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Posts with tag season-5

Ghostcrawler talks a bit about Resilience


Let's face it, Resilience blows right now. In their effort to give escalating rewards through the Seasons, Blizzard allocated minimal Resilience for Season 5 gear. It's not bad, but in order to make Resilience count, you would need to stack over 1,200 Resilience Rating to hit the optimal cap. That's not even possible with the current gear. In order to even reach about 900 Resilience Rating -- the point where its effects start to be palpable -- players would have to gimp themselves with all their gems and enchantments. This means severely lowered damage output.

In the current Arena setting, it's all about burst damage, with matches lasting nowhere near as long as they used to back before Wrath of the Lich King. Ghostcrawler pops over the forums to talk a little about Resilience and how Blizzard feels that it still makes, or will make, a difference. He explains that the reason so many players are wearing PvE gear to PvP is because its readily available, going so far as to call Naxxramas gear the new welfare epics. He says that as more players get Resilience, other players will have to keep pace.

That might take some time. Like I mentioned, even with a complete set of Deadly Gladiator gear and non-set items, it's going to be impossible to hit the Resilience cap. Resilience makes very little impact in PvP encounters right now that the risk to using PvE gear over PvP gear is minimal. Hitting 600-700 Resilience is very possible with a decent complement of PvP gear, but this only reduces damage from crits by about 17% at best. Resilience in its current design does nothing to reduce normal, or non-crit damage. Until more Resilience shows up in PvP gear or its coefficients or ratios changed, the trend of using a lot of PvE gear will probably continue throughout Season 5.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds, 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

Going to Northrend for the holidays

It's the day after Christmas. A fair portion of our readership is only now getting Wrath of the Lich King installed on their computer, especially after the gift exchanges of the last few days. Over the weeks since Wrath's release, we've had quite a bit of content to ease you through your first steps into Northrend. With this latest wave of people hitting the frozen shores for the first time, it's a good opportunity to look back on a lot of that.

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Filed under: How-tos, Walkthroughs, PvP, Quests, Expansions, Factions, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Encryped Text: One Rogue's take on Season 5

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we discuss the new Arena Season 5.

Like many of my siblings of the shadows, I play WoW in both the PvP and PvE environments. As a guild leader, it is my responsibility to organize raid groups and to lead my team to victory (and the associated purple loot). While keeping up Hunger for Blood & Slice and Dice & Rupture up may seem interesting for others; after a while the raid DPS grind wears away at my soul. I was not born to be a number-crunching math machine. I am a Horde assassin at heart: born to taste the blood of my Warchief's enemies!

I have been flexing my PvP muscles in the new Lake Wintergrasp and Strand of the Ancients battlegrounds, though I find myself sitting in a turret or catapult fairly often. The arena has always been my true love. It was what brought me back to WoW for TBC, and it is what tempted me to level in Northrend for the next installment. With Season 5 now officially underway, my week has consisted of the most bloodthirsty battles I have ever been a part of. So go buy your Hateful Gladiator's Band of Triumph (best initial upgrade with no rating requirement) and read on!

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Filed under: Rogue, PvP, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

The nipples of dragons


So, Arena Season 5 has started. There's a lot of new stuff, and it's pretty cool how it's easily available to everyone, isn't it? Except for the top gear, pretty much everything can be farmed even without having to do any PvP whatsoever. All very well and good, but have you actually taken a look at any of the new PvP gear? Back in Burning Crusade, the Arena sets were mere re-colors of the raid sets, a mistake that Blizzard said they'd avoid in Wrath. They made good on that promise with Season 5, but somehow, the appearance of the sets are kind of... meh.

The lackluster designs came under fire on the forums a few days back, and Zarhym was quick to defend the art team, saying that "the looks of the sets will improve as the seasons continue," and that if Blizzard had started the first sets with awesome designs, the latter seasons might see Thrall being worn around players' heads. It's a pretty funny joke, but I'm not quite sure it holds water. Zarhym continues to say that the design philosophy is that "in PvE you're killing very rare and challenging creatures of Azeroth, while in PvP you're receiving gear from the crafters (so to speak) of your faction to get you battle-ready."

He goes on to make a truly memorable line, "chances are you're going to be given the gear that'll get the job done rather than the gear that has to be constructed entirely out of the nipples of a 7,000 year-old dragon." Now that's pretty clever. It makes a lot of sense, too. Except, my question is, why can't 'crafted' gear that 'gets the job done' be, well, badass? Remember the Level 60 PvP sets? Now those were totally badass.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Humor, Forums

Wrath 101: PvP welfare gear


With gear upgrades these days being so easy to come by, I'm not so sure 'welfare epics' is such an accurate term for PvP gear anymore. That said, Arena Season 5 started the other day without so much as a whimper. It kind of crept in quietly, without even a patch to go along with it. I'm sure it's taken a few players by surprise to see so many new PvP gear available from different sources that it can get confusing. I know I wrote about it in an old post, but quite a bit has changed since Beta, and some things don't quite apply. Don't worry, we're here to help you make sense of it all.

