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Posts with tag arena

How can Blizzard improve Honor with Warlords?

If you read my recent initial PvP gearing post, you'll know that we're in a bit of a strange situation right now with earning honor. Honor points are the points for the mid-level PvP gear, where the entry level is crafted gear and the top level is Conquest gear. They are currently not earned at their best rate via PvP. Instead, in order to maximise your Honor point gains and gear up with Honor gear as quickly as possible, players would be best advised to do a few different things.

First up, you should farm the three rares in the opposing faction's Krasarang base. They drop 275 honor per kill, more if you have a Guild Standard or similar. Their respawn time averages out at around 30 minutes. There are sometimes oQueue realm-hopping groups, which, while frowned upon by many, are the most efficient ways to farm them.

Other than that you should do Wintergrasp and Tol Barad whenever they're up, they're usually deserted and an easy way to get some fast honor. And if that all seems too much waiting around doing nothing, then you can farm Justice Points by running heroic dungeons, and converting them to honor. Yes that was changed with patch 5.4 to be less efficient, but it's still far more reliable than what you should be doing: random battlegrounds. Yes, your first win of the day is worth getting, it nets you conquest points too, but if it takes you five tries to win one, you're wasting your time.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Warlords of Draenor

Four reasons why PvP Dampening shouldn't start at 5 minutes

This is something I discussed, in vague and mysterious exchanges, with Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka on Twitter. While he certainly didn't confirm that Dampening would be moved to starting at 5 minutes, like it was at the BlizzCon tournament, he certainly implied that that was something the devs were considering. For the uninitiated, Dampening is a debuff currently applied to all arena players after 10 minutes of a match that reduces their healing and absorbs by 1% every 10 seconds.

Now, first and foremost, I have to make it very clear that on a purely personal level unrelated to game design, I dislike this debuff immensely. I dislike the change in power, I dislike knowing that as a PvP healer, no matter how carefully and efficiently I play, my effectiveness will decrease and decrease as the match continues. It's a horrible feeling, and I think Brian Holinka was right, way back in May 2012, when he said the devs "didn't really like the idea of your power changing over time" in response to a tweet asking for an ever-increasing Battle Fatigue. And yet, here we are.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Warlords of Draenor: PvP Power's proposed re-design

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has been posting up a storm in the PvP forums, talking about the proposed redesign to PvP Power with Warlords of Draenor. There's also another post after the break.
Lore
Quote:
If you guys are doing as much number tinkering as you claim I don't know why you wouldn't take this opportunity to rethink pvp power altogether

I'm all for differentiating gear but I find it pretty silly that a stat called "pvp power" exists at all.

We are planning to revisit PvP Power in Warlords. Our current thinking is that, instead of a flat percentage increase to your normal damage/healing in PvP (as it is currently), it'll be a bonus amount of your spec's primary stat (Strength, Agility, or Intellect).

Here's an example with some completely made-up numbers: lets say a piece of gear has 80 Strength and 30 PvP Power on it. In a PvP environment, that would total out to be 110 Strength. Meanwhile, an equivalent piece of PvE gear might only have 100 Strength on it. Again, those numbers are purely hypothetical, but hopefully it illustrates the idea.

That change accomplishes a couple of things for us. First, it lets us keep PvP and PvE item levels closer together, while still ensuring that PvP gear remains best for PvP and vice versa. It also "demystifies" PvP Power quite a bit; a percentage-based increase can be hard to really quantify without a lot of math, but raw stats are much easier to understand.

As to the name, we can talk about it, but part of why we chose the term "PvP Power" to begin with was that it makes it extremely obvious that the stat only functions inside PvP environments. We want to be sure that players who purchase PvP gear know that it's going to be less effective in PvE situations. I'll bring it up, though :)

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Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: More on PvP damage and potential Resilience removal

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has posted on the official US forums in response to a thread about PvP target dummies. He also, in doing so, ha added some more detail to the changes to Battle Fatigue and Base Resilience that Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka tweeted about late last week.
Lore
Great suggestion. I'll be sure to bring it up with the team :)

That said, we're doing a lot of retuning of how health works in comparison to incoming damage in Warlords, with the hope that we won't need (or can significantly lessen the effects of) things like Battle Fatigue or Base Resilience. If all goes well, there shouldn't be as nearly as substantial of a difference between PvE and PvP damage output.

