A lot of people overlook the importance of battlegrounds when trying to get better at a class. The truth is, almost all problems with your play style
can be worked on without tanking arena rating. A lot of people unde
restimate the skill level of other players in battlegrounds but,
“it’s like walking into a subway in New York, you don’t know who you are going to meet” (Azzamat).
Let uneven match ups benefit you. If you can, this is probably the best way to get valuable practice. A lot of people in BG’s are only there to gear up alts, this is why having an uneven battle will benefit you more. Some common problems to focus on would be:
Survivability vs. mana conservation: I know this was a big reason I went back into battlegrounds on my shaman. The situation Earth Shield vs. Water Shield. Obviously tanking with Earth Shield will give you a lot more survivability but you will eventually go oom. As a Paladins you can work on the same issue of timing your Diving Plee after their cooldowns.
Healing Multiple Targets: If you only play 2v2 this usually isn’t as important for you, but finding a cast rotation that will allow you to keep 2 targets up will usually help against lock teams.
Doing damage while taking damage: A lot of casters have the problem of not being able to do any damage with melee on you. Learning to juke Kicks or Mind Freeze while still setting up your shatter combos or burst is important in arena. Just remember, you do less damage locked out then spamming instants.
Crowd control under pressure: In arena, most mage/lock combos rely on CC. If your main role is to CC you should still be able to control 1 target with DPS on you. Practice setting up teleports to get off a fear or sheeping focus targets after a blink.
Being patient: For rogues, making sure you have almost full energy before the full kidney shot on the kill target. DK’s/Warriors build ruinic power or rage to use with your interrupt to provide a nice burst.
Don’t miss: If you are going to use the energy to kick or the rage to pummel. Make sure you
don’t miss. If you are going to miss the interrupt it would be better to let the heal go through and get the next one.
Blizzard’s Perspective on Healing
My point was more that when it all comes down to it, healing is generally limited by one of three things: 1) Running out of mana, 2) Running out of GCDs, and 3) Just doing the wrong thing in the wrong situation.
The type 3 fights are generally the most interesting for a healer, but you’re also not going to find every fight like that, and it might be exhausting if they were. I am generally referring to fights where you shouldn’t heal at a certain time, or you need to move at a certain time, or you need to heal the right person at exactly the right time.
Currently we think the game has strayed too far towards the type 2 style of healing, where if you miss a single global, your target might die. This may not be the case if you are on Naxxramas milk runs, but it was certainly the case in Sunwell and other more challenging content. Since you must heal for your max amount every GCD, and the penalty for failing that heal (i.e. wiping) is probably worse than the penalty for overhealing, the healing game feels very spammy. More situational or efficient heals lose out compared to heals that maximize throughput. Coordination among healers doesn’t feel particularly necessary because overhealing isn’t a big deal. Paying attention to what is going on in the fight is a luxury because you need to keep those max casts coming.
However, part of backing out of that means carving enough bandwidth out so that players can make decisions about who to heal and which spell to use. The key word is “decisions.” A rogue makes a decision about when to blow cooldowns or pop a Healthstone. A warrior tank makes a decision about when to blow Last Stand or sometimes even Taunt. If all a priest is doing is using CoH and PoM on every cooldown and filling in the space with Flash Heal, or if all a paladin is doing is spamming HL and using DP every cooldown, those aren’t interesting decisions — in fact they are the kind of thing that can be macroed and macros are often (though not always) a warning sign that the player isn’t or doesn’t have to decide which ability to use next.
There will always be some simple “gear check” style fights. Those have their place, particularly to communicate to your group that perhaps you aren’t yet ready. But they don’t all have to be that way.
[...] Here is a great paladin decision: “Should I heal that guy who likely won’t die in the next couple of seconds or does that dependable druid have hots on him already?”
Currently the answer is: “I can afford to waste the mana, so who cares?”
Note that I am not saying you need to necessarily look at the target’s active spells to know the answer. If you heal with the same people for very long, you form a good idea of what they are doing. In pugs you might need more explicit rules for who heals whom, but again, you can currently afford to be so sloppy with your mana that it’s not worth the effort.
