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Posts with tag arena-pvp

PvP season 14 underway

Arena battle
Battle-hardened arena masters might already be aware, but if you blinked you could have missed it: PvP season 14 has begun. The big news for this time around is that as of season 14, you no longer need to join an arena team in order to compete, and thus all team ratings have been removed. Your personal ratings have been reset, and you can now queue for arenas in groups of 2, 3, or 5. Your opponents will be selected based on the average rating of your team members.

The change will make it easier to rotate team members in and out, or bring alts to arena matches if you so desire. It may also be a nice incentive for the PvP-averse (such as myself!) to hop on in with some friends and give it a go. Happy season 14, everybody!

Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4: Arena teams out, cross-realm arenas in

Patch 5.4 is already shaping up to be a big one, and today Blizzard announced some major arena changes in addition to the tie-breaking system. Aiming to improve the arena experience by making it easier for anyone to compete, arena players will no longer need an arena team (in fact, arena teams don't even appear in the UI on the PTR): in patch 5.4, queuing for an arena match will work similarly to queuing for rated battlegrounds. You'll be matched with other players queuing to fight with and against, based on your rating. Additionally, matches are no longer limited to your battlegroup: you'll be able to play with or against anyone in your region, and even be able to compete in cross-realm groups with friends on other realms. Matches themselves will stay (mostly) the same, though your conquest point cap and requirements to purchase items will be based on your personal rating.

These changes are live on the PTR now if you want to check them out for yourself. See the full text of Blizzard's announcement under the break.

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Filed under: News items, PvP

Encrypted Text: Controlling tempo in PvP

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Please email me with any topic requests or questions you have!

PvP is hard to discuss in writing. (I'm not talking about how to properly 4-gate your opponent on Shakuras Plateau, but rather about WoW's player-vs-player content.) It's a relatively easy task to distill a PvE encounter into a list of salient points, but that's because raid bosses aren't random. Magmaw is going to do the same thing against every single raid group that encounters him, and so our strategies for countering him are fairly unilateral. We're playing rock-paper-scissors with the developers, except that we know they're going to throw paper ahead of time. All we have to do is successfully become scissors, and the raid bosses will fall over and explode with purples -- they're just loot piñatas.

PvP, meanwhile, is impossible to condense into a single strategy. In a raid setting, most classes use less than a dozen simple abilities on any given encounter. In an arena or battleground, players will be drawing from the deepest, darkest pages of their spellbooks to gain any advantage. I can't tell you what that warrior on the opposing team is going to do, because he can literally do anything. Instead of trying to make some sort of overly complicated flowchart in an attempt to remove all decision-making from PvP, you have to adjust and react on the fly. The key to surviving in this volatile environment is to maintain control of the tempo -- you need to fight on your terms.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

World of Warcraft Arena Tournament 2010 registration open

It's official: registration for the 2010 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament is now open! Like last year's arena tournament, players will participate on regional tournament realms -- separate from live realms -- for a spot to play at the live events. The arena tournament will use the 3v3 arena format for teams, and the regular arena season on live servers will not be interrupted by this event. The cost of registration is one payment of $20 per eligible World of Warcraft account. For more information on eligibility and restrictions, check out the Arena Tournament rules page.

This year's cash prizes, including prizes awarded at both the regional finals and world championship, amount to over $200,000. But even if you don't win the big prizes, there's still something out there for participants -- players who have participated in at least 50 rated tournament games on one character with the same team will be eligible for Murkimus, the gladiator murloc pet that players may remember from last year's tournament. Please note that as of patch 3.3.3, Murkimus is an account-wide pet that will apply to all WoW characters on your Battle.net account. Players who have a character in one of the top 1,000 teams and have participated in at least 100 rated tournament games during the last four weeks will also receive the Vanquisher title for their live characters level 71 and over.

While the news may be good for players that missed out on last year's games, some have expressed disappointment that there was no new pet and title for this year. Zarhym addressed this in a post on the Arena Tournament forums:
Zarhym
While it would be cool to provide a new pet, we're not necessarily trying to encourage as many people as possible to pay $20 and sign up for this tournament ultimately because they want a new pet. It's a nice perk to encourage people, but we don't want the Arena Tournament to be a more complicated version of the Pet Store. We want players who are serious about competing to sign up for the tournament, not just a reason to take in more money through offering a new vanity pet with each new tournament.

