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Posts with tag season-6

Arena teams hit 3k


A pair of 3v3 teams from the US Bloodlust Battlegroup -- aka BG9 and reputed to be the best US Battlegroup -- recently hit the 3000 rating, the hard cap for Arena ratings. A few other teams following closely behind at 2953 and 2949, making it likely that they, too, will hit 3000 before Season 6 is over. This has caused a bit of a stir in the Arena community, although it's not entirely unexpected considering all the changes that had been made to the Arena system since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. In fact, some had predicted that this season would see teams hit 3k legitimately (unscrupulous win-traders have hit the ceiling before).

The two teams, big furious joke and sup fresh our turn baby, an RLS (Rogue, Warlock, Shaman) and a RetPR (Retribution Paladin, Priest, Rogue) respectively, are composed of members who have performed consistently well through different Arena seasons. The Rogue of big furious joke, Nutzz, is rumored to be the legendary Neilyo, who grew to infamy with his popular series of PvP videos. Its Shaman, Douja, formerly played pro for Team Pandemic. The other team's Paladin, Euneek, topped his Battlegroup last season using the Holyplay (Ret Pally, Priest, Shaman) comp. None of these guys are slouches and aren't likely to have win traded the way teams in the past have in order to reach the hard cap.

Their recent achievement has brought the current Arena system under scrutiny, as Blizzard has stated before that they never intended for players to reach the rating ceiling. Considering the system has undergone numerous changes in the past few seasons, it's not unreasonable to think that it's due for another overhaul. Regardless of the system, a 3k rating is an incredible achievement. Congratulations on jobs well done.

[Thanks to cigarillo for the heads up!]

Filed under: PvP, Arena

Should Arena rankings be determined by class?


An interesting thread popped up on the forums regarding Arena representation, noting class disparity and how it might be possible to rate performance based on a player's class. Balancing all the classes is an ongoing struggle and has been one of Blizzard's greatest headaches in PvP design. In Season 5, Holy Paladins and Death Knights dominated the Arenas, with Warriors getting the very short end of the stick and having the lowest number of Season 5 Gladiators. The original poster points out Blizzard's continual, active revision of the Arena ratings system and suggests that the system itself might be flawed. Because the rating system is "blind" to class or even classes in team compositions, for that matter, players using an "OP" class have an advantage.

The poster goes on to suggest that rankings be based on the class, rather than overall Arena population. This means that the percentile used to determine end-of-season rewards will be applied on a per class basis, thereby granting all classes conceptually equal representation. Ghostcrawler gives the suggestion some merit, even going so far as to say Blizzard isn't "above iteration on the design" of the Arena system as evidenced by their proactive adjustments to it.

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

Arena Ratings system and requirements to be changed


This week saw the influx of the first batch of iLevel 232 Furious Gladiator weapons into the community. They're awesome weapons and just about the most accessible iLevel 232 items in the game. Available for a mere 50,000 Honor and 1,400 Arena points, the first tier of Furious Gladiator weapons require an 1850 team and personal rating. This is a rather easy rating to obtain in the 2v2 format but slightly more difficult in 3v3 and 5v5 because of several factors including the population competing in the respective brackets.

I mentioned off-hand in last weekend's WRUP that Blizzard borked the system again, and it turns out they did -- Crygil recently announced on the forums that they are working on an in-game update that should improve the ratings system of the 3v3 and 5v5 brackets to allow players in those brackets to achieve ratings similar to what can be gained in 2v2. They are also pushing the requirement of the iLevel 239 Furious Gladiator weapons from 2200 to 2350 to prevent more mayhem because, well, it's kind of too late to take back all those iLevel 232 weapons running around now, isn't it? The good news is that Blizzard is properly rewarding the other brackets after three seasons of having 2v2 advance faster and farther in ratings. The Arena Ratings system has undergone several iterations since it was introduced so you'd have thought Blizzard fixed it somewhere along the road. Apparently they didn't.

Crygil also points out that for Season 7, Blizzard plans to revert the requirements for the highest rated Arena weapons back to 2200 but ensure that the difficulty required to get those ratings are "closer to what is intended". This means that Season 6 is just about the best season to get into Arenas because ratings come rather easily. You know how Blizzard keeps on nerfing Ulduar so more people can experience it? This is the time to try out Arenas because the new progressive ratings system feels good. Just don't get used to it too much because Blizzard is going to 'tweak' the system again for Season 7.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

Encrypted Text: Tips for Rogues in 2v2

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 some of the tricks and strategies behind Rogues in 2v2.

