- All characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
- Resilience has been removed from most PvP gear.
- Season 13 Tyrannical gear had their item levels increased to ilevel 496, up from ilevel 493.
- Season 13 Tyrannical Elite gear had their item levels decreased to ilevel 496, down from ilevel 512.
- Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas now have an ilevel cap. All gear will be scaled down to ilevel 496.
Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)
There will be four tiers of gear
- Dreadful -- item level 458 crafted gear;
- Malevolent -- ilvl 476, purchased with honor.
- Tyrannical -- ilvl 493, purchased with conquest, and with honor in patch 5.3, once the player has earned 27,000 conquest in the season. Weapons are exempt from the points requirement come patch 5.3;
- Elite Tyrannical -- ilvl 515, purchased with conquest only after earning 27,000 conquest points in the season.
- There will no longer be any rating requirement to purchase any gear
- Players with higher ratings will still have a higher conquest cap
- A dramatically increased catch-up cap will be implemented with patch 5.3
@oliviadgrace We would in fact consider it. Also debating if teams are cool or a hindrance.- Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) February 13, 2013
His response was certainly interesting, and rather unexpected. Let's break it down into the two main parts.
First and foremost, what was I thinking tweeting that question? A friend of mine had recently returned to WoW after a hiatus, and leveled his feral druid to 90. He had previously been a friend with whom I did casual arenas on characters I wasn't too fussed about, we had a laugh, we won some, we lost some.
I've been rather critical of Blizzard in recent columns discussing the state of PvP. I've spoken before about the problems PvP has faced in recent times, and while the current season's rating is in tatters and crumbling around us as yet another win-trading bug is exposed, yet more suspensions roll out, and yet more players are stripped of rating, we can at least do what the devs appear to be doing and look forward to patch 5.2, and a fresh start.
While it's yet another black mark against season 12 that another win trading bug has been doing the rounds, win trading is hardly new, and it's good to see that Blizzard are taking steps to fix it, if rather slowly. Win trading has been around for a very long time indeed, and there are whisperings that this bug has existed for some time, although that remains unconfirmed. Quicker action from Blizzard would be welcomed, but there may be things preventing this, that we're not aware of, behind the scenes.
1. Gearing changes are a good thing
These have been quite the hot topic of late, with the recently announced changes to PvP gear which purport to flatten out the gear curve and aid the late starter to the season. While many players on the forums seem to be the polar opposite of cheerful about these changes, asserting amongst other things that they're the worst thing to ever happen to PvP, the stupidest decision ever made, and various other prophecies of doom.
As I write this, the PTR is active, and I urge all arena and battleground fans to get in there and PvP as much as you can. Ghostcrawler has commented several times on twitter about how there's often not a great deal of PvP testing in PTRs and betas, which in turn leads to issues like warrior burst and the hunter Stampede bug going unnoticed. So, let's not let that happen again. If you're a PvP enthusiast, download the PTR, get on there, and PvP.
The big winners and losers from the Patch 5.2 PTR changes appear to be to be monks and rogues on the winning side, and warriors, mages and feral druids on the losing side. This is not entirely unexpected, nor is it unfair, as monks were very under-represented at high level, as were rogues, with warriors and mages being on quite the opposite end of the scale. Feral druids I've included simply because of the Cyclone nerf, which is a heavy one to one of their major, and most aggravating crowd control abilities.
Flavor of the month
If you want to work out a good class for you to PvP on, there are some questions you need to ask yourself about play-style, preferences, expectations, and what you want from your PvP.
One of the first things to assess is what you want from PvP. Particularly right now, although Blizzard's team are forever working to change this, there continue to be what are known as "Flavor of the Month" or FOTM classes, often just referred to as FOTM in the forums. These are basically whatever class is overpowered right now, so right at the start of Mists, before the Stampede bug was fixed, that was beast mastery hunters.
PvP Power and PvP Resilience
Patch 5.1 brought about some changes to these two stats, introduced by Blizzard to help make PvP balance easier. They essentially provide a dial, which allows the increase and reduction of damage, healing and defense in PvP, without those changes impacting PvE. They're a great idea, but before Patch 5.1, as I spoke about months back, they weren't quite working as intended.
One of the stated aims of PvP Power particularly was to remove the viability of PvE items in PvP. Blizzard's team have been very keen that PvE gear does not become viable in PvP, and up until recently, PvP weapons were, for melee classes in particular who are far more directly affected by weapon stats than casters, not the best choice for maximum damage output.
The early part of the first Mists of Pandaria season features a lot of what Blizzard was trying to avoid -- heavy burst damage. This is particularly a problem when combined with a high level of crowd control, and as I've regularly said, heavy burst is one of the more frustrating things to counter. There is still heavy burst in the game, post the fixing of the hunter Stampede buff, so the question remains, what can you do about it?
I won't be giving you a class-by-class guide on what exactly to do about burst damage. Unless you happen to play one of the classes I specialize in, chances are you know your class far better than I do, and even if you do play one of my classes there's still a possibility you know it better! This definitely isn't class-by-class advice, but a general guide about mentality, tactics and the like. And please, do add to it in the comments with class-specific advice if you have it! Everything helps.
Prevention is better than cure
This is me stealing something doctors and aunts and grandparents used to say when I was a kid, usually referring to illness rather than WoW PvP. But it applies for this, too. If you can stop someone unleashing their heavy burst on you or your team-mates, that's a far better solution than having to pick them up from extremely low health afterwards. I haven't seen something in an arena in a long old time that can genuinely take a player from 100% to dead in one global, but there are some really hard-hitting abilities out there.