Still, it's a great suggestion, and there will likely still be at least a small difference (due to PvP Power if nothing else), so I'll make sure to pass it on.

So it looks like the way Blizzard might be trying to work Resilience and Battle Fatigue out of the game is to rework how health is tuned relative to incoming damage. Maybe, as Celestalon has tweeted in the past, the way that stamina converts to health could be altered, allowing PvPers a larger health pool.

The problem is, of course, that at the moment the damage output in PvE is necessarily higher than that in PvP. Players don't have the health pools of raid bosses, and there's an eternal arms race to generate bigger numbers in PvE that means player abilities hit way harder. I've seen Chaos Bolts crit for huge numbers, often over 1m. My PvP characters have around 550k health on a good day. This is the issue that Resilience and, as a result of having to heal raid damage, Battle Fatigue are there to fix. While I really hope that Blizzard can repair the issues they have right now, I am glad they're not removing resilience completely just yet.

Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Battlegrounds in 5 seconds: Deepwind Gorge, Temple of Kotmogu, Silvershard Mines

One of the things which came up from my earlier posts about the basics and mentality of how to PvP, as well as the initial gearing and more in-depth gearing post, was that it might be helpful for some players to put together a Bosses in 5 seconds-style guide for battlegrounds. No, I'm not going into in-depth strategy here, that's something for another day, these are just quick, light guides for each BG to help someone out who has no idea what they're doing.

Deepwind Gorge
  • First team to 1600 gold wins.
  • Capturing mines earns gold per mine per second.
  • There are three mines in a line. From north to south, Pandaren, Center, Goblin.
  • Horde have a minor advantage capping the Goblin mine, Alliance with the Pandaren mine.
  • Carts can be picked up by clicking them. Picking up a cart removes 200 gold from your opponent's total, capturing the cart adds 200 gold to yours. If they return the cart before it's captured, they get that 200 gold back.
  • You pick up the cart in the opposing faction base, and carry it all the way back to your own base. Killing the cart carrier makes them drop it, then it can be picked up or returned. Some speed boosts work while you're pulling the cart.
  • Priority to win: Hold 2 bases, prevent the enemy from capturing your cart, capture the enemy cart. More detail here.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP), The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Warlords of Draenor: A peek at Diminishing Returns changes

Senior PvP designer Brian Holinka has been on Twitter today clarifying the changes to diminishing returns in Warlords of Draenor. Along with the recently posted indications of changes to CC, Community Manager Lore tweeted and then posted about the changes to DR, or Diminishing Returns:

Lore
One other thing I just mentioned on Twitter that I'd like to bring up here as well -- we're also planning on having fewer DR categories (and thus, more shared DR's) in WoD. Again, still in development, anything can change, but that's what we're looking at.

The reduction in DR categories is welcome indeed, as we've discussed here in the past, there are 117 abilities across 13 categories, excluding things which CC and don't DR at all. This is baffling for new PvPers, and even advanced players often won't know every spell's category. As part of the big CC cull in Warlords, Blizzard's devs are looking to simplify DR. And Holinka has added more detail to their plans.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Base resilience and Battle Fatigue potentially eliminated

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has been tweeting up a storm today on the topic of PvP design plans for Season 15 and Warlords of Draenor, the most interesting of which is the following:

I think this is an admirable goal, base resilience and battle fatigue are confusing to some, and annoying to others, but I'd be really interested to see how they do it. Resilience, although not Battle Fatigue, has been part of the game almost since PvP first got instanced, and it's a valuable option for the devs to tune incoming PvP damage so that it can cope with the ever-inflating stat levels in PvE. Yes, there'll be a squish, but then PvE will still almost certainly scale up.

So I'm pleased they aren't planning on taking the rather bold step of completely removing it, to leave themselves without the option to reintroduce it easily would seem a little foolhardy, and not something they'd be likely to do. I'd imagine that if it were to go, there'd have to be some method to increase player health, or at least effective health, in instanced PvP, and there'd have to be some formula changes to healing, too. I'm looking forward to beta!

