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Posts with tag honor-points

[UPDATED] The potential of Arena points for Wintergrasp

A new spell popped up in the latest Beta build called Wintergrasp Rewards, which indicate that there might finally be another way to earn Arena points other than to participate in Arenas. Granting Arena points through Lake Wintergrasp also indicates an interesting direction for World of Warcraft PvP. [UPDATE: Blizzard has stated that Arena points from Wintergrasp is only for the Beta to allow accelerated purchase and testing of PvP gear -- thanks Cuer] Despite the ongoing and earnest efforts of Blizzard to balance classes for PvP, particularly Arenas, the format doesn't lend itself well to a complete balancing of classes. Because of the required team synergies and map limitations, there will always be class specs that will suffer in the Arena PvP format.

Battlegrounds PvP, on the other hand, is more open and spontaneous, even in pre-formed groups. No classes or specs are shunned, and every player enjoys relative viability and success. Giving Arena points through Wintergrasp achieves two things: first, it opens up Arena rewards to people who do not participate in or have limited success in Arenas; second, it greatly incentivizes participation in Lake Wintergrasp. The only question left is the matter of Personal Ratings, which is a requirement for most of the current gear, a trend likely to continue in Wrath of the Lich King.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Old BG Mount haunts Karazhan

Akussa sent us this ghost of Battlegrounds-past, which he and some guildies spotted being rode outside Karazhan. (You can see that it's relatively recent in that it's open to the Blood Elf race ... kinda.) The source of interest in the item comes because it only requires level 55, for a "very fast mount."

What some may have thought was a bug, a patch change, or even some kind of clever exploit is actually a remnant of times gone by. A veritable gremlin of the wonder-years of a battleground where -- to get the really good stuff -- you competed against every person in your own faction.

Back in that day, you'd try and outplay every person in your own faction to earn the top-dog spot. The better you did against your faction-mates, the higher rank you got. Then, in the old Honor system, if you got to Rank 11, you could buy your faction's honor mount pretty simply.

When they changed the mount system (making training expensive, and mounts cheap instead of vice versa), if you had the Rank 11 Mount. . .you got grandfathered to have the riding skill. WoW Insider extraordinaire, Daniel Whitcomb, reports still seeing the occasional 59 twink hanging out upon ancient War Wolf. I, on the other hand, ain't seen one in forever.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Battlegrounds

Epic Gems for Arena points coming with patch 2.4.3

Here's some nice news for Arena PvPers in the area of undocumented 2.4.3 changes: MMO Champion has discovered that the PvP gems that are currently purchasable for honor points are now available for Arena points as well -- 800 points each, to be exact. The full list of gems is as follows:

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Battlegrounds, Arena

Starting from scratch with two weeks to Season 4

Blizzard surprised everyone yesterday by announcing the start of Arena Season 4, slaking the thirst of Arena junkies everywhere. Although Drysc's announced that PvP progression is intended to match PvE progression, it seems that Blizzard feels that enough Sunwell Plateau gear has trickled down to the player base for them to unleash a new Arena Season. Or it could be that they feel that the new personal ratings mechanic is enough of a bottleneck to slow down the flood of Level 154 items into the playing community.

At any rate, now is the time to plan for Season 4. If you haven't already started, it might be a good idea to bank some Arena points. With two weeks of point gains to go, that means players currently with 0 Arena points can theoretically obtain a maximum of one Season 4 Arena piece as the gloves cost 1125 points and, more importantly, require no personal ratings. Players will need to earn about 563 Arena points for the next two weeks to earn enough to purchase the item. This means maintaining a 1788 rating in 2v2, 1722 in 3v3, and 1671 in 5v5. It's not an easy feat, but for those who are only starting to save up Arena points, the reality is that it's an uphill climb. No matter how good you are, it is impossible to amass 5,000 Arena points in two weeks.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: No scrubs allowed in Season 4

Zach Yonzon takes over Blood Sport this week while new columnist Amanda Dean recuperates from a fever. Former columnist Vims decided he'll take his ominous laughter over to the Warlock columns exclusively.

The writing is on the wall. Welfare epics are on the way out. With the new changes to the personal rating requirements -- which now includes gear purchasable by Honor -- it will no longer be possible to completely gear up through PvP without stepping into Arenas. The moment the announcement was made, everything changed for PvP and gear distribution to the player base. With the introduction of the new requirements, Arena and Honor-bought gear has become more restrictive than ever.

How does this change the playing field? In two words? A lot. The good will get better, the bad will get worse, and the mediocre won't be getting anywhere. It is no longer possible to participate in Arenas casually. In fact, World of Warcraft PvP as we know it has changed completely. Clearly meant to address point selling teams, the personal rating requirement affects legitimate contenders -- or at least challengers (no pun intended) -- who play Arenas.

