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Posts with tag pvp-guide

PvP gearing in detail, and what next?

I wrote recently about how to get started with PvP gearing, focusing on the most efficient ways to gain honor points for your initial PvP gearing, when to replace PvE gear and so on. I was pleased to get many messages saying that it was helpful, and a fair few more asking what they should do next. People wondered what gear they should buy first for Conquest, how they should find arena teams and RBG teams and so on. So I thought I'd help you out with some of that information too.

Updated for Season 15

Gear Purchase Order

This was the topic of much discussion, as all I did was give a few suggestions for priority pieces, rather than a hard-and-fast gearing order. A big part of the reason I did that was that it's very personal, it's up to you, and some people will prefer one approach over another. There are various things to consider, so let me spell them out:
  • There are bonuses to be had from various items:
    • Bonus to a key ability on gloves
    • +2600 +5280 PvP Resilience from having 2 PvP trinkets
    • 2-set bonus: spec specific bonus and +500 PvP Power
    • 4-set bonus: spec specific bonus and +1000 PvP Power
  • There is a points earned requirement of 7250 on any weapon except Honor point off-hands.
  • Weapons cost 3500, so starting from 0 you have 3750 to spend before you start saving for weapons.
  • Unless you are a human, you really need a trinket that removes movement-impairing effects, or "freedom trinket" on your character.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

How to gear for PvP right now

It's that time in the expansion again, the time I love, when people have killed Garrosh enough times that they're tired of it, and are looking for something else to entertain themselves. They're leveling alts, and farming or doing pet battles, but the rep grinds and scenario runs seem futile, given how the resultant loot will be replaced by greens come Warlords.

So what do they turn to? PvP! I can see this starting to happen already, with the influx of tweets and emails asking me about the best way to gear up for PvP. And it's a good question, because with the current standing of PvE gear in PvP, you might need a little guidance on where to start.

Item Levels

In instanced PvP right now, item level scaling is in place. Your PvE gear is downscaled to a shifting item level between 496 and 512. The current ilvl is 508, and it's increasing by 1 per week. The best your PvE gear will ever be in instanced PvP is 512. PvP gear purchased for honor is ilvl 496. PvP gear purchased for conquest is ilvl 522, and is not downscaled.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

My Warlords of Draenor PvP wishlist, and looking back at Mists

So, let's have at this again. A fair while back I wrote a similar article for Mists of Pandaria PvP, and in all honesty, I was giggling to myself looking back at it. At the time I wrote it, I'd been chatting with Eldacar, PvP theorycrafter extraordinaire, and bouncing ideas around. We both felt, ironically, that CC was a little out of hand. We were worried that too much existed, and that it had the potential to become a problem. And how right we were! Fortunately, a CC squish is inbound.

But I did get a lot of what I wished for. Role-specific queues in random battlegrounds, and associated matchmaking was introduced in 5.3, and bots are slowly being whittled down. PvE gear has been squashed a lot better in instanced PvP, although it still massively prevails in world PvP. Burst damage is becoming less and less of a problem, with a few notable exceptions (I'm looking at you, elemental shaman).

And what's more, while the implementation had some ill effects, one thing I wanted to see but was conflicted about came into play with The Crowd Chose You, and later with Dampening and the fix to make teams who've lost more players lose the arena too. We did pretty well, altogether.

But there were plenty of things we didn't get. Has my wishlist changed? Yes, in that I now want an even bigger moon on an even longer stick. Again, do note that these are just desires. Where I am aware of Blizzard talking about things being done, I'll say so.

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Filed under: Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Warlords of Draenor: What CC needs to be cut?

Blizzard Community Manager Lore posted yesterday about the devs' plans to reduce CC with Warlords of Draenor's changes to abilities. If you haven't been keeping up, their general plan is a so-called ability squish, removing certain skills from every class, with a particular focus on those suffering from button bloat, such as hunters and shaman. We spoke a little while back about how they should cut abilities, and what you could stand to lose, and now Lore's weighing on CC.
Lore
We are planning to take a strong look at CC in Warlords with the intent of dialing things back a little. We do think it's important that players are rewarded for using CC intelligently (by coordinating usage, being mindful of diminishing returns, etc), but we think we can approach things in a way that allows us to tone down CC overall while still providing that gameplay.

