March 10, 2009

Arcnova the Flawless Victor

Arcnova, the Flawless Victor, was recommended as an interview a few weeks ago. It took us a bit to catch up with each other, life being busy as it tends to be. Arcnova was recommended not only because he's friendly, and intelligent, but because he represents the Mage class proudly as a successful Flawless Victor. While the Mage class is certainly represented more highly in Season 5 than it has been in the past, his accomplishments aren't what most might call "easy mode."

Check out what Arcnova had to say behind the cut. His insights are not limited to simply the Mage class, and he's got a bit to say about the upcoming patch.

WoW Insider: It's recently been said that mages are the only casters with sufficient defense against melee. What's your thoughts on a Mage's ability to withstand melee opponents?

Arcnova: A frost mage in particular has a lot of ways of getting away from melee opponents relatively easy using Frost Nova, Shattered Barrier, Freeze and repeat with Coldsnap. But improper use of cooldowns could cost you the match. If you're Arcane or Fire spec, you really have switch your play style around because you just don't have those items, except Frost Nova, at your disposal. So melee could be a bit of pain to handle.

WoW Insider: What's your opening strategy? What do you like to do as soon as the gate opens?

Arcnova: It's usually my rogue teammate Pepperidge trying to get a Sap on one of the opponents before we get started with the opener. Right before the gate opens, I usually go invisible to close the gap. Then as a friend once said to me "It's go time".

WoW Insider: One of the claims about Arena balance is that it will get better as Resilience improves. Have you seen any of that happening? Or do you think that your survivability is reliant on your class choice?

Arcnova: Resilience is always a touchy subject because some classes have to sacrifice either mana regen, healing stats, or dps just to make sure they can try to stay alive. With some classes, it seems to be working, like with priests. On the other hand, I think shamans and druids are having a harder time.

WoW Insider: How do you work out target designation? (Does someone call it out, or is everyone on their own to figure it out?)

Arcnova: I ran RMP with Grrthepriest and Pepperidge in 3v3. I usually call out the primary target and secondary to do fast switching if our CC chain doesn't go as planned.

WoW Insider: What do you think about the new hidden personal rating? Does it seem to make the game better or worse to you? Do you consider the hidden rating an unfair penalty to experienced players?

Arcnova: The hidden personal rating has its ups and downs. Team hopping is really a down and up because in previous seasons you could power level a team to 2100+ and really not have any challenge doing so. You could have fun with friends who may not play competitively in Arena.

As it is now, you can get to 2100+ faster starting from 1500 but you will be only facing teams that are high rated because of your hidden rating. It could disuade some teams from trying to fix their record and just roll with what they have.

Then again, everyone likes having a great record to end the season with. Unfair? Doubtful, its just trying to bring a challenge to the experienced players so they won't dull themselves out.

WoW Insider: Did you play in previous seasons? What do you see the differences in the new season being?

Arcnova: I started arena at the end of season 1 or beginning of season 2 and got Gladiator in season 2. The differences? If you want to count DKs being in the mixup, there you go right there. (Haha) But, seriously, a lot of high damage in arena overall. It makes it seem like there is less strategy and finesse, and more "Kill that target in the next few seconds and the game is won."

WoW Insider: What's the key for your composition's strategy? Are there multiple tactics you can use?

Arcnova: In 3v3, the Sap is pretty important because it sets up the CC chain, but not everything goes our way. In that case, I try to conserve Deep Freeze as part of our CC because it can force a trinket. Running RMP, the CC chain is important to be able to get a kill on a target. Not to mention, good target switching.

WoW Insider: What are you trying to improve?

Arcnova: I think my coordination is pretty solid but there is always room for improvement.

WoW Insider: A lot has been made of healers not having a strong role in Season 5. What do you think about that commentary?

Arcnova: I think that comment is pretty lopsided because there are barely any teams that don't have a Paladin somewhere in the mix. I've seen lot of two healer teams running with a Hunter, Warrior, or DK.

Hunters and Death Knights are the most commonly used with two healers in this season, as opposed to a Warrior. The only thing I don't see is a two healer team not running with a Paladin. It's usually Pally and (insert other healing class here).

WoW Insider: What are you hoping to see improved in 3.1? We've seen some changes, obviously, but there's more to come.

Arcnova: 3.1 is a big deal right now since they are revamping some classes to probably shift the brackets. In my class in particular, I'd like to see Blizzard tune something for people to go Fire and change it up instead of going Frost.

Hell, even any elemental build would be nice, but the problem there is that Improved Counterspell is too good to miss. Rogues still need some help, Cloak of Shadows physical reduction is good but I'm not sure it will be enough to actually survive. Warlocks still need some help against melee. That's all I can think of right now.

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