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Blizzard's Opening Moves series continues, as top Arena players give us some insight and advice on how to be better at WoW's premiere PvP activity. This time around the focus is player positioning, in relation to teammates, opponents and map obstacles.
This article is a part of our Opening Moves series, where we talk to World of Warcraft esports pros about the meta-game and strategy behind the beginning of every match. Read part one here.
In a game of chess, opening moves are made with the intention of gaining control over key areas of the board, protecting the King, providing mobility for friendly pieces, and creating opportunities to capture opposing pieces. These goals are also present in World of Warcraft Arena matches, and in each game, player or unit positioning is one of the most crucial elements to understand in order to gain and maintain control of a match.
In the context of WoW Arena, “positioning” refers to a player’s location relative to their teammates, their opponents, and obstacles on the map. All three of these considerations must be taken into account when analyzing a player’s position. In order to understand the importance of positioning, let’s take a closer look at each of these elements individually.
Position relative to teammates.
The most important thing to be aware of in an Arena match is the position of your teammates. “If you relate it back to chess, your team’s healer is essentially your King piece”, says Method Synergy’s Ryan “Trill” Costello. Healers typically play further back in the field, where they can’t be easily stunned or interrupted, but still within the 40-yard healing range of their teammates.
As a damage dealer, it’s important to remember that your healer will have to move as you do to stay in range, which could be dangerous. “There’s not much worse than getting out of position in a match,” said Jason “Pika” Smith. “It drags everyone into a risky position, which might result in your healer getting CC’d, interrupted, or swapped to.”
Position relative to opponents.
Simultaneously, you’ll need to be aware of your enemies’ position—and how you can use it to your advantage. Alex “Alec” Sheldrick, described one strategy for accomplishing this. “As the Mage on a caster cleave team, my goal is often to draw the enemy melee out into “no man’s land. Once they begin to overextend, my melee moves in behind them to “zone out” their healer and apply pressure.”
Think about your team’s capabilities and win conditions, and consider how you can force the enemy to play into your strategy.
Position relative to map obstacles.
Equally important to consider is your team’s position relative to the obstacles on each map. Obstacles can be used to break enemies’ line-of-sight, allowing you to avoid damage and CC. “No amount of damage you take is trivial when you think about your healer’s mana pool,” says Trill. “Knowing when to use obstacles to avoid unnecessary damage can make a big difference later in the game.”
Often times, healers will opt to play close to an obstacle on the map, such as one of the four pillars in Nagrand Arena, so that they can break their opponents’ line-of-sight to avoid being targeted. While these obstacles provide relative safety, Alec says they don’t give as much of an advantage as most players think. “Every time you peek, you’re in danger—if the fighting is close by. Consider playing in the open field at maximum range. Your enemies will have to move further to target you, giving you more time to react.”
“Positioning is the most important thing that’s not properly understood or discussed by most players. It’s not obvious to think about at first, but as you gain more knowledge and game experience, you’ll be able to tell what’s working!” – Alec
There are seemingly infinite factors to think about in the Arena, but establishing strong fundamentals, like positioning, will do wonders for increasing your game sense and skill level. Be on the lookout for the next entry into our Opening Moves series, where we’ll discuss XYZ with professional World of Warcraft Arena players to help level up your play.
Burning Crusade Timewalking returns this week and you can enter Black Temple to gear up your characters! This week's world bosses are Ana-Mouz and Sotanathor. Don't forget to complete the Deepwind Dunk PvP Brawl and all weekly quests associated with the world events.
Mythic Keystone Affixes
Bolstering Skittish Fortified Argus Weekly Quests
Just a reminder! Fuel of a Doomed World and Invasion Onslaught weekly quests reward 1,000 reputation with both Army of the Light and Argussian Reach factions in Patch 7.3.5. Make sure to complete them, because unlocking Lightforged Draenei and Void Elves is gated behind Exalted reputation standing with these factions. You can find more information here. World Bosses (Upcoming World Boss Schedule (Until February 2018)
Look for the epic world quest "Ana-Mouz" in Suramar.
Crop Top Chain Hauberk Demonic Birthstone Ring Imp Mother's Loincloth Imp-Eye Diamond Low-Cut Chestplate Sheer Felthreaded Robe Skimpy Demonleather Tunic Vantus Rune Technique: Tichondrius Sotanathor
Sotanathor is up on Argus and the portal is located in Mac'Aree (44, 50). Argus world bosses drop ilvl 930 loot, so don't forget to bring a Seal of Broken Fate for bonus roll.
