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Filed under: Arena

The Colosseum: Rheek of Blackrock

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.

Blackrock is currently the most electronically famous server for arena PvP in the World of Warcraft. We were very excited to have the opportunity to interview one of <sup fresh our turn baby>'s own druids. Rheek of Blackrock was kind enough to discuss a myriad of arena related topics and personal history.

At the time of this interview, Rheek is on a very respectable 2357 rated 3v3, Team Fanatic. A somewhat unorthodox wizard cleave team, his 3v3 composition is a resto druid / frost mage / destruction warlock combination.

Take a look at what Rheek had to say after the break!

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Filed under: Undead, Druid, Mage, Warlock, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, The Colosseum

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part III


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

We've come to a fork in our musical journey, where I'm going to start branching into genres and/or artists you might not have heard of (if you have, great, feel free to tell me what a giant douche I am for underestimating you). Today we'll be listening to one of my all-time favorite indie-folk tracks, Cold Cold Water, by Mirah. The Star Wars tribute video is a nice touch, if you're into that kind of thing (I am).

Last time, we went over hunters, mages, and paladins. This week, we're going to round out the classes with the exception of rogues and warriors (they're not getting any high-impact PvP changes at all). We'll also talk about some cool glyphs and enchanting changes. Next week, we'll start doing stuff other than patch notes. I'd like us to throw around more opinion and less analysis.

Read on to find out what's up in arena for priests, shamans, warlocks, enchanting and inscription in Patch 3.3!

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Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Warlock, Enchanting, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blizzard: Arenas were a mistake.

John Funk of WarCry recently interviewed Blizzard's VP of Game Design, Rob Pardo, about WoW's five-year anniversary, and he shed some light on a number of topics, including their total subscriber numbers (twice to three times as much as its current 12 million), what audience their new MMO is meant for, and what he thinks WoW's greatest successes were. But some other very interesting information came up when the interviewer asked what he thought WoW's biggest mistakes were.

He begins by saying that he wishes that the servers had been more stable at launch, and that there had been more of them, but he says that in terms of design, Arenas were the single biggest mistake in WoW's history.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, Hardware

Major League Gaming crowns Button Bashers in Anaheim

Major League Gaming wrapped up a tournament in Anaheim, California (we hear some Blizzard folks were headed over to watch), and a Korean team called Button Bashers came out on top, vanquishing SK Gaming's EU team and a team from Check Six. The Button Bashers team is made of a undead mage named Orangemarmalade (the same one that pulled off that wild 2 vs. 1 victory a while back), and Numberone and Hiren, an undead priest and rogue. So yes, an RMP team finished off the tourney at the top, continuing their domation of the arena. SK.EU's druid, warlock, and death knight couldn't stand up to the onslaught. MLG's GotFrag website has lots and lots of info about the teams and tourney, including wrapups from each day of the weekend, and a big gallery of pictures to look through.

MLG passed out $24,000 in cash and prizes to all of the winning teams -- congrats to all of them. Next up, MLG is headed off to Orlando, FL to run their fifth event of the season in January.

Filed under: Mage, Priest, Rogue, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part II


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

David Byrne and The Talking Heads are a personal favorite. Miles Fisher seems to love them as well. His cover of This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) is homage to one of the most beautiful, striking melodies I've ever heard, and as such, it will be your listening music for the day. (NSFW Warning: The video is a parody/reenactment of American Psycho, so view carefully.)

Last time, we went over the Will of the Forsaken nerf, 100% pet resilience, death knights, and druids. The patch looks to be a very interesting bag of surprises for arena enthusiasts, we're getting major changes to the way some races work, as well as nearly every class is getting a pretty substantial change or two which will probably help them in PvP. We don't normally see patches where most classes are buffed, but this could be one of them.

Read on to find out what's up with hunters, mages, and paladins in Patch 3.3!

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Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Features, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

The Queue: Tooth explosion


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's (almost) daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is gifted to you by my horrifying toothache that has kept me awake at ridiculous times of the day for the past week. You can thank the toothache for this article, because otherwise I may have done something healthy instead, such as sleep.

Mordockk asked...

"Is Quel'Delar going to be a Legendary weapon? If so, does that mean there is going to be two Legendary weapons next patch?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Battlegrounds, Arena, The Queue

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part I

Ahh, lovely Radiohead. The entirety of Scotch Mist (which is In Rainbows played live) will be our listening music, as I expect today's article to be somewhat...lengthy. Starting out with "Weird Fishes" is a nice touch -- you gotta love Radiohead's set order diversity. By the way, I'm going to continue supporting the Blood Sport column with listening music, due to overwhelming positive response. If you have any suggestions for songs, please let me know in the comments below!

