Archive for the Arena Category

Season #10 Death Knight Gladiator Set

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds, Miscellaneous with tags on March 7, 2011 by Vikt

Yesterday MMO Champion posted all the Season #10 Gladiator gear sets which will be live in Patch 4.2, and above is the male and female version of everyone’s favorite class. All in all I am pretty happy with the look, and while many are criticizing the horns as making DK’s look like the spawn of Satan I think it makes for a nice evolution from the Season #9 helm. Of course, I can’t ever remember displaying my helm graphic so take from that what you will.

Be sure to visit the MMO Champion link above to view your own class set as well.

My PvP Status

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds, Strategy with tags , on February 1, 2011 by Vikt

I wanted to start off this post with a really wise war quote, something like from “The Art of War” that I’ve seen elsewhere and could pretend that I’ve read it but I apparently lack that ability or desire to do so today. It’s really a shame too; this entry is going to cover about everything involving my DK existence to this point, largely in part because Snowpocalypse 2011 dumped 2” of ice and my power wavering in and out isn’t all that conducive to grinding arena ratings.

(Though I obviously did later find a Chinese translator and translate “Of The Horde”)

I think it’s nearly universal from the PvP community that this season has been amongst the most balanced that arena play has seen, and while not perfect many factors that have tilted odds one way or the other are the being addressed in the upcoming Patch 4.0.6. In terms of death knights I believe that Necrotic Strike did need an adjustment as its implementation likely led many players to be rated significantly higher than they should have been, though my thoughts on how it is being done (lower absorb, can drop Desecration) will have to wait until the change occurs. A successful silence chain previously could lead to a healer being dealt 40k worth of NS stacks to recoup, and at the rate DK’s could continually deal damage and stack more the ability was simply a royal pain in the ass.

The 2H Frost damage buff coming in the patch is a welcome addition, and while I do harbor that ounce of sympathy for those who spent more for DW I have to call bullshit on your forecasting ability that told you DW would do more damage. When looking at the frost talent tree you have mirror images to choose between MotFW and ToT, and under no pretense did you predict that DW damage would stack on your oblits. Sorry, you went DW because you 1) liked the look/idea or 2) copied off your favorite Arena DK. My idea certainly carried no more research to go 2H, my only thoughts were that if Frost didn’t compare with Unholy in arena that I at least purchased the right weapon to switch. Either way, I’m comfortable with the weapon decision being a choice in the Frost presence and I am even open to the idea that each spec excels in different areas, but in no way should DW outperform 2H consistently in everything.

Anyway, since Cataclysm I have ran a Blood spec for tanking and 2H Frost for PvP and initially could not be more happy with my decision. The Blood spec was a response to the constant need of tanks in end game PvE content, and thinking about every time I thought to myself that I would like to do an encounter (mostly VoA for me) I was cockblocked by several much more shitty DK’s. While not a raider, I rarely was beat out on DPS and even held more than my own earning my Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher – but even getting raids attempting to get my Brynntroll was next to impossible because of the abundance of DK dps. In Cataclysm, I vowed to devote the same amount of time to PvE as I did in Wrath – but the problem is I’m coming up on 2 months past release and I still could care less.

The Blood spec is fun, and while I haven’t tanked on it since mid-December I use it every day running dailies. I wear my full PvP setup (medallion and badge included) in Tol Barad, Deepholm and Uldum, and when Allies attack even 3-on-1 I have come up victorious. If the Blood spec had any Arena function at all I would keep it, but that said I am starting to lean heavily on the side that I want to try out Unholy instead of 2H Frost.

Ahh yes, this debate. Most “pros” will tell you that you need to run Unholy at higher levels and that Frost is the “nub” spec. Nah. Unholy provides constant pressure at all times, and when coordinated well can overwhelm teams with a transformed ghoul and a gargoyle. Frost can give insane damage almost instantly, but the higher I get in Arena I find my burst being peeled much more efficiently than it was at lower levels. My mind isn’t made up on what I am doing and will likely see how Frost performs following the content patch, but in the near future if you are an armory watcher you will likely see a change of some sort.

