Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Filed under: PvP

Preparing for PvP season 15

Back on February 4th, we had the warning that PvP season 14, the current season, could end as soon as two weeks from that date. Well, it's now ten days from February 4th, and we've had no announcement that the season end is delayed. So, assuming the season will end on February 18th, how should prudent PvPers prepare for the season end, and season 15?

First up, save your honor, spend your conquest if you can get upgrades. The caps are working just the same, so all conquest will be turned into honor, and all honor will be retained up to a cap of 4,000. So if you have 2,000 honor and 2,000 conquest, you'll have 4,000 honor. If you have 5,000 honor, you'll end up with 4,000 honor and a bit of silver. If you have 5,000 conquest, you'll end up with 4,000 honor and a bit of silver.

The good news is that this season's 522 conquest gear will be available for honor. The bad news is that the 496 honor gear won't be available to crafters, as Holinka confirmed. Makes sense, as the Timeless Isle gear would be even more irrelevant than it will become! In more bad news, the Krasarang rares are being nerfed to drop honor only once per day, so that farming method is gone come the patch. If you need to cap out before the patch, they're the most efficient way.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, PvP

Mobility and disparity

We know that change is coming to cast on the move. Let's talk about it, and why I think it's necessary.

Casters want melee mobility reduced in PvP so that they can turret down melee. Melee want caster mobility in PvP reduced so they can avoid being kited. Ranged want cast on the move mechanics to remain in PvE because without them, they have to stop casting when fights force movement. Melee want those mechanics gone because they're part of why ranged are brought to raids over melee - melee can't DPS on the move nearly as effectively, between having to stay in range of bosses and having a positional requirement ranged don't have. If the boss drops fire on himself, the ranged don't care, but the melee have to either stop DPS or die.

We know some or all of these things are going to be addressed in Warlords. The perennial fight between ranged and melee in PvP (ranged want to stay the heck out of melee range, melee desperately need to get into that range) and the constant tug of war that is raiding (where balancing between ranged and melee tends to always favor ramged - most raids bring twice as many ranged players if at all possible) will be affected by the expansion's sweeping changes. To quote CM Lore's twitter feed:

So let's look at one proposed change and discuss how it will affect the game, namely, the trimming down of cast on the move mechanics.

Read more →

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

Warlords of Draenor: Is there already an internal alpha?

Here at WoW Insider, we're really excited about Warlords of Draenor beta. And when I say we're really excited, I mean we're really excited. So we're always looking for clues that it might be coming. If you weren't aware, the things that will generally happen before a press beta are an internal alpha, followed by a very small friends and family alpha. So when Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka tweeted the following, we had to share:


Now, Holinka is definitely not saying that there categorically is an internal alpha. He is the PvP designer, after all, so it makes sense that he would have the ability to test his designs. But the big differences are things like the removal of abilities, the stat squish, CC removal, the rework of how health and damage scale -- all core systems. So while we can't take this as a confirmation of an internal alpha we can hold out hope that, if there isn't one yet, it won't be long. And that means that we could be well on the way to Beta.

It seems that, if the Warlords of Draenor pre-orders appear with the launch of patch 5.4.7, beta can't be too far behind. Given Blizzard's history, asking players to shell out for an expansion that isn't even in beta yet might be a tall order.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.7 PTR: Alterac Valley changes

Twitter battleground aficionado @AlteracValley recently alerted the world to some minor terrain changes in their namesake battleground. Alterac Valley has had a good deal of work done to it on the patch 5.4.7 PTR, including buffs to almost all the NPCs to ensure it is something more than just a zerg-fest. The patch 5.4.7 PTR patch notes explain these in greater detail.

But the changes noted in @AlteracValley's screenshot above are not yet on the patch notes. What are we looking at here? Well, the eagle-eyed observer will note the removal of some hills outside the Horde base, which previously allowed Alliance players to jump over the wall and avoid the usual entrance. As @AlteracValley also noted on Twitter, the hole in the Frostwolf fence has been repaired.

Are these changes going to swing the battleground back in the Horde's favor? As recent win-loss ratios indicated, Horde have a hard time in Alterac Valley. While all balance changes are great, I doubt it's going to have a big impact. It is, after all, a couple of minor changes that many casual PvPers will not even notice. But time will tell, and it's great to see change happening at all in the game's least popular battleground.

