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Two weeks ago, Blizzard started the PvP Like a Pro series, where they talk to world best Arena players. The first part was about finding the right partners and the second discussed team composition. Part 3 is devoted to effective practicing.
Part 3 - Practicing Effectively
Minpojke of team Northern Gaming Blue has achieved rank one in Arena every season since 2011. His current squad has been playing together for more than two years, and came third in the Global Finals at BlizzCon 2016. With his help, we’ve built a five-step guide to help you practice like a pro!
Synergy - Align Your Team
Before setting out on your quest to the top, make sure you’re “aligned as a team,” says Minpojke. Like in any group activity, “it’s very important that everyone has the same goals and the same drive to do what it takes to win.” Make sure your team shares similar ambitions, and is aligned on how much effort will be required to achieve them. And of course, make sure you have similar gaming schedules so you can play and practice together!
Atmosphere - Stay Positive
It’s important to have a good atmosphere while playing. Minpojke says, “If you and your group get along and even become friends, you’ll like playing and actually learn more as well.” Be sure that the mood stays positive so that you can enjoy competing and improving together. It’s much easier to keep a team motivated if you’re all having fun—it’s a game after all!
Stated more simply, Minpojke says, “It’s easy to win as a team—in the sense that it’s easy to be happy and celebrate—but if you’re capable of losing together, then you’ll be a great team.”
Strategy - Know the Meta
When it comes to making practice effective, Minpojke feels it’s a priority to stay up to date with the current meta. He told us that the best way to do this is to follow tournaments, high-level Arena streams, and the PvP Leaderboards to see which classes are on top.
“It’s quite easy to keep up with the meta. Watch streams to see what the pros are playing, and track the ladder to see which classes and compositions are at the top. And don’t forget to follow tournaments to see the best comps shine.” Once you’re confident in what you want to play, it’s time to queue up! As FabsS discussed in our previous interview, Minpojke says that it’s important to set your win condition before the gates open. “Ask what you want to achieve as a team; will you focus on a lot of CC or try to draw out the game longer?” Since you know what matchup you’ll be playing against, you can start to ask these questions and develop your strategy.
Analysis - Review Your Games
If your setup supports it, Minpojke recommends recording as many sessions as you can—they’re much more valuable then looking at a damage meter. He says that the first objective is to see if you followed your game plan. Did you stick to it? Did it work? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you need to work on executing the plan better in future or possibly changing it up all together.
Watching your own recordings is also a chance to highlight individual mistakes. As Minpojke says, “Always stay self-critical, and always look for ways to improve—you’ll notice pretty quickly your most crucial and common mistakes.” While Minpojke emphasizes that “losing is arguably the best way of learning,” he also reminded us that “it’s very important to recognize when you do well.” Think positively here: no one can play the perfect game, but there are often good takeaways to be emulated going forward.
Reviewing recordings of his gameplay is a regular part of Minpojke’s routine, as well as discussing previous matches with his team between games while queueing. You can learn from a win as well as a loss!
Execute - Implement Your Analysis
After watching the replays, it’s time to set your goals. Decide what you want to focus on, and “make plans before you queue for a session.” If there was a specific matchup you were struggling with, you can discuss plans for how you’ll react to it next time.
In some instances, it could be worth writing some notes, especially if you have many things to focus on versus many compositions. Minpojke equated it to studying for a test, “Practice it, and read it over and over until it sticks in your head.”
Minpojke attended his first BlizzCon with current teammate Zunniyaki in 2013, finishing in second place. Northern Gaming Blue are the defending European Champions, and with nine BlizzCon appearances between their players, they’re one of the most experienced rosters in the field.
You can watch Minpojke and Northern Gaming Blue compete live at gamescom from August 23-26. For the full details on when and where you can watch, head on over to our European Championship Finals blog.
With 7.3 on the horizon, Blizzard did an official preview of new caster animations with videos and developer comments.
With patch 7.3 on the horizon, we thought it was time to share some updates to combat animations for several casting classes. Similar to what we did with the melee classes at the launch of Legion, these updates are all about priests, mages, Restoration and Elemental shaman, and some additional refinements to Restoration druid casting animations! We’re also continuing to work on even more enhancements for additional classes at a later point in development.