Speaking of “pros”, other than quickly claiming 1550 achievements across the board in Arenas and an 1800+ rating in 3’s, the highlight of my Cataclysm experience so far was beating this team from Mannoroth. In this scoreboard shot reveals some of the most revered players in the battlegroup, including Lopez, widely considered to be the best DK on the US-Ruin battlegroup (he runs Unholy if you’re wondering). Now in the past I have said that Strand of the Ancients victories should not hold a lot of weight because it is simply an awful battleground, but since our big victory occurred there I take all that back.

Kidding, but it was exciting to pair our guild up (we have a 1750+ achievement requirement for entry) against élite players and come out on top, even if they did let us steamroll to the orb after shutting them out in the first round.

Speaking of the 1750+ achievement, I never had it when I joined my current guild as I was let in without it because of some run-ins in battlegrounds and Wintergrasp with some of the members. I have always considered myself good at PvP, but if you’re reading this far into my post you know that people judge you almost solely upon your highest ratings as often as people mistake your gearscore for skill in a dungeon. It was refreshing to know that I have no difficulty grinding out this rating, though I am starting to understand why people get stuck at certain ratings. There is a noticeable difference in competition at 1800, and I have heard the same at every century interval after that. Now being that I only started season #9 with just over 100 wins, my recent addiction to rated arenas has me in line for the 300 win achievement within the next week or two.

Now with all that rating talk in Arenas, my goal this season was to acquire a ranking higher than 2200 in order to purchase the best weapons and armor. While I feel that I am going to be much better in arenas by the end of this season, I don’t believe that I will grind out a 2200+ rating in one of them. The best way in order to do this in the current implementation though is to via rated battlegrounds. In the above picture alone you see ___ players with a 2200+ ranking, and from all accounts that I have seen it is very difficult to lose points from a battleground, while every win seems to raise you without consequence. Many non-2200+ arena players are in line for the “heroic” Vicious Gladiator gear as of now because of rated battlegrounds, so my guild taking note has begun taking them a bit more serious. Vikt currently sits at 1096 (4 points from the “Scout” title) and is 17-7 so far in those.

Finally, if you already scoffed at the Vengefully Dedicated screenshot for Gladius being out of order with the Blizzard default, I am also in the process of changing my keybinds as well as my UI. So, the screens that you’ve seen for the better part of 2 years are going to change a bit as I’m working towards something a little more user friendly and using keybinds that are easier to manage – you know, now that I know what I actually need to use and how often. Before I was fine with having Empower Rune Weapon as Ctrl+C, however when bursting a target in arena I simply cannot pull this move off in the time, and thus need an easier keybind and then I need to make sure I don’t use it accidentally when I don’t need it…stuff like that.

Conquest Point Cap Chart

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds with tags on January 19, 2011 by Vikt

I found this beauty today in an aggressive Arena Junkies forums read, meaning basically that things at work were ungodly slow and I had time to catch up on more threads than what just happens in the Death Knight discussion. The post at AJ regarding this chart as well as explanations, discussions and corrections can be found here.

At the moment I am sitting at 1801 so if nothing changes I assume to be able to earn up to 1950 points next week, which means I’ll have to see what kind of remaining points I have cause it may be enough to get another 2200+ point item (head/bp/legs).

Enjoy the chart, if you comb AJ be sure to +rep Felbent (US-Stormstrike) on the chart.

Three’s Company

Posted in Arena with tags on January 17, 2011 by Vikt

While our guild hasn’t fully embraced rated battlegrounds yet, I have been able to get my first real taste of arenas. It is one thing to offer advice on this site from time to time, but another to have the credentials to back it up. While I haven’t reached that 2200+ plateau that I want, we’re doing pretty well for this being my first season.

We’re running a TSG comp, meaning a holy paladin, death knight and arms warrior. TSG is an acronym for “Teh Super Gosus”, which was the name of the first successful team to run this comp. While I am currently running my frost spec in place of the traditional unholy setup, we have done substantially well in getting to this level.

That said, last Thursday we hit a real slide and went 8-13. Necrotic Strike was hotfixed during the day, and I failed to make an adjustment until it was too late. We started 1-6 before rallying the final games at 7-6, but my days of being an NS-monkey are at least finished for now. The hotfix reduced the absorption rate of NS from 8-9k to somewhere between 3.5-5k, and while I was fruitlessly trying to apply it to holy paladins and restoration druids they were laughing off my mostly-melee pressure and keeping targets alive that my warrior was beating on. Adjustments will definitely have to be made as we attempt to climb higher.

