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Medievaldragon

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donations will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round to bring you the latest interview with the developers, photos, and panel videos (where allowed).

2008 Arena Tournament – Beginnner’s Guide

Blizzard Entertainment recently announced their 2008 Arena Tournament Schedule. Any serious Arena player who participates must read the schedule. It is divided into phases, and you might be left behind and out of the loop if you don’t read the schedule. The Arena Tournament is organized very nicely allowing anyone to join, test their character, class spec, change teams and other arrangements prior to the actual competition. However, if you haven’t joined the Arena Tournament yet, I recommend to do so really soon. You have freedom to test the realms until May 6, when registration will be officially closed. This is your chance to take a shot at $200,000 worth in prizes and show who’s the best and true Arena Champion.

Register to participate in the Arena Tournament before May 6, 2008.

Are you still undecided whether to spend $20 on the registration fee, because you don’t know what you will find on the other side of the fence once you are in the Arena Tournament? Or do you fear it is unbalanced and have no chance at winning? I sincerely think you must read this article and give yourself a chance to win this tournament because in the few days I have been talking with Arena players the feedback has been, in a nutshell, they love how Blizzard has balanced this tournament. Skill is the main factor that decides who wins. Everyone has more or less the same gear.

Once you register with a $20 registration fee, your account will become flagged to join the Arena Tournament Realm List. You will find out by login into World of Warcraft, at the Character List. Click the CHANGE REALM button. You will see the typical realm list. At the bottom you will find three tabs titled as: United States, Oceania, and Arena Tournament. After choosing the Arena Tournament tab you are welcomed with the character list … but surprise, your random character is level 70 and it is already geared up with the Merciless Gladiator Set … ready to rumble. Choose the faction, race, and class you wish to play with. You are almost ready to go.

You can only create three characters per realm. If you attempt to create a fourth character, you will get the following message: “You already have the maximum number of characters allowed on this realm”. Therefore, Choose wisely.

Your fresh-made character will spawn at a random town or village in the world. In my case, the Undead Rogue was spawned at the Deathknell in Tirisfal Glades. My Orc Warlock spawned at Fairbreeze Village in Silvermoon; and my Dwarf Hunter spawned at Shadowglen in Teldrassil.

You will notice a very drastic change between normal realms and the Arena Tournament realm … there is no quest NPCs and no local vendors. Right on the village of your starting location you will notice many Arena goblin NPC vendors lined up on top of wooden platforms.

The whole world is a ghost town except for the Arena NPCs. You won’t find creep/mobs, animals of any kind or otherwise. So don’t waste your valuable time exploring the world. You came here to beat everyone else and crown yourself Champion of the Arena Tournament with your real life pockets full of Franklin$. This is indeed: Serious Business.

The first thing to do is to check your Talent Tree. You have 61 points to spend them any way you wish. Then open the menu bar and select the Actionbars tab to enable all your bottom and right UI Bars. Open your spell tab and populate your action bars with all your class spells and abilities.

Secondly, go talk to the Arena Promoter. He has a few options for you to pick: Create a hearthstone (which will bind you to the location you are at). You can do this anywhere in Azeroth. The other options are a teleport to any major city within the world of Azeroth. You will find Class trainers lined up. These are in case you wish to unlearn your Talent Tree. And listen the good news … free of charge respec … any time.

Wish more good news? Talk to the Paymaster NPC, next to the Arena Promoter. She will give you 5,000 gold. Go spend them. Spent 2,000 gold? No sweat. Talk to her and she will reset your gold amount to 5,000 gold. It is Unlimited. Now head to the Arena Vendors and gear up if you don’t want the gear given to you as default after character creation.

ARENA VENDOR NPCS

General Goods
Enchantments
Gems Vendor
Accessories
Cloth Armor
Leather Armor
Mail Armor
Plate Armor
Weapons Vendor

The General Goods Vendor is your first stop. It will give you: water and food, reagents, Flash powder, Heavy Netherweave Bandages, unlimited Healing and Mana potions, a free Mount, Fish oil, Shiny Fish Scales, free Soul Shards, Light feather, Mysterious Arrow and Mysterious Shell. I am not quite sure why it sells healing and mana pots. In the skirmish arena fights you can’t drink healing pots. That could be a good thing to balance the tournament, I guess.