First of all, in the new PvP rewards system there are three tiers of PvP gear. The Savage Gladiator, Hateful Gladiator, and Deadly Gladiator are equivalent to Level 80 dungeon blues, 10-man raid epics, and 25-man raid epics respectively, with a lot of item points thrown in the way of Resilience and sometimes Stamina. These items aren't the best for PvE, so gear accordingly. You'll be wasting a lot of item points by way of Resilience, so keep in mind that all this new gear is best for your Battleground and Arena pursuits.

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Filed under: Items, PvP, Guides, Arena

Season 5 FAQ continued

Is it true that all Arena and Honor PvP gear require Arena ratings now?
No, although the very best ones do. Savage Gladiator gear are excellent rare quality items that require no Arena points to purchase but cost quite a lot of Honor. These items are also purchasable with Emblems of Heroism, so players don't even have to participate in a single Battleground or Arena match in order to buy them. [EDITED: Removed all reference to Arena requirements for Savage Gladiator gear]

Hateful Gladiator items require more Honor and Arena points and decent performance in Arenas... if you choose to buy them from an Arena Vendor. The gloves, chest, and leg pieces all drop from 10-man Archavon, so you can get Hateful Gladiator items from sheer luck. All Hateful Gladiator pieces, including the shoulders and head, are purchasable with Emblems of Valor. Most casual players will have a shot at Hateful Gladiator gear even without having an Arena team simply by joining a 10-man Archavon PUG.

Even Deadly Gladiator items, the best of the best PvP has to offer, can drop off the 25-man version of Archavon, so again players needn't worry about Arena ratings. The only real pieces that require any true participation and dedication to Arena play are the Deadly Gladiator weapons, and head and shoulder pieces. These are not available through any other avenue but Arena points and personal and team ratings of 2030 or higher.

So contrary to what many players have been crying about, this ironically makes Season 5 the most casual-friendly season and allows even complete carebears to run around in full PvP gear. It makes no sense, but the system is actually much more accessible than any other season before it.

But what about the filler pieces like the belt, boots, and bracers?
Hateful Gladiator Honor pieces do not require any Arena ratings but cost quite a bit of Honor and can be bought in the Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar or the Champion's Hall in Stormwind from the Apprentice Armor Quartermasters. Deadly Gladiator Honor pieces only cost Honor (no Arena Points required) but have moderate personal and team ratings. This means that players wanting the absolute best PvP filler gear must participate successfully in Arenas in order to purchase an Honor item.

Note that since no Arena points are required, players need only to play enough games to raise his or her personal and team rating to the required level and purchase the item. Since personal and team ratings are calculated live, players can become eligible to purchase items as soon as their ratings change with every match.

Should I even bother with Savage Gladiator gear?
It could be much worse. Savage Gladiator items are several steps above the craftable PvP sets but inferior to the easily obtainable Hateful Gladiator gear. With persistence and luck, it's far easier to get Hateful Gladiator pieces off 10-man Archavon or even Deadly Gladiator from the 25-man if you get into a group. It will take much longer (you can only try Archavon once a week) but if you shun PvP, it's definitely the best route.

On the other hand, Savage Gladiator items confer the Gladiator bonuses, which the craftable PvP sets lack. It also has higher Resilience and Stamina as well as sockets. Honor is extremely fast at Level 80 and it's possible to get over 10,000 Honor in a day casually playing Wintergrasp and some Battlegrounds. It will take some time considering the cheapest piece, the gloves, cost 50,000 Honor. I recommend pursuing the shoulder and head pieces first if you are eyeing Savage Gladiator at all. [EDITED: Removed all reference to Arena requirements from Savage Gladiator gear]

Where are the Savage and Hateful Gladiator weapons?
Good question. It seems like Blizzard has decided to restrict Gladiator weapons to the Deadly Gladiator or 2030 level. In the Beta, there were three tiers of weapons similar to how there are three tiers of armor sets, but these lower tier weapons no longer appear to be available. It remains to be seen whether they'll bring them back at some point in the future, although it's not very likely.

Will there be better Level 70 Arena rewards?
No. Go buy Wrath of the Lich King and level up. Level 80 is where it's at.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Arena

UPDATED: Season 5 FAQ


Just like that, Arena Season 5 sprang upon Wrath of the Lich King. Even though Blizzard already made the announcement, it still feels kind of sudden. If Season 5 caught you with your pants down (we really hope not), then let's get you up to speed with what's happening in the latest and (hopefully) the greatest Arena season yet. Here's a quick FAQ about the new Arena Season 5.

NOTE: Most of these answers are based on information taken from the Patch 3.0.8 PTR, such as gear availability and ratings requirements. If the items don't show up when servers go live today, this post will be updated when they finally do.

