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Posts with tag arenas

Arena Pass 2013: Rated Phase delayed

Arena Pass 2013 Rated Phase delayed
If you aren't aware of the usual progression of the Arena Pass realm, it's cut into several chunks. We start off with the practice phase, where players are intended to form teams, make friends, get some cohesion and work together to get a group and a comp that's good for them to progress into the next phase.

That phase is the rated phase, and itself is divided up into chunks, but it's when things get serious on the Arena Pass realm. Team ratings are wiped, everything is reset, and the competition begins for real. But right now there's a problem, as Blizzard Community Manager Daxxarri reports:

We have become aware of an issue that has prevented Arena Pass teams from being reset. To allow for time to resolve the issue and allow teams to plan accordingly, we currently intend to extend the practice phase and instead begin the rated phase of the Arena Pass on August 6. Currently, the conclusion of the rated phase is still planned for August 27.

We appreciate your understanding in the meantime, and look forward to fierce competition when the rated phase begins.

It's a little surprising, perhaps, given that the start of the rated phase has been pushed back a whole week, the end of the rated phase hasn't received the same treatment.

Filed under: PvP

Blizzard debuts new Battlegrounds Guides

Blizzard debuts new Battlegrounds Guides
Look, I have a shameful admission -- I really don't PvP at all these days. I used to, but this was back in the days where Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley were your only options. In TBC, I dabbled a bit with Eye of the Storm, but my interest in battlegrounds waned as I turned my focus back to raiding. That said, once I finally got to the stage of the legendary quest chain that required me to go win Silvershard Mines and Temple of Kotmogu, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. It took several tries to get the victories under my belt, and I fervently wished I had someone to explain to me exactly what I was supposed to be doing in there.

Although it's a little late for me, Blizzard has finally launched that which I fervently wished for -- an easy reference guide to all current battlegrounds. The guide clearly explains the purpose of each battleground, what unique elements to look for -- like useful buffs and nodes -- the rules of the game, and most importantly, how to win the thing! Also included are maps of each battleground, so you have a general idea of what to expect once you're inside.

If you've been thinking about giving PvP a try, but been intimidated by the sheer variety of battlegrounds out there to choose from, or just a lack of understanding, take a look at the guides. They do a really good job of explaining everything so that even someone like me that hasn't participated in PvP in years understood what these new battlegrounds are all about. And if you're on your legendary chain and a little confused like I was, wondering what the heck the Temple of Kotmogu is all about, or how to claim a mine cart in Silvershard Mines, the guides have all the explanation you'll ever need.

Filed under: PvP

Patch 5.4 PTR: PvP changes thus far

Patch 54's Arena changes
A week or so back, I made a rather rash promise on Twitter. Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka were teasing their joint follower base about "exciting PvP work being done" on the PTR. I responded to this tweet, saying that if the exciting work was cross-realm arenas, I would bake them a million cookies. Each. You can see from the header image, and indeed from a recent update to the patch 5.4 PTR notes just exactly what happened next.

Blizzard announced, with those notes, that cross-realm arenas were here. They followed this up with a blog on the subject, so let's take a look at just exactly what the changes entail.
  • Arena teams have been removed. All you need to queue for arenas is a party of the appropriate size, so two, three, or five players.
  • You can make cross-realm groups to queue for arena, with friends of the same faction from anywhere in your region
  • The arena rankings, along with the titles and rewards associated with them, will be region-wide, instead of by battlegroup
  • Conquest point cap, MMR, ranking, and overall rating will now be based on you as a player, not on your team.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Patch 5.4 PTR: PvP Mount requirements

Patch 54 PTR Mounts, cloaks and glyphs
Late last week, WoW Insider reported via Wowhead on the new PvP mounts that had been discovered on the PTR. This week we have clarification via Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka on Twitter of the requirements to get our hands on this horse, and the wolf that accompanies it.

Unlike previous PvP mounts, which have either simply required honor points to purchase, or required a top title, these fall somewhere in the middle of the field, and reward participation. As Holinka confirmed via Twitter, they are won by doing 3v3 and RBGs.

The requirement is for both sets of wins, so you can't just win 100 3v3s, or 40 RBGs, both requirements must be completed to get the mount. The aim, as Holinka again clarifies, is that these mounts should reward the well-rounded PvPer. They are attempting to increase participation in both 3v3 and 5v5, and these mounts are part of that. Of course, it's early PTR, and never say never, but it's unlikely that 2v2 will receive a similar reward. I get the impression that this is just the first of many incentives coming for players to get into PvP.

