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Posts with tag Merciless-Gladiator

Wrath 101: Level 70 PvP gear


If you were looking forward to getting gear upgrades through Honor at Level 70 when Wrath of the Lich King finally arrives in a few days, you probably shouldn't hold your breath. I know I advised doing a lot of PvP, but I meant that you should be keeping all that Honor for Level 80 rewards. Blizzard has stated that Season 3 rewards will not be available for Honor points, and that Brutal Gladiator items will retain their ratings requirement.

Zarhym explains that there are no plans to make Season 3 gear available through the Honor system because there will no longer be any new rewards for Arenas at Level 70. Since all Honor gear available through vendors are two seasons old, all current Level 70 rewards will remain as they are. In another post, Wryxian explained that the personal ratings requirements for Brutal Gladiator gear will also stay in place, pointing out that the gear will last well through the Northrend leveling experience. To that end, Blizzard intends for the gear to be "somewhat limited in availability."

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

Hybrid Theory: Yet another spell power discussion

Yeah, I used this picture again. What are you gonna do about it?
Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

Last week we talked a bit about gear and spell power, and various related things. I mostly approached it as supplying my personal experiences, but a lot of people wanted numbers. Specifically, how your current gear will translate into the new spell power mechanic.

A kind fellow named Dan helped us out with a little bit of that in the comments section last week, so let's expand upon it somewhat. Again, this will focus mostly on the Healer and Caster aspects of the Hybrids. You Melee guys don't really need to worry about how spell power will change your gear.

Alright, so the question is this: If you have a choice between taking +Damage gear or +Healing gear in the current game right now, which would be a better choice for taking with you into Wrath of the Lich King leveling? Let's make liberal use of Wowhead, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King

The Art of War(craft): Making the jump from PvE to PvP


Let's face it, World of Warcraft is a PvE game. I know I once stated that PvP is inevitable and that everyone must go through it, but I've since been proven wrong by the rare breed of carebears who have never been flagged for PvP throughout their entire gaming lives. As much as I am loathe to admit it, Blizzard designed the game with PvP as a mere afterthought. I still don't think it's "the only real game" as Adam put it, but I think I'll write up a response to that another day. Despite the prevalence of Arenas and how its shaping the game today, anyone who isn't interested in PvP can very well skip it should she choose to. I said it was integral to the game, but admittedly probably only in my experience because it's my favorite thing to do.

On the other hand, with Patch 2.4, the game has never been more casual than it is now, with more rare and epic items available to more players than ever. PvP has become more casual, too, with a new bunch of PvP quests to add to the Gold-grinder's routine. For a few players, even those who aren't particularly into PvP, the Battlegrounds and World PvP objectives are more enticing, even if only once a day. The Spirits of Auchindoun quest in Terokkar Forest might be the easiest way to earn 12 Gold ever. Because of the changes, I believe that now is the best time for people to try out PvP -- from fresh 70s to longtime carebears.

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

Blood Sport: No scrubs allowed in Season 4


Zach Yonzon takes over Blood Sport this week while new columnist Amanda Dean recuperates from a fever. Former columnist Vims decided he'll take his ominous laughter over to the Warlock columns exclusively.

The writing is on the wall. Welfare epics are on the way out. With the new changes to the personal rating requirements -- which now includes gear purchasable by Honor -- it will no longer be possible to completely gear up through PvP without stepping into Arenas. The moment the announcement was made, everything changed for PvP and gear distribution to the player base. With the introduction of the new requirements, Arena and Honor-bought gear has become more restrictive than ever.

How does this change the playing field? In two words? A lot. The good will get better, the bad will get worse, and the mediocre won't be getting anywhere. It is no longer possible to participate in Arenas casually. In fact, World of Warcraft PvP as we know it has changed completely. Clearly meant to address point selling teams, the personal rating requirement affects legitimate contenders -- or at least challengers (no pun intended) -- who play Arenas.

There is no question that gear is a differentiator in Warcraft PvP. Certainly it's not the only differentiator, but the impact of gear disparity in Arenas is such that it creates an artificial barrier of entry for players who are only beginning to play it. Players who have been playing since Season 1 or 2 will have garnered enough Arena points for at least 4/5 Season 3 gear. Players who have just hit Level 70 or decided to do Arenas late are at a disadvantage. With the changes to the PvP gear system, the gear gap will grow even wider.

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

The Art of War(craft): Planning for Season 4


Vims has already speculated on when Arena Season 4 will arrive, pegging it somewhere around early to mid-June. I tend to agree with that statement as Blizzard has noted on several occasions that Season 4 isn't coming anytime soon. Considering that none of servers worldwide have even opened the second gate in Sunwell Plateau, it means that equivalent level PvE items won't be cascading into the player base for quite some time. This gives players roughly around a month and two weeks to prepare for the next Arena season, if not longer.

