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Posts with tag arena-pvp

Arena matching system changed in patch 3.0.8

There's a new matchmaking system out in 3.0.8 for arenas, and the change (surprise surprise) did not make it into the patch notes.

Update: Please see this post for further information.

The system is thus:

There is a rating, one that you cannot see, which will match you "against others of equal skill." This rating is different for each of the arena brackets. At the end of each match, the internal rating, the one you cannot see, is changed. The cycle then repeats itself when you queue up for your next match.

There isn't any more information that that, which was released by Bornakk late last night.

Bornakk warns that you might notice some odd behavior in arena matches.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Arena

The future of healing in the Arena

If you've been in the Arena during Season 5, you probably have noticed a particular change to the way gladiators fight. It can be summarized in a single word: "Damage." In the bygone days of Season 4, drain teams and Mortal Strike debuffs were all but an entry requirement to high ranked play. Without a strategy to reduce or nullify your enemy's healing, you were unlikely to produce sufficient burst DPS to actually kill anyone. A few double-DPS teams managed to thrive, but for the most part, a gladiator's number one priority was shutting down the healer.

That dynamic is all but dead in Season 5. Players output such a high level of damage compared to other players' health that healing is almost a non-factor in most matches. My friends, Ghostcrawler is aware of this dynamic, and is looking into it. (It turns out, Ghostcrawler mostly plays a healer in the Arena.) As stated by the crab himself, the Arena should not simply be about burst damage. (Nor, however, should it be solely about healing or solely about crowd control.)

Of course, Ghostcrawler does admit he has difficulty saying what the long terms plans are going to be. The design team hasn't had enough whiteboard time to say anything with complete honesty. But he also hopes that as more Resilience gear enters the PvP system, the damage might scale down to be more reasonable. (To quote, "It's mostly just math.") Still, there's hope that future teams will include more than just seeing which team can burst down the other first.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena

SK Gaming's Arena Ranking system revamped

SK Gaming sends word that they've updated their Arena Ranking system -- if you want to find out who the best players or teams are on your Region, Battleground or Realm, this is the place to go. You can see the top player or team rankings separately, or even check out the most popular setups by spec and class (and surprisingly, Hunters are on top! No, I'm just kidding, of course it's Warrior/Druid. What did you expect?).

Very nice tool, and it's just been updated recently, so it's faster and more accurate than ever. Talents are new to the system as well, but they're integrated very well, so its easy to quickly pull up whatever group of players or teams you want to look at, and then pull all kinds of statistics out of there, including ratings, setups, and builds for everybody. And as someone who's done some web programming in the past, I'll say that whoever coded it knows their stuff -- those URLs are awesome.

Plus, we hear that some of the Chinese team names are pretty funny, but considering we're not actually fluent in the language, we'd never know it. Anyone want to translate the better ones?

Filed under: Fan stuff, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds, Arena

Only Arena skirmishes from level 71-79, ratings back in at 80

Just in case you wanted to know what the deal was with Arena ratings as we all headed to level 80, let Bornakk clarify for you -- while level 70 rated fights will still count, levels 71-79 are back to skirmishes, and rated fights can only happen again at level 80. And while Bornakk doesn't mention season timing at all (does Blizzard ever, beforehand?), our guess would be that they'll hold off on announcing any new PvP items until a good number of people have had a chance to level up to 80 and get situated in the brackets -- of course, depending on how fast people level up, that could be pretty quick.

But he does say that there will be no more new level 70 rewards, so what's out there right now is what you get. What we still don't know is whether Arena points from level 70 will carry over into the level 80 bracket, or whether there will be a complete reset of all the ratings and totals for the new bracket. There are good arguments for both sides (some players want a fresh start, while others don't want their winnings so far to count for nothing), but so far we haven't heard anything official yet.

So there are still a few things for Blizzard to decide with the higher level Arena system, but they've got time -- it's unlikely that they'll make people rush to 80 just to get involved in the Arena. It seems that when these next ten levels of content come out, Blizzard will switch some focus back to PvE and battleground PvP rather than the Arena game.

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

Bornakk tries to clarify fair play in Arena PvP

Bornakk has laid down a "clarification" on what's fair in the Arenas over on the forums -- he says that there's been a lot of questions lately over what constitutes fair play in Arena PvP, especially in terms of win trading.

