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Posts with tag season-3

When you are the weakest link

Our team tanked 76 points tonight. Despite winning five straight Arena games worth about 3 rating points each, we ran into a team that was pretty well-geared but were clearly playing below par. Unfortunately, our leader disconnected midway through the match, and even though we were outplaying the opposing team, the loss of our primary DPS and tunnel vision (he plays a Rogue) was enough for the opposing team to eventually burn us down for a 27-point loss. Just like that, all our previous wins were nullified and we found ourselves lower than when we started. Familiar with the opposing team's make-up, we counter-comped and proceeded to beat them thrice in a row until the fourth game where, in the middle of the battle, everyone started running in place on my screen and nothing was happening. It was my turn to get disconnected.

I restarted my router and modem, waited a minute, and logged on to find we'd dropped another 25 points. Eager to recoup our losses against a team we were certain we could beat, we queued again. Not three minutes into the queue, my Vent went silent and I feared the worst. After making certain I had disconnected, I sent an SMS to our leader to tell him what had happened, went through the motions of connecting again and when I finally got on, I found that our team had tanked a total of 76 insane points. And it was largely my fault.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Holy Paladin! A 3,000 team/personal rating

While many people enjoy Arena play, for both fun and gear, some teams really stand out from the crowd. DonLolo z Wladem, a 2v2 team from Burning Legion EU has topped the arena charts with a 3,000 team rating. Not only does this team have no need to worry about rating requirements for Season four gear, but they will have plenty of arena points to spend once it is released. This rating yields 1,140 points per week at the 2v2 level.

The team is led by Noksil a Human Paladin. Noksil is the first player to reach a 3,000 personal rating. The build for this mighty combatant consists of 44 points in holy and 17 points in Protection. This build reflects the versatility of hybrid classes in DPS and healing. The team roster also contains two Subtly Rogues: Mnius with a personal rating of 2,883 and Tatus; who carries a rating of 1965 for the 15 games he's completed this season on the team.

Congratulations DonLolo z Wladem. Welcome to the Arena Hall of Fame.

Filed under: Ranking, News items, PvP, Arena

I love my PvP!

A while back fellow WoW Insider blogger Adam posted his thoughts on PvP, calling PvE the only real game. He makes excellent, valid points as to why he believes this is so, such as the fact that it is quite impossible to level from 1 to 70 through PvP alone. The game was designed around a PvE-centric environment, and the relatively late additions of the Battlegrounds and Honor system are a testament to that. In those respects, Adam is completely correct.

Of course, many of you took issue with his statements, even prompting him to publish his personal counterpoint on the matter. As an avid PvP player, I found some of what Adam said to be less than savory myself. It has to be noted that Adam has extensive PvE endgame experience, and his opinions come from a raider's perspective. I will concede his first two points -- you cannot progress in World of Warcraft through PvP alone and that PvP was a mere afterthought. On the other hand, Adam's other points don't quite hold as much water.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

The Art of War(craft): Making the jump from PvE to PvP

Let's face it, World of Warcraft is a PvE game. I know I once stated that PvP is inevitable and that everyone must go through it, but I've since been proven wrong by the rare breed of carebears who have never been flagged for PvP throughout their entire gaming lives. As much as I am loathe to admit it, Blizzard designed the game with PvP as a mere afterthought. I still don't think it's "the only real game" as Adam put it, but I think I'll write up a response to that another day. Despite the prevalence of Arenas and how its shaping the game today, anyone who isn't interested in PvP can very well skip it should she choose to. I said it was integral to the game, but admittedly probably only in my experience because it's my favorite thing to do.

On the other hand, with Patch 2.4, the game has never been more casual than it is now, with more rare and epic items available to more players than ever. PvP has become more casual, too, with a new bunch of PvP quests to add to the Gold-grinder's routine. For a few players, even those who aren't particularly into PvP, the Battlegrounds and World PvP objectives are more enticing, even if only once a day. The Spirits of Auchindoun quest in Terokkar Forest might be the easiest way to earn 12 Gold ever. Because of the changes, I believe that now is the best time for people to try out PvP -- from fresh 70s to longtime carebears.

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

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

Drysc reveals more about season 4 personal rating changes

Drysc posted yesterday to tell us a bit about what will be forthcoming when Season 4 hits the servers. It's honestly mostly stuff we knew already. Season 4 will not begin immediately upon the release of 2.4. Season 1 will go the way of the old level 70 honor gear and disappear from vendors, Season 2 will be gained via honor, and season 3 will go down in price, while still keeping the personal rating requirement to purchase the shoulders and weapon. However, the surprising little tidbit is how little they currently plan to change the requirement. Drysc quoted a requirement of 1950 for the shoulders and 1800 for the weapon. That's a total drop of only 50 points for each item. Of course, he also stressed that this information was not final, and neither the final requirement drop on season 3 nor the start date of Season 4 had been announced yet.