Dual Specs and Sub-80 Characters
With new features we have learned that players tend to be much more forgiving if we are too stringent at first and relax requirements over time, than if we give away too much and end up having to “nerf” a feature that turned out to be overly generous. Make sure to ready the complte Q/A with Ghostcrawler regarding Dual Specs.
Warrior Tanking Issues
We still are not convinced that warrior tanks are operating at some huge deficit compared to other tanks. There are going to be situations where one or the other classes are going to feel easier as tanks, just because the abilities and mechanics are still different despite all of our homogenization (and we really don’t want to homogenize any more).
I think there are some quality of life issues we can improve for warriors. Heroic Strike is definitely one of them. It does its job in letting you convert excess rage to threat without consuming a global cooldown, but it requires a lot of extra button pushes. It is something we are discussing.
Warlock Voidwalker Tanking
I would not expect the Voidwalker to continue to be an excellent tank for challenging raid content.
The health boost was largely for PvP reasons and the damage avoidance was to make up for limitations in pet AI and master control, not to let you opt out of having to manage tons of incoming damage on your main tank.
Death Knights Removing HoTs
This (the hot removal of Blood Plague) is something we are definitely taking a hard look at for 3.1. Plague Strike is intentionally weak because of this ancillary effect, but that also leads to DKs not wanting to use a core ability except when doing PvP against hot-based healers (which pretty much means druids). DK survivability and utility in PvP are definitely not something we are overly worried about at the moment. [...] I meant that DKs have plenty going for them in PvP even if they could no longer remove a whole stack of Lifebloom.
Mutilate Nerf Explained
An Overkill change would have required more redesign of the talents and abilities than we were willing to make for a small patch like this. We’re also unconvinced it would have fixed the problem alone.
Basically, it might have helped stealth burst, but wouldn’t have helped with unstealthed burst, which was still too high in our opinion. Two Mutilates and a Cold Blood Eviscerate within one Kidney Shot duration is a ton of damage, and is possible with unglyphed Vigor and no Overkill. Add a partner or an interrupt or whatever and it can mean death for most players in very few GCDs.
Overkill and glyphed Vigor are something we will probably look at for 3.1, depending on how the current changes shake out.
Mutilate / Dirty Deeds Bug
There did seem to be a bug with Dirty Deeds affecting Mutilate damage, and I believe it was hotfixed yesterday (13 Feb). Mutilate should now be doing lower damage vs. poisoned targets in all cases.
Rogue poison damage had at least two bugs in the system when Lich King launched. When we fixed those bugs, rogue damage dropped significantly. There is speculation that the same thing is true of Dirty Deeds — that because Dirty Deeds was inflating poison damage more than we realized that rogue damage will drop too much with the Mutilate changes and Dirty Deeds bug fix.
We do not have that concern at this time. We are happy with Mutilate’s extra damage to poisoned targets to be 20% with or without Dirty Deeds. We plan to increase rogue PvE damage in other ways, such as through the announced (but not finalized) Hunger for Blood, Killing Spree and Lightning Reflexes changes in 3.1.
I suspect the Dirty Deeds bug was introduced at the same time as the Mutilate nerf in 3.09, but can’t know for sure without a lot of digging. (I say that because I suspect the Dirty Deeds talent had to recalculate bonus damage and we neglected to change this calculation when we changed Mutilate itself.) I’ll report back when and if I have time to investigate or if someone else at Blizzard knows the answer off the top of their head.
We are skeptical that the Mutilate change and Dirty Deeds hotfix will be the death knell for rogues in PvP, but we will keep an eye on what happens with these changes in place.
Arcane Mage Barrage Nerf
A last minute change was made to the mage Arcane Barrage spell which reduced its spell power coefficient. This change did not make it into the 3.0.9 patch notes. We will be carefully evaluating this change and its effects on game balance in both PvE and PvP. If you have constructive feedback to provide, please do so in this thread.
Hunter Ammo Changes
In our 3.1.0 class updates post, we had announced plans to remove consumable ammunition from the game upon the release of the next major content patch. Our original plans were to change ammunition so that hunters would no longer need to utilize bag space, while adding some new functionality that would continue to make ammunition a compelling element of gameplay. Unfortunately, this intended change will not be completely ready in time for patch 3.1.0.
