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Posts with tag arathi-basin

The Art of War(craft): A guide to obtainable PvP Achievements before Wrath


If you've been paying close attention to the Wrath of the Lich King Beta -- and let's be honest, how could you not? We've been covering it like crazy over here are WoW Insider -- then you might have noticed that Blizzard will be implementing a nifty little feature called Achievements. Of course, the first thing that jumped out at me (and probably you, too, since you're reading this column) were the PvP Achievements.

I didn't plan to pursue Achievements actively. Not before I heard about the PvP Achievements, anyway. Now, it's one of the things I can't stop thinking about... more accurately, I can't stop thinking of how to complete them. There are quite a bunch of PvP Achievements to pursue, and most of them will only be tracked once the expansion goes live. But there are also some achievements that you can start working on right now because they'll be tracked retroactively (as far as I can tell). Let's take a look at those Achievements so you can get them out of the way before Wrath.

One word of caution: all these Achievements are in beta and can change at any time before (and possibly after) the Wrath launch. So proceed at your own risk.

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

Encrypted Text: A Rogue's guide to battleground PvP

Every Wednesday, Encrypted Text explores issues affecting Rogues and those who group with them. This week Jason Harper, the new Rogue feature blogger, discusses battleground PvP, useful macros and techniques that strive to keep you alive longer.

My last Encrypted Text post generated a lot of terrific feedback, and when you smoosh it all up and blend it I think you'll find that saying Rogues are a controversial class is a bit of an understatement. No more especially so than on the PvP side of things. In a future column I'll dig deeper into specific PvE instances, both raid and heroic, as well as give you some commentary on the new skills that come with the Wrath expansion. In the column this week we're talking about PvP and how to get the most out of it with your Rogue. I hope to make this a semi-regular topic, updating as we go, focusing on one or two PvP related items each time.

If you could distill the feelings of the majority of non-Rogues out there, at least the most vocal ones, you'd come up with a collective "over-powered" when it comes to PvP. Designed to counter most (but not all) casting classes, especially those *not* geared or spec'd to prevent spell push-back, our goal is to get our target into melee range and keep them there. Keeping this in mind, my first bit of PvP advice for you is avoid fair fights at all costs.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Battlegrounds, Macro Anatomy

The inevitable loss

Around every 4th of July I reread Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, which is a book about the battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. There's an early passage about the Southern general James Longstreet's unease over the Confederate push north to Pennsylvania: He had never believed in this invasion...He did not believe in offensive warfare when the enemy outnumbered you and outgunned you and would come looking for you anyway if you waited somewhere on your own ground. Longstreet, one of the finest military minds of the age, spends much of the subsequent bloody fight knowing that Union forces had a terrain advantage impossible to overcome.

There's been a lot written about battleground strategy (particularly Alterac Valley) but I think all of us have known the sinking feeling you get when you realize that your side isn't going to win. Some causes of failure are relatively easy to pinpoint; starting a battleground with a heavy numbers or healing disadvantage often seals the fate of a match. And of course the collective quality of a team's gear will always play a role; people in Season 4 are unlikely to lose to those in Season 1.

All other things being equal, what I find most fascinating are the matches -- PuG versus PuG, or premade versus premade -- where the battle can swing either way depending entirely on each team's degree of foresight and strategy. Rarely, single players can sometimes decide the outcome; I once saw a protection paladin in a 2-cap versus 2-cap Eye of the Storm prevent the opposing side from taking any flags by parking himself in the middle and simply taking forever to die, and one of my own favorite techniques is to suicide/harass heavily-defended nodes in Arathi Basin and EOTS while Horde quietly caps elsewhere (you'd be amazed at the number of players who prefer an easy kill over responding to "Inc!" calls elsewhere). But failure and success are usually collective and hard to pin down. How do you convince people to do the less-glamorous jobs -- defense, distraction, crowd-control -- more likely to result in a victory? How do you know when the battleground is lost for sure?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Things that annoy me

Or, how to celebrate the birth of a nation via an ugly series of Horde losses in Arathi Basin:

1. Every single Alliance character in the game has a Black War Tiger.

2. Every single Horde character in the game has a Black War Raptor (yes, myself included).

3. I could be wrong, but I don't think "Lich King" is pronounced "Lick King," as I keep hearing it pronounced on my server.

4. However, it might be because the word looks somewhat Germanic, and I will be unable to keep a straight face for the duration of the next expansion.

5. To the point of losing it completely if I hear "World of Warcraft: WRAAAAAAATH OF THE LICK KING" intoned by the Deep-Voiced Serious Trailer Guy.