The Enchantments Vendor is awesome. You can buy various items that work like the Aldor and Scryers inscriptions which you click to apply the enchantment to your head and shoulder. However, these enchants are based on the Enchanter Profession/Tradeskill Recipes. You can apply these to head, chest, bracer, weapons, boots, and gloves. No need to call for enchanters on Trade channel.

How balanced is this Arena Tournament when it comes to Gems? Very balanced. You buy gems from the NPC Vendor and all of them are blue gems. There are no purple gems at this vendor.

The Accessories Vendor will sell you necklaces, trinkets, cloaks, and most importantly your pant enchants usually sold by tailors and leatherworkers, such as Golden Spellthread, Runic Spellthread, Nethercobra Leg Armor, Nethercleft Leg Armor. You can also get Stabilized Eternium Scope or Khorium scope for your off-hand gun. Among the trinkets, I can imagine the grins on some people using the Lightning Capacitator which is available from this NPC vendor.

From the Weapons Vendor you may get a large range of Merciless Gladiator weapons, guns, idols, totems, librams, bows, fist weapons, wands, held-on-hand items, Shields, and non-Arena set weapons.

If you are a Warlock, open your bags. Your Core Felcloth Bag already has 28 soul shards, and your backpack has a Swift Razzashi Raptor mount, and extra Merciless Gladiator, Felwave set, 20 Heavy Netherweave Bandages, 5 Infernal stones, and five Grimoire books for your Felguard abilities.

If you are a Hunter, your first question is … how do I get a pet if there are no animals in the Arena Tournament server? Simply go to the Hunter Trainer. To his side you will see the Beastmaster NPC. He will have three options for you: He functions as stable, he can untrain your pet, and gives you a long list of animals to choose from: Bat, Boar, Carrion Bird, Cat, Dragonhawk, Nether Ray, Owl, Raptor, Ravager, Scorpid, Serpent, Spider, Warp Stalker, Wind Serpent, Wolf.

Hunters get a 28 slot bag full of purple Mysterious Arrow, a Swift Razzashi Raptor, 20 Heavy Netherweave Bandages and a 24 Slot Ammo Pouch Equip: Increases ranged attack speed by 15%.

Now that you are set and ready to kick some sovereign booties, your next step is to Purchase a Team Charter. Go to the Arena Organizer who stands next to the Arena Promoter and Paymaster. You can purchase a 2v2 (80g), 3v3 (120g) or 5v5 (200g) charter. You can invite family members or friends. Otherwise you can go to the official Arena Tournament forums to recruit someone, or use Trade Channel. There is no bank and no Auction House. There is no professions/tradeskills either. So Trade Channel is clear and it will do nicely to seek recruits.

Once your team is ready, talk to the Arena Battlemasters to start your first Arena Tournament match. You will find them not too far from the Arena NPC vendors. You may have to ride between areas to find them. They are not hard to distinguish … they are goblins atop an armored Netherwing drake mount.

You have the option to test your class and talent spec in the skirmish 2v2, 3v3, 5v5 arena without affecting your ranking.

Now that this quick review of what you can expect in the Arena Tournament Servers is over, I want to introduce you to some players who shared some feedback.

What motivated you to join the Arena Tournament?
Ownerizer: I was hoping I would get a bit of high end competition.

Propaganda: Just to play with friends and get to experience some new classes for free.

Zakron: Instant Season 2 Gear enabling true class balance was the reason I joined. Money was secondary to that.

Mackheenga: For the experience of playing and competing with a different character than the one on the live servers.

Yesterdayman: I played it on the test realm and it was a lot of fun.

Armonster: The Cash Prize. I have always played Counter-Strike professionally and WoW on the side. But for $200,000, I made the switch. We have 1900 rating (RPM).

Velica: I believe I can play a Warlock better than most, and want a shot at the $200,000.

I noted most of you have played over 50 games. Have your hopes to find high-end competition been fulfilled?

Ownerizer: For the most part, yes. The friend I came here with started messing up after it got really late though.

Armonster: Not until we make it to the WCG Finals. Hehe. Blizzard has done a great job so far and I look forward to this kind of Arena Tournaments being a regular thing.

Velica: Nope. Hard to find a team that is steady.