Filed under: PvP

Patch 5.4.7 arrival imminent as season 14 end is announced

We discussed in the past that a new PvP season was announced before the arrival of Warlords of Draenor, and at the time waxed lyrical on the historic durations of PvP seasons, and the impact that a new season might have on the release of the expansion. And now the season is here, and with it, patch 5.4.7, which has been tested on the PTR, including character upgrades and more.

And now the two-week warning is here. This says the usual stuff, season 14 conquest items will be converted to honor cost, with the exception of those with rating requirements, which will not be available for purchase. They aim to hand out the awards, mounts and the like, within one week, but it could well take two. There is now a minimum rating of 1,000 for players to count in the title calculation. Personal rating will be reset with the season end, but as we've become accustomed to, there is no talk of an MMR reset.

What does this mean for patch 5.4.7? Well, in recent history, the end of the season has coincided with the launch of the patch. While the blog is clearly saying "as early as two weeks from now", they generally stick to the two week period advertised. What will 5.4.7 bring, and how long will season 15 last? Both of these questions could be key for determining a realistic release date for Warlords. And what's more, could pre-orders begin around 5.4.7? There has not been direct confirmation, but the presence of the upgrades on the PTR suggests they are not far out.


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

Does PvP need more queueing options?

WoW Insider received a question to our tip line from a player who's lost their way a little when it comes to PvP:
I greatly enjoyed PvP during Cata, but I just haven't been able to get into it during MoP at all. I'm part of a small guild (4 active players), and none of them enjoy PvP. Since I usually have to go it alone, I have a preference for the larger BGs -- AV and Isle. It's easier to be a part of the crowd where individuals carry less weight, but still feel useful and able to help in the smaller skirmishes along the way.

PvE has several queuing options -- LFR, Flex (with a group), Scenarios, regular dungeons and heroics. There's a size and activity for everyone.

PvP on the other hand has BGs (random or rated) or arena. While not quite adding more options, do you think Blizzard may consider separating out the BGs into different sized-based queues?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Nerfs to Warriors' Charge and Warbringer reverted... for now

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has posted on the official forums about the reversion of a recent, controversial change to Warrior control against casters. While any class will likely complain about the removal of a CC ability, warriors were particularly vehement about their dislike of the change to take the stun off Charge on the patch 5.4.7 PTR. Warbringer was also altered to stun instead of rooting, so that if you were happy to sacrifice the tier's other talents, you could get the stun back.

Those nay-sayers will be happy to hear that this change has been reverted. Instead, Pummel will be on a shared 15-second cooldown with Disrupting Shout. So, if you Pummel, that will mean your Disrupting Shout is put on a 15-second cooldown, and if you use Disrupting Shout, your Pummel will be put on a 15-second cooldown. The purpose of this change is to make warriors less disruptive to casters -- the same as the purpose of the previous change to Charge, but Charge is a far more difficult ability to alter in the proposed way. Lore gives the example of Charge onto a target with Hand of Freedom active, and there are several other issues that may arise. While this change is superior for PvP, it might have a larger impact on PvE warriors than the previous Charge nerf.

With the changes to CC going forward, in Warlords, it would be no surprise to see this CC change return. But Lore says they don't have time right now... does this mean the new season and patch 5.4.7 are imminent?

Read more →

Filed under: Warrior, PvP

Do Battlegrounds need tutorials?

When I first starting doing Battlegrounds way back in vanilla, it was pretty easy to learn exactly what the rules were. Not because I went and researched the individual Battlegrounds, but because I had a team of guildmates that were happily running the new feature over and over for a fun break from raiding. In later years, I joined a guild that was by and large devoted to PvP content over PvE. With the original honor grind being as ruthlessly difficult as it was, I was happy to help heal those in the guild working on that arduous trek to High Warlord -- and I never had to ask what to do in a Battleground. I was well informed from the get-go.

But at some point after Burning Crusade, I simply lost interest in PvP. I think it was after the introduction of arenas. Most of my PvP-oriented friends became absolutely enthralled with the idea of doing arenas, gaining ranks, and more importantly earning those hard-won season's end mount rewards. It wasn't that I didn't have an interest in the mounts, or that I didn't like PvP anymore. It was more that I knew, logistically speaking, that I wasn't particularly good at PvP. It didn't matter so much when the games were just a matter of win or lose, but when it came to arenas, I really didn't want to ruin the carefully-earned rankings my friends had obtained. I came from an era of the original honor grind. Rankings were sacred back then.

