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Posts with tag arena-points

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

When you are the weakest link

Our team tanked 76 points tonight. Despite winning five straight Arena games worth about 3 rating points each, we ran into a team that was pretty well-geared but were clearly playing below par. Unfortunately, our leader disconnected midway through the match, and even though we were outplaying the opposing team, the loss of our primary DPS and tunnel vision (he plays a Rogue) was enough for the opposing team to eventually burn us down for a 27-point loss. Just like that, all our previous wins were nullified and we found ourselves lower than when we started. Familiar with the opposing team's make-up, we counter-comped and proceeded to beat them thrice in a row until the fourth game where, in the middle of the battle, everyone started running in place on my screen and nothing was happening. It was my turn to get disconnected.

I restarted my router and modem, waited a minute, and logged on to find we'd dropped another 25 points. Eager to recoup our losses against a team we were certain we could beat, we queued again. Not three minutes into the queue, my Vent went silent and I feared the worst. After making certain I had disconnected, I sent an SMS to our leader to tell him what had happened, went through the motions of connecting again and when I finally got on, I found that our team had tanked a total of 76 insane points. And it was largely my fault.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

[1.Local]: A look at WoW Insider comments this week

WoW Insider serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Readers picked some fairly off-beat topics to wax loquacious about this week. Join [1.Local] as we chew the fat over those conspiratorial, Horde-centric folks at Blizzard ... the controversy (or non-controversy?) of Arena point selling ... the virtues of dedicated banker characters ... and what we thought was a really interesting idea for PvP-oriented crafting.

As always, be sure to dive into the comments area and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Employee-only bronze orc and wolf statue on eBay
We thought we were the only ones constantly accused of being Horde-centric – but it looks like Blizzard gets their fair share of finger-pointing, too, from readers like Gror: "Anyone else think that this is more proof that Blizz favours the Horde? They got a 12-foot statue made of an Orc and give all their employees Orc statues. Sickens me! This game for a long time has been Horde-biased! So, your mission will soon be completed." Bwahahaha.

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Filed under: Features, [1.Local]

The Art of War(craft): Planning for Season 4

Vims has already speculated on when Arena Season 4 will arrive, pegging it somewhere around early to mid-June. I tend to agree with that statement as Blizzard has noted on several occasions that Season 4 isn't coming anytime soon. Considering that none of servers worldwide have even opened the second gate in Sunwell Plateau, it means that equivalent level PvE items won't be cascading into the player base for quite some time. This gives players roughly around a month and two weeks to prepare for the next Arena season, if not longer.

Banking ahead

Because Arena points are capped at 5,000, players with enough Arena gear can start banking points in preparation for the new season. If gear prices remain the same (which is likely as prices have been constant through Seasons 1-3), players can open the Arena week with 3/5 Brutal Gladiator pieces: the gloves, which are priced at 1,125 Arena points during the current season; and any two of the chestpiece, headpiece, or leg piece, which go for 1,875 points. It is also possible to purchase the 1,500 points worth shoulder piece on the first week if players manage to raise their personal rating to a highly restrictive 2200 if the speculated changes make it live. Because personal ratings are calculated directly after each game, it is possible to purchase the personal ratings-limited shoulder pieces or weapons provided the player has enough points during the first week.

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

Drysc reveals more about season 4 personal rating changes

Drysc posted yesterday to tell us a bit about what will be forthcoming when Season 4 hits the servers. It's honestly mostly stuff we knew already. Season 4 will not begin immediately upon the release of 2.4. Season 1 will go the way of the old level 70 honor gear and disappear from vendors, Season 2 will be gained via honor, and season 3 will go down in price, while still keeping the personal rating requirement to purchase the shoulders and weapon. However, the surprising little tidbit is how little they currently plan to change the requirement. Drysc quoted a requirement of 1950 for the shoulders and 1800 for the weapon. That's a total drop of only 50 points for each item. Of course, he also stressed that this information was not final, and neither the final requirement drop on season 3 nor the start date of Season 4 had been announced yet.

There is some concern from some comers that that drop is possibly a bit too low. Drysc responded to one player's voicing of those concerns with a somewhat cryptic reply that he thought they were making a few too many assumptions. I'm not quite sure what he could mean by this. I myself can't imagine a team that would climb to 1800 rating and simply satisfy themselves with season 3 weapons when they could make one last push to season 4 rating, so to me, the confusion is justified. Perhaps Drysc is hinting at a mechanics change in the way arena rating is calculated, or the fact that his numbers could easily change themselves? Perhaps he simply means that Blizzard is actively trying to shake the "welfare epics" stigma, and that people shouldn't assume they're entitled to low requirement ratings on the season 3 gear. I'd tend to lean towards that last one myself.

What do you think? Are these numbers too high? Are you expecting Blizzard to change them? Or do you applaud this as a step away from making Arena gear a welfare system for those who can't or won't raid or save badges?