Filed under: PvP

How to PvP

Recently I've written a couple of guides on initial PvP gearing and the most efficient ways to get honor, and on PvP gearing in more detail. Along the way in those two guides, I've been touching briefly on various aspects of how you can get started in PvP, but what I've never done here at WoW Insider is just spell out what to do from the ground up. Let's say you've never PvP'd before. Let's say you've never even dueled. You might be a high-end heroic raider, you might be someone who's just got their first level 20. What do you need to know?

Death is not a failure

Honestly, if you only read one line of this article, make it that one. And this one, I guess, or you wouldn't know which one to read. If you're a PvE-er it's particularly relevant. You'll have the mentality of wiping, of death being the end of a pull, the end of a run, a failure. And this mentality will cause you to hate PvP. In random battlegrounds, where the majority of PvP takes place, death should be treated as a time-out.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

PvP gearing in detail, and what next?

I wrote recently about how to get started with PvP gearing, focusing on the most efficient ways to gain honor points for your initial PvP gearing, when to replace PvE gear and so on. I was pleased to get many messages saying that it was helpful, and a fair few more asking what they should do next. People wondered what gear they should buy first for Conquest, how they should find arena teams and RBG teams and so on. So I thought I'd help you out with some of that information too.

Updated for Season 15

Gear Purchase Order

This was the topic of much discussion, as all I did was give a few suggestions for priority pieces, rather than a hard-and-fast gearing order. A big part of the reason I did that was that it's very personal, it's up to you, and some people will prefer one approach over another. There are various things to consider, so let me spell them out:
  • There are bonuses to be had from various items:
    • Bonus to a key ability on gloves
    • +2600 +5280 PvP Resilience from having 2 PvP trinkets
    • 2-set bonus: spec specific bonus and +500 PvP Power
    • 4-set bonus: spec specific bonus and +1000 PvP Power
  • There is a points earned requirement of 7250 on any weapon except Honor point off-hands.
  • Weapons cost 3500, so starting from 0 you have 3750 to spend before you start saving for weapons.
  • Unless you are a human, you really need a trinket that removes movement-impairing effects, or "freedom trinket" on your character.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

How to gear for PvP right now

It's that time in the expansion again, the time I love, when people have killed Garrosh enough times that they're tired of it, and are looking for something else to entertain themselves. They're leveling alts, and farming or doing pet battles, but the rep grinds and scenario runs seem futile, given how the resultant loot will be replaced by greens come Warlords.

So what do they turn to? PvP! I can see this starting to happen already, with the influx of tweets and emails asking me about the best way to gear up for PvP. And it's a good question, because with the current standing of PvE gear in PvP, you might need a little guidance on where to start.

Item Levels

In instanced PvP right now, item level scaling is in place. Your PvE gear is downscaled to a shifting item level between 496 and 512. The current ilvl is 508, and it's increasing by 1 per week. The best your PvE gear will ever be in instanced PvP is 512. PvP gear purchased for honor is ilvl 496. PvP gear purchased for conquest is ilvl 522, and is not downscaled.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

My Warlords of Draenor PvP wishlist, and looking back at Mists

So, let's have at this again. A fair while back I wrote a similar article for Mists of Pandaria PvP, and in all honesty, I was giggling to myself looking back at it. At the time I wrote it, I'd been chatting with Eldacar, PvP theorycrafter extraordinaire, and bouncing ideas around. We both felt, ironically, that CC was a little out of hand. We were worried that too much existed, and that it had the potential to become a problem. And how right we were! Fortunately, a CC squish is inbound.

But I did get a lot of what I wished for. Role-specific queues in random battlegrounds, and associated matchmaking was introduced in 5.3, and bots are slowly being whittled down. PvE gear has been squashed a lot better in instanced PvP, although it still massively prevails in world PvP. Burst damage is becoming less and less of a problem, with a few notable exceptions (I'm looking at you, elemental shaman).

And what's more, while the implementation had some ill effects, one thing I wanted to see but was conflicted about came into play with The Crowd Chose You, and later with Dampening and the fix to make teams who've lost more players lose the arena too. We did pretty well, altogether.

