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Posts with tag Furious-Gladiator

The Art of War(craft): Season 7 and the Battleground PvPer


The Art of War(craft) takes you through the paces of the myriad faces of World of Warcraft PvP. Zach, who writes this column, is tragically unfunny and has asshat blood running through his Asian veins. If you're looking for humor, head over to the musings of Christian or Allison. If you want some lore or news, Alex and Adam are your guys. If, however, you feel like bashing someone's face in and dropping The Flag of Ownership on their corpse, you, my friend, have come to the right place.

Season 7 started a while back, and we've now got Colby on the team to pick up on the Arena scene with Blood Sport. He covers all the basics of the latest Arena season in his debut column, so head on over and read up on everything you need to know. That's your primer. On today's The Art of War(craft), I'm going to discuss other things not quite covered by the basics.

First of all, what does a new Arena season mean to the Battleground enthusiast? I mean, who gives a shmoo? Arenas shmarenas, right? Well... not exactly. The sad fact is that Arena players are going to be playing the Battlegrounds, anyway, since the non-set pieces are purchasable with Honor points. While these items also drop off Koralon, the Flame Watcher, the fastest, most efficient way to obtain non-set Relentless Gladiator pieces is through Honor farming in the Battlegrounds.

That means successful Arena play, or at least the most conscientious preparation, requires Battleground participation. The converse isn't necessarily true. The gear disparity in the Battlegrounds is extreme, and it isn't uncommon to find players fresh from hitting Level 80 hitting the maps to grind Honor for gear upgrades. Gear isn't as critical, but it's a definite advantage. My view on the matter is that Arenas are a necessary, but fun, evil.

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

High-Rated PvPers do the robot


We've gotten a bunch of tips recently that claim some very e-famous PvPers are botting in BGs. If you aren't familiar with the term "botting," Dictionary.com provides us with the following definitions of bot:

    1. Bot:
      –noun
      the larva of a botfly.
    2. Bot:
      –noun (Australian Slang)
      a person who cadges; scrounger.
    3. Bot:
      –noun
      a device or piece of software that can execute commands, reply to messages, or perform routine tasks, as online searches, either automatically or with minimal human intervention (often used in combination): intelligent infobots; shopping bots that help consumers find the best prices.

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Filed under: Cheats, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Rumors

Blood Sport: Season 7 - The Death of 2v2 [Updated]


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Season seven is here! The new season brings the same familiar arena combat that we've come to know, love, and sometimes hate. However, the season of the Relentless Gladiator also has many meaningful changes for arena enthusiasts.
  • Abandonment of 2v2 bracket rewards.
  • New ratings requirements on gear.
  • Match Making Rating - is it still busted?
The 2v2 bracket is experiencing a significant revamping

Before season seven had started, 2v2 rewards were slated to be completely cut. 3.2 patch notes indicated that Relentless Gladiator gear could only be purchased if a player met the requirements with their 3v3 or 5v5. 2v2 teams, however, could still be used to purchase the previous season's gear (Furious Gladiator gear).

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Filed under: Items, News items, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Arena Ratings system and requirements to be changed


This week saw the influx of the first batch of iLevel 232 Furious Gladiator weapons into the community. They're awesome weapons and just about the most accessible iLevel 232 items in the game. Available for a mere 50,000 Honor and 1,400 Arena points, the first tier of Furious Gladiator weapons require an 1850 team and personal rating. This is a rather easy rating to obtain in the 2v2 format but slightly more difficult in 3v3 and 5v5 because of several factors including the population competing in the respective brackets.

I mentioned off-hand in last weekend's WRUP that Blizzard borked the system again, and it turns out they did -- Crygil recently announced on the forums that they are working on an in-game update that should improve the ratings system of the 3v3 and 5v5 brackets to allow players in those brackets to achieve ratings similar to what can be gained in 2v2. They are also pushing the requirement of the iLevel 239 Furious Gladiator weapons from 2200 to 2350 to prevent more mayhem because, well, it's kind of too late to take back all those iLevel 232 weapons running around now, isn't it? The good news is that Blizzard is properly rewarding the other brackets after three seasons of having 2v2 advance faster and farther in ratings. The Arena Ratings system has undergone several iterations since it was introduced so you'd have thought Blizzard fixed it somewhere along the road. Apparently they didn't.