Anyway, typical TSG setups in the past was burst a dps to pull out the healer then kill it, but with all the new crowd control in Cataclysm we’re finding that we have a lot of adjustments to make against certain classes. I have considered switching over to unholy because I think we should have a much better record than we have right now, but with the upcoming changes to 2h frost I think I am going to see them out to see how it performs before shanking my battleground spec in order to spec a supposedly better arena setup.

Thrall’s Balls, It’s Been a Week

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds, Miscellaneous, Strategy with tags , on December 14, 2010 by Vikt

You have to admit that “Thrall’s Balls!” has to be amongst the greatest ways to express “Holy Shit!” in a video game that you’ve ever heard. Had it not been roughly 5:45 am last Tuesday morning I would have had the presence of mind to snap a screenshot of what was going on, but ya – pay no attention to the dirty blood elf screen I pulled off of Google.

Oh and *EDIT* – I did have my Thrall’s Balls pic:

So a week into the Cataclysm expansion has me weary and sleep-deprived. With one day of vacation left for the year I pulled a 22-hour marathon online that began at 3:40 am Tuesday morning and went to 1:30 am Wednesday. I made well into level 83 the first day and perhaps a bit more realistically grinded out the final 9.2 million experience finally on Thursday night, but I sadly still find reasons to maintain non-sustainable hours.

I decided to tank this expansion for the usual cast that gets mentioned here quite a bit, and the results of that have been pretty favorable. I was initially a tank when I started the game, however since returning I’ve been DPS ever since. Upset without an indispensable role should I want to do PvE content, I decided to tip the scales in my favor and the result has worked like a charm. I am currently sitting as 1 of 2 heroic-capable tanks in my guild, my dungeon queues are instant and the ability to get other guild DPS past the 40-minute waits for dungeons is a decent feeling. I’m sitting at a 335 item level and close to 145k health in five-man dungeons, but I’m sure I’ll post on this some other time cause tonight all that PvE stuff is about to go right to hell.

Tonight Rated Battlegrounds are going live, and despite my lack of desire to PvP much over the past week I am frothing at the mouth for a chance to try out the new battlegrounds. I know, I know – sellout – but switching specs to non-PvP friendly setup has had its effects on me. I don’t PvP as a protection spec (though am sort of thinking maybe…), and rolling on DPS items throughout this first week is basically dick-move. I’ve accumulated a few things in reserve, but essentially my gear is resilience-less and PvE defense – I didn’t have a weapon without a defensive enchant on it…

…until last night.

As I sat and considered the dungeon and reputation grinds I’ve endured throughout the past week, I decided I need to have a head-start entering the battlegrounds. I glanced at the Bloodied Pyrium PvP pieces and with current pricing I would end up spending around 20k to outfit myself. While oddly worth it in my view, I likely made a decision that will benefit me even more in the near future – which was to just spend the 20k leveling my blacksmithing from 450-525.

4.0.1 Death Knight PvP Spec(s)

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds, Strategy with tags on October 11, 2010 by Vikt

While I may only present simplified cumulative information in PvE spec posts, I love delving into the new possibilities brought about by patches when it radically changes the face of PvP. Patch 4.0.1 is no different, and after analyzing various setups I have cut my options down to 2 specs to experiment with.

If you have followed of the Horde you already know I’ve basically ran Unholy for everything up until this point. Spreading disease, infections, swinging a 2-hand weapon and commanding the dead really ties well with what I like to do in-game, and given these tendencies the first thing I did with the new talents was to come up with a Level 80 2H Unholy PvP Spec:

0 / 2 / 34

The biggest thing with 2H Unholy PvP right now that seems to differ across varying specs is the use of the point I have in Anti-Magic Zone, where some are using that point to place into the Frost sub-spec for a point in Runic Power Mastery. I am a Death Knight who uses all his abilities and thus gets good mileage out of AMZ, so in my opinion (at this point) I think that’s a talent you keep around. With abilities like Runic Corruption and Sudden Doom, my thinking is that the burst damage of Death Coil is still going to be available whether you add the extra Runic Power talent point or not.

