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Filed under: Ranking

GotFrag's Orlando Tournament Preview

American arena's best of the best will be back in action this weekend as MLGs PC Circuit continues in Orlando. Once again, the winning team will be awarded $12,000 and three Blackbird Gaming PCs. There is a lot on the line with a total prize purse is $31,500. You can watch the tournament live on GotFrag TV. Broadcasts will begin Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th at 9am Eastern time.

Many of the same teams from the San Diego event will be representing in Florida. GotGrat's Knitt Quinn posted a preview analysis of the teams to beat. The analysis describes the strengths and weaknesses of each team. You can expect to see some well known teams and a few newcomers to the MLG scene. Many of the teams have a pool of known compositions to draw from:

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Filed under: Ranking, Events, News items, PvP, Arena

[1.Local]: The week through the eyes of our readers


[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

WoW Insider readers have frenzied like a pack of rabid murlocs on speculation over Blizzard's splash screen changes. Theories abound – and we're keeping an eye on all of them, for your reading (and speculative) pleasure. Another hot topic this week proved to be, of all things, the faction segregation of Brewfest mounts.

Readers pulled together to offer up tips and encouragement for downing Midsummer boss Lord Ahune, before going at each other's throats over whether today's BGs are all about the zerg rush for honor -- or "real" PvP. And finally, one reader offered up his advice to another player's Arena newbie question about his prospects going up against seasoned Arena players in Season 4 – ouch.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Ranking, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Bosses, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, [1.Local]

Watch MLG action on GotFrag

The best of the best will be going head to head next weekend, June 14 and 15 in Major League Gaming's $22,500 tournament. Members of the winning team will each receive a Blackbird gaming PC in addition to a $4,000 cash prize. The arena action will be live in San Diego, but for those of us who can't be in "'s Finest City," the events will be broadcast on GotFrag TV. Broadcast coverage begins at 9AM (Pacific) each day and will be hosted by Rob "voice" Simpson and Jared "vhell" Coulston.

This event, inaugurating MLG's PC Circuit, promises to be action packed. Registered participants include:
fnatic
Frag Dominant
Frag Dominant (Duelists going for Glad)
MoB TurtleForce
MoB TurtlePower
Pandemic

SK Gaming

If you've never viewed any of GotFrags web-based programs, you will need to prepare your computer. Viewing the tournament will require installing GotFrag's Octoshape Plug-in which operates in the Java runtime on a PC. You can also use an external Octoshape player. Mac and Linux users are not excluded from the broadcast. It'll be almost as much fun as watching the Wings win the Stanley Cup.

Filed under: Ranking, Events, PvP, Contests, Arena

Mages and Rogues jump in Arena stats, while Hunters fall behind


Vhiari, keeper of the Armory stats, has updated once again, this time taking a look at Arena performance across all three rankings and all of the classes contained within. The 2v2 comparison (showing Arena rankings, across the bottom, with the percentage of players in each class at that ranking) tells the overall story: Mages are seeing major gains in the Arena, as are Rogues, which Vhiari speculates may be at the cost of Warlocks (who took a small tumble). And just as last time, Hunters continue to struggle in all three brackets -- 5v5 has the same situation as above, but in less extreme amounts.

Of course, these are stats, and what these stats actually mean is up to you (and more importantly, up to Blizzard -- this is just a sign of who's getting which rankings at which levels, and this could be the result of many different things, so there's no reason to expect buffs or nerfs based on just this information). Still, it's a pretty clear look at just who's winning out there, for whatever reason -- the stats say Mages have done well the past few months, while Hunters continue to struggle inside the Arenas.

