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Posts with tag season-3

Two Bosses Enter Season 3 Finale: Murozond is your champion

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, bosses, leaders, and powerful figures of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

The votes are tallied and the poll is closed -- Murozond is your Two Bosses Enter Season 3 champion! The maddened aspect took the win over fan favorite Echo of Sylvanas by about 320 votes -- pretty close, all things considered. Murozond emerged as a strong contender early in the voting and never let up, soundly defeating each foe he was paired up against. Congratulations!

Did your horse win the race? Are you outraged that the mere embodiment of twisted time and dark knowledge could lay a hand on even a sliver of fair Sylvanas' soul? Hey, I love Sylvanas too, but lately I've been wondering where the heck her story is going, besides trapped in a dragonshrine in a preventable future. Let's see some movement on the Sylvanas story front.

Who wins? Echo of Sylvanas vs. Murozond
Echo of Sylvanas (End Time)2079 (46.4%)
Murozond (End Time)2401 (53.6%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Season 3 finale, Echo of Sylvanas vs. Murozond

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, bosses, leaders, and powerful figures of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

The fans have spoken, and your two finalists are chosen. The Echo of Sylvanas from the End Time dungeon will face off against Murozond, also from the End Time dungeon. I think we can say then that without a doubt, the new 5-man instances that dropped with patch 4.3 were popular enough to spawn some memorable bosses, specifically End Time. Nice job.

Murozond did not squeak by Mannoroth -- he trounced him. Taking 64% of the vote and beating Mannoroth by about a thousand votes, Murozond proved to be the real fan favorite and champion of his brackets. Using the cool hour glass factor as well as great encounter design memories and spectacular moments, the Murozond was raid-worthy in epicness but accessible to the entire World of Warcraft player base. That's an achievement all its own.

The real contest begins now, however, as Murozond and the Echo of Sylvanas go head-to-head, toe-to-toe, in a fan favorite matchup that will rival all previous finales. Rally your troops, because this is going to be down to the final few votes -- I can feel it. If you want to watch either one of these bosses dominate, it's time to vote now.

Who wins? Echo of Sylvanas vs. Murozond
Echo of Sylvanas (End Time)2079 (46.4%)
Murozond (End Time)2401 (53.6%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Echo of Baine vs. Peroth'arn

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, bosses, leaders, and powerful figures of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

With a resounding roar of the crowd and the spectacular boom of the fireworks overhead, Season 3 of Two Bosses Enter has begun! Our first matchup mixes up the past and the future in one fell swoop by bringing two combatants from two edges of time into the same arena. From the bleak future of End Time comes the coalesced fear, anger, and sorrow of tauren chieftain Baine Bloodhoof, a powerful entity lingering on in an Azeroth obliterated by Deathwing. Plucked from the past is Peroth'arn, a satyr guard of the Well of Eternity, placed in the majestic palace courtyard to ward off invaders of the Well rituals. Both of these combatants have their work cut out for them in this matchup.

Since many bosses are being designed these days with area of effect abilities and environmental obstacles that must be overcome in order to defeat the encounter, I want to stress the rules a little bit on Two Bosses Enter -- environmental abilities and cool stuff are fair game and always have been fair game. The arena can be whatever you want it to be. For instance, Echo of Baine has a very cool ability with which he destroys platforms floating in lava. From here on out, the mages of Dalaran employed by the great Tirion Fordring on his Board of Tournament Creation and Trusts will now magically transform the arena into whatever the combatants could reasonably ask for. Remember this when discussing the outcome, readers.

Who wins? Echo of Baine vs. Peroth'arn
Echo of Baine (End Time)2078 (65.2%)
Peroth'arn (Well of Eternity)1107 (34.8%)

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

The Guild season 3, episode 8 (with gag reel)

Another excellent (and a little disturbing) episode of The Guild is out right now on MSN Video and the usual places (including right after the jump on this post). Wil Wheaton returns to his role as the rival guildleader, and the rival guild continues to push the envelope on revenge. Tink makes a return as well, but as for how that goes, we'll let you watch the show yourself.

Elsewhere in Guild news, Wil Wheaton also made an appearance as himself on the geeky sitcom The Big Bang Theory last night. If you missed it, CBS has a few clips up on their website to watch right now. The appearance isn't actually World of Warcraft-related, though the game has appeared on the show before (and Felicia Day and I talked about Big Bang Theory a while back on our podcast). And The Guild has also posted a second season 3 gag reel, with behind the scenes footage of all of the guys... cursing like sailors. Enjoy!