MMR, or Match-Making Rating is how teams are matched in rated PvP. MMR is separate from rating, but both are altered when you win or lose against other rated teams. Explaining the difference between the two is a little tricky, but essentially, MMR is how your matches are found. MMR is linked to players and teams, so a player forming a new team will carry some of their MMR with them from previous PvP escapades, in order for them not to face far lower-rated players. Rating is also linked to both players and teams, but doesn't dictate who you face.
Rating is won and lost via winning and losing against teams with better and worse MMRs. Say you're at 1500 MMR and 1500 rating, and you face a team at 1600 MMR and 1600 rating, and you lose. You will only lose a small amount of rating, let's say 5, and they will only gain a small amount, again let's say 5. Both your MMRs will adjust similarly. Now say you beat them. They will lose a big chunk of rating, but likely not such a big chunk of MMR. You, equally, will gain a big chunk of rating, and depending on how many matches you've played, likely gain a reasonable amount of MMR. The MMR is saying "hey these guys beat a 1600 team. They're better than a 1500 MMR".
The three pillars seem to be equidistant apart, with the two pillars naturally closer to the doors, and quite a run to the single pillar at the start. The runs between the pillars are somewhat longer than in Nagrand, so be aware of your line of sight and distance to healers if you're both on different pillars. This arena seems to only rarely permit a healer to hug one pillar while healing a DPS who is hugging another, range-wise. Be aware! Also, I ran to the wrong side at the start several times. Get your bearings!
And do check out our guides to the Silvershard Mines and Temple of Kotmogu.
The PvP vendors sell both item level 458 honor gear, and item level 483 conquest gear, but there is currently a complete absence of honor weapons. Rather flying in the face of the so-called "you can play the game how you want to" Mists philosophy, PvPers are yet again required to get their early PvP weapons via PvE. While hardly new at the beginning of an expansion, it's rather frustrating.
PvP Power is not, as many believe, a direct 1 for 1 counter to PvP Resilience. PvP Power increases your damage against other players. So, if you're a player who has 0 PvP power, hitting a player who has 50% damage mitigation from PvP Resilience, and your hit does 100 damage, it will only hit them for 50 damage.
Say you are that same player, only now you have a 100% damage increase against other players from PvP Power. Your 100 damage hit now hits another player for 200 damage. But, the player with 50% damage mitigation is still resisting 50% of that damage, so it hits them for 100 damage.
Of course, these values are not correct in-game, but we're getting to that. They're just for illustration!
Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)
Among the games, I was lucky enough to sit down for a chat with one of the eight competing teams, Eat Nerds Get Birds. This amusingly, if hastily named team comprised Jimos, playing a retribution paladin, Dreamz, on a restoration shaman, and Colarn, on an Arms warrior. While they weren't one of the top 2 teams who made it through to the World Championship finals in China, these guys are PvPing at the highest level, and it was great to sit down with them and get their tips on what makes a good arena team, and discuss various other elements of PvP right now.
Q: Do you go into matches with a pre-defined strategy, or are you more going in to see what happens and react accordingly?
A: We always, always have a pre-defined strategy for our comp against pretty much every other comp. We don't think you could play without that, it's pretty vital. You need to work out what strengths your comp has against the other comps you see a lot, and play to those strengths. To devise these strategies, though, you need to try out lots of different approaches, and see what works and what doesn't. When you're trying things out, you need to take a strategy and do just that. You might lose a few games if your strategy is bad, but if you don't give it a proper try you won't know!
Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)
Of the things I am really excited about in 5.0.4, the top one has to be talent trees. A lot of these talents, while providing situational bonuses in PvE, are really going to be game-changers in PvP. It was promised to us by Tom Chilton that, before arenas, we would be able to see the class and spec of the opposing team and be able to modify our talents accordingly. We won't, however, see exactly how the opposition's talents are distributed.
One important change for healers to note is that your dispel now has an 8-second (current beta build) cooldown but removes two effects rather than one. Gone are the days of spam dispels -- warlocks, rejoice! Warlocks are doing a lot of rejoicing right now.
Also notable is that Spell Penetration has been turned into PvP Power, Resilience has become PvP resilience, and everyone is now running around with a base 40% damage mitigation. PvP resilience numbers seem to provide a little less mitigation than the old resilience did, in a full conquest point set, gemmed for resilience, damage mitigation is 68.32%. The tooltip indicates that what was 5,200 resilience has been altered to 3,058 PvP resilience. This translates to 28.32% of the 68.32% total mitigation figure.
First, a word of warning. The information in this post is accurate in beta build 15961 and may change significantly before launch.
Like Silvershard Mines, this battleground is only currently available at level 90. It is significantly more straightforward in construction than its mine-based sister battleground but equally as tactically interesting. I'm really excited about both these battlegrounds, and I think it's fantastic how Blizzard is introducing new styles of battleground rather than capture the flag, capture the node, and invade the keep.
The in-game battleground finder screen describes the battleground as follows:
Let's take a closer look.The Horde and Alliance wage battle for the ancient Mogu artifact that is foretold to hold great powers.
Temple of Kotmogu is a 10 vs 10 Powerball battleground where each side attempts to control the Mogu artifact for as long as possible in different scoring zones