A little over two years ago, we set our sights on revamping combat animations. The team has wanted to renovate it somehow, but what exactly does that mean? To determine the answer, our development leadership put together a small group of people to come up with a prototype of what we thought could use some cleaning up. You are currently experiencing the fruits of this work with the new melee animations. Our final goal was to create new melee moves that would make the game feel better, but not change how the game was played. During this prototype phase, we also came up with a plan for casters, but didn’t have time to put it into production until now. Let’s dig into some of the things we did.
We hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the new caster visual updates. We had lots of fun creating all these animations and effects and look forward to hearing your thoughts on them.
In Patch 7.3, Blizzard will be increasing the difficulty and rewards from dungeons across the board. The changes help keep dungeons relevant even at the end of the expansion.
The following changes will be effective when Patch 7.3 goes live:
Item level 845 (up from 825). Heroic Difficulty
Item level 865 (up from 845). Mythic Difficulty
Item level 885 (up from 865). Mythic Keystone
Loot item level will be increased only after Antorus the Burning Throne raid opens. World Bosses
Loot from old world bosses remains at 860. Loot from Broken Shore world bosses remains at 900. Loot from Argus world bosses in Greater Invasion Points is at 930.
Our returing player guide is stuffed with relevant information for players that haven't played WoW for a while and they'd like to give it a go in 7.3.
If you haven't played WoW for a while, we have a guide for you with all relevant information.
The main goal of the guide is to keep it short and simple.
In Patch 7.3, the 3rd relic slot will be unlocked immediately once you reach 110 and there's no need to complete individual campaigns all over again. (Source) You can forget about the Broken Shore content. Artifact Knowledge is now shared. All player start at AK Level 41 and will automatically gain 1 AK Level per week. Only one new Legendary item is added in 7.3. Any player that defeats Argus the Unmaker can get Insignia of the Grand Army. It's rewarded from the quest called The Death of a Titan. More details about the Netherlight Crucible can be found here. Two new factions are added in Patch 7.3: Argussian Reach & Army of the Light, both having new emissary quests. A new Heirloom with an interesting affix was added to the game. Man'ari Training Amulet. Sacrifice 10% HP to gain 40% increased movement speed for 10 seconds. There are no plans to enable Draenor flying for those that haven't unlocked Draenor Pathfinder. Patch 7.3 Content Rollout
Not all 7.3 content will be available on day 1.From the latest developer Q/A, the content rollout should look like this:
Krokuun and the first two chapters of the Argus story will unlock. Players will be able to unlock Krokuun World Quests. Week 2
The second Argus zone Mac'Aree will become available and with it the third and fourth chapter of the Argus story. Once you progress through those chapters, you will gain access to Mac'aree World Quests, Kil'jaeden's Terrace World Quests and Western Mac'Aree World Quests. Invasion Points will also open. Week 3
The last week marks the opening of Argus's last zone, Antoran Wastes. Players will gain access to Antoran Wastes World Quests, the Netherlight Crucible and the new dungeon - Seat of the Triumvirate. All you need to know at this point is that Argus has three zones and once you finish the story in each zone, you will gain access to world quests.
We datamined two Bind-to-Account items related to reputation catch-up with Broken Isles & Argus factions. Sources remain unknown for now. Nathrezim Tome of Manipulation increases rep gains with Broken Isles factions by 200% for 2 hours. The item's intended for alts and doesn't work past level 109. Demon's Soulstone can only be used on Argus and the item increases your reputation standing by 1,000 with all factions. It's good for catching up reputation with the Nightfallen. Gear Catch-up
New Relinquished items are being added in 7.3 with a base item level of 910. (Source) All items can be purchased for 650 Veiled Argunite (a new currency from Argus World Quests). Crafted gear is now ilvl 885 and can be upgraded with Primal Sargerite via Primal Obliterum up to item level 935. Old crafted gear can't be upgraded.You can disenchant it into Chaos Crystal. There's a new shoulder enchant on Argus that will help you farm Primal Sargerite. More information can be found here. Dungeons have had their ilvl increased by 20 item levels on every difficulty. Normal: ilvl 845 (was 825) Heroic: ilvl 865 (was 845) Mythic: ilvl 885 (was 865) World Quest rewards scale up to item level 895. (Source) With the introduction of the Netherlight Crucible, you can now target specific relic types. Antorus the Burning Throne
The raid won't open immediately with 7.3, but at a later point (probably in Patch 7.3.5). Once Antorus opens, Legendary items will have a base item level of 1,000. (Source) For more information about Patch 7.3, check out our Argus hub.