We still fully intend to move forward with this change when the additional functionality becomes available, and for 3.1.0 we still intend to remove the need for pouches/quivers by greatly increasing the stack sizes on arrows and bullets, and the haste bonus from the bags will be preserved in another fashion. We’ll be sure to inform our players with further updates once they become available.
Druid’s Savage Defense
It isn’t intended as a buff or nerf per se.
As many players have surmised, we want to make gearing as a bear tank more interesting, yet we don’t have a lot of room to expand on stamina, dodge or armor. In this case the specific numbers are not as important as the general idea, though we also think the specific numbers are a really good place to start.
Priest Hymn Changes
Keep in mind that the changes we listed as a possible for the future patch are just a short list. I believe Ghostcrawler did say that Hymns are something we’d like to look at, but I couldn’t say specifically if anything is planned for them just yet.
Warlock Pet Buffs
We’re looking into making further improvements (though there is no current ETA) for these pets, however, specifics haven’t been locked down. We’ll let you know when more information becomes available on this subject.
Raid ID Changes
We did speak with some of the developers about this recently. While I’m unable to comment on your specific suggestions, I’ll say we were all in agreement that something needs to change with raid IDs. On the one hand, we are happy that pick-up groups have a wider array of options at their disposal, whether it be 5, 10, or 25 man content. On the other hand though, it’s currently too easy to end up saved to an instance that’s been cleared, or close to it, without knowing ahead of time this will happen.
We’ve been looking at player feedback in this regard, and are working to develop a better interface to warn players that will be saved to an instance that’s been partially, or completely cleared. This is something that might not happen in 3.1, but we’ll be discussing this further internally in the near future.
The 2009 blizzard arena tournament has now been officially announced! Check out the initial blue post regarding the tournament below.
We’re pleased to announce that the 2009 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament is nearly here. Starting next week (February 17, 2009), players will be able to sign up to compete in this year’s exciting competition. The tournament will feature an online qualifier played on our special tournament realms. Top teams will proceed to their respective regional finals and compete for a chance to reach the global world championship – with cash prizes totaling over $200,000.
These realms have been outfitted with level 80 character templates and the latest epic gear from Wrath of the Lich King. As an added bonus, we have included exclusive rewards that players can earn by participating in the tournament, including an Armored Murloc in-game pet. Top teams will also contend for a chance to achieve the “Vanquisher” title for their live characters.
If you would like to demonstrate your arena prowess, or simply want a chance to earn the exclusive loot, please check back next week for more details – including eligible countries – and register!
Brief blue post regarding new season 6 arena gear with associated rating requirements.
There’s still plenty of room for some items to be pretty hard to get without causing most players to be left out of good gear. As I mentioned earlier, with the start of the next season we expect new teams and personal ratings to start much lower than they have before (not 1500). That way, everyone’s experience is to climb toward the rating they’re successfully playing at. So, knowing that, here’s what our current thinking is on rating requirements for season 6.
Disclaimer: all of this is subject to change!
- Items with no rating listed would have no rating requirement
- It won’t be quite as easy to get deadly items via emblems of conquest as hateful items currently are via emblems of valor
- The new Archavon boss (a new boss located in another wing of the Vault of Archavon), will have slightly different drops than the current Archavon (he can drop Furious Gloves/Legs, or any possible random honor item in addition to tier 8 pve set items similar to Archavon’s t7 pve set drops, but cannot drop the Furious Chest piece)
- Honor/Arena costs aren’t listed but Hateful costs would be similar to current Savage, Deadly costs similar to current Hateful, and Furious costs would be similar to current Deadly
- You might note that the Furious weapon is still at a high requirement, 2k, the thinking being that most players are encouraged to get their weapon upgrade through pve, although hardcore arena competitors have an outlet to get an equivalent weapon through arenas (if you’re hardcore enough for 2k, you can forego raiding for a weapon)
- Additional note, “deadly trinket” refers to the current battlemaster’s trinkets, “furious trinket” refers to an upgraded medallion of the alliance/horde
1300+: Deadly Relics/Idols/Librams/Totems
1350+: Deadly Gloves
1400+: Deadly Legs
1450+: Deadly Chest
1500+: Deadly Helm
1550+: Deadly Shoulders
1400+: Furious Bracer (honor)
1450+: Furious Belt (honor)
1500+: Furious Boots (honor)
1550+: Furious Neck (honor)
1600+: Furious Gloves
1650+: Furious Ring (honor)
1700+: Furious Legs
1750+: Furious Chest
1800+: Furious Trinket (honor)
1850+: Furious Helm
1900+: Furious Cape (honor)
1950+: Furious Wands/Relics/etc
2000+: Furious Weapon
2100+: Furious Shoulders
2300+: Furious Tabard (purely cosmetic and awesome looking)
Finally all the speculation on the new mana regeneration changes have been put to rest.
