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Posts with tag pve-to-pvp

Breakfast Topic: How realms evolve (or don't)

While writing a recent news post on Blizzard's decision to open free transfers to Drak'thul, I nosed around the server's forums to see what the inhabitants thought of the coming flood. As a server that was converted from a PvP to PvE realm, opened to transfers, and listed as a Recommend realm to boot, Drak'thul's undergone a fairly drastic set of changes, and all within a short period of time.

As you'd expect, player feelings on the subject were mixed, but there was one former Drak'thul player who really got my attention. Drak'thul, he/she claimed, had been home to some of "the most mean-spirited PvP (he'd) ever experienced on ANY realm." It sounded like a tall claim, but there are a lot of other threads on the forum with oblique confirmations; players recall Alliance towns and quest NPCs "being camped 24/7," and holiday events and Alliance leveling zones being swarmed by opportunistic Horde players. Drak'thul became a low-pop server with a murderous faction imbalance -- Warcraft Realms listed the server's active population as 94% Horde before transfers were opened -- and I wonder how much of that be traced to the relentless ganking and camping campaigns three years ago.

I look at realms like Cho'gall with equally crushing faction imbalances, some of which started out with fairly balanced faction ratios, and wonder -- how the hell does this happen? What spurs the departure of so many players from a specific faction? Is it really that simple as a relatively small number of players exercising such an impact on what happens to everyone on the server?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Free realm transfers announced

Blizzard poster Turrit announced yesterday that free realm transfers are being made available to address faction imbalance and overpopulation issues on the following PvE realms:
  • Aggramar (Alliance only)
  • Area 52 (Horde only)
  • Blackhand
  • Hellscream
  • Stormrage (Alliance only)
  • Thrall (Horde only)
  • Undermine
Destination realm:
  • Drak'thul
The free transfer period will run from Tuesday, May 25 (today) to Tuesday, June 1 at 11:00 a.m. PDT. However, Turrit did make a point of mentioning that Blizzard has a transfer goal in mind, and if it's reached, they may shut the free transfers down early. If you're on any of the affected realms and have been considering a transfer, this might be a good chance to save yourself $25.

To my surprise, it turns out Drak'thul was actually a PvP realm until very recently, and after a quick look at WoW Progress's list of U.S. realms, I have to agree it looks like the server needs some love. While it's possible the page hasn't been updated, it's apparent that the Drak'thul's raiders are struggling -- and there's some rather illuminating commentary in this thread (I'll grant I can't verify the accuracy) on how some of the server's troubles may have gotten their start. Two things come to mind: Blizzard's observations a year ago concerning only PvP realms being low-pop, and: what's happening on Cho'gall. Interesting.

The full announcement is past the cut.

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Blood Sport: PvE gear in arena

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? You'd better come back next week then, since this week Blood Sport has been hijacked. While Blood Sport's usual writer, C. Christian Moore, completes his 12 labors, a plebeian priest by the name of Dawn Moore has stepped up to the helm. Try to ignore the sounds of crashing objects, shattering glass and screeching cats.

Mr. Moore is out this week, performing heroic deeds, winning the hearts of women, and living up to the descriptor "a gentleman and a scholar." For this reason I, Miss Moore, have been assigned to fill in for him. The reason for this has nothing to do with the following conversation.
Alex Ziebart: Whoa, I just realized you and Colby have the same last name. Mind = Blown.
Dawn Moore: *facepalm*
Michael Sacco: Whoa, I never noticed that either.
I am certain Mr. Moore's readers are filled with dread that an ill-qualified priestess hailing from the PvE side of the has come to play checkers on their chessboard, so to soothe your minds I have provided ...

Listening music: Find Yourself by John O'Callaghan and featuring Sarah Howells. The full version is better, but the music video is far too amusing and weird not to link.

Last week: You had the reflections and speculations of a gladiator on the future of PvP in Cataclysm.

This week: You may well die a little inside, as a lowly challenger tries to tell you something you don't already know about PvE gear in arena. Chance of failure: 85%.