Crygil also points out that for Season 7, Blizzard plans to revert the requirements for the highest rated Arena weapons back to 2200 but ensure that the difficulty required to get those ratings are "closer to what is intended". This means that Season 6 is just about the best season to get into Arenas because ratings come rather easily. You know how Blizzard keeps on nerfing Ulduar so more people can experience it? This is the time to try out Arenas because the new progressive ratings system feels good. Just don't get used to it too much because Blizzard is going to 'tweak' the system again for Season 7.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing your Mage for PvP



Each week Arcane Brilliance sits around, thinking of things to put in this opening paragraph. Arcane Brilliance considers many things. Then Arcane Brilliance usually ends up going for the easy Warlock joke, because let's face it, Warlocks are pretty low-hanging fruit, and Arcane Brilliance is lazy.

Of all the new stuff patch 3.1 brought us, perhaps this single most significant change was the addition of dual specs. Suddenly everybody and their second cousins can tank (or think they can tank), and every Druid/Paladin/Shaman has a resto/holy spec waiting in the wings. Everybody rolls on everything in every dungeon because they're "gearing up for their second spec"...or third spec...or whatever.

Mages don't have multiple roles to fill. We can't use our second talent spec slot for a tank or healer build. Our choices are and always have been DPS or DPS, just as God intended. And so, the advent of dual specs have instead opened up a different kind of door for a lot of Mages: PvP.

For the first time, we can keep our mana-efficient, DPS-maximized raiding build, and still have a second PvP-centric build on stand-by. A lot of Mages are taking advantage of this, and many are taking their first real steps into the strange and somewhat intimidating world of player-versus-player combat. For the Mage making that first foray into PvP, the culture shock can be very real, and the gear gap can seem insurmountable.

Fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to tell you how to quickly and easily close that gap. Click the link below, and we'll have you mounting Warlock heads on your wall in no time.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, PvP, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Battlegrounds, Arena

Wrath 101: Emalon the Storm Watcher


So ends the age of the weekly loot piñata. The Wintergrasp raid instance, somewhat inappropriately called the Vault of Archavon, has a new tenant who isn't quite the pushover Archavon the Stone Watcher has been since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. The Vault of Archavon was essentially every Level 80 player's weekly lottery and near guaranteed shot at Emblems. It was the most compelling reason to capture Wintergrasp as the raid was only available to the faction in control of the zone. Enter Emalon the Storm Watcher, a new raid boss with Patch 3.1 who drops Ulduar and Season 6 loot. Emalon's difficulty is ramped up considerably from Archavon and -- if initial forays are any indication -- hard enough to give seasoned raiders like our own Matt Low an aneurysm.

Unlike his meek neighbor Archavon, Emalon actually requires a bit of strategy and situational awareness. He also comes with four bodyguards, the Tempest Minions, who are integral to the fight. As can probably be inferred from his name and his crew, Emalon the Storm Watcher's primary source of damage is lightning, or Nature damage. It won't be necessary to stack resistance, just an understanding of the fight, his abilities, and knowing what to do and avoid. You can visit Emalon by turning into a corridor on the right just before heading into Archavon.

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Filed under: Raiding, Bosses, Guides

Arena Season 6 details revealed


Blizzard Europe poster Ancilorn posted the lowdown on Arena Season 6 (Bornakk posted the same on the US forums), which is slated to begin at around the same time that Patch 3.1 is released. There will be some key changes to this season, the biggest of which will be that all teams will start at 0 rating instead of the traditional 1500. This way, players will generally have an upward progression throughout the season before plateauing at their estimated skill level.

Another change is that Blizzard has reevaluated the item requirements, feeling that many of them were too difficult to obtain. The lowest rating requirement for an item is currently set at 1250, which may seem low but considering players will be progressing from 0, that's a 1250 point spread. In Season 5, the lowest rating requirement is 1615, which is a mere 115 points from the starting point of 1500. It remains to be seen how much of the continually changing Arena system will award points and how easy or hard it will be to move upwards from 0. More details on the ratings after the jump.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

The evolutionary design of Arena gear


When we reported on MMO Champion's sneak peek at the new Furious Gladiator gear, you might have found that new Arena sets were somewhat familiar. They should be. Arena Season 6 item sets are slight variations on a theme. Most of the pieces are recolored versions of the Season 5 multi-tier sets, but the head and shoulder pieces are entirely new models.

