Archive for the ‘PvP’ Category

Blizzard Announces Battleground Changes in Next Patch

Over on the official forums today, Zarhym had some news for battleground lovers – some huge changes are coming to battlegrounds and battlegroups in the next minor content patch, which means we shouldn’t have to wait horribly long for these changes to take effect.

Here’s the full text from Zarhym of they have in store:

We have several changes planned for Battlegrounds in the next minor content patch and would like to share them with you now. This patch will be available for public testing and we encourage you to participate, queue up and provide some feedback on these changes.

* Firstly, say goodbye to Battleground Marks of Honor. We feel this currency system is a bit outdated and are getting rid of it. Any items which require these marks as currency will have their costs adjusted appropriately to remove this requirement. The quest NPCs will still be available to award players Honor for turning in leftover marks, including individual Marks of Honor if a player has more marks from one Battleground than another, but this is only to help players clear this expired currency.

* Next, the Battleground holiday weekend will now be denoted as “Call to Arms” in the Battleground tab and Calendar. If you prefer a specific Battleground over all others, look for those words next to its name to determine whether or not you’ll receive bonus Honor. The bonus awards for Call to Arms Battlegrounds have been adjusted.

o Winning a Call to Arms Battleground for the first time in a day will award players with 30 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency and 25 Arena points.
o Additional Call to Arms Battleground victories after the first win for a player that day will award them with 15 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
o Losing a Call to Arms Battleground will award players with 5 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.

* To bring the rate at which players obtain PvP rewards with Honor more in-line with the rate at which players obtain PvE rewards via the Dungeon Finder, we’ll also be increasing the amount of Honor awarded for an Honorable Kill by 100%. In light of this, the amount of experience provided from an Honorable Kill, and the amount of Honor awarded for completing the Wintergrasp weekly quests, have been reduced by 50%.

It’s important to note one thing about these 50% decreases. All Honor awarded for completing objectives in Battlegrounds and Wintergrasp is actually based on an Honorable Kill conversion rate. So if you destroy a tower in Alterac Valley for example, the Honor you’re awarded is actually based on a flat number of Honorable Kills. Since Honorable Kills will now award 100% more Honor, completing such objectives will also award more Honor. This is why experience gains based on completing Battleground objectives and Honor awarded from the Wintergrasp quests are being decreased by 50%.

* Now that we hopefully have your attention, we’re pleased to announce the implementation of the Random Battleground system! This system will work virtually the same as the Random Dungeon option in the Dungeon Finder and will replace the Battleground daily quests. Players can queue with a group of up to five players for a Random Battleground in the Battleground tab. As with the Random Dungeon option, the Battleground chosen will not be revealed until players zone into the Battleground for which they are selected. The bonus rewards for this system are identical to the updated Call to Arms bonuses.

o Winning a Battleground using the Random Battleground option for the first time in a day will award players with 30 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency and 25 Arena points.
o Winning additional Battlegrounds using the Random Battleground option after the first random win will award players with 15 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
o Losing a Battleground using the Random Battleground option will award players with 5 Honorable Kills worth of additional Honor currency.
o When using the Random Battleground option, players will not receive additional rewards if the Battleground chosen is under the effects of the Call to Arms bonuses. In other words, the bonuses do not stack. In addition, if a player has been rewarded 30 Honorable Kills worth of bonus Honor currency and 25 Arena points from either the Random Battleground system, or the Call to Arms Battleground, he or she will be rewarded 15 Honorable Kills worth of bonus Honor currency and no Arena points that day for each additional victory. This applies whether the Random Battleground system is used, or the Call to Arms Battleground is chosen specifically, as a player cannot be rewarded the full amount of bonus Honor and the 25 Arena points more than once per day.

All of these features and changes will be available in the next minor patch which should be hitting the public test realms in the near future. Please help us out by testing this system and providing your feedback so we can make some fine-tuning adjustments before the patch’s release.

You catch that? First of all, marks from various battlegrounds will be going away – which probably means that the PVP mounts will be easier to get and you don’t have to worry about having to farm wins in Warsong Gulch (if you’re alliance) just to get the necessary marks to get the mount. I’m actually thrilled about the fact that you’ll be able to turn in your marks for honor – the ability to do this is long overdue, especially since we used to be able to do it.