Consequentially, I don't really do PvP anymore. Not because I don't enjoy a good Battleground, but because at this stage in the game, I haven't the faintest idea what to do in any of them.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Why do we still have separate PvP and PvE gear?

While seeking out questions to a Queue I wrote, I was asked by a Twitter follower why we had separate PvE and PvP gear in the first place. A question I love, and that I wouldn't be able to respond to briefly enough for The Queue. I'm not going to go into a complete, exhaustive history of PvP gear. For starters, I didn't play in Classic, so I can't really comment on the gear then, but I gather that there was a lot more overlap between the two.

Then, with Burning Crusade, back in 2006, the combat rating system and Resilience were both introduced, along with arenas. PvP gear was born. It's been through many different iterations since then -- too easy to get, too hard to get, too bad for PvE, too good for PvE, different effects, stat budgets, you name it. But history, while it merits repetition, shouldn't have too much bearing on this question in today's game.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

PvP toggle for PvE realms coming in Warlords of Draenor

Addressing a forum thread about people inadvertently flagging for PvP when cross-realm grouping, Bashiok mentions a welcome change for Warlords of Draenor that I hadn't heard before -- namely, a more robust PvP toggle on/off that will prevent issues like that from occuring.
Bashiok - Re: Stop..ramming..pvp...down...my...throat!!!
Well, I understand where you're coming from, but flagging as a PvE character is based on a player's action to flag themselves (even if it's on accident), so I'm not sure it's us making you PvP. The systems that can cause someone to flag can absolutely at times be involuntary, which is notably frustrating.

In any case we are continuing toward a goal of a PvP on/off toggle for players on PvE realms to be added in Warlords of Draenor, which would absolutely and in all situations allow someone to refrain from becoming flagged regardless of their actions. Heals toward flagged players would fail, coalescing to PvP realms wouldn't be possible, misclicks and AoE's would never damage a flagged opponent, etc. It's actually quite a bit of work because of all the systems involved, but it's still something we think PvE players should have, and how the game should work for them.


I admit I especially like the idea that misclicks and such would never damage a flagged player, thus preventing a host of shenanigans I've seen over the years (mounted flagged players crowding on top of quest givers, stealthed players jumping while flagged in front of melee characters in order to get them to flag so that their friends can kill them, you know the ones I mean) and would put the decision to PvP squarely in the hands of the player in question.

I for one am excited for this. Keeping PvE-focused players able to absolutely refrain from PvP is fundamental to player enjoyment on both sides of the PvE/PvP debate, in my opinion.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Low level PvP balance to be reviewed

PvPers rejoice! Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok has made a post today that is music to our ears. As ever, the whole lengthy ramble is after the break, but let's cherry-pick here for a second. What Bashiok is replying to is a perfectly reasonable post about PvP balance. He starts off with the same thing we're used to hearing, that WoW is a big game, and the devs have to focus their efforts on where the majority of players hang out, which, for PvP, is max level.

But then it gets interesting. He confirms that "some" low-level PvP balance will be addressed in Warlords. Some? What does he mean? Well, he continues on to explain that as a part of the ability removal that's going on, the devs are going to be looking at the ability acquisition pacing -- when you get stuff as you level up. At the same time as doing this, and the stat squish, they are going to be doing a pass on low-level balance, looking to ensure that ability damage is more even than it is now.

He does add that the lower brackets are inherently somewhat imbalanced, but that the devs' goal is to improve that as they work through the abilities. He also notes that they will be fixing "obvious tuning problems", and doing as much fine-tuning as possible. This is fantastic news for low-level PvPers everywhere! Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP

Patch 5.4.7 PTR: 5 minute Dampening reverted to 10 minutes for 3v3 and 5v5

Community Manager Lore has delivered some news to the official forums that has made me rather cheerful.
Lore
After some additional discussion, we've decided to make this change only apply in the 2v2 bracket. Dampening will remain at 10 minutes in 3v3 and 5v5 arenas.