There is some concern from some comers that that drop is possibly a bit too low. Drysc responded to one player's voicing of those concerns with a somewhat cryptic reply that he thought they were making a few too many assumptions. I'm not quite sure what he could mean by this. I myself can't imagine a team that would climb to 1800 rating and simply satisfy themselves with season 3 weapons when they could make one last push to season 4 rating, so to me, the confusion is justified. Perhaps Drysc is hinting at a mechanics change in the way arena rating is calculated, or the fact that his numbers could easily change themselves? Perhaps he simply means that Blizzard is actively trying to shake the "welfare epics" stigma, and that people shouldn't assume they're entitled to low requirement ratings on the season 3 gear. I'd tend to lean towards that last one myself.

What do you think? Are these numbers too high? Are you expecting Blizzard to change them? Or do you applaud this as a step away from making Arena gear a welfare system for those who can't or won't raid or save badges?

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

Personal ratings required for S3 gear in Season 4

Arena enthusiasts might be elated to hear that the personal ratings required to purchase weapons and shoulder pieces will remain for the current Season 3 items even as Season 4 will introduce new items into the game. According to Tharfor on the European PvP forums, in response to a question as to whether the ratings will be removed from items as soon as the new season starts, the ratings requirement will still exist (to purchase but not to use) the item but will likely be lowered. It's highly likely that Season 4 weapons and shoulder pieces will retain the 1850 and 2000 personal rating requirements. Exactly how much of a ratings reduction Season 3 will see remains to be seen.

This means that players saving up Arena points in the hopes of obtaining a Season 3 weapon or shoulder piece will still need to have competitive personal ratings in order to purchase the items. This is bad news for those hoping to obtain easy welfare epics, but good news for some players who might feel that their item values would diminish greatly if the rating requirements were removed completely. At any rate, it looks like Season 3 will last for a while, so there's still time to jack those ratings up. Good luck, everyone!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Arena

PTR Notes: Class set changes

That was quite a big push to the PTR last night. In addition to Primal Nethers and Nether Vortices not being BoP, resilience affecting mana drain (which was buffed for warlocks), five new jewelcrafted trinkets, etc., several of the class sets were also changed:
  • [Paladin] Season 1/2 Retribution gear has resilience now (previously added, here for completeness)
  • [Paladin] Healing arena sets 4-piece bonus changed to "Increases the healing from your Holy Shock spell by 30%" (was "Reduces the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice by 10 sec")
  • [Druid] Restoration arena and PvP sets 4-piece bonus changed to "The casting time on your Healing Touch spell is reduced by 0.25 sec" (was 15% increase to the outdoor movement speed)
  • [Druid] Balance arena and PvP sets 4-piece bonus changed to "Your Wrath casts have a chance to reduce the cast time on your next Starfire by 1.5 sec" (was 15% increase to the outdoor movement speed)
  • [Hunter] Gronnstalker's Bracers: 22 haste rating changed to 22 crit rating
  • [Mage] Season 3 arena set 4-piece bonus changed to "Reduces the cooldown of your Blink spell by 2 sec" (was 0.15 sec reduction to Polymorph casting time)
  • [Shaman] Elemental Season 3 arena set 4-piece bonus nerfed to 50% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting Lightning Bolt (was 70%)
In addition, Flasks of Pure Death and Flasks of Blinding Light are now purchasable with Marks of the Illidari, Vial of the Sunwell's cooldown has been raised from 1 min to 2 min, and Sunrage Shoulderpads are now Sunrage Treads (boots) instead, with 8 more stamina but no blue socket. Whew, I think that's everything. What do you guys think of the class changes? Buff or nerf? Not you, Shamans, that's clearly a nerf. Sorry I don't have better news to report there.

[via MMO-Champion]

Filed under: Patches, Items, Arena

Season 2 Arena to sell for honor in Season 4

This wasn't exactly unexpected (Blizzard has, after all, already put Season 1 gear up for purchase), but Drysc has confirmed that Season 2 Arena gear-- that's the Merciless Gladiator gear-- will be available for purchase with regular honor as of Season 4.

As usual, Drysc provides a disclaimer that Blizzard may change those plans. And of course we have no idea yet when Season 4 will drop, although the usual Arena Season timing tells us that it will likely be sometime in March of this year (possibly with the release of patch 2.4, although as usual, we have no idea if the patch will come sooner or later).

But if you spent all your honor on Season 1 gear when Season 3 started, time to start saving again. Merciless Gladiator is going on sale.

Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Arena

No incoming fix for long arena queues

With the popularity of the new arena season, queue times across the servers are getting pretty long. This is especially noticeable in the 2v2 bracket, which is the most popular team size. When a player posted his complaints about the long queues today, Drysc chimed in to give indication that there will be no quick fix incoming. Instead, the devs are going to wait to get the big picture on the influx of PvPers instead of making rash decisions.