Instead of talking about minor changes, I'm going to try to only hit the major ones here, as this is a giant patch. If you think I skipped something important, please let me know via the comments below and I'll reply.

Today, we'll be covering pet resilience, the Will of the Forsaken nerf, death knight, and druid changes, and what they hold for arena combatants. Expect the other classes and item/glyph changes soon! You can find all about Patch 3.3 here.

Check out what the last major patch of WotLK has for gladiators and challengers alike after the break!

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Filed under: Undead, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

The Colosseum: Trendz of Hyjal



The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.

There haven't been many warlocks interviewed in the history of the Colosseum. We were very excited to sit down with Trendz of Hyjal today to discuss a myriad of arena related topics and personal history.

Vanquisher Trendz is currently holding down the #1 spots in both 3v3 and 5v5 on the US-Whirlwind battlegroup. His 3v3, Rival Thilaume, a wizard cleave (two spell dps casters + healer) and his 5v5, Last Game Moms Calling makes Trendz the highest ranking warlock on US-Whirlwind, even though he has no 2v2.

Take a look at what Trendz had to say after the break!

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, PvP, Features, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, The Colosseum

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II and a half



I don't care for a lot of music that was made in the last decade. The Killers are something of a breather for me. They're one of those bands I'm glad exist. When I'm forced to listen to a terrible radio station, and hear change your mind sandwiched in between auto-tuned, unoriginal dross -- I'm satisfied there is still music being made that can intrigue. (Brandon Flowers has some epic bard tier 10 shoulders there too)

This is part two of part two of a three part article. Confusing? Join the fun! Surprising Patch 3.3 timing, i.e. wrenches in cogs, is a blast!

In our first installment, we covered pillars changing shape in great detail, and also mentioned a few other tweaks. Our second article dealt with five classes -- paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, and warrior. Warlocks were left out of the 3.2.2 patch notes. This article is going to talk about the other four classes - death knight, druid, hunter, and mage.

Being "TheArenaGuy" here at WoW.com lends to forcing myself to a very balanced perspective on classes. It makes me feel guilty if I understand armor penetration less than spell penetration. Well, actually, it doesn't because ArP is confusing. The main thing I'm trying to say here is that I don't want to write anything that is opinionated without being grounded in something. I don't want to make any mistakes when it comes to reporting to our viewers what changes will impact arena games (and how).

I'm satisfied to critique changes instead of having the responsibility to make them. The developers have very difficult decisions to make with regard to arena balance and we should applaud them for making decisions in the name of equity, even if some of them might be unpopular.

With that, let's get into the juicy, juicy 3.2.2 patch notes.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II


In keeping with our musical theme, here's David Bowie's Changes. Most of you have probably heard it, but most of us have not really listened to it. Take some time to enjoy one of Bowie's most renowned pieces with the article today.

Last time, I went over a few significant arena modifications that 3.2.2 brought us. Square pillars for line-of-sight, the armor penetration nerf, focus frames, flying in battlegrounds, and the Onyxia loot table can be found here.

This article is going to talk about five of the nine classes discussed in the 3.2.2 patch notes (warlocks were left out). The reason we won't be talking about the other four is sheer article size. I'm not getting blamed for breaking anyone's scroll wheel today! We'll go over death knights, hunters, druids, and mages in the second part of this part II (which should be in a day or two).

I'm giving analysis on class changes; I hope we will agree on most things, but if you disagree or decide I don't understand a mechanic properly, please let me know in the comments below. I read all your comments and am often stunned with how gracious our readers have been towards me. Thank you for all the kind words, those of you who took the time to write them!

Please don't assume that I don't care if I don't write a large amount about the horrors of nerfing or the glories of buffing your main character's class (triple negative hooray). I probably don't know enough about the intricacies of the change to make an educated prediction, and would say little rather than proclaim "this will gimp class X vs. class Y" and have it fail to come to fruition.

I'm going to be ignoring all non-pvp related notes. If you think I left something out, please post a comment below and I will (most likely) edit the post accordingly.

Also, 3.3 patch notes are out already! Next week, part III will be merged with the 3.3 patch notes that are coming; there's a lot to talk about!

So, without further ado, here's what 3.2.2 is cha-cha-cha-cha-changing in the arena world.

