Friday, September 25, 2009

Arena after the patch - Put your head down and trudge on

Hey folks,

As promised here's a rundown of Week 4... It started out bad, horribly bad. How bad is that you ask? Try 2-8. Yeah 2 wins 8 losses.

Now some of that is me. But it turns out a lot of it was my warrior partner. He had regemmed for STR from Armor Pen. Well folks I can tell you that even after the armor pen nerf your warrior should stick with it. Tuesday night my warrior is crying out in dismay on why he's critting clothies for 1-2k damage. I'm crying out because of a new humongous 21 second CD between stuns....the rating tanks from 1807 to 1778.... I call it after 10 games in disgust and go pick up my Relentless Gladiator Cloak of Dominance before the rating slips under 1750 and I become ineligible.

We hit it again last night playing 22 games. Jeddak has regemmed to Armor Pen and is critting for his more usual 3-5k again. We end up going 11-11 and the rating goes up slightly to 1787. We went up and down quite a bit with a low of 1740 and a high of 1797.

So what does this mean for Prot/Warror 2's?

#1) The warrior needs to stick with arm pen. I dont' have the math or theorycraft but I have a combined 30+ arena matches this week with Jeddak CLEARLY saying arm pen is better. He'll also be picking up a mace next week for an added 15% arm pen on top of that. He's talked to a couple top level warriors on our relm about it and they all agree...even after the nerf if you have the Attack Power already (say 4k) stick with Arm Pen.

#2) I'll be sticking with Protection in 2's. We're more or less maintaining in the high 1700's - low 1800's in 2's. This is much higher then the low 1600's I was doing last season as Holy Spec.

Now, let's break down how the nerfs have affected me:

Ardent Defender (reduces damage taken below 35% health by 7/13/20% instead of 10/20/30%.) - Well I'm sure this is affecting me, but at the end of the day it's not feeling like I'm dying to much quicker so I'm calling this a minimal nerf to my play style.

Touched by the Light: ( provides 20/40/60% of the paladin’s strength as spell power instead of 10/20/30% of the paladin’s stamina.) - Surprisingly very little noticeable difference here. This change dropped my spellpower by about 400 but between the mace and cloak upgrades I actually only lost 135 spellpower from last week, and with the huge crits provided by Sacred Shield I'm still spamming FOL quite successfully.

Judgements of the Just: The reduction in cooldown to Hammer of Justice provided by this talent has been reduced to 5/10 seconds instead of 10/20 seconds.

OK THIS IS THE HUGE, UGLY, KEYBOARD BANGING, VENT YELLING, MOUSE THROWING nerf. It's MUCH worse than even I feared. out of the 19 losses this week, I can attribute at least 9 to having my HoJ a few seconds off cooldown giving a healer that one big heal to get back up to 50-75%, effectively resetting the mach. OR not being able to stop a nice long 10-15 second chain CC because I couldn't stun back.

It's so frustrating seeing what would have been a win last week turn into a loss this week, specifically about this nerf. The problem is that with both stuns on the same 30 second CD timer you now have a full 21 seconds of nothing between stuns. This is up almost 100% from the 11 seconds between stuns we had before the patch.

I've even put a post up on the pvp forums requesting the HoJ stun to be reduced to 25 seconds from 30. You can see the article (and my logic) here. Yeah I don't expect much sympathy but this is such a big nerf it's just crazy.

BOTTOM LINE: Prot isn't going anywhere in 2's. The excellent mana regen and heals are still there, the CC is sort of there, and (so far) it seems to still be working.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

AWW Crap patch 3.2.2 live today

I can't stand up right now, because blizzard just shattered my knee caps with their NERF bat.

  • Righteous Fury: The bonus threat from Holy spells caused by this talent has been reduced from 90% to 80%.
  • Ardent Defender: This talent now reduces damage taken below 35% health by 7/13/20% instead of 10/20/30%.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now grants 10% strength in addition to its current effects. Also, the strength and stamina bonuses from this blessing will no longer be lost when Blessing of Kings is removed.
  • Judgements of the Just: The reduction in cooldown to Hammer of Justice provided by this talent has been reduced to 5/10 seconds instead of 10/20 seconds.
  • Touched by the Light: This talent now provides 20/40/60% of the paladin’s strength as spell power instead of 10/20/30% of the paladin’s stamina.

I was hoping for at least one more week, but clearly I'm not going to get it. What does this mean to me, well clearly it's going to be harder to stay at a high ranking. Not only is this set of stuff a huge nerf, most other classes are getting buffed!?!?!