At what level can I join Arenas?
You can enter Arena skirmishes at any level, with brackets at Level 71-75 and 76-80. However, only Level 70 and Level 80 players may participate in rated Arena matches, acquire personal and team ratings, and earn Arena Points to purchase Arena gear. Only Level 80 players are eligible for end-of-season rewards such as titles and possible new 310% speed flying mounts, although none have been announced or found in the data files as of this writing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Guides, Arena

Do you care about PvP anymore?

Today, our own Zach Yonzon asked if you were ready for Arena Season 5. This led me to reflect and realize that no, I'm not ready. I don't even know if I'd say not ready so much as finally, completely and totally uninterested in PvP entirely. I simply don't care, not even remotely. I don't care about Wintergrasp, haven't been there since it opened. I don't care about Strand of the Ancients, or any of the older battlegrounds. I sure as heck don't care about Arena and I'm not trying to come up with a comp for any of the brackets there. By intertwining the aspects of PvP as they have, making it so any of the decent rewards require you to do both arenas and gather honor points, Blizzard has finally succeeded wildly in their 'Make PvP totally uninteresting to Matt Rossi' program. They've been working on it for a while but with Wrath of the Lich King, they've finally delivered the goods.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

Breakfast Topic: Are you ready for Season 5?


It's finally here. The real reason I rushed to 80 and moderately gear up by mid-December is because I wanted to be ready for Arena Season 5. To be quite honest, now that it's here, I'm a bit nervous. Not nervous, that's not the right word... giddy, I think, excited like a six-year old going to the playground. Strangely, though, I've been having so much fun in Wintergrasp that I've hardly given a thought to Arenas.

Now that I've given mulled it over a bit, I realize that the gear gap -- or lack of one -- is going to become immediately palpable simply because so much gear is readily available in Northrend. Any player who has just hit 80 will have immediate options for gear, and it won't be so hard to catch up or gear up for Arenas. Even without Resilience, so much gear has massive amounts of Stamina. I mean over 100 Stamina for a trinket? That's kind of insane. Players have so many options for gear now that some people won't even be doing Arenas to get Arena gear.

It's going to be a completely different ballgame. The presence of Death Knights will completely change Arena PvP, as it already has in PvE. Knockback effects such as Thunderstorm or Typhoon will be exciting tools in the movement-heavy environment. How will players react to a sudden Death Grip into the opposing team's kill zone? Will HoT-impairing effects like Shadow Embrace or Plague Strike be enough to curb Druid dominance? We'll see. It's exciting. Are you prepared for Season 5? Not just in terms of gear, but psyched and ready for the unpredictability of the metagame, at least for the first few weeks?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King, 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

The Queue: Death Knights in the arena and other things


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.

Hey, welcome back! How was your Thanksgiving, my American pals? Did you sit around and laugh at Europeans like I did? You did? Great! High five! No, I'm just kidding, I love all of you equally. My Thanksgiving was pretty good! Well, as good as Thanksgiving can be when nobody feels like cooking so you buy a pound of sliced turkey and drop it in a pot of warm canned gravy, toss some of it on bread, and have a can of jellied cranberry sauce on the side. It's not good unless you can still see the can ripples in it. Mmm. Can ripples. Delicious.

Right, right, the Q&A! Let's start with Rasman's question...

I was just thinking about Death Knights and PvP and realized, Casters are really going to be hurting in the areas now if they match up agianst a DK. Death Knights don't care about your casting bar because they can just yank you in or go Vader on you because you forgot his cookies, and choke you for the Silence. Matter of fact, if they get you close, they really have 3 or 4 ways to interupt those casts, if you include the stun from an Unholy DK's Ghoul, that is. Am I just stammering on and not knowing what I'm talking about, or are Death Knights going to make this upcoming Arena season VERY Melee heavy?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, The Queue

Arena Season 5 start date announced

The big announcement has been made, and it's about what one might have expected. Season 5 for the Arena will begin on December 16th, when level 80 characters will begin rated play to compete for gear and end-of-season rewards.

This announcement came during a reminder that the "Limbo Season" will end this Tuesday. That means you're not going to get Arena points for any rated matches you're playing this week. There will be no rated Arenas again until December 16th, which is kind of a shame when you consider the two new Arenas in place.

A side effect of this announcement, of course, is that we now know for certain when Blizzard expects most of their players to reach level 80. Since you have to be 80 to get into the rated matches, you can guess the developers were waiting for a significant portion of the playerbase to be ready before starting the season. No doubt, high end Arena fighters will already have been storming the battlegrounds and collecting honor before the season starts.

WIth the gear changes and mechanics changes, it's going to be exciting to see the first season of Wrath. I'm definitely excited to see what new dynamic Death Knights bring. It's certainly going to be a different show. Good luck!

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

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

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