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Posts with tag 5v5

Blood Sport: Cleave carnage

So. Arenas. How have your Arena campaigns been coming along? Lately, we've been encountering a lot of melee teams in our bracket. Melee has been enjoying a rise in popularity since Season 3, when Armor Penetration made its debut in Arena gear. Of course, with Armor Penetration stats maintaining status quo across the board in Season 4 while Armor values went up, this has become less of a factor. Nonetheless, the melee pain train continues to chug along, with more double melee teams having a strong showing in 3v3 and of course the popular triple melee Cleave setup in 5v5. For the most part, any team comp with two or more physical DPS classes is technically a Cleave team.

Melee in 5v5 was popularized by Serennia in his Warrior / Rogue / Enh. Shaman and 2-healer set-up which he tried to dub 'Trifecta'. Trifecta never stuck, of course, so Cleave became a more popular term coming both from the Warrior ability and the fact that a target descended upon by multiple melee will feel like she's being cleaved in half. More than a few clothies have cried foul, and some have accused such comps as being brainless, skill-less, and -- pardon me quoting the term -- "gay". [EDIT: No, it is not okay to use the term "gay" in a derogatory manner, let's just make that clear.]

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

European Arena Tournament 1st qualifying round ends, 2nd round begins

Slorkuz has posted some information of interest for European PvPers. The first qualifying round of the Arena Tournament is over, with the second one beginning today, May 21st, and lasting until June 2nd. You can sign up at the European Information page (for Americans, our information page is here). Ranked matches for this round will be starting on June 16th and last until July 16th, so you should have plenty of time to prepare and practice, and plenty of time to get in your matches.

Remember, if you win, that's a good 25,000 dollars in the bank. Not bad for a bit of 3v3, if you're already into it. Good luck to all competitors!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Contests, Arena

15 Minutes of Fame: Arena team Smites its way to the top

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – both the renowned and the relatively anonymous, the remarkable and the player-next-door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

Meet 5v5 Arena team M L H of
Argent Dawn, ranked 7th in the Ruin battlegroup when we spoke with them recently and holding strong this week at 12th with a team rating of 2340. M L H's claim to fame: they are currently the highest-ranked 5v5 team that includes a Smite Priest. The core of this chilled-but-skilled team is a Boomkin Druid, and their secret to their success is the savvy deployment of four healing-capable DPS classes. In this lengthy interview, 15 Minutes of Fame sat down with the whole team to get their insights on PvP, strategy, team composition and a brand new video of the team in action.

M L H of Argent Dawn, Ruin battlegroup
Ental, Elemental Shaman
Grackel, Disc/Holy Priest
Iashu, Holy Paladin
Vorgestellt, Frost Mage
Molimo, Balance Druid

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Filed under: Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, PvP, Features, Interviews, Arena, 15 Minutes of Fame

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

Priestess Delrissa, bringing a little PvP to your PvE

A brief glance at the Dungeons and Raids official forum last night was a bit of a surprise. The third boss in Magisters' Terrace has inspired a lot of hatred and arguing. Why is that a surprise to me? Well, it's becoming one of my favorite 5 man boss encounters in WoW! Either the QQ is going strong on the official forums, or I'm a complete and utter masochist. I'm leaning towards that second one, considering Blackheart the Inciter is my former favorite.

If you have never seen this encounter before, or don't know how it works, Eliah touches on it a bit in his Magisters' Terrace guide. Basically, it's a 5v5 arena match. You can't tank it, there are no threat tables. It's a game of control and survival. Priestess Delrissa, who is a Holy Priest, can spawn with four random friends, chosen from a pool of eight.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides

Bornakk: Incoming Arena queue relief in 2.4

Bornakk revealed a welcome bit of future patch info on the general forums recently, announcing that there is an incoming improvement on a future 2.4 update that should lower arena queuing times across the board. This is definitely welcome news for many of us, although those who counted on getting chores done during the queue might get a little disappointed!

We've heard in the past that blizzard didn't want to rush in to any quick fixes and was considering the queue time issue carefully, so hopefully that means they've found a solution that will stick. Thus far, aside from the occasional mishap from a sneaky warlock and the lack of certain expected class changes, they seem to have had a smooth and well received patch on their hands.

While some people were asking for a hot fix in the thread, Bornakk assured them that the change was complicated enough that needed a patch. Being someone who often ends up running his 2v2s on Saturday or Sunday evening and experiences queue times that sometimes climb to 10 minutes or more, I'd say the wait will be worth it if it means I don't have to wait around quite so long in the future. Faster queue times, at the least, mean I can fit another daily or two in.

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Arena

New online tool shows popular arena setups

You may already be aware that SK Gaming has a listing of the top arena teams in the US, Europe, and Korea, all ranked against one another. Now SK Gaming has added another feature to this listing, which shows both the most "popular setups for high ranked teams" and the "average rating for popular setups." You can see very clearly the top five class combinations in each category of the arenas, from 5-vs-5 to 2-vs-2, all right above their regular listing of the top teams in each category.