No one's surprised about these nerfs coming, even I know a little something should change. But the loss of roughly 400 spellpower is hard to swallow. However, one can make up some of that with gear. Loosing 10 seconds of cooldown on a stun however, that's just unpleasant.

I'm unclear on how much the Ardent Defender change is going affect me. At the end of the day we'll see how the rating goes. I should be hitting some games tonight so we'll see what happens.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beating that Warlock/Healer comp

Hey folks,

As promised I'm going to write about how to beat a comp that was giving us problems these last couple weeks, warlock/healer.

Traditionally in 2's if there's a healer you go straight for them. I interrupt the heals and the warrior beats them into submission! When it's a warlock though, this strategy has been a big FAIL for us. Despite my partner's high DPS the constant fear's the lock puts out doesn't let my warrior partner put out enough sustained damage, giving their healer a much needed break to heal to full.

Our next though was for me to CC the warlock and the warrior continues with the healer. Unless the healer is very squishy, it's a fail again. I have about 9 seconds of CC followed by a 11 second break. Easily enough time for that fear to strike, especially with resilience keeping the healers up longer.

So we moved on to the Warrior beating on the warlock, and me CCing the Healer. WIN ! With me interrupting the first two heals the warlock is usually pretty low on health, forcing the healer to spend precious mana on large inefficient heals and/or blow a trinket to get out of one of the stuns. 11 seconds later I rinse and repeat.

If we're especially lucky the warlock panics a bit and LOSes his healer allowing a quick victory, if not my excellent mana use/regen allows us to win a protracted mana war, since the healer is feeling too pressured to start mana draining or CCing me too much.

Of course I've been seeing a lot of Druids as healers and the good ones will chain Cyclone me. This becomes a question of who can CC the best, me or the Druid. Many times with this comp we need to switch to pressuring different members depending on how low their mana is. If we can force those big, mana ineffienct heals or get the lock to blow most of his mana right away we come out on top....eventually

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Arena S7 week 3 - Ding! 1800

That's right folks, Jeddak and I hit 1807 in 2's last night. I immediately called a stop and let the points roll in on Tuesday. That means on Tuesday I'm going to have a nice shiny Relentless Gladiator's Gavel !!

What a huge update from my current Titansteel Guardian.
49 Int
16 Sta
21 MP5
41 Resilience
164 Spell Power
30.6 DPS
1 Sockets

I owe it all to a decent partner and the Prot/Holy spec 19/52/0. This spec is insane, with two available stuns on short cooldowns and excellent survivability. Considering that our win percentage last night was 75% (15-5) with gear upgrades I'm thinking 2k might even be possible for the first time ever!.... At least until the nerf comes thru.

I'll talk a little bit about some match strategies in a later post, but for now I'll mention the match that put us over the top.... It was a priest/rogue combo. We head out and I put Blessing of Sacrifice on my partner along with Sacred Shield. The rouge does his stun on me and we wait for the priest to show himself....Somethings different about that priest though

He's Shadow! ... Now I haven't seen a shadow Priest in arena since climbing out of the 1500 bracket and I'm not very familiar with their spells. But but I pop Hand of Freedom on Jed yell at Jed to wail on the guy. I use both of my stuns to lock him up and he's almost dead... to easy!

BUT WAIT... he turns into a purple ball and is basically immune to Jed's attacks. So Jed switches to the rogue. Suddenly the priest reverts back to his normal form and we start taking a lot of damage, my stuns aren't up yet - the rouge is back at 100% health and I'm thinking OH NO don't screw this one up!

Jed hops back on the priest and combined with HoF and my 2 back to back stuns we have the priest dead shortly. Wrap up the rogue and it's 1807 team rating!

Next time I'll talk about one of our problem comps (Warlock/Healer) and how to beat them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rumors of 2v2 death have been greatly exagerated

So you may have read that 2v2 is dead. Blizz has mandated that only 3v3 and 5v5 teams will be eligible for a Gladiator title and weapons. They will also not balance around 2's.

This has effectively killed off the 2v2 bracket with everyone rolling 3's teams, right? WRONG! In fact almost nothing has changed.

What do you say Drunkenclod? Have you been hitting the alcohol particularly hard this morning?

No sir.. but as they say in WOW "Screenshot or it didn't happen"... Sure I got your screenshots right here baby! Check out my excellent article from May of this year (aka season 6)

In it you'll see roughly 2,200 active 3's teams back in Season 6.... How many are active today? 2,125 !!

SAY WHAT?!? How can this be? Everyone says 2's has died.

