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Posts with tag season-4

The Guild season 4 begins

The Guild fans, rejoice!

The award-winning web series starring Felicia Day is back for a fourth season of quirky comedic goodness. Episode 1, entitled Epic Guilt, is available right now for your viewing pleasure via Bing and the Microsoft Network. If you need to do some catching up on the storyline or just wish to refresh your memory of the happenings in the season 3 finale, head on over to The Guild series channel and search for what what you need -- it's all there.

We've previously interviewed Felicia Day, most recently at BlizzCon 2009. And of course, she was also kind enough to stop by our BlizzCon reader meetup and say hello to everyone.

Enjoy the show!

Filed under: News items, Humor

65% fewer Arena teams in Season 5

Roma Victor over at Gameriot had an eye-opening entry recently that gives some hard numbers to a phenomenon that I'm sure a lot of players have known for a while... fewer people are playing Arenas lately. A lot fewer. About 65% fewer. He perused the Season 5 ArenaJunkies title calculator which allows players to see the cutoff for titles according to Battlegroup and compared the numbers to Season 4 -- a season already notable for having low participation due to its proximity to Wrath of the Lich King and steeper ratings requirements on gear.

The numbers were, as Roma Victor put it, "not pretty". Actually, the numbers were downright ugly. Take, for example, the cutoffs for the Bloodlust Battlegroup, the notorious BG9 where Arena participation has historically been intense. Last season, the top 235 teams in 2v2, top 92 in 3v3, and top 27 in 5v5 brackets were eligible to earn the Gladiator title. This season, those numbers dropped to 93, 36, and 8 respectively. That's a whopping decline in participation across the board in the most active Battlegroup in the US! ArenaJunkies also has numbers from Europe, Korea, and Taiwan and all of them show the same thing -- there are fewer players participating in Arenas than probably ever.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Arena tourneys need more Blizzard support?

Here's an interesting post on GotGame that sounds different from almost everything we've heard about professional Arena tourneys and Blizzard so far. Whenever we've talked to anyone involved with Arena tournaments, they've always told us Blizzard is very supportive of the events. But this post alleges otherwise -- they say that Blizzard is falling short of professional Arena support.

There are two main complaints: first, that Blizzard doesn't supply any onsite Arena servers. We know this is true -- Blizzard has event servers that they use for events like this, kept offsite so they don't have to set them up all the time. But GotGame claims that this causes problems -- as much as 300+ ping, which in the quick world of Arena matches, is practically unplayable. We're not sure why Blizzard doesn't allow setups on site, but that seems like a reasonable step to take if they're serious about making professional Arena big.

The second is a little tougher: this post claims that Blizzard has brought the pro Arena servers up to the Season 4 patch, but locked the gear down at Season 2. Our own Zach Yonzon says he's not sure where the Arenas are -- he doesn't believe that official Arena matches are underway after Wrath yet, and if that's true, then Blizzard may already be updating this (bringing the gear on the realms up to level 80 levels to match the talents). But either way, it's strange to hear someone say that Blizzard isn't supporting professional Arena matches correctly. You'd think that if they were as into supporting WoW as an e-sport as they say, that they'd address some of these concerns.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Contests, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

The future of healing in the Arena

If you've been in the Arena during Season 5, you probably have noticed a particular change to the way gladiators fight. It can be summarized in a single word: "Damage." In the bygone days of Season 4, drain teams and Mortal Strike debuffs were all but an entry requirement to high ranked play. Without a strategy to reduce or nullify your enemy's healing, you were unlikely to produce sufficient burst DPS to actually kill anyone. A few double-DPS teams managed to thrive, but for the most part, a gladiator's number one priority was shutting down the healer.

That dynamic is all but dead in Season 5. Players output such a high level of damage compared to other players' health that healing is almost a non-factor in most matches. My friends, Ghostcrawler is aware of this dynamic, and is looking into it. (It turns out, Ghostcrawler mostly plays a healer in the Arena.) As stated by the crab himself, the Arena should not simply be about burst damage. (Nor, however, should it be solely about healing or solely about crowd control.)

Of course, Ghostcrawler does admit he has difficulty saying what the long terms plans are going to be. The design team hasn't had enough whiteboard time to say anything with complete honesty. But he also hopes that as more Resilience gear enters the PvP system, the damage might scale down to be more reasonable. (To quote, "It's mostly just math.") Still, there's hope that future teams will include more than just seeing which team can burst down the other first.