I've been posting a lot about this potential change, since Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka tweeted about it a while back when changes went in by accident after BlizzCon. And while I am still not a fan of the change, I can agree with it way more in 2v2 than in 3v3 or 5v5.

Why is that? Well, in 2v2, especially in healer-DPS versus healer-DPS, matches can go on longer, and even result in draws far more often than in the other sizes. Simply, a healer is not designed to be easily killable by a single DPS. As a result, it's harder work to take them down in 2v2. I won't pretend that I like the Dampening system, but it's better at 5 minutes in 2v2 for (hopefully) just one season.

What we don't know yet is just how far it will go.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Patch 5.4.7: PvP gear will be ilevel 550

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has confirmed via Twitter that PvP gear in season 15 will be ilvl 550.

And just in case, like me, you weren't 100% convinced he was serious, Community Representative Lore also tweeted confirming the item level was correct. Does this mean that the season is imminent?

Is this good or bad news? Depends what you play the most. If you're a PvE-er this is not such great news. Double-upgraded Flex gear is now 2 item levels behind Conquest gear. But more relevant is honor gear. What this means is that, if you're starting from scratch, the best way to hit a higher item level is no longer to farm Timeless Isle. It's to kill rares in Krasarang, do dungeons to get JP to convert and buy honor gear, which will likely be 522 or 524 ilvl, or to do PvP.

No player with a preference for PvP or PvE likes to feel they have to do the other to gear up. While this PvP gear won't have the PvE set bonuses or similar, and may not be superior to Flex gear as a result, it could still be perceived as such by someone focused on ilvl alone.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, PvP, Raiding

What do Battleground win-loss numbers really tell us?

MMO Champion recently posted an interesting graph indicating win-loss percentages for the different battlegrounds from different factions. Now, they were clear, as any good data gatherers should be, that their data isn't perfect. It's very hard for anyone except Blizzard to gather perfect data on these sorts of things, and MMOC made no bones about it. Nonetheless, Blizzard's Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka confirmed over the weekend that they were representative of the trends:


It's interesting to note that Holinka is quick to dispel the notion that maps are imbalanced. But let's look at the ones completely outside the RBG rotation for a moment. Isle of Conquest (IoC) is a really interesting one. It's one that it is definitely easier for Alliance to win, thanks to how the Docks is marginally closer to their base than to the Horde one, but in no way does it account for that magnitude of difference. Indeed, looking back at MMOC's 2011 figures tells a very different story.

What this tells us is which battlegrounds Horde downvote. Horde have a minor disadvantage in IoC, and so the experienced PvPers will downvote it. This means that the Horde players who are in IoC are often newer players, less likely to be able to stop the Alliance Docks-->Glaives-->Win strategy.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP

How can Blizzard improve Honor with Warlords?

If you read my recent initial PvP gearing post, you'll know that we're in a bit of a strange situation right now with earning honor. Honor points are the points for the mid-level PvP gear, where the entry level is crafted gear and the top level is Conquest gear. They are currently not earned at their best rate via PvP. Instead, in order to maximise your Honor point gains and gear up with Honor gear as quickly as possible, players would be best advised to do a few different things.

First up, you should farm the three rares in the opposing faction's Krasarang base. They drop 275 honor per kill, more if you have a Guild Standard or similar. Their respawn time averages out at around 30 minutes. There are sometimes oQueue realm-hopping groups, which, while frowned upon by many, are the most efficient ways to farm them.

Other than that you should do Wintergrasp and Tol Barad whenever they're up, they're usually deserted and an easy way to get some fast honor. And if that all seems too much waiting around doing nothing, then you can farm Justice Points by running heroic dungeons, and converting them to honor. Yes that was changed with patch 5.4 to be less efficient, but it's still far more reliable than what you should be doing: random battlegrounds. Yes, your first win of the day is worth getting, it nets you conquest points too, but if it takes you five tries to win one, you're wasting your time.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Warlords of Draenor

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

Mists of Pandaria Screenshots And Concept Art
Mists of Pandaria Screenshots of the Day
Kalimdor in Minecraft
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2012
It came from the Blog: Caroling Carnage
It came from the Blog: Hallow's End 2011
It came from the Blog: Pilgrim's Bounty 2011
Mat's Birthday Wish
WoW Tier 13 Armor Sets

 

Categories