Blizzcon 2008 PvP Panel  

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Saturday October 11th

PVP Class Panel


The Arena is being revamped a bit to add some new dimensions to the experience. In addition to the new areas being added, there are new Line of Sight (LOS) issues being added, pillars of fire and other types of obstacles being added. Of the arenas available, with the release of Wrath, there are two new ones that will be made available, these being the Ring of Valor in Orgrimmar and the Sewers of Dalaran. The Ring of Valor has always been in Orgrimmar but it has never been utilized effectively until now.

The Ring of Valor in Orgrimmar

  • Animated platforms are being added to give players a new vantage point for a variety of options.
    • The animated pillars are set up as timed obstacles, not random. They are designed to block LOS, aid in locking down other players and as a means to ride up and down to different vantage points or present a harder to hit target.
  • There are a series of dynamic fire hazards added as well that are on a timer. These fire traps are designed to give players an option to cross them, which will damage them at specifically timed intervals or avoid them altogether. The fire traps generate a 10% damage over 3 tick dot but are on their own unique timer to prevent players from being locked down on them unfairly.
    • The fire traps are designed to present players with a choice - to run through and hope a teammate gives them a HoT or be forced to deal with LOS issues as a result of working around the outer/inner area of the arena.
  • New in Wrath, the new arenas will be set up with very close starting positions for both sides so that there is no delay in starting the fight.
    • In addition, both sides start on a lowered platform that slowly raises them to the floor of the arena, much like the gladiatorial games of Ancient Rome.
    • One other change is that there is no longer a preamble to starting an arena battle now, once the platform reaches the floor of the arena from the lower section, the match starts so players need to be ready the minute they hit the ground.

Dalaran Sewers

  • The sewers are the second addition to the new PvP areas.
  • The devs wanted to make this particular a little easier to access and far less complicated yet still fit within the city structure of Dalaran.
  • For those of you familiar with the movie "Fight Club", the arenas here are similar in design with a circular area and few, if any, actual obstacles available.
    • In the background, they have even gone so far as to add scripted fights for people to watch.
  • The design is a very simple layout with a timed, dynamic water feature, created for the express purpose of creating a LOS blocker in the middle of the arena.
    • One feature built into it is a small knockback so that players do not get stuck in the middle of it should they happen over it when the timer goes off or get CCed by the opposing team in the spout.
  • There are not as many places to run here as there are in the Ring of Valor – it's designed around an area denial system.
  • Unlike previous arenas, where mounts were allowed, there will not be mounts permitted, however, other travel types are allowed, such as shapeshifting.
  • Both sides have a water pipe they wait in to start the match that is off limits to other players except that team. These pipes have a mechanism set up so that if you do not jump out after a specific timeframe, water will eject you from the pipe onto the arena floor.

Strand of the Ancients

  • When they were designing the map, the devs decided that they wanted to do an attack/defend style map for this one. The feedback they have recieved so far is that many players prefer this style of PvP.
  • The attack runs are timed per side so however long it takes you to attack, when it flips to your side to defend the same area, your opponent has the same amount of time you had on your attack. This can be either a detriment or a bonus depending on the speed of the initial attacking side.
  • Both sides will have access to siege vehicles during all phases of combat.
  • In the beta, the battleground is set up for a 10 vs 10 but after examining the fights, it has been decided to move this up to a 15 vs 15.
  • Due to ramping up the player team size, additional siege vehicles are being added to accomodate the increase in players.
  • The basic premise of this battleground involves a series of walls leading up to an artifact both sides are trying to capture. Your side will land on the beach via boats and start your offensive right away, very similar in design to things like Battlefield 1942 - a beachhead offensive.
    • For players who do not manage to get a siege machine, there are also destructible mines added that do siege damage to the walls of the objective. This was added so that players who who aren't in vehicles have things to do to help the siege tanks and remain viable in combat.
    • There are also multiple angles and multiple ways to attack it. All destructible walls have their own colors and icons so players know where they can blow stuff up and can call it out to each other.


The Dev team has been working steadily on this zone and unveiled a list of the up and coming changes and additions to this newest area.

