Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag Season-5

The Guild Season 5, Episode 6: Revolving Doors

<a data-cke-saved-href='http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/season-5-episode-6-revolving-doors/y079whq8?src=v5:embed::' href='http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/season-5-episode-6-revolving-doors/y079whq8?src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Season 5 - Episode 6 - Revolving Doors'>Video: Season 5 - Episode 6 - Revolving Doors</a>
The struggles of everyguild The Knights of Good continues as Codex tries to solve the game's problems, Clara wedges her way in with the steampunk crowd, and Tinkerballa dons a weird costume replica of herself. Vork and Bladezz continue their con pirate antics with a very special guest star, as their strategy continues to bring in business and Vork rebuffs celebrities.

This episode felt much more transitory than the rest, bridging the two parts of the season together, as most of the first-half conflicts have been solved for Codex, and new revelations and priorities have gripped the guild at the gaming convention. Zaboo's seat saving business is eventually going to deal with some sort of consequence, which will be pretty fun to watch as his 48-hour no-sleep binge comes to a grinding, probably catastrophic halt. Oh, how we love watching the guild in conflict.

Filed under: News items

The Guild, Season 5, Episode 02: Crash Pad is a convention nightmare

<a data-cke-saved-href='http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&vid=y0gszpqp&from={from}' href='http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&vid=y0gszpqp&from={from}' target='_new' title='Season 5 - Episode 2 - Crash Pad' >Video: Season 5 - Episode 2 - Crash Pad</a>
Episode 2 of the fifth season of The Guild, Felicia Day's webseries about an unlikely bunch of MMO gamers and their wacky hijinks in and out of game, released this week.

The Knights of Good have finally made it to the gaming convention but, as usual, things don't go very well for them. Everyone has to share the same room at the hotel (been there), with Zaboo sleeping under a coffee table (done that). Bladezz's shower spying and Vork's (amazing as usual) food theft are high moments. I am excited for more convention antics in the coming weeks.

The Guild has been hitting its stride in the past few seasons, and it remains a quality watch. Check out this week's episode, with new episodes hitting Xbox Live on Tuesdays and MSN video on Thursdays.

Should Arena rankings be determined by class?


An interesting thread popped up on the forums regarding Arena representation, noting class disparity and how it might be possible to rate performance based on a player's class. Balancing all the classes is an ongoing struggle and has been one of Blizzard's greatest headaches in PvP design. In Season 5, Holy Paladins and Death Knights dominated the Arenas, with Warriors getting the very short end of the stick and having the lowest number of Season 5 Gladiators. The original poster points out Blizzard's continual, active revision of the Arena ratings system and suggests that the system itself might be flawed. Because the rating system is "blind" to class or even classes in team compositions, for that matter, players using an "OP" class have an advantage.

The poster goes on to suggest that rankings be based on the class, rather than overall Arena population. This means that the percentile used to determine end-of-season rewards will be applied on a per class basis, thereby granting all classes conceptually equal representation. Ghostcrawler gives the suggestion some merit, even going so far as to say Blizzard isn't "above iteration on the design" of the Arena system as evidenced by their proactive adjustments to it.

Read more →

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

The Art of War(craft): Arena Season 6, rise of the Casual Gladiator


I know, I know, most of you hate Arenas. I've been writing for WoW Insider -- ahem, I mean WoW.com -- long enough to know that you guys probably aren't the most avid of PvP players. But the fun thing about it is that at least I'm not preaching to the choir, right? Anyway, I have to admit that I've gotten pretty tired of Arenas myself. Aside from two to three weeks worth of games in Season 5, I skipped the season altogether, unhappy with the balance then and the constantly changing rating and matchmaking system.

That wasn't even the heart of it, really. In the past seasons where I'd had the most success, I played with particular classes and specs that were viable in that season's environment. More importantly, I teamed up with players who were focused on PvP and were expectedly competent at it. The downside was that our success as a team was proportional to my loathing of the players on my team, particularly our team leader who was prone to excessive nerd rage and finger pointing. It sometimes happens that the best PvP players aren't necessarily your friends, and working together towards high ratings is sometimes a marriage of convenience. At a certain point when the stakes were extremely high, where wins would net us measly gains and losses would tank us badly enough for us to lose titles, Arenas became more stressful than fun.

Read more →

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

Ghostcrawler respondes to balance questions

Our buddy Ghostcrawler has appeared on the forums answering (or re-answering, as he says) a few concerns about the balance of the game. Most of his answer is about PvP: he says that Death Knights and Holy Pallies are overpowered, but that while Blizzard does believe there are more imbalances, debate is still raging about exactly where they are. And he does say that while burst damage is still a concern, he feels that Blizzard did a lot to combat that when they started Season 5, and that the bigger concern now is getting mana pools under control. Too many fights now have healers just going and going, and while they don't want fights to end super fast, they can't all drag out, either.