An old friend approached me last week with the prospect of playing some 2v2 arena with his mage, who had recently hit level 80. Luckily his rolls are amazingly gifted, and he already had a pretty nice set of gear to play with. I equipped my Sinister Revenge and switched one of my dual specs to Mutilate, and that night we entered the arena to play as one of my favorite comps (behind Rogue+Rogue of course!).

Because of my high ratings in Season 5, we were instantly matched against 2000+ players in our very first games. While 2000 isn't quite 'Gladiator' status yet, we were definitely playing teams with some experience under their belts. I had a great time playing, as it was my first set of arena games since the end of Season 5. Mage & Rogue is a comp with some very potent synergy, and a fast-paced playstyle that brings out the best in our class.

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Filed under: Rogue, Tricks, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Arena

Maintenance for Tuesday April 21st

The opening announcement in-game tells us that there will be maintenance tomorrow from 3:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 a.m. EDT until 11:00 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT. Hopefully this downtime won't be a repeat of the patch 3.1 downtime we saw last week where the servers were offline for most of the day and evening.

There is a lot of recent announcements about events happening in the game in the near future. There will be a talent reset accompanying a client-side patch soon, a long list of in-game fixes, and the likely start of season six.

If there is a patch tomorrow, we'll keep you updated on the site with the latest.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Preparing for season six tomorrow is "still the plan"

Zarhym has reaffirmed a comment that Blizzard made in the past telling players they should expect season six to start as early as tomorrow, and that "this [statement] is still the plan."

Given the lack of solid statements made by Blizzard in saying anything is or will definitively happen with the game, this is about as much confirmation as we can hope for in hearing that season six begins tomorrow.

About a month ago there was it was reported that when Season Six went live all ratings would start at 0 and work their way up, instead of beginning at 1500.

Today's news, combined with the fact that there will be a talent reset in a client side patch very soon, probably means there'll be a small patch tomorrow morning. While we're not going to wave flags and say there will be one, no one here at WoW Insider will be surprised if there is. And hopefully now, you shouldn't be either.

Of course, stay tuned throughout the evening and tomorrow morning. We'll bring you the latest.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Arena

The Art of War(craft): Wintergrasp in Patch 3.1 and beyond


I love Wintergrasp. Five months into Wrath and I think it's still one of the most fun things to do in the game. Lag issues aside, I think the zone has been a great success if only by judging through the number of people on my realm who participate in every battle. The general impression that I get from forums, blogs, comments on this site, as well as fellow players is that Blizzard did a good job with Wintergrasp. It's fun, fast, and extremely rewarding -- Honor gain during one game is insane and the items you can purchase with the Wintergrasp Marks of Honor are pretty good (we'll get to that in a moment). Patch 3.1 is going to bring some improvements to the gameplay, as well, so let's take a look at those things first.

All players who attack a siege vehicle should now get credit if it is destroyed.
Previously this worked similar to tapping a mob, where the player or raid that first tapped the siege vehicle would get credit. This made it harder for multiple raids or ungrouped players to complete Stop the Siege!. This change should solve that problem neatly.

Daily quests Slay Them All! (Horde) and No Mercy for the Merciless (Alliance) have had their PvP kill requirements reduced to 10 from 20. NPCs defending the fortress and south towers now count toward these dailies as well.
Enemy players have the same tapping mechanic as mobs, so even though a player can get Honor from a tapped enemy, they wouldn't count towards completion of the aforementioned quests. Similar to the vehicle problem, ungrouped players or those in smaller raids would often come up short of the requisite 20 kills during one battle. Obviously, changing the tapping mechanics for players isn't the solution, so Blizzard made the kill requirement lower and included NPCs as valid targets. The latter change is probably aimed at lower population servers or realms where Wintergrasp participation isn't too high, as well as realms where there's a distinct faction imbalance.