What many players who don't like the sets seem to miss on is that this is something entirely new in the game. Blizzard has always done recolored versions of armor, but this is the first time by my reckoning that they have done evolutionary tier gear. [EDIT: This isn't entirely true. Reader Suzaku pointed out that the leather armor from Level 60 PvP sets evolved. My bad on missing out on that.] When I first encountered Blizzard's new multi-tiered PvP gear system, I was apprehensive about the next season's gear because I was afraid it would be difficult to match pieces visually. Arena gear had, prior to Season 5, been mere recolors of PvE raid sets, so there was no contuity from the one season to the next.

The problem with that was upgrading from one season's set to the other created visual clashes. As much as we like to min/max, PvPers like to look good, too. Enter Season 5 and the multi-tier gear system. There were three different sets of gear but all of them melded seamlessly into the other, with minor discrepancies in color. The introduction of an entirely new set of gear with completely different designs in Season 6 would have invalidated not just one but three sets of gear. However, the new design philosophy builds upon the older models, evolving -- as Alex put it -- like Azerothian Pokemon.

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

Season 6 PVP sets are a true upgrade

Here's a really interesting followthrough by Blizzard I never thought I'd see. You may remember a thread a few months back where the OP complained that the PVP sets were boring-looking or visually uninspired; Zarhym responded matter-of-factly replied that the looks of the armor sets would improve over time. While PvE players receive loot that was (ostensibly) culled from the sinewy piles of continually larger and more powerful foes, PvP players receive gear crafted by their faction's tailors, smiths, and leatherworkers -- gear made to get the job done. As one became more and more renowned, their gear would reflect said prestige. I imagined that statement meant that the new models for Season 6 gear would be (subjectively) cool-looking and (objectively) different.

Well, MMO Champion has put up a mostly-complete preview of Season 6 gear models pulled from the seedy underbelly of patch 3.1's data files, and I'm a little surprised and a lot impressed.

Yes, you're probably having the initial reaction that I did upon clicking the link above. "These sets look like what's available now," you're saying, brows furrowed, lips pursed. They do look quite similar, but take a closer look. Things have changed!

We talk a lot about upgrades here, but these new sets go beyond stat increases -- the armor has been visibly beefed up, more parts of your body covered, more adornments added, more magic seeping from its seams.

The shaman head and shoulders appear to be morphing from the pebble-smooth surface into something far more menacing. The paladin's armor has become adorned with glowing gems and the neck protected. There's a gradual metamorphosis going on here that really shows what Blizzard was talking about when they said that the PvP set models would improve over time, and I can't wait to see what Season 7 looks like.

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

Season 6 weapons as good as Ulduar drops


As an addendum to the recent Arena system FAQ posted on the forums, Kalgan addresses several concerns about the gear, the system, and questions of skill vs. gear. In a very forthcoming and transparent post, Kalgan admits that Blizzard "botched the ilvls" of the current Deadly Gladiator weapons by making them a full tier below the items from Kel'thuzad in heroic Naxxramas. At the time they designed them, Blizzard didn't account for how easily accessible Kel'thuzad would be.

He promises they won't make the same mistake in Season 6, and that the new Furious Gladiator weapons would be equivalent to the items in Ulduar. Kalgan explains that the aim is to balance the accessibility of the items so that the number of raiders who have access to the best raid weapons is roughly the same as the number of Arena players with access to the best PvP weapons. He even goes so far as to say that Blizzard will make two tiers of PvP weapons if necessary. This might have been in the original plan as Hateful Gladiator weapons are in the game files but not available in the game.

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Filed under: Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Arena Season 6: Rise of the Furious Gladiator


Kalgan hopped on over to the forums to make a significant post that previews what can happen in Arena Season 6, the tiers of gear available, and what will happen to the Vault of Archavon. One of my fears going into the next Arena Season was that Archavon the Stone Watcher would lose his relevance, as he drops significantly lower tier gear a full season behind the current one. This would have greatly devalued control of Wintergrasp.

However, Kalgan reveals that a new boss in another wing of the Vault of Archavon will drop the Furious Gladiator pieces. He makes no mention of past season's gear, and says that the new boss' loot table will be structured slightly differently drom Archavon's. This could mean that the 10-man version can drop the Honor-bought non-set pieces rather than a lower tier of Arena gear and notes that the boss will not drop the chest piece. In the same post, he pegs the chest piece at a 1750 rating requirement, which should probably indicate that the boss will not drop items with a higher requirement (head, shoulder, weapon, etc.). This is an important announcement that ensures the relevance of Wintergrasp. The boss is also expected to drop Tier 8 pieces, making it equally appealing to PvE players.

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

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