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First impressions of the Arena Tournament Server


Last night Amanda Dean, Amanda Miller, and I got together and fought a few arena battles. We were online and fighting between 10:00 p.m. CST and midnight (timed so I could watch the first showing of Battlestar Galactica, and Amanda D. could watch the second – we write for a computer game website, what do you expect?). The server itself was interesting, and the matches were a blast.

We've been at this before on the Tournament Test Realm server, which was the "beta" version of the Arena Server. There was only one server and everyone could make a character, so it was often crowded and slow. On the Arena Server, you have to register to enter the Arena Tournament, which costs $20. Only then can you get on the Arena Server. This makes things a bit more manageable in terms of population and server stability. There wasn't much lag or other issues.

One thing that I found was the queue times were very fast. We didn't have to wait more than 10 seconds to get in a game. We were playing 3v3 matches, so this might have had something to do with it; as I'm sure the queue times were higher for 5v5 or 2v2.

If you're wondering, and I'm sure you are, our team name is "WoW Insider" on server one, and we're named "insideradam", etc... How many matches did we win?

Three against eleven.

Yes, we've won 3 and lost 11. Why is this? Well, for one thing, none of us are hard core arena players. We've all done some, with Amanda Dean having played the most. I hail from a solid PvE background, so my comfort zone isn't exactly in PvP – although I still do my fair share. Amanda Miller was playing a lock, which she's had experience doing before, I was on a Warrior (my main in the real game), and Amanda Dean picked up a Druid to heal. I know they're going to be posting their own experiences with things, so I'll leave it up to them to talk more about their choices.

My Warrior over on the real servers is a T6 prot spec tanking machine, so I spend 90% of my time in spec and gear that doesn't have anything to contribute to arena play. However with that said, I do have a full PvE epic set on him, and a mixture of PvP epics that I throw on when I want to PvP. I'm not a complete noob at least.

One thing that I do a tad differently with PvP is my spec. I know everyone says, and rightly so, that a Mortal Strike spec is the best for a PvP warrior. However for myself, I'm most comfortable and effective in DPS when I'm specd Fury. This doesn't mean that I'm not going to switch over to MS at some time, but to start off with I wanted to have a few talents and actions available that I know and love. I enjoyed the spec as much as I normally do when I PvP with it, and it provided a healthy damage/second output. There were several close games where one or two more swings of my main hand would have won the match for us.

Of course, it was really a fun time getting to play with fellow writers – something that we all don't normally get to do. Most of our interaction with each other is through emails and chat programs, so getting to talk to everyone on Vent and seeing their in game style was a lot of fun.

More next week when we play again! And if you happen to see us, don't forget to /wave before we pwn your face!

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