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Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, News items, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part I


Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple Rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Okay, I'm a bit of a music buff. I love Bob Dylan, one of the most influential American singer/songwriters of our time. Here's some listening music while reading -- you can probably guess what it is. I selected it primarily because the song title goes well with our discussion -- and I love Dylan's brilliant live performance in Budokan. It's a bit much if you're not a Dylan fan, I'll freely admit.

Patch 3.2.2 has a myriad of PvP changes in it; I am stunned to see so little conversation on the interwebz about it. In fact, I've written so much about these changes that I was advised to split the article into parts. A lengthy article here on WoW.com is approximately 1000 words -- this article was over 3,000. (No, not over 9,000.)

I'm going to split up this article into three parts.
  1. Overall changes
  2. Class changes
  3. Bug fixes and Glyph Changes
Check out what's a-changin' after the break.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, News items, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

The Art of War(craft): Season 7 and the Battleground PvPer


The Art of War(craft) takes you through the paces of the myriad faces of World of Warcraft PvP. Zach, who writes this column, is tragically unfunny and has asshat blood running through his Asian veins. If you're looking for humor, head over to the musings of Christian or Allison. If you want some lore or news, Alex and Adam are your guys. If, however, you feel like bashing someone's face in and dropping The Flag of Ownership on their corpse, you, my friend, have come to the right place.

Season 7 started a while back, and we've now got Colby on the team to pick up on the Arena scene with Blood Sport. He covers all the basics of the latest Arena season in his debut column, so head on over and read up on everything you need to know. That's your primer. On today's The Art of War(craft), I'm going to discuss other things not quite covered by the basics.

First of all, what does a new Arena season mean to the Battleground enthusiast? I mean, who gives a shmoo? Arenas shmarenas, right? Well... not exactly. The sad fact is that Arena players are going to be playing the Battlegrounds, anyway, since the non-set pieces are purchasable with Honor points. While these items also drop off Koralon, the Flame Watcher, the fastest, most efficient way to obtain non-set Relentless Gladiator pieces is through Honor farming in the Battlegrounds.

That means successful Arena play, or at least the most conscientious preparation, requires Battleground participation. The converse isn't necessarily true. The gear disparity in the Battlegrounds is extreme, and it isn't uncommon to find players fresh from hitting Level 80 hitting the maps to grind Honor for gear upgrades. Gear isn't as critical, but it's a definite advantage. My view on the matter is that Arenas are a necessary, but fun, evil.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

The Colosseum: A Euneek opportunity



The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, Furious, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.

Furious Gladiator Euneek is one of the top Paladins in BG9. If you haven't already heard, BG9 (Bloodlust) is often considered to be one of the most competitive battlegroups in WoW. Obviously, Euneek's achievements in BG9 are that much more impressive for being in that highly skilled environment.

Euneek was kind enough to answer some questions about the new Season, the changes which are affecting Season 7, and then also how he is coping with the new season. Check out what he had to say behind the cut!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Arena, The Colosseum

Blood Sport: Season 7 - The Death of 2v2 [Updated]


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Season seven is here! The new season brings the same familiar arena combat that we've come to know, love, and sometimes hate. However, the season of the Relentless Gladiator also has many meaningful changes for arena enthusiasts.
  • Abandonment of 2v2 bracket rewards.
  • New ratings requirements on gear.
  • Match Making Rating - is it still busted?
The 2v2 bracket is experiencing a significant revamping

Before season seven had started, 2v2 rewards were slated to be completely cut. 3.2 patch notes indicated that Relentless Gladiator gear could only be purchased if a player met the requirements with their 3v3 or 5v5. 2v2 teams, however, could still be used to purchase the previous season's gear (Furious Gladiator gear).

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Filed under: Items, News items, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

The Colosseum: A basic guide to the Arena rating system


The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, Furious, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Frostwyrms. We're especially focused on the people who play these games, to further shed light on the world of the PvP player.

When our new PvP guru C. Christian Moore wrote about a team skyrocketing to a 3206 team rating, a commenter pointed out to our staff that all the various language, acronyms, and "points" involved in the Arena can be somewhat confusing. It can be hard to figure out what the heck we're talking about.

I think that probably makes sense when you consider there's probably about ten different kinds of "points," three different ratings, a few different ranks, and two different kinds of spendable currency. (While I'm not looking to delve into all the Battleground dynamics here, you have to keep in mind that Honor Points do have a pretty real effect on the Arena.)

So, this time in your neighborhood Colosseum, we're going to take a break to enjoy a basic guide to the Arena rating system, and try to clarify the difference between Team rating, Personal rating, and Matchmaking rating. Check it out behind the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Arena, The Colosseum

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