The number of NPCs defending fortress has been increased.
Again, this should make it easier for players to complete the daily quests as well as move up in Rank. The NPC guards don't hit hard and have very low hit points, so they're really just cannon fodder for quest and rank requirements. I'm not a big fan of too many NPCs in a PvP zone, but this change seems to have been necessary. Players on defense often hole up in the fortress, slowing down offense's rank gain. Having more NPCs lowers the effectivity of that delaying tactic.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Arena Season 5 to end as soon as April 14


Bornakk posted a tentative date for the announced end of Arena Season 5, indicating that the season can end "as early as April 14" or a week after. It should be noted that the first four Arena seasons had no breaks in between, with one season beginning immediately after the last ended. Arena seasons were only suspended upon the release of Patch 3.0 leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, with the first season of Level 80 Arena play beginning on December 16. This time around, however, Bornakk makes it clear that the next Arena season will not begin immediately but have at least a one week break before Season 6 begins.

This should also be taken as an indication of when Patch 3.1 will be released. Blizzard has stated that they plan to unleash Season 6 almost simultaneously with the new raid content, so if Season 5 ends within two or three weeks, it should be expected that Patch 3.1 is just around the corner. It might even come sooner rather than later, as Blizzard has noted that Season 5 would "end with or shortly after" Patch 3.1 goes live. All of the necessary files such as Season 6 items are contained in the patch, so this only makes sense.

Bornakk reminds all players who feel they will be eligible for end of season rewards, such as titles and the Deadly Gladiator's Frostwyrm, should refrain from transfering their characters to another realm until after Season 5 ends (or until rewards have been handed out to be safe). During the break between seasons, all ranked matches will be disabled and all Arena points and ratings will be wiped [EDIT: Arena points and ratings will continue to be available during the one week break to allow players to spend their points, but will be wiped when Season 6 begins.]. However, players will retain their matchmaking ratings and Honor points.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Arena

Arena Season 6 details revealed


Blizzard Europe poster Ancilorn posted the lowdown on Arena Season 6 (Bornakk posted the same on the US forums), which is slated to begin at around the same time that Patch 3.1 is released. There will be some key changes to this season, the biggest of which will be that all teams will start at 0 rating instead of the traditional 1500. This way, players will generally have an upward progression throughout the season before plateauing at their estimated skill level.

Another change is that Blizzard has reevaluated the item requirements, feeling that many of them were too difficult to obtain. The lowest rating requirement for an item is currently set at 1250, which may seem low but considering players will be progressing from 0, that's a 1250 point spread. In Season 5, the lowest rating requirement is 1615, which is a mere 115 points from the starting point of 1500. It remains to be seen how much of the continually changing Arena system will award points and how easy or hard it will be to move upwards from 0. More details on the ratings after the jump.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

The Queue: Glory of the Hero


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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hey, everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to remind all of you that Adam and I are not the same entity, even if we both have A names and contribute to the same column. There's been a lot of confusion over the last year, so let me repeat: Adam Holisky and Alex Ziebart are two different people. Adam is not Alex, Alex is not Adam. And when you throw Allison into the mix, Allison is neither Adam nor Alex and they are not she. Are we on the same page here? Great.

Herumor asked...

"As things are now without the Maelstrom, is there any point to adding the upcoming water mounts without a large water based area? I don't really see a use for them other than showing off, and even that's kind of difficult to do."

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Filed under: Mage, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The evolutionary design of Arena gear


When we reported on MMO Champion's sneak peek at the new Furious Gladiator gear, you might have found that new Arena sets were somewhat familiar. They should be. Arena Season 6 item sets are slight variations on a theme. Most of the pieces are recolored versions of the Season 5 multi-tier sets, but the head and shoulder pieces are entirely new models.

What many players who don't like the sets seem to miss on is that this is something entirely new in the game. Blizzard has always done recolored versions of armor, but this is the first time by my reckoning that they have done evolutionary tier gear. [EDIT: This isn't entirely true. Reader Suzaku pointed out that the leather armor from Level 60 PvP sets evolved. My bad on missing out on that.] When I first encountered Blizzard's new multi-tiered PvP gear system, I was apprehensive about the next season's gear because I was afraid it would be difficult to match pieces visually. Arena gear had, prior to Season 5, been mere recolors of PvE raid sets, so there was no contuity from the one season to the next.

