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Filed under: Battlegrounds

The Art of War(craft): Introductory guide to fighting druids

Zach thinks Conan is funnier. This has nothing to do with World of Warcraft. But it's good to say it, anyway.

Considering that we have ourselves a bit of time before the next exciting thing comes out -- Cataclysm and the new Battle for Gilneas Battleground -- I thought it'd be a good time to write up a quick guide to fighting the different classes. Since we ended last year with a basic primer to the battlegrounds, we'll use the start of the year and the lull before the next expansion to compile a guide to fighting the different classes. That should probably hold true for a bit until Cataclysm turns our World of Warcraft upside down.

Let's start with the druid. My excuse was that we're supposed to do this alphabetically, but I realized that death knights actually come before druids now. While Blizzard has always tried to maintain a balance among classes in a rock-paper-scissors kind of way, I don't think anyone -- regardless of what class they play -- who has ever encountered a druid has snickered to himself about how easy the fight is going to be. Druids, by and large, have a very high survivability as a class. Pair this with their supreme mobility and you've got one hell of a fight on your hands.

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

The Colosseum: Jhazy of Blackrock


The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Relentless, Furious, Deadly, Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters on 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. If you'd like to be interviewed for The Colosseum, please feel free to contact us -- be sure to include your armory as a link!

We're in for a real treat this week. We interviewed Jhazy of Blackrock, one of the few players in arena history to achieve a 3,000 rating in 3v3. More impressive yet, he's done this on the very competitive Bloodlust battlegroup, and is currently holding that #1 spot by a margin of more than one hundred points. Jhazy's team STRAIGHT TO THE TOP is a protection warrior + marksman hunter + holy paladin composition. As a team, they are holding down the world's #1 3v3 spot!

Check out what Jhazy has to say after the break!

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Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Guides, Classes, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, The Colosseum, Achievements

Blood Sport: Protection warriors overpowered?



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.

Listening Music: Home Video's "You Will Know What to Do." The video is some sweet NASA footage; try to not be mesmerized by it (difficult, I confess). When I first heard Home Video a few years ago (Citizen EP, We and In a Submarine), I thought the band might be a Thom Yorke solo project. That's high praise from me. These guys do not disappoint.

Last Week: Part V of our Beginner's Guide to Arena. After featuring some Miles Davis and John Coltrane, we talked a bit about some of the aspects skilled arena damage-dealers excel with.

This Week: We'll be shifting gears a bit this week. Protection warriors are an important (and hot) topic within the arena community. I was thinking about publishing this article as a stand-alone and continuing the arena guide this week, but I've just been a tad bit too busy recently. More after the break!

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: Beginner's Guide to Arena, Part V



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.

Listening Music: Miles Davis and John Coltrane's beautiful "So What." We featured the Smashing Pumpkins last week. This week, we'll be shifting gears to some brilliant jazz. You have to love the diversity Blood Sport offers in pwning music.

Last Week: Part IV of our Arena Guide for Beginners. We talked about the marks of a skilled healer inside an arena battle.

This Week: Not surprisingly, today's article will be structured in a very similar fashion to our last for our bloodthirsty DPS readers. More after the break!

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Walkthroughs, PvP, Features, Guides, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

The Art of War(craft): 2009 was a banner year for the Battlegrounds


Zach is a Battlegrounds junkie. Even when he's hocking up asthma-generated globules of radioactive phlegm, he still manages to squeeze in a little slaughtering time.

Happy New Year, folks. I hope all of you had a good 2009 and are reading this without a lingering hangover or, like me, some form of bronchial complication stemming from the smog generated by all the festivities' firecrackers. We're kicking off 2010 with a quick look at the year that just passed, and boy, was it ever a good one.

More than any other year in the World of Warcraft, 2009 was a fantastic year for the Battlegrounds. Some very significant changes implemented that year renewed their relevance; furthermore, Battleground enthusiasts also received a verbal commitment from Blizzard developers that that aspect of the game would receive more focus and attention. The year began with the effects of Wrath spilling over from 2008, with the new and exciting Wintergrasp giving new life (and lag) to the world PvP experience. The first important change, however, was to come later with patch 3.1 in April 2009.

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

Blood Sport: Beginner's Guide to Arena, Part IV



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.

Listening Music: Zero, by the Smashing Pumpkins. I knew I wanted to feature the pumpkins today, I just didn't know what song. I sifted through maybe twenty or thirty songs. I thought about featuring Cherub Rock, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, Today, and The Everlasting Gaze, among others. 1979 was out of the question -- it feels like too much like Sesame Street to me. In the end, it came down to Zero or Eye. I wanted to feature the Ghost in the Shell video of Eye (NSFW), but it's got a little cartoon nudity in it, so that's why we're going with Zero today.

Last Week: Part III of our beginner's arena guide. We discussed very basic arena strategy for many popular specs of each class. Last week's column is pretty long -- about twice the length of a normal Blood Sport article. Check it out if you have the time; it'll set a good foundation for today's subject.