To that point, it’ll be much easier to get honor points from actually completing objectives in battlegrounds, so make sure to guard those towers!

Finally, there’ll be a new battleground finder! Similar to the Dungeon Finder, there will be special honor rewards and special achievements for using the battleground finder to get into a BG, instead of just queuing for the one you want to do. I see a much heavier distribution of people in all of the BGs in our very very near future.

Blizzard: Arenas Were a Mistake

WoW_Arena

I first heard the story (and snagged the headline, since the story makes for a better headline than it does a story) from an excellent post at WoW.com on the matter – apparently the folks at Warcry managed to sit down with Rob Pardo of Blizzard to talk about what he thought some of World of Warcraft’s biggest mistakes have been. One of the notable mentions? Arenas:

We didn’t engineer the game and classes and balance around it, we just added it on, so it continues to be very difficult to balance. Is WoW a PvE cooperative game, or a competitive PvP game? There’s constant pressure on the class balance team, there’s pressure on the game itself, and a lot of times players who don’t PvP don’t understand why their classes are changing. I don’t think we ever foresaw how much tuning and tweaking we’d have to do to balance it in that direction.

I don’t think this is quite as controversial as WoW.com and a lot of other bloggers do, and I also don’t think it’s as huge news as everyone seems to think it is, personally. I played on an arena team for a while there in season 2 and 3, back when it was still fun, and while I agree that 2v2 matches were horribly mismatched, I thought the strategy involved with 3v3 matches and the chaos that was your average 5v5 match was fun to participate in.

The downside of course, as Pardo explains, is that Blizzard had to keep balancing classes around one another so everyone had a relatively fair shot to participate in arenas in some regard, or else classes and specs would completely get left out for them. This is a concern that a lot of players raised over the course of arena seasons, and Blizzard did a really good job of trying to make changes so the classes could match up with one another, but in the end there’s just nothing you can do about it.

Pardo points out that the dichotomy to the game – whether World of Warcraft is a cooperative PvE game or a competitive PvP game – is difficult to manage and it’s almost impossible to balance classes and encounters so they can be both at the same time without obviously tipping their hand as to which direction they think the game should lean.

Personally, I think that Blizzard could have done just as well to spend more time balancing the classes for PvE as long as that’s the majority of the player base, and allow PvP players to carve out their own niche. It might be painful at first as a number of PvP players will whine and complain, but the truly skilled players would find a way around some of the obvious class imbalances and others would simply get by playing teams of the preferred classes instead.

It’s kind of a backhanded compliment to the people I used to play arenas with to suggest that the best thing Blizzard could do for arena PvP in World of Warcraft is to ignore it: they’d probably be the happiest making the game work for them instead of being handed changes by Blizzard, and of the arena players that would whine about class imbalances, they’d eventually get shouted down by players who managed to make skill their ultimate competitive weapon, but in the end, Blizzard has a choice – they can spend more development time on the PvE elements of the game that really draw in new players, or they can spend development hours tuning classes for PvP, which is great for people who enjoy it but it’s not adding to the core elements of the game.

How Pro Gaming Will Change WoW?

1up posted an article yesterday titled “How Pro Gaming Will Change World of Warcraft” that, frankly, I find pretty ridiculous:

On March 18, both Team Pandemic and CheckSix announced they each had signed deals to sponsor a WoW Arena team. They sponsors plucked the top two teams from the Bloodlust Battlegroup. “Bloodlust is home to many competitive PvP guilds both from past games and WoW itself (Nurfed, Vicious Cycle, Eminence, etc.),” said Joseph Romano, the leader of Power Trip. “It [the sponsorship] is only going to attract more teams to come to the cluster.”

The article raises a couple of interesting points about the differences between sponsoring a WoW team vs. other games, but overall the potential impact of sponsored Arena teams seems way over played to me. Also, you’ve got to chuckle at the ridiculousness of gems like this:

Ladies and gentlemen, WoW is no longer just a game or a social phenomenon — WoW is serious business.