He also talks more in-depth about the balance between gear you can get from PvP and PvE and how it needs to be fixed: he straight out says that 25-man Naxx is too easy to PuG, and agrees that Ulduar and future PvP weapons "should ideally require the same amount of investment." Likewise, when Blizzard tried to reset the resilience stacking at the start of Season 5, they had players facing very powerful weapons from the PvE raids like Kel'thuzad, which lead to, as he says, "a perfect storm for fast Arena deaths." Which is probably why so many players left the Arenas.

The plan for the future? Ulduar's hard modes will be way tougher than Heroic Naxx, so players won't be able to PuG PvE and then go kill in PvP right away. Of course Death Knights are still cruising for a nerfing, if patch 3.1 doesn't bring them down off their high Deathcharger. And GC suggests that in the future, starter PvP gear may beef up resilience at the cost of offensive stats, so that players don't begin with gear that has great defense and offense right away.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Classes, Forums, Arena

Arena Season 5 to end as soon as April 14


Bornakk posted a tentative date for the announced end of Arena Season 5, indicating that the season can end "as early as April 14" or a week after. It should be noted that the first four Arena seasons had no breaks in between, with one season beginning immediately after the last ended. Arena seasons were only suspended upon the release of Patch 3.0 leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, with the first season of Level 80 Arena play beginning on December 16. This time around, however, Bornakk makes it clear that the next Arena season will not begin immediately but have at least a one week break before Season 6 begins.

This should also be taken as an indication of when Patch 3.1 will be released. Blizzard has stated that they plan to unleash Season 6 almost simultaneously with the new raid content, so if Season 5 ends within two or three weeks, it should be expected that Patch 3.1 is just around the corner. It might even come sooner rather than later, as Blizzard has noted that Season 5 would "end with or shortly after" Patch 3.1 goes live. All of the necessary files such as Season 6 items are contained in the patch, so this only makes sense.

Bornakk reminds all players who feel they will be eligible for end of season rewards, such as titles and the Deadly Gladiator's Frostwyrm, should refrain from transfering their characters to another realm until after Season 5 ends (or until rewards have been handed out to be safe). During the break between seasons, all ranked matches will be disabled and all Arena points and ratings will be wiped [EDIT: Arena points and ratings will continue to be available during the one week break to allow players to spend their points, but will be wiped when Season 6 begins.]. However, players will retain their matchmaking ratings and Honor points.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Arena

The Colosseum: Helpless in the Twisting Nether

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

Season 5 is winding down to a close, even if we don't know the official start date for Season 6. Patch 3.1 is somewhere around the corner, with Ulduar and class changes both lurking in the shadows like devilish rogues. If there's one thing we can expect to be different between seasons, however, it's that Holy Paladins are going to perform radically different from how they do now.

In recognition of the Season of the Holy Pally (for better or for worse), we have one last interview with a wielder of light, a barista of bubble, a Shonuff of Shock! Helpless, from Twisting Nether, is rated highly in all three team formats. Check out what Helpless had to say about her tactics behind the cut.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Colosseum

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.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

65% fewer Arena teams in Season 5


Roma Victor over at Gameriot had an eye-opening entry recently that gives some hard numbers to a phenomenon that I'm sure a lot of players have known for a while... fewer people are playing Arenas lately. A lot fewer. About 65% fewer. He perused the Season 5 ArenaJunkies title calculator which allows players to see the cutoff for titles according to Battlegroup and compared the numbers to Season 4 -- a season already notable for having low participation due to its proximity to Wrath of the Lich King and steeper ratings requirements on gear.

The numbers were, as Roma Victor put it, "not pretty". Actually, the numbers were downright ugly. Take, for example, the cutoffs for the Bloodlust Battlegroup, the notorious BG9 where Arena participation has historically been intense. Last season, the top 235 teams in 2v2, top 92 in 3v3, and top 27 in 5v5 brackets were eligible to earn the Gladiator title. This season, those numbers dropped to 93, 36, and 8 respectively. That's a whopping decline in participation across the board in the most active Battlegroup in the US! ArenaJunkies also has numbers from Europe, Korea, and Taiwan and all of them show the same thing -- there are fewer players participating in Arenas than probably ever.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

The Queue: Glory of the Hero


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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hey, everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to remind all of you that Adam and I are not the same entity, even if we both have A names and contribute to the same column. There's been a lot of confusion over the last year, so let me repeat: Adam Holisky and Alex Ziebart are two different people. Adam is not Alex, Alex is not Adam. And when you throw Allison into the mix, Allison is neither Adam nor Alex and they are not she. Are we on the same page here? Great.

Herumor asked...

"As things are now without the Maelstrom, is there any point to adding the upcoming water mounts without a large water based area? I don't really see a use for them other than showing off, and even that's kind of difficult to do."

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

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.

Read more →

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

Shorter Arena seasons in the future?


