Entries in PvP (34)

PTR Patch 3.3.3: Pwn A Blizzard Employee

Ever held a grudge against a Blizzard employee? Resented a class change? Sick and tired of lag? Been spurned by a Blue on the forums? 

Well, now you finally have a chance to enact revenge! If you can beat them at their own game, that is...

Sign up for the PTR, transfer a character or two, and download the latest build of Patch 3.3.3 for your chance to lock swords with members of the development team. The primary purpose of this special outing (available only on U.S. realms at the moment) seems to be testing out the new Random Battleground function

You may recall that the Blues conducted several similar sessions when testing the Dungeon Finder function for 3.3, which means that if you can't make it tomorrow (Friday, the 26th), there may be others in the near future. At the same time, this patch isn't nearly as large and will likely not have as long of a testing phase.

Either way, hit the jump for scheduling and the rest of the deets.

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PvP Resilience Gets a Buff

This morning blue poster Bornakk announced the first of what could be several fixes to the PvP system. Resilience will soon be getting double its regular buff, which he states would decrease the damage taken from other players by up to 10 or 20 percent. Here's the exact wording of the announcement:

"We are currently in the process of applying a hotfix to buff resilience. While some modifications may be made, we intend to have this buff in effect for the remainder of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. The change will double the value of resilience in reducing damage done by players.

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Some Thoughts On The New Badge System

There once was a time when earning a badge meant slogging through a 5-man dungeon over the span of a couple hours, or spending an entire night on downing two or three bosses in a raid. And it was a really long haul towards the next piece of gear. Not to mention that there was only one type of badge, so you knew exactly where to spend it and how many you would need when you got there. In an effort to equalize the playerbase, Blizzard has expanded on this idea several times in Wrath of the Lich King, first introducing a new set of badges for each tier of content, and then, in 3.2, making their acquisition even easier by handing them for just about anything remotely dungeon-related.

BlizzCon Entry Pass: the hardest badge to earn of all! BlizzCon Entry Pass: the hardest badge to earn of all!

What once took weeks could take a matter of days, especially if you've got a group of people capable of running Trial of the Crusader in all its forms. Some in the community have cried foul, myself included, but even I can admit that its only because I've been around the block a few times. I've seen the gear grind at its worst, and it's all too tempting to look down my nose at the people who've only picked up the game more recently, and yell at them in my shrill old man voice, "Why, back in my day...!"

And also like a confused geriatric, keeping all the different badges (and how you can get them) straight sometimes makes my head spin. It's bad enough that (excluding Badges of Justice from Burning Crusade) we have four different kinds, but to obtain Tier 9.5 equipment, you need to pair them up with trophies you can only get from 25-man ToC.

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Why Do We Have Cross Faction Nameplates?

The Only Advantageous Aspect Of Being Short Is Ruined By Nameplates! The Only Advantageous Aspect Of Being Short Is Ruined By Nameplates! After slightly redeeming myself in raiding last night - assuming you consider Vault of Archavon raiding - I was able to participate in my first Wintergrasp in a long time.  The battle was nothing special - Alliance fell apart and lost, shocking - but my main mode of defense made me realize something.  Why the hell are we able to see nameplates for the other faction? The ability to recognize the opposing side isn't new, and people, yours truly included, have been griping about it since day one.  Yet we can still locate baddies thanks to their nameplates.  I'm not complaining about being able to identify one troll rogue from another.  Or being able to learn someone's name that I am standing next to.  I am referring to one's ability to identify a target as hostile when the only identifying marker is the nameplate.  That means without it, I would be clueless as to who they are without further investigation. During my hold of a southern tower I completely abused the mechanic.  I sat at the top of the stairs, waiting for the nameplates to show up.  Show up they did, through the many layers of floors.  The markers popped up ages before the attached target was near the top level, so I simply went into stealth and waited.  I'm not sure if the unsuspecting horde were able to see me or not.  If my streak of kills is anything to go by, they had no idea that I had just committed first degree murder. There are numerous other cases where your nameplate can give you away (see screenshot), or outright get you killed.  I know it's a thing of small concern to those who don't bother PvPing, but Blizzard prides itself on the small details.  In my opinion, the nameplates should only come up when you're close enough to engage - say 40 yards - and have the person targeted.  That would tidy up some of the forms of abuse, such as the edge Solidsamm had, and still be informative. I'm sure the PvPers out there have some good stories on how they took liberties with the mechanic, so let's hear them.  Perhaps nameplates explain how some of the apparently random kills came to be?  What's your best explanation for the plates existing as they do?

