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Posts with tag holinka

Holinka on Tarren Mill vs. Southshore Battleground

If you're wondering just how the coming 10 year anniversary's PvP content, the Tarren Mill vs. Southshore Deathmatch BG, is going to work then Brian Holinka, senior PvP designer, has answers for you.

He goes on to clarify that making kills causes you to go up in rank, which also makes killing you more valuable to the enemy team. Since this is purely a deathmatch BG, adding a system like this adds a little metagaming to it - it's not just mow down everyone, you want to try and find and kill the best killers on the enemy team. Similarly, if you yourself are too good at killing, you become a target. I like the implication of the system.

I'm hoping that tower becomes some kind of murder death kill vortex. Oh, we would fight over that stupid tower for hours. For nothing at all. Memories.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Build your own fel reaver

According to Brian Holinka, we'll be getting something that any old school AV players will remember for Ashran, the new PvP zone in Warlords - namely, the ability to create a mob that makes the other faction's day considerably worse.

It just gets my Ivus senses tingling, you know?

I realize that this may be the nostalgia talking (oh, what a potent drug that can be) but man, I hope it actually is a giant fel reaver. I have no idea how that would even be possible, but I still hope for it. Ashran is shaping up to be something we've not had in the game in a long time, a true free for all, and I'm very interested.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Rating issues for Arena and RBG wins

There is a strange issue taking place at the moment with rating. Rating itself is a tricky thing to wrap your head around, especially as it's recently gone thorough something of a shift. Right now, your character has two ratings for every bracket of arena, and for RBGs. One is the MMR, the matchmaking rating. This is the rating the system uses to match you up against similar level players. It's shown at the bottom right of the scoreboard after every match, as an average of your group's character MMRs.

The other type of rating is CR, Current Rating. This is the rating that your character earns by winning and losing matches, the one that's shown in green and red letters in the main part of the scoreboard. It's also the rating that gets you titles and mounts. Every season CR is reset to 0, while MMR remains what it was last season. So, if you ended season 14 on an MMR of 1800 and a CR of 1880, you'd have begun season 15 with an MMR of 1800 and a CR of 0.

What happens next is that as you win games, your CR increases towards your MMR. You should expect it to stabilize as you reach a CR that's near your MMR. As you win and lose games, your MMR will also shift. Your MMR aims to give you a 50/50 win-loss rate, as when that's achieved you're being pretty evenly matched.

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Filed under: PvP

How much transparency do you want?

It's come up time and again, and it's always an issue that's fascinated me -- how much information on how World of Warcraft is designed do we actually want? Some of us would be bored to tears by a technical discussion of the whys and wherefores of a design decision, while others would be absolutely fascinated by it. I'm sure no one's forgotten about the era of the 'Ghostcrawler experiment' and the sharp rise of communication from the game's developers. Today we have quite a bit of communication from people like Brian Holinka, Chadd Nervig, Ion Hazzikostas, Owen Landgren and others. I've always felt that it was a very good thing overall for the game to have that channel, with the devs taking time to explain design changes and what they mean. The question becomes, how useful is it to you, and how effective is it in getting players to understand the why behind changes?

Frankly, I think we all know that for every player who reads and absorbs dev interaction in the spirit in which it is meant, there's another who uses it simply as an excuse to blame said person for ruining the game. This goes back to before the time when devs were the ones delivering the news, mind you. I remember the days of Tseric, and the way the forums made him the villain in their self-generated narrative.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Warlords of Draenor: Low level Battlegrounds to drop dungeon-style satchels

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka tweeted something yesterday that will be music to the ears of any player who wants to level via PvP.


Leveling via PvP is a hard-fought battle in WoW, XP gains are unpredictable, and unless you're using heirlooms you risk falling behind in gear gains and gold gains. So this change, put in place by Reward Systems Designer Russ Petersen, allows those players to keep up with their PvE-ing counterparts. It's fantastic news! I'd love to see some improvement to XP gains from battlegrounds, too.

