 1000 : 6 : 4 = ~40 damage (now 10 shard still hurt, but not that much). I think it is always vital to get max resists. I try to get my resists up to 75 at any moment and while facing elemental attackers to have some max/absorb gear alongside stack.

How important is life leech in PvP?

Short one: Not important. You can leech a little from people’s minions, but leech against other people is non-existent. Don’t build a character around a heavy dose of leech.

How important is mana leech in PvP?

Same as life leech. Most characters don’t need mana leech anyway.

I hear that your damage is reduced in much by?

Yes your damage is reduced, ALL damage is reduced. The easiest way to remember this is that you do 1/6 part of the damage you’d normally do. (The hard way is to remember that it has an 83% reduce.) For example, if you normally have a 3k-9k melee attack you’re doing (3+9)/2=6k average damage per swing. Now devide it by 6 to get your PvP damage (1k average with 0,5k low and 1,5k high). Also remember that resistances against elemental attacks and damage reduce against physical attacks reduce that amount even more after the 1/6 mark.

How much absorb is needed to be useful against casters?

In good manner (and in most cases bad manner too) SP PvP you can have two sources of absorb or one source of absorb and one source of max resist gear. It all depends on the opponent you’re up against though. Against a blizzard sorc you’re obviously better off with two sources of absorb (two ravenfrosts often) since she’ll just lower your resists enough that max doesn’t do anything anyway. However if you’re facing a lightning trapper you can get by with a thundergods which is one source of absorb and a source of max. Generally if they hit really hard (mostly sorcs) you’re better off with absorb.

How much absorb is allowed?

We allow in good manner SP PvP two sources of absorb. Check the rule set to see which items are banned. Remember that a source of absorb doesn’t say how much absorb it is, so it can be a low amount, but also up to 40%.

Standard rules for PvP?

Please scroll up a lot to find the standard good manner rules. The standard BM rules are generally something like this:

  • We fight in Hell. Standard BM rules apply.
  • No potions, mercs, wells, or shrines.
  • No recasting Cyclone and Bone Armor.
  • No minions that cannot be summoned in town with the exception of Decoy.
  • No Holy Freeze, Decrepify, or Bone Prison.
  • No mass slow (>10%), no mass poison from items (>200), no mass replenish (>25).
  • No curse charges (this includes Slow Missiles). Chance to cast is acceptable.
  • No overabsorb. Limit 2 items per element with the standard ban on Rising Sun and Black Oak.

Why PvP??

Just copy paste from the introduction: What could be better though, then finding a monster that can think for itself, not only trying to kill you, but also trying to outsmart you. Finding a way to beat every opponent while they are trying to do the same to you gives great satisfaction even though it will take some time before you’ll actually do it.


Well, I don’t know. Try releasing the shift button and work on your grammar. Answer in a short while should be "because you didn't read the PvP bible". Seriously though, you will have a hard time if you just entered PvP for the first time and even if you’re at it for a longer time you will still face opponents that will beat you 5 out of 5 times. Don’t consider yourself ‘pwned’ though, they probably just have better gear and are geared towards facing your current build. If you build a budget sorc you’re likely to find a character at some point in time that you can’t even hurt if he’s standing still. Just remember that you can build those characters too and finding them out if half the fun. Please don’t consider yourself ‘pwned’ if you lose. You can consider yourself ‘pwned’ if you have build a character with all of the best gear available to you, facing an opponent you have build your character to specificly faced, know you have all the top stats, max life and damage and you die because you hit a 30 second lag spike. Then you’re pwned.

Why do i pwn druids all the time, r they teh nubs?

No. And I’ll bet you can’t ‘pwn’ druids all the time. Simply because you faced a druid a couple of times and you won doesn’t mean they are bad. Maybe you have picked up a lucky streak against them, maybe they weren’t ment to duel your character (like taking on an elemental build with a melee only build) and maybe you’re just a good dueler. Try making one of the builds you can defeat all the time and gear it so that you could’ve taken on your own character too.

Why are there rules and restrictions? Can't i just make an uber character and pwn everyone else with cheesy tactics?