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Rise of the Relentless Gladiator

800x600A new season of PvP is upon us! Along with all the great new armor for arena players, there is a lot of gear you can get without ever stepping foot into the arena. The entire Deadly Gladiator set is available for honor only, and many pieces can be attained in the Vault of Archavon. The chart below should be a handy reference for what pieces you can pick up. Its sorted first by rating required, with the first dozen or so not requiring any rating. This means you can get them from just doing battlegrounds. The "honor required" and "arena required" columns are non-exclusive; that is, a piece with an entry in both columns means that you must pay both the honor and arena points cost. For some pieces, you have a choice as to whether to use just honor or honor and arena points. Those options are listed in the "option two" columns. The VoA column shows the pieces that drop in the Vault of Archavon, with E25 standing for 25-man Emalon, K10 standing for Koralon 10-man, and K25 standing for Koralon 25-man.

Item Rating Required Honor Required Arena Required VoA Option Two: Honor Option Two: Arena
Deadly Gladiator's Idol/Libram/etc 0 15300 0
Deadly Gladiator's Gloves 0 31600 0 7200 200
Furious Gladiator's Wrists 0 31600 0 E25/K10
Deadly Gladiator's Shoulders 0 31600 0 9600 275
Furious Gladiator's Necklace 0 38000 0 E25/K10
Furious Gladiator's Rings 0 38000 0 E25/K10
Furious Gladiator's Cloak 0 38000 0 E25/K10
Deadly Gladiator's Legs 0 49600 0 12000 350
Deadly Gladiator's Tunic 0 49600 0 12000 350
Deadly Gladiator's Helm 0 49600 0 12000 350
Furious Gladiator's Belt 0 49600 0 E25/K10
Furious Gladiator's Boots 0 49600 0 E25/K10
Furious Gladiator's PvP Trinket 0 49600 0
Furious Gladiator's Idol/Libram/etc 700 6400 350
Furious Gladiator's Gloves 800 7200 400 E25/K10
Furious Gladiator's Legs 900 12000 700 E25/K10
Furious Gladiator's Tunic 1000 12000 700
Furious Gladiator's Helm 1100 12000 700
Relentless Gladiator's Wrists 1200 39400 0 K25
Relentless Gladiator's Belt 1250 62000 0 K25
Relentless Gladiator's Boots 1300 62000 0 K25
Furious Gladiator's Shoulders 1350 9600 550
Relentless Gladiator's Gloves 1400 0 1300 K25
Relentless Gladiator's Neck 1450 47400 0 K25
Relentless Gladiator's Rings 1500 47400 0 K25
Relentless Gladiator's Legs 1550 0 2150 K25
Relentless Gladiator's Tunic 1600 0 2150
Relentless Gladiator's Battlemaster Trinket 1650 62000 0
Relentless Gladiator's Cloak 1750 47400 0 K25
Relentless Gladiator's Weapons/OH/Wands (Tier 1) 1800 15000+ 1100+
Relentless Gladiator's Helm 1900 0 2150
Relentless Gladiator's Shoulders 2000 0 1750
Relentless Gladiator's Weapons/OH/Wands (Tier 2) 2200 0 1245+
Relentless Gladiator's Tabard 2350 0 500
What are you going for this season?

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Blue Stew: 9/11/09: Hey! You Got Your PvP In My PvE!

