.... and the sharks will come.
one of the new achievements in patch 5.3 will be brutal pet brawler, with the very enticing reward of a stunted direhorn pet. i fully expect that a large number of pet collectors who so far have avoided pvp battling will give it a shot, because, you know, gotta catch'em all. but there are some distinct differences between pvp and pve, and if you aren't prepared in advance you're in for a drubbing. most notably, it's not enough to put any three good pets together and call it a team. if the pets have abilities that (a) build off of their other abilities, and (b) complement the abilities of their teammates, it gives you a very powerful edge. for example, a triple conflag team uses two fire elementals to set the enemy on fire before dropping the conflagrate bomb (bonus damage against burning targets), but also has a dragonhawk with a flying attack to cover for them should the enemy send in an aquatic pet. i won't say it's impossible to beat a tight team like these with any three old pets, but it'll be damn hard.
so far, i haven't done a lot of pvp. i like it, especially the fact that it encourages you to use a much wider variety of pets than pve does. but i've got milestones to reach, and both the queue times and the slowness of the fights keep me from doing more than a handful of fights before going back to more time-efficient game elements. but i've done enough that i can spot someone who is just "checking it out" as soon as the fight starts, and I know my odds are very good. (against more solid teams, my track record is roughly 50-50; i can hold my own, but i'm no master). if the patch does bring in a big influx of non-pvp'ers, i'm afraid i'll be doing my part to make it as unpleasant a learning curve for them as possible. after all, i want a baby dinosaur pet too....
i am kicking around an alternate idea though. if a number of non-pvp'ers (or pvp'ers willing to set aside their solid teams for a while) could meet up on a particular server and all queue up, it might be enough to swamp the queue with amateurs. the result would be short, if not instant, queues and fights that were quick and evenly matched. a couple of hours, and everyone could knock out a good junk of the 250 needed wins. not sure how many people this would take. five, maybe? ten? it'd be interesting to find out, and it would be a good excuse to bring my all-squirrel team out to play.