Wednesday, December 31, 2008

S5 - Week 2

Oh the humanity!

Week two ended on Monday night and was very light on arena action. I ran 30 games total 10 with Kyllia, 10 with Clagg and 10 with his Clagg's DK alt. The results were pretty horrible with us slipping well under 1500.... We did not get together for 3's or 5's.

Really more of a let's get minimal points week. We were just focusing on getting all the characters their minum games for the week. I expect bigger and better things this week. Namely I plan to focus with the DK in 2's. I've also switched my main weapon from the Brutal Gladiator sword to the Titansteel Destroyer. The DK also has the Destroyer so we should be good DPS wise this week.

Time to come out swingin' in 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vault of Archavon and Daily PvP quest

Hi folks,

So last night I managed to get into a PUG group for both the 10 and 25 man Vault of Archavon. Sadly no drops for me which is a horrible, horrible, horrible shame because I really could use a Hateful or Deadly piece of arena gear!

I wanted to share two important things that I found out
while talking to a GM this weekend.

I thought something in my game was bugged, turned out it was not I just didn't know about the following:

#1) The Vault of Archavon resets every Tuesday not on a regular day based timer. So you can run him Monday night and then again Tuesday, or if you already beat him Tuesday you won't be able to run it again untill the following week.

#2) The Victory in Wintergrasp daily PvP quest shares it's slot with the daily "win in a specific BG" quest. Once you accept one of them the other will not be available. So, if you accept and turn in Victory in Wintergrasp, you cannot go up to an NPC and get Victory in Allterec Valley (for example)... and if you turned in Victory in Allterec Valley earlier that day you won't be able to pick up the Victory in Wintergrasp later that evening..... These reset the same as all daily quests so they'll be available again tomorrow but you'll have to pick one or the other, not both.

For those of you not familiar with The VoA read on... those that are turn to page 54 this is the end of the blog post for you! (that's an old choose your adventure series joke)

If your faction controls wintergrasp you have access to this raid instance which consists of 4 guardians and the main boss. Assuming your group doesn't wipe it usually takes longer to form the group then it does to do the instance.

People say this is the easiest raid you're going to encounter for WOTLK, I don't know as i haven't done any other raids but it sure is the fastest. It's pretty much spank and tank but the boss is on a 5 minute timer - if you don't kill him in 5 minutes he goes into berserk mode an one shots everyone.

It's a good idea to try and get a group going as this guy drops DEADLY gladiator gear on 25 man and HATEFUL gladiator gear on 10 man. In the 10 man you'll want 2 healers 1 main tank and one off tank. The rest DPS.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

S5 - Week 1

Hi folks,

The first week of season 5 arena has come and gone. Here's how my ratings wound up
2v2 - 1544
3v3 - 1421 (yeah that's not a misprint)
5v5 - N/A

Drunkenclod, what' brought you to this lowly state? Weren't you solidly in the 1600's - 1700's and even hitting the 1800's bracket last season?

Yes, I was and there's 3 main reasons for the lower rating.

1) Gear - My gear is no longer even close to top of the line, in fact all 5 man and 10 man PvE gear is better then what I'm using and a lot of folks are wearing that. I don't normally PvE (more on that in a later article) and my play time is about 2 hours per night; not leaving much time to acquire gear. Lack of resilience is also a huge factor in 3's
1a) Also I've found lack of +HIT on gear to be extremely frustrating. Stuns not landing, judgments missed, GRRR.... All S5 gear is devoid of hit rating, the excption being misc items like neck, cloak, etc. You'll sacrifice +CRIT rating for it, but it is critical that you get back to the 5% hit cap for PvP. This will improve as I'm able to grind more honor for more gear.

2) Research - Every class has new spells, abilities and heck even the new DK class to work with. I have started looking into some of the new abilities for other classes and how to counter them, but research takes time AND then you need to practice it in the arena and BG's

3) We're rusty - Not doing PvP for a month has gotten us off our game. We've just started to mesh again, teaming up on stuns, focusing the correct targets at the correct time and working out new counters to opposing team makeup.