So for those of you looking for a new pet -- sorry, looks like that's not in the cards this year. But for players who missed out on the pet last year and players who would like a chance at the cash that Blizzard is paying out, you can sign up for the fun and games on Blizzard's website.

Filed under: News items, PvP

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy PvP basics


Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we discuss the basic tenets of holy paladin PvP.

When Wrath of the Lich King was released, Blizzard stated that it was one of their major goals to make raiding more accessible to every type of player. I'd say they achieved that goal, with just about every player who wants to able to experience a raid instance to see several of the bosses in each tier of raiding. With the easily obtained emblem and crafted gear, it's not hard for even newly 80 players to be raid-ready in a couple of weeks. Even the hardest instance in the expansion, Icecrown Citadel, is partially open to the most novice of PUGs. I think we can agree that Blizzard has figured out how to make raiding more accessible.

Their next project in Cataclysm is to bring that same level of accessibility to PvP. They've already planned world PvP zones with the explicit purpose of promoting PvP, namely Tol Barad. We can also expect the new rated battleground feature to allow larger groups and guilds to participate in PvP without being under the arena microscope. Add in slower PvP pacing via an increase in life and decrease in healing power, and it's clear that the Horde and Alliance will be slaughtering each other in new and magnificent ways when we're not busy fighting against Deathwing and his minions. If you want to be ready for Cataclysm's new PvP environment, your best bet is to start practicing now!

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part III


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

We've come to a fork in our musical journey, where I'm going to start branching into genres and/or artists you might not have heard of (if you have, great, feel free to tell me what a giant douche I am for underestimating you). Today we'll be listening to one of my all-time favorite indie-folk tracks, Cold Cold Water, by Mirah. The Star Wars tribute video is a nice touch, if you're into that kind of thing (I am).

Last time, we went over hunters, mages, and paladins. This week, we're going to round out the classes with the exception of rogues and warriors (they're not getting any high-impact PvP changes at all). We'll also talk about some cool glyphs and enchanting changes. Next week, we'll start doing stuff other than patch notes. I'd like us to throw around more opinion and less analysis.

Read on to find out what's up in arena for priests, shamans, warlocks, enchanting and inscription in Patch 3.3!

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Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Warlock, Enchanting, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part II


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

David Byrne and The Talking Heads are a personal favorite. Miles Fisher seems to love them as well. His cover of This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) is homage to one of the most beautiful, striking melodies I've ever heard, and as such, it will be your listening music for the day. (NSFW Warning: The video is a parody/reenactment of American Psycho, so view carefully.)

Last time, we went over the Will of the Forsaken nerf, 100% pet resilience, death knights, and druids. The patch looks to be a very interesting bag of surprises for arena enthusiasts, we're getting major changes to the way some races work, as well as nearly every class is getting a pretty substantial change or two which will probably help them in PvP. We don't normally see patches where most classes are buffed, but this could be one of them.

Read on to find out what's up with hunters, mages, and paladins in Patch 3.3!

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Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Features, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part I

Ahh, lovely Radiohead. The entirety of Scotch Mist (which is In Rainbows played live) will be our listening music, as I expect today's article to be somewhat...lengthy. Starting out with "Weird Fishes" is a nice touch -- you gotta love Radiohead's set order diversity. By the way, I'm going to continue supporting the Blood Sport column with listening music, due to overwhelming positive response. If you have any suggestions for songs, please let me know in the comments below!

Instead of talking about minor changes, I'm going to try to only hit the major ones here, as this is a giant patch. If you think I skipped something important, please let me know via the comments below and I'll reply.

Today, we'll be covering pet resilience, the Will of the Forsaken nerf, death knight, and druid changes, and what they hold for arena combatants. Expect the other classes and item/glyph changes soon! You can find all about Patch 3.3 here.

Check out what the last major patch of WotLK has for gladiators and challengers alike after the break!