Yes you could do that, however there are rules and restrictions to ensure a good time for everyone. You’ll have to ask yourself a question: Am I here for fun or am I here to get as many ears as possible? If you’re here for fun you probably wouldn’t have asked the question, but you’ll understand that if someone just gets his kills by cheesy tactics in the end won’t have anyone to duel anymore because most people won’t like his style of play anyway. If you’re here for the highest pile of ears, please go make a bnet account, name yourself something like ‘TOOEZpppkkpwn’ and make BM chars like with names like ‘pwnPALAezHAHA’ and kill public games there. I’m sure you’ll have a blast.

Why can't I move sometimes, how does stun happen? How do I escape from smite/mb/WoI etc etc etc...

This is a tricky one and one that everyone should know about. Stunlock is the name you’re after. Let me first give two examples.

If you take a big hit (based on a 1/12 part of your life) you go into hit recovery. Basically you took a big hit and have to recover for a bit. That is bad and sadly happens sometimes.

You can also get stunned. The barbarian even has a skill called ‘stun’. Stun means you can hit someone making him stunned. If someone is stunned they will notice because they have ‘two white swirley’s’ above their character. If someone is stunned not only will the heavy hits make them go into hit recovery but ALL hits will make them go into hit recovery. This means that it doesn’t matter if a barb hits you with a berzerk or a quill rat hits you with a melee attack, if you are stunned you will go into hitrecovery.

The problem with hitrecovery is that it takes a certain amount of time to get out of. You can’t move, attack or do anything (besides block I guess) while you’re in hit recovery. This makes you a sitting duck, something you’ll want to avoid. The problem of course is that if you’re not out of hit recovery before the next stunning attack comes in you’re basically screwed because then the cycle starts again.. and again. This is why trapsins are so deadly, they can mindblast you (stunning you) while the traps make you go in hit recovery (each time a trap hits you they hurt and make you stand in place).

Luckily there’s something you can do about it. Find items with Faster Hit Recovery. Make sure you hit the desired breakpoint (for most characters that’s at 86%, but make sure you check with the guides). Also sometimes certain attacks make you avoid being stun locked, the best known is WW. You’re moving and attacking and while doing so you can’t be locked up. Also charge is a good example. If you’re stunned you can charge around (or out of the trap field) until the swirley’s disappear.

Why do I get hit by invisible projectiles?

Yes, this happens sometimes. Basically this is bad and there’s nothing you can really do about it. If you’re facing an opponent that shoots or casts projectiles (necro’s bones, amazons arrows, paladins hammers), you’ll have to be careful. Normally you run around with your map on trying to find your opponent. However if you’re too far away and they attack (shoot arrows for instance) they will exist but you can’t see them. Meaning that you can run around normally but suddenly get hit by thin air (you walked into the path of the shot arrows and connected with one). This is a problem that can’t be fixed. The best way to avoid this is to keep close to people. What is close? Try to keep them on your minimap. If you see the red dot on the map you generally are sure they won’t be able to shoot/cast stuff which will travel so far that it will disappear. This is also why you have to be very careful at the start of duels where you’re not on each others maps yet. Normally the caster or ranged will fire a couple of volleys to see if you walk into them. If you don’t they’ll move to go look for you.

Is pvp very equipment dependant? Can I make an uber pvp char without the godliest gear?

This is a two fold. Yes PvP is very gear dependant. However you can also make very good duelers without the gear (take a look at this guide). The duels taking place will rely on various things, the gear, the match up but also very importantly the skill of the players. If you have played your character and know him and his abilities you can easily take someone on who does have the best gear but doesn’t know how to play well. Normally if you want to take on the top of the line duelers (which have both equip and skill) then yes, you’ll need good gear of your own. However you can take on those same duelers without the gear. You’ll win less, but probably have a better feeling when you do.

Player skills vs uber equip, which is better?

