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Posts with tag Season-2

Hearthstone: A look at the Warlock metagame


Welcome to Hearthstone's test Season 2! If you're looking to climb the ranked ladder, your best class would be that of a warlock. Their hero power (Life Tap) provides card advantage at the cost of your life and their minions are often cheap, strong, and downright annoying to deal with. Blood Imps help bolster minion health. The fire spells (Hellfire, Demonfire, Soulfire, etc) often help in controlling the board even if it's at a cost.

Now then, let's take a look at the four most popular Warlock deck types you'll often run into ranked play.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: Season 2 begins!

It's official! Hearthstone Season 2 has begun! Everyone's ranks will reset back to 25 and the race to legendary will begin anew. Here are the expected maintenance times for each region:

NA: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
EU: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM PST
KR/TW: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PST
CN: 12:00 PM - 2:00PM PST

Don't worry, your card collections will not reset. Which deck will you plan on using on your climb up the ladder?

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Two Bosses Enter: Lord Godfrey conquers all in season 2

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

The final round is over, the votes are tallied, and Lord Godfrey takes the win in this season of Two Bosses Enter. It's been a pretty crazy season, with close calls and huge upsets. Vanessa VanCleef, the favored champion and second place hero from last season, faced a narrow defeat by Zanzil in the semi-final matchup and ultimately her defeat. Godfrey's unlikely opponent Zanzil came from behind during a surprisingly grim tournament for trolls, as readers expressed their dissatisfaction with the Troll heroic bosses.

Your champion, without further ado, is Lord Godfrey. Hit the jump for a review of this season and the final outcome.

Who wins? Lord Godfrey vs. Zanzil?
Lord Godfrey2950 (51.3%)
Zanzil2803 (48.7%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

WoW.com meets Michele Boyd of The Guild at E3


World of Warcraft isn't actually at this year's E3 -- Activision Blizzard has a great big booth with lots of cool games in it, but none of them are Blizzard's. We guess they're saving everything for the big event at BlizzCon. But we still found someone cool to meet on the floor -- The Guild's Michele Boyd (you can see her here in the last Season 2 episode) was working on the show floor for THQ, and was kind enough to stop by and talk to me before she went off to actually, you know, see some videogames (we heard there's some here, but we've been too busy writing about all the cool stuff we're seeing on Joystiq and Massively).

As you can see above, she's hosting a series on Discovery Channel (and she's got the science chops to do it), she's currently rocking an Enhancement Shaman (in Outland, not Northrend -- what can I say, I was confused by her awesomeness), and she's got some good thoughts on what's up in the next season of The Guild. Big thanks again to her for chatting with us, enjoy the video!

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Interviews, BlizzCon

The Guild: Episode 10 of Season 2


In this week's Guild, now up on MSN and Xbox Live (and Zune, if you're into that sort of thing), we get better acquainted with the stunt guy's *cough* buddy, who turns out to be named Riley, and is actually a gamer. Though not in the way you might expect. And Vork (last seen here -- you didn't forget about that sight, did you?) turns out to have a new skill, to Bladezz' disappointment.

Lots of fun. Do you think there really is a division among gamers like Riley and Codex? I'm a big fan of both genres, so I'd never have seen it, but do players of one type not get along with players of the other? We're all just gamers, right?

And we'll remind you, too, that there are only two episodes left this season. Only two more weeks of new episodes with Microsoft, and then in March, they'll start appearing back on YouTube again (pending another agreement, or whatever Felicia and those folks decide to do).

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, PvP, Humor

Arena tourneys need more Blizzard support?

Here's an interesting post on GotGame that sounds different from almost everything we've heard about professional Arena tourneys and Blizzard so far. Whenever we've talked to anyone involved with Arena tournaments, they've always told us Blizzard is very supportive of the events. But this post alleges otherwise -- they say that Blizzard is falling short of professional Arena support.

There are two main complaints: first, that Blizzard doesn't supply any onsite Arena servers. We know this is true -- Blizzard has event servers that they use for events like this, kept offsite so they don't have to set them up all the time. But GotGame claims that this causes problems -- as much as 300+ ping, which in the quick world of Arena matches, is practically unplayable. We're not sure why Blizzard doesn't allow setups on site, but that seems like a reasonable step to take if they're serious about making professional Arena big.

