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Posts with tag Tournament-Test-Realm

PTR is down, TTR is up

Hortus, the spinning whirly jig wearing gnome, announced on the forms today that the PTR will be closed until further notice. This closure is in order to encourage more people to test out the TTR, which will remain open for the time being.

This is important news. First, it signifies that Blizzard is at least comfortable in stopping the testing of PvE content. This might not be the best news for those that were still engaged in PTR activities; or for those that think there are still serious concerns regarding the content and class changes. We might be seeing the Druid Cyclone nerf stay.

Secondly, we can infer that the two stress tests they've held might not have been everything they wanted. If they're asking for more testing we can make an educated guess that Blizzard either did not see the kind of numbers they were hoping for, or they have made additional server changes that warrant additional tests. Judging from the lack luster stress test that went on Wednesday night, I'm leaning towards the former as being the reason for the change.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Through Alex's eyes: Wednesday's TTR stress test

Wednesday's TTR stress test was far, far more calm than Sunday's test. Lower Blizzard activity and the population levels seemed vastly lower than before. The lag was minimal, maybe nonexistent. Definite improvement from Sunday, but that probably has something to do with the much lower population.

I have no fantastic tales of speaking to Nethaera or private photoshoots with GMs, but I actually got quite a few arena games in. The WoW Insider gang didn't have a 5th for 5v5s, so I decided to let Adam, Zach and Amanda M. have the Hordeside fun in the 3v3 bracket, and I'd make waves on the Alliance-side. Many lamented my departure when I logged off of my Tauren Warrior, but the Alliance needed love, too! Sorry guys!

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, 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

March 12th PTR changes


A new PTR build hit the test realms today, and just in time for the second stress test that'll be getting underway later tonight. A few of the big highlights:
  • The Druid Cyclone spell has had the range reduced to 20 yards, from 30 yards.
  • The newly purchasable epic gem crafting patterns have had their prices dramatically increased. For example, the epic gem patterns used to cost 1.5g each to buy, now they're 50g each. This will make them harder for casual players to acquire.
  • A few BoP crafted items have had a profession requirement of 350 placed on them.
All in all, it looks like Blizzard is winding down the changes. They seem to be targeting some very specific areas right now, and the list of changes each week is getting shorter and shorter. This might mean the patch will be going live soon. And remember, as soon as it goes live, we'll select a winner from the Patch 2.4 release date contest we held.

Any thoughts on the cyclone change? I for one am happy, considering how I hate being cycloned in arena battles.

Filed under: Druid, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Classes

WoW Insider at the Stress Test, Part Deux

What? Stress Test, Part Deux
Who? Blizzard CMs, GMs, Devs, and the WoW Insider Arena Team
Where? Tournament Test Server
When? Tonight at 5:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m, PST

Got all that? Good. Drysc announced last night Blizzard will be holding another round of stress testing on the tournament test realm. Why? Because they want more attention. I for one, am going to give it to them. In fact, WoW Insider will again have a crew on the server covering all the action. We'll all be hopping around on toons named like "Insideradam", "Insideralex", and "Insiderzach". So be sure to drop by and say hello again!

If you missed the last stress test, it was a ton of fun. We have a huge gallery of screen shots of just about everything you could want to see. Blizzard devs were there handing out mounts, chicken and gnome costumes, and even teleporting the WoW Insider staff away for some quite alone time with a Brutallus disguised Englewood.

If you're lucky enough to see us, just give us a /wave or a /hug and we'll try to snap a screen shot with you for our upcoming Stress Test Part Deux gallery. We'll also be live blogging all the activity on the TTR during the event, so even if you can't make it - you can still see what's happening. Our live blog is also a really good place to check and see if the server is up or down.

See you on all over there!

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP

Blizzard says bring it on! (aka TTR mayhem take 2)


Drysc has issued a challenge to the World of Warcraft community to meet Blizzard teams out on the Tournament Test Realm and compete in the 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 Arena brackets. This follows a relatively successful worldwide brawl over the TTR last Sunday, where WoW Insider fielded a team of its own, although most of the time was spent waiting for the realm to get back online. Blizzard reached record numbers for the TTR tournament, prompting hardware upgrades which will be put to the test on Wednesday, between 5:00pm and 8:00pm PDT.

Blizzard employees will make special appearances on the TTR near the vendors and Arena promoters, easily spotted as they will be the only characters with Guild tags -- <Blizzard Entertainment> for their Horde team and <Blizzard> for their Alliance team. If you can't spot the Guild tag, you still probably won't have trouble finding them and their gigantic mounts. Drysc says he expects problems to crop up -- it is a stress test, after all -- but that Blizzard is ready to resolve any issues that might arise.

If you haven't gotten onto the TTR, now's a good time to download the PTR client and make your own pimped out Level 70 characters. The more players log on to the TTR during the tournament, the better Blizzard will be able to test their new build and hardware. Plus, it's always good to see what crazy antics Blizzard employees will be up to.

Filed under: Patches, Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

Alex's TTR stress test review

Yesterday's TTR Stress Test had its up and it had its downs, but overall it was a very fun experience. It was rocky in the beginning, with the server needing to be pulled down for a hardware upgrade shortly after the test was scheduled to begin. The TTR was riddled with soul-searing, unplayable lag up until that point, so I'd say it was needed.