To me, the key here is this: "We do think it's important that players are rewarded for using CC intelligently..." CC, in my opinion should have to be used intelligently. It shouldn't be something you use just because it's off cooldown, because there's no risk to using it, because it's effectively a surefire thing. That is not intelligently using CC, that's using CC blindly, and it's because there's no risk to doing so. So, what's bad CC? What would I cut, if it was up to me?

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor's Trial of the Gladiator

Warlords of Draenor is bringing some big changes to many parts of the game and PvP is no exception. Not only are there various long-overdue UI changes coming in, but we're also going to be seeing a whole new PvP island zone, a new system of measuring battleground performance and a new arena ladder: Trial of the Gladiator. Of these, the biggest change, the biggest thing people are worried about is certainly the Trial of the Gladiator system. So, let's dispel some myths about that.
Lore
I don't know where this idea came from, but just to clear things up, we have no plans to remove the current Arena ladder.

World of Warcraft Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka was also very clear on the BlizzCon Global Invitationals stream, on the virtual ticket videos, at 8:43:28 on the second video of the first day's play, that the existing ladder wasn't changing. The Trial of the Gladiator is going to be a completely new system on top of what currently exists.

Trial of the Gladiator: What is it, and why?

Trial of the Gladiator is, on a very basic level, a system that allows players to gain rating and ladder position at specific times through the week. So, for example, if you want to gain rating and try for a title this season, you'd want to be playing at these times. They might be Saturday at 10am, maybe also Wednesday at 6pm, Monday at 8pm, Tuesday at 4pm, and so on.

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Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Are you already dodging expansion spoilers?

It has begun. The Warlords of Draenor are already pushing their way into our consciousness -- and players who are allergic to spoilers have already begun the slow push back from the table. BlizzCon weekend and the tidal wave of announcements isn't the issue, not at all. Pretty much everyone likes to watch expansion trailers and poke through teasers about the new gameplay features ahead.

But once BlizzCon is a wrap, fans begin gnawing at the edges. Will players be able to opt out of this new thing or that new thing? How does this change over here affect hunters? And for the love of Elune, won't someone think of spirit?! It's easy to get sucked into the debate, only to find yourself several months down the line sitting disconsolately in a puddle of tweaks, hits and misses with no idea which things might actually be coming to pass and which turned out to be pipe dreams. It might have been easier to wait for the beta to shake things out.

Have you drunk your fill of details about Warlords of Draenor? Have you already turned a deaf ear to the roar and begun dodging expansion spoilers?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Arena stealth changes coming soon

Patch 541 Arena stealth changes
With the announcement of the upcoming replacement of The Crowd Chose You with the Dampening mechanic, many players have been worried about stealth classes, particularly rogues, being able to abuse the Shadow Sight system currently in place in arenas to stealth until the Dampening debuff starts to ramp up. At the moment, rogues can grab the crystals, intended for their opponents to be able to see them, and immediately disappear. This is most notably the case for rogues, although night elf feral druids can put Shadowmeld to use here. Blizzard CM Lore has posted on the forums about an upcoming change to remove this issue from arenas:
Lore
Quick update: several of you have expressed a concern about stealth teams staying hidden until late in the game, when Dampening starts to stack. This would require them to grab Shadow Sight orbs as much as possible, which would be tricky but is actually possible (particularly with mechanics like Vanish).

We're not totally sure it would be a problem, as it would require quite a bit of skill and more than a little luck to pull off, but we do see the concern and want to avoid promoting that sort of behavior. So, when the Dampening change goes in, we'll also be changing the Shadow Sight debuff to prevent the player who picks up the orb from using stealth mechanics while it's active. That will also include abilities like Vanish or Shadowmeld.

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Filed under: News items, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

The future of CC and Diminishing Returns

The future of Diminishing Returns
Following his post on Friday listing out the giant categorization of Diminishing Returns (DR) in PvP, Blizzard Community Manager Lore has posted again regarding the future of DR and its PvP implications.
Lore
As our senior PvP designer Brian Holinka tweeted over the weekend, we've got some pretty solid goals for the future regarding crowd control. We do think it needs to be toned back a bit, both in the amount of CC effects available and in how frequently they can be used.

That said, CC is still an integral part of World of Warcraft PvP. Dealing with it intelligently, both in choosing when to use your own CC as well as reacting to opponent CC's, does have strong gameplay value.


Quote:

Honestly going to guess they're getting the exact opposite of what they planned from it.

Our only "plans" were to try to make an admittedly confusing system less so. Confusion about which CC effects share DR's doesn't help anyone.