What are the best highlights you like about the Arena Tournament thus far?

Ownerizer: I love the fact the money isn’t capped and the arenas are for the most part stresss free. It’s a good way to test skill too, since everyone’s gear is the same now. I’ve liked that, I get to see if the people I came here with would be good to actually arena with on our actual server.

Propaganda: The being able to try anything with the amount of gear/gold available and having any class available.

Zakron: Class Balance, I like how great Blizzard has done making classes extremely balanced in 1v1, which I think is one reason I keep playing on Arena Tournament servers.

Mackheenga: The PvE and PvP gear combos you can make.

Yesterdayman: Instant Queue Matches.

Armonster: I really like the competitiveness on here, and the level playing field. Pretty much everyone has the same gear, so it puts the outcome of the match into the hands of the players. It is much harder to get a high rating here because of that.

Velica: Being able to try out different talent builds free of charge.

What flaws have you found thus far in the Arena Tournament that you dislike, and how would you solve them if you were a developer?

Propaganda: The only real flaws I’ve found are the limitatiosn in the things like the enchants and gear, I think you should be able to pick from anything on live servers to gear yourself. I’ve noticed a few enchants aren’t included and I think it would make for a wider field of play to have everything usable.

Zakron: I would suggest to Blizzard that the magic number is ‘0’. However, what I see as flaw is the emphasis is on 3v3s. I would like to be able to participate in three 2v2 Teams, etc. to improve everyone’s chance at winning by enabling the character to choose their whole 3 teams to be the same. What this would do is then enable players to be more likely to see their friends online and play. Otherwise, take the emphasis off 3v3s. Even after four days, I can’t seem to synchronize my timing with my 2 partners. So, increasing player’s play time by having three 3v3 teams or three 2v2 teams, etc. would be a great addition as not many players keep a diary. I would like to see a diary built into the game. A time tracking tool that alerts the player like a memo. Just something simple like a memo alarm. I am a JAVA developer looking for a job btw. smile What I would suggest is some sort of memo tool that the player could bring up and put a short note and a server time into its GUI. Then at whatever time they entered a pop up memo note would appear into the corner alerting of their note. This memo tool should not be dependant on which character you are on.

Mackheenga: The problems I face are the massive crowd control abilities of druids and the PvE and PvP combos of the rogues and paladins overpower that of the ones I can create for other class toons.

Yesterdayman: I haven’t really noticed many flaws … seems great to me.

Armonster: I really wish they added a wider selection of gear. But other than that, I haven’t seen many bugs. Besides the level 1 shaman running around this morning.

Velica: Hmm, nothing so far …

Is it hard to find people to create an Arena Group? Or would you want some kind of matchmaking system to make it easier to join a group?

Propaganda: It’s not that hard to get a group, but that could be because I made one with friends from real life. A matchmaking system would be good though, possibly something that showed people’s classes and personal/team ratings on live servers with a link to their armory.

Mackheenga: It’s not that hard because I play arena with my friends from my town, but the trade channel is very popular and seems to get the job done.

Yesterdayman: It’s pretty easy to make a group, making a good group is not so easy … many people are playing classes for the first time, and many are playing level 70s for the first time, but if you know some people in real life and come on the server together, you can do quite well.

Armonster: It’s hard to find a group because everyone pretty much says they are “experienced” on here. Best bet is looking on IRC, or elsewhere. A matchmaking system would be nice. Where you can select a group makeup and wait for players to join similar to the LFG system in Live Servers. I think Blizzard has done a good job so far, and I would definitely like to see more. Special shoutout to my guild FSB on Korgath.

Velica: Just people that aren’t serious about the tournament wasting time. Hopefully after third phase they will go away. Matchmaking?, but then again it’s difficult. Can’t tell who is skilled unless you play with them. I don’t even have a Warlock. But so far, I’m better than most warlocks I have come across. About 95% of them anyways. Yay, Drevash and Neverwind! Go Game Theory!


World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade – Frostlord Ahune Kill Video

UNUSUAL ACTIVITY

The summoning of Frostlord Ahune requires a series of quests available during the Midsummer Fire Festival.  On the Horde side, the quests starts with the Earthen Ring Elder (female troll) located at the Midsummer Fire Festival area just north of the Flightmaster in Shattrath City.