I fully expect this to work itself out in the upcoming weeks, but I will definitely need to start out with Savage Gladiator gear, and work my way up to hateful. It sucks because it's that much more honor and arena points to grind out but I won't be getting 1650-1750 without some better gear!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Strand of the Ancients - Get that Honor

Hey folks, this weekend I found myself doing a bit of BG... specifically the new Strand of the Ancients. Since I'm alliance no one answered any of my questions and as soon as the team started loosing the insults began flying.

After a few matches I got it figured out, but I figured I'd save some people from contributing to a loss and looking like noobs. So first of all let me give a brief overview of how this works.

There are two rounds, each lasting a maximum of 10 minutes (so the match is a maximum of 20 minutes long). Upon starting you will either find yourself on a boat which means you're attacking or on a platform/hill which means you are on defense. At the end of 10 minutes or the capture of the relic the round is over and you're automatically reset. If you started out on D you are now on O.. if you started on O you're now on D.

The side that captures the orb in the least amount of time wins! Honor is typically around 1,000 for the winning team and 500 for the loosing team. I've seen it as high as 1500/700 and as low as 900/400.... Still that's about 1,500 honor per hour for loosing and 4,000 honor per hour for wining C R A Z Y !

Before I start off on Offense or Defense take a minute to look at the map. (Taken while I was on Offense). Note the multi-colored gates and the horde GY's.... click to zoom in. Take it all in and reference it because it'll make the explanations easier if you know the layout.

OFFENSE (part 1)

So you've just ported in and you find yourself on a ship. You're on offense. You will be in one of two ships. Each will pull up in front of either the blue or green gate. Two siege canons will be waiting in front of your ships and if you're quick enough you can hop in one and control it. If you want to be a team player let the melee classes take the tanks and ranged classes follow.

Drive your tank up towards the gate use the special vehicle abilities to aim the canon and blast down the gate. Canons should focus only on the gate and the ranged people can work on shooting down the offensive turrets....OR once the canon blasts thru the gate ride like mad towards the nearest GY and take it. If you canon is still alive keep going to the next round of gates.

OFFENSE (part 2)

OK, hopefully you've blasted thru the first gate and taken the GY. As soon as a GY is capped the goblin workshops close to the GY will start producing more tanks. At this point anyone that wants to do so should grab a tank and make their way to the next gate... BUT BEFORE YOU HOP IN THE TANK grab a seaforium charge one of these acts the same as a hit from a tank. It's also the only way a person not in a tank can damage the doors....they look like little barrels next to the goblin workshop.

Just run up to the door drop the charge and it will go off in 10 seconds. (the horde can disarm it within those 10 seconds if they have the time to do so).... Keep grabbing tanks and breaking the wall untill you breach it.

OFFENSE (part 3)

Now make your way to the last (yellow) gate. Bring in as many tanks as possible and anyone not in a tank should be carrying a seaforuium charge to help with blasting the gate. Once this gate goes down make your way thru the courtyard and blast the doors of the keep down. Get inside and take the large orb. Once you take the orb the match is over and you're reset to Defense..or if you've already played D the game is over and whichever team grabbed the relic in the least time wins.

Defense (part 1)

So, if you find yourself on a hill you're on Defense. Get yourself to either the green gate or the blue gate. You'll see a set of stairs going up to the top of the gate. Run up and if no one is sitting in a turret (aka gun) you can Mount it. The controls work the same as the siege weapons. Aim and shoot. If both turrets are mounted hop onto the beach and help slow down the horde by killing enemy players or attacking the siege weapons As soon as the enemy leaves the boat start hitting the siege weapons. Kill them before they destroy your gate. If your gate is breached get off the gun and run to the inner wall.