Blue Stew is a new semi-daily column bringing you a delicious concoction of developer news, thoughts, and opinions straight from the boiling pot that is the official World of Warcraft forums. The highlights of each day include additional commentary by Project Lore staff. PvPvPvE Would you look at this pair of winners... In one thread, Paladin extraordinaire, Feanorion, wonders:

"why are PvE concerns being trumped by the concerns of such a miniscule portion of the subscriber population? "
And in another, posted the same day, Fireweed puts on her frowny-face:
"Since the Illidan kill in TBC I swore I would not touch PvE ever, ever again. It's mind numbing, forces you to deal with people you never want to deal with on your free time, it requires way too much dedication in the scene/too many people and to stay in a guild that is capable to handle it and so forth... What I really enjoy about this game is arena, even some random battlegrounds here and there with a small group."
This, friends, is a microcosm of all that is wrong with the average complainer's mentality towards the game : "I don't like it, so it shouldn't be there!" I've said time and time again that I'm not particularly in favor of PvP, at least not to its extremes, but that's the way I prefer to play. I'm not going to outright deny the ways in which other people might have fun. But the fact of the matter is that if any decisions to change the underlying structure of Warcraft, it would be based on an entirely different group altogether, as Ghostcrawler so handily points out:
"If you expect us to balance around the most popular way to play the game, then you'd see most of our changes aimed at low level alts and very few end-game raiding tanking changes. "
I think we all get so caught up in the endgame, that we forget most people who subscribe to WoW simply enjoy tooling around, by themselves, or with a couple of close friends, in the lower levels of the game. These are the people that like to level up over a week, not a couple of hours. And these are the people that enjoy picking herbs just because they enjoy picking herbs, not because they need to make flasks for the next raid. And that's why I think Cataclysm is going to be such a big hit with the community. It refocuses the game on these types of players without entirely forgetting those at the level cap. You see, WoW is a lot like this scrum-diddly-umptious cake... (image courtesy of http://www.mmmmbrains.com/blogg/) You see, WoW is a lot like this scrum-diddly-umptious cake... (image courtesy of http://www.mmmmbrains.com/blogg/) But even ignoring this group of players, can't we just all accept that PvP and PvE are integral parts of the game? I used to be a nay-sayer, too, but I've long since learned that both styles are like two delicious flavors coming together to make World of Warcraft just as enjoyable as a tasty little peanut butter cup! Ghostcrawler explains in a seperate thread why you will never see them split:
"Internal consistency for belief in the game world is part of it. Just keeping complexity down is another part of it. We don't want to see every spell or talent have two tooltips and players having to keep all of that straight. It just feels like two games with one art set at that point, which isn't what we're going for."
Please Explain Argent Tournament Reset Seems like the Faction Change service includes everything but the kitchen sink. Or, in this case, Argent Tournament progress. Kisirani gives a simple enough answer:
"I'm responding to this thread because it's written in a calm and concise manner, so thank you for that. Simply put, while it was not a decision we enjoyed making, due to the way the Argent Tournament functions it was not feasible on a technical level to properly switch progress between factions. I am sorry we were unable to offer a better solution."
I wish he would've expanded a bit more on that, but then again, that's due to my own curiosity. I'm always intrigued to know how the game is built, how its underlying systems are structured to allow certain things and not others. While I have no way of being specific myself, I imagine it's the case of simply coding, or constructing, the Argent Tournament in a certain way at a time before the requirements for the Faction Change service were fully laid out, leaving the two aspects of the game incompatible with each other. So for those of you still considering a Faction Change, please keep this in mind. You'll have to do the Argent Tournament all over again (though, presumably, the earned reputation with each home city will remain intact, even if the quest progress doesn't). And for those of you who already did, without realizing this caveat, I'm sorry! That's potentially months worth of daily work down the drain! Earthen Power Nerf: Overkill Oh, it's the weekend. I'll throw you guys one more bone to look over! This one's for the Enhancement Shamans out there, in response to the most recent PTR patch update, which makes changes to the way in which Earthen Power works, potentially affecting their performance in Arena teams:
"The 3.2.2 PTR change to earthen power will be crippling to Enhancement Shaman, I am not saying that this talent isn't a bit too powerful, but granting the shaman short term immunity to movement impairing effects is not the issue, the issue is it granting the shamans team mates the immunity. Removing the immunity from the shaman themselves will do nothing but cripple a spec that has just recently regained viability, without showing any form of dominance, except as a part of a counter RMP team in one tournament, a tournament which doesn't well reflect the state of play on live (nothing over item level 213)... I would propose that if you feel earthen power is overly powerful, you remove the snare immunity from allied targets, but leave it on the shaman, else we will see a return enhancement shaman being unable to stick to a target. We already suffer greatly from a lack of controllable damage, reliance on long cooldowns (bloodlust/heroism, spirit wolves), and inability to kill healers. Returning Enhancement Shaman an easy to kite class will severely undermine everything you have done to give us arena viability."
Ghostcrawler explains that they favored Ghost Wolf as a reducer of movement-impairing effects instead:
"We think Earthen Power and the Ghost Wolf change were trying to solve the same problem. Together they felt like overkill to us, and we thought the Ghost Wolf change was more interesting so we kept that one. Your mileage may vary and I would be surprised if many shaman agreed since they were the target of the nerf."
Alright, folks! Have a fantastic weekend, but don't forget to respond and let us know what you think about all of these different subjects before you do!