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

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 season 4 over, season 5 to begin December 17th

Gnorog on the EU forums posted notice a while ago that Season 4 is over. That means that all arena teams and ratings have been cleared, and arena charter NPCs have been disabled.

Your arena points will stay with you until you reach level 71 however.

But the end of Season 4 isn't the news.

Season 5 will begin on December 17th for those players that have reached level 80. That's just a few days away. For those that haven't, the skirmish brackets of 71-75 and 76-80 are available. The time is now to start organizing your arena teams and get them in gear for the upcoming events.

With all the changes in Wrath the next arena season promises to be interesting. Here's to bigger and better weapons! /cheers

Filed under: News items, PvP

Bug rewards free and discounted PvP gear [UPDATED]

The mail debacle isn't the only strange thing coming out of today's maintenance. PvP armor, both honor gear and arena gear, have had their prices all screwed up.
  • Select Season 4 weapons have had their rating requirements removed.
  • Select Season 2 weapons have found themselves bearing rating requirements they didn't previously have.
  • Warlocks and Priests can purchase full sets of Season 2 gear at absolutely no cost whatsoever.
  • Select Season 4 accessories can be acquired at no cost.
  • The Brutal Gladiator's Hatchet is completely free as well.

Those are only the things we know of right now, the problem may even go farther than that. I've checked the Tiers 4, 5 and 6 vendors with a few friends of various classes and haven't run into any oddities there yet. It seems exclusive to PvP gear.

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Filed under: Priest, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, PvP

The Art of War(craft): The limbo season

Welcome to the most worthless Season ever. This Arena period, not technically a season because there are no associated rewards, is a season in limbo. The end-of-season rewards for Season 4 have been handed out -- incorrectly in some cases -- and there is no scheduled end to the current one with no new gear will be released for Level 70 players. Unlike in the past, this season has an indefinite end for Level 70 players and no foreseeable continuity with future Arena Seasons which will be focused on Level 80 play.

Ironically, this is also the best season for a lot of players to catch up on their Arena gear. For one thing, the top Arena players no longer have anything to play for. Most have already gotten full Brutal Gladiator sets, their titles and / or mounts, and have no incentive to continue participating in Arenas. Because Arena points are wiped the moment a character levels to 71, players who have all the gear have no point in accumulating it. Because there are no end-of-season rewards, ratings don't mean anything. Lastly, dedicated Arena players typically use one season to gear up for the next. Because the next stage of meaningful competitive play is at Level 80, this makes the current season's gear useless for future Arena PvP.

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

Season 4 arena titles awarded incorrectly

The top arena teams of Season 4 have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their rewards since the launch of patch 3.0.2, but things haven't turned out quite right. The Customer Service forum is full of reports of titles not being handed out correctly, and an ongoing Blizzard investigation into the matter. A little digging of our own (and a firsthand account from our Rogue guru Chase Christian) confirms that there's a problem, but obviously we don't know the cause.

In a lot of cases, the top (the tippy-top, the #1) team in a bracket is receiving the title of Duelist, when they should be getting Brutal Gladiator and their Netherdrake pets. Players with a rating of 2100 or higher are earning only the Challenger title in some cases, and I think it's very, very safe to say that those players would be in a bracket higher than just the top 35%. Season 4 is not exactly known for having a glut of people nearing the 2200 needed for shoulders.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Arena

Patch 3.0.2 release date revealed

If you remember from yesterday, various developers and CMs posted across the official WoW forums that Season 4 will be mostly ending on the day patch 3.0.2 is released. Today, Nethaera posted some additional information: Season 4 will end on October 14th. It was not explicitly stated by Nethaera that patch 3.0.2 will be that day, but two plus two equals four, you know?

This is pretty much exactly in line with the date most of us have been guessing here at WoW Insider, but let's be honest. It wasn't hard to figure out, and I'm sure all of you guys were thinking much the same thing. It'll be almost exactly one month between patch 3.0.2 and the release of Wrath of the Lich King on November 13th. It will also be after BlizzCon and not before it, so if anything goes wrong their lead devs can jump right back into work instead of needing to worry about the convention.

So start marking your calendars, ladies and gents. October 9th, WoW Insider meet at the Lost Bar. October 10th and 11th, BlizzCon. October 14th, Patch 3.0.2. November 13th, Wrath of the Lich King.

