I've been with WoW Insider for a year and a few months. I consider myself exceptionally blessed to write about something I love. This past year's Blood Sport has been a wonderful undertaking for me, and hopefully for you as well.
Beginner's guide to arena
Blood Sport featured a Beginner's Guide to Arena that quickly became a seven-part series.
Part 1: How to gear up for arena
Part 2: FAQ and best arena specs
Part 3: Basic class strategy
Part 4: Survivability, conservation, utility, and the differences between each
Part 5: Pressure, burst, crowd control, and the differences between each
Part 6: A glossary of arena terms
Part 7: How to find and keep a solid arena team
Although technically only parts 4, 5, 6, and 7 were written in 2010, it's worth mentioning the other three for the sake of clarity and unity.
Become a 5v5 master
Part 1: Healing pairs of 2-healer teams
Part 2: DPS clusters on 2-healer teams
Part 3: Drain teams (2 DPS)
Part 4: 4 DPS / 1-healer teams
Part 5: 5v5 tips and tricks
This series was one of the most fun for me to write. I didn't think I could write for as long as I did on just one arena bracket. Out of all the work I've done for WoW Insider, I think this is probably my best work. Check it out if you have the time.
Rank 1 gladiator PvP secrets
Part 1: Smurfing, practice dummies, countercomping, sniping and spying
Part 2: Queue dodging, raid markings, ArenaJunkies, transferring and latency
Part 3: Win-trading, hacking, and sabotage
In these articles, I talk about lots of things high rated players do to stay on top. Juicy stuff -- be warned!
Resource mechanics in arena
Part 1: Energy, focus, rage
Part 2: Runes, runic power, mana
Most people have never given resource mechanics (mana, energy, rage, runes, runic power) a second thought -- especially not in arena. It turns out that resource mechanics have incredibly important roles within arena, and (as you probably know by now) not all classes were created equal. Some resource mechanics (energy) are just better than others (mana).
Luckily, Blizzard has gone to great lengths to balance out these differences between classes -- it's better now than it's ever been, but there's still room for improvement!
Racials and their impact on arena
Part 1: Alliance racials
Part 2: Horde racials
Part 3 : Should racials be removed from arena?
Racials can be the difference between a game win and a game loss -- ask anyone who's played The Burning Crusade how powerful Will of the Forsaken was in arena. We saw a recent dominance of humans with Every Man for Himself being the dominant PvP racial in later seasons of Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard is thinking about returning Every Man for Himself to a 2-minute cooldown -- the implications this implies!
Problems with certain arenas
Part 1: Dalaran arena
Part 2: Ring of Valor (Orgrimmar Arena)
Part 3 : Moving out of the fire in PvP
Dalaran Arena and Ring of Valor were added in Wrath, to the dismay of many. These articles look at possible solutions to the problems of these two arenas. The third part isn't really a part of the series, but it has a lot to do with the new arenas. It's a philosophical look at PvP and what makes it fun vs. unfun.
A brief history of arena rating systems
Part 1: The ELO rating system (Season 1 and Season 2)
Part 2: Personal Rating appears (Season 3 and Season 4)
Part 3 : Wrath of the Lich King rating systems (Season 5 through Season 8)
There was a time when Matchmaking Rating didn't exist. There was a time where not even Personal Rating existed. I was feeling a bit nostalgic in these articles -- perhaps because arena was an exciting time when it was first introduced.
The big picture in PvP
Part 1: Spawn points, predictability, predictions, slowing down the game, videos and teammate advice
Part 2: Tunnel vision, tendencies, focus
The big picture is at the heart of why some players are better in PvP than others. Understanding tendencies, predictability, and focus is such a huge part of the game. This is recent work, so you might have already read these if you keep up with the column.
Good momentum vs. bad momentum
Part 1: Good momentum
Part 2: Bad momentum
Part 3 : Arch-enemies, David vs. Goliath, and Orangemarmalade
I actually started to talk about big picture stuff in these articles and quickly drifted to understanding good momentum vs. bad momentum. Parts 2 and 3 are devoted to changing things when they start going wrong, as when things are going right, you don't need much criticism.
Transferring realms for PvP
Part 1: Data centers, ArenaJunkies, battlegroups, realms, and PvP hubs
Part 2: Red flags when transferring
Want to transfer realms for PvP reasons? Check out these articles; they might provide you with some well-thought out suggestions. Three days ago, I transferred to Kel'Thuzad Alliance and went back to my own articles to see if I missed anything, because I couldn't find anything else on the internet about it.
Looking forward to Cataclysm
Although Cataclysm is in full force, throughout the vast majority of 2010, it was a mere twinkle in our eyes. Check out my past thoughts, predictions, and (of course) shortcomings via a list of topics we discussed in the past year.
- 20% Mortal Wounds
- Cataclysm arenas might be awesome
- PvP perspective on new talent trees
- Random thoughts about Cataclysm beta and PvP
- Cataclysm PvP's theoretical benefits
- Season 9 gameplay predictions
- Season 9 composition predictions
- Fun things to do in arena
- 3v3 archetypes and why they're successful
- How to accomplish your PvP goals
- Not every good PvPer is a Gladiator
- Arena addons
What Blood Sport recap would be complete without a full list of music we've featured this year?
- Smashing Pumpkins
- Miles Davis and John Coltrane
- Home Video
- Roger Waters
- Fiona Apple
- The Knife
- Radiohead, (and again) (only band/artist to be featured twice)
- The Shins
- Michael Jackson
- Bright Eyes
- The Symphony Orchestra of Radio Television of Serbia (Star Wars)
- The Beatles
- Young MC
- Electric Light Orchestra
- Sufjan Stevens
- The Flaming Lips
- Frank Sinatra
- Death Cab for Cutie
- Elton John
- Regina Spektor
- The XX
- Talking Heads
- Massive Attack
- Stevie Wonder
- Bill Withers
- Katy Perry (and Elmo)
- Two Awesome Kids (literally, not a band name)
- Hold Your Horses
- Beastie Boys
- Symphonic Legends (Legend of Zelda)
- Kay Pettigrew
- David Bazan
- Jose Gonzalez
- Dead or Alive
- The Temper Trap
- James Taylor
- 2 Bit Pie
- The Buggles (today)
Want to ascend the arena ladders faster than a fireman playing Donkey Kong? We'll steer you to victory with the best arena addons and let you in on some rank 1 gladiator PvP secrets. If you're looking for the inside line on battlegrounds and world PvP, read The Art of War(craft).