6. How male human characters run. There's a lot of great animation in the game. This is not one of them.

7. Practically every main-tank of every Hordeside raiding guild is a male Tauren.

8. An egotistical male Tauren. Look, Spanky, just because Bulwark of Azzinoth is bigger on you than anybody else does not mean that the same is true of appendages elsewhere.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, Battlegrounds

Zarhym speaks on Battleground queues and uneven team numbers

It seems to be a complaint that comes up quite often lately: Many people on both sides of the aisle are finding that when they queue up these days and get into a battleground, one side or the other starts at a distinct disadvantage, numbers-wise. Whether it be a 15-7 Arathi Basin, or a 10 to 3 Warsong Gulch, I'm sure most avid Battleground PvPers can tell you that it is extremely hard to recover when you start at a great imbalance in numbers like that.

Zarhym chimed in to offer his own view on the situation on a recent forum thread, and to tell us that Blizzard may still be open to a bit more tweaking to try to solve the problem.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Starting from scratch with two weeks to Season 4


Blizzard surprised everyone yesterday by announcing the start of Arena Season 4, slaking the thirst of Arena junkies everywhere. Although Drysc's announced that PvP progression is intended to match PvE progression, it seems that Blizzard feels that enough Sunwell Plateau gear has trickled down to the player base for them to unleash a new Arena Season. Or it could be that they feel that the new personal ratings mechanic is enough of a bottleneck to slow down the flood of Level 154 items into the playing community.

At any rate, now is the time to plan for Season 4. If you haven't already started, it might be a good idea to bank some Arena points. With two weeks of point gains to go, that means players currently with 0 Arena points can theoretically obtain a maximum of one Season 4 Arena piece as the gloves cost 1125 points and, more importantly, require no personal ratings. Players will need to earn about 563 Arena points for the next two weeks to earn enough to purchase the item. This means maintaining a 1788 rating in 2v2, 1722 in 3v3, and 1671 in 5v5. It's not an easy feat, but for those who are only starting to save up Arena points, the reality is that it's an uphill climb. No matter how good you are, it is impossible to amass 5,000 Arena points in two weeks.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

Breakfast Topic: Battle of the battlegrounds

In The Burning Crusade, Blizzard implemented the Eye of the Storm, brinding the number of battlegrounds up to four. They each manage to create an interesting dichotomy in the playerbase. You either love a battleground, or you hate it. Personally, I adore Alterac Valley and Eye of the Storm. I hate, hate, hate Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. Most of my friends hate AV and love WSG. And of course, there's always the people that hate them all. My first question to all of you is, where do the battlegrounds lie in your mind? Which do you adore, which do you loathe?

Second, Wrath of the Lich King will be bringing us another battleground. We don't know anything about it, but what would you like to see? What do you think we'll get? Personally, I would like to see some sort of urban warfare. Maybe Warsong Gulch style Capture the Flag, but placed in a village rather than a wide open field. Instead of the flag carrier and their pursuers running through an open field, they need to weave between buildings and through alleys. It would probably make hiding way too easy, but I still think it's a fun concept.

Again, here's your questions for today: Which battlegrounds do you love, which do you hate, and what new battleground do you think is coming our way in Wrath?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: PvP as a moving target


Every week, John Patricelli of Big Bear Butt presents a well-researched, educational, and entertaining look at the state of the Druid class in WoW today. This week we said, "Screw that," and got someone off the street.

Veronica: Look at you, all helpful.
Logan: Your peskiness being unleashed on Connor brings me joy. Annoy, tiny blonde one! Annoy like the wind!
-- Veronica Mars, "An Echolls Family Christmas"

With apologies to Diane Ruggiero, the writer of the episode quoted above, but I find Logan's snarky comment (did he even have another kind?) to be a perfect, albeit general, means of describing successful Druid PvP.

Let us be frank; I am not, nor am ever likely to be, a hardcore PvPer, and to a great extent this post is directed mostly at people like myself. If you're one of those Druids carrying a 2K+ rating in full Vengeful, then I invite (nay, implore) you to leave comments and corrections based on your own experience, but the article's mostly for regular folks like me, who may not even particularly like PvP but recognize that it is desirable or perhaps necessary, given our ingame goals. As such, most of this applies to battlegrounds, and on a later date we're going to get into arena. Today, we are simply going to talk about how to avoid letting your PvP experience turn you into a miserably unhappy player who would rather undergo an appendectomy via Roto-Rooter than set foot in another EOTS.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, PvP, Guides, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Battlegrounds, Arena

15 Minutes of Fame: Inside PvP twinking

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – both the renowned and the relatively anonymous. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

Despite grumbles from some players, PvP twinking – playing at max level of a particular PvP battlegrounds bracket, with the best available gear and enchants for that level – has been legitimized by Blizzard as a valid meta-game within WoW. While most players I've spoken with don't seem to have strong feelings about twinking one way or the other, neither do they seem to understand why someone would be interested in getting into it. What's the attraction?