[via WoR]

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Odds and ends, PvP, Arena

Blizzard names first round of qualifying teams for the North American 3v3 arena tournament regionals


According to Nihilum, Blizzard has now sent out the first round of emails to the qualifying teams for the North American regional finals for the 3v3 arena tournament. They'll be barred for competing in ranked matches for the second qualifying rounds, but will be allowed to fight skirmish matches to pratice their skills. The following teams, according to Nihilum and the official ladder page, made it to the next round:
  • Dude I got it on FRAPS at 2,182 points. Their team consisted of 2 Warlocks, a Shaman, a Druid, A Priest, and a Hunter.
  • duelist going for glad at 2,181 points. Their team consisted of 2 Rogues, a Mage, A Druid, and a Priest.
  • Frag Dominant at 2,179 points. Their team consisted of 2 Rogues, a Druid, and a Warlock.
  • Dynamo Gaming at 2,178 points. Their team consisted of a Warrior, a Druid, a Rogue, and a Warlock.
  • In The Shadowplay at 2,178 points. Their team consisted of 2 Shamans, a Rogue, a Priest, and a Warlock.
  • gc and his DAD at 2,178 points. Their team consisted of a Druid, a Warrior, and a Warlock.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Contests, Arena

How many end games have there been?

Today on the WoW Insider Show Mike Schramm, Turpster, Daniel Whitcomb, and BigBearButt were talking about the number of times the game has been beaten. This got me thinking, what exactly is that number? Off the top of his head Mike said 5 or 6 times, and I think that sounds about right. Let's take a closer look though at how many times the game has been beaten, and who's claimed the top spot.

Molten Core – The first end game instance. For a while this was truly the end game. The first guild that beat Ragnaros was Ascent on the Medivh server.

Blackwing Lair – Added in patch 1.6, it existed for a short time as the pinnacle of end game raiding. Drama of the Shattered Hand server was the first guild to kill Nefarian, the end boss of BWL.

Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
– Added in patch 1.9, and was opened up after the server completed the opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj. C'Thun is the end boss of AQ 40, and was first killed by Nihilum.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Raiding

Week 3 Arena Tournament Update


Teams continue to vie for top position in the $200,000 3v3 arena tournament Slash Bark continues to hold on to the top spot with a rating of 2056. Last weeks second and third place teams Let's Be Friends and Jacked as F have dropped into fourth and fifth places respectively, giving way to MoB Gaming (2022) and Eclipse (2020).

RMP teams are well represented among the top contenders. The top 11 teams are all within 100 points of first place, and I wouldn't count out any of the 20 teams over 1900 ratings just yet. At this point all team rosters have been locked and new additions cannot be made.

The remainder of the tournament will include a second qualifying round, followed by regional contests for a shot at the prize money. MLG Is preparing a $22,500 tournament as Blizzard works to make a place for WoW PvP as an Esport, without damaging the PvE game. I suspect that the second qualifying round on the tournament server will be much less popular than the first.

The WoW Insider team fell prey to scheduling difficulties with our Friday Night bouts, but should be back in the saddle this week.

Filed under: Ranking, Events, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

The end of queue dodging


Drysc updated his post on the official forums regarding Season Four Arena changes. It looks like Blizzard is working to put an end to queue dodging and thereby stifle the practice of win trading. Drysc quoted the revised arena rules, "If a team does not enter an arena match that is starting they will lose points equal to the amount that would have been deducted if they had played and lost." With this augmentation, players will no longer be able selectively battle only teams that have agreed to a loss.

Since the Arenas began, there have been many underhanded methods players have used to inflate their ratings and gain access to the latest and greatest gear. Blizzard continues to intervene in order to fix the flawed system. Season four will include a few more changes to make things fair:

  • "If a character's personal rating is more than 150 points below the team rating, they will earn points based on their personal rating instead of the team rating."
  • "If the average personal rating of the players queuing for a game is more than 150 points below the team's rating, the team will be queued against an opponent matching or similar to the average personal rating."

These changes have been implemented to make point and team selling practices less lucrative. With these changes combined with personal rating requirements, it seems the developers really are interested in making people earn their keep as PvPers. This leads me to wonder what they will think up next. Whatever it is, we'll keep you posted.

