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Posts with tag pve

Black Dragonflight, Skullcrusher realms to be connected tomorrow

Black Dragonflight, Skullcrusher realms to be connected tomorrow
Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher, the two latest realms to be announced as slated for the Connected Realms feature will be connected tomorrow, October 15, during standard maintenance. The two realms were next in line after the success of the Bloodscalp and Boulderfist realm connection. Given that the realm connection will take place during regular server maintenance, one would hope that this means that the wrinkles have been ironed out of implementation -- but just in case, Blizzard will be providing updates on any potential delays.

The rollout for Connected Realms has been considerably slower than most players were expecting. However, it's nice to see that Blizzard is taking its time with this one, making sure that everything is functioning correctly and all potential issues have been addressed. Of course the question on everyone's minds now is which realms will be slated for connection next, and when will it occur? Are you hoping for the connected realm feature on your server?

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Black Dragonflight, Skullcrusher realms to be connected

Connected realms implementation continues
After the successful integration of the Bloodscalp and Boulderfist realms, Blizzard is continuing with the slow rollout of connected realms. Although no date has been finalized, CM Nethaera has announced that Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher will be the next two realms to be connected.

Nethaera
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be working toward connecting our next pair of realms, Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher – we'll provide another update once we've finalized the date. We will also update this thread with any additional information that becomes available. Please be aware that as a part of the process, realm times may change to align better with each other.

We are currently evaluating additional realm connections and plan to provide a more complete schedule at a future point in time.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.


CM Bashiok stepped in later in the thread to clarify some details on the connected realms process. While many are eager to see this new feature give a boost to realms with lower than optimal populations, the process is far more complicated than you'd think. Blizzard is taking its time with each connection in order to evaluate possible issues with the process -- and the choice of realms was specifically to help identify potential issues. In other words, at this point in the process it's not so much a matter of how much a realm would benefit from a connection, as it is how much that connection will help clarify any potential issues with the process itself. Check out the full forum thread for more information and updates on the process as it continues.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

What's the least fun you ever had for rewards?

What's the least fun you ever had for rewards
Let's face it - we do stuff in game to get stuff in game. It's in our greedy little natures. So it isn't surprising to hear that players will do things they don't enjoy if they believe the reward is sufficient to warrant it, but it still has interesting things to say about us as players. Ghostcrawler tweeted the following and it got us thinking.
For myself I'd have to admit this is true - as just one example, I really didn't like the Isle of Quel'danas when it first came out (on my server at the time the area was extremely crowded) but my tauren needed a good shield and the expertise neck for his tank set. I didn't need the expertise proc, however, so I had to switch from Scryers (which I was exalted with) to Aldor (which I was not) at the same time I was also grinding Shattered Sun reputation to exalted. It was, frankly, agonizingly painful for me, but I did it. The best part was, of course I eventually got a better neck. But there was no way I was going to grind Scryers back up to exalted by that point, and so he remained exalted with the Aldor.

So this leads to the question - what about you? Have you done something you didn't want to do or didn't enjoy purely for the reward at the end of the rainbow? Was it worth it? Or, like me, did you end up with a sour taste in your mouth (and a whole lot of trouble remembering which base in Shadowmoon Valley was safe to land in)?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding

Nethaera fills in the blanks on Connected Realms

Nethaera fills in the blanks on Connected Realms
With patch 5.4 up and running, many players have been wondering about the status of the new Connected Realms feature. Questions have run the gamut from wanting to know the exact criteria of putting two realms together, to wanting a list of the realms that are scheduled to be connected. Most importantly, players have been wondering if the Connected Realms feature has actually been enabled, or if we have yet to see if the process has taken place.

Community Manager Nethaera filled in some of those blanks in a series of updates posted on the official forums. The first two realms that have been scheduled for connection are Boulderfist and Bloodscalp. The system will be rolled out over time, much like what we saw with the Cross-Realm Zones feature -- players won't suddenly see all realms introduced to the Connected Realms feature all at once. Blizzard intends to keep realm types together as much as it possibly can -- for those on RP realms, this means if your realm is connected to another, it will likely be another RP realm.

Nethaera went on to note that faction balance, something that has caused many players to struggle on incredibly lopsided realms, may not be the ultimate reason for a connection. But perhaps most importantly -- as of Friday, no realms have been connected. Any server restarts or messages about Connected Realm restarts in game are absolutely not an indicator that your realm has been connected to another -- it's simply some of the work that needs to be done in order to enable the connecting process, should it need to be utilized. For now, it seems that players are still isolated on their own realms -- but there should be further updates to the thread if that changes. For more information on the implementation of this new feature, check out the thread on the official forums.


Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Do you PvP, or PvE, or both?

Do you PvP, or PvE, or both
A well-known YouTube personality, who's pretty big on the PvP circuit, recently posted a video about PvP in Mists of Pandaria. Amongst other things, he talked about how the PvP resilience changes made the pure PvPers suffer, while only really pleasing a small group of players who did both PvP and PvE. Now, while my evidence is just as anecdotal as Reinhardt's, this has got me wondering. You see, while PvPers are a passionate and vocal group, I suspect we fall into the minority. Particularly those, and I don't include myself in that group, who purely PvP. It seems to me that it's likely a fairly small group compared to those who PvE, or those who do both.

So, to expand my purely anecdotal evidence, I thought I'd ask the WoW Insider audience what they did. Now, the poll is pretty binary, I've deliberately not included choices indicating whether you do more or less, it's either just PvP, just PvE, or both. For clarity, I'm looking at end-game content here. If you've leveled purely via PvP (from level 10 at least), then fantastic. But if you leveled via quests and dungeons, but just PvP in end-game, you're in the PvP category. I'm looking forward to seeing the results!
Do you do exclusively PvP, exclusively PvE, or both?
Exclusively PvP, no PvE.478 (6.6%)
Exclusively PvE, no PvP.3676 (50.4%)
I do a bit of both.3142 (43.1%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Is gearing the game, or does it get in the way?

Is gearing the game, or does it get in the way
I've spent a lot of time thinking about gear lately. PvP gear, specifically, how it's changed, and how it compares to PvE gear. I've also been thinking about my fairly awful gear-related luck, in both my guild's raids and the raid finder, and looking back to earlier tiers when, thanks in part to not being quite so busy, I've been far higher in the gear curve far earlier in the tier.

As part of my post-grad studies, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time looking at the psychology of gaming. One of the theories on how games like WoW keep people interested, and a good theory at that, was one revolving around breadcrumbs. Like a trail of breadcrumbs, WoW offers the player lots of small, reachable rewards. Nothing so big that you feel like you're done, but lots of small things that aren't too hard to get to. Perhaps those things are in pursuit of something bigger, but they happen fairly regularly. Think of valor points, for example. A little additional reward for completing straightforward tasks. Reputation is another good example. Or leveling, be it a character or a profession.

Gear is much the same, it is the carrot that remains only slightly out of reach, pushing you to play just a little longer. In a PvE context, for an average player at least, you're never really done. Think of Thunderforged gear, this is an additional breadcrumb for those players who are at the top of the ladder already.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Do we need another Wintergrasp or Tol Barad?

Do we need another Wintergrasp or Tol Barad
Mists of Pandaria is like playing in a field of daffodils while drinking from a mug of stout. Very little to complain about, if you don't mind the eternal dailies. But even with the household chore of doing your dailies, there's one element I still miss from previous expansions: Wintergrasp. (Or Tol Barad, if you prefer).

While Wintergrasp and Tol Barad both had their design challenges, always revolving around that unpredictable critter called human behavior, these World PvP Zones provided dynamics to the game you can't reproduce with queued BGs.

It was a place to play with your server mates, matching your own PvP skills against other folks from your server. While you might run across a familiar face in the regular BGs, Wintergrasp and Tol Barad were the best places to get your home server action happening. These days, Alliance vs. Horde guild rivalries feel a little silly. You don't see each other to have a real feud, unless you're on a PvP server.

The fight timing of the zones lent itself to "WoW breaks." Busy cleaning the house, studying for a test, and otherwise being a productive member of society? Well, trotting off to Wintergrasp or TB when it was up provided a nice, occasional timed break. That probably seems like a minor thing, since you could just do the same as with a BG, but the game's enforced timing gave that work-break-work habit a more natural feel. And the Pomodoro Technique of productivity is effective for a reason. This was the Wintergrasp Technique.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.2 and beyond with Dave Kosak

Patch 52 and beyond with Dave Kosak
Hot on the heels of the official patch 5.2 trailer, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with one of the developers behind it all. While chatting with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about patch 5.2 and its development, one thing became incredibly clear -- 5.2 is definitely not just a raid and a few dailies. There is far, far more to be seen and experienced in the new patch.

