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Posts with tag RMP

Blizzard discusses the state of PvP


One thread over at the forums sparked quite a discussion when it asked what the problem was with World of Warcraft PvP. It's a pretty good question and definitely not something with a simple answer, but Ghostcrawler took up the task and addressed several issues in his usual forthcoming fashion. In a nutshell, Blizzard views the following issues as the primary problems of PvP:
  • Too much emphasis on Arenas and not enough on Battlegrounds.
  • Too much emphasis on 2s and not enough on 3s and 5s.
  • Not enough class / spec representation in Arena. Warlock, hunter and shaman numbers in particular are too low, but they're not the only ones.
  • Too fast-paced.
Ghostcrawler proceeded to explain the last point in detail, talking once again about burst damage and reiterating their intent that PvP should be a balance between damage, healing, and crowd control. He says that Blizzard plans to "add an extra GCD or two" in the small window where a player can either be healed to full or fall to enemy fire, allowing players to better use their full toolbox. Anyone who has ever played Arenas should know that that's a pretty tall order.

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

SK Gaming wins MLG Columbus


The dominance of Rogue/Mage/Priest continues as SK Gaming defeated eMazing Gaming's faceroll Unholy/BM/Holy comp in the Major League Gaming Columbus Grand Finals 6-3 (best of 11 counting previous matchups). SK Gaming took home the $9,000 Grand Prize in the first leg of the MLG 2009 pro circuit, proving that the US still has a competitive RMP team. Europe's RMP contingent, Ensidia, barely missed the Finals after dropping to eMG in the prior round.

Some of the teams didn't do so well despite expectations, such as two-time MLG winners Fnatic, who were playing without their Warrior, Rhaegyn. Fnatic did rather poorly, playing a Rogue/Warlock/Shaman comp that simply couldn't match up against the dominant RMPs or even eMG's Death Knight/Hunter/Paladin. Evil Geniuses also played below par, but there really have to be teams that occupy the bottom of the standings. The good news is that teams collect points through all MLG legs to tally at the end of the season, so we might see some changes in the next MLG stops.

All the matches were streamed through three different sites via Octoshape, but the streams were choppy and often stalled more than it did in the first two days of the tournament. It came to the point where the matches were simply unwatchable, which is a shame because there were some pretty good games on the last day. The shoutcasters did an excellent job commentating on the matches but camerawork and the pace of the games were just too fast at times to appreciate. Arena Tournaments could benefit greatly from instant replays, slow motion, and camera angles beyond the third person view. Replays should be available on GotFrag soon.

Filed under: Events, News items, PvP, Arena

Blizzard posts another Arena Tournament update


Aratil posted another weekly update on the top teams on the US Tournament Realms, with last week's number one BARKSDALE CREW remaining stagnant at 2501 rating, allowing last week's third placers well then to move past them into first place. Curiously, well-known pro gamer Serennia's We Met on eHarmony, another Death Knight/ Paladin/ Warlock comp, which was fifth last week tanked to 43rd place. Interestingly, Serennia openly dissed NO LIGHTNING GEN BRAH in his blog as "not-so-surprisingly horrible," while taking a potshot at less popular Battlegroups. The players of NO LIGHTNING GEN BRAH currently hold the top spot of the 3v3 bracket on the Rampage Battlegroup and maintained status quo in the rankings on the Tournament Realms.

Of course, it's important to note that none of these rankings really matter at this point. As Serennia noted in the same blog entry, players only need their teams to be in the top 1000 to qualify for the invitational phase of the tournament. Standings right now are merely observational benchmarks and Aratil's regular updates are nothing more than that -- updates. Although the US Tournament Realms indicate a trend towards the Death Knight/ Paladin/ Warlock team comp, the European side has a fair share of Rogue/ Mage/ Priest teams. That said, the top team in Europe as of this writing is also a DK/Pally/Lock comp that wasn't in the Top 10 last week. In Korea, where teams are still working their way to crack 2000, the most popular comps are the expected RMP with the current top team being a Death Knight/ Paladin/ Hunter. Yep, it's almost the same dominant setup with a Survival Hunter instead of a Warlock.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Victory from the jaws of defeat


Hate Arenas all you want, but I love it for the fact that you will sometimes see the grandest display of skill and mastery of the game in PvP and when those moments happen... it's magic. How appropriate then, that the most magical moment in quite possibly all professional Arena Tournament history was performed by none other than a Mage. It's a phenomenal comeback tale that ranks right up there with the greatest comebacks in sports -- and not just eSports.