Unfortunately, his clarification isn't all that clear -- he reiterates that win trading (the act of exploiting the queue in some way to face a chosen opponent, or face the same team multiple times) is against the spirit of the game and against Blizzard's wishes (though his wording gets a little strange when he brings the Terms of Service into it -- we think that by "these actions all fall in line with our fair use clause," he actually means that they violate the clause). He does, however, go on to say that there are certain places in the system where facing an opponent multiple times will happen, and that that's obviously not the fault of players. So that, it seems, is the confusion: players were worried that because of the lack of population in the queue or other factors, that they would be accused of win trading, and Bornakk is saying that's not the case.

Not that Blizzard hasn't been cracking down on win trading as much as possible lately, but the fact is that if there's a way to exploit the system, players will find it and do it. Blizzard says they're working on squashing "agreements" between players, but even then, Arenas may never end up being completely fair.

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

WoW Insider Show Episode 42: Arena, addiction and Turpster's ding

Yes, we went live on the WoW Radio airwaves last weekend, and the recorded results are live on their site right now for your listening enjoyment. It was a full show -- Zach Yonzon came on to talk about Arena PvP, as did Amanda Dean (to defend her points from last week), and Matthew Rossi. Turpster was on as well, and if you weren't around on EU Sporeggar last weekend, you missed quite an event -- there were a ton of Gnomes and Dwarves who turned out to take down Turpster right as he dinged 70 on his Shadow Priest. Also on the show, we chatted about:
It was a good show -- a lot of fun to make, and hopefully a lot of fun to listen to. If you have a question or comment about the show, don't hesitate to email us: just drop a note to, and you might even hear it on the podcast. And if you haven't ever tuned in live to chat with us on IRC during the recording, mark your calendar: we do this live every Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern over on WoW Radio.

Thanks for listening as always, and enjoy the show this week.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Realm Status, Odds and ends, PvP, Features, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show goes live tomorrow afternoon

Yes, It's almost Saturday yet again, and that means that our weekly podcast is going live on the airwaves of WoW Radio. This week on the show, Zach Yonzon just had to come on, because last week, apparently Amanda Dean said some things about Arena that he had to talk about. Amanda will be on to defend her position that Arena is broken, and Matthew Rossi will be in tow, possibly to keep the peace if we need him (probably not the best guy to do that, though -- he kind of likes a fight). And Turpster will join us as well -- he'll be promoting the big Dingstravaganza that he's hosting right after the show over on EU Sporeggar.

We'll talk about WoW addiction, as well as the aforementioned Arena news (and oh yeah, some season 4 thing got announced), as well as everything we've learned about Wrath so far, and what's up with these PvE to PvP changes. You should never say never, but didn't Blizzard say never?

And as usual we'll be answering your emails ( is the address), and chatting live on IRC at in the #wowradio channel. Tune in tomorrow at 3:30 Eastern on WoW Radio to hear this week's episode of the WoW Insider Show -- it's going to be a good one.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, PvP, Humor, Arena, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Weekly

Every week here at WoW Insider, our columnists cover all aspects of the World of Warcraft, from professions to Paladins, and everywhere in between. Here's ten of the most popular weekly columns from the past seven days. If you missed them the first time, don't miss them again.
Officers' Quarters: Jerk message of the day
What do you do when someone you trust betrays your guild?
Guildwatch: "Makes it sound like Teapot Dome up in here"
Just in case you didn't get the reference, go learn about the Teapot Dome scandal, then come back and read about some corrupt guild drama.
Hybrid Theory: Death Knight distress
It's great that we've got another tank and all, but has anyone thought about what this will do to the bears?
Ready Check: Death and raid guilds
This was a week of guild breakups. Find out how to keep yours together.
Answers from a lore nerd, part 1
You got us -- this isn't really a weekly column, but it's so popular (and such a good read) that we might just make it one.
Five more after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, Odds and ends, Guides

The fastest way to play Arena PvP

We've covered the topic of keyboard turners before, but Paul over on LJ has a similar distinction between control schemes -- he set up a spectrum that has clickers (or those who click all their icons with the mouse) on one end, and pressers (what he called "experts," though that's a little too biased for our tastes) on the other -- those who use the mouse to control movement only, and hit keyboard buttons to use abilities.