Like The Guild? We do, too! We chatted with all of the folks at BlizzCon, including Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, and Jeff Lewis and Michele Boyd. We also saw their panel, and the guys were nice enough to stop by our meetup as well. Stay tuned here every Tuesday for a brand new episode of season 3!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor

Videos from The Guild panel at SDCC '09

Fan of The Guild? Me too! And you didn't go to Comic-Con last weekend? Me either. Fortunately for us, Microsoft kept the promotion cameras rolling almost the whole week long, and so there's more footage of The Guild at Comic-Con than you probably have time to watch today (although as long as your boss stays away from looking over your shoulder, you can probably give it a try). They went behind the scenes of the show, Felicia Day chatted with Xbox Live's Major Nelson, and the cast talked about what it was like to be around all of the energy at Comic-Con. There's not a lot of new stuff that fans of the show don't already know, but there are some clips of the panel in there, as well as some shots of the characters as they showed up to the Con: dressed in their in-game costumes.

Some of the videos are also available right on Xbox Live (and there's quite a bit of Xbox and Microsoft pimping in the videos, but what do you expect -- not only did MS fund the show's season, but they apparently hooked them up with a party bus and a party to go with it at the Con), and YouTube is also brimming with clips from the panel. Apparently the Whedon-directed music video is also now available on Xbox Live as well, so that should be something to see. Season 3 is just around the corner, and we're still expecting to see these guys at BlizzCon in a few weeks, so stay tuned for more Guild news as we hear it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Guilds, Odds and ends, Humor, Fan art

The Guild shooting season 3, fires director (not really)

Our friends over at The Guild are hard at work on season 3 -- if you've been following their Twitter feeds, you'll have seen that shooting is underway en masse, and while we haven't yet heard when they'll be done, it sounds like they're already keeping some long hours over there. Such long hours, in fact, that tempers are apparently flaring on the set -- as you can see above, director and editor Sean Becker has become a victim of Felicia Day's (substantial?) wrath, and been fired from the show.

Ok, not really -- they're just joking around. But even if he's kidding about what's in that "guild 3 master" box, we at least know there is a season 3 master, and that sooner than ever, we'll be able to see just what happened when Codex took that out-of-body sprint at the end of season 2. Can't wait to see it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor

The Guild hosts a Worst Guild Candidate Ever video contest

The Guild (which, as we were told by Michele Boyd last week, just started putting together their third season last weekend) is having a video contest, with a little twist. They want you to make a one minute video of a potential guildie for The Guild that would obviously get rejected -- in other words, a worst guild candidate ever video contest. So maybe you could clearly be a loot hog, or not know anything about your character (but claim to know everything). Or whatever else you come up with -- it sounds like they want the entries to be as embarrassingly bad as possible. To enter, you'll just have to create a video, upload it to a sharing site like YouTube or Vimeo (make sure you save a high-quality original of it just in case), and then drop them an email with a link to the video.

Sounds like fun. If you win, you'll get featured on their website, and/or have a chance to get your video on their season 3 DVD release. They've also got legal rules over on their site (unfortunately, it's US-only, like so many other contests on the Internet), and have discussions about the contest going on their forums as well. Good luck to all who enter -- we can't wait to see the results!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Guilds, Contests, Fan art

The Guild in Second Life on The Copper Robot

Our friends at The Guild made an ingame appearance the other day, but not in our game -- they showed up as avatars in Second Life as part of a talk show called the Copper Robot. Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), and Jeff Lewis (Vork) all stopped by to talk to journalist Mitch Wagner (whom I met on the TUAW Talkcast last night), and you can watch video of the proceedings over on their blog, or just listen in to the audio if you'd like. And there's news about season 3 in the interview -- it should be happening, though Felicia says they haven't gotten "an official pickup" yet, and she hasn't started writing yet. The season 2 DVD is also coming soon.

What's perhaps most interesting about this interview is that the Guildies all used custom-made avatars to appear in the game. Second Life, if you've never played it, is more of a sandbox MMO than the strict rules and design of World of Warcraft, and players have mostly complete freedom to make themselves look like whatever they want. And so a few fans from a site called World2Worlds actually made some avatars for the Guild folks, and they based them off of the (also fan-made) art of the characters. We've never seen footage of "the game," as the characters in The Guild call it, so this is the first time we've seen these avatars represented in any game. Very interesting. The show has a Flickr group, so if you want to check out more shots of what they looked like in-game (including some nutty Vork antics), check that out as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends

The Queue: Trial and error

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hello, everyone! Did you all grieve for me yesterday when The Queue never showed up? Yes, I apologize. My internet connection going down for 14 hours sort of caused some problems. But I'm back and better than ever! Well, I'm back at least. That second part is still up for debate.

Spoonman asked...