Bornakk announced over at the forums that Arena Season 5 is nearing its end. He notes that the current season is slated to end "with or shortly after" Patch 3.1 is released. Season 5 kicked off in December 16 last year and has run around 12 weeks to date. In comparison, the shortest Arena Season was the pre-Wrath Season 4, which lasted for 17 weeks while the extremely lengthy Season 3 dragged on for 29. Season 1 lasted for 20 weeks and Season 2 lasted for 23, so all seasons thus far except for the Wrath-preempted Season 4 have run for a good length of time.

The reason for the extended Season 3 was because Blizzard had wanted PvP progression to match PvE progression, so were waiting for more guilds to gear up with Sunwell-level items. Considering how difficult Sunwell Plateau was, this took some time, delaying Season 4 considerably. PvE content in Wrath, on the other hand, was so accessible that by the time Season 5 started a month after release of the expansion, players were decked out in the best PvE gear -- which changed the balance of Arena play for the first few weeks.

Blizzard is looking to address that by starting Season 6 simultaneously with the "first tier of raid content" or essentially make PvP gear more accessible to prepare for the next season of Arena play, according to Ghostcrawler. Although Blizzard hasn't given a starting date for either Season 6 or Patch 3.1, the new Arena seasons are looking to match the shortened Season 4 in length and might indicate a trend in PvP season progression. That is an exciting change of pace and a comforting message to PvP enthusiasts that Blizzard is committed to keeping PvE and PvP progression at a similar pace. And if the development of Ulduar is any indication, that seems to be a fast one.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Arena Season 5 to close soon



We've been hearing an awful lot about Ulduar and patch 3.1 lately. As such, this announcement is really not a surprise. Vaneras and Bornakk posted on the forums today to warn us all that Season 5 is drawing near an end. The current season should close at the same time 3.1 drops, or very shortly afterward. (I'd guess "very shortly afterward" means "the following Tuesday.") Your Arena points will reset with the season transition, though your Honor points will remain banked.

The announcement doesn't set a specific date. He just says "soon." Since we traditionally get at least two weeks' warning before an official season ends, that does mean that the patch probably won't drop for at least three. And since Noblegarden has been expanded on the PTR, then I expect the patch to hit and season to wrap up in the beginning of April.

We haven't heard details about season-end rewards yet. That's important because we don't demonstrably know whether those rewards are going to be based on personal rating, team rating, or even the Match-Making Rating. The details of season-end rewards tend to fluctuate a little, but the best Arena teams can probably expect a title. The very, very best can expect the Arena mount. However, we don't know if it'll be a Nether Drake or maybe even a Proto-Drake. We'll let you know as we find out more.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Arena

[UPDATED] Arena Tournament has begun!


The 2009 Arena Tournament officially begun yesterday, kicking of a six-week qualifying period to find the best Arena players who will earn the chance to win prizes totaling over $200,000. Registration was opened a little over a week ago, with Blizzard enticing aspiring Gladiators with the Vanquisher title and a Murloc vanity pet that will translate over to the live realms. The tournament will consist of one round of regional qualifiers, followed by the regional finals, and winners of those finals will compete against each other for the top prize.

Registering for the tournament, which costs $20 or €15, will grant players access to the tournament realms where they can create Level 80 characters of any race and class. These characters will be outfitted with the best Arena gear available -- Deadly Gladiator items from Season 5 -- and will have access to other epic items as well as enchants, gems, and glyphs allowing them to customize their character as they see fit.

Players whose teams finish in the Top 1000 at the end of the qualifiers will receive the Vanquisher title for all their characters over Level 70. Casual players who don't play Arenas seriously still have some incentive as the only requirement to obtain the Murloc pet -- Murkimus the Gladiator, according to the Patch 3.1 files -- is to play 200 games over the six-week qualifying period with one team regardless of record. [UPDATE: According to this post, the first two weeks are considered a practice period and thus do not count towards the 200 ranked games required to qualify for the pet.] Players must have an active subscription in order to register.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Arena

Arenas to be reset

Along with the many bugs of Patch 3.0.8 was the undocumented new Arena matching and rating system which, similar to the Wintergrasp brouhaha, created disastrous results. Many teams skyrocketed to 2200 ratings, with wins garnering up to 30 points and losses resulting in... nothing. As you can imagine, this newfangled system which Blizzard didn't bother to tell anyone about until after the fact sort of trivialized Arena Achievements such as The Arena Master. Bornakk reveals in that post that the new system may exhibit "some odd behavior" but expects that things should "straighten out fairly quickly."

I'm sure that Blizzard didn't intend odd behavior to mean teams skyrocketing to 2k ratings with ease, with none of the risk involved in competitive ladder play. Straightening out also ended up as being the complete disabling of the whole system while Blizzard investigates "current rating calculation discrepancies." However, Zarhym posted earlier today on the forums that Blizzard will be bringing Arenas back up and all ratings rolled back to pre-weekly maintenance status. All items (and Achievements) gained "illegitimately" will be removed, Arena points refunded, and all gems and enchanting materials returned. As far as that 50 Gold tip you gave to enchant your gear is concerned, however, you're out of luck.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, PvP, Arena

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories