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Posts with tag ttr

Highlights from the 2008 Arena Tournament and TTR


Last year's arena tournament was a lot of fun. Prior to the 2008 tournament Blizzard has a Tournament Test Realm open for everyone to log on and play with. The test realm let them get the mechanics for the real tournament realm ready before hand, allowing Blizzard to work all the kinks out.

We had a lot of coverage of the event, and some of it is pretty interesting to go back and read.

There were two main tests, called stress tests. These were where as many people as possible logged on and attempted to play. You can check out our coverage of Stress Test I and Stress Test II.

And of course, the highlights of the stress test were the GMs that came and spawned all sorts of terrible creations.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

Wrath of the Lich King beta quietly ends

Crygil sprung an odd announcement on us all tonight shortly before 2 a.m. EST: The Wrath of the Lich King beta is over.

I actually did a double take when I read this. Date check out? Yup, 11/4/2008. Time? Yup, 1:52:22 a.m. EST. Actual blue poster at forums.worldofwarcraft.com? Yup.

Ouch. Beta over at 2:00 a.m. PST.

No end event? No advanced notice? Just goodbye?

This hurts.

It's kind of like that girlfriend who you thought was really great, only to find one morning when you wake up that she's gone and all her stuff isn't there anymore. All you're left with is a note: "It's over."

Well maybe it's not that bad, but still. I know I wasn't the only one expecting an end event like they've had during past betas, or during some PTRs. Those were fun, had lots of people and interaction with Blizzard. There was even one PTR event where a few other writers and I got whisked away by a GM.

I gather we'll all have to wait to experience an end event in the future. Oh well. At least we have the memories of past fun to look back on.

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

Tracking the Tournament Realm rankings from the armory

If you're interested in keeping track of the 3v3 Arena Tournament, You can look at Vhiari's breakdowns, sure, and good ones they are. But there's also another resource that should come in handy: The official ladder listings right on the official Armory. By choosing the Coliseum 1 battlegroup, you can see the rankings for the Tournament Realms. The current top 3v3 team, Outrageously Better Pros, Is a Priest/Rogue/Druid team, although the Druid has no games played. Maybe they used to be Priest Mage Rogue, which is a pretty strong combo these days.

It should be fun to watch these rankings as the tournament progresses, both to see what class and spec makeups stay near the top, and to see what outrageous and silly names people can come up with for their teams -- without breaking the naming policy, that is.

What's interesting to me is that despite the fact that the Tournament itself is 3v3 only, the 2v2 and 5v5 brackets are still in full swing, with quite a few teams. I suppose this is a sign that people really do like the idea of a good solid PvP only realm to duke it out with high powered characters to prove their worth. I have to wonder if Blizzard is watching those brackets as closely as they're watching the 3v3 bracket, or if this is a sign that they may make these arena practice realms more permanent in the future.

Either way, all this activity should be fun to watch. Keep your browser pointed to WoW Inside for all the latest Tournament Realm news, including the escapades of our own WoW Insider Arena Team.

Here's some arena page trivia too, while we're on the subject: Mike pointed out to me that the blade that Draenei chick on the arena ladder page is holding is known as The Hungering Cold. Its model was used for the Infamous "Sword of 1,000 Truths" in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft." It currently drops in Naxxramas, so chances are we'll see it again come Wrath of the Lich King.

Filed under: Ranking, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

Vhiari posts Tournament Realm ratings data


Vhiari has released some interesting stats about the Arena Tournament realm over on his Blogspot site. What he did is take the top 5000 (due to "Armory limitations," he says) personal ratings in each bracket, and then charted them according to classes. Keep in mind that this is the Arena Tournament realm (the live realm data is also available separately), so this is more an indication of what players are doing so far on the tournament realm rather than class viability in day-to-day situations.

But keep in mind also that Blizzard is watching the Tournament realm closely for PvP balance, so what we see here could have some hints into the future of Arena changes. Mages especially don't make out too well on the 5v5 chart, and Hunters don't appear to fare much better. Warriors, as you might expect, are off the charts, but comparably on 5v5, Druids aren't at that level. Rogue placement is a surprise, too, but Vhiari just says in the comments that that's more an indication of how many people rolled rogues on the TR rather than a signal that Rogues are rocking 5v5.

Interesting stuff. Unfortunately, the data is a little too fuzzy to pull off any serious conclusions (even if Mages aren't getting high ratings, this chart does nearly nothing at all to help us figure out why that might be), but it's an interesting look at what's happening on the TR so far.

[via WoR]

Filed under: Mage, Rogue, Warrior, Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Classes, Arena

Arena Tournament: Tales from day one


Last night, the WoW Insider arena team stepped into battle for the first time on the arena tournament realms, and it was immediately apparent that things were going to be quite different from our experiences on the tournament test realms.

For starters, there were way fewer people. I also noticed that, contrary to my expectations that everyone shelling out an extra $20 to play here would be a hardcore arena-goer, there were many people on just to have fun. General chat was full of people who didn't know where to go, how to allocate their talent points, and even people who hadn't formed teams yet!

Still, despite the fact the vendor areas had a drastically reduced population, the queues were amazingly short, as Adam points out. Often, I was reading that my team had joined the queue at the same time I was clicking to enter the battle.

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Filed under: Horde, Druid, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, Arena

Development servers in live?

With the game updated to patch 2.4, and the servers "scheduled" (I use the term loosely) to come online in 15 minutes, I'm presented with a nice little server selection box when I log in. Complete with a new location (Blizzard's catogorization, not mine) to choose: "Development."

What is this?

When clicking the name I'm not seeing anything different. It still shows the realms off line. In fact, it's the only option. Now my memory isn't completely clear here, as it's something I've always just clicked on, but for my U.S. account the options there have always been "United States" and "Oceanic." So what's this new tag about? The only time I've seen this has been on the PTR.

I have a few guesses.

First, and quite likely the most plausible explanation, is that it is an artifact of the servers being upgraded. Blizzard takes the servers down, the put them into a special mode, and they update them as needed. That could be all this tag is about.

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Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

PTR is closed, 2.4 testing done [Updated]

Drysc just posted that the PTR is closed and that patch 2.4 testing has concluded. His announcement in totality reads: "The doors to the 2.4 Public Test Realm and Tournament Test Realm are now closing. We wanted to thank everyone for their participation and bug reports, and we'll see you on the live realms!"

WoW Insider will have extensive coverage throughout the day on patch 2.4. From the new gear, to class changes, to the new sights and sounds, we'll have it all covered.

This is a very strong indicator that 2.4 will be released tomorrow. I'll update as soon as official confirmation comes through that it hits the live realms tomorrow.

Updated 11:27 p.m. EDT: MMO-Champion is saying that 2.4 is tomorrow based on the above Drysc post and other hints from blues and GMs. Based on my information and my own experiences I am highly inclined to agree with them. However it's not official until a post or notice from Blizzard completely confirms it.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, News items

Hunter's Helper running beta test

If you're a fan of Gazmik Fizzwidget's addons (including Feed-o-matic, ReagentCost, and Linkerator), you'll be happy to know that he's already jumping on top of patch 2.4, and in fact he's working right now on a beta of one of his most popular addons, Hunter's Helper. You can download the beta over on WoWInterface -- it won't work so well under WoW 2.3, but it's designed to be taken out on the TTR (or the PTR, if that comes back before the patch drops), and tested out.

Since it's likely that the patch will drop tomorrow, hopefully Fizzwidget has worked out most of the kinks. But it's awesome to see an addon developer ready to go for a brand new patch -- it's too bad that Blizzard hasn't been more proactive in helping these guys out with distributing their new versions around a big patch. Maybe once the Armory has gotten to a point where it's serving all the needs Blizzard wants it to, they can start working on an official third-party addon site.

[Via Mania]

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Blizzard, Add-Ons

"Patch 2.4 = soon," says Eyonix

So as you may remember, the majority of our readers expected patch 2.4 to fall on March 18th, which, being that today is St. Patrick's Day, is tomorrow. Also, this weekend, the PTR got taken down (although Blizzard claimed it was because more testing was happening on the tournament test realm -- the TTR -- and not because the patch was ready for prime time). And, oh yeah, the patch has already started downloading in the Background Downloader.

So are we looking at patch 2.4 tomorrow? Frankly, we have no idea. I tend to say no, because it seems like Blizzard wants to do a little more testing, but I've been wrong before, and even though I think tomorrow is too soon, I can't think of what more testing Blizzard might need to do. For Blizzard's part, Eyonix says that patch 2.4 is coming soon (and that season 4 in the Arenas is coming relatively "not soon"). Then again, Blizzard's standard answer for when anything is coming is usually "soon," so who knows what they mean by that.

If it doesn't come tomorrow, then we're definitely looking at next Tuesday, since it seems that Blizzard is almost completely ready to go live. But if our readers are right (and my original guess is as well -- I originally said it would drop before Easter, which is this Sunday), we'll see all those PTR changes (and the Sunwell!) on the live realms tomorrow.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Rumors

PTR is down, TTR is up

Hortus, the spinning whirly jig wearing gnome, announced on the forms today that the PTR will be closed until further notice. This closure is in order to encourage more people to test out the TTR, which will remain open for the time being.

This is important news. First, it signifies that Blizzard is at least comfortable in stopping the testing of PvE content. This might not be the best news for those that were still engaged in PTR activities; or for those that think there are still serious concerns regarding the content and class changes. We might be seeing the Druid Cyclone nerf stay.

Secondly, we can infer that the two stress tests they've held might not have been everything they wanted. If they're asking for more testing we can make an educated guess that Blizzard either did not see the kind of numbers they were hoping for, or they have made additional server changes that warrant additional tests. Judging from the lack luster stress test that went on Wednesday night, I'm leaning towards the former as being the reason for the change.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Through Alex's eyes: Wednesday's TTR stress test

Wednesday's TTR stress test was far, far more calm than Sunday's test. Lower Blizzard activity and the population levels seemed vastly lower than before. The lag was minimal, maybe nonexistent. Definite improvement from Sunday, but that probably has something to do with the much lower population.