  • This is the new non-instanced PvP zone in Northrend. It will be open to unlimited players on both sides.
  • When they decided to create this zone, it was a huge step for them and something they have never done here. Adding a dedicated zone with a world pvp objective has been a major undertaking for them in terms of server stability, quest design and many other factors.
  • What they are really shooting for is seeing the zone filled with literally hundreds of players using the siege engines, destructible weapons and strategic objectives to hammer each other and have some unrestrained fun with PvP.
  • The zone is designed around an attack/defend map. The fortress objective is found in the northern end of the map. In order to gain access, players are required to break in via a series of destructible walls. To break the walls, you will have to use the siege engines. To use those requires the gaining of ranks which requires active participation in the zone PvP in some manner for your particular side. AFKing or "wall running", as is popular amongst some less than stellar PvPers will not grant you ranks or bonuses of any kind here.
  • To facilitate the taking of objectives, there are a series of workshops scattered around the zone so players can build the siege vehicles. Again, achieving ranks is required for this option.
  • once a side controls the objective based on the attack/defend mechanics, the current "controlling side" time is set to 150 minutes to allow players to reap the benefits of winning.
    • Once the base is captured and that side controls the area, there are benefits such as daily quests specific to that faction, a temporary portal from Dalaran and a unique raid instance with a specific raid boss. This raid boss, only available to the side who controls the zone, drops ALL kinds of loot (PvP, PvE etc) for the duration fo the controlled side.
    • Once the timer for active control expires, the map will reset, all faction bonus options will disappear and the zone has to be fought over again.
    • In addition, all bosses worldwide will drop shards for the side controlling Wintergrasp, much like the spirit shards in Outlands areas. These shards are then used to purchase anything from gear to mounts to gems and more.
    • Obviously, the goal here is to keep winning the zone for your respective side and gain access to the gear via the shards and killing the raid boss Arcabyne.

Tom Chilton and the future of PvP

Tom took a few minutes to give us some thoughts the devs have on the future of PvP and what they have in store for us going forward.

What's next?

  • In their revisiting of the overall itemization tables for PvP, to including Arenas vs. BG events, the Blizz team has discovered that the player base for PvP is more diversified than they knew.
  • Because of the diversity, they are now trying to find a way to measure how the BGs reward players based on several different factors.
  • To help this process, they are changing the queue times for BGs so that players can do them from anywhere in the world, not just major cities. Many players have felt as if they are perma camped in cities in order to do PvP and cannot leave reliably or miss their slot in a BG due to the queue issue.
  • They are exploring the concepts of both competitive bgs or even guild BGs (TBD) to help reward and measure player success. They did not go into a lot of detail on this since it is still in the discussion phase but this is an interesting turn of events.
    • In the case of guild BGs, they did say they are considering making it so guilds can go up against other guilds specifically, similar to a "premade".
  • In addition to all of the above items they are working on, they have also stated they want to add experience gains in BGs for all level ranges so they are looking at granting exp as well as honor when killing enemy players of a level that would normally give honor or experience (i.e. green and higher level ranges, greys don't count, sorry)

Player Q&A session

  1. Regarding hunters in PvP, Disengage is sort of ok but seems to be a bandaid. Also, why can we not shoot while in melee range? The range limitation is there as a result of having to balance combat between a semi-heavy armor class and movement options, coupled with specific pet use that other classes don't have.
  2. Why do pets not have resilience? Pets provide additional benefit - CC, specific stats, etc. One of the things being looked at by the devs in this regard is how to correctly balance the hunter/pet strategy and make sure that the hunter is not overly hurt or "gimped" when their pet is killed, since that effectively halves their dps in some cases. Again, this is a fine line between making a player OPed and making the player viable in PvP.
  3. In regards to cohesiveness between PvP and PvE, are some of the older BGs going to be getting a facelift? In content like the battlegrounds, where the changeable, dynamic content is the players as opposed to the terrain, there tends to be more content burnout so they are looking at new ways to reward for it.
  4. For Paladins in PvP, are there any future changes to Paladins to allow them to better stay in melee range against a caster using something like spell steal, counter spell etc? Although they want to keep the classes as unique as possible, the Paladin talent trees are still being looked at.
  5. For lake wintergrasp – will it be buffed or adjusted for the side that has the fewest people? What we were told is that there is a buff, called Tenacity, that is given to the side with fewer players and is scaled depending on faction size in the zone. What it does is improve the damage output and lower the incoming damage for that side. As the side loses players or gets weaker, the buff scales up to keep as much of the remaining forces evened out as possible. The psychology behind this is that ''as people lose, the team loses focus and this is designed to help them participate more and feel like participating more due to having a "fighting chance" even if they are losing.
  6. Regarding the Rank structure in the new battlegrounds, is it possible for players to rack up HKs even not doing anything like they do in BGs now? This I loved to see and report on - In Wintergrasp, due to the "no forced grouping" like is there for regular battlegrounds, unless you actively participate in killing enemy players in some way, you are NOT eligible for rank increases. So no AFK leeching or wall running to get free honor.
  7. Class balance for druid pvp being a hot topic, it's felt that the Resto Druids are OPed. What, if anything, can be done to lower their effectiveness without killing balance or feral specs? In WotLK, the wya talents are handled is a totally different animal. Talents are being redone and druids have been overhauled to be more balanced with other classes. So as a result, there are some things they will evaluate and change if needed.
  8. For Arenas and the racial abilities, are there any plans to balance this out? Many players feel that their class gets pigeonholed due to race, such as Dwarves or Undead. While Blizzard said they didn't want to limit the arena too much, like they have done with the case of consumables, there have been many changes in the expansion to counter this issue. For now, however, they are simply keeping the current racials as they are.

World of Warcraft

Wrath of the Lich King

This page last modified 2008-10-12 03:55:18.