As we have suggested, we have become concerned that mana regeneration is currently too powerful, especially for healers. We want players to have to keep an eye on mana. We don’t want you to go out of mana every fight, but running out of mana should be a very real risk for sloppy playing or attempting content that you aren’t yet ready for. When mana regeneration is trivial then certain parts of the game break down – classes that offer Replenishment are devalued, stats that offer mana regeneration are devalued, and spells that are efficient are neglected in preference to spells with high throughput.
Here are a list of changes you are likely to see in 3.1. They will be available to try out on the PTR. Mana regeneration is somewhat technical, so please bear with us.
- Regeneration while not casting (outside of the “five second rule”) will be decreased. We think that (1) the ability to cast heal over time spells and then sit back and (2) benefitting from a clearcasting proc that also gets you out of the five second rule both provide too much mana regeneration, even over short time periods.
- To make this change, we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board. However we are also boosting the effects of talents such as Meditation that increase regeneration while casting. The net result should be that your regeneration while casting will stay about the same, but your not-casting regeneration will be reduced. This change will have little impact on dps casters, since they are basically always casting.
- The specific talents and abilities being boosted are: Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac and Spirit Tap. Yes this makes these “mandatory” talents even more mandatory, if such a thing is possible.
- Since paladins rely less on Spirit as a mana-regeneration stat, we have to address them in other ways. We don’t want to change Illumination or Replenishment. However, we are going to increase the healing penalty on Divine Plea from 20% to 50%. Divine Plea was originally intended to help Protection and Retribution paladins stay full on mana. It should be a decision for Holy paladins, not something that is automatically used every cooldown.
- In addition, we are also changing the way Spiritual Attunement works. In situations with a large amount of outgoing raid damage, as well as in PvP, this passive ability was responsible for more mana regeneration than we would like. We want to keep the necessary benefit it grants to tanking Protection paladins, while making it less powerful for Holy paladins in PvP or raid encounters with a lot of group damage.
- We are also taking a close look at clearcasting procs themselves. One likely outcome is to change them to an Innervate-like surge of mana so that the net benefit is the same, but healers won’t shift to out-of-casting regeneration so often.
- We balance around the assumption that even 10-player groups have someone offering Replenishment. To make this even easier on players we are likely to offer this ability to additional classes, as well as make sure that existing sources of Replenishment are more equitable.
- These changes are ultimately being done to bring the different healing classes more in line with each other as well as to give the encounter team more leeway when designing encounters, who can balance with these new mana regeneration numbers in mind. In a world with infinite healer mana, the only way to challenge healers is with increasingly insane amount of raid damage, so that global cooldowns become the limiting factor since mana fails to be. An example is the Eredar Twins in late Sunwell. We weren’t necessarily happy with that model, and this change hopefully allows us to move towards giving healing a more deliberate and thoughtful pace rather than frenetic spam.
Is this honesty how “normal” people view World of Warcraft players or other gamers?
This fine investigative “journalism” piece is nothing short of a joke. It’s hard to believe that this type of a story could even make air, let alone pretend to have any air of legitimacy to its relevancy to true gamer trends or factual basis. In any regard, I won’t ruin the video for you…watch and enjoy for yourself.