Player skill hands down. I always remember the time where I was in a game dueling normally having fun with an average V/T paladin (FoH and Smite). Someone came in with a level 99 necromancer. Not only had he hacked his character, he also hacked his gear (making it top of the line). Instead of calling names and reporting him, I decided to duel him to see what he was made of. Long story short I killed him easily while he certainly had the advantage if he had skill. He left to grab another hacked character (99 WW barb) with which I went about 50/50 (while normally he should’ve 5-0’d me). While I had a nice dueler, I still wasn’t top of the line (by far) still I could beat this guy. Of course is gear important if might even be the deciding factor if two experienced duelers fight each other, however I’d rather have the skill then the equipment.

Idiots guide to making your own pvp tourney pls!

I’d start by first reading the guide, building your character and trying him out in PvP games. Don’t think you’re very good because you’ve played PvM for a long time and because you followed the best guide out there. PvP takes different skill then PvM.

Gimme links to fhr/ias/fbr/fcr tables!

Most of the tables you need are discussed in the guides, however if you need them to do testing or equipping other characters at own insight I suggest going to the strategy compendium which is linked in the thanks section at the bottom of the guide.

How can I target the player, not his/her minion(s)?

This is often found hard, especially if you’re up against a shifting wolf with 5 other wolfs surrounding him. If you have an auto target skill like FoH (which is probably why you asked this question), you can’t simply shift attack as you will likely attack one of the minions instead of the character. If you want to target the character you will have to move your mouse over the actual player and click him (with the spell button of course). This is called name locking (nl). NL is very useful, not only in targeting your opponent with almost every attack available but also if you hold the button down you can keep attacking someone even though he’s of your screen. This is useful if your attack is ranged or can be cast even if the opponent is normally out of reach. It’s also useful if you’re chasing someone down.

What character is the cheapest to equip well?

Try reading a couple of the character guides in this guide. Most of them have cheaper setups posted alongside the best items.

Final question which covers a couple of asked before with a well written (extended) answer:

Why should I try PvP? What makes it good? Do I need 1337 gear for it? If I'm a PvP newb, can I expect to get royally PWNED by all you 1337 guys that play it all the time? If so, how is that fun for me?

Well, you can get your PvM fill simply by leveling the PvP characters yourself firstly. Though PvP'ing in SP is somewhat ironic, I like the atmosphere so much more than, (as I wasn't part of a duelling league with set rules, I left every pubbie game angry). PvP'ing pits you against thinking, strategizing, human opponents who can change tactics mid-duel and surprise or confuse you. Each duel is different and your learn to read and counter opponents differently. For example, I treat Firestorms amazon much differently than I treat my brothers. Both have extremely different playing styles and wield their characters very differently. Some players tactics are hard to understand, but the fun of PvP is learning how to read the many duelers and figure out what works best against them.

L33t gear is not required but obviously helps. Basically, as long as you have (in most cases) your 50% PDR, max block, a decent lvl char, good resists and an absorb if applicable, and are willing to have fun and give it your all, then you should be fine. Oh and the way I think of it, there is always some character out there better than yours, so keep your eyes on the prize and keep getting better. (Oh, and on the opposite spectrum, there are always characters out there that are worse than yours, so don't worry if you lose a lot, especially at first)

I doubt you'll get royally thrashed by "us l33t guys" if you keep in mind what I said above. I'm not gonna lie, most PvP characters in SP were built with PvP in mind and usually have good gear and decent skills. (There are PvP chars that can be made cheaply, but some chars require uber gear to be effective) But, I'm a firm believer in the "every character has a weakness, you just have to find it" rule. An example from a duel game that took place a couple months ago where a Druid, an Assassin, and a Paladin (among the other chars in the game) My Druid was able to smack the crap out of this assassin, however, the Assassin could really put the hurtdown on the Paladin, but my Druid was unable to beat down the Paladin. This is a poor 4-in-the-morning example, but it's like a circle in some cases, some characters are simply better or worse against other characters classes. If you cannot beat a particular character in some cases, perhaps your character is somehow weak against that class but might have an advantage against another. Duelling just helps you recognise that, so basically, (in my eyes at least) there can be no best PvP character. PvP is a world away from PvM in that you are pitting strategies against another and sometimes very unpredictable human being. No eating sandwiches or watching t.v. while you play like in PvM, you actually have to pay attention.