The problem with that was upgrading from one season's set to the other created visual clashes. As much as we like to min/max, PvPers like to look good, too. Enter Season 5 and the multi-tier gear system. There were three different sets of gear but all of them melded seamlessly into the other, with minor discrepancies in color. The introduction of an entirely new set of gear with completely different designs in Season 6 would have invalidated not just one but three sets of gear. However, the new design philosophy builds upon the older models, evolving -- as Alex put it -- like Azerothian Pokemon.

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

Season 6 PVP sets are a true upgrade

Here's a really interesting followthrough by Blizzard I never thought I'd see. You may remember a thread a few months back where the OP complained that the PVP sets were boring-looking or visually uninspired; Zarhym responded matter-of-factly replied that the looks of the armor sets would improve over time. While PvE players receive loot that was (ostensibly) culled from the sinewy piles of continually larger and more powerful foes, PvP players receive gear crafted by their faction's tailors, smiths, and leatherworkers -- gear made to get the job done. As one became more and more renowned, their gear would reflect said prestige. I imagined that statement meant that the new models for Season 6 gear would be (subjectively) cool-looking and (objectively) different.

Well, MMO Champion has put up a mostly-complete preview of Season 6 gear models pulled from the seedy underbelly of patch 3.1's data files, and I'm a little surprised and a lot impressed.

Yes, you're probably having the initial reaction that I did upon clicking the link above. "These sets look like what's available now," you're saying, brows furrowed, lips pursed. They do look quite similar, but take a closer look. Things have changed!

We talk a lot about upgrades here, but these new sets go beyond stat increases -- the armor has been visibly beefed up, more parts of your body covered, more adornments added, more magic seeping from its seams.

The shaman head and shoulders appear to be morphing from the pebble-smooth surface into something far more menacing. The paladin's armor has become adorned with glowing gems and the neck protected. There's a gradual metamorphosis going on here that really shows what Blizzard was talking about when they said that the PvP set models would improve over time, and I can't wait to see what Season 7 looks like.

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

Season 6 weapons as good as Ulduar drops


As an addendum to the recent Arena system FAQ posted on the forums, Kalgan addresses several concerns about the gear, the system, and questions of skill vs. gear. In a very forthcoming and transparent post, Kalgan admits that Blizzard "botched the ilvls" of the current Deadly Gladiator weapons by making them a full tier below the items from Kel'thuzad in heroic Naxxramas. At the time they designed them, Blizzard didn't account for how easily accessible Kel'thuzad would be.

He promises they won't make the same mistake in Season 6, and that the new Furious Gladiator weapons would be equivalent to the items in Ulduar. Kalgan explains that the aim is to balance the accessibility of the items so that the number of raiders who have access to the best raid weapons is roughly the same as the number of Arena players with access to the best PvP weapons. He even goes so far as to say that Blizzard will make two tiers of PvP weapons if necessary. This might have been in the original plan as Hateful Gladiator weapons are in the game files but not available in the game.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Arena Season 6: Rise of the Furious Gladiator


Kalgan hopped on over to the forums to make a significant post that previews what can happen in Arena Season 6, the tiers of gear available, and what will happen to the Vault of Archavon. One of my fears going into the next Arena Season was that Archavon the Stone Watcher would lose his relevance, as he drops significantly lower tier gear a full season behind the current one. This would have greatly devalued control of Wintergrasp.

However, Kalgan reveals that a new boss in another wing of the Vault of Archavon will drop the Furious Gladiator pieces. He makes no mention of past season's gear, and says that the new boss' loot table will be structured slightly differently drom Archavon's. This could mean that the 10-man version can drop the Honor-bought non-set pieces rather than a lower tier of Arena gear and notes that the boss will not drop the chest piece. In the same post, he pegs the chest piece at a 1750 rating requirement, which should probably indicate that the boss will not drop items with a higher requirement (head, shoulder, weapon, etc.). This is an important announcement that ensures the relevance of Wintergrasp. The boss is also expected to drop Tier 8 pieces, making it equally appealing to PvE players.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Forums, Arena

The Queue: Frost resistance, hot or not?


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.

We're very light today, as most Mondays are. Coming off the weekend when everyone is playing instead of reading we're pretty short on questions that aren't repeats! No need for elongated excuses, though. Let's dig into the few questions we do have.

Phyalt
asked...

As a healing Priest should I be worried about frost resist going into Naxx?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

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