Random Arenas, or more commonly RA, is an area where players go to fight in quick 4vs4 matches. It is often used just for fun, for testing builds, and for farming Gladiator Points. This guide will show you some of the common working strategies to winning matches in RA.
One of the most important keys to winning is having a good build. As a general rule, unless you are a monk, always bring Resurrection Signet and use it as soon as an ally dies. Bringing a reusable resurrect should only be done if you have some way of speeding up the cast to 4 seconds or less.
Playing an offensive character is good for a beginner because you won't die just because you can't keep up with the fast paced action. Even though you are an offensive player, you should still bring a self heal, as you are not likely to have a healer on your team. By far the most important thing to being an offensive player is the ability to solo an enemy healer. Many beginners, or even experienced players who simply quit trying, will insist that soloing a good healer is impossible. It is indeed one of the most difficult challenges you will face as an offensive player but it is very possible. If you are having trouble getting started, go to the Isle of the Nameless outside the Great Temple of Balthazar and follow the path to the Master of Healing and Master of Enchantment and attempt to kill them. These are both slightly less effective than a human monk. Make sure you can kill both of them with the same build. Never rely on your allies to do ANYTHING, because in RA they may not.
Defensive classes such as healers and antimelee are more rare and every bit as needed in RA. An antimelee should be able to shut down at least 1 foe for an unlimited amount of time (given that foe's healer doesn't remove your hexes/conditions). A healer should be able to defend itself against 2 foes for an unlimited amount of time, and against a full enemy team of 4 attackers for at least 2 minutes. Having a skill that gives you the ability to block will stop about half of your enemies in their tracks. Being able to deal with shutdown such as Dazed and shutdown hexes is important. Saying something like "I had Backfire on me, there was nothing I could do" is not an excuse for letting someone die.
A Good Team
Being on a good team is probably the most important part of winning, but sadly there is nothing you can do. Many players that aren't good enough to win on even grounds with an enemy will leave if their team does not have a monk. Playing a defensive role will give you a better chance of having a good team since offense is more common. A good team consists of the ability to stay alive, through self healing and kiting, or defensive players on the team and the ability to kill an enemy team that has up to 2 defensive players. Having 3 or 4 defensive players on a team usually ends in a stalemate.
When a healer is present in the team (such as a Monk or Restoration Ritualist), it is essential for the team to remain in the healer's casting range. The battle will naturally cause teams to disperse, and the healer must continually reposition themselves in order to provide support for all team members, often while being targeted by enemies. Overextending can apply to other team scenarios, such as staying with the range of Ritualist spirits.
A common mistake beginners make is to charge into combat without waiting for the rest of the team. This is detrimental due to the fact that other party members cannot join the attack, and healers cannot save the split attacker. When one or more players split from the group, the monk is under heavy pressure to provide support for the team. In these scenarios, experienced healers will often decide to focus on covering one team member, letting the other team member die, or else the entire team will be wiped.
It is occasionally necessary to split in order to finish off a weakened foe. While healers will usually move to cover the new team positions, the split player is at risk as long as they remain away from the protective umbrella of the healer. Running towards enemies with no regard for anything will cause the team to lose.
While playing offense or support (defense other than healer), it is likely that your healer will be under heavy pressure. Because of this, if you are under attack from more than 1 attacker, you should do everything you can to lessen the damage you take. Use your self heals, and kite from damage. If needed, snare the enemy attackers and/or attack them to lessen the pressure on your healer. Only snare your enemies if your team is under moderate pressure, and only attack their attackers if they have low armor, or your team is taking very heavy pressure.
Armor and Health
Health is of the utmost importance in PvP: the more health you have, the more damage you can take, and the more time healers have to restore that damage. In the event that your team does not have a healer, more health means that you are able to remain in combat longer before you are overwhelmed. As such, it is important to consider health levels before going into battle.
The first item a beginning PvP player should upgrade to is the Superior Rune of Vigor, which gives a free +50 hit points. Most professions benefit from Survivor's insignia on all pieces of armor, although some builds tend to use Radiant for more energy or profession-specific insignia for armor bonuses. A Paragon using Shouts and Chants, for example, will meet the requirements for Centurion insignia, which is more efficient than using Survivor insignia. Small amounts of HP can be gained by using Runes of Vitae on remaining armor pieces.
On the other hand, be conservative in the use of Superior Runes for attributes. Superior Runes (apart from Absorption and Vigor) have a -75hp penalty. Because of this drop in health, having more than one Superior Rune or two Major Runes is considered "rune suicide", meaning that your character will have very low health, making it very easy to die. Use Minor runes to add extra points to your attributes and only use a Superior Rune if the gain in effectiveness outweighs the penalty in health.
With this in mind, it is recommended that players keep their health above 500hp while equipping their character. A character can still function with less health, but is more susceptible to spike damage and will be easier to kill all-around. Characters with more dangerous roles, such as melee fighters and monks, will avoid using Superior Runes to keep their health at around 600hp.
The idea of high health is a very controversial one as some very good players swear by low health builds. Spikes are less frequent in RA as there are only 4 enemies who won't be using any form of voice communication to coordinate. In addition the group, being random, may not have compatible skills. If you do meet a perfect group you are unlikely to survive a spike no matter how much health you have. If you run a low health build it is imperative that you bring a self heal.
Many people know this by common sense, but it should be pointed out and taken seriously. If you are playing defense, every time you die think about what killed you and why. If it is something common, adjust your build or use your skills differently to overcome it. If it is uncommon, don't worry too much about it. If you are playing offense, think about what you fail to kill and why. If it is common, adjust your build or use your skills differently to overcome it. But in both cases, also think about how many other things work against it. If it seems like something that counters a large amount of common builds, consider trying it out yourself.