I originally found this new interface via World of Raids, and they have their own summary of the most popular class setups. However, clicking through some of the options on SK Gaming's site, you can clearly see it's not just a simple matter of having the right classes in order to win. In 5-vs-5 it seems that, for the most part, the warrior and the paladin provide the backbone of a good group, while after that, you need a balance of some hybrid healing and dps classes.

In 3-vs-3 and 2-vs-2, however, you can find many groups doing very well without any warriors or paladins at all. The traditional roles of "tank, healing, damage" we see in PvE obviously don't always apply in the arena, where the balance of your team's abilities working together is what matters most. Druids, rogues, and warlocks in particular seem to shine much more here than in 5-vs-5.

So if you're a serious arena junkie, and you like analyzing these things, head on over and see what you make of these various class combinations. As always, our regular Blood Sport column can help you, as V'Ming has lots of information about how the classes are balanced together as well.

Filed under: PvP, Arena

The 2-vs-2 arena queue and you

We usually don't realize it, but there is actually an upper limit to the number of instances that can be created in WoW at any given moment. If all the players on your server somehow decided to run Karazhan at about the same time, you'd find that after a certain number of raids had gotten started, some players would be stuck at the loading screen, waiting for the others to finish. Normally, of course, it's not a problem, because people don't all go to Karazhan at the same time. But at prime time, the 2-vs-2 arena instances are as popular as can be, so the 2-vs-2 arena instance slots get full, and frustrated players sometimes find themselves waiting a good long time for one of their turn to fight.

Last month, Drysc said that the Blizzard team still didn't know what to do about it. But now, he says that they do have a special change planned to help solve this problem. It's going to require a patch, though, and not the upcoming patch 2.3.2, either, but it is scheduled for some point in the future, "as soon as possible." Patch 2.4 perhaps? "The change," Drysc says, "will make it so that more instances can kick up in a shorter amount of time. Which doesn't necessarily mean there can't ever be a wait again, but it should drastically decrease them." However much "drastically" is, shorter is always better than longer, when it comes to queues!

Filed under: Patches, PvP, Arena

No incoming fix for long arena queues

With the popularity of the new arena season, queue times across the servers are getting pretty long. This is especially noticeable in the 2v2 bracket, which is the most popular team size. When a player posted his complaints about the long queues today, Drysc chimed in to give indication that there will be no quick fix incoming. Instead, the devs are going to wait to get the big picture on the influx of PvPers instead of making rash decisions.

I don't know what your experiences have been like lately, but the queues on my main server seem to be getting longer and longer rather than diminishing. The new season has only been out for about a week now, so perhaps it's too early to expect interest to be fading, but I hope there is some sort of solution soon. I've contemplated moving up to the 3v3 bracket, but I've heard via word of mouth that those queues are getting pretty lengthy as well. Perhaps it's time to give 5v5 a chance once again, if I can corral some of my guildmates to chose a specific time to do our matches and stick with it.

What has your experience with the arena queues been like since the new season began?

Filed under: PvP, Forums, Arena

2v2 almost was 4v4

Nestled in a hokey thread (as important as the overpowered McRib is, it's not something I'd really expect a blue to be commenting on), Kalgan has dropped some insight about how Blizzard is viewing the very strange 2v2 Arena lineup. 2v2 is the weirdest balance of all, because not only is WoW not a dueling game, it's not a 2v2 game either. It's very possible for there to be two classes within four players that don't have balances against each other.

And Kalgan says that Blizzard realizes this, and as a result, they are still not happy with the way 2v2 is balanced out-- Kalgan says that there are a lot of classes "left out of having a reasonable chance" to compete in the format, because of the "endurance" nature of the game. In fact, Blizzard almost went with a 4v4 Arena instead (in addition to the 3v3 and 5v5 teams now in the game), and abandoned the 2v2 idea entirely. The reason 2v2 stayed is that Kalgan agrees that players should be able to grab a friend and play. So Blizzard apparently took on the bigger challenge of balancing 2v2 just to keep players who didn't have lots of great PvPing friends in the Arena game.

Was it worth it? I've played both 2v2 and 5v5 formats, and I'd have to say that 2v2 is an interesting format, but the players angry about balance are right-- there are just some fights that can't be won in 2v2. I don't know if that's reason enough to have decided against it and gone with 4v4 instead (and I also don't think that there are lots of players that have friends enough to play 2v2 and not one of the bigger brackets), but Blizzard does have a long road ahead of them if they want to make 2v2 seriously balanced. Depending on how many people they've got playing there (my hunch is that 5v5 is much more popular, but that's just a hunch, I haven't seen the numbers), that may not be a road worth traveling.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Blizzard, PvP

WoW Insider interviews WSVG President Matthew Ringel

This Sunday afternoon, July 29th, the WSVG is coming to network television. Starting at noon, CBS is showing an hourlong special of WSVG events, including their recent tournament in Louisville, as well as other events in this, their second season, leading up to the December finals in Sweden.