Read more →

Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Breakfast Topic: Paid services

With the Azeroth-shaking announcement of paid faction changes, it seems like one of the last barriers to character re-customization have been broken down. Who would have thought that we could switch allegiances four years ago? The World of Warcraft has certainly come a long way since it launched. One of the big changes back then was allowing players to transfer realms -- initially disallowing PvE-to-PvP transfers but that restriction was eventually lifted. That was shocking news then, but then Blizzard opened the door for names and even gender changes.

What we're essentially seeing is Blizzard's own clever version of microtransactions. Sure, we can't buy powerful items like those in free-to-play games (which will soon become endangered in China...), but we can pay real money to cater to our vanity or convenience. I've paid several times for server transfers, name changes, and even character re-customization. My wife grumbles whenever I shell out real money for those things, but I'm sure she'd pay to morph her former main, a Troll Priest, into a Blood Elf in a heartbeat. Even Matthew Rossi would pay good money to turn his Human Warrior into a huge-like-Rossi Draenei. There's only one problem, though -- they can't. Race change is one thing Blizzard hasn't given the go signal to... yet.

Anything's possible, though. Years ago, Blizzard unequivocally said that they would never allow PvE to PvP realm transfers. See how that turned out. What other paid services do you think Blizzard lacks? You probably already know that I'm all for race change as part of character re-customization. But how about paying for levels? I mean, despite all the changes they've made to make leveling easier, I abhor it. I'd gladly shell out some cash to get a high-level character right off the bat. What other paid World of Warcraft services do you think the game needs or players want?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

PvE to PvP transfer impact

Since PvE to PvP transfer option became available, I've kept a close eye on my own realm to see if there'd be any discernible change to transfer patterns both on and off. As far as I can tell -- no. I've seen a few people transfer off but there doesn't seem to be any more so than usual. Only a few players did so purely for the purpose of PvPing on a different battlegroup, and most of them, like Zach Yonzon, had previously been PvP-realm transfers or rerolls anyway.

The flood of high-level PvE to PvP transfers gloomily predicted by many doesn't seem to have materialized. People who'd rather play on a PvE realm are doing just that, and most of the people who'd rather play on a PvP realm were already there (never saw that one coming, eh?). I thought at the time that Blizzard's decision would probably have its biggest impact, not on PvP players, but on PvE raiders who had previously been restricted to recruiting PvP-to-PvP, PvE-to-PvE or (much less commonly) PvP-to-PvE only. If you've ever been in a raiding guild which found great recruits from the "wrong" kind of realm, you're probably familiar with what a headache that was.

I play on a medium population PvE realm that launched when Burning Crusade hit. Since we're not really at the cutting edge of either PvE or PvP content as a result, mine is probably a bad sample size as we're not a hotbed of transfers either way. So, I'm not sure if my own experience is representative. If you're playing on a medium-to-high population realm, either PvE or PvP, are you noticing any difference to the traffic patterns, on or off? If you're on a low-population realm, has your situation improved or worsened?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Factions

Breakfast Topic: Back to square one

So I finally did it. I transferred my Hunter, once and for a long time my favorite character, from our original PvE realm to our new PvP home. It was the most excitement I've had about the game in a while. I giddily headed off to Hellfire Peninsula to begin journey to Level 70 before the arrival of Wrath. That giddiness rapidly turned to unease when, upon pulling, I realized that I had forgotten how to play a Hunter.

I mean, I know my CTRL-1 and my Aimed Shot, which was instinctive to me... but I fumbled around for my Scatter Shot, forgot which bars I had put my traps on, kept pulling aggro because I had forgotten to turn Growl on, and realized that I didn't have a single key bound to this character. As decent as I might have once been, I was now clumsy, slow, and had to -- shamefully -- click on my abilities. Whenever I had to feed my pet I needed to open my bags to select the food because I no longer had a macro for it. Whenever I pressed my mount key combo -- which was standard across my other characters -- I would Track Beasts instead. After two years of not playing a Hunter, I was back to being... a noob.

Have you ever had to start from square one? Are there characters you stopped playing for a long time and found that you'd forgotten how to play them? Or perhaps you took a long break from the game due to school or other RL concerns and started playing again only to get completely lost? I'm sure it's happened to all of us... right? Tell me I'm not the only noob in the house.