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Blue Stew 9/10/09: Bestial Wrath? More like Bestial Whimper!

Blue Stew is a new semi-daily column bringing you a delicious concoction of developer news, thoughts, and opinions straight from the boiling pot that is the official World of Warcraft forums. The highlights of each day include additional commentary by Project Lore staff. Yesterday was 9/9/09, guys and gals. An important date in history, and not only for its numerical symmetry! If you hadn't heard yet, it was the day that The Beatles made their triumphant return (as if they could ever, truly, go away). Not only was The Beatles: Rock Band released, but so was the entire remastered album collection. It also marked the 10-year anniversary of the Dreamcast console, arguably the gaming console with the most concentrated amount of awesome in the history of the medium. It didn't last very long, but it really blazed some trails while it did. So what about the forums? Well, they're still kind of reeling from the long weekend, sadly, but there's at least one indication it's back on the road to recovery: Ghostcrawler is posting again! And, thanks to some data-mined PTR patch notes, he's got a helluva Hunter problem to deal with... Bestial Wrath Change Flies from your glaive! Flies from your glaive! According to the new PTR build, the BM Hunter skill "Bestial Wrath" is undergoing some modifications. This "last ditch" technique is being reduced to from 18 seconds to 10. It's companion skill, "The Beast Within," is getting a similar reduction, but now also increases the Hunter's damage by 10% for the duration. It seems as though the primary justification for this change is as follows (according to Ghostcrawler):

