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Filed under: PvP

Warlords of Draenor's first rated PvP season starts December 2nd

Brian Holinka, Senior PvP designer for World of Warcraft, tweeted the big news today - the next official rated PvP season for World of Warcraft will be starting this December 2nd. This means that if you intend to take part you have about three weeks to get to level 100 and get started, whether it be arenas or rated BG's you intend to make use of.


So there you have it. Get your weapons sharpened, polish your staves, stock up on arrows, get your best prayers set. On December 2nd you can start accumulating Conquest Points by horribly destroying your fellow players in pitched combat.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Honor gain increased for resource gathering in battlegrounds

There's been a bit of discussion and consternation about how honor gains are working currently. Rygarius posted to clarify how they're working (turns out there was no bonus honor at the beginning of patch 6.0.2, which was later mistakenly hotfixed to apply bonus honor to all battlegrounds, when it was intended for random BG's only) and that fixing the hotfix error was what had caused people to mistakenly think they weren't be awarded the proper honor. In the middle of that discussion, Rygarius shared the following.

Rygarius - What's Going On With Honor?
Wanted to give a heads-up that there's a hotfix being worked on (no ETA but soon without the TM) to increase the amount of Honor gains for Arathi Basin, Deepwind Gorge, Eye of the Storm, and The Battle for Gilneas. We're changing it so Honor is awarded for every 150 resources gathered (up from Honor awarding for every 250 resources gathered).


That's an interesting change and one I approve of - one of the things I dislike about that style of BG is how they can suck you into a prolonged and pointless battle (you know you're going to lose) and people stop even trying to take and hold places. With the resource gain now more strongly tied to honor points, maybe people will be more inclined to do their best.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Clarification on honor and upcoming PvP changes



Community Manager Lore has posted an update on honor changes that are coming to WoW, and more clarification on what's happening on what's happening at level 100 in PvP.

One thing to note is that Blizzard is clearly making strategic decisions regarding PvP, and there's a renewed interest in making it a more active part of the game. Their designers are quite active on social media and other outlets in making sure that the community's feedback is heard loud and clear.

Lore's full post is as follows:
Blizzard Entertainment
Okay, few updates and some more info:

At level 100, Skirmishes and Battlegrounds will award Strongboxes as the primary reward mechanic. You'll get some Honor from a win, but the contents of the Strongbox will be what you're really interested in. Those are obviously not available at level 90, which is why PvP gearing feels slow right now.

That said, we agree that 18 Honor is too low as a base value for a Skirmish win. We're going to bump that up to 36. That amount will still increase based on how long a match goes, starting at 45 honor past 1 minute and increasing from there. Again, keep in mind that we want shorter matches to give more Honor per time spent, so that players don't feel obligated to drag out Skirmishes for better rewards.

As to why it's not a higher number ("this gear won't matter in a few weeks"), there's a few key points to keep in mind. First off, there's the relationship between Skirmishes and Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds take longer and often have longer queues, which makes them a much larger personal investment to participate in. We want to make sure that extra personal investment feels worthwhile, so we're tuning Skirmish and Battleground rewards so that you earn slightly more Honor per time spent in a Battleground than you would in a Skirmish. If an average Battleground takes 15 minutes, and an average Skirmish only takes 2 or 3, the Battleground should reward significantly more Honor.

Also, keep in mind that there's no weekly cap on Honor gains. It's okay for a rated Arena match to reward 180 Conquest points, because after you get your 10 wins (or reach your catch-up cap), that's it for the week. You might earn Honor a little slower, but you could earn your entire Honor set in just a few days if you really wanted to.

Finally, we don't want to set unrealistic expectations for Warlords and level 100 PvP. We're okay with letting players gear a little bit faster right now in preparation for Warlords, but we don't want you to feel like you've had the rug pulled out from under you once the expansion launches and you start gearing at level 100. We want Skirmishes and Battlegrounds to feel rewarding in the interim period, but we don't want them to be some kind of loot piñata either.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Blizzard on eSports: WoW is kind of hard to watch

I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that one of the reasons World of Warcraft hasn't made as big a splash in the world of eSports as games like League of Legends is because, simply put, you can't really watch it as well as other games. Blizzard itself isn't unaware of this. According to Kim Phan, Blizzard's Sr. Manager of eSports, one of the issues they're looking at is the fact that WoW simply wasn't designed to be something people watched the way bigger eSports games are.

"I can definitely say that WoW 3v3 Arena right now is kind of hard to watch, in the form that it is," he told PCGamesN. "And so there are things that we want to evaluate."

"World of Warcraft was obviously created well before eSports blew up to the way it is now. It is taking a game that was out before all of this happened, and then figuring out how to enhance it and support it . . . What makes something an eSport really depends on what people want to see."

It's a sticky problem, to be sure - how do you promote WoW as an eSport when it's kind of hard for anyone to really watch it? I think she's dead on the mark there. Spectator mode's a nice idea, but I think we need to consider how to make stuff like Rated Battlegrounds attractive as a competitive eSport as well - larger teams would make it something relatively few such games do.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP

PvP Season 15 to end "in a couple of weeks"

For those of us waiting with bated breath (look it up, that's how it's spelled) for any idea of when Patch 6.0 will be dropping, the answer is soon. Blizzard has done a warning post for the end of the season, and in their own words, it's not far off.

After many grueling bouts in the Arenas and Battlegrounds, the time has nearly come to see who will reign supreme in this action-packed PvP season. Prepare to fight your last battles, and remember-to the victors go the spoils!

Arena and Rated Battleground Season 15 will be coming to an end in a couple of weeks. Once the season wraps, we'll begin an approximately two week process to determine end-of-season reward eligibility.

So, since today was a rolling restart maintenance day, it's fair to speculate that it'll be two weeks into October, most likely October 14th, when Patch 6.0 drops. That falls into line with the usual month between the pre-expansion patch and the actual expansion that we saw in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.

Please remember, if you're an Arena/Rated BG player waiting for your end of the season rewards, to not transfer your character to another realm until after the PvP season has ended if you want to remain eligible.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.0.2: PvP season 15 ends

In the spirit of get it done soon that we see getting more and more prevalent as patch 6.0.2 gets closer, here's some news about PvP Season 15. Namely, it's ending as soon as the patch drops.

This means several things - there will be no Arenas or Rated BG's after the patch, all Conquest Points will be converted to Honor, with excess Honor above 4000 points being converted to gold.

Blizzard - Patch 6.0.2 PTR Patch Notes
  • PvP Season 15 comes to an end with the launch of Patch 6.0.2. (Date has not been determined yet.)
    • Conquest Points will be converted into Honor Points, and any Honor above the cap of 4,000 will be converted into in-game currency at a rate of 35 silver per point.
    • Season 15 items will have Conquest costs converted into Honor Points equivalent to their previous Conquest Point cost, with the exception of any items that have a rating requirement.
    • Season 15 items with rating requirements will no longer be available for purchase.
    • Note that Arena and Rated Battleground matches will not be available until PvP Season 16 begins.

So there you have it - the upcoming end for Season 15 is as soon as the patch itself (which we still have no date for) and when it comes, the usual conversions will commence. If you're trying to hit a certain rating, you have been warned.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard releases World of Warcraft's 10th Anniversary details

So, today the folks at Blizzard posted more details about the upcoming 10th Anniversary of World of Warcraft, featuring the Tarren Mill/Southshore deathmatch BG and the revamped level 100 40 player LFR version of Molten Core.

One thing we now know for sure is that Molten Core will become accessible on November 21 (a week after the launch of Warlords itself) and last until January 6th, 2015. This gives you a little more than a month to get to level 100 and run the revamped Molten Core. It's a little worrying to me that you'll have to hit 100 and run this content (remember, it's a 40 person LFR) during the holiday season, but that's what we are currently being told. Also, thanks to the folks at Wowhead we also know that there are four helmets you can get when you defeat Ragnaros - an updated Crown of Destruction and plate, leather and cloth versions. In addition, Ragnaros drops the Core Hound Chain as well.

The new battleground will have a 90-99 and 100 version, and winning either version of the Southshore/Tarren Mill battleground will reward you with the Tarren Mill Terror title for Alliance players and the Southshore Slayer title for the Horde. Rated PvP play will begin on December 2nd, and the first raids will begin opening at that time with Raid Finder and Mythic difficulty opening the next week. A full schedule for the raid releases is incoming.