So where do we go from here? First up, the post he's referring to in the section about their "plans" is the Diminishing Returns list published last week. This is an incredibly useful resource, which all teams should have at least a cursory glance at before they start trying to make CC chains. There's no need to memorize it, but it's good to have an idea of how your comp's CC works. But that aside, it's a pretty scary list. As Lore mentions above, Brian Holinka tweeted about their plans to rectify the issues behind the DR system in the next expansion. What are the options? What should they do? What shouldn't they do?

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

Definitive word from Blizzard on Diminishing Returns

Dealing with Diminishing Returns
Diminishing Returns on CC is one of PvP's more confusing systems. DR, as people call it, is the mechanic whereby if you're repeatedly CC'd by CCs of the same nature, the duration is shorter the second time, shorter again the third, and then you're immune. The tricky question is, of course, what DRs with what? So if you're feared, does that mean subsequent Seductions will be shorter? If you're CCing with Sap, does that mean that a Hex used straight out of it will be shorter in duration?

Various sources have had a stab at sorting out just exactly what DRs with what else, but there is so much mixed messaging and conflicting information out there. I was researching it for a column, and struggling, so I dropped PvP Designer Brian Holinka a line on Twitter. He came back saying that he'd try to get the CM team to put something together, and he's a man of his word. Community Manager Lore just posted a summary of just what DRs with what.

How do you use it? Well go on over to the forum thread he made, do a CTRL+F of the spell you're looking for, and you'll be able to see what it DRs with. If you want to look at specific categories, then follow the links in the first post.

This is a truly fantastic resource, and it's about time there was a definitive source of this information. But my god, there needs to be some optimization done in this system. It's insanely huge and confusing and hard to remember. Stick with your own spells at first, when you're working out your comp's CC chains, and worry about the rest as you go!
Do you want to capture flags, invade cities, attack towers, and dominate the enemy for your faction? Do you dream of riding your War Bear with pride? We'll steer you to victory with secrets of Battlegrounds and Arena, prepping you with proven addons and keybindings that win! Send questions or comments to olivia@wowinsider.com.

The Crowd Chose You: Upcoming changes

The Crowd Chose You  Upcoming changes
We told you a change was coming, and as Blizzard Community Manager Lore posted late last night, Blizzard has an idea in the works to replace The Crowd Chose You, the controversial arena match-ending buff. It seems from his post that it isn't quite ready to go at this point, but nonetheless, they have a plan.
Lore
With Patch 5.4, we added a mechanic called "The Crowd Chose You" to Arena gameplay. This mechanic was added to suit two primary goals: keep the game from dragging on too long, and make sure matches always end with one team declared the winner. However, we wanted something that wouldn't make players feel they needed to change how they played the game. Unfortunately, the implementation of The Crowd Chose You that went live with Patch 5.4 is not filling that last requirement.

So, we're going to take a different approach. In an upcoming hotfix, we'll be removing The Crowd Chose You entirely, and replacing it with a new mechanic called Dampening. If a match should last for 10 minutes, all players in the Arena will begin to receive a stacking debuff that reduces healing done by 1% every 10 seconds. This will continue until one team is eventually able to claim the victory. In the extremely unlikely event that neither team has won after 20 minutes, the match will end in a draw.

We feel that this mechanic will have a much smaller impact on playstyle, team composition, and decision making than The Crowd Chose You, and thus result in more fun and exciting matches. We're currently testing the hotfix internally, and will provide an update when it goes live.

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Filed under: PvP

The Crowd Chose You: ruining arena for everyone?

The Crowd Chose You
Season 14 has got off to a rather inauspicious start. We've had some big problems with conquest points, caps, weapons, vendors and more, which means that some players have rampaged through the ratings with full Grievous gear, which, of course, isn't scaled down to the same level as everything else. Blizzard is working on fixing the issue, but they've made no comment about resetting rating for the worst offenders.

There are some bright sides, though, as the new downscaling system means that Conquest gear is categorically the best for PvP in all but the most extreme of cases. What's more, cross-realm arenas remove a restriction that previously stood in players' way. However, the much-celebrated fix to the RBG element of the conquest cap hasn't worked, and some people really miss having teams.

But the biggest change, the one that is causing the most complaints, is the controversial match-ender, The Crowd Chose You. Why is it causing complaints? Well, where should I start...

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

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:

Daxxarri
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

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