Team H O N was down 1-2 against SK-Gaming Asia, better known as the Council of Mages, winners of the Worldwide Invitational in Paris. Both teams from Korea sported the same RMP comps, with some spec changes in between matches to keep everyone guessing. In the fourth match, played in the Ruins of Lordaeron, SK-Gaming showed superb control despite H O N going offensive in the first few minutes... so superb, in fact, that at one point the shoutcasters were already congratulating SK-Gaming. If you've kept abreast of the tiny bits of the ESL Global Finals here at WoW Insider, you'd already know that H O N won the tournament so it should be no spoiler that they escaped from being down 1-2 to tie and eventually win it all.

That's not the magical moment, though. You have to see it for yourself. Don't worry, the video might be long (that's just the first part of the match) but the most jawdropping moment happens right before the four minute mark. The movie may well be Moviewatch material if only because it's so unbelievable you're tempted to think it's all machinima. But the coolest thing about it is that it's not, and OrangeMarmalade will be celebrated as one of the greatest PvP Mages of all time.

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Filed under: Events, PvP, Arena

Encrypted Text: Why I never understood Shadow Dance PvP

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we look at why Shadow Dance PvP is nearly extinct, and why it's coming back.

The ESL global arena finals took place last weekend, pitting some of the best WoW players against each other in a battle for glory (and quite a bit of cash and prizes). After two days of close calls and amazing comebacks, the global roster of teams was reduced to two: team HON and team COM. Both of these teams play the traditional Rogue / Mage / Priest 3v3 composition, with one twist: nobody played with the same talents two games in a row.

The Mages fluctuated between Frost and Arcane specs every other game, making it difficult to predict just how much survivability or burst damage they were capable of until they showed their hand. The Rogues were also switching specs between games, from Mutilate to Shadow Dance, and back. This strategy was used to keep the enemy on their toes, and gave me the opportunity to watch Shadow Dance played at its absolute highest level. My report on this display of elegance and Ambush-spamming follows after the cut.

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Filed under: Rogue, PvP, Talents, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Arena

[UPDATED] WoW Arena Tournament down to top three teams

After three straight heartbreaking losses against American team Selective Queuers, Worldwide Invitational champions Council of Mages bowed out from the tournament today leaving only three teams to battle it out for the prestigious -- and kingly -- prize of $75,000. The Korean team of Hyoga, Snowstorm, and Student, considered by many to be the best RMP in the world, was the last Asian team in the tournament. They were also the last non-WLD (Warrior, Warlock, Druid) team to be eliminated, as the top three -- Europe's Nihilum Plasma, and the United States' Selective Queuers and Fnatic Orz all predominantly ran WLD throughout the competition.

Selective Queuers ran a soft counter comp to Council of Mages' RMP by swapping in Rogue for Warrior, but otherwise performed as expected as RMP do not handle WLDs (or RLDs in this case) very well. Although the matches that managed to get streamed were fine examples of professional Arena play, the dominance of WLD teams showed just how strong the comp is in the 3v3 format. Despite brilliant play from Council of Mages, they simply couldn't get over the hump of a well-played WLD team.

Props must be given to Glick of Fnatic Orz, back-to-back winners of the MLG series, who played a Retribution Paladin in a double melee comp during one match against Made in Taiwan... and won. Hunters will also be pleased to know that Made in Taiwan skillfully fielded a Hunter against Fnatic Orz, splitting those matches 2-2. The remaining matches of the tournament will be played tomorrow, with the winner of the upper bracket match between Fnatic Orz and Nihilum Plasma heading straight to the Grand Finals. The loser of that matchup will face Selective Queuers in the semi-finals. With any luck, the matches will be streamed without hiccups on Blizzard's BlizzCon tournament coverage and maybe we'll see if Fnatic Orz truly is the best team in the world.