And let's not forget that Holinka has previously hinted at Skirmishes being potentially available for leveling, which would be an incredible change. Certainly, the rewards would need to be ironed out, but that they're even thinking about it gives me hope for PvP leveling becoming something that more than just the dedicated or foolhardy undertake.

Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Honor changes not active until next week [Updated x2]


Last week we learned that honor changes were coming to battlegrounds across WoW. Too little honor was being earned in the multitude of BGs available, and in turn Blizzard decided to significantly adjust the rate at which bonus honor was awarded. For example, where previously you earned bonus honor every 260 points in Eye of the Storm, you'll now receive it every 130 points.

At a small level this won't have a major effect, but when you add up running a few dozens BGs while honor farming, it's going to stack up pretty quickly. This change also seems to be a good way to allow players to catch up and enjoy the expansion's PvP offerings near the end of its run.

However ... not quite yet.

PvP Designer Holinka tweeted that the changes will be coming next week. We'll just have to wait for "moar honor."

Update Part Deux: According to a source of Lore, this actually is happening next week.

Filed under: PvP

Celestalon and Holinka on Warlords of Draenor changes

Yes, after the big Dev Watercooler, people of course had a flurry of questions, and our friendly Blizzard devs Brian Holinka and Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig hit Twitter in a big way to answer people's questions. And man, did they - many, many questions were answered. Here, we have compiled as many as we can.

Racial abilities

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Ready Check interviews Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas

Eye of C'Thun
This past week the hosts of EU-based podcast Ready Check were lucky enough to go visit Blizzard's offices in Versailles, where they met up with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas for a lively round of Q&A. The podcast--with attendant full transcript, don't you worry, folks who can't play the podcast--covers a very broad range of topics, and PvPers should be particularly interested in the broad discussion about arenas. Gothiques and Athene bring up some wonderful points about arena queuing, and matching, and the little ways in which the system often results in unexpectedly wasted time, as well as the ways in which not-entirely-honest players can manipulate that system in their favor. Both Holinka and Hazzikostas have insights to offer on these problems, and there's some good back-and-forth about potential solutions and improvements to the existing arena systems.

In addition to the excellent PvP discussions, the interview features some talk of Warlords of Draenor and the future--some of which we've already heard about, but I am so excited for garrisons and a toys tab that I could listen to this stuff all day long. Do you know how many bag spaces I'm going to get back once that toys tab goes live? In the words of the Diablo Templar companion, it will be glorious! There's also some really fun discussion on the philosophy and practice of encounter and mechanics design, and how the WoW team goes about building raids and bosses. This was perhaps my favorite part of the interview, because I am a hopeless PvPer and am much more at home among WoW's raid bosses. In any case, no matter what part of the game you enjoy, there's something in this interview for you. You can check out the full transcript and podcast episode at Ready Check's own website, so make sure to click on over to the whole thing!

Filed under: Podcasting, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

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

Potential for another PvP season before 6.0?

blade's edge arena
As discussed earlier today on Twitter, PvP Designer Brian Holinka responded to an inquiry by saying there may indeed be a chance for an additional PvP season before Warlords of Draenor comes out sometime next year.

Speculation on what "if we feel like we need it" means aside (no points for "if WoD is longer in development than expected"), I'm sure another season would be a welcome opportunity for those PvPers looking for one more chance for their shot at earning their moment of PvP glory. At least before we all have to re-learn our classes again!

Filed under: News items

PvP developer round-tables taking place at Blizzard

PvP developer roundtables taking place at Blizzard tomorrow
PvP has been a hotbed of discussion and change since Blizzard hired new PvP design guru, Brian Holinka, to their development team. And this week that discussion is going to ramp up even more, as a group of the world's best PvPers descend upon Blizzard HQ in Irvine, California, for a day of discussion, debate and design. Of course, PvP is the focus, and these players will be joined by several of Blizzard's most senior developers to talk about where we stand, the plethora of changes that Mists has brought in, and the future of WoW PvP.

The player attendee list, reading like a Who's Who of top PvP streamers, is Hoodrych, Rzn, Venruki, Tosan, Talbadar, Sodah, Reckful, Nadagast, Kollektiv, Athlete, and Vanguards, who's also joining me on the Press side. If you wished you were a fly on the wall in this discussion, let me be your eyes and ears! I'll be reporting back with as much information as possible, but first, a question.