Quick video preview of the new tier 8 armor sets. As usual not all that impressive. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like blizzard has given up any hope of unique looking armor sets since T3. Priests look holy…tanks looks ponderous…and druids look like, well they look just plain ridiculous. Congrats!
Finally, an explanation of the new arena match making system has arrived.
We recently introduced a new Arena matchmaking system with the intent of better matching up players against opponents of similar skill level, and to address potential abuses under the old system. We realize that many players have questions regarding the new system, and as such, we would like to provide more insight into the new matchmaking system.
- First and foremost, the primary goal of the new Arena matchmaking system is to match players against opponents of similar skill, regardless of your or your opponents’ team rating. This means that once an estimated skill level is determined, you will more likely be matched against other players of a similar skill level. Please note that the estimated skill level is constantly being evaluated and will adjust based on each team’s continual performance. Ratings that are won or lost also take into account skill level, so that you will not suffer a high penalty if you lose against a team that is much better than their actual team rating.
- Another important aspect of this new Arena matchmaking system is a smaller range of maximum rating that can be won or lost. Because of the differences between how the new system assigns rating points at the end of a match, we are still tweaking rating gain versus loss per match to improve the experience.
- If you were previously ranked with a high skill level and decide to create a new team, it should now be much easier to reach your team’s correct rating. This ensures that players will not feel penalized for moving between teams, and high ranked teams will not feel penalized for trying out new players without much risk to the team rating itself.
- Finally, the core and fundamental reason for the new Arena matchmaking system is for players to participate in Arena games that are fun. We feel that with this new system, higher ranked players will most likely find the challenges that they seek, newer players will no longer feel that Arenas are closed to them, and players will not feel as penalized for trying new things in the Arenas.
We like the way that matchmaking works in the new system and feel that it is working as expected. However, we acknowledge that there are some aspects of the way rating is calculated under the new system that could use some tweaking. As with all things, your enjoyment of the game and its systems are very important us, and this system was implemented in an effort to further promote the enjoyment of the Arenas. As always, we welcome your feedback and would constantly be striving to make this system even better.
Additional explanations added.
- Team rating: Team rating is the primary measure of a team’s skill during the course of its existence. Titles and arena points are based on team rating.
- Personal rating: Personal rating only exists to ensure that a player has participated enough on a team to deserve the benefits of being on that team. When personal rating gets close enough to team rating, we judge it is likely the player deserves the benefits of the team.
- Matchmaking rating: This rating exists to ensure quality match-making despite players changing teams. In addition, the theoretical mathematical foundations of the new matchmaking system allows this rating to adapt much faster than team rating and personal rating, making the entire system more correct. In our measurements to date, this rating has been quite precise in predicting the outcomes of future matches.
- The matchmaking rating is separate for each bracket, and the matchmaking ratings do not interact between brackets in any way.
- Each bracket has a seperate matchmaking rating.
- Team rating currently converges towards the average of the matchmaking ratings on the team. Personal rating currently converges towards each individual’s matchmaking rating. As such, the team rating currently ends up in the middle of the personal ratings of each member of the team, usually around the average personal rating of the team. As mentioned above, we will be adjusting this to keep personal ratings in line with team ratings.
Free character moves.
All PvP, RP, and RPPvP transfers are scheduled to close on Tuesday, February 3, at 5:00 pm PST provided our transfer goals are not reached prior to this time.
You can begin your transfer by visiting the Character Move page located here: https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/account/character-move.html
Source A Realms (PvP):
Bloodscalp (Horde transfers only)
Cho’gall (Horde transfers only)
Destination A Realms (PvP):
Source B Realms (RP):
Destination B Realm (RP):
Source C Realms (RPPvP):
Destination C Realms:
Wyrmrest Accord (RPPvE)
We will be offering free character moves from select PvE realms below beginning on Thursday, January 29, at 6:00 p.m. PST. These transfers are scheduled to close on Monday, February 2, at 6:00 p.m. PST provided our transfer goals are not reached prior to this time.
You can begin your transfer Thursday evening by visiting the Character Move page located here: https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/account/character-move.html
Source D Realms (PvE):
Destination D Realm (PvE):