[UPDATE: Nihilum Plasma beat Fnatic Orz in the upper bracket finals, sending Nihilum to await the winner of the match between Fnatic Orz and Selective Queuers in the semis. This guarantees a Finals match versus Europe and the United States. Should be exciting to watch.]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, BlizzCon, Arena

Fnatic Orz just about the best team in the world


Familiar faces from the former Duelists Going For Gladiator -- Celex, Emolol, and Ely with a sub, Kesher -- who now compete under the new banner of Gravitas Gaming, faced off against the defending champions Fnatic Orz trio of Glick, Rhaegyn, and Hafu in the Finals of MLG-Dallas earlier today. Gravitas Gaming came into the Finals with a 3-1 lead carried over from their earlier matchup during the elimination rounds, needing only three wins to dethrone the MLG-Orlando Champs.

Fnatic played their strongest comp of Warlock (Glick), Warrior (Rhaegyn), and Druid (Hafu) while Gravitas Gaming countered with a Warrior (Kesher), Mage (Celex), and Priest (Ely) instead of their usual RMP. Some viewers wrote Fnatic Orz off considering their uphill climb to win five games against Gravitas' three, but the defending Champions showed exactly what they were made of by winning three straight matches after falling behind 5-2, evening out the competition at 5-5. The Grand Finals all rested on a single, do-or-die match -- played in Nagrand Arena -- a nailbiter that exemplified the best of professional Arena play. In what was one of the best comebacks I've seen in an Arena tournament, Fnatic Orz pulled off four straight wins to win back-to-back MLG Championships and cement their place in pro circuit history.

It was the second time the two teams met in the Grand Finals, with Gravitas still under the Frag Dominant banner. The games were broadcast streaming through GotFrag TV, with excellent, spot-on commentating and incredible camera work that made it relatively easy to follow the extremely fast-paced matches, although the last match's stream was plagued with hiccups. The winners walked away with $12,000 and three HP Blackbird 002, while the runners-up won $6,000. Pro circuit mainstays Team Pandemic took third place with $3,000 after losing to Fnatic Orz in the Semi-Finals.

Fnatic Orz' storied rise from being dropped by MoB Gaming, winning MLG-Orlando without a sponsor, and being picked up by Fnatic and winning a spot at the World Championships at BlizzCon just before this fantastic win today makes them one of the most exciting and favored teams to watch in the pro Arena tournament scene. It will be a treat to see them compete against the world's best at the World Championships next weekend... except that you'll need a DirectTV subscription for that.

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

BlizzCon 08 tournament brackets revealed

The other day, Blizzard posted the brackets for the upcoming Starcraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft Arena tournaments at BlizzCon.

I don't follow every little motion in the WoW Arena community, but there is one team that jumped out at me immediately: Orz. They've won a few tournaments already, and in a way they're the 'face' of the Arena, if that makes any sense. As Zach Yonzon mentioned awhile back in one of his columns, every sport, no matter how big or small, has its stars. Even eSports. Here in the states, Orz is one of those star teams. Rhaegyn, Glick and Hafu are definitely the players to watch in this tournament. It looks like they've picked up a new sponsor since I last saw them in action, so I'd like to extend a belated congratulations to them on that.

Of course, this tournament also includes the Korean team Council of Mages, which won the tournament at WWI08. Pretty much every team on the bracket has done some great work in the Arena already, and the tourney should be really exciting no matter who walks away with the win and the grand prize of $25,000 per player.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, BlizzCon

Blood Sport: Arena for dummies II

So you want to get into Arenas, eh? You're a bit late coming into the game, but that's alright. Whether you want to be truly competitive or just try Arenas out for fun, maybe even with friends, it helps to have a little bit of knowledge about what you're getting into. Before anything else, however, we'll take a look at some commonly used terms in the Arenas so you can insert some your vent communications so you can sound like a Pro... or at least not get lost in the discussion.