Read on for some of the details behind the trailer released earlier today, the story in the new patch, daily quest development, scenarios, and even a few hints at what's in store for patch 5.3.

Please note: There are a couple of minor spoilers for 5.2 content in the interview. Nothing huge, we promise!

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: The return of the unlockable Isle

Patch 52 PTR The return of the unlockable Isle
For a brief moment in time, it looked as though the Krasarang Wilds in patch 5.1 were going to be a return, albeit a slightly tweaked one, to the days of Halaa in Burning Crusade. This ended up very much not being the case, but the area still acted somewhat like a fond reminder of the days of open-world PvP. However, patch 5.2 seems to be bringing back yet more of that Burning Crusade nostalgia with the Isle of Thunder -- an island that contains elements that will be unlocked over time.

Sounds suspiciously like the Isle of Quel'Danas, doesn't it? Well, there are a few notable changes to the dynamic. Because the Horde and Alliance are working separately this time, instead of united under the banner of the Shattered Sun Offensive, each faction gets their own progress bar towards unlocking goals. You can see a glimpse of the progress bar above. As players complete daily quests and objectives, the bar will fill up. Once it's full, another section of the Isle will unlock for players to explore.

Blizzard recently released an Under Development guide to patch 5.2 that clarifies this concept a little further.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Are rogues a dying class?

Warcraft population data indicates Rogue decline
If you remember, last year Cynwise launched on a study of Warcraft's class popularity that led to his producing a book, The Decline and Fall of Warlocks in Cataclysm. We talked about some of the conclusions he drew here. Now he's back looking at class population vs. popularity in Mists of Pandaria, and some of the numbers he's compiled from Worldofwargraphs and realmpop are extremely interesting. One of the most shocking pieces of information to come out of all of this is this stark graphic above, where you can see the rogue population plummet.

Rogues went from 7.67% of max level at patch 5.0.4, the pre-Mists of Pandaria patch, to 5.51% of max level as of patch 5.1, a drop of over 2%. This is at a time when most other classes either held steady (Paladins, Druids, DK's and Hunters all held at about even with their Cataclysm and patch 5.0.4 numbers), went up (Warriors saw a jump from 9.25% at max level to 10.14% between 5.0.4 and 5.1, while Warlocks went up from 6.7% to 7%) or saw slight declines (Shamans, Priests and Mages all saw slight declines). By comparison, the rogue decline becomes stark.

So, where have all the rogues gone? Monks have taken a slim 4.9% of the total playerbase, which means that they're hardly the dominant juggernauts that Death Knights became in Wrath of the Lich King, so can they explain the rogue decline?

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

GuildOx debuts specialization tracking for PvP and PvE

GuildOx debuts specialization tracking for PvP and PvE
Are you ever curious as to which specs are the most popular for raiding or PvP? Well, GuildOx has you covered. Both for PvE and PvP in fact. There's a lot of interesting things to pull out of this data. For starters, just looking at the PvP data, where are the rogues? Seeing rogues so low in PvP (an area they've dominated as recently as Cataclysm) is kind of a shocker. Frost mages, shadow priests, arms warriors, beast mastery hunters and frost DK's are the most dominant non-healing specs in PvP right now.

Over on the PvE side of the fence, (drawn from the top 5% of raiding characters) we see that Blood DK's and Guardian Druids are the most popular raid tanks, but that all tank classes are fairly close together save for brewmaster monks. I don't know why but clearly they're not taking off as tanks yet, perhaps due to entrenchment. Most raids tend towards established tanks, after all. For DPS classes, fire mages and shadow priests are the most popular, followed by beast mastery hunters and affliction warlocks. This is interesting when contrasted with the actual state of DPS classes in normal and heroic raiding atm. Rogues are interestingly split between assassination and combat, keeping them from challenging any of these classes. As for healing, restoration shamans and druids and holy paladins seem to be on top, but discipline priests look strong as well, with mistweaver monks trailing behind.

You can head over to GuildOx and dig around for yourself.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

10 and 25-man to no longer share lockouts on KR realms in patch 5.1

10 and 25man will no longer share lockouts on KR realms
The Korean World of Warcraft community site has published some interesting news regarding the future of raiding in patch 5.1. An update posted earlier today states that 10 and 25-man lockouts will not be shared. It looks like this change will apply to Korean realms only (for now). There's no mention if this change is going to affect realms in other regions. The item levels of loot in 25-man raids will be increased with this change. For example, Terrace on 10-man would drop ilevel 496 items whereas the 25-man would drop 504.