I have been hearing that the price for epic flying mount is going to drop to around 2500g, have you heard anything about this?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Arena Junkies looks at some Gladiator statistics

You have to be real careful about how you put together statistics. As Gregg Easterbrook said, "Torture numbers, and they'll confess to anything." So, grain of salt, people. That being said, Arena Junkies has put up a pretty interesting compilation of numbers. They took a look at their (fairly substantial) membership, and figured out the approximate class makeup of each Arena season's Gladiators.

The results aren't exactly a surprise, which supports the analysis's validity. Warlocks -- once the Arena juggernaut to the sounds of much QQ -- have lost 8% of their dominance in the Gladiator ranks. By comparison, Rogues have picked up 6.5%. Druids are the big winners, though. Only 7.5% of Season 1's gladiators were druids, compared to 16% of Season 3's. And yeah.

There's a lot of metagame interpretation that could be done regarding these numbers. Melee have slowly risen in power over the span of three seasons, and Paladins -- once the bubbling unstoppable -- have really dropped in performance. Druids used to be unremarkable, but now the "science" of Line-of-Sight and Mobility has taken the day.

Arena Junkies promise to further update their analysis when the Hall of Fame is updated for Season 3. But I agree with Tyveris: I think the current sample is indicative, and we're not going to see any huge differences between these numbers and those.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, PvP, Classes, Arena

Arena Season 4: Everything we know about the brutal season

Arena Season 4 is finally here. After a long wait of 30 weeks, longer than previous Arena seasons, Blizzard finally decided to end Season 3 and foist upon the public the widely regarded as brutally ugly Brutal Gladiator gear. The new season is different in that virtually all armor pieces and weapons will have personal ratings requirements in order to purchase them. What do we know about the new season and the events that led to it?

It's been a long time coming.
Arena Season 3 has dragged on long enough that we've speculated on the reasons for Blizzard's delay and even planned around it:
  • Read our report on Drysc's comment about letting more Sunwell Plateau gear spread into the playing community before starting Season 4 in Season 4 and PvE progression.
  • We examine the implications of a long season and how the new mechanics can help stem the flow of Brutal Gladiator gear too rapidly in The Long Wait for Season 4.
  • We've been drooling over the gear as early as February when the first leaks of Brutal Gladiator items leaked through MMO Champion.
  • The wait has been so long that a lot of people have been banking the maximum 75,000 Honor and 5,000 Arena points in preparation for Season 4.
New season, new rules.
Season 4 is a more brutal season in many ways, the most significant of which is the ratings requirements for most of the Brutal Gladiator items:
  • We found out about the extremely prohibitive 2200 personal ratings requirement for Season 4 shoulders when items snuck out on the European Armory.
  • Drysc talks about new team and personal ratings requirements for Season 4 of 2200 for shoulders, 2050 for weapons, and the ratings for everything else.
  • Season 4 will continue to implement the closely tied relationship between personal and team ratings started in Season 3, which Bornakk explains in detail.
  • With the new rules, there are new benchmarks for everyone to achieve, whether it be a modest 1550 or a lofty 2200. Of course, 2000 doesn't mean squat.
Are you ready for Season 4?
We've asked this question several times in the past, but now that the season is finally here, are you really ready? Read on a few pointers on how to survive the new season:
  • Know absolutely nothing about Arenas? And by nothing, we really mean WoW Rookie-style nothing. Head on over to our completely n00b-friendly FAQ for Arena dummies.
  • A new Arena Season isn't just for PvP players, it's for entrepreneurs, too. Read about how enterprising players can make money when Season 4 opens.
  • Not very good at PvP? If your team can only scrape by and not make the personal ratings requirements for Season 4, there're always the epic gems for sale for Arena points.
  • Just in case you want some pointers on how to do better in Arenas (and get more than just welfare gems), you might want to check out some videos of the best of the best.
  • After Season 3 is done, we hope you made sure you qualified for the end-of-season rewards. If not, you can always prepare for this season.
  • If you aren't too big on Arenas, Battlegrounds enthusiasts can take advantage of Season 2 gear going on sale for Honor in Season 4.
  • Just in case you have the banked Arena points and manage to achieve the required personal ratings, are you really sure you want to buy that brutally ugly gear?
  • So maybe you have decided to buy all that ugly gear. Check out WoW Insider's extensive Brutal Gladiator and Guardian gear guide to shed a little more light on your decisions.
  • Maybe reading through our gear guide has actually convinced you that they're not so bad, after all. You can take a look at all the gear in detail in our Brutal Gladiator Arms and Equipment Gallery. Don't forget to click on the Hi-Res button for a higher resolution picture.
Keep checking back on this post as we continue to grow our Season 4 coverage.