There is no question that gear is a differentiator in Warcraft PvP. Certainly it's not the only differentiator, but the impact of gear disparity in Arenas is such that it creates an artificial barrier of entry for players who are only beginning to play it. Players who have been playing since Season 1 or 2 will have garnered enough Arena points for at least 4/5 Season 3 gear. Players who have just hit Level 70 or decided to do Arenas late are at a disadvantage. With the changes to the PvP gear system, the gear gap will grow even wider.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

The Art of War(craft): Planning for Season 4

Vims has already speculated on when Arena Season 4 will arrive, pegging it somewhere around early to mid-June. I tend to agree with that statement as Blizzard has noted on several occasions that Season 4 isn't coming anytime soon. Considering that none of servers worldwide have even opened the second gate in Sunwell Plateau, it means that equivalent level PvE items won't be cascading into the player base for quite some time. This gives players roughly around a month and two weeks to prepare for the next Arena season, if not longer.

Banking ahead

Because Arena points are capped at 5,000, players with enough Arena gear can start banking points in preparation for the new season. If gear prices remain the same (which is likely as prices have been constant through Seasons 1-3), players can open the Arena week with 3/5 Brutal Gladiator pieces: the gloves, which are priced at 1,125 Arena points during the current season; and any two of the chestpiece, headpiece, or leg piece, which go for 1,875 points. It is also possible to purchase the 1,500 points worth shoulder piece on the first week if players manage to raise their personal rating to a highly restrictive 2200 if the speculated changes make it live. Because personal ratings are calculated directly after each game, it is possible to purchase the personal ratings-limited shoulder pieces or weapons provided the player has enough points during the first week.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Arena

PvP all day, everyday: In Defense of Halaa (A) or Enemies, Old and New (H)

Patch 2.4 breathes new life into World PvP with a pair of new daily quests in Terokkar Forest and Nagrand. The Nagrand quest involves killing enemy players in Halaa and has made control of the center island, at least on PvP servers, more volatile. There are two versions of the Halaa PvP daily quest, one for the Alliance which can be obtained from Lakoor in Telaar; and the other for the Horde which can be obtained from Karrtog in Garadar. The quest objective is simple: kill 10 enemy players in Halaa. Unless I'm mistaken, it is the first and only player kill quest in World of Warcraft, making it something of a milestone and -- I hope -- a sneak peek into Lake Wintergrasp.

The Alliance quest In Defense of Halaa enlists the aid of players to defend or recapture Halaa, which appears to be a Draenei outpost due to its architecture. The Horde equivalent, Enemies, Old and New, asks players to aid in the fight against the Draenei and their new allies. The quest becomes available to players at Level 66 and rewards 179 Honor points, 12,650 experience, 4 Gold 50 Silver, and 500 Reputation with the respective factions of Kurenai or the Mag'har. At Level 70, the quest awards 209 Honor, 11 Gold 99 Silver, and 500 Reputation every time the quest is completed. The reputation gain is substantial and is a nice bonus.

The quest can be completed while in a Raid group, and it's highly recommended to do it as one big group because the quest objective of slaying ten enemy players will only count if a member of your group made the killing blow. Unlike normal kill quests, tagging targets isn't important, only the killing blow. Being part of a big group increases the chances that the kill will count. Like normal kill quests, however, you have to be in the general vicinity of the Honorable Kill in order for it to count. As with all Honorable Kills within the vicinity of Halaa, players receive a Halaa Battle Token. This quest makes it easier to accumulate the 100 tokens required for one of the best Resilience gems in the game, the Sublime Mystic Dawnstone. It is also shareable, so players don't need to run back to Garadar or Telaar if there's already an ongoing battle.

Note that the quest isn't to capture Halaa, so players can simply engage in battle, get kills and leave. For more information about the PvP daily quest in Halaa, be sure to check out the guide I wrote up. The same benefits apply to capturing the island, such as the availability of vendors and the zone-wide buff so players may consider staying at the island long enough to convert it, anyway. Remember that the controlling faction also controls the adjacent Graveyard, giving them an advantage during battles on the island. Assaulting players will typically have to run from the Graveyard directly North of Halaa, so players who die should prepared to run a long way.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Quests

PvP all day, everyday! A roundup of repeatable PvP quests

As exciting as Patch 2.4 has been so far, most of the attention has been on the all-new content on the Isle of Quel'danas. WoW Insider has put together a comprehensive walkthrough of all the daily and Shattered Sun Offensive-related quests to help guide you so you can coast your way to Shattered Sun rep and earn more than a few Gold along the way. Among the few additions that didn't get as much of the spotlight but deserve mention are the new PvP daily quests, so players can spice up their PvP routine beyond the usual daily Battleground quest. Now even hardcore PvP enthusiasts can earn some Gold on the side while killing enemies. How cool is that?