Bracers of Diabolic Fury Enthralling Chain Armor Fel-Linked Crushers Gauntlets of Barbaric Cruelty Gloves of Grim Direction Gore-Soaked Legplates Horned Hood of Retaliation Robes of Demonic Purpose Spaulders of Vile Determination Spike of Immortal Command Sotanathor's Thundering Hoof Subjugated Drudge's Leggings Waistguard of Devilish Deeds World Events
PvP Brawl: Deepwind Dunk (January 23 - 30)
Complete the weekly quest Something Different to get a Brawler's Footlocker, 3 Marks of Honor and Soldier's Legacy (10 billion Artifact Power @ AK level 55).
Can you even dunk? If you want to win this brawl, you’re going to need to work on your skills because Dunkball has come to Pandaria. You’ll race to claim balls from the map’s center, or northern, or southern mines, take them to your enemy’s base, and then go for a magnificent long range shot or go all in for the dunk.
Burning Crusade Timewalking Dungeon Event (January 23 - 30)
Items obtained from dungeons during Burning Crusade Timewalking have a base item level of 880. Items obtained from Black Temple Timewalking have a base item level of 930. Complete 5 Timewalking dungeons for the weekly quest "A Burning Path Through Time" and get Accolade of Victory (2.5 billion Artifact Power @ Ak level 55), 1 Seal of Broken Fate & Cache of Antoran Treasures that contains a single piece of Normal difficulty Antorus loot. Reins of the Infinite Timereaver has a chance to drop from any dungeon boss as Personal Loot. Black Temple is also available during Timewalking, go to Shattrath (Outland) and talk to Vormu. Demon Hunters can collect the appearances of Illidan's warglaives (Arsenal: The Warglaives of Azzinoth).
While this event Is active, players level 71 or higher may access a special Timewalking Dungeon Finder queue, which scales players and their items down to revisit past dungeons from The Burning Crusade expansion. While Timewalking, bosses will yield loot appropriate for a player’s regular level. During Burning Crusade Timewalking, you may assemble a raid group of between 10 and 30 players, travel to Shattrath City in Outland, and speak with Vormu to access a Timewalking version of the Black Temple raid.
Patch 7.3 introduced a fixed world boss rotation. Now that all bosses were up at least once, we gathered enough data and compiled a table of upcoming world boss spawns and some of their loot you might be interested in.
Naz'ak the Fiend will be up during the week of January 16. The boss drops Recipe: Potion of Prolonged Power.
Date* World Bosses Interesting Loot November 28 Humongris / Mistress Alluradel December 5 Shar'thos / Matron Folnuna Skull of Shar'thos December 12 Flotsam / Sotanathor The Warmace of Shirvallah December 19 Drugon / Inquisitor Meto Vantus Rune Technique: Guarm December 26 Calamir / Pit Lord Vilemus January 2 Withered J'm / Occularus Unstable Arcanocrystal January 9 Levantus / Mistress Alluradel The Warmace of Shirvalla January 16 Naz'ak the Fiend / Matron Folnuna Recipe: Potion of Prolonged Power January 23 Ana-Mouz / Sotanathor Vantus Rune Technique: Tichondrius January 30 Nithogg / Inquisitor Meto Skull of Nithogg February 6 The Soultakers / Pit Lord Vilemus Runes of the Darkening February 13 Humongris / Occularus February 20 Shar'thos / Mistress Alluradel Skull of Shar'thos February 27 Flotsam / Matron Folnuna The Warmace of Shirvallah *For EU add one day to the dates above
Today's hotfixes bring a bunch of class and dungeon bug clearing, Uuna fixes, some old quest fixes and more...well, fixes!