I have no fantastic tales of speaking to Nethaera or private photoshoots with GMs, but I actually got quite a few arena games in. The WoW Insider gang didn't have a 5th for 5v5s, so I decided to let Adam, Zach and Amanda M. have the Hordeside fun in the 3v3 bracket, and I'd make waves on the Alliance-side. Many lamented my departure when I logged off of my Tauren Warrior, but the Alliance needed love, too! Sorry guys!

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Blizzard, Arena

The Light and How To Swing It: Build you own TTRadin


Hi folks, it's me again. Somehow, Liz's computer got unplugged from the Light at the last minute and wiped her draft for this week clean. The task has fallen upon me once to swing the Light and wreak havoc upon these pages with blood and fury. Or something like that. In the wake of the admittedly lackluster (what, no giant GMs or gnome-transfigurations or demons run amuck?) second take on the TTR stress test, I've decided to write up the experience about making your own Paladin on the Tournament Test Realm, aka the TTRadin. If you haven't logged on to the TTR, now's a good time to download the PTR client and get yourself started.

Paladin without the pain

If you've never played a Paladin before, the TTR is an excellent way to experience some Paladin goodness without having to go through the entire leveling experience -- some parts of which even self-confessed altaholic and column co-writer Chris Jahosky admits to having a dislike for. Of course, leveling is part of the education process, so don't expect to know all the abilities and talents a Paladin -- or any class you make, for that matter -- right off the bat if you don't have a max-level character of that class on the live servers. That said, making a character on the TTR is well worth the effort and is definitely something any player can use to explore their options. Getting a taste of a max-level character, in our case a Paladin (this is a Paladin column, after all), is something players can learn from.

So where do we start? We have the usual racial choices: Human, Dwarf, or Draenei for the Alliance; and Blood Elf for the Horde. Because it isn't a PvP server by definition, you can make an Alliance and a Horde character. The tournament server also isn't like the live realms in that there are no quests or NPCs aside from the trainers, vendors, and arena representatives. I haven't explored the tournament realm completely, but it's safe to assume that it's a barren world. The NPCs are all Goblins, by the way, which is a bit unsettling and bizarre. There are few things stranger than seeing little green men and women in full Tier 2.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Arena

Wednesday Night Live!

Blizzard is at it again and so are we! We'll be live blogging the stress test event part deux tonight, on the scene with both Alliance and Horde characters. Be sure to give a /wave to any "Insider" you see walking around. We'll be trying to stay where the action is – be it in arena's attempting to best our own 8-1 record, or watching the GMs hand out more 'phat lewts'.

Right now the server is up and running, quite smoothly actually. Keep an eye out here and we'll keep you updated with the latest!

Check out after the break for all the action.

Read more →

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Events, Realm Status, PvP

Choosing pets on the TTR

Mania has an interesting post about all the different pets available to Hunters on the Arena tournament realm (which, by the way, our own Arena team is making an appearance in this evening, along with some folks from some "Blizzard" company -- they're probably posers). The strange thing is not that Blizzard is offering pets to Hunters, but that they're only offering some pet families. So if you want to duck into the tournament with a tallstrider or a gorilla or turtle at your side, you just don't have the option.

Interesting. Some of the choices Blizzard made are pretty obvious -- for high end Arena play, a crab probably isn't going to do much for you. But Mania's big problem is with Blizzard including the spider family, and excluding the gorilla -- spiders don't bring too much extra to the table, but gorillas bring Thunderstomp, an AoE damage effect that isn't necessarily overpowered, but can help in some cases. There may be other factors at play here -- 15 sounds like a round number that Blizzard may have had to adhere to, so maybe that's why the others aren't included.

And if nothing else, as Mania says, making these choices might encourage Blizzard to look at some of the weaker families and beef them up a bit, either for endgame or PvP. And all Hunters, no matter what pet they choose, will probably appreciate that.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP, Arena

March 12th PTR changes


A new PTR build hit the test realms today, and just in time for the second stress test that'll be getting underway later tonight. A few of the big highlights:
  • The Druid Cyclone spell has had the range reduced to 20 yards, from 30 yards.
  • The newly purchasable epic gem crafting patterns have had their prices dramatically increased. For example, the epic gem patterns used to cost 1.5g each to buy, now they're 50g each. This will make them harder for casual players to acquire.
  • A few BoP crafted items have had a profession requirement of 350 placed on them.
All in all, it looks like Blizzard is winding down the changes. They seem to be targeting some very specific areas right now, and the list of changes each week is getting shorter and shorter. This might mean the patch will be going live soon. And remember, as soon as it goes live, we'll select a winner from the Patch 2.4 release date contest we held.

Any thoughts on the cyclone change? I for one am happy, considering how I hate being cycloned in arena battles.

Filed under: Druid, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Classes

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