This Week: We'll be talking about the qualities of a skilled arena healer. Full article after the break!

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Walkthroughs, PvP, Features, Classes, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: Beginner's guide to arena, 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.

Listening Music: Modeselektor's Tetrispack. Allison Robert offered a challenge to our most beloved columnist last week. Ms. Roberts has chosen a clever and palatable piece with Richard Shindell's On-A-Sea-Of-Fleur-De-Lis. And now we come to my retaliation. My wife recommended our musical selection today -- it just happened to be on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. How fitting. We love this song, albeit mostly for the intro. Upon your first listen, if you correctly predict the timing and type of shift in the first thirty seconds, serious e-props to you.

To wit, Robert: pan flute > no pan flute. Your move.

Last Week: part two of our beginner's arena guide. We featured the cute ukulele kid who pretty much controls the internet right now. After that, we discussed frequently asked questions from new arena players. We talked about how to spec and what team composition to choose, with two different types of answers (easy and long).

Today, we'll be talking some very basic class strategy. If you know your class inside and out, you'll know what I'm going to say when it comes to your class and arena. You can still learn about other classes here. I've written over 2500 words about individual class perspective inside arenas, that's a lot. Full article after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Blizzard, PvP, Guides, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena, Achievements

The Art of War(craft): Getting your groove back with a little PvP


Zach is a Battlegrounds freak. Even if he doesn't raid or quest or sell things at the auction house, he'll make sure to get a small dose of Battlegrounds PvP to brighten up his day. You should, too. They're like vitamins. Bloody, face-melting, honor-gaining, sword-clashing vitamins.

This little thing called patch 3.3 came out some time back, maybe you'd heard. I had planned it to be my return from an unintentionally self-imposed hiatus from hardcore play, considering that all the tools would now be in place to allow all players of all gear levels to catch up the the penultimate level of content. It was a good plan, except that a few things here and there kept me from jumping right into it when the Fall of the Lich King went live.

The new Dungeon Finder system is getting rave reviews from everyone who's tried it. I think it's an awesome tool -- quite possibly one of the best things to happen to the game. The coolest thing about it for me is that the concept stemmed from the Battlegrounds! That's right... the Battlegroup-wide grouping system is inspired by the way Battlegrounds get players from various realms from way back since Patch 1.12 in 2006. Who'd have thunk it, right? The rest of the PvE population getting something good -- something really, really good -- from the PvP aspect of the game.

Blizzard has been cleverly trying to sprinkle PvP elements into the PvE side of the game, such as the Princess Delrissa encounter in Magisters' Terrace, and its more recent, scaled-up version, the Faction Champions in the Trial of the Crusader. If the message isn't already clear, Blizzard is trying to make you like PvP. At any rate, this whole new PUG craze is a happy byproduct of the cross-realm Battleground system. The only difference is, in Battlegrounds, group composition isn't as important.

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

Blood Sport: Beginner's guide to arena, 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.

Listening Music: The cutest kid you've ever seen covering Jason Mraz. Blood Sport normally features the musical works of professionals. For this little guy, we have to make an exception. My favorite part is right before the first verse. I love the intense scrunched face and little head nod. I dare you to find anything even half as cute. That video of a tickled kitten has nothing on this.

Last Week: part one of our beginner's arena guide. First, we fielded a possible complaint about catering to casuals. After that, we talked a little bit about some of the best ways to gear up: finding an arena team, doing battlegrounds, and running Vault of Archavon. Check it out if you have the time.

This week, we'll talk about some frequently asked questions players have when considering jumping into the arena. Read on for part two of our arena guide for beginners after the break!

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

WoW Rookie: The absolute beginner's guide to Battlegrounds

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

Now that you can spice up your leveling experience by adding a little PvP to the mix, you owe it to yourself to do it up right. Battlegrounds can be bufuddling for new players, and WoW Rookie would be sad to hear you'd given up on them based on a couple of false starts. Head straight over to Zach Yonzon's A-to-Z coverage of Battleground basics in The Art of War(craft)'s Absolute beginner's guide to the Battlegrounds. Join us after the break for a complete list of the Battlegrounds you can enjoy, starting at level 10.

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Filed under: PvP, Features, Guides, WoW Rookie, Battlegrounds

Blood Sport: Beginner's guide to arena, part I

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.

Listening Music: Royksopp's Remind Me. We were emailed last week by Kohl, who politely recommended some listening music for Blood Sport this week. I was planning on featuring another kind of chill electronica, but Kohl just happened to recommend Royksopp among Hybrid and Kosheen -- so enjoy the beats, Kohl. If you'd like to contribute listening music to the column, please make your recommendation in the comments below. If you want to reach me on a personal level, you can hit me up at colby <at> wow.com.