January 22 (source)
The consolidated Algalon achievement Observed should now properly grant both the “Starcaller” and “Astral Walker” titles. Characters
Addressed a graphical error with characters who have markings such as tattoos. Uuna will now react to her surroundings when taken to Suramar, for both Horde and Alliance characters. Classes
Demon Hunter Fixed an issue where Fel Eruption would not deal damage to stun-immune targets. Rage of the Illidari again correctly deals damage. Mage Frost Mages can again obtain their Frostfire Remembrance artifact appearance. Shaman Artifact traits and other effects that increase all of your healing correctly benefit Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem. Warlock Haunt will no longer incorrectly reset its cooldown when used against certain creatures with scaling health. Warrior Fixed a bug that prevented Warriors who have completed two Artifact acquisitions from starting “One More Legend” to obtain their third Artifact. Dungeons and Raids
Deepholm Fixed a bug where Aeonaxx would fail to drop loot. Return to Karazhan Attumen should once again properly respect tank threat for his Mounted Strike and Stamp attacks while astride Midnight. Shadowfang Keep Some enemies will now properly benefit from damage scaling when attacked by high-level players, in Normal difficulty. Vault of the Wardens Fel Furies that spawn in the Mythic Tirathon Saltheril encounter will no longer evade. Mounts and Pets
Fixed a bug that caused custom pet names to sometimes partially disappear. Mailing the Vicious War Fox will no longer cause it to become the other faction's War Fox. Professions
Skinning Noxious Whelps can again be skinned for Green Whelp Scales. Quests
The Dragonblight quest "An End And A Beginning" can now be completed normally. The Huge Boulder for the Redridge quest "Saving Foreman Oslow" has been returned. Previous patch 7.3.5 hotfixes:
The XP boost from RaF has been reduced from 200% bonus to 50%. Heirloom gear XP bonuses will no longer stack with the RaF XP boost, effective today, January 22, 2018. Ongoing RaF participations remain unaffected for up to 90 days.
With dynamic leveling in Patch 7.3.5, Blizzard came to a conclusion that the existing RaF program did not provide the best experience and as a result, they decided to nerf the XP bonus from RaF down to 50%. The leveling rate is now under a third of what it was before the changes.
In Patch 7.3.5, we made significant changes to the level 1–100 experience to ensure players can better enjoy the stories, quest lines, and zones they want to at their own pace. Because of this, we are adjusting the XP bonus on the Recruit-A-Friend (RAF) program to ensure it reflects the updated pacing of the game as new players level their characters and explore Azeroth.
DYNAMIC LEVELING IN PATCH 7.3.5
As you may have heard, Patch 7.3.5 significantly overhauled the level-up experience in World of Warcraft so that zones from 1–100 will dynamically scale to your character’s level. Why? Over the years, we’ve made multiple changes to adjust the leveling curve—and as a result, the pace of characters’ progress has become significantly out of sync with the content. Players often out-level areas long before they’ve had a chance to complete key stories and quest lines, leading to a less-than-ideal experience.
With this significant update to pacing, the existing Recruit-A-Friend program would no longer provide the best experience for players new to World of Warcraft. Even with scaling zones, triple-speed leveling would mean new players going into dungeons could find themselves overwhelmed by multiple new abilities gained over the course of a single instance run, and might still outpace storylines that help the world make sense and make players feel like they’re part of it—and we want new players to feel at home in Azeroth.
To align the Recruit-A-Friend XP bonus with the upcoming leveling changes, we have reduced the XP boost gained from the Recruit-A-Friend program when playing with a linked friend down from 200% (300% XP vs. base XP) to 50%* (150% XP vs. base XP). We are making these changes to ensure the XP boost doesn’t upset game balance and undermine the experience, while still giving a significant XP bonus to you and a friend as a thank-you for being part of the Recruit-A-Friend program.
RECRUIT-A-FRIEND CHANGES IN FULL
The XP boost has been reduced from 200% bonus to 50% bonus*, effective today, January 22, 2018. If you’re already actively participating in the program, fear not! If you either sent or received an invite before the change went into effect today, once the invite is accepted you and your friend will still receive triple XP* (200% XP bonus) until the link between your accounts expires (90 days from the date the new recruit’s account was first created). Please note: RAF invites expire after seven days. Heirloom gear XP bonuses will no longer stack with the RAF boost (i.e., the maximum XP boost you will see from today onwards is 50%). If you were already on the program, Heirloom gear will still stack. All other rewards are unchanged and yours to enjoy: Summon your friend once every 30 minutes. 10% bonus reputation from kills that grant reputation.* Level granting: for every two levels your friend gains while the accounts are linked, they can grant one level to one of your characters. Recruiter rewards, including game time and epic mounts. *For a full list of the rewards and the in-game criteria for receiving them, visit our RAF In-Game Bonuses page.