Filed under: PvP

Blizzard schedules PvPTR arena testing events

Blizzard schedules PvPTR arena testing events
The PTR servers for patch 5.4 are crawling with testers for raids and PvE content, but PvP areas need testing too! To help facilitate the process, Blizzard will be holding two special PvPTR testing events. These events are set at certain dates and times in order to hopefully get quicker queues, more matches, better competition, and better feedback on PvP issues and changes.

Part one of the event takes place Wednesday, July 10 from 4pm-8pm PDT. Part two will take place on Saturday, July 30 from 8am-1pm PDT. Along with the fun of PvP combat, Arena Junkies will be hosting some giveaways, and several of their streamers will be participating in the events and streaming them live for people to watch.

As always, if you're participating in these events, leaving your feedback in the PTR Discussion Forum afterwards is highly recommended -- it's why the events are being held, after all! If you're a PvP fanatic looking to test the new content, the events should offer you more than enough challenge, fun, and play testing time. For more information on the event, the streams, and the giveaways, take a look at the official site. Good luck to all who participate!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Will patch 5.4 bring you into the arena?

I have to admit, even as a gamer who doesn't typically tend towards PvP combat, the recent news that Blizzard was removing the arena team requirement from participation has piqued my interest. I've played a bit of arena before, with a small team of friends, but we were never serious about it -- or particularly good at it -- and our mutually busy schedules didn't give us much time to play together. But now, participating in an arena battle looks like it will be as simple as queuing up for a battleground or dungeon run.

On the plus side, that makes it easier for newbies (like me) to give the system a try. And, who knows? Perhaps arenas will become my new favorite thing. And on the down side, it might mean arenas will be flooded with newbies like me, who will be a nuisance to everyone (possibly including ourselves). But dangerous flood of newbies are not, will the patch 5.4 changes be drawing you into the arenas?

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics

Arena Pass 2013 how-to video

As our own Olivia Grace wrote about not too long ago, registration for the 2013 Arena Pass is currently open for those interested PvP players. Quickly put, the $20.00 Arena Pass grants players access to a separate server in which you can create up to eleven level 90 characters and purchase high-quality PvP gear in order to compete in 3v3 arena matches. Participants can earn the Armored Murloc pet for completing 50 matches on the same character, and those in the top 1000 teams at the end of the rated phase can also earn the "Vanquisher" title for their characters on live realms.

For those who might still be feeling a bit confused by how all this works, Blizzard has released a video tutorial that walks you through the process of signing up for the Arena Pass. If you're thinking about the 2013 pass, but still unsure, you might want to check it out embedded above. And for those of you who will be competing this year, good luck!

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.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, PvP

Blizzard clarifies arena tie-break

Blizzard clarifies arena tiebreak
There has been an excellent thread running in the EU forums laying out constructive criticisms of the new arena tie-break system. This system, if you hadn't heard, introduces a new buff called "The Crowd Chose You!!!" which will be applied to one team or another based on two criteria: the team with the largest number of players alive, and the team that brought an enemy player closest to death. Blizzard EU Community Manager Taepsilum posted in the thread to clarify that this is still very much in iteration, and to calm the fears of the posters, but a couple of great points were brought up.

Firstly, if one team gets an enemy player to repeatedly low health percentages, for example, they get a mage to 10% then to 5% then to 8%, but their opponents get one of them to 2%, do their opponents win? It sounds, from reading about the system, like the team that got the player to 2% would emerge victorious, but this seems a little counter-intuitive. Another great question is whether the health for the calculation is percentage based or numerical. Percent would make more sense, it seems. Hit the break for Taepsilum's post.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP

Patch 5.4 PTR: The new Arena Tie-Break system

Patch 54 PTR The new Arena TieBreak system
WoW Insider reported last week on a pretty crazy debuff that a player had found on the patch 5.4 PTR, The Crowd Chose You!!!. At the time, we were very sure to clarify that, as Brian Holinka mentioned on Twitter, this was not a tie-breaker in itself, rather it was, and is, a match-ender. It is the mechanic by which a match is ended once a tie-break system has decided who should emerge victorious. Rather like boxing, where not every fight can end with a knockout, and the judges use specific criteria to judge the winner, the tie-break system is in place to ascertain who should be awarded a victory, and give them this buff to put that victory in place.

As I discussed in a Blood Sport a while back, the important element here was always the mechanic within the game that decided who would get the buff. For clarity, the current mechanic is very simple: if you are unable to kill the entire of the other team before the timer runs out, you will draw, and both sides will lose rating. The arena system currently favors a knockout, and refuses to recognize any other type of win, to continue our boxing analogy. But this is all set to change in patch 5.4, so let's take a look at the patch note excerpt that clarifies the new system.