Last Week: We discussed how to improve our play. We talked about humility, the myth of luck, practice, team hopping, and having fun. These are all important aspects of a winning player's attitude and belief system. However, as a commenter or two mentioned -- last week's article is helpful if you're already into arena, but what if you're just starting out and have never really played arenas seriously before? That article will help you out a lot. Err, it will...kind of. Maybe? Okay, probably not. Sorry for jumping the gun. Advice for how to improve can definitely be beneficial for the beginning arena combatant, but it's not going to help in comparison to an arena start-up guide.

This week, we'll nickel and dime arena for fresh blood. We haven't talked about tangibles in the past two weeks. That's gonna change now. Prepare to get your pumps primed.

That sounded dirty. Interested? Check out the arena starter guide after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Walkthroughs, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginner's guide to Strand of the Ancients

Zach enjoys the Battlegrounds a lot. He thinks it's one of the most re-playable content in the game, so he writes about it every week to spread the word. When all players are finally in the Battlegrounds bashing each others' brains out, he'll consider his mission complete, and he'll sneak out to farm Shoveltusk Meat in peace.

We're now at the end of our Absolute Beginners series, which has been surprisingly helpful to a lot more players than I expected. As it turns out, the game still gets a lot of new players even after five amazing years, which is really cool. Players still leveling up might want to check out where we kicked this series off, an introduction to the Battlegrounds. Once you get an idea of what its all about, you can get your feet wet (or swords all bloodied...) in Warsong Gulch. Ten levels later, you can enter the proving grounds of Arathi Basin, or wait until you level up a bit more for the snowy landscape of Alterac Valley.

Players who have upgraded to the Burning Crusade and leveled past 60 can get a taste of some space action in Eye of the Storm. When Wrath of the Lich King shipped, Blizzard introduced a brand new Battleground unlike anything that had come before it, an assault and defend scenario that was about as balanced as a Battleground could be because the factions took turns playing the exact same map. Strand of the Ancients also introduced the new vehicle combat system and destructible buildings, which made for a whole new gameplay experience. Click on read more to see what this Battleground is all about.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Prot PvP


The Care and Feeding of Warriors is WoW.com's column about how to weave colorful flower arrangements. We may also talk about warriors, to be honest I woke up this morning after about four hours of whacking gigantic undead spider things with a shield and I had no idea what my name was anymore or what I was doing. I think I may be the Kwisatz Haderach... or maybe just William Lee.

Okay, this time let me just say that the past two weeks have been kind of a small revelation for me, in that I have reluctantly done things like play a lot of Warsong Gulch and done 2v2 and 3v3 arena matches. I did these in my prot spec, which I usually consider a full PvE spec, I didn't even tweak it for PvP.

I crushed fools. Please, keep in mind I am not good at PvP. I'm not one of those warriors who will brag often about how awesome he is in Arenas (because I'm not) and as far as battlegrounds are concerned, well, I enjoy them but I don't really think going to Alterac Valley and tanking Drek and his Warmasters counts as PvP. Fun, yes. Lots of fun. It's sort of hilarious when people keep asking "Who's tanking?" in AV and someone else will notice my health and the shield I have on and volunteer me for the job.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Ghostcrawler on big heals and health in Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler has spoken up in this thread a little bit about the balance of PvE and PvP play that we'll be seeing in the next expansion. Specifically, he says that they're slowing the pace of PvP play down a little bit: "Health pools will be much larger in Cataclysm and healing will be lower." We'll have more health overall, and healing spells will heal less. That will make a difference in PvE as well -- it'll take more hits for the boss to finish off the tank, so heal size is expected not to matter as much as healing coordination. It won't matter if your tank is up to full health as much as it matters whether or not you can help them survive the next hit.

Obviously, this is very early theory for an expansion that's still in development. But what GC is saying is that Blizzard wants healers to strategize a little bit more about which heals they're using rather than depend on big healing to get the job done. Avoidance will matter, he says, because it'll help conserve healer mana. Fights will be more about strategy than overpowering with big heals.

Cataclysm's endgame is a long time away, but that's Blizzard's idea for it right now.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, Battlegrounds, Cataclysm

WoW Rookie: Leveling with PvP

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

When PvP leveling in Battlegrounds was introduced with Patch 3.2 (August 2009), players rushed to try their blades and spellbooks at this new way to gain XP. It was fresh, it was fun -- and boy, was it fast! It took just one month for Blizzard to nerf experience gains (patch 3.2.2, September 2009), rolling back XP rates to more reasonable levels. Today, while we wouldn't say that Battlegrounds are a recommended way to level up, we do continue to recommend them as a healthy part of your leveling experience. (Yes, I was wearing scrubs and holding a clipboard and stethoscope during that last statement.) Let's take a look at all the reasons you should and shouldn't be PvPing on your path to level 80.

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Filed under: Tips, PvP, Features, Leveling, WoW Rookie, Battlegrounds

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