Filed under: Items, Ranking, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Forums, Arena

Holy Paladin! A 3,000 team/personal rating


While many people enjoy Arena play, for both fun and gear, some teams really stand out from the crowd. DonLolo z Wladem, a 2v2 team from Burning Legion EU has topped the arena charts with a 3,000 team rating. Not only does this team have no need to worry about rating requirements for Season four gear, but they will have plenty of arena points to spend once it is released. This rating yields 1,140 points per week at the 2v2 level.

The team is led by Noksil a Human Paladin. Noksil is the first player to reach a 3,000 personal rating. The build for this mighty combatant consists of 44 points in holy and 17 points in Protection. This build reflects the versatility of hybrid classes in DPS and healing. The team roster also contains two Subtly Rogues: Mnius with a personal rating of 2,883 and Tatus; who carries a rating of 1965 for the 15 games he's completed this season on the team.

Congratulations DonLolo z Wladem. Welcome to the Arena Hall of Fame.

Filed under: Ranking, News items, PvP, Arena

Arena Tournament Update


At the completion of the first f four weeks in the qualifying period, the $200,000 3v3 arena tournament is in full swing, and the field is heating up. The leader board is now topped by teams around a 2,000 rating. This slight drop in ratings indicates stiff competition among top contenders. Slash Bark currently holds the top position with a 2,056. Next comes Rogue-Mage-Priest powerhouse Let's Be Friends sporting a rating of 2,003. Jacked as F, a team whose name accurately describes the state of the Arena Tournament Armory page, holds third place with a rating of 1,998. At this point it's (almost) anybody's game. That is, if the Armory is giving reliable information.

Bornakk recently provided some news on the official forums that may be of interest to Arena combatants. While not giving a release date for Patch 2.4.2, he indicated that the patch will affect the Tournament realms when it goes live. Buffs, nerfs and item changes may have an impact on composition and strategy. He also announced that there are currently no plans to add the Stormherald to the tournament server, as "We haven't added any items that require a profession to use them." (Unless you count Heavy Netherweave Banadages and ring enchantments.) He said that such items may be added in the future. Original poster, Zanyu of Malfurion, believes that adding this item would balance out the presence of Rogues and Warriors in the Tournament. I see it as very unlikely that a change would be made while the tournament is active.

Filed under: Ranking, Events, Blizzard, PvP, Forums, Arena

It's on! Arena Tournament Update


The arena tournament is live. You can still sign up for the tournament, but your team should be pretty close to stabilized. From this point forward any new additions, beyond team founders, to teams will come with a price of a 150 point penatly a pop. After May 6, you will not be able to adjust your roster at all.

If you plan on being competitive in the tournament, your team must complete at least 200 games between now and May 20, 2008. The ratings were all reset to 1500 after maintenance yesterday and the top teams are already flexing their muscles. The top three teams (as of this writing) are all over 2100 points. Outrageously Better Pros is on top at 2180 points, followed by Shadowplay at 2133, and godawful pmr at 2109. The top ten are equally split between Horde and Alliance teams.

Things are just heating up and the tournament will definitely be exciting and enlightening. The WoW Insider arena team will be back in action tonight. Manda, Zach, and I (mandy) will be taking on the world with epic Warlock-Paladin- Druid action. We'll see you in the queues tonight at 7pm PDT! Good hunting.

Filed under: Ranking, Events, PvP, Arena

Tracking the Tournament Realm rankings from the armory

If you're interested in keeping track of the 3v3 Arena Tournament, You can look at Vhiari's breakdowns, sure, and good ones they are. But there's also another resource that should come in handy: The official ladder listings right on the official Armory. By choosing the Coliseum 1 battlegroup, you can see the rankings for the Tournament Realms. The current top 3v3 team, Outrageously Better Pros, Is a Priest/Rogue/Druid team, although the Druid has no games played. Maybe they used to be Priest Mage Rogue, which is a pretty strong combo these days.