Read more →

Registration for the 2013 Arena Pass now open

Arena Pass 2013 begins!
At long last, registration for the 2013 Arena Pass has opened. This pass, which you have to purchase for the princely sum of $20. Once you're in, you can create brand new level 90 characters with full sets of PvP, and usually some PvE gear, and join arena teams to duke it out with your friends and enemies. There are various rewards to be gleaned from getting good ladder positions, such as titles, but there's also a Murkimus pet that players can earn just for participation in 50 rated games.

The tournament is done in phases, starting off with a practice phase, then moving into the ranked phases. After the practice phase ends, after about 5 weeks, there is a rating penalty of 150 for team roster changes, so be sure to have your teams set by that point. Once the rated phase is over, Blizzard will leave the realms open for players to practice and try comps for the rest of the year. It's a great place to go to just have a play around with characters, classes and comps, and do some PvP!

Filed under: PvP

Holinka comments on PvE gear in PvP in patch 5.4

Patch 54 PvE gear in PvP
Blizzard's Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has taken to Twitter to make an announcement about just exactly how PvE gear is going to work in PvP come patch 5.4.
There's likely to be a new season with patch 5.4, given how the previous ones have played out, and the fact that we have new tiers of gear. So when that new season begins, the PvP gear, which is the Grievous Gladiator gear, will be item level 522. This will put it a fairly substantial 26 item levels above the downscaled PvE gear, which will sit at item level 496.

As Holinka has mentioned in the past, they want PvE gear to catch up to PvP gear slowly. And it makes sense, nobody is able to step into a season and be fully conquest geared in the first week. So, a player in PvP gear's average item level will probably increase in line with that of a PvE geared player, with the notable difference that, of course, PvP players will have PvP Power on their gear. It's also worth noting that this scaling occurs only in PvP instances, so arenas, battlegrounds and rated battlegrounds. Whether it will take PvPers 26 weeks to become fully geared remains to be seen, but it will feel good for PvP gear to be decently ahead of PvE gear for a while at least.

Filed under: PvP

Elite PvP gear requires rating again in patch 5.4

Elite PvP gear's rating requirement returns in patch 54
There were murmurings of this change on the official forums a few days back, and now Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has confirmed via Twitter that there is truth in the rumors.

So it seems that PvP's elite gear has almost come full circle. If you remember, back in the heady days of late Cataclysm, early Mists, Elite gear had a rating requirement of 2200. T2 gear, as it used to be called, also offered higher item level weapons, but was removed to smooth out the rating curve, as there was something of a hurdle at 2200, where all the players above you had T2 weapons, with higher item levels and stats, and you didn't. So the rating requirement was removed, and a conquest point earning requirement was added to be allowed to purchase the elite gear.

This didn't really give mid-rated players much to shoot for, once they were fully geared, which, particularly now in patch 5.3, isn't a difficult prospect at all. So, in patch 5.4, as part of an effort to add more incentives, rating-based elite gear will return. However, we've not quite gone back to where we started, as the elite gear will be purely cosmetic, with no higher item level and no improved stats. Holinka also confirms, via Twitter, that this will apply for weapons, too.

Filed under: PvP

Breakfast Topic: Do you want more patches?

Looking back on the days of vanilla WoW, we had a lot of patches -- and I don't mean that as a figure of speech. Original WoW went to patch 1.12 before Burning Crusade hit the scene. Since then, we've seen fewer patches between expansions -- 4 patches during BC, 3 patches during Wrath, 3 patches during Cataclysm, and, to date, 3 patches during Mists. But with the speed at which Blizzard is rolling out new content lately, I think it's safe to say that we can expect Mists to beat the average number of patches before we get another expansion... but is that too many patches?

More frequent patches could mean we're hard-pressed to keep up with all the new shiny toys presented to us... or they could mean plenty of content to keep us busy and interested. But what do you think? Are patches coming too quickly these days? Or are they just frequent enough to keep you interested? Or are patches still arriving too slowly for your tastes?
Patch release speed is...
Too fast! I can't keep up.1372 (30.9%)
Just right! There's just enough content to keep playing for.2056 (46.3%)
Too slow! I'm already bored of 5.3, where's 5.4?1008 (22.7%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

PvP Vendors available again

PvP Vendors available again
WoW Insider posted last week about the deactivation of the PvP vendors, specifically those selling conquest gear for honor, thanks to the issues experienced with the Tyrannical Conquest achievement.

As the title suggests, the vendors are available again. Senior PvP Developer Brian Holinka took to twitter to announce this:
This troublesome achievement, though, is still causing issues for some players. It seems, from what I can gather, that in order to set the achievement off, you need to earn conquest points. Even just earning a single one will make the game re-count your season total, and award you the achievement. This is still the case even if you have earned well over the required 25,000 points in the season. Just win an arena, or a rated battleground, or do the PvP dailies, and you'll be set.

Filed under: PvP

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