I don't know what your experiences have been like lately, but the queues on my main server seem to be getting longer and longer rather than diminishing. The new season has only been out for about a week now, so perhaps it's too early to expect interest to be fading, but I hope there is some sort of solution soon. I've contemplated moving up to the 3v3 bracket, but I've heard via word of mouth that those queues are getting pretty lengthy as well. Perhaps it's time to give 5v5 a chance once again, if I can corral some of my guildmates to chose a specific time to do our matches and stick with it.

What has your experience with the arena queues been like since the new season began?

Filed under: PvP, Forums, Arena

Armory updated for Season 3

Recently, Blizzard updated their Armory page with information pertaining to the new arena season. The addition that will likely be most helpful for players is the new listing of personal arena ratings which can be found in both the character and team profiles. The other changes include the listing of the new titles from last arena season. These will appear on character profiles, but only if they have already been selected in game. Additionally, all the new arena and honor loot has been added to the item database. Finally, the update page informs us that the Arena Hall of Fame will soon include the winners from Season 2.

If you'd like to check out the full listing of changes for yourself, be sure to click on the "Read" link below.

Filed under: Blizzard, PvP

Season 3 aspirations

The third arena season started yesterday amidst a flurry of activity on my server. Trades people were making gold by the handful. Non-raiders and alts everywhere suddenly received a huge boost from the first-season gladiator's gear which was moved to honor vendors. Last season's winners showed off their bugged titles and mounts while players across the servers began competing to win those rewards for themselves next time around.

I haven't been much of a PvPer on my main character, an Alliance rogue. In fact, I've been rather horrible at it. (I suppose I do better from range, since I always had much better luck as a hunter or warlock.) Nonetheless, I've been learning a lot in the past few weeks and have decided to aim for at least an 1850 rating this time around. For many hardcore PvPers, that goal is probably laughably easy to attain. For someone like me, who has basically died ten times each week to grab a few welfare epics, it seems rather lofty.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

PvP spending questions: Value vs. Cost vs. Time

With Arena Season 3 starting today, as you know, the Season 1 weapons and armor are now available for purchase with Honor. While some people may be able to just walk up and buy everything in the store, most of us have limited points to spend, and the right way to spend them isn't clear. In my case, for example, I find myself facing a difficult choice: Should I get a Season 1 epic weapon now, then spend my arena points on one piece of Season 3 armor? Or should I continue saving up my arena points to buy the even better Season 2 epic weapon later, and then spend my honor points on some Season 1 armor now? What is the real trade-off in terms of the relative value of items, their costs, and the time I'll have available to use them?

The particular character in question is my draenei hunter that I just finished leveling about a month and a half ago. I'm having trouble finding good upgrades in any remaining quests, normal instances, or even heroics, but sometimes I still feel quite behind a lot of the other players I see in the battlegrounds and arenas. I'll probably start going to Karazhan with this character soon, but ideally I would love to be able to gear up with PvP and get into my guild's Zul'Aman raids early. I'd like to start being more competitive in Arenas as well -- sooner rather than later. At the current rate I'm going, it'll take me another two months before I have enough Arena points to spend on a Merciless Gladiator's Crossbow of the Phoenix (from Season 2). If I bought the Gladiator's Heavy Crossbow (from Season 1) with Honor today, though, would that help put me on a more even footing with other players sooner? Perhaps I would compete more effectively and gear up in other ways much faster? Or is it really worth the wait for the better weapon? (In case you're wondering, the Season 3 Crossbow requires a 1850 personal rating, so it's something I can't get without serious gear improvements.)

What sort of PvP spending quandary are you in? If you're in a situation like mine, feel free to ask your question below, and see if our readers have an reply for you. Hopefully our new commenting features will help facilitate some practical suggestions.

Filed under: Hunter, Tips, PvP, Raiding

Extended maintenance and new Arena Season 3 vendors

In case you haven't heard, Arena Season 3 starts tomorrow. Blizzard is taking down the servers at 2 AM PST and is scheduled to bring them back up again at noon. When the servers come up, Season 3 will begin, Season 1 gear will be available for honor purchase and there will be new Arena Vendors.

You will no longer need to travel to Area 52, pile into the little hut and speak to the Pinchwhistles in order to buy your Arena gear. As of the beginning of Season 3, you will be able to purchase your Arena gear outside of the Arenas in Nagrand and Blade's Edge and even in the old world town of Gadgetzan.

How many pieces of Season 3 gear have you saved up for? What do you have planned for the downtime? (Other than reading WoW Insider and Massively, of course.)

Filed under: Events, Realm Status, News items, PvP, Forums, Arena

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