2345
A team comp (composition) consisting of an MS Warrior, a Discipline Priest, a Holy Paladin, an Elemental Shaman, and a Mage, usually Frost-specced.
This is a 2-healer 3-DPS cookie-cutter composition that supposedly originated from the Bloodlust Battlegroup (BG9). Unlike basketball, where the numbers refer to positions (or classes) on the team, 2345 actually refers to the head-rolling-on-keyboard reference of mashing the buttons 2, 3, 4, and 5 repeatedly throughout the match. Roughly, this translates to unloading all offensive abilities based on, or during, the Shaman's Bloodlust / Heroism.

The basic strategy is to assist off the Warrior who applies Mortal Strike on a target and burst damage coming from the Shaman and Mage with Shatter combo often with Nature's Swiftness, Elemental Mastery, and Chain Lightning. The Shaman and Priest also work off offensive dispels, removing shields and immunities, while the Paladin plays main healer. This composition can and does switch targets often throughout the course of a match.

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

European and North American Arena Finals this weekend


The World of Warcraft Arena Tournament hosted by Blizzard is coming to a head. The Regional Finals for Europe and North America will take place this weekend, September 6-7, with eight highest rated teams from each region clashing for the right to compete in the Global Finals. The North American Finals will be held at Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, Massachusets and the usual suspects seem to be present -- the Fnatic-sponsored Orz team of Hafu and company, Duelist Going For Gladiator and their standard RMP, as well as Team EG, GotGame West, MoB Shadowplay, and some old faces sporting a new banner as Gravitas Gaming.

Most of the finalists from both regions are Arena tournament veterans who have won or finished well in numerous LAN tournaments. The European Finals will take place in Madrid, Spain, at the Circulo de Bellas Artes and covered on live stream by ESL TV. The winning team will bag a $15,000 top prize, but two teams from each region will advance to the Global Finals, earning a chance to compete for the massive $75,000 grand prize.

Taiwan Regional Finals winners ??????????? (which translates roughly into 'Marine Corps') and Made in Taiwan, announced last August 6, are waiting for the rest of the Global Finalists alongside the Korean Finals winners H O N and Council of Mages (who won the Worldwide Invitational tournament) -- both Rogue, Mage, Priest teams -- who qualified last August 31.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

Blood Sport: Do and don't, pro-style

PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena.


Hailing from Korea, Council of Mages was victorious in this year's World Wide Invitational 3v3 tournament. Second place went to Improved Clicks of Spain. The winners took home a check worth $36,000 for their victory and made an excellent showing throughout the tournament. Improved Clicks cashed in at $18,000, and third place finishers SK-US was awarded $9,000. The final standings for were:

1. Council of Mages
2. Improved Clicks
3. SK Gaming
4. Millenium Dream
5-6. Kill EA
5-6. Made in Taiwan
7-8. SK Gaming
7-8. Pandemic Blue
9-12. aAa nawaK
9-12. Elite
9-12. MoB Gaming
9-12. Pandemic Black
13-16. Sapped Cows cant say moo
13-16. Team EG
13-16. fnatic
13-16. Nihilum.Mousesports

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

Blood Sport: RMP Rampage

PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena. When last seen, former Blood Sport columnist V'Ming Chew was seen being chased by an angry pack of Gnome Warlocks in the farthest reaches of Outland.

In 3v3 matches, Rogue, Mage, Priest (RMP) teams have proven to be the ones to beat. Six of the top twenty Arena teams on live servers sport this composition. This team combines outstanding crowd control with abilities to survive until the end of combat. The team is not unbeatable, if caught without cooldowns available, this low-armor team falls prey to burst damage, especially if the Priest is dead or otherwise occupied.

The Priest's primary function in the group is dispelling both offensive and defensive abilities. It may also Mana Burn if there is no need for healing or dispelling. In practice, since the priest is often the first target, it spends a lot of time and mana staying alive with the Rogue and Mage work their magic (and stab things). The Priest is often the primary target in the composition because they are usually the only ones visible at the start of the fight and are the lone healer partnered with two pure DPSers. Pain Suppression is your friend and my enemy.

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Filed under: Mage, Priest, Rogue, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena 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

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