It should be fun to watch these rankings as the tournament progresses, both to see what class and spec makeups stay near the top, and to see what outrageous and silly names people can come up with for their teams -- without breaking the naming policy, that is.

What's interesting to me is that despite the fact that the Tournament itself is 3v3 only, the 2v2 and 5v5 brackets are still in full swing, with quite a few teams. I suppose this is a sign that people really do like the idea of a good solid PvP only realm to duke it out with high powered characters to prove their worth. I have to wonder if Blizzard is watching those brackets as closely as they're watching the 3v3 bracket, or if this is a sign that they may make these arena practice realms more permanent in the future.

Either way, all this activity should be fun to watch. Keep your browser pointed to WoW Inside for all the latest Tournament Realm news, including the escapades of our own WoW Insider Arena Team.

Here's some arena page trivia too, while we're on the subject: Mike pointed out to me that the blade that Draenei chick on the arena ladder page is holding is known as The Hungering Cold. Its model was used for the Infamous "Sword of 1,000 Truths" in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft." It currently drops in Naxxramas, so chances are we'll see it again come Wrath of the Lich King.

Filed under: Ranking, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

Vhiari posts Tournament Realm ratings data


Vhiari has released some interesting stats about the Arena Tournament realm over on his Blogspot site. What he did is take the top 5000 (due to "Armory limitations," he says) personal ratings in each bracket, and then charted them according to classes. Keep in mind that this is the Arena Tournament realm (the live realm data is also available separately), so this is more an indication of what players are doing so far on the tournament realm rather than class viability in day-to-day situations.

But keep in mind also that Blizzard is watching the Tournament realm closely for PvP balance, so what we see here could have some hints into the future of Arena changes. Mages especially don't make out too well on the 5v5 chart, and Hunters don't appear to fare much better. Warriors, as you might expect, are off the charts, but comparably on 5v5, Druids aren't at that level. Rogue placement is a surprise, too, but Vhiari just says in the comments that that's more an indication of how many people rolled rogues on the TR rather than a signal that Rogues are rocking 5v5.

Interesting stuff. Unfortunately, the data is a little too fuzzy to pull off any serious conclusions (even if Mages aren't getting high ratings, this chart does nearly nothing at all to help us figure out why that might be), but it's an interesting look at what's happening on the TR so far.

[via WoR]

Filed under: Mage, Rogue, Warrior, Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Classes, Arena

Proudmoore server hits Phase 4 first

Scant hours after the false alarms from the Burning Legion and Area 52 servers, it looks like we have a true winner in the race to Phase 4 of the Shattered Sun Offensive on the Isle of Queldanas. Continuing their streak, the Proudmoore Server activated phase 4 early this morning. Currently, it looks like they're the only ones legitimately at Phase 4, with Cenarius 2nd with 86% accord to us.gorgonnash.info.

Congratulations to Proudmoore on continuing your streak. Be sure to check out our Phase 4 daily guides for all the information you'll need to finish strong. The rest of you, check out our Phase 2 and Phase 3 daily guides to get the edge you need to power up to Phase 4 yourself.

Filed under: Realm News, Ranking, Events, News items, Quests, Factions

WoW addons dominate Google Trends

There's no denying that patch 2.4 has been one hot topic today. Not just here on WoW Insider, either. I'd say it's safe to assume Google is a pretty good indicator of what's what on the internet, and Google Trends reveals all.

Patch 2.4 and many other WoW-related things dominated March 25th as the most popular Google searches. As of 8 PM CST, out of the top ten searches, only two were unrelated to the World of Warcraft. As you can see above, the Omen Threat Meter ranked number one. Not particularly surprising, since it is one of the most used WoW addons around. If WoW is going to dominate the charts, it should be no shock Omen took the lead, especially on a patch day.

As the night goes on, things are tapering off a little bit, but the numbers were still very impressive for most of the day. A screencap of what Omen's search traffic throughout the day looked like is just behind the cut, and you can see pretty clearly when people discovered the patch was coming.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Blizzard, Add-Ons

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