Filed under: Odds and ends, News items, Features, Guides, Arena

Arena Junkies fires up S3 Calculator, hooks up with Curse

Arena Junkies has been pretty busy lately -- not only are they updating their Season 3 title calculator in preparation for the new Season, they've partnered with Curse to improve their service.

The Season Three Arena Title Calculator by Arena Junkies is created by some pretty involved techniques. They start by plunging a few teams in each bracket and battlegroup as far down the ranking ladder as they can possibly get. Then, the theorycrafters at Arena Junkies do their very best guess about how many teams are inactive. Using that data, they math out what ranking you'll probably need to achieve a given title. As AJ points out, though, this is just an estimate. They don't have the behind-the-scenes data anlysis to guarantee what will be required, and the ranks will be at least a little fluid until the very end. However, as you grind your Arena ranking as high as you can tonight, this'll give you an idea of what title you might expect when S4 starts. Assuming you meet the requirements, of course.

The Curse announcement last week was a little more vague, and there weren't definites about what the partnership would mean for Arena Junkies. According to Tyveris, the existing staff members are still in charge of the site, and very little will actually change. What it will allow them to do, however, is add new features in the coming months. It'll be interesting to see what those features are, and whether it's part of that premium package that was mentioned a few months ago.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Arena

The Art of War(craft): Of Duelists and cupcakes, a farewell to Season 3

In the end we fell short. Last night, our team played its last Arena game of the season after an hour-long wait only to win 1 rating point. It had been that way most of the season, and in the end, it took its toll. We close Season 3 likely to fail in attaining our goal of making Gladiator, falling just outside of the projected 0.5% of our Battlegroup. Scheduling conflicts precluded further games for the week, and as the hours whittled down and everyone was getting tired and sleepy, we mustered enough courage to call it for the season. We thanked each other, logged off the game, and turned off Vent. For what seemed like a long time, the only sound I could hear was the drone of my computer's fan before I finally headed off to bed.

It had been a wonderful, if ultimately disappointing, experience. I love PvP. It's my favorite thing to do in the game. These past few weeks, I dreamt of Arenas every night. Our window was closing and we couldn't find the schedule to grind the final stretch. Last week, we only managed 12 games on a Monday prior to maintenance to scrape by on the minimum requirements and, with wins of 1 or 2 points each, didn't manage to get much closer to our goal for end-of-season rewards. Despite having won hundreds of games with a win percentage of around 81%, we ended up frustratingly short.

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

The Art of War(craft): Choosing PvP targets part I

My wife's Holy Priest got ganked on the Throne of Kil'jaeden the other day by a full Season 3 MS Warrior. She grouped with a Shadow Priest who was questing in the area and had also fallen victim to the bloodthirsty Human. They got ganked a couple more times while I took my Shaman over to lend them a hand. We managed to take down the ganker several times but not before he almost killed the poorly-geared Shadow Priest. Every time that the Warrior would rezz, he would immediately Charge the Shadow Priest and proceed to Mortal Strike him to within an inch of his life, despite getting heals from my wife's Holy Priest and my Restoration Shaman.

After several more tries, the Warrior mounted up and proceeded to taunt me away from the group, the only one he hadn't yet ganked, but I simply brushed him off with a /bored emote. My wife wondered why the Warrior kept on going for the Shadow Priest instead of herself. It only made sense, I replied, pointing out that the Shadow Priest was the most logical target considering he was undergeared. My wife countered that she wasn't equipped in PvP gear, either, but I reasoned that since he'd killed her once, he knows she's not specced Discipline because he's seen Spirit of Redemption pop up. That meant no Pain Suppression, and that there's no way she could heal through his damage.

One of the most crucial skills in PvP is choosing the right target, and encounters, matches, are won and lost through choosing the right target. This necessitates a full understanding of the limitations of one's own class, a moderate knowledge of other classes, a familiarity with gear, and an awareness of one's surroundings. It's rapid threat assessment and measured response. Almost every encounter will be different, even with the same players involved. Even with a lot of experience, choosing targets in PvP can still so often go wrong.

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

Blizzard cracks down on arena win trading

We already know that Blizzard is tweaking arena rules to make it much tougher to artificially inflate your rating by win trading or buying high ranked teams in Season 4, but it looks like they're starting to take it one step further, by cracking down on people who indulge in it.

Reports are coming in from the official forums and from other spots around the web of people getting bans or suspensions (generally 72 hours in length) and having their Season 3 arena gear stripped. The bans are even permanent in some cases, such as that of Sinther of Stormscale, whose account was permanently banned when his friend used it to do some win-trading, with the win trading given as the specific reason for his banning. You can read many of these stories and reports in this forum thread.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Alts, Arena

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