"It should be no surprise to anyone who has been on these boards for long that we're trying to chill out abilities that convey offensive and defensive bonuses with the same button press. At the same time, BM damage was a little low and too dependent on the pet. With this change, hopefully, Bestial Wrath becomes more of a defensive ability while taking Beast Within will boost hunter (and just the hunter) damage at all times."
Of course, this change is based mostly on the class' Arena performance. Not specifically that they're good or bad (according to many, Hunters have been nearly shut out from Arena teams altogether), but rather that this particular skill doesn't fit in with Blizzard's philosophy on how Arena should work. In and of itself, it may be one of the Hunter's most powerful PvP abilities, but leaving it alone simply due to poor overall class performance is not fixing the problem. That's to say you don't give a diabetic kid a candy bar just to make him feel better. The way I understand it, Blizzard just doesn't want Hunters relying on "Bestial Wrath" so much, and more positive changes that could offset this nerf, and bring up BM-spec DPS and utility in other ways, will come later. Besides, GC let slip that, even though it's not on the new tooltip yet, "Bestial Wrath" also breaks CC when activated. Let's remember, folks, that this is all still on the PTR. These things aren't final and who knows if they'll even make it to the live servers. Nonetheless, that didn't stop the forums from exploding with complaints. Morobir can't remember where he left his keys and is planning on suing the car company for making such hard-to-find keys. It turns out he simply can't stand that 10% of the population that can go anywhere they want anytime they want just because they have such an easy time staying organized! He rages on the "Bestial Wrath" subject as such:
"Thanks. Thanks so much for basing all your balancing decisions on a stupid mini-game that 90% of WoW players don't play and don't care about. Now that you've nerfed my spec. into the ground I can go into battlegrounds and get completely destroyed while everyone counters all 10 seconds of my Bestial Wrath. That will be so much fun. I could go in untalented and not do much worse."
Now, I am not the most preeminent Arena player in the game. In fact, I've admitted before that I have next to no experience with it. And you know why? Because it's quite involved, it takes a lot of effort to gear up and learn different sorts of strategies in order to compete. A stupid little mini-game, I think not! Even if I'm not a fan, I can see that much. But I honestly expected such complaints to come from someone who favors PvE combat, not a fellow PvP player. Methinks Morobir doesn't quite understand the more flexible nature of Battlegrounds, and Ghostcrawler seems to agree:
"Most of the PvP discussions in these forums tend to focus on Arena balance because frankly that's what most of the participants here seem interested in discussing. If I had to guess, it's because you are constantly running into BG situations in which class balance makes very little difference, say the other team was smarter with how they handled the flags. Or maybe you just plain went up against 20 opponents at once, in which even our most naive posters don't really expect their 51-point talent or whatever to be able to save them... Perhaps Arenas just shine a harsher light on class balance than do BGs."
Indeed, it seems rare that changes to a single skill are going to drastically affect your performance in a Battleground. There are simply too many other factors to consider, from the macro (how did your whole team do) to the micro (were your key skills on cooldown?). Arena matches don't last nearly as long, and you're probably going to find yourself using skills like "Bestial Wrath" only once over the duration. Unless Morobir is one of those "special" people who run around worrying solely about their DPS and Honor Kills instead of actually helping their team capture points and win. Hunters may able to rely on themselves in the wild, but in the middle of a war, they better learn some teamwork! Anyway, I think that's quite enough for this edition of Blue Stew. Sure, I only covered one subject today, but it's an awfully meaty one, and it's most certainly the topic du jour on the official forums. I'd really like to see the Hunters chime in on this one. I might've gone a little harsh on Mr. Morobir there, but I know there are a lot more level-headed folks out there that can perhaps clarify just how they think they'll be affected by the changes to "Bestial Wrath." The floor is yours!

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Is Blizzard Really Short-changing PvP?