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Filed under: Undead, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II and a half



I don't care for a lot of music that was made in the last decade. The Killers are something of a breather for me. They're one of those bands I'm glad exist. When I'm forced to listen to a terrible radio station, and hear change your mind sandwiched in between auto-tuned, unoriginal dross -- I'm satisfied there is still music being made that can intrigue. (Brandon Flowers has some epic bard tier 10 shoulders there too)

This is part two of part two of a three part article. Confusing? Join the fun! Surprising Patch 3.3 timing, i.e. wrenches in cogs, is a blast!

In our first installment, we covered pillars changing shape in great detail, and also mentioned a few other tweaks. Our second article dealt with five classes -- paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, and warrior. Warlocks were left out of the 3.2.2 patch notes. This article is going to talk about the other four classes - death knight, druid, hunter, and mage.

Being "TheArenaGuy" here at WoW.com lends to forcing myself to a very balanced perspective on classes. It makes me feel guilty if I understand armor penetration less than spell penetration. Well, actually, it doesn't because ArP is confusing. The main thing I'm trying to say here is that I don't want to write anything that is opinionated without being grounded in something. I don't want to make any mistakes when it comes to reporting to our viewers what changes will impact arena games (and how).

I'm satisfied to critique changes instead of having the responsibility to make them. The developers have very difficult decisions to make with regard to arena balance and we should applaud them for making decisions in the name of equity, even if some of them might be unpopular.

With that, let's get into the juicy, juicy 3.2.2 patch notes.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II


In keeping with our musical theme, here's David Bowie's Changes. Most of you have probably heard it, but most of us have not really listened to it. Take some time to enjoy one of Bowie's most renowned pieces with the article today.

Last time, I went over a few significant arena modifications that 3.2.2 brought us. Square pillars for line-of-sight, the armor penetration nerf, focus frames, flying in battlegrounds, and the Onyxia loot table can be found here.

This article is going to talk about five of the nine classes discussed in the 3.2.2 patch notes (warlocks were left out). The reason we won't be talking about the other four is sheer article size. I'm not getting blamed for breaking anyone's scroll wheel today! We'll go over death knights, hunters, druids, and mages in the second part of this part II (which should be in a day or two).

I'm giving analysis on class changes; I hope we will agree on most things, but if you disagree or decide I don't understand a mechanic properly, please let me know in the comments below. I read all your comments and am often stunned with how gracious our readers have been towards me. Thank you for all the kind words, those of you who took the time to write them!

Please don't assume that I don't care if I don't write a large amount about the horrors of nerfing or the glories of buffing your main character's class (triple negative hooray). I probably don't know enough about the intricacies of the change to make an educated prediction, and would say little rather than proclaim "this will gimp class X vs. class Y" and have it fail to come to fruition.

I'm going to be ignoring all non-pvp related notes. If you think I left something out, please post a comment below and I will (most likely) edit the post accordingly.

Also, 3.3 patch notes are out already! Next week, part III will be merged with the 3.3 patch notes that are coming; there's a lot to talk about!

So, without further ado, here's what 3.2.2 is cha-cha-cha-cha-changing in the arena world.

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Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, News items, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

ESL interviews Tom Chilton


Jay Harding from ESL TV was able to catch up to Blizzard Lead Designer and the resident PvP guru Tom Chilton at the World of Warcraft Arena Tournament Regional Finals in Cologne, Germany last June and got to squeeze a decent length interview. Because of the focus of the event, Chilton talked a lot about PvP changes, particularly the impact of the upcoming Patch 3.2. Chilton, also known as Kalgan, expressed Blizzard's intent on trying to keep different comps viable while taking small steps to curb the dominance of extremely popular comps such as RMP and cleave, which he stopped short of calling a "faceroll comp" (still goes to show he was thinking it, though!). Highlights from the video include:
  • Resilience - the change to Resilience in Patch 3.2 will make the greatest impact in Arena PvP, slowing down matches and likely impacting the effectivity of "burst" comps.
  • The nerf to the 2v2 bracket is intended to equalize class representation since 2v2 isn't always a good bracket for all classes. Chilton mentions that "as the bracket size comes down, you lose a lot of those different synergies between different classes"
  • Chilton says, "there's room for competitive Battlegrounds," and that "rated Battlegrounds is something that (Blizzard) has been thinking about for quite a while." He says they'll provide more information in the future.
  • Isle of Conquest is intended to be epic, they want to "bring back a little of that crazy, big battle feel" and intergrating some features of existing Battlegrounds with new ones.
  • Kalgan and his girlfriend will kick your butt in 2v2.
It's a nice interview for ESL's WoW Wednesdays, and while it doesn't give too much information we don't already know (especially since you obviously read WoW.com...), it's always good to hear news straight from the proverbial horse's mouth. This actually got me all excited for the PvP Panel during BlizzCon, hopefully we'll hear a bunch of new stuff there.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Interviews