So, the biggest MMO in history didn’t amount to anything until a couple of low-rent e-sports outfits decided to get involved? I have a feeling that Blizzard, who’s raking in $15 a month from 8.5 million people regardless of what Team Pandemic or CheckSix do, would beg to differ.

Patch Day: I Guess They Can’t All Be Winners.

Wowupdate

I had to sit through (an admittedly brief) download just for that? I have enough problems with patch downloaders and patches themselves eating up drive space without them releasing patches for bugs one at a time.

OL! Stad! BH!

INV_Misc_Token_Thrallmar.jpgPre-patch, anytime I had an extra half hour or so I’d jump in and run AB or AV. I was saving up honor points for items I ended up replacing seconds after jumping through the portal but after spending a few days back in the XP grind I was itching for more PvP. I play horde, so no idea what the Alliance counterpart to this is, but I quickly found that redoable quest, Hellfire Fortifications where you are charged with taking control of the Overlook, Stadium, and Broken Hill. There always seems to be a group of 3-4 people doing this and in an hour yesterday I’d racked up over 30 Marks of Thrallmar for the caps and kills. Now I’m kind of obsessed and jumping in any chance I get. Anyone else taking advantage of the new world PvP options?

The Uneasy Truce

All across the Outalnds, Horde and Alliance are passing each other by without slaughter and without bloodshed. An uneasy truce rules the land. Everyone is so excited to be questing and exploring, to be getting new gear and new skills that the petty squabbles of the War have been set aside. The Burning Legion is here, and they are enemies to us all.

The Truce, however, is fragile. A stray multi-shot or AoE is all it takes to turn a questing zone into a riot. Forge Camp Mageddon last night exploded after an Alliance warrior (I’m looking at you, Odeon) got tired of competing with the noble Horde for mobs and started ganking. The Horde fought back, more Alliance jumped in to defend and soon the Truce was a shadow of a memory and Odeon lay dead by my hand. Twice.

I encountered the same thing at Zeth’Gor. Too many people in too small a place. Tensions ran high and erupted and player killed player for hours on end. I haven’t seen much PvP in the tower objectives yet, but I have seen a lot in the dense quest zones. The Truce wears ever more thin in the Hellfire Peninsula. There were wide reports of rogues ganking lone travellers, druids appearing from nowhere and ruining a pull. Be careful out there and keep a sharp eye, this Truce cannot hold.

Back on the Grind…

With High Warlord gear suddenly attainable for anyone who wants to grind the 30,000 points, I’m back on the honor grind again. God, it’s so appealing not to have to consider leaving my wife and cat and head out to AV 16 hours a day 7 days a week just to get ahold of a spellblade. Imagine my amusement when I am in an AV and see this:

shock.png

How much would that suck? To pop into the AV as they lose both towers AND the Aid Station?

Ouch.

Oh, yeah. We lost.

What’s with the double standards?

NE Starter Area Days before Patch 2.0 which, amongst other things, will do away with our honor system and as such with DK penalties, it was bound to be a hot few days of Alliance and Horde alike griefing Civilians. Well, Alliance. And not for lack of trying, I assure you.

We’re not quite sure on channel #ktwow on freenode (irc:irc.freenode.net/#ktwow) why it is, but both sides agree it’s either another remainder of Horde world planning as an afterthought or yet another Blizzard bias. The problem, you see, is that Horde can’t do squat in Alliance starter areas, whereas Alliance can… well… obliterate most of the lowbie zones.

Here’s some of the obvious ones:

- Civilians and quest givers in Alliance starter areas are usually unattackable. That means “you can not attack this target”. Civilians and quest givers in Horde areas are usually not protected (there is ONE civilian in Sen’Jin Village who is, and she has no relevance to the game),

- Sentinels and Mountaineers can see through stealth. Deathguards and Grunts can not. This means I could sneak my 46 rogue (with no points in MoD) into the Valley of Trials and Deathknell without any problems. My 60 Druid with +stealth enchant to cloak, +stealth on boots (Nightscape Boots) and 5 points in Feral Instinct did not make it into Coldridge Valley or Shadowglen, the NE starter area. When I made it in, after killing the guards, I was picked and attacked by every Sentinel or Mountaineer, even when stealthed and far off.