Defense (part 2)

OK your wall has been breached, usually if the enemy tank got thru they're almost dead. Finish off the tank with a hit or two and either rush to your inner gate or to the GY (depending on where the horde is going). If no one is manning the inner gate turrets look for a glowing platform and hop on it.. this will transport you to the top of the wall so you can get in the gun and start wailing away... If the guns are manned stay below and help kill the tanks before they destroy the gate. If your 2nd set of gates are smashed retreat to the Yellow gate and repeat the process.

Defense (part 3)

The stinkin' horde have broken thru the yellow gate and are in the courtyard. Get everyone on your team in the courtyard and mow down the tanks as soon as they show up. DO NOT let them breach the door to the keep. Do whatever you have to do to destroy those tanks. Keep an eye out for the enemy planting the seaforium charges at your door and click to disarm them if they are planted. At this point either time will have run out or they have broken thru and got the relic. The match is over and you're reset to Offense..or if you've already played O the game is over and whichever team grabbed the relic in the least time wins.



1) It's best to shout out before the match starts and pick a gate. I noticed the Green gate seemed to be the default in my BG's yesterday. If you arrive on the other boat drive your tank to the decided gate. Focusing on one side will help you team win quickly, If you win in under 4 minutes you get an achievement (got mine :).

2) Take a GY as soon as possible, no GY means no tanks, no seaforium charges.

3) If you're in a tank focus on the gates, unless you find yourself getting slaughtered quickly don't waste your time with the guns. Just blast thru the door ASAP.

4) Tanks work best in groups. Two tanks are 4x times as effective as one tank. A lone tank will be focused on by both turrets and any enemies on the ground. Two or three are a LOT harder to kill.

5) If your tank is destroyed you automatically hop out and do not die. You're probably close to the gate anyway take a minute to plant the seaforium charge

6) If a wall has been breached do NOT take precious time out to kill empty or manned turrets just drive on thru.


1) If both turrets at a gate are not manned, get in there and man it. For inner gates use the defenders portal (the lighted platform underneath a gate) to get in there.

2) Try to hang onto the GY's as long as possible. THIS IS CRITICAL... CRITICAL to wining. Once the opposing team takes the GY they have it for the entire round, you cannot take it back. They will gain control of the goblin workshop and tanks will start appearing. If you can keep the GY's under your teams control you're almost assured to keep your relic and win.

3) If you see the horde skipping your gate and going to the other one (ie you're at green gate and their going to blue) make sure to communicate that so your teammates can move their resources there. If it's clear they are totally skipping your gate get off the turret and help out your other gate.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter fashons - Savage Saronite anyone?

Hey folks,

People hitting arena in a few days will want to pick up the latest gear. Everyone will be starting out on equal footing for the first time since Season 1.... And what will the well dressed palading be wearing? Savage Saronite of course!... Or will they?

This blue set of craftable PvP gear (yes but it at the AH - Between 50-90g per piece on my server) is the new "starter" PvP set for Melee classes. Other classes have similar gear but optimized for their needs. Since this blog is focused on Ret Pally's I'll just be focusing on this set.... Warriors and DK will be sharing the same gear FYI.

So what's the difference... Well a complete set, which includes boots, bracers and belt gives the following advantage over untill now top-of-the-line Brutal Gladiator Gear

+ 157 Stamina
+ 33 Strength
+654 Armor
+129 Resillience
+90 Critical Strike

It's not all good news though, you loose the following:

- 213 Intellect
- 51 Hit Rating
- 10 Available Sockets for Gems

Looking at my gem stats, I gain a total of +50 Strength and +30 Critical strike from gems, so counting this the total difference in stats is:

+ 157 - Stamina (aka extra 1,570 health)
+ 654 - Armor
+ 129 - Resillience (aka extra 1.5% resillence)
+ 60 - Critical Strike (aka extra 1.5% critical strike)
-17 / Strength
- 51 / Hit Rating
- 213 / Intellect (aka minus 3,195 mana)

First a quick word about stats.... at level 80 you seem to need more points for each percent difference in stats. For example at level 70 you only needed 15.8 points per 1% of hit rating. At level 80 you need a whoping 32.8 per 1%... that means that while you only needed 79 points to reach the 5% hit cap at level 70.. at level 80 you'll need 164 to keep that same 5% cap.