Personally, I do a mixture of both -- some icons, especially on the top rows, are easier to reach with the mouse than on the keyboard, so I click them. But most of the lower icons are easier to just reach up and click the number buttons on the keyboard, so that's what I do with those. Still Paul isn't really interested in the ways people do it -- he's interested in what's best. In Arena, getting abilities cast and out as fast as possible is often more important than anything else, so it definitely seems like relying on the mouse for movement (and maybe even binding oft-used abilities to mouse keys) would be much faster than clicking on icons periodically. Of course, there's always the option to do both at the same time.

It would be interesting for sure to see what kind of schemes and setups winning Arena teams use -- I'd imagine that they'd have to play with default interfaces, so while keybindings and macros would probably work best, they wouldn't be able to go too overboard with customization. At the highest levels, is it faster to click and press or just use the mouse for movement?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Odds and ends, PvP, Arena, Hardware

Drysc says what's up with PvP gear for Season 4

Drysc has posted on the forums to clear up any questions about what's happening with PvP gear in Season 4. And while the rumors that Naxx gear was leaving the game marked the first instance of Blizzard removing content, here's the second: season one gear will no longer be available during Season 4. Not a big loss, since there is now other good PvP gear floating around, but a loss nonetheless.

Season 2 gear, as expected, will move to honor, with no ratings requirements. And Season 3 gear will be released according to the ratings requirements and rules set out the other day.

Got all that? So start saving that honor and/or practicing for the good ratings now. You have to think that, with all of this news solidified from Blizzard about Season 4, the start must surely be right around the corner. But of course this is Blizzard we're dealing with -- we won't know when it's coming until it's actually here.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP

Vhiari posts Tournament Realm ratings data

Vhiari has released some interesting stats about the Arena Tournament realm over on his Blogspot site. What he did is take the top 5000 (due to "Armory limitations," he says) personal ratings in each bracket, and then charted them according to classes. Keep in mind that this is the Arena Tournament realm (the live realm data is also available separately), so this is more an indication of what players are doing so far on the tournament realm rather than class viability in day-to-day situations.

But keep in mind also that Blizzard is watching the Tournament realm closely for PvP balance, so what we see here could have some hints into the future of Arena changes. Mages especially don't make out too well on the 5v5 chart, and Hunters don't appear to fare much better. Warriors, as you might expect, are off the charts, but comparably on 5v5, Druids aren't at that level. Rogue placement is a surprise, too, but Vhiari just says in the comments that that's more an indication of how many people rolled rogues on the TR rather than a signal that Rogues are rocking 5v5.

Interesting stuff. Unfortunately, the data is a little too fuzzy to pull off any serious conclusions (even if Mages aren't getting high ratings, this chart does nearly nothing at all to help us figure out why that might be), but it's an interesting look at what's happening on the TR so far.

[via WoR]

Filed under: Mage, Rogue, Warrior, Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Classes, Arena

Phat Loot Phriday: Vengeful Gladiator's Touch of Defeat

We haven't done a lot of PvP gear here (any, I think) on Phat Loot, but I figured this phat wand might be a good place to start.

Name: Vengeful Gladiator's Touch of Defeat (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWWiki)
Type: Epic Wand
Damage/Speed: 252-468 Fire / 1.90 (189.5 DPS)
  • +18 Stamina, +14 Intellect
  • Improves your resilience rating by 14, which is standard for PvP arena gear -- anything to counteract those big crits.
  • Increases damage and healing by magical spells and effects by up to 18. Which doesn't seem like a lot, but for a wand, it's pretty good.
  • The big difference between this and the other PvP season 3 wand, the Piercing Touch, is that this one doesn't have spell penetration on it. The tradeoff is the Intellect, and a few damage points, so it's up to you. Higher end players might go for the penetration (that's the only way you can get past resistances), while a player who is in the Arenas only in between raids might grab this one. It's up to you.
How to Get It: Like we've said, you need to play Arena PvP to grab this one. It's available from the Arena vendors for 1000 points, which doesn't require too long to get, as long as you're a good and steady player. Holding onto a 1500 rating in a 5v5 team will get you a little over 300 points a week, which means it'll take 3-4 weeks to gain this many points (and of course you've got to play 10 games a week and make sure you're playing a good percentage of the team's total battles).

