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Posts with tag skirmishes

WoW Archivist: Warlords of Draenor hates The Burning Crusade

Draining a naaru
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

In many ways, The Burning Crusade was the birth of modern WoW. Most of TBC's innovations are still going strong in WoW today and have been ever since their introduction. Looking back, it's striking how many key features of WoW were absent in classic, only unveiled during the game's first expansion.

Even more striking, however, is how many of these innovations Warlords of Draenor seems poised to undo. Just as Garrosh will undo the transformation of Draenor into Outland, Warlords seeks to unravel most of what Blizzard innovated during TBC. The next expansion will take us through a portal into a very different WoW.

Archivist has now covered all the major patches of The Burning Crusade: patch 2.0.1, patch 2.0.3, patch 2.1, patch 2.2, patch 2.3, and patch 2.4. Now it's time to review the expansion as a whole -- and explore how Warlords will make most of TBC's innovations disappear into the nether.

Dawn of the quest hub

The idea seems so obvious it's hard to imagine that classic WoW actually didn't have quest hubs, at least not in the strict sense. WoW was the first MMO to promote the idea of leveling mainly through quests rather than grinding mobs. So Blizzard had no model to look at when they were designing the original quests.

In classic WoW, quests were put into the game wherever the developers thought they made sense, mostly from a lore perspective. Quests didn't necessarily guide you through a zone area by area. Quests were scattered, and their objectives were, too. They weren't breadcrumbs -- they were meant to be discovered. They didn't hold your hand -- they sent you on an adventure, like it or not.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Warlords of Draenor: PvP rework brings back Skirmishes, adds Spectator Invites

Blizzard posted a blog today that should make every PvPer really excited. It seems like they have shifted their thinking away from the proposed rework of the ladders and gone to a more inclusive feel, with a nod towards tournament organizers getting an easier ride too. What are the changes? Let's spell it out:
  • Trial of the Gladiator is gone, removed. This is due to concerns about the proposed system.
  • Skirmishes, un-rated arenas which you can solo-queue for or do with friends in 2v2 and 3v3, are in.
  • Skirmishes reward honor and have the chance to award a bag containing gold, more honor, a small amount of conquest points or something else entirely
  • A Spectator Invite system has been added, allowing players to put Wargames together and invite spectators. This is specifically aimed at tournament organizers, but could be a boon for streamers or casual observers in parties with players doing wargames.
  • Tournament gear is in for Wargames only.
Why should you be excited? Well, Skirmishes for one. These casual games allow players to try out arena by themselves, another solo-queue option that WoW PvP has sorely needed for some time, since Skirmishes were replaced with Wargames when Cataclysm launched. Not to mention earning honor from them! While many PvPers have allowed themselves to dream about Skirmishes' return, I don't think any of us ever dreamed we could earn honor from them!

What's more, the addition of Spectator Invites and Tournament gear makes it far, far easier for would-be tournament organizers to put contests together. We can all hope to see more and more Arena tournaments coming out of the woodwork with these additions!

Filed under: PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Does PvP need more queueing options?

WoW Insider received a question to our tip line from a player who's lost their way a little when it comes to PvP:
I greatly enjoyed PvP during Cata, but I just haven't been able to get into it during MoP at all. I'm part of a small guild (4 active players), and none of them enjoy PvP. Since I usually have to go it alone, I have a preference for the larger BGs -- AV and Isle. It's easier to be a part of the crowd where individuals carry less weight, but still feel useful and able to help in the smaller skirmishes along the way.

PvE has several queuing options -- LFR, Flex (with a group), Scenarios, regular dungeons and heroics. There's a size and activity for everyone.

PvP on the other hand has BGs (random or rated) or arena. While not quite adding more options, do you think Blizzard may consider separating out the BGs into different sized-based queues?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Blizzard confirms that skirmishes will return

Blizzard confirms that skirmishes will return!
Blizzard's recently recruited PvP designer Brian Holinka has confirmed via Twitter that skirmishes are coming back to WoW.



PvPers rejoice! Our unrated arenas will be making a return. They were removed in Cataclysm, for those who don't recall, and replaced with the current wargame system, which is great for players who want to face off against specific teams or comps, typically higher end players who have a good network of other PvPers, but far harder to use for players who only PvP casually, or don't really have many PvP contacts. A major downfall of the wargame system was that it required not just one, but two teams, so a minimum of four people, and those people had to be willing to split into two groups of two, and face off against each other. Certainly no great demand, but a good deal harder for the casual PvPer to pull off than simply hopping in a queue.

The skirmish system, although, or perhaps because, it awarded no points and no rating, was a great way to try out new classes, new comps, or new specs, and generally just have some fun in the arena without the pressure of dropping rating for your team. It was PvP for the sake of PvP, just because it's fun, and WoW Insider is thrilled to hear of their return, even if it's not in patch 5.3. We're holding out hope for patch 5.4, how about you?

Filed under: News items, PvP

Only Arena skirmishes from level 71-79, ratings back in at 80

Just in case you wanted to know what the deal was with Arena ratings as we all headed to level 80, let Bornakk clarify for you -- while level 70 rated fights will still count, levels 71-79 are back to skirmishes, and rated fights can only happen again at level 80. And while Bornakk doesn't mention season timing at all (does Blizzard ever, beforehand?), our guess would be that they'll hold off on announcing any new PvP items until a good number of people have had a chance to level up to 80 and get situated in the brackets -- of course, depending on how fast people level up, that could be pretty quick.

But he does say that there will be no more new level 70 rewards, so what's out there right now is what you get. What we still don't know is whether Arena points from level 70 will carry over into the level 80 bracket, or whether there will be a complete reset of all the ratings and totals for the new bracket. There are good arguments for both sides (some players want a fresh start, while others don't want their winnings so far to count for nothing), but so far we haven't heard anything official yet.

So there are still a few things for Blizzard to decide with the higher level Arena system, but they've got time -- it's unlikely that they'll make people rush to 80 just to get involved in the Arena. It seems that when these next ten levels of content come out, Blizzard will switch some focus back to PvE and battleground PvP rather than the Arena game.

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

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