But there were plenty of things we didn't get. Has my wishlist changed? Yes, in that I now want an even bigger moon on an even longer stick. Again, do note that these are just desires. Where I am aware of Blizzard talking about things being done, I'll say so.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Warlords of Draenor: What CC needs to be cut?

Blizzard Community Manager Lore posted yesterday about the devs' plans to reduce CC with Warlords of Draenor's changes to abilities. If you haven't been keeping up, their general plan is a so-called ability squish, removing certain skills from every class, with a particular focus on those suffering from button bloat, such as hunters and shaman. We spoke a little while back about how they should cut abilities, and what you could stand to lose, and now Lore's weighing on CC.
Lore
We are planning to take a strong look at CC in Warlords with the intent of dialing things back a little. We do think it's important that players are rewarded for using CC intelligently (by coordinating usage, being mindful of diminishing returns, etc), but we think we can approach things in a way that allows us to tone down CC overall while still providing that gameplay.

To me, the key here is this: "We do think it's important that players are rewarded for using CC intelligently..." CC, in my opinion should have to be used intelligently. It shouldn't be something you use just because it's off cooldown, because there's no risk to using it, because it's effectively a surefire thing. That is not intelligently using CC, that's using CC blindly, and it's because there's no risk to doing so. So, what's bad CC? What would I cut, if it was up to me?

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Warlords of Draenor

Conan plays WoW, talks to the devs at BlizzCon

Conan O'Brien stopped by BlizzCon to do some arena match commentating, which you may have seen earlier, but what you didn't see was that he also interviewed Game Director Tom Chilton and sat down to play a little Warlords of Draenor with Production Director J Allen Brack. He also interviews one of the arena teams.

There's the usual jabs at gaming stereotypes, but I got some laughs from him trying to trash talk another player and complaining about dying from a fall into snow. The earlier video showing the full 25 minutes of arena commentating was a little bit much to slog through, but once edited down for TV it's a lot funnier.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor's Trial of the Gladiator

Warlords of Draenor is bringing some big changes to many parts of the game and PvP is no exception. Not only are there various long-overdue UI changes coming in, but we're also going to be seeing a whole new PvP island zone, a new system of measuring battleground performance and a new arena ladder: Trial of the Gladiator. Of these, the biggest change, the biggest thing people are worried about is certainly the Trial of the Gladiator system. So, let's dispel some myths about that.
Lore
I don't know where this idea came from, but just to clear things up, we have no plans to remove the current Arena ladder.

World of Warcraft Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka was also very clear on the BlizzCon Global Invitationals stream, on the virtual ticket videos, at 8:43:28 on the second video of the first day's play, that the existing ladder wasn't changing. The Trial of the Gladiator is going to be a completely new system on top of what currently exists.

Trial of the Gladiator: What is it, and why?

Trial of the Gladiator is, on a very basic level, a system that allows players to gain rating and ladder position at specific times through the week. So, for example, if you want to gain rating and try for a title this season, you'd want to be playing at these times. They might be Saturday at 10am, maybe also Wednesday at 6pm, Monday at 8pm, Tuesday at 4pm, and so on.

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Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Conan O'Brien takes over Arena casting at BlizzCon

We're all used to some serious names taking the commentator's seat for the Arena Global Invitational at BlizzCon, but this year a first-round series between Skill-Capped and Flash Wolves got a special treat from the world's best gamer, Conan O'Brien. Conan took his Clueless Games segment to BlizzCon and joined Adam "Hoodrych" Brown and Jared "VHell" Coulston to lend some gravitas and real gaming knowledge to the commentary.

The full 25-minute version you see above will no doubt be condensed down into something far shorter for the show itself, as on watching it I certainly found the whole thing rather stilted and awkward, but there are some funny moments tucked away in there which will no doubt make for great TV. It's also possible that I'm just not used to Conan's comedy style. But I certainly cracked a smile at certain points, especially where he was grabbing the more knowledgeable casters' tidbits on, for example, gateway usage, and accidentally saying just the right thing! Oh and paladin healers? Conan says to make sure you use your potions.

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon, Worldwide Invitational

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