Death Coil, Raise Dead and Scourge Strike are no-brainers for Prime glyphs, where Strangulate, Pestilence and Anti-Magic Shell are the same with Major glyphs. Resilient Grip is potentially helpful talent for those times when Death Grip fails for one reason for the other, while Death’s Embrace seems to become more attractive with a seemingly more flexible Death Coil  spell. Horn of Winter is essentially me admitting to be a lazyass who often forgets to recast HoW.

All that said, I’m schoolgirl-happy to try out this Level 80 2H Frost PvP Spec:

0 / 32 / 4

I haven’t done a frost spec since right as I turned level 80, but a lot of the utility that I enjoyed as a long-time Unholy DK seems to be included in the frost tree now. Lichborne is huge to the way I PvP (and really should be for everyone), as well as On a Pale Horse for my battleground versatility. Hungering Cold will be a great ability to gain again, and on that same token Chillblains seems like a great crowd control ability by reducing infected targets movement speed by 50% for 10 seconds.

I think I am going to try the frost spec first, and if I have difficulties adjusting then I will turn around and try the Unholy spec in order to give both specs due diligence. I will post my opinions here after a week or so of both specs.

Cataclysm PvP Changes

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds, Strategy on May 1, 2010 by Vikt

In continuing to comment on Cataclysm PvP changes as they become available, more information became available this week as well as a clarification regarding PvP weaponry. Rather than simply re-wording everything I just read prior to starting this post, by all means click the links – I’ll be here when you get back.

The Basics:

PvE emblems as you know them are gone (Frost and Triumph). The new “point system” is structured as Hero and Valor Points; where Hero Points will have no cap on how fast and how many you can farm, and Valor Points will be like the current Frost Emblems where you can get like 2 a day, 5 for a weekly raid and a limited number from bosses.

PvP is moving to a remotely similar platform, where Honor Points will remain exactly how they are and new Conquest Points will be introduced in place of Arena Points. The Conquest Points will accrue similar to Arena Points now, being much slower and in less quantities.

What this means:

All PvP gear will now be purchasable without a certain personal rating in Arena play. In fact the Blizzard post that appears in the above link reads:

We’re removing personal rating requirements on almost all items; they’re definitely removed for weapons. We might offer a few items to the absolute best players based on personal rating, largely as cosmetic or ‘bragging rights’ type items.

Anyone will be able to purchase their PvP set dependent upon how quickly they can acquire the necessary Honor & Conquest Points for that respective item, and much like the first armor pieces in Icecrown Citadel players will likely all purchasing certain current-tier pieces on the same day as it became the first opportunity to accumulate that amount of points. The additional piece in the quote regarding the bragging rights type items would lead you to believe mounts like the gladiator frostwyrms and items like that will still be available, but at a certain level of distinction.

The Weapons Clarification

The purchasable weapons will work similar to the way that normal and heroic items work now under the current raid structure. Most guilds run the typical raids, outfit their members accordingly and before you know it half the server is all wearing the same armor. However, each server has a select handful of guilds that excel at raiding and don’t need to be spoon-fed loots, and eventually begin raiding those same instance’s heroic versions to get the same items – just with better numbers.

The Translation

Current PvP diehards are forced to attend PvE raids to acquire weaponry and a few other items in order to compete on the PvP battlefield, however players focused on PvE have absolutely no reason to ever engage in PvP. The heart of these changes can likely best be prepared to early Arena seasons, where you had players with no interest in Arena play engaging in it to acquire what was considered “welfare epics” – or items you could get with significantly less effort than the item was worth. When personal ratings were put on items that then made players dedicate themselves a bit to getting them, people with no interest in Arena left it, allowing competent Arena players to play against other competent, Arena players.

In addition, the battleground diehards that may only be outfitted in Furious gear at the moment and comprising the middle of the pack on the scoreboard will begin wearing (and wielding) just as good as gear as the people who occasionally hop in a random to play with their new toys. No longer will the battlegrounds exist that consist of the Bryntroll-wielding hybrids in full Icecrown gear dominating the Tyranical Beheader-wielding ones in full Furious.

In Short…

You stay out of my battlegrounds and I’ll quit tagging tagging along praying for a weapon drop.

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