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

Queue dodging: The latest in underhanded arena tactics

The arenas have been a nearly constant source of conflict for many players. It seems that many creative schemes have been used to inflate ratings in the pursuit of gear and glory. The developers implemented personal ratings to combat ill-gotten gains from a single slot buyouts and high-rated team sales. It seems that the latest fad for ratings boost may be queue dodging.

Recently, Kenjiwing of Korgath brought this phenomenon to the attention of the official forums. There is currently no penalty for a team that fails to join an arena battle once the queue pops. The team that actually does show receives no reward and the match is recoded as a draw, which does not count toward the requisite games for the week. They are left to wait for another battle in hopes that the other team will show.

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

Forum post of the day: Welfare Epics

What does it take to get epic gear? Well you can do arenas or battlegrounds and save up points for gear. It takes a few weeks of arenas to get a piece of the most recent releases. A good weekend of battlegrounds might net you a piece or two. You can do raids for epic drops. It can take weeks to learn fights and clear raids. A hard night of raiding could earn you nothing but a repair bill.

Among raiding and PvP, which shows more dedication and skill? The term "welfare epic" has popped up to describe gear that some believe is given to a player without the appropriate level of effort. In his official forum post, Kaizersosay of Spirestone asserted that there are no welfare epics- that every piece of purple loot takes effort. He said that the phrase welfare epic is elitist. The thread sparked a lively discussion of welfare epics for both PvE and PvP players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Forums

The Art of War(craft): A rambling year in review

In last week's column, where I went over the World PvP objectives in the Outlands, some players expressed indignation at how Blizzard supposedly "forces" PvE players into playing PvP. There are different views on this, such as Massively's Craig Withers, who wrote about a distaste for impersonal PvP in WoW and thus avoids it like the plague, and well, myself, who would actually like to see more PvP-oriented goals implemented in the game. As the shadow of the aptly-named WAR, or Warhammer Online -- which trumpets a supposedly rich PvP and RvR (Realm vs. Realm) experience -- looms, World of Warcraft appears increasingly lacking in PvP content. More and more, suspicion arises that WoW PvP is flawed by design. In his article, David points to reader Aviel's well-ordered thoughts on the matter -- that PvP's basic flaw is that it is an Honor grind, Honor being the currency for gear. As long as it is currency, Aviel says, people will find ways to earn it in the quickest manner possible (e.g. AFKing).

For the most part, I agree with that statement. Blizzard has designed WoW PvP to be a task/reward system that is vulnerable to abuse. The simple fact, however, is that the entire game is a huge task/reward system, from the very existence of mobs (including bosses), which award loot when killed; to quests, which give rewards for completing certain tasks. Without that mechanic in place, the entire game would break. Players do daily quests not out of sheer enjoyment -- although some can be fun -- but because it's a reliable method for earning gold. When Patch 2.4 eventually hits, players can earn upwards of 300g by doing daily quests. I am willing to be that people will be doing daily quests not (just) because they're fun but because most players need gold.

In its current iteration, Honor is a currency, making it a prime candidate for farming. This design is largely due to the fact that WoW PvP has mostly been an afterthought. Actual PvP objectives and rewards, i.e. the Honor system, didn't come into the game until Patch 1.4, about five months after the game's release. The first Battlegrounds came out a month later in a subsequent patch. Because PvP isn't deeply interwoven into the world, the Honor system feels tacked on, distinctly separated from other currencies or means of acquiring loot, or reward. What matters, however, is that Blizzard recognized the need for PvP and managed to find a way to incorporate it. Blizzard Vice-President of Game Design Rob Pardo, in his 2006 AGC keynote speech said, "Early on we really didn't know how the honor system was going to work, we didn't know if we were going to have titles and achievements but we knew we had to have PvP and we knew that it had to be fun."

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

To shop with honor

Although Patch 2.3 arrived two weeks ago, it isn't until today that Arena Season 3 will make its official debut. Just like in fashion, the styles of the previous Seasons will go on sale for low, low prices. In fact, in true Filene's Basement style, the items from Season 1 will become purchasable with Honor and Marks of Honor. The once-shiny gear from Season 2 are being taken off the racks to make way for the latest Vengeful Gladiator's fashions, complemented by Vindicator's accessories. Some players looking ahead have already saved up on the maximum Honor of 75,000 and maximum Arena Points of 5,000 in preparation for the new Season. I think I have an idea of how my wife feels when Mango goes on sale and a new line comes in. It's kind of like the World of Warcraft equivalent of Black Friday.

How about you? What's on your Honor shopping list? Will you be buying Season 1 gear or spend it on the new Vindicator items? Will you be buying armor or weapons? Are you trooping over to the Hall of Legends or the Champion's Hall before you head over to Area 52 (with branches now open in Nagrand and Blade's Edge!)? Choices, choices.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

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