It doesn't matter if you're a multiglad, or just someone who wants to get into PvP but feels there's an issue standing in your way -- pick an answer below and let me know why in the comments! Yes, I know, I missed your specific issue. Pick one from the list and tell me why I'm awful.
What is PvP's biggest problem right now?
Gear738 (11.1%)
Burst Damage is too high553 (8.3%)
Too much Crowd Control2601 (39.0%)
Healing is too strong798 (12.0%)
Class Balance - certain classes are too strong or too weak1605 (24.1%)
Nothing, PvP is perfect as it is!367 (5.5%)

Filed under: PvP

We may be in debt, but the chips on our shoulders are chocolate

Olivia's debt
Actually, we are not in debt. Not us, plural, here at WoW Insider.

Just Olivia.

Do you see that screenshot above? That is an IOU note on the wall of the Alliance PvP room in Valley of the Four Winds, where NPC Armsmaster Holinka (named after WoW PvP Director Brian Holinka) usually stands. And the initials of the unfortunate soul who now owes him one million cookies belong to none other than our very own Olivia Grace.

It all began with the following: simple tweets back in June from Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and Brian Holinka about exciting, non gear-related PvP changes to come. And Olivia -- dear, rash Olivia -- replied to them saying that if said exciting changes were cross-realm arenas that she would bake them each 1,000,000 cookies.

And now, in patch 5.4, PvP season 14, we have cross-realm arenas. Oh, Olivia! What fate has thy hasty words wrought. For now you must hold good on your promise, and Blizzard will not forget. They've written it into the very code of their biggest game, woven straight into the finality of binary, in black and white and ones and zeroes. I hope you can dual-wield your wooden spoon and spatula. No noodle cart can save you now.

Filed under: PvP, Humor

Encrypted Text: Why mobility doesn't matter

sprint
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. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Brian Holinka, who is quickly becoming the most frequent tweeter on the dev team, recently talked about Shadowstep and rogue mobility in a series of tweets. Mobility is one of those things that gets trotted out every time a melee class starts talking about PvP balance. One melee class has a teleport, another has a snare break, yet another has a speed boost –- no two melee classes are equal. I'm sure we all remember ret paladins complaining about their lack of a "gap closer." The problem with mobility is that mobility doesn't matter. Well, not really.

What really matters to a melee class is uptime. Our goal isn't to have 100% mobility, it's to have 100% uptime. We want to be attacking our target as often as possible, and that usually requires being in melee range. Looking at mobility in a vacuum is missing the forest for the trees. Mobility is just one of the tools that we use to achieve a high melee uptime. All of our other abilities, like CCs, stuns, and slows are critical components to maximizing our uptime. Shuriken Toss is the exact opposite of mobility, but its strength comes from increasing our uptime despite being out of melee range.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Potential Patch 5.3 PvP changes from Twitter

Potential PvP changes from Twitter
If you're even remotely interested in WoW PvP, and aren't yet following Brian Holinka on Twitter, you really should be. We've been talking about him quite a bit lately here at WoW Insider, as he's the main agent behind the huge PvP changes coming in in patch 5.3. He's also incredibly responsive, open and helpful on Twitter, and seems to set aside a huge amount of his free time to respond to players' concerns, and hold open and constructive discussions, while not being afraid to fire out some sarcasm crits on the trolls that often haunt those in his position.

He's previously tweeted about the return of the skirmish system, and has been very responsive indeed about the 5.3 changes, and lately he's also been discussing some more confirmed and potential changes in patch 5.3 and beyond.

Now, please do take these changes with a pinch of salt, these aren't even PTR patch notes, but potential changes, some of which are being tested and appearing on patch notes, and some of which are just in the pipeline for the future.


Potential Battleground Changes

One thing that caught our eye here at WoW Insider was a very recent tweet regarding some changes in the the larger battlegrounds such as Isle of Conquest and Alterac Valley.

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Filed under: PvP

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