Banking ahead

Because Arena points are capped at 5,000, players with enough Arena gear can start banking points in preparation for the new season. If gear prices remain the same (which is likely as prices have been constant through Seasons 1-3), players can open the Arena week with 3/5 Brutal Gladiator pieces: the gloves, which are priced at 1,125 Arena points during the current season; and any two of the chestpiece, headpiece, or leg piece, which go for 1,875 points. It is also possible to purchase the 1,500 points worth shoulder piece on the first week if players manage to raise their personal rating to a highly restrictive 2200 if the speculated changes make it live. Because personal ratings are calculated directly after each game, it is possible to purchase the personal ratings-limited shoulder pieces or weapons provided the player has enough points during the first week.

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

The Light and How To Swing It: Build you own TTRadin


Hi folks, it's me again. Somehow, Liz's computer got unplugged from the Light at the last minute and wiped her draft for this week clean. The task has fallen upon me once to swing the Light and wreak havoc upon these pages with blood and fury. Or something like that. In the wake of the admittedly lackluster (what, no giant GMs or gnome-transfigurations or demons run amuck?) second take on the TTR stress test, I've decided to write up the experience about making your own Paladin on the Tournament Test Realm, aka the TTRadin. If you haven't logged on to the TTR, now's a good time to download the PTR client and get yourself started.

Paladin without the pain

If you've never played a Paladin before, the TTR is an excellent way to experience some Paladin goodness without having to go through the entire leveling experience -- some parts of which even self-confessed altaholic and column co-writer Chris Jahosky admits to having a dislike for. Of course, leveling is part of the education process, so don't expect to know all the abilities and talents a Paladin -- or any class you make, for that matter -- right off the bat if you don't have a max-level character of that class on the live servers. That said, making a character on the TTR is well worth the effort and is definitely something any player can use to explore their options. Getting a taste of a max-level character, in our case a Paladin (this is a Paladin column, after all), is something players can learn from.

So where do we start? We have the usual racial choices: Human, Dwarf, or Draenei for the Alliance; and Blood Elf for the Horde. Because it isn't a PvP server by definition, you can make an Alliance and a Horde character. The tournament server also isn't like the live realms in that there are no quests or NPCs aside from the trainers, vendors, and arena representatives. I haven't explored the tournament realm completely, but it's safe to assume that it's a barren world. The NPCs are all Goblins, by the way, which is a bit unsettling and bizarre. There are few things stranger than seeing little green men and women in full Tier 2.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Arena

That object is busy and other TTR tales

If you've been to the Tournament Test Server (TTR), you might have noticed a few things. Like lag the fact that your previous three characters have been deleted. According to Eyonix, Blizzard's latest push of the TTR sees a new character template whereby newly created characters will have existing sets of gear. In the previous build of the TTR, newly-created characters start out at Level 70 but are equipped with starting equipment like Acolyte's Robe or Worn Mace. Hybrid classes or classes with healing and DPS talent trees will have two to three sets of gear, based on the Merciless Gladiator sets from Season 2. Oddly enough, after creating multiple characters, it appears to me that the default gear equipped on hybrid classes is healing gear -- a hint from Blizzard to spec for healing? Maybe.

One of the new features Blizzards wants to test is the random spawning upon character creation. After creating a Horde character, I would find myself randomly starting anywhere from Sunstrider Isle to Sen'jin Village. Part of Blizzard's test must also be the effectiveness of placing item vendors on a pedestal as opposed to being on the same level as player characters. Some spawn locations have the vendors on pedestals, such as Razor Hill or in front of Orgrimmar, while others have them on the ground such as Red Cloud Mesa in Mulgore. Strangely, the NPCs on the ground no longer have collision detection, as opposed to previous builds.

While adding more spawn locations and randomizing them has eased congestion somewhat, Eyonix goes on to state that Blizzard plans to add more spawn locations in future builds. The same hiccups that were there before still exist, particularly the "That object is busy." response when attempting to purchase an item from a vendor. Lag will also prevent you from seeing that clicking multiple times (out of frustration, I swear) has garnered you bags full of an item you only really wanted one of. Despite these problems with lag and little quirks -- creating characters for the first time sometimes shows your character dressed in Season 2 gear and starting outfits in a mismatched ensemble -- Blizzard continues to encourage players to test the server. Hortus also popped onto the forums to say that not all the Alliance areas have received the makeover, so expect more changes soon. If you're not yet on the TTR, get on and give it a go. Hopefully, all the testing will help Blizzard get everything sorted out for the big brawl coming up on Sunday.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

Season 2 Arena to sell for honor in Season 4

This wasn't exactly unexpected (Blizzard has, after all, already put Season 1 gear up for purchase), but Drysc has confirmed that Season 2 Arena gear-- that's the Merciless Gladiator gear-- will be available for purchase with regular honor as of Season 4.

As usual, Drysc provides a disclaimer that Blizzard may change those plans. And of course we have no idea yet when Season 4 will drop, although the usual Arena Season timing tells us that it will likely be sometime in March of this year (possibly with the release of patch 2.4, although as usual, we have no idea if the patch will come sooner or later).

But if you spent all your honor on Season 1 gear when Season 3 started, time to start saving again. Merciless Gladiator is going on sale.

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Arena

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