Your first quest with her is titled: Unusual Activity.

You are sent to Zoram Strand, in the western coast of Ashenvale to kill some Twilight’s Hammer Cultists to retrieve a Twilight Correspondence in order to unveil their dark plans.

The image below shows you in the mini-map where in the Zoram Strand to find the ruins at which the Twilight are camping at.  These are level 21 mobs. Unless the letter item that drops is random, mine at least dropped from the mob by the blueish bonfire. Once you loot the letter—do not teleport/hearth out. Open your inventory (bag). You will find a totem item given to you by the Earthen Ring Elder.  Click the totem.

Below you can read the text within the Twilight Correspondence. It unveils the dark plans of the Twilight’s Hammer in alliance with the Neptulon-sworn heretic naga faction.

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade – Frostlord Ahune Kill Video

INFORM THE ELDER

After listening to the conversation between the Heretic Emissary and Ice Caller Briatha, click the totem item in your inventory.  It will summon the Earthen Ring Guide (wolf). He says: “The elemental spirits are restless … Have you discovered something?

Your journey is not over yet. You must now return to the Earthern Ring Elder located at the Midsummer Fire Festival camp in Shattrath City—just north of the Flightmaster.

Blizzcon 2008 – PvP and Battlegrounds Panel

Wintergrasp
Non-instanced pvp
Siege vehicle combat
Air combatDestructible buildngs

The demolisher
– Baseline for all siege damage
– Long range
– Driver & 3 passengers
– Passengers can cast spells while the vehicle is moving

Forsaken Catapult
– Most agile
– Limited range
– Driver Only
– Lowest damage
– Lowest cost

Flying Machine
– Flying Vehicle
– Swif
– Fragile
– Vulnerable to Anti-air

Goblin Shredder
– Anti-air rockets
– Personal Armor Suit
– Close-range melee attack
– Designed to counter planes
– Vulnerable to siege damage

Northrend Arenas
– Keep it simple
– Simple still leaves room to innovate
– Dynamic Area of Interest
– Unique starting areas/events
– Room to grow

Dalaran Arena
– Located in the sewers of Dalaran city
– Dynamic LOS
– Simple layout

For example if a pillar is used as Line of Sight (LOS) to hide, the next three seconds that pillar may magically move to elsewhere, leaving you vulnerable to attack. You can move away to hide in a new spot.

– Mounts will not be usable here

Orgrimmar Arena
– Located in the Orgrimmar arena in the valley of Heroes
– Elevating pillars reate LOS
– Triggered objects that damage players( Spikes)
– Extremely close starting areas

Northrend Batteground Blockout

This looks like Booty bay world pvp from the old times with two boats on the coast and three buildings with higher ground to reach through ramps.
bashiok

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King – Death Knight Talent Trees

The Death Knight Hero Class offers players a good alternative with Tanking and DPS abilities that may serve as an asset to your raid. It will also help fill a void when there are no tanks available. It is easy and faster to level the Death Knight from level 55-80. Below you can browse through the Death Knight’s Talent Trees.

Note: Keep in mind this Wrath of the Lich King build was from 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals. Things may change drastically through closed beta and release date. The Talent Trees below might not be accurate by then.


Preview|Blood Talent|Frost Talent|Unholy Talent

Butchery
Rank 0/2
Whenever you kill an enemy that grants experience or honor, you generate 10 runic power.  In addition you generate 1 runic power per 3 sec.
Blade Armor
Rank 0/5
You gain 5 attack power for every 1000 points of your armor value.
Improved Blood Strike
Rank 0/3
Increases the bonus damage your Blood Strikes cause to diseased targets by 30%.
Subversion
Rank 0/3
Requires 5 Points in Blood Talents
Increases the critical strike chance of Blood Strike, Pestilence and Obliterate by 1% and reduces threat generated while in Blood or Unholy Presence by 8%.
Forceful Deflection
Rank 0/5
Whenever you kill an enemy that grants experience or honor, you generate 10 runic power.  In addition you generate 1 runic power per 3 sec.
Rune Tap
Rank 0/1
Requires 10 Points in Blood Talents
Instant – 1 Blood – 1 min Colldown
Converts 1 Blood Rune into 10% of your maximum health.
Dark Conviction
Rank 0/5
Requires 10 Points in Blood Talents
Increases your chance to get a critical strike with melee weapon by 1%.
Improved Rune Tap
Rank 0/3
Requires 1 point in Rune Tap