Here's why 2's aren't going anywhere

#1) If you play in the under 1500 bracket (and 60%+ of you do) nothing has changed for you
#2) If you play in the under 1800 bracket (and 90%+ of you do) nothing has changed for you
#3) If you play in the under 2000 bracket (and 95%+ of you do) nothing has changed for you

Why is this? All but 2,200 rated gear is available in 2v2 play, points earned are the same and on the blizz forums (unofficially at this point) it seems that titles EXCEPT for gladiator will still be awarded.

So if you were playing arena in S6 at under 2k keep on PWNing and getting PWNed in S7 - Everyone else is!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Easy points Calculator

Ever get tired of plugging numbers into the amory? I sure do. Here's a little cheat sheet on all brackets from 1500 - 2000. Since now fifteen hundred is the lowest points you'll get as long as you play ten games a week you'll get points as if you rated at fifteen hundred.

I've also done three color codings, green, red, and blue.... This is based on the full 5v5 points given. So you can see that in order to equal the (roughly) same amount of points in 3's team as a bottom rank 5v5 team you'll need 1550 or in 2's team you'll need 1600.

I find that to be beneficial for me for time managment. If I know I'm getting 344 points for 5's this week and there's no way I'll be able to get 1550 in 3's I can skip it since I'm already getting more points- make sense?

2v2 3v3 5v5
1500 261 303 344
1525 282 327 372
1550 305 353 401
1575 328 380 432

1600 353 409 465
1625 379 439 499
1650 405 470 534
1675 433 501 570

1700 461 534 607
1725 490 576 644
1750 519 601 683
1775 548 635 722

1800 578 669 760
1825 607 703 799
1850 637 737 838
1875 666 771 876

1900 694 804 914
1925 722 836 950
1950 749 868 986
1975 776 898 1021
2000 801 928 1054

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drunkenclod - WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

Right here Baby!

Seriously though, I took a break from the blog because all the nefs to Ret have forced me to abandon RET. Yeah I can't belive it either. If you would have asked me this at level 70 I would have looked at you like an insane person.

At 80 though it's a whole new game. At 80 Blizz has provided NO pvp weapon upgrade path in Season 6 for people under 1800 rating. In Season 7 I (recently) get a very slight bump with 5 man TOC drops but it's not enough.....

Ret has always been extremely gear dependant, and your Weapon has been the single biggest improvment you can get. With me rocking a Titansteel Destroyer all of S6 no half serious team wants me as RET, so I switched to holy. This was a bit more forgiving with titansteel weapons as long as the armor was good.

This Season I've got prot/holy (19/52/0) and so far it's been AWSOME. Incredible survivability, excellent CC and most importantly my partner and I are steadily increasing in ratings.

SO.... I can no longer speak to RET as well, but I'm going to chronicle this season week by week, we'll see if I stay protection after the 3.2.2 nerf.. but for now 19/52/0 is where it's at.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Season 7 starts today - Items/ratings below

Arena Season 7 has now officially begun, and players can immediately begin competing for the new Relentless Gladiator PvP item sets. We have reset all Arena team ratings, Arena points, and personal ratings though players retain their honor points and matchmaking rating going into the season.
Also, to coincide with the launch of Arena Season 7, players who were on the top teams from each battlegroup at the end of season 6 should be receiving their end-of-season rewards today. These include Arena-specific titles until the end of the new season, and for players that have earned the rank of gladiator, a Furious Gladiator’s Frostwyrm.

Here is a list of some PvP items that will be available in Arena Season 7 and their expected rating requirements:

No Rating Required:
Deadly Bracer
Deadly Belt
Deadly Boots
Deadly Neck
Deadly Ring
Deadly Cape
Deadly Trinket
Furious Bracer
Furious Belt
Furious Boots
Furious Neck
Furious Ring
Furious Cape
Furious Trinket

Rating Required:
700+: Furious Relics
800+: Furious Gloves
900+: Furious Legs
1000+: Furious Chest
1100+: Furious Helm - 12,000h /700 arena
1200+: Relentless Bracer (honor) - 39,400
1250+: Relentless Belt (honor) - 62,000
1300+: Relentless Boots (honor) - 62,000
1350+: Furious Shoulders -9,600h /550 arena
1400+: Relentless Gloves - 1,300 arena
1450+: Relentless Neck (honor) -47,400
1500+: Relentless Ring (honor) - 47,400
1550+: Relentless Legs - 2,150 arena
1600+: Relentless Chest -
2,150 arena
1650+: Relentless Trinket (honor) - 62,000
1700+: Relentless Wands/Relics/etc
1750+: Relentless Cape (honor) - 47,400
1800+: Relentless Weapon - lvl245
35,000h / 1,200 Arena
1900+: Relentless Helm
2000+: Relentless Shoulders
2200+: Relentless Weapon - lvl258
2300+: Relentless Tabard