Filed under: Hunter, Breakfast Topics, Leveling

WoW Insider Show Episode 55: The PvE to PvP transfer

The latest episode of the WoW Insider Show is now up for your listening enjoyment over on WoW Radio. Unfortunately, Totalbiscuit (who runs things over there) tells us that they're having more issues with a Google false positive of malware, so this week will be the perfect week to jump on into iTunes and both subscribe to and review our show from there if you haven't yet. Right there in your music player, you can find all of our shows so far, and you can subscribe to get any new ones we do for free right on your new iPod touch (or whatever ya got). Topics on last week's show include:
  • The usual email answering: we answered questions about why there are no Auction Houses in Shattrath or Dalaran, what to do when your guild won't let you roll on damage gear when they ask you to heal, and why getting Champion tabards at Exalted would be a horrible idea.
  • We talked about PvE to PvP transfers and why they might be a problem, but probably won't be.
  • Racial abilites (and the suggestion to free them up a bit) came up in conversation
  • We hit on Mages and why they're thrilled with Mirror Image (stay tuned for more Mage talk next week).
  • And finally we asked around for AH tips, so if you want to make more money on the AH, definitely listen in.
If you've got tips or questions of your own, definitely drop us an email: the address is We do this every Saturday, so if you weren't free last week but happen to be around next Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern, jump on over to WoW Radio and tune in to hear us live. Thanks for listening, and enjoy the show!

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Humor, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Coming home to PvP

I've waited for this opportunity for years. When my wife and friends decided to re-roll on a PvP server in early 2006, I had already spent weeks after weeks of sleepless nights grinding through the punishing decaying Honor system. I was a couple of weeks removed from the next rank but we had all decided to move on. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in the game.

Over the course of the past years, I would pay my original characters -- an Undead Rogue and a Troll Hunter -- on our first server, the occasional visit. I missed playing them a whole lot, but I could never bring myself to play them seriously on a normal realm. I created a Blood Elf Rogue and a Tauren Hunter on our new home but it just wasn't the same. I missed my Ressan the Needler, a pet I'd had since Level 11. I missed my Rogue in a twill suit. I wanted nothing more than to bring over my original guys to where we were playing now.

Of course, up until two days ago, that wasn't possible. Their original reasoning, that it was easier to level on a normal server than on a PvP server, no longer held true. To be honest, I didn't think it was that big a deal two years ago. In fact, I relished it. I enjoyed the idea that there was real danger lurking everywhere, and that enemies could kill me -- and I could kill them in turn -- at any time. But the truth is, the dreaded griefing happened so occasionally I could count the number of times I got frustrated on one hand. Maybe even two fingers.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP

Breaking all the walls down

Blizzard really shocked us all yesterday with the PvE to PvP transfers -- we'd been told multiple times before that it just wasn't a possibility (and Blizzard even got in trouble for doing it for some of their friends). So a lot of players are wondering: just what other current taboos will Blizzard give up in the future, for either gameplay or marketing reasons? Cross region transfers is one idea that's come up on the forums, and Blizzard has (not surprisingly) turned it down, claiming that with the current architecture, it's not possible. Bringing one forum poster to respond that "we can expect to see it in about a year."

Switching genders and factions of characters is another feature that Blizzard said will never be implemented, but of course after yesterday's news, who knows -- the last big feature that Blizzard has yet to add to the game is a brand new faction (the two expansions so far have given us new races and a new class), so if they do introduce a new faction, maybe they will allow us to fundamentally change our characters somehow. And the last bastion of change, the thing that Blizzard has implied that they'd never ever do, is allowing cross-faction communication or even grouping.