The WoW Insider gang sat around for an hour doing a load of nothing until the server came back, but it was worth it. Most of the lag was gone, the Blizzard Entertainment crew were out and about doing their thing, and we were finally able to hit the arena. Unfortunately, our first match was against a three Resto Druid team. In a magical fairy world where Druids don't have Innervate or any natural mana regen whatsoever, I'm pretty sure Adam would have still gone OOM trying to Mana Burn all three of them to nothing.

Interested in the good times we had? Hop on past the cut and I'll give you the details!

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Arena

Englewood poses, and the live coverage wraps up


Englewood, a GM on the Tournament Test Realm, poised for some pictures today with the WoW Insider Arena Team covering the event. We were all pretty psyched to find us all teleported right outside Dalaran, with Englewood, to pose for some pics. He was in his Brutallus getup, and was lookin' pretty sweet.

Thanks Englewood!

It looks like the Blizzard staff is dwindling down on the TTR, and I've got a raid to run off to in 30 minutes. So while our live coverage is wrapping up, expect to see lots more commentary and analysis over the next few days.

And of course, the best part of the day for all of us was all you fans - I was getting so many tells at points I couldn't keep up! Thanks for saying hello!

Filed under: Events, News items

Stress test live blog

We've been preparing for the stress test, are mostly gemmed and enchanted up, and are looking to fight! I'll be updating this post as things happen, hopefully with riveting tales of victory and triumph over Alliance Care Bears. (Kidding of course, my main is an Human warrior.)

Read on after the break for the updates! We'll keep this front page only for things that are affecting everyone.

Updated 5:23 p.m. PST: Live blogging wrapped up for the day. Many many thanks to all the fans and GMs out there! It was a great day with lots of cool stuff happening. More analysis over the next couple days!

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, PvP, Mounts, Arena

WoW Insider TTR team is ready for battle!


WoW Insider's Arena Team is getting ready for battle right now! Come on over to the Tournament Test Realm (TTR) and join us and thousands of other players as we prepare for battle against each other and even Blizzard's CMs and Devs!

If you're looking for us, we're playing under the banner "WoW Insider". My name is "insideradam", Alex Ziebart's name is "insideralex", and Amanda Miller's name is "Vehn". We'll be joined by other writers throughout the stress test. I'll also be live blogging the event in about 30 minutes from now.

If you haven't gotten on the TTR yet, I'd hurry up and do so soon. The server is stable right now, and that's a good sign. There is still delay when clicking through to buy everything from the vendors, but that's been a problem all week.

Any experiences on the TTR to report on already? Leave a comment and let us know!

Filed under: Realm News, News items, PvP, Arena

Join WoW Insider on the TTR tomorrow


The Tournament Test Realm outside of the Orc starting area.

We've been covering the Tournament Test Realm (TTR) lately, especially the stress test tomorrow between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. PST. It's going to be a lot of fun I'm sure – assuming the server can stay up.

And the best part about it all?

WoW Insider will be there in force! The TTR team from WoW Insider will include folks like myself, Amanda Dean, Amanda Miller, Alex Ziebart, and other writers. We'll be there trying to be king of the hill during the arena tests. Our team name is "WoW Insider" (creative, huh?) and we'll be fighting FOR the Horde.

So grab your sword and fight us Horde! Come on over and join the fun - and if you happen to hit us in battle, don't forget to take a screen shot of us standing victoriously over your dead bodies! ;-)

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status, PvP, Arena

Adventures on the TTR told in pictures


We've added a gallery of screenshots just in time for the worldwide Arena battle. The battle will take place tomorrow, Sunday March 9 from noon until three PM Pacific time (GMT -8). The latest patch gives players full sets of merciless gladiator gear for each spec for their given class. This change should reduce some of the frustration in gearing up a character.

Each player is given 5000 gold. You must still purchase you gems, enchantments, and accessories. These are available for purchase from vendors as there are no trade skills on the TTR. If you want alternative armor and weapons, you will have to buy those from their respective vendors. It's still crowded, but it seems more manageable than earlier in the week.

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Filed under: Patches, Events, PvP, Screenshots, Galleries, 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

Who's in for the arena battle?


So I'm stoked about the upcoming arena tournament. I will be involved in the stress testing worldwide arena event on Sunday. It's a chance to play with World of Warcraft PvP enthusiasts from around the world. The event will take place on the tournament test realm from 12pm to 3pm PST Sunday, March 9. For our worldwide readers that's GMT – 8.

If you're planning on being involved in this epic event, you'll need to plan ahead. If you haven't been on the test realms, you will have to download several patches. Even though the gear is free of charge, but getting it takes some time and patience. The battle will take place on Sunday, but you should get your character ready today or Saturday if you want to be ready.

I don't expect everything to go perfectly. My experience with the TTR has been that it is laggy, but manageable. I'll be there. Who will I be seeing on Sunday?

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Events, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Worldwide Arena Battle announced for Sunday on the TTR

Blizzard Poster Tyren has announced that this coming Sunday, 12pm to 3pm, Blizzard will be holding a Worldwide Arena Battle on the Tournament Test Realm in order to focus testing on the server. Members of the community and development teams will be queuing up to fight, so if you've always wanted to show Kalgan or Tigole what for in the Arena, this looks like your chance. You can expect a battle between the various CMs as well, so we'll have to watch to see who gets stickied and who gets banned.

If you're not sure how to access the TTR, you can read Zach Yonzon's guide here on the site. Don't worry if you don't have a character transfer slot left, every character created on the TTR is automatically level 70, and will spawn next to a selection of vendors that will let them buy a wide variety of gear to outfit themselves for battle.

Assuming the TTR doesn't collapse under the stress, we'll see you there!

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