Requires 15 Points in Blood Talents

Increases the health provided by Rune Tap by 15%
Spell Deflection
Rank 0/3
Requires 5 points in Forceful Deflection

Requires 15 Points in Blood Talents

You have a chance equal to your Parry chance of taking 10% less damage from a direct damage spell.
Vendetta
Rank 0/2
Requires 15 points in Blood Talents
Heals you for 3% of your total health whenever you kill a target that yields experience or honor.
Scent of Blood
Rank 0/3
Requires 20 points in Blood Talents
After being struck by a ranged or melee critical hit, you gain the Scent of Blood effect, causing your next 2 melee hits to steal life from the enemy.  Lasts for 12 sec. This effect cannot occur more often than once every 12 sec.
Blade Barrier
Rank 0/3
Requires 20 points in Blood Talents
Whenever you have no Runes active, your Parry chance increases by 5% for the next 8 sec.
Mark of Blood
Rank 0/1
Requires 20 points in Blood Talents
Instant – 1 Blood – 1 Unholy – 30 yard range
Place a Mark of Blood on an enemy. Whenever the marked target is healed, all party members receive a 5% of that healing (up to a maximum of 5% of the Deathknight’s health).  If a marked target that grants experience or honor is killed, all party members are healed for 10% of their total health.  Last 3 minutes.
Bloody Vengeance
Rank 0/5
Requires 5 points in Dark Conviction

Requires 25 points in Blood Talents

Gives you a 1% bonus to Physical and Shadow damage you deal for 30 sec after dealing a critical strike from a weapon swing, spell, or ability.  This effect stacks up to 3 times.
Blood Rune Mastery
Requires 25 points in Blood Talents
When you strike a diseased target, there is a 10% chance that the time it takes for your Blood Runes to activate will be cut in half for the next 5 sec.
Infested Corpse
Rank 0/3
Requires 30 points in Blood Talents
When an enemy that grants experience or honor dies while suffering from one of your diseases, its corpse has a 10% chance of producing 1 Bloodworm.  Bloodworms attack your enemies, healing you for the amount of damage they deal for 20 sec or until killed.
Hysteria
Rank 0/1
Requires 30 points in Blood Talents
Instant – 1 Blood – 1 Unholy
30 yd range – 2 min cooldown
Induces a friendly unit into a killing frenzy for 30 sec. increasing their physical damage by 20%, but causing them to suffer damage equal to 1% of their total health every second.
Veteran of the Third War
Rank 0/3
Requires 30 points in Blood Talents
Increases your total Strength by 2% and your total Stamina by 1%.
Sudden Doom
Rank 0/5
Requires 35 points in Blood Talents
Your Blood Strikes have a 4% chance to make your next Death Coil consume no runic power if cast within 8 sec.
Blood Aura
Rank 0/2
Requires 35 points in Blood Talents
Increases the amount Blood Presence heals you by 10%.  While in Blood Presence, increases the total Strength of all party members within 45 yeards by 2%.
Will of the Necropolis
Rank 0/3
Requires 40 points in Blood Talents
Increases your expertise by 2.  When you have less than 35% health, your total armor increases by 10%.
Heart Strike
Rank 0/1
Requires 40 points in Blood Talents
1 Blood – Next melee
Requires Melee Weapon
A debilitating attack that lowers the target’s total health by up to 20% for 30 sec.
Might of Mograine
Rank 0/3
Requires 40 points in Blood Talents
Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Blood Strike, Plague Strike and Obliterate abilities by 20%.
Blood Gorged
Rank 0/5
Requires 45 points in Blood Talents
When you are above 75%, your melee damage is increased by 2%.
Dancing Rune Weapon
Rank 0/1
Requires 50 points in Blood Talents
Requires Runic Power
Instant – Requires Melee Weapon – 1 min cooldown
Unleashes all available runic power to summon a second rune weapon that fights on its own for 1 sec per 5 runic power, doing the same attacks that you do.


Preview|Blood Talent|Frost Talent|Unholy Talent