We at 15 Minutes of Fame have an undeniable curiosity when it comes to meta-gamers and players who've carved out their own niches in the immense world that is World of Warcraft. That's how we came across Angrenous of Shadow Council, a PvP-aholic who runs warriors in almost every PvP bracket. Here's a player with his eyes wide open to all the various restrictions and limitations of WoW's PvP experience – and having a blast careening around in it.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

PvP all day, everyday: Concerted Efforts (A) or For Great Honor (H)

It's back! Perhaps of all the new daily quests that have arrived with the goodness-filled Patch 2.4, arguably the most confusing and mysterious one is the repeatable quest called For Great Honor for the Horde and Concerted Efforts for the Alliance. It is a dinosaur quest from the days of the old Honor system but made its stealthy return last Tuesday with a few tweaks. It was so stealthy that it didn't even make it into the official patch notes. It is also not searchable in wowhead through filters (e.g. added in Patch 2.4, PvP, etc.) or by name (e.g. "For Great Honor"). The references to the quest in thottbot or allakhazam both refer to the old repeatable quest albeit the quest description themselves have been updated to include the new requirement -- an additional Mark of Honor from Eye of the Storm.

Unlike the old quest, the new and improved For Great Honor -- which probably has the same ID tag (confusing poor old wowhead) as the original quest -- does not give any reputation for old world Battlegrounds. Players grinding Battlegrounds rep for the Conqueror or Justicar titles are flat of luck and must do it the hard way aside from being crazy for trying (yeah, okay, I'm one of those people). The very first time players complete the quest, it awards 11g 99s and 314 Honor points at Level 70. Subsequent turn-ins will only award the 314 Honor.

Because of the removal of diminishing returns to Honorable Kills, Honor points are available for use immediately, making this quest the most efficient way to earn additional Honor. Because it is repeatable and not a daily quest, players with stacks of 100 Marks of Honor from all Battlegrounds can accrue 31,400 Honor points right away. Of course, it is possible to earn more Honor from more turn-ins. Winning in all four Battlegrounds, for example, can give an additional 942 Honor from Mark of Honor turn-ins. For the many players who have full unusable stacks of these items, it's an excellent way to free up space and gain Honor points at the same time. Needless to say... make sure to save some Marks for those welfare epics! On a final note, try to complete this quest in the less populated cities such as the Exodar or Thunder Bluff, specially if you're turning in a whopping 100 times. Less populated cities will have less lag and less chances of players zoning in from Arenas or Battlegrounds to get in the clickable way of your turn-ins.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Quests, Battlegrounds

WoW, Casually: Welfare epics


Each week, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.

Almost every column, I talk about Welfare Epics since they are specifically designed for casuals to get their purplez on and I just assume that you all know what I'm talking about. But Dave recently sent in a question asking what they are and I realized that if I didn't write for WoW Insider, I probably wouldn't know either.

Though some people say they heard the phrase before this, the first time I heard it was at BlizzCon. Jeff Kaplan, aka Tigole, started off the Dungeons and Raids panel by saying that the panel wasn't for people with their Welfare Epics, but for people who actually earn them. Now, I think he was partially just being funny, but I also think he was speaking up for the Raiders who are upset that all of the work they put into conquering the PvE endgame content is for naught when any casual player can pick up purples that are equal to or better than gear that drops off endgame bosses.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, BlizzCon, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

Breakfast Topic: Should there be honor in PvP?

And by honor I don't mean the honor-as-currency system that's currently in the game -- I mean a sense of personal honor as in, there are things you make a conscious decision to avoid doing just as a moral gesture.

I thought of this recently after a truly miserable losing streak in Arathi Basin. I wound up in three consecutive matches with a full complement of 15 Alliance players to 7 or 8 Horde (with both sides being PuG's, mind you). Being out-numbered and out-gunned sucks no matter what, but it's made immeasurably worse in places like Arathi Basin and EOTS due to the dwindling number of sites you'll have to rez when your side is being utterly destroyed. There was one particularly awful game where the Alliance decided to see how much honor they could get from us before the inevitable 4 or 5-cap ensuring their victory, and simply zerged us in the graveyard as we rezzed (or tried to). The feeling was made worse by knowing, having also played Alliance in BG's, that Horde would almost certainly have done the same thing had the situation been reversed. PvP is the subject of a lot of emotional dicussion in the WoW community as a result of situations like these, and I think we can all agree that it's not the losses that drive you nuts so much as knowing that the game is full of places and times where no amount of strategy or skill will keep you alive.