Quite a trade off... Sure extra 1.5k health is great but it's coming at the expense of 3k less mana AND more troubling minus 51 off the hit rating. PvP hit rating was never good to begin with, in fact if I loose my current hit rating of 96 down to 45 I go down to about 1.5% hit rating.

The added Resilience and Armor is nice but remember with new stats, 129 resilience is roughly an extra 1.5% not an extra 3.5% if you were level 70.

SO.. with that in mind should we even bother with the blue crafted set? I'd actually like to hear some thoughts on this. Before writing the article I figures sure it's a higher level set go for it, but after running the numbers I'm thinking of holding off for the actual Arena gear.

Comments Please!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ding - 79 ! - just over a week to S5

Hey folks, just squeaked in dinging to 79 last night. One more quest filled level to go. I hope to get there by Friday, giving me the weekend to do a little PvP. I will admit due to my minimal playtime I have felt rushed thru getting to 80 and wish I could spend more time savoring the quest and storylines... but hey... that's what Alts are for lol :)

I've also integrated with wowhead, so for my next post, when I talk about the craftable PvP items like Savage Saronite Walkers you should now get a tooltip by hovering over the link... assuming I tame the time out to do the linking properly hahaha.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two weeks to go - Time to start looking at PvP

Hey folks,

So I dinged 77 last night and got my cold weather flying. Hopefully I'll be able to fly right thru to 80 (ok a mediocre joke at best). Since I'm approaching 80 I assume many of you are as well, or have reached it already. Time to start looking at Arena Season 5.

This season is full of new stuff and I highly recommend everyone read this article on wowhead that is simply the best Arena prep article I've come across bar none. I'm also going to shamelessly borrow their gear lists because it's a nice format and easier then typing out.

To keep it simple today, I'm just going say that S5 will have 3 tiers of gear. The differences in stats are similar to Season 1 vs Season 2 vs Season 3 gear... but all levels will be available you just need to meet the minimum rating requirements to buy them.

The lowest level is Savage Gladiator - This gear requires no Arena rating and is cheap to get. Starting at just 175 arena points and 3,600 honor even the worst Noobs should have no problems getting one piece per week. The vast majority of casual and new PvPers will keep this gear thru the entire season.

For a Ret Pally set:
* Total Arena Points = 2,225
* Total Honor Points = 38,400

That doesn't include honor for new Rings, Trinkets, Cloak, Labram, etc. Just the core stuff. Since many people will be starting here for their full set, or at least partial set I'd try to make sure you have at least enough honor banked for two pieces of gear before S5 starts. That's 8,400

The middle tier is Hateful Gladiator - This is where the vast majority of serious players will end up. Honor requirements are the same, but each item costs more arena points and will require a minimum personal and team rating to buy.

For a Ret Pally set:
* Total Arena Points = 4,450
* Total Honor Points = 38,400

You'll notice the honor requirements are the same, just the arena points go up. Good news since many people will be buying Savage Gladiator first and then needing to grind more honor a few weeks later for the Hateful Gladiator version.

The PRO tier is Deadly Gladiator - Depending on your server, you might not even come across a person with this set. Although most PvE servers will have a handful of people sporting DG. PvP servers or "good" battlegroups may have more.... Pretty much reserved for the top 1-2% of players. You can rest assured anyone sporting this gear is a true PRO and will own you without trying. Notice this set doesn't have any Honor requirements, presumably because if you're good enough to get this set Blizz feels that you shouldn't have to bother grinding honor and can focus on the serious business of arena :)

For a Ret Pally set:
* Total Arena Points = 14,400
* Total Honor Points = 0


So there you go. Upcoming posts will talk about the differences in Gear, what items you should be going for first, where to wait for a higher level of gear, etc.