Lichborne: PvP pointers for Death Knights


Welcome to Lichborne, Your weekly peek into the world of the Death Knight.

Death Knights have it pretty good in PvP. Thanks to big whomping two-handers and magic damage strikes and spells, we can do massive burst damage and tear through armor defenses pretty easily. On the control front, we have Strangulate, Mind Freeze, Chains of Ice, and, depending on spec, maybe even a few other ways to silence, slow, or shut down an enemy player. Finally, our plate armor and defense cooldowns assure that should we the unlucky target of the burst train, we can hold out a lot longer than many.

Still, it's not just being a Death Knight alone that gets you PvP fame and godhood. It does help to have the right talents, gear, and strategy. So we're going to talk about that a bit, focusing mostly on the talents. Here's two popular PvP Talent builds.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Guides, Death Knight, Battlegrounds, Arena, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Colosseum: a Grave matter



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.

I know that more than a few of us have no interest in hearing from another Death Knight. While the class dominated Season 5, and still seems strong in Season 6, we should remember that few successful Death Knights started the Arena with the opening of Wrath of the Lich King. It's with that thought in mind that I found what Gladiator Grave had to say interesting.

He could have been focused on things like "Death Grip's awesome, and I use it against casters." Instead, Grave echoed many of the most important sentiments we here from many successful fighters. Synergy, coordination, and communication are the hallmarks that Grave recommends.

Check out the full interview after the cut.



Read more →

Filed under: Arena, The Colosseum

WoW Armory improved with powerful tools


Demonstrative of their commitment to seeing Arenas succeed, the World of Warcraft Armory has been updated with new tools that allow players to scan Match Histories, Opponent Histories, and more surprisingly, Match Reports. Blizzard has apparently been tracking a lot of data under the hood for some time, as all the matches of Season 5 are available for viewing.

The new tools are incredibly powerful, interesting, and intuitive, allowing players to look through a teams performance over the course of a season. The Match History tool represents matches in a graph form, which players can toggle to show selected periods of time. It shows which opponents a team faced, how much ratings were gained or lost, the average ratings change during the selected period, and even when and what time the matches were played. There's just so much data available, players can conceivably spend lots of time just studying team histories.

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Filed under: Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Arena Season 6: Rise of the Furious Gladiator


Kalgan hopped on over to the forums to make a significant post that previews what can happen in Arena Season 6, the tiers of gear available, and what will happen to the Vault of Archavon. One of my fears going into the next Arena Season was that Archavon the Stone Watcher would lose his relevance, as he drops significantly lower tier gear a full season behind the current one. This would have greatly devalued control of Wintergrasp.

However, Kalgan reveals that a new boss in another wing of the Vault of Archavon will drop the Furious Gladiator pieces. He makes no mention of past season's gear, and says that the new boss' loot table will be structured slightly differently drom Archavon's. This could mean that the 10-man version can drop the Honor-bought non-set pieces rather than a lower tier of Arena gear and notes that the boss will not drop the chest piece. In the same post, he pegs the chest piece at a 1750 rating requirement, which should probably indicate that the boss will not drop items with a higher requirement (head, shoulder, weapon, etc.). This is an important announcement that ensures the relevance of Wintergrasp. The boss is also expected to drop Tier 8 pieces, making it equally appealing to PvE players.

Read more →

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

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