As a 25-man raider myself, I am greatly interested in this change. It's challenging to maintain a healthy 25-man raiding roster. While this change would benefit 25-man guilds, it would also have an impact on 10-man raid groups. Equal item level rewards meant that most players would choose the quickest and most efficient route.

What do you guys think of this as a possible solution to the whole 10 vs 25s issue? If you're raiding in a 10-man group right now, would this cause you to look for and apply to a 25-man guild?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Why spells should work the same in PvE and PvP

Why spells should be the same in PvE and PvP
This ugly subject inevitably comes up: "I do bad damage in PvP, but they can't buff me because of my high PvE damage." Spend enough time around MMOs, and you'll hear that line with nearly the same regularity that the cock crows each morning. That statement leads to this one: "Spells should work differently in PvP and PvE. They're two different games!"

They're not, they shouldn't, and please, no. Ghostcrawler himself just hit the forums to point out a few good, solid, technical reasons. To sum up his excellent explanation, Blizzard can't just duplicate all the spells and make them work different in PvP and PvE because that multiplies the level of complexity in the programming. The more complexity you add to the system, the more likely you are to see bugs and exploits sneak into the game. Not to mention, on the other side of the fence, the PvP dynamic itself is so complex that you can't just assume "low damage" is a function of the game itself. It can easily be due to the metagame, not to mention each player's performance.

Ghostcrawler's logic seems to be a slam dunk, but I've had the misfortune of playing in a few games that did use different rule sets for PvP and PvE. It's a nightmare. City of Heroes was so clumsy in its divisive handling that I still wake up at night screaming, "That was my power move!"

WoW isn't an either/or game. You don't tend to completely eschew PvE when you're playing PvP, no matter how much we wish you could. Dailies, raids, and other circumstances force you into the world. Even dedicated PvE players jump into the BGs occasionally. Separating the rules between the playing arenas creates yet another barrier to playing the entire World of Warcraft. Not to mention, if those different rules are different enough, it ends up feeling like you're running two different characters. Is that really the game we want?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items

Should all spells work differently in PvP?

I play the only class with a damage-dealing ability that works differently in PvP. Colossus Smash is apparently so potent in PvP, entirely because yet again it's reducing armor, that it has to function differently there. Now, in response to a forum thread asking why all spells aren't balanced separately for PvP and PvE, Ghostcrawler responds.

Ghostcrawler - Why are we not balanced this way?
We do this already. Look at abilities such as Colossus Smash and even the concept of PvP CC durations, which has been in the game for a long time.

It's not our option of first resort because it's not intuitive for players and it means anytime we want to make balance adjustments, we must change two sets of numbers.


This leads me to consider: Should it be more common for abilities to work differently in PvP and PvE? I'm sure we all agree that the other guys' abilities should, but once I start mentioning an ability that you actually use in PvP, you may suddenly feel differently about it. I'm not going to pretend I loved the Colossus Smash change, but I understood why they did it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Daxxarri clarifies PvP and PvE gear changes in Mists of Pandaria

Daxxarri took to the forums to clarify for players that the world will not end when the relative items levels of PvE and PvP gear change in the next expansion. Players have been confused as to what Blizzard meant when it indicated that PvP gear in Mists of Pandaria will be a lower item level than its PvE counterpart but more effective in PvP because of the addition of a free stat to the item's budget that boosts its effectiveness against other players.

Blizzard is making this change for many reasons, one of which is to stop player abuse of PvP gear's item level to inflate their scores to enter dungeons via the Dungeon and Raid Finders earlier than they should. Resilience is being changed to a PvP-centric stat that does not cost anything in an item's budget and enhances the item's effectiveness in PvP. The item's effectiveness in PvE, however, would be that of similarly leveled PvE gear.

This turns the best PvP gear into relatively decent PvE gear with a lower item level. The highest tier of PvP gear will still be the best gear for fighting other players because of the new stat that the highest tier of PvE gear is lacking, regardless of item level. If you PvP, wear PvP gear. If you PvE, wear PvE gear. Now, however, going between the two won't be as severe as it is right now.

Hit the jump for Daxxarri's posts and explanations in full regarding PvP and PvE gear.

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Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

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