WoW Insider got to chat with WSVG President and Commissioner Matthew Ringel about how he's trying to turn videogames into a spectator sport, what the real standard for Arena combat is, and how you can explain a fight between six people with different specs and different classes to an audience who's never seen this game before. No easy task, to be sure. The entire exclusive interview starts right after the jump.

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Interviews

Curse previews WSVG on CBS

Curse has posted a reminder that the WSVG is bringing WoW Arena combat to CBS one week from Sunday, July 29th, at noon. They've even got a video up from CBS promoting not only the WoW tournament, but also Fight Night 3 and even Guitar Hero. If you never thought a Guitar Hero tournament would ever appear on network television, you can join the club-- the line starts right next to me.

Right now, as Curse says, Team Pandemic is the team to watch in Arena matchups, but word is that Insurrection and a couple of other teams will make a showing as well. Supposedly, only 3v3 will be shown, which is a little strange because Blizzard seems to be promoting 5v5 as the standard for Arena play (you actually gain more points in game for winning at 5v5), but maybe CBS figured having ten players in one match would be a little too confusing. Of course the big question will be how it's presented-- will CBS be able to make a so far practically unwatchable event interesting enough to pull in a larger audience? Find out on July 29th.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP

This week in the Arena

Players participating in Arena PvP get more than cool prizes -- the top 0.5% of participating teams are also going to be immortalized in Blizzard's Hall of Fame. And the top teams from season one have just shown up.

Also, the second qualifying round for the 2v2 Championship Gaming Series has begun. The live CGS tournament will be taking place at BlizzCon in August -- and everyone here at WoW Insider wishes the competing teams the best of luck.

And finally in Arena news for the week, we've got stats on the top 20 US Arena teams compiled by Caster. The data, as always, is interesting (if a bit disheartening for some classes). Here's the basic class breakdown, but for more details on precise numbers of each class and talent spec breakdowns, check the original post.

5v5 Arenas
  • Paladin: 18%
  • Warrior: 18%
  • Priest: 14%
  • Shaman: 12%
  • Mage: 12%
  • Warlock: 11%
  • Rogue: 6%
  • Hunter: 5%
  • Druid: 4%
3v3 Arenas
  • Warrior: 16%
  • Priest: 15%
  • Paladin: 15%
  • Warlock: 14%
  • Mage: 13%
  • Rogue: 12%
  • Shaman: 8%
  • Druid: 6%
  • Hunter: 2%
2v2 Arenas
  • Warlock: 21%
  • Priest: 15%
  • Paladin: 15%
  • Warrior: 14%
  • Rogue: 13%
  • Druid: 9%
  • Mage: 5%
  • Shaman: 5%
  • Hunter: 2%

Filed under: Blizzard, PvP

Arena stats from the second season start

Caster has posted his "first successful pull" of an exhaustive list of arena PvP stats about class and spec over on the forums. There are tons of stats to play around with here-- for each bracket of 5v5, 3v3, and 2v2, he's got the average, minimum, and maximum of specs for each class, wins and losses, the low, average, and high of hit points, and even a breakdown of who's grouping with who.

Not surprisingly (though I was surprised back when Arenas first started up), Warriors and Paladins are topping the charts in terms of numbers, so it seems a good way to win 5v5 Arenas is simply to stay alive. Apparently 2v2 teams are the most volatile (since people switch around with them all the time), but the numbers there are the most interesting-- Warlocks and Priests top the charts there (thanks a lot, Fear), and it turns out Druids might have actually have a place in Arena PvP-- as long as it's right alongside a Lock.

And the big loser is apparently Hunters-- their numbers are down to single digits in 2v2 and 3v3 (as in 1 and 2 total), which means players are not taking their Hunters into the arenas. Is that because Hunters aren't useful or viable enough in the smaller teams? I'll leave that one up to you.

[ via WoW LJ ]

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Classes, Talents

Curse interviews HUKs, WSVG kicks off in Louisville

Just in time for the WSVG's kickoff of the Louisville event this weekend, Curse has a video interview up with THE HUKHUKHUKHUKHUKS of Flow Gaming, the US Regional 5v5 Champions. The interview itself isn't really that gripping unless you really follow this arena tournament stuff (I like that they do fit in at least one sports interview cliche: "I feel really good about our win today"). There one complaint about the way WSVG handles gear-- apparently, they give everyone standard gear to make sure things are balanced, but HUK's Shaman says that he gets resilience gear rather than the stamina and crit that he usually uses.

Unfortunately Curse doesn't ask about the disqualifications that happened recently (when players were found to be using each other's accounts, against the ToU), but they do ask about another problem I have with WSVG, and that is commentating the matches for spectators. As the players say, "they don't even have a good system to really view the matches as they're happening." So there's a nice goal for some would-be entertainment mogul: figure out a way to make watching players play videogames both understandable and interesting.

Meanwhile, the WSVG is in Louisville, and their sparse schedule says they've got WoW on the menu for all four days. If you can't make it down there, Curse will have streaming video all weekend (if you can get it to work-- I couldn't) right here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Guilds, PvP

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