The second is a little tougher: this post claims that Blizzard has brought the pro Arena servers up to the Season 4 patch, but locked the gear down at Season 2. Our own Zach Yonzon says he's not sure where the Arenas are -- he doesn't believe that official Arena matches are underway after Wrath yet, and if that's true, then Blizzard may already be updating this (bringing the gear on the realms up to level 80 levels to match the talents). But either way, it's strange to hear someone say that Blizzard isn't supporting professional Arena matches correctly. You'd think that if they were as into supporting WoW as an e-sport as they say, that they'd address some of these concerns.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Contests, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

The Guild episode 7 of season 2, and new t-shirt


Episode 7 of The Guild's second season is out now, and it should be out on Xbox Live and the Zune Marketplace soon, and it's revelations for everyone: Codex tackles some issues, and Zaboo and Vork end up learning a little something about themselves. And at the end of the episode, there's a new twist, which will probably end up being pretty timely to those of you who've been suffering on your own lately. Great show as always.

And in other Guild news this week, the gang is showing off their new t-shirt over at J!nx. The t-shirt marks you as a "Knights of Good" guildie -- that's the in-world name of The Guild itself. Kind of cool -- subtle enough to get away with wearing it without advertising that you're a huge nerd, although the emoticon might still give you away. If you're interested, it's on sale over at J!nx right now.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Humor, Fan art

The Guild: Season 2, episode five


Just in case, like me, you missed last week's Guild episode, you get not one but two episodes of The Guild today. In last week's episode, we found out more about the eye-dentity of Mr. Eyepatch, and now episode five is out today, ready to watch.

This week, Zaboo continues trying to become a man, with the usual creepy results, and Tink shows a new side of herself -- Felicia promised us a while ago that we'd see new relationships sprouting up between the characters, and that's exactly what we're getting. Plus, the stuntman, who seemed like he might fit right in with the gang, might not actually be on exactly the same page.

And this episode also shows off the show's bigger budget in a pretty exciting way (not to mention that the cinematography is looking really good lately). We almost can't keep up with all of The Guild coming out this year. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor

The Queue: Trial and error


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hello, everyone! Did you all grieve for me yesterday when The Queue never showed up? Yes, I apologize. My internet connection going down for 14 hours sort of caused some problems. But I'm back and better than ever! Well, I'm back at least. That second part is still up for debate.

Spoonman asked...

I have been hearing that the price for epic flying mount is going to drop to around 2500g, have you heard anything about this?

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

First episode of the second season of The Guild now live


You can watch the first episode of the new season of The Guild over on MSN videos today. The video is not available for embedding currently because it's MSN, so you'll have to head over there.

In the episode there's some cuteness between Zaboo and Codex as Zaboo taunts her with a T1 line, and we're introduced to Clara's husband. The gang also gets a rare drop and are all contemplating spending their DKP. The drama unfolds...

Be sure to watch the video the whole way through. There's an easter egg at the very end featuring Zaboo.

And after you're done watching it head back here and let us know what you think. Keep an eye on WoW Insider as Felicia Day will be joining Mike Schramm on the next WoW Insider Show.

Filed under: Fan stuff, News items

Arena Junkies looks at some Gladiator statistics

You have to be real careful about how you put together statistics. As Gregg Easterbrook said, "Torture numbers, and they'll confess to anything." So, grain of salt, people. That being said, Arena Junkies has put up a pretty interesting compilation of numbers. They took a look at their (fairly substantial) membership, and figured out the approximate class makeup of each Arena season's Gladiators.

The results aren't exactly a surprise, which supports the analysis's validity. Warlocks -- once the Arena juggernaut to the sounds of much QQ -- have lost 8% of their dominance in the Gladiator ranks. By comparison, Rogues have picked up 6.5%. Druids are the big winners, though. Only 7.5% of Season 1's gladiators were druids, compared to 16% of Season 3's. And yeah.

There's a lot of metagame interpretation that could be done regarding these numbers. Melee have slowly risen in power over the span of three seasons, and Paladins -- once the bubbling unstoppable -- have really dropped in performance. Druids used to be unremarkable, but now the "science" of Line-of-Sight and Mobility has taken the day.

Arena Junkies promise to further update their analysis when the Hall of Fame is updated for Season 3. But I agree with Tyveris: I think the current sample is indicative, and we're not going to see any huge differences between these numbers and those.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, PvP, Classes, Arena

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 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

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