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Posts with tag smurfing

Relmstein explains arena team ratings, and how Blizzard is working to combat exploiting them

Relmstein of The Many Relms of Relmstein has posted an updated version of a post he originally wrote in 2006 that is one of the most concise and clear explanation of how team ratings work and how people exploit them, including how Blizzard's planned arena rule changes will help stop these exploits.

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

Blizzard and unintended consequences

Relmstein has an interesting post about Blizzard and all the "unintended consequences" they seem to run into. He talks mainly about Alterac Valley and Blizzard's recent AFKer battles, as well as the fight against smurfing and selling Arena ratings. Both times, Blizzard implemented fixes that were meant to, well, fix things, but both times, the "fixes" were either completely dodged, or simply lead to more problems.

Now, Relmstein is just thinking critically about Blizzard's actions, and we always encourage that. But at the same time, you can't really blame them for having unintended consequences to their ingame actions-- the law says everyone does. And to go the other way, the mere fact that Blizzard is confronting this stuff (honor exploits and rating sales) while other games are just trying to get PvP or a good Arena system down says that they're way ahead of the game already. They're dealing with specific problems in implementation, while other developers are still just trying to get people to play.

But at the same time, Relmstein is exactly right to call both of these examples Blizzard attacking the symptoms rather than the underlying problem. Why do people sell Arena ratings or AFK in Alterac Valley? Because Blizzard's honor rewards system makes it easier for them to do that rather than actually be good at PvP. If Blizzard attacked the problem (a mixed-up rewards system) rather than the symptoms (AFKers and smurfs), then there would be no dodging their fixes.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Battlegrounds, Arena

Season 3 Arena equipment change stops ratings abuse

Today's maintenance is over, but the Season 3 Arena gear drama has only just begun, or ended depending on your point of view. Late last night, Tyren posted that when the servers came back up there is a new change to purchasing S3 Arena equipment. Before the maintenance, a certain Personal Rating was needed to buy the S3 gear, but now the same gear requires the purchaser's Team Rating to be in the same range.

According to Jagoex at Warlock Therapy, this was done to stop a practice of artificially inflating your Personal Rating. Our own Zach Yonzon explained this smurfing concept. Players would form teams with their main and alts, winning with their mains and losing with their alts, thus ensuring a slow and steady Personal Rating gain. Now that the equivalent Team Rating is required, those people working the system have to play the Arenas the way Blizzard intended.

Tyren also mentioned that though the new purchasing requirements are in effect as of today, they won't be displayed by the in-game vendors yet, but in an "upcoming patch." So though you won't see it listed in-game, the Team Rating is now required.

EDIT: Clarified last sentence.

Filed under: Items, News items, PvP, Arena

Arena smurfs are "100% awesome!" according to Blizz

Arena Season 3 has just arrived, and players everywhere are enjoying the end-of-season rewards for Season 2. Whether it's a title of Gladiator, Duelist, Rival, or Challenger, or even the Merciless Nether Drake awarded to the upper .5% percentile of the Arena population, this season seems to be have come to another successful close. Or has it?

WoW Insider reported buying the Drake and other interesting sales and trades but it seems that if there's a system, players will find a way to... uh... be creative. A couple of posts over at the PvP forums are hotly debating the latest and greatest technique to achieving the No. 1 Ranking in Arenas -- win trading.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, PvP

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