[ Thanks, Shawn! ]

Filed under: Patches, News items, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

Season 4 mostly ending with patch 3.0.2

Just moments ago, Eyonix posted some great news for arena players. Expected news, but still great. Due to the sweeping changes coming in patch 3.0.2, they're going to take a snapshot of arena ratings and rankings on the day of the patch, and use that information for handing out title and rewards. As far as titles and Nether Drakes are concerned, that will be the end of the arena season.

The season will not completely end at that point, however. The Arenas will continue, and you will still be able to gain rating and arena points right up until the release of Wrath of the Lich King so you can finish getting whatever pieces of gear you'd like to take with you into Northrend.

I think we all knew they were going to do something along those lines. If they didn't, the entire season would essentially have been blown. Turning class balance upside down and adding a whole ton of new abilities to the game right at the end of a competition is just a poor move. I think this is the best compromise, too. Ending the season while still letting people gear up for Wrath is great. Raid zones aren't shutting down with 3.0.2, so it would be a little annoying for PvPers if the arena did.

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

The Colosseum: Reflex, Vengeful Gladiator

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into duelling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

At the time of this article's posting, Passive Enemies is the #1 team in the 2v2 ladder on the Reckoning Battlegroup. SK Gaming's arena ranking tool reveals that they have third highest rating in the USA region. So, Passive Enemies is indisputably a strong team, with a powerful showing in the 2-person Arena. And this isn't their first season doing so -- Reflex carries the coveted "Vengeful Gladiator" title.

WoW Insider was able to catch up with Reflex while he was rocking out in Warsong Gulch, and he was willing to take the time to answer some questions for The Colosseum. Take a look after the jump to see what he had to say.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Interviews, Arena, The Colosseum

Blood Sport: Arena-weary

It happens from time to time. Players get tired. Whether it's from raiding or PvP or just playing the game in general, there comes a low point where you just feel like taking a break. Right now, I'm just about tired of Arenas. This comes after a long wait for Season 4 to start. It just doesn't feel as fun anymore and even a little stale. Nothing significant has changed from the last Season, with the biggest -- if it can be called that -- class balance change coming in the form of a nerf to Cheat Death. Class representation hasn't changed, with Druids, Rogues, and Warriors still generally on top of the 2v2 and 3v3 food chain.

I write this knowing that two classes I play -- Paladin and Shaman -- are bottom-feeders in the 2000+ range in 2v2 and 3v3 brackets (along with, you guessed it, Hunters). That's fine. I know my classes' places in the hierarchy of Arena viability. Pro player Serennia's poor and embarrassing use of the Paladin at MLG Orlando only further exposed the problems of the class in the 3v3 format. That's the reality, and I've dealt with it for the past seasons. I concentrate on our 5v5 where those classes are more viable, get my points, get my gear, and that's that. But therein lies the problem -- that's that. Nothing more.

Read more →

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

Blizzard updates armor sets page with Season 4

The World of Warcraft official armor sets page has been updated to feature the Season 4 or Brutal Gladiator pieces. Just as with past sets, you'll be able to review the armor pieces on each class and their respective races as well as view the stats for each item. Season 4 started on June 24, after a long 30 week wait since Season 3 began, finally opening the floodgates for Sunwell Plateau-level PvP gear. Check out WoW Insider's extensive Brutal Gladiator gear guide and comprehensive gallery for more detailed information on Season 4 gear.

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

Blood Sport: Gear decisions for S4

We're now a few weeks into Season 4. And, we've known even before it started that Season 4 gear would carry some rating requirements. And while we're all hopefully enjoying the new challenges of the new season, there are some folks who are starting Season 4 relatively fresh.

They don't have much Vengeful gear, or even Merciless Gladiator's gear -- they might be starting out in some quest greens and blues, with only a smattering of PvP gear across the character. Heck, some players might be in all Vengeful and Vindicator's gear already, and still facing the same question. Where should you start with the Season 4 gear?

Rating requirements and high point costs can make the gear curve seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Don't worry -- WoW Insider is here to help.

Let's chart a basic path of gear accrual -- via PvP only -- that will help every fledgeling PvPer grow into an Arena powerhouse. We're going to follow two paths, actually. One will assume that you do have the ratings required for each piece of gear. The other will assume that you do not have the ratings. In either case, our goal here is going to be to be sure you have a plan to pick up the available gear as you gain the available points.

Read more →

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

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