But there's another catch -- season 3 added personal and team requirements to purchase the weapons. So to actually buy this, not only do you need the points, but you need to have a personal and team rating of 1850 to buy it. You don't need to keep up that rating to keep the weapon, you just need that score when you buy it. Wrong. No rating needed for the wand. Never mind.

Which gets us back to the reason why we stay away from PvP gear here on Phat Loot: no matter how much you covet this, if you're not a good player, it's not yours. In the future Arena seasons, we can expect this loot to come back down: next season it'll be cheaper, and the season after that it might even be available for BG honor and tokens. But right now, it's be good or go home for this high-end Arena gear.

Getting Rid of It: Vendors won't buy it, and like most PvP gear, it doesn't disenchant. But you worked hard for that rating -- while you could destroy it if you happen to find a better wand in Northrend, you might as well keep it as a trophy of your winnings.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Phat Loot Phriday, Arena

Making the PvE-PvP break

There's been quite a bit of talk about the PvE vs. the PvP game lately -- with Arena PvP basically dictating the changes to drinking and Lifetap, and Mortal Strike-like abilities also taking center stage (which are almost useless in PvE), Blizzard's plan of having the same characters in PvE and PvP seems to be backfiring on them. They originally wanted to let you use all the abilities and techniques that you use in PvE in PvP as well, but reader Raul recently sent us a comment that more and more players might agree with: it's time Arena PvP became its own game, and Blizzard split the two up for good.

This is the case in Guild Wars -- when you roll a character in that game, you choose it for PvP or PvE, and there are certain things you can only do with each. And even Blizzard is heading this way, believe it or not: with the debut of the Arena realm this weekend, some players are already clamboring for characters that they only play Arena with 24/7.

Are we really ready to split the game into World of Warcraft and Warcraft Arena? There will no doubt be a lot of players who want to continue to play their characters in both PvE and PvP, balance be damned. But if Blizzard is as committed as they seem to be to balance Arena as precisely as it needs to be balanced to turn it into a real e-sport, they may have to eventually make the jump and separate the two games completely.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Leveling, Battlegrounds, Arena

The 2-vs-2 arena queue and you

We usually don't realize it, but there is actually an upper limit to the number of instances that can be created in WoW at any given moment. If all the players on your server somehow decided to run Karazhan at about the same time, you'd find that after a certain number of raids had gotten started, some players would be stuck at the loading screen, waiting for the others to finish. Normally, of course, it's not a problem, because people don't all go to Karazhan at the same time. But at prime time, the 2-vs-2 arena instances are as popular as can be, so the 2-vs-2 arena instance slots get full, and frustrated players sometimes find themselves waiting a good long time for one of their turn to fight.

Last month, Drysc said that the Blizzard team still didn't know what to do about it. But now, he says that they do have a special change planned to help solve this problem. It's going to require a patch, though, and not the upcoming patch 2.3.2, either, but it is scheduled for some point in the future, "as soon as possible." Patch 2.4 perhaps? "The change," Drysc says, "will make it so that more instances can kick up in a shorter amount of time. Which doesn't necessarily mean there can't ever be a wait again, but it should drastically decrease them." However much "drastically" is, shorter is always better than longer, when it comes to queues!

Filed under: Patches, PvP, Arena

Breakfast Topic: Team ratings and arena gear

Blizzard's cracking down on the arena smurfing problem yesterday by requiring not just a personal arena rating for the purchase of higher level gear, but a team arena rating as well.

Now, my guess is that this won't affect most of us-- in that light, this is a pretty good change, because it only affects those who were switching around teams just to grab a higher personal arena ranking. But you never know until you ask, so what do you think about this arena rating change? Yea, nay, or who cares?

Odds are that if you don't have a chance at the higher gear anyway, you aren't concerned about it, and if you were legitimately winning in the arenas, you probably have both a high personal and team arena rating anyway. If you are opposed to this, why? Did Blizzard catch anyone in this little trap that they shouldn't have?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Blizzard, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Arena

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