There are a lot of things in PvP that I just don't like being a part of.
I don't attack fellow Druids unless I'm attacked first (yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but a surprising number of Druids subscribe to this). I don't join in when an enemy player is obviously being dog-piled. I don't /spit on opposing players or do other rude emotes, and I don't participate in griefing. There's not much about WoW's PvP system that's really all that fair to begin with, especially when compared to games more explicity designed around PvP combat, but in the back of my mind there's still that notion that your opponent should at least have a sporting chance. I risk being called a hopeless carebear for this statement, but I think "honorable kills" are a lot more enjoyable when there's a measure of actual honor involved.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds, Arena

The Art of War(craft): Twinkage part II


Last week, we discussed the matter of twinks and PvP. In many occasions, twinks exist purely to PvP, dominating lower-bracket Battlegrounds with their über-gear. In fact, there is no shortage of twink complaint threads on the World of Warcraft forums. Whatever one might feel about twinks, it's an ongoing phenomenon that shows no signs of letting up. I'm not a big fan of twinkage myself, but it's such a distinct subset of the PvP crowd that I feel compelled to write about it. Twice. Oh, and for the record, I am quite aware that 'twink' is a homosexual slang term. I prefer to think of the Hostess snack, though.

So here we go, the second part of our look at twink PvP. Last week we discussed an overview of the potential items that twinks can obtain... I didn't make a comprehensive list since that's a considerable task. I did, however, give some pointers in the right direction. Considering that Resilience does not exist in lower level PvP, the key stat is Stamina, so get gear with loads of it. There are also ways to improve on gear, particularly using permanent item enchants. The most notorious of these is probably the Nethercleft Leg Armor, which requires Level 60 to apply, but has no item restriction. It might cost a bit of gold because it requires Primal Nether to craft, but the +40 Stamina is well worth it for twinks. Patch 2.4 also promises removing binding on nethers, which may or may not lower prices. For casters, the tailoring equivalents of Golden and Runic Spellthreads are also good investments, despite the 20 stamina hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

PvP for the beginning HK: 11 rules for the starter weasel


It is not unusual for younger or less experienced players to approach me with questions on my PvP experience.

"Allie," they ask. "How can we avoid sucking like you?"

"Well, first it helps to have a functional mouse," I always say, favoring them with a benevolent smile whilst swirling a fine glass of port. "Click-to-move is usually impossible when neither your right mouse button nor scroll wheel actually work. You'd be amazed at the number of problems you can pin on your refusal to replace a relatively cheap piece of equipment. Never, ever, get rid of Mr. Gimpy if you want a ready excuse for being a keyboard turner."

They scribble this and then look at me reverently, hopeful for any additional pearls of wisdom I might drop. However, after receiving so many queries and accidentally mistelling most of them with, "I can tank, but gimme a sec to get rid of this punk who's bugging me," I have decided, in the spirit of all gifted Machiavellians, to preserve my bad advice in a medium more lasting than /w.

For beyond faulty mice, children, we get into more advanced and underhanded PvP tactics...

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Filed under: How-tos, PvP, Humor, Guides, Battlegrounds, Arena

Forum Post of the Day: PUG Player Archetypes

Once Patch 2.4 goes live, we will most likely be able to queue up for all of the major battlegrounds as premades. There will always be PUGs, since even the three battlegrounds that allow premade groups to play have them. Sideways of Korgath posted a thread on the official forums on the most annoying PUG player archetypes. The original list included:

  • The Aloof - This guy appears to be guarding a flag or, but the chickens at the farm in AB are actually doing a better job. It's hard to say whether he's AFK, chatting in vent, or just didn't get enough sleep last night, but a guy caps the flag behind him and he doesn't even notice. If he's in gulch and the enemy flag carrier runs by, he just keeps on doing whatever it is he's doing as if nothing happened.
  • The ADD - This type of player just can't live with less than continuous action. The concept of defending a flag is foreign and distasteful to him. Therefore if he is defending something and no enemies show up within 30 seconds, he moves on despite the fact that he is leaving the flag unguarded for a friendly neighborhood rogue to ninja.
  • The Instance Mob - This type of player makes you swear aggro generation applied to players. He simply cannot understand why he hasn't been able to kill anything despite the fact that he put forth his best damage attacks against the protection specced shield wearing warrior that had 2 priests, a paladin, and a druid healing him. Much like I expect Rend Blackhand or Nefarian would, he attributes his ineffectiveness to inferior gear.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Humor

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