So that's how things stand so far. Looks like you'll want to get to 100 as quickly as possible if you're looking forward to that Molten Core LFR or the Southshore/Tarren Mill deathmatch.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Raiding, Raid Guides, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Call to Arms removed

Way back in 2005, patch 1.7.0 brought with it Battleground Holidays, intended to offer additional rewards to players who participated in particular battlegrounds over a designated weekend -- later renamed the Call to Arms in Wrath of the Lich King. Since then, the familiar sight of representatives from various battlegrounds has been a staple of the Warcraft experience. As new expansions were introduced, new battlegrounds came with them, and were subsequently added to the Call to Arms rotation.

While the thought of getting bonus honor might have been pretty good incentive when the feature was first introduced, as the years have gone on, the Call to Arms weekends have been doing exactly the opposite of what they'd been introduced to accomplish. Unfortunately, some battlegrounds are still perceived as favoring one faction over another -- which means that on Call to Arms weekends, queue times can skyrocket as one side piles on to queue for the additional bonuses, and the other simply avoids the battleground altogether. So what's the solution? Removing the Call to Arms weekends altogether.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: PvP now requires active flagging on PvE realms

Have you ever been quietly minding your own business on the Timeless Isle, or attacking a world raid boss like Ordos, only to find yourself accidentally flagged for PvP due to a misclick or tab target gone horribly wrong? Earlier this year, Bashiok mentioned that one of the goals for PvE realms was to keep players from accidentally flagging themselves -- and in a tweet by Ion Hazzikostas, it's been confirmed that this has now been implemented on the beta.



This means no more accidental flagging for players that are simply trying to DPS or quest out in the open world on PvE realms. And this also applies to healers as well -- healers will simply not be able to heal flagged players unless they choose to actively flag for PvP. Naturally this issue isn't a problem on PvP realms, but for players on PvE realms, the change in Warlords should be a welcome relief. When players make the choice to roll on a PvE realm, that choice is usually a deliberate one that's made to avoid the hassle of unwanted world PvP situations. It's nice to see that steps are finally being taken to keep PvP on PvE realms what it was meant to be -- an optional experience that you can choose to participate in, rather than be tricked into whether you're willing or not.


Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Highmaul Coliseum offers free-for-all PvP

Warlords of Draenor certainly seems to be mixing it up on the PvP front, offering a lot of new options for players that enjoy PvP. Oddly enough, one of the coolest opportunities for PvP I've seen so far comes not in a battleground or even on the fairly addictive isle of Ashran, but from your garrison. While leveling through Gorgrond, players can choose to make one of two outposts, that will unlock the plans for one of two medium buildings -- the Lumber Mill, or the Gladiator's Sanctum. If you choose the Gladiator's Sanctum, you get a few nice perks for Gorgrond -- and you also get to build the Sanctum itself.

Level 3 of the Gladiator's Sanctum unlocks the Highmaul Coliseum, shown in the video above. A solo scenario, the Coliseum places you in a pit with other players. Once the event starts, it's a free-for-all brawl, and the last person standing wins the spoils. What kind of spoils? PvP gear, of course! To unlock the level 3 blueprint for the Gladiator's Sanctum, players must first complete The Bone Collector, an achievement that requires players to collect 4,000 Broken Bones from PvP combat in Draenor -- any kill that awards honor also awards 3-6 bones. Once you've built the level 3 Sanctum, you gain access to Highmaul Coliseum, as well as a buff that reduces all damage in outdoor Draenor zones by 50% if you fall below 35% health.

Take a look at the video for more of the Coliseum in action -- I particularly like how dead players are teleported up into the stands to watch the rest of the brawl play out, spectator style.


Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Five days to qualify for the North American Arena Tournament

Arena PvP
The deadline is fast approaching for those PvP enthusiasts who wish to take part in the North American Arena Tournament. This competition will determine who goes on to represent North America in the WoW Arena World Championship at BlizzCon 2014. To qualify, teams must have an individual 3v3 Arena rating of at least 2,500 on the live realms by 10:00 am PDT on Monday, August 25th. The tournament itself will use a double-elimination format to determine the top three teams from North America, who will then move on to the competition at BlizzCon. The total purse for this year's event is an impressive US$250,000, with a winners' share of US$120,000. Not bad at all! Good luck to all those who are working to qualify!