- Speaking of Sentinels and Mountaineers. I had little problems outrunning Grunts and Deathguards. When I attacked a Civilian, one or two would spawn, I could sprint or simply run, shake them, restealth and return. Sentinels and Mountaineers (as well as the South Shore guards) move at about 130% speed and have intercepts. Spawns are usually in the four to six range, as well.

With 2.0 and the removal of DK penalties the last of the reasons not to grief lowbie areas has been removed. While I never was and never will be a fan of the DK system, it stands to see how Blizzard will react – either by making all lowbie quest givers unattackable as the Alliance ones already are, or by making them all easily killed and evening out the imbalances in protection to allow Horde to retaliate in kind.

PvP Etiquette?

The more I level on this PvP server, the more time I spend in contested areas. To me, contested zones are what it’s all about, and I absolutely love questing in places like Tanaris. When we first got to Tanaris, our general plan was to leave other people questing alone unless provoked, we’re all just trying to level right? We even helped a Dwarf hunter in Lost Rigger Cover when he pulled half the map with Andre Firebeard — of course, when he didn’t even bother to say thanks, we killed him. Plz, have some manners.

We quickly realized that while Horde seemed to be trying for a live and let live approach (and we outnumber Alliance by a small margin on my server), every time we turned around there was someone in General chat being camped somewhere by 3 Alliance with a few levels on them. So, with a few general exceptions most people get killed on sight, no questions asked. This keeps us fairly safe. Granted, I have a shadow priest attached to my hip at all times, but that doesn’t mean we don’t find ourselves in sticky situations — but these situations are almost always a result of being ganked while fighting something else, and so we get our revenge as best we can. The two of us have been known to ride around a map for an hour mashing a /target macro to find someone who ganked us, and so far we’ve managed to find all but one or two eventually (and usually beating up on someone else).

I find it interesting how truly AWFUL most of the Alliance are that gank us and run away. When we catch back up with them, they’re absolutely horrible PvPers and it wouldn’t even be fun killing them if it wasn’t for revenge. Most of them don’t even want to fight a fair fight, which leaves us chasing after them, spamming SW:P hoping for a blackout proc or trying to get just close enough to dismount and finish a polymorph cast.

Last night we were on the final leg of the Tanaris mechanical chicken escort quest (dude, I would NEVER kill anyone doing an escort quest, and I mean that) and an Alliance priest waited until the last set of mobs spawned, and killed us while four or five guys wailed on us. High class, amirite? So we race back to our bodies, and of course he’s gone. I ask in General for his location, and he’s back in Gadget.

Everyone knows you can’t kill anyone in Gadget without the Bruisers tearing you a new one, but if you’re willing to eat the death you can certainly get your revenge. Which is exactly what we did — came back to find this priest inside the inn with an AFK tag over his head, planned out as much burst damage as we could before we got owned by the Bruisers, and got our revenge. So, so worth it.

I’m interested in hearing more from people on PvP servers — etiquette, stories, the lengths you’ll go to in order to kill that one special person. The closer I get to 60, the more I realize that levelling to 60 on a PvE server has not in any way prepared me for levelling on this one — it’s a whole new game.

I’ve Fallen, and I can’t re-rez.

Res Now

There I was, ripping it up in Alterac Valley like it was my job. We were marching on Stormpike Graveyard when I got railed by a monster crit. Dead as a doornail. Except, this was that very special kind of dead that doesn’t let me resurrect. That’s right, someone managed to kill me deader than dead. It seems to happen to me daily in AV, like some form of cruel karmic revenge for some imagined slight against the Alliance.

Sadly, no matter what I do, I just can’t rez. There’s no point in putting in a GM ticket since even the longest AV battle in Eitrigg is shorter than the pitiful response times for GM tickets. I walk back to my corpse, hanging out by my body, looking at the “Resurrect now?” dialog like a cruel joke at my expense. Sitting in game, I earn rep for the kills, but no HKs. /afk’ing out and I’m stuck with a 15 minute deserter buff that even a GM ticket won’t cure.

This sucks, Blizz, fix this, soon.

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