Which brings us back to some concerns from players yesterday -- the PvE-PvP gap was one of the things that made World of Warcraft stand out as a game, and by removing it, Blizzard has made their game less individual, and more homogeneous with everything else on the market. It seems unthinkable now that they'd ever allow Horde and Alliance to chat with each other or group together -- that war is what makes this Warcraft. But after yesterday, who knows what other walls Blizzard will be willing to remove to "provide players with more mobility and freedom to play with their friends"?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Expansions, Classes, Death Knight

PvE to PvP paid transfers now available

Ever since paid transfers were introduced, quite some time ago, there has been one very prominent restriction: no transfers from PvE servers to PvP servers. The general reason given for this is that it wouldn't be fair; people who level to 70 on a PvP server have a significantly harder time of it that people who do it on a PvE server, and letting people transfer from PvE to PvP is just going to encourage them to level where it's safe easy and then transfer to go around ganking and raiding and whatever else they want to do. Well, that restriction is lifted: paid transfers from PvE to PvP servers will be available from now on.

Blizzard's stated reason for this is that "providing a smooth and enjoyable experience for all players is always a priority for us," and that these transfers are being implemented "to provide players with more mobility and freedom to easily play with their friends." While these are valid reasons to a certain extent, I still think this will be pretty unpopular with players on PvP servers.

[thanks, Nega]

Filed under: Realm News, PvP

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

Oceanic Alliance characters to get free PvE to PvP transfers

If you're a regular reader of our Guildwatch feature, you may remember hearing about the woes of the Oceanic PvP realm Thaurissan on the last Guildwatch. The server is incredibly Horde heavy, with an estimated 14 to 1 imbalance, and the server denizens say it is genuinely near impossible to get 25 people together to do raid content on the Alliance side. Unfortunately , we also know that Blizzard is still firmly against PvE to PvP realm transfers, which may be preventing Thaurissan from getting the influx of new blood they need.

However, for the sake of Thaurissan's Alliance, they have suspended this restriction. Starting today, June 12th, and ending no later than June 19th, Alliance characters (and only Alliance characters) from the Oceanic PvE realms Nagrand, Aman'thul, and Khaz'goroth will be eligible for free transfers to the Thaurissan realm. Blizzard reserves the right to close transfers early if they meet their goals, so if you're eligible and you want to go, you'd better get that request in now.

This is not the first time they've done this type of thing. Over two years ago, a large cluster of PvE realms were given the opportunity to transfer to the Black Dragonflight and Dalvengyr PvP servers. Thus, it seems that they can be convinced to waive their restrictions on transfers, but that a chance to do so may only come up once every 2 years. Good luck to everyone transferring to Thaurissan, and hopefully this gives the Thaurissan Alliance the shot in the arm they need to get their end game going.

Filed under: Alliance, Realm News, Realm Status, News items

The fate of Season 1 gear in Season 4

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running outA lot of people -- including John, who asked us about this by email -- are a little confused about what's happening to Arena Season 1 gear when Season 4 goes live on June 24th. Season 1 gear for honor is being replaced by Season 2 gear, but at the same time, Eyonix has posted to say that they don't have plans to switch around the PvE tokens for PvP gear system implemented with patch 2.4.

So wait, is Season 1 gear available during Season 4 or not? The answer is yes, but only from Tier 4 PvE tokens.

When season 3 went live, as you will remember, Season 1 gear went over to Honor, and bumped the old level 70 High Warlord and Grand Marshal gear completely off the vendors. You could not longer get it. Likewise, when Season 2 gear moves to honor, it will completely knock off the Season 1 gear from the honor vendors, and you will no longer be able to purchase it for honor.

However, if you have Tier 4 tokens, you'll still be able to head to the Isle of Quel'danas and turn them in for Season 1 Gladiator gear. If you want Season 2 Gladiator gear from PvE, you'll still have to turn in Tier 5 tokens from Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. This might be Blizzard's attempt to keep the balance, although it seems like anyone with the ability to go take down Magtheridon for a Chestguard of the Fallen Hero could get Season 2 much easier and faster by grinding honor. It seems in this case that the dev team either felt that it wasn't worth it to go in and switch up the gear vendors or wanted to keep the amount of balance and challenge they implemented for the PvE token to PvP gear conversion.

So is Season 1 gear going away? In short, no. You'll not be able to buy it for honor anymore, but you will be able to buy it with Tier 4 tokens.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

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