We dedicated players can bicker all we want about Arena balance or Rogues being over-powered, but what about the presence of PvP available in the game itself? When you have a game as popular as World of Warcraft, you're bound to attract the ire of the gaming community at large. In my travels around the internet, I've learned that there are quite a lot of people fed up with Blizzard's baby, and one of the chief complaints, next to simply being an MMO, is that it doesn't focus enough on Player versus Player combat. I suppose this isn't a new argument. After all, the game's been criticized for its "care bear" approach to open-world ganking since before its launch, and, at that point, I can understand why. It stands to reason that the people most interested in the game at the time were those that had spent extensive amounts of time playing through the Warcraft strategy games. WoW offered them a new, interesting, and more intimate way of engaging in the age-old conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. With so much standing animosity between the two factions, it would be reasonable for your average pre-release gamer to expect copious amounts of wanton bloodshed and for all-out war to consume Azeroth whole. Well, the fight with the Burning Legion mellowed those tensions. The Alliance lost their core leaders and Thrall tried his best to pacify the more chaotic aspects of the Horde. So when it came to retail, the only thing you could do in WoW was to attack someone on the opposite side if they let you, duel with fellow players, and play a silly game of "capture the flag" in Warsong Gulch (though, if memory serves correctly, Arathi Basin may have been available, as well). Quite the disappointment for some, but a great boon for others. The game's population swelled not only on the brand name, but the number of players who wanted to work cooperatively towards their goals. But Blizzard didn't completely forget about PvP. Instead, they made great strides to make it more and more a part of the game without completely alienating their base. But to this day, the game takes a lot of guff from those who have long-since quit the game or never played it in the first place. In fact, so heralded is this mythical PvP nirvana, that a lot of people believe that's the only way to make a dent in Warcraft's armor. That its players simply continue to bide their time and play such a "boring" game because a real, honest, PvP-dedicated MMO has yet to come along. Isle of Conquest... on of Warcraft's most recent PvP additions. Isle of Conquest... on of Warcraft's most recent PvP additions. The problem is that they have. Guild Wars, Warhammer, Aion. Countless other Korean MMORPGs. More games than I'm willing to list here have used PvP as a selling point to distance themselves from WoW. And yet, its success remains unparalleled in the genre. Now that's not to say that they're bad games or that they don't present a viable PvP option, but rather, I propose, the market for such games isn't quite as big as one might initially think. After all, not only are these games competing with Warcraft, but also games in other genres: Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, HALO, Gears of War, Madden, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., Starcraft, Warcraft 3. Taking a quick look at the pro circuit will allow you to see what sorts of titles are dominating the competitive gaming scene at any given moment, and MMOs are curiously absent... aside from, ironically, Arena play in WoW. In my experience, the vast majority of competitive gamers prefer instant action, as opposed to the typical need to grind to a certain level to even start playing seriously. Now here is where WoW excels: it's got some excellent PvE content to pull you along, making that grind more or less worth it (at least the first time through). PvP, even if it isn't in its ideal form, is layered on top of that core structure. But some people maintain that the game simply doesn't go far enough. Really? Currently, you've got your choice of six different Battlegrounds, an extensive, rating-based Arena system, and World PvP objectives like Wintergrasp (and, to a lesser extent, Venture Bay, Halaa, and the Bone Wastes as the next most popular locales). The next expansion will add ratings to Battlegrounds, three brand new ones to fight in, the Tol'Barad PvP zone, and most certainly several unrevealed Arena maps, to boot. I contend that the sum total of World of Warcraft's PvP content eclipses that of  nearly any competing MMORPG. Is it as integrated into the game as it is in other titles? Perhaps not, but that's splitting hairs. If a game's PvP is restricted primarily to certain zones, regardless of whether or not they are physically connected to the core game world, I don't think it's any different from the way Battlegrounds are set up. And, of course, there's always rolling on an open PvP server if that's the way you really want to play the game. Blizzard may have shifted their focus to PvE content early on, but I think that the concept of PvP in Azeroth has come back in a very big way. With those old conflicts rising once again, both the Horde and Alliance marching to war against each other, even with a greater threat looming, I think the game's potential for competitive player combat can only become greater. So, I ask you readers: Is Blizzard really short-changing PvP? Have you been satisfied with the amount of content added, or do you think other games have succeeded at competing on this front, offering a better, and supposedly more comprehensive PvP experience?

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Faction Change Service Goes Live

We knew they were coming soon, but not this soon! Looks like Blizzard has given the Paid Faction Change service the go-ahead and it's now available for use (WoW or Battle.net ID necessary to log-in). Of course, according to the website, there are a few conditions to consider before you make the shift:

  • The faction change process is not immediate, and a character will not be available for play while a faction change is pending. Under normal conditions the process should take under an hour, but please allow up to several days for a faction change to complete.
  • During this process, you will select a new character race from the opposite-faction races that have the character's class available. You cannot change a character's class.
  • To see how character-specific information such as achievements, reputations, and items are affected by a faction change, refer to the Translation Table.
  • A realm transfer is not included in a faction change. However, the restriction on having members of both factions on a PvP realm has been lifted, so you can have characters of both factions on a single PvP realm.
  • A character can change factions once every 60 days.
  • Not every character will be eligible to undergo a faction change. If applicable, the reason a character is not eligible will be brought to your attention before payment is rendered. For example, faction changes may not be possible on certain realms or only one "direction" of faction changes may be allowed on a given realm.
Orcs becoming Humans! And Humans becoming Orcs! What has Azeroth come to?! Orcs becoming Humans! And Humans becoming Orcs! What has Azeroth come to?! A comprehensive FAQ, which can be also be found on the Faction Change site, details things even further. Here are some highlights:
  • You can only transfer one character per transaction (so if you're planning to go full Alliance of full Horde, expect to pay out the nose).
  • The character to be transferred must be at least Level 10 (under that, you might as well just make a new toon on the opposite faction).
  • In addition to changing factions, you will also get to re-customize and re-name your character.
  • You can switch a character back to their original race/faction, but that requires another paid transfer (and likely falls under the 60-day rule).
  • The Faction Change itself is represented by a button next to your selected character on the character select screen, which will appear after you have been logged out for at least 30 minutes. The screens you go through will be similar to those used in the New Character Creation process, and you will be able to preview the changes before confirming.
  • Your old character's name will be locked from use for 90 days, assuming that you decide to change it back.
  • Items, Equipment, Titles, Achievements, etc. will remain unchanged unless they are faction-specific, in which chase they will be switched out for an equivalent.
  • Non-combat pets, even faction-specific ones, can be transferred.
  • A character who is being transferred will have their quest log cleared and all related items will be destroyed. Faction-specific quests which contributed to achievements will no longer be counted.
  • Reputation will remain intact, though primary faction reputations will be transferred to their equivalent (i.e. Orgrimmar for Stormwind).
  • Flight paths will be changed, but will remain level appropriate (a level 40 transfer will not automatically have all of the flight paths available to their faction).
  • Friend and Ignore lists will be reset.
  • Guild Masters cannot take advantage of this service.
  • PvP-related currency (arena points, honor, etc.) will be carried over, except for any earned between the last maintenance and the time of the Faction Change.
  • Mail and Auctions needs to be cleared before the change is made.
  • Having more than a certain amount of gold per level will prevent you from using the Faction Change (this is over 20,000 at Level 80).
  • This service cannot be used to change races within the same faction. That feature will be implemented later.
Whew! That's quite the list of requirements, but if you think you're ready to deal with them, keep in mind that you're still going to have to plunk down 30 USD for the switch. That currently makes it the most expensive of the character modification services, indicating that Blizzard considers this quite a big deal (and so should you). While Horde is outnumbered nearly 3-to-1 on my server, I can't say I really have any friends on the Alliance side, so it's unlikely that I'd ever change factions without an accompanying server transfer, too (55 USD, yikes!). How many of you out there are planning to make use of the Paid Faction Change, and why?

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Tuesday Brings Season 7, ToC Hard Modes

Anub'arak is not pleased
In what may or may not be a grand coincidence, there are going to be major PvE and PvP occurrences after this weeks server resets on Tuesday. The final boss of Trial of the Crusader (ToC), Anub'arak, will be available to fight, allowing players to unlock the Heroic difficulty setting for the raid. In addition, the seventh season of the Arena will be starting, handing out Frost Wyrms and titles to the most skilled combatants and bringing in a new tier of PvP gear. The events were likely made to coincide to avoid what happened with previous seasons, where it was easier to gear up in raids than it was to in PvP and players played in PvE gear. For those unaware, Trial of the Crusader comes in 10 man and 25 man versions. Each week since patch 3.2 launched, a new encounter has been added, and Anub'arak will be the fifth. If at least one player in the raid has completed either the 10 or 25 player versions, their raid can enter the Trial of the Grand Crusader by setting the raid difficulty to heroic. It is unknown if the bosses are any different at this point in this mode, but I imagine that they must be much harder than their regular versions. The raid will have 50 attempts to clear the instance, that is, if the raid wipes more than 50 times, they are locked out of the instance. If the raid can complete the instance without wiping too many times, they will get a chest with loot that is better the less that they wiped. Its a new take on the Undying style of achievement. In addition, because Season 7 is starting, Koralon the Flame Watcher will be spawned in the Vault of Archavon to drop some Season 7 loot. The loot table is not yet confirmed. In addition, the achievement Earth, Wind, and Fire will now be obtainable. I've been thinking about different strategies for this, and I'm still not sure on how it could be possible, especially on 10 man. We will have more details on this on Tuesday. We may see a minor patch on Tuesday in case some of these things were not implemented in the very early patch 3.2, and we may even see patch 3.2.2 live on Tuesday.

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