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor beta: Play with the blues August 21

Holinka
For those in the Warlords of Draenor beta, this coming Thursday you'll have the opportunity to potentially test directly with some Blizzard Blues. From 3:00 to 5:00 pm PDT on Thursday, August 21, members of Blizzard's Development team, Community team, Quality Assurance, and Customer Service will be available on both the PvP and PvE level 100 premade realms to test 3v3 Arena matches and 5-person dungeon groups. Depending on faction, you'll be able to identify Blizzard representatives by their guild tag: <Blizzard Horde> or <Blizzard Alliance>. The event will be a great way to test out some dungeons and arenas while mingling with both your fellow WoW players and creators. If you can make it, I'm sure the event will be worth your while!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Holinka on Tarren Mill vs. Southshore Battleground

If you're wondering just how the coming 10 year anniversary's PvP content, the Tarren Mill vs. Southshore Deathmatch BG, is going to work then Brian Holinka, senior PvP designer, has answers for you.

He goes on to clarify that making kills causes you to go up in rank, which also makes killing you more valuable to the enemy team. Since this is purely a deathmatch BG, adding a system like this adds a little metagaming to it - it's not just mow down everyone, you want to try and find and kill the best killers on the enemy team. Similarly, if you yourself are too good at killing, you become a target. I like the implication of the system.

I'm hoping that tower becomes some kind of murder death kill vortex. Oh, we would fight over that stupid tower for hours. For nothing at all. Memories.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

The 2014 North American WoW arena tournament

Arena qualifying tree
BlizzCon 2014 is on the horizon, getting steadily closer every day, and thus so is the 2014 World of Warcraft Arena Invitational World Championship. If you're a player on the North American servers--which include North America, Oceania, parts of Southeast Asia, and South America--your chance to qualify for the tournament is coming up in the next few weeks. In order to be eligible for the North American Arena Tournament your 3v3 team must have a minimum rating of 2500 by August 25, 2014. The tournament will be a double-elimination with teams competing in a best of five match format. At the end of the tournament, the top three teams from North America will be invited to BlizzCon to compete against five additional teams from around the world for the championship title.

Think you have what it takes to compete at BlizzCon for a piece of the $250,000 purse? Time to get your teams ready and push for that 2500 rating by August 25th. Good luck to all the competitors!

Filed under: Events, PvP, BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor: New Ashran achievements

Wowhead has datamined a whole bunch of new achievements, and the ones for Ashran interested me greatly - since I did some level 100 PvP recently (I didn't do very well at it, but I think at least part of that is my sheer unfamiliarity with it at this point) I'm definitely interested in how Ashran turns out.

I assume one of those two Take Them Out achievements will eventually be switched to Alliance, and hopefully captain will be spelled correctly. (The achievements have different ID's.) It seems the Alliance gets to summon something called Fangraal (presumably this fellow), and there's something called The Everbloom where Kirin-Tor Battle Mages can die while fighting something called Yalnu (since there's an achievement for them not dying, I assume it's fairly easy for that to happen) - these are pretty tantalizing hints for what we're going to see once we get in there. I'm wondering if there's a Horde equivalent to Fangraal - possibly this Lifeless Ancient Protector, or this Ancient Protector (both are relatively close in ID and come up on a search for 'Horde Guardian')? Time will tell.
  • Ashran Victory: Kill the opposing faction Commander while controlling all points on the Road of Glory.
  • Bounty Hunter: Loot all the following off Alliance player corpses:
  • Bounty Hunter: Loot all the following off Horde player corpses:
  • Tour Of Duty: Complete each Event at the following areas listed below.
  • Just For Me: Activate a Class Specific Book Epic Item found within Ashran.
  • High-value Targets: Defeat all of the creatures within Ashran listed below.
  • Opperation Counterattack: Defeat Fangraal within 5 minutes of it being summoned by the Alliance.
  • Grand Theft, 1st Degree: Loot 100 Artifact Fragments from an enemy Player, and turn them in
  • Grand Theft, 2nd Degree: Loot 500 Artifact Fragments from an enemy Player, and turn them in
  • Grand Theft, 3rd Degree: Loot 1000 Artifact Fragments from an enemy Player, and turn them in
  • Divide And Conquer: Kill 5000 enemy Players anywhere outside the Road of Glory within Ashran.
  • Weed Wacker: Defeat Yalnu without any Kirin Tor Battle-Mages dying in The Everbloom on Heroic Difficulty.
  • Take Them Out: Defeat all of the Horde Captians within The Road of Glory listed below.
  • Take Them Out: Defeat all of the Horde Captians within The Road of Glory listed below.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

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