Click on the links after the jump to find out more about the new PvP dailies that exploded with Patch 2.4.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Quests

Forum post of the day: Welfare Epics

What does it take to get epic gear? Well you can do arenas or battlegrounds and save up points for gear. It takes a few weeks of arenas to get a piece of the most recent releases. A good weekend of battlegrounds might net you a piece or two. You can do raids for epic drops. It can take weeks to learn fights and clear raids. A hard night of raiding could earn you nothing but a repair bill.

Among raiding and PvP, which shows more dedication and skill? The term "welfare epic" has popped up to describe gear that some believe is given to a player without the appropriate level of effort. In his official forum post, Kaizersosay of Spirestone asserted that there are no welfare epics- that every piece of purple loot takes effort. He said that the phrase welfare epic is elitist. The thread sparked a lively discussion of welfare epics for both PvE and PvP players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Forums

The Art of War(craft): A rambling year in review

In last week's column, where I went over the World PvP objectives in the Outlands, some players expressed indignation at how Blizzard supposedly "forces" PvE players into playing PvP. There are different views on this, such as Massively's Craig Withers, who wrote about a distaste for impersonal PvP in WoW and thus avoids it like the plague, and well, myself, who would actually like to see more PvP-oriented goals implemented in the game. As the shadow of the aptly-named WAR, or Warhammer Online -- which trumpets a supposedly rich PvP and RvR (Realm vs. Realm) experience -- looms, World of Warcraft appears increasingly lacking in PvP content. More and more, suspicion arises that WoW PvP is flawed by design. In his article, David points to reader Aviel's well-ordered thoughts on the matter -- that PvP's basic flaw is that it is an Honor grind, Honor being the currency for gear. As long as it is currency, Aviel says, people will find ways to earn it in the quickest manner possible (e.g. AFKing).

For the most part, I agree with that statement. Blizzard has designed WoW PvP to be a task/reward system that is vulnerable to abuse. The simple fact, however, is that the entire game is a huge task/reward system, from the very existence of mobs (including bosses), which award loot when killed; to quests, which give rewards for completing certain tasks. Without that mechanic in place, the entire game would break. Players do daily quests not out of sheer enjoyment -- although some can be fun -- but because it's a reliable method for earning gold. When Patch 2.4 eventually hits, players can earn upwards of 300g by doing daily quests. I am willing to be that people will be doing daily quests not (just) because they're fun but because most players need gold.

In its current iteration, Honor is a currency, making it a prime candidate for farming. This design is largely due to the fact that WoW PvP has mostly been an afterthought. Actual PvP objectives and rewards, i.e. the Honor system, didn't come into the game until Patch 1.4, about five months after the game's release. The first Battlegrounds came out a month later in a subsequent patch. Because PvP isn't deeply interwoven into the world, the Honor system feels tacked on, distinctly separated from other currencies or means of acquiring loot, or reward. What matters, however, is that Blizzard recognized the need for PvP and managed to find a way to incorporate it. Blizzard Vice-President of Game Design Rob Pardo, in his 2006 AGC keynote speech said, "Early on we really didn't know how the honor system was going to work, we didn't know if we were going to have titles and achievements but we knew we had to have PvP and we knew that it had to be fun."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

To shop with honor

Although Patch 2.3 arrived two weeks ago, it isn't until today that Arena Season 3 will make its official debut. Just like in fashion, the styles of the previous Seasons will go on sale for low, low prices. In fact, in true Filene's Basement style, the items from Season 1 will become purchasable with Honor and Marks of Honor. The once-shiny gear from Season 2 are being taken off the racks to make way for the latest Vengeful Gladiator's fashions, complemented by Vindicator's accessories. Some players looking ahead have already saved up on the maximum Honor of 75,000 and maximum Arena Points of 5,000 in preparation for the new Season. I think I have an idea of how my wife feels when Mango goes on sale and a new line comes in. It's kind of like the World of Warcraft equivalent of Black Friday.

How about you? What's on your Honor shopping list? Will you be buying Season 1 gear or spend it on the new Vindicator items? Will you be buying armor or weapons? Are you trooping over to the Hall of Legends or the Champion's Hall before you head over to Area 52 (with branches now open in Nagrand and Blade's Edge!)? Choices, choices.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Breakfast Topic: Thanksgiving WoW Plans

With Thanksgiving holiday approaching quickly for American players, it means either 4 days of non-stop WoW playing or 4 days snowed in with talkative relatives and no Internet connection.

For those of you planning to play WoW over the four day Thanksgiving weekend, what do you plan do accomplish with all that time? Rack up Honor Points? Level that new alt? Farm Zul'Aman for a bear mount? Grind towards one of the new flying mounts?

You can vote in the poll or leave a comment below!

WoW plans for Thanksgiving
Grind Honor Points in PvP474 (22.3%)
Grind Badges of Justice227 (10.7%)
Grind Zul'Aman109 (5.1%)
Grind levels on alt596 (28.0%)
Grind for new flying mount115 (5.4%)
Grind teeth through another family get together606 (28.5%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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