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Posts with tag Dalaran-Arena

Arenas hotfixed, more changes to come


I said it before, and I'll say it again: the new Arena maps suck. The gimmick-laden maps of the Ring of Valor and Dalaran Sewers are great fun in a Takeshi's Castle sort of way but are a bad idea in serious Arena play. You would've thought Blizzard learned their lesson with the cyclone effect in the Nagrand Arenas. The new Arena maps introduce unnecessary RNG that some high ranked Arena players don't appreciate. In fact, both of the new maps are banned from the recent ESL Arena Tournament in Germany.

Blizzard applied some hotfixes over the past few days that should help make the maps less of a circus. The gates have been removed from the Ring of Valor, allowing players to engage as soon as the problematic elevators hit the arena floor. The moving pillars were adjusted to start the match in the elevated position, whereas they used to rise a few seconds after the match started. Most importantly, the damage from the flame wall was changed to break certain effects such as Fears and Roots after a certain amount of damage has been dealt. The last change is nice, but it's still problematic. The only thing that should damage another player in an Arena is another player.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Forums, Arena

The Art of War(craft): The limbo season

Welcome to the most worthless Season ever. This Arena period, not technically a season because there are no associated rewards, is a season in limbo. The end-of-season rewards for Season 4 have been handed out -- incorrectly in some cases -- and there is no scheduled end to the current one with no new gear will be released for Level 70 players. Unlike in the past, this season has an indefinite end for Level 70 players and no foreseeable continuity with future Arena Seasons which will be focused on Level 80 play.

Ironically, this is also the best season for a lot of players to catch up on their Arena gear. For one thing, the top Arena players no longer have anything to play for. Most have already gotten full Brutal Gladiator sets, their titles and / or mounts, and have no incentive to continue participating in Arenas. Because Arena points are wiped the moment a character levels to 71, players who have all the gear have no point in accumulating it. Because there are no end-of-season rewards, ratings don't mean anything. Lastly, dedicated Arena players typically use one season to gear up for the next. Because the next stage of meaningful competitive play is at Level 80, this makes the current season's gear useless for future Arena PvP.

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

The Art of War(craft): PvP in BlizzCon 2008


I said it before and I'll say it again. I'm not a huge fan of the new gimmicky mechanics of the new Dalaran and Orgrimmar Arenas. Blizzard highlighted these features in the PvP panel earlier today. There really isn't anything new, as most of these features were touted at the Worldwide Invitational, except that this time there are now textures for the maps.

I'll concur that the new dynamic elements add a bit of fun and another layer of strategy to Arena matches. That said, it also brings in an unnecessary factor of RNG. If Arenas are to be truly a barometer of professional and competitive play, it should have as little gimmick elements as possible. In Arena terms, it should be something uncomplicated like a boxing ring or martial arts mat. The new maps are more like American Gladiators or Takeshi's Castle. On the other hand, that kind of format has higher entertainment value.

The good news is that the best players will know the timing of the moving pillars, flames, and water spouts and use it to their advantage. The bad news is that those elements will save a lot of lesser skilled players' lives and sometimes break heals or worse, land accidental killing blows. Being at 1% health and dying to a flame spout while trying to get away from an opponent would suck big time, especially in pro competition.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Patch 3.0 PTR round-up


The public test realm has just gone live, and if you've got any characters on it (or if you'd like to go copy some), you can head on over to enjoy all of the patchtastic frivolity likely to descend sometime soon.

In case you're catching up to the rest of us, patch 3.0 is another large content patch specifically designed to transition the player base to the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King. We won't be seeing Death Knights or Northrend (or at least, we're pretty sure we won't, unless they're planning on a big surprise). We will be seeing all of the 1-70 class changes, new features added to the default UI, barbershops, Inscription, a raid buff system overhaul, and more, in addition to four European servers closing due to Russian player migration. Read on for a quick guide to what you can expect:

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Expansions, Mounts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Wrath of the Lich King's magical city of Dalaran

Dalaran, which is more or less the Shattrath of Wrath, has been getting a lot of love in the last couple of beta patches. It seems development on that particular bit of Northrend is going at full steam. It's still far from complete, with a whole legion of NPCs missing, the inside of some buildings still lack textures, and entire parts of the city still walled off. It really is coming together little by little though, and the city is more or less presentable now, not to mention beautiful -- it's like cotton candy for your eyeballs.

We've put together a little gallery of Dalaran for you to sift through if you're interested, and as the beta patches go by we'll probably update it with more of the finished product. Not yet pictured is the Dalaran Sewers, but I hope to fix that soon. What are the Dalaran sewers, you might be wondering? It's a small hidden town beneath Dalaran, within the pipelines that were torn up when the relocation took place. It's full of all sorts of unsavory stuff. Awesome? Yes. Yes it is.

Filed under: Undead, Expansions, Lore, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

WWI '08 Panel Analysis: PvP part II, New Arena Maps


Any discussion about World of Warcraft PvP nowadays inevitably involves Arenas. With the onset of Season 4 and its new rules and requirements, Arena play is getting more intense than ever. Of course, as the competition heats up, the cries of an imbalanced contest grow louder than ever. Blizzard seems to be aware of the issues and have taken some steps in the development of the Wrath of the Lich King to address class and spec viability.

During the panel on "PvP Game Systems", however, lead designers Tom Chilton and Corey Stockton devoted most of their Arena discussion to the new maps rather than the hairy, and probably inconclusive, issue of class balance and representation. The new Arena maps follow Blizzard's philosophy of keeping things simple yet have room for innovation; having dynamic points of interest; having conceptually different starting areas; and leave allowance to make adjustments during development.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, PvP, Arena, Worldwide Invitational

WWI '08 Panel Analysis: PvP part I, Lake Wintergrasp


We've been receiving a constant stream of news from the ongoing Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France, and we've gotten hints of changes coming to the game that promises overall improvements to PvP. In the developers' panel discussion, we learned of a Shadow Priest talent called Dispersion, which Blizzard hopes will allow the underrepresented Shadow Priests to become more viable in Arenas. The dungeons and raids discussion yielded plans to further continue the purchase of PvP gear through PvE, such as from reputation.

The panel at the WWI earlier was cleverly titled "PvP Game Systems", where Tom Chilton and Corey Stockton discussed Lake Wintergrasp, new Arena maps, and the new Battleground. It was a rather uninspired panel compared to the previous ones, revealing very little that anxious players didn't already know. Because of the suspiciously lengthy yet predictable presentation, very little time was left for questions (of class balance, I bet), although a few good ones were asked -- and surprisingly answered -- during the session.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena, Worldwide Invitational

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