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Last week we had our very first interview and immediately I was getting requests from you guys to interview other top arena players, and, unsurprisingly, Hoodrych was high on your list. He was kind enough to chat with me over the weekend about gaming, arena, real life, hamburgers, and tattoos. I think you guys will enjoy it. I had a really good time talking with "The Boss." Thanks Hoodrych!

General Information
In-game Nickname: Hoodrych
Real Life Name: Adam Brown
Location: Washington, D.C.
Age: 25

Player Introduction
How did you get into gaming?
Used to play Doom, Heretic, Warcraft 1 at a friends house over Crossover Cable LAN's back in the day.

Favorite game of all time?
Quake 3.

Do you still play FPS
I still play QuakeLive which is an updated version of Quake3 from time to time. Looking forward to a new fps "Brink" that's releasing soon.

Type of mouse, keyboard, and headset?
What do you do in your spare time, besides playing WoW?
Travel, Kayak, try new restaurants, recently been cooking and making some delicious ass meals.

When did you start playing WoW?
2005? I hardly remember. Back when killing MC bosses was a big deal.

What classes do you play in WoW? Which are you competent with on a competitive level?
Warrior pretty much exclusively. I think I can play druid decently, most would disagree :P

Current PvP Spec?
34/7, Imp Slam

Are you planning a spec change in 4.1
I haven't given it too much thought yet, but I think I'll stay more or less the same spec and maybe pick up Glyph of Spell Reflect.

Why Alliance?
That's where the bros went.

What's the background on the name, Hoodrych?
I've had the name hoodrych for 8-9 years in different games, pulled it from that Mannie Fresh song randomly - no hidden meaning :P

What about the hr symbol?
The symbol is somethin a friend made for me and I've kept it through the years.

You've also been called "The Boss." Where did that nickname come from?
A lot of people think I gave myself this nickname being egotistical or something, when really I think it was because of some Slim Thug song I used it as a joke in one of my earlier movies, "like a boss". And it just kind of stuck when someone referred to me as "the boss" at an MLG.

What is your most important gaming accomplishment to date?
Nothing specific. Looking back, playing WoW at a high-level consistently has given me a lot of opportunities. I consider the benefits from that an accomplishment.

Why are you a hardcore arena player and not a hardcore raider?
Used to be a hardcore raider, as soon as arenas were introduced the competitiveness of 2v2/3v3 format's compared to managing 40 Man raid bosses just appealed to me more.

What goals do you have for your gaming career?
Hopefully continue down the same path in one way or another. I've been able to travel, make money, meet people and do things I would never have been able to without gaming.

Which other wow player(s) inspire you/do you respect?
Toez, Nadagast. Players who have been consistent throughout a majority of the seasons, who are always looking for ways to improve on something, and who don't "blame the game", even when faced with extreme counter comps. I respect players who don't care about ranks/titles/win-records and aren't afraid of losing.

I've heard you moved to the East Coast. How do you like it?
That's correct. I had a good job opportunity come up and I took it. Change is good and I was in a position to make the move. I'm doing great over here, things have worked out well for me. I miss the PST timezone and having a low ping to West servers. Oh, and In-N-Out.

I hear ya on the In-N-Out! What's your order?
Double-Double with grilled onions.

Not animal style?
hahah! nah, that's too much for me.

Are you still happy playing on BG9? Any plans to migrate to an eastern server in WoW?
Things are good. BG9 is kind of stale at the moment but i'm assuming most BG's are. I'll probably wait untill after the patch to see the activity with region wide queuing. I've also thought of transfering to an East BG as well for ping purposes, but nothing definitive yet.

You've made a lot of great movies. Do you have a favorite?
My personal favorite is probably HR3. HR5 is close and woulda been better without Skype imo. I feel like Skype is kind of devaluing movies as "cool skillful things" are seen as kind of regular when you factor in player audio.

Do you have plans for a new movie any time soon?
I hope to make a new movie as soon as warriors become semi-fun to play, and as always, I will try to out do myself.

Team Perspective
What's the most critical aspect to any team's success?
Handling a loss. Winning is easy. Being able to appropriately criticize and improve after losing, is very important.

Current ideal team composition?

So what's going on with your team? Are you still with the same guys or are you looking for a new team these days?
No, solid team right now, I'm just messing around on different charters. Nadagast hasn't been playing much, spending more time in SC2 and Velsus is in the same boat and just all over the place. Long arena queues and imbalances have been a damper.

Are you guys slated for any tournaments? Maybe see you guys live at Blizzcon?
Nothing definitive with that right now. WoW is kind of in limbo as far as tournaments go. Only time will tell.

Pro Tips
How does a player know when they might be ready to try and go pro?
My advice would be to try and play with good/top players. Run non-FOTM comps. When you start taking/splitting games with other top teams, or top teams want you to play with them/try comps out...you're headed in the right direction.

What do you think separates you from other good warriors?
Communication/Leading. I think a big part of good warrior play comes from leading or directing your team. You can be great at interrupting, applying pressure, or going defensive - but keeping composure and directing the game is #1 to me.

As one of the best warriors in the business, what 3 pro-tips would you give a warrior that's new to arena?
  • Don't over complicate things. A lot of warriors see highlight videos and feel they are supposed to charge every cast, spell reflect everything,and pummel everything. Sometimes it's better to just stay focused, keep calm, and do damage.
  • Communicate a lot. You have a very simple job and limited utility. It always pains me to see really good warriors that are doing everything right but just never contribute to the overall game. It's like, you're sitting on a warlock mashing 5 dps buttons, or worse sitting in a root waiting to be dispelled - you can at least call what cooldowns you're noticing, enemy positioning, if it looks like your healer is going to be CC'd, etc.
  • Gear and Spec are extremely important. Different gear is better for different teams, and understanding your spec/talents and what abilities will apply to the comp you're playing is almost as important as what globals you press.

Final Thoughts
What do you enjoy MOST about WoW?
Being able to separate yourself amongst other players/teams by really just being on another level. This isn't the case for warriors in the current patch :|

What are your thoughts on World of Warcraft Arena and where it is going?
I think the next patch, 4.1 or whatever, should be really interesting. The game isn't very good right now, but you can tell Blizzard has been taking advice from actual player suggestions and I really think they are trying to improve the overall PvP balance. I'm looking forward to 4.1 and also the region wide Arena queuing.

Could you give us your perspective on the current state of warriors and the direction you, personally, would like to see them go?
I think the current state is garbage. I don't like playing it. I don't like playing against it. I used to love jousting warriors and weaving in and out of auto attacks, the meta game of keeping up demo/rend/thunderclap, baiting stuns for Second Wind procs, and who could keep MS up on multiple targets the best.

It's completely gone now, I can randomly 30k warriors and be randomly get 30k'd back. With 1 charge, ridiculous damage through cooldowns, it's just gotten a really gimmicky, clunky feel to it and it just doesn't appeal to me. I'm hoping 4.1 can help with the damage, the DRing off stuns, and freeing up globals. But I would still like to see warriors fade away from 5 damage ability mongos and move to actual positional target choices and get offensive utility through a greater MS or some kind of damage relief - getting on a target to relieve pressure or taking advantage of there position and not just getting on what can't get away from 30k slams.

If you could change one thing about World of Warcraft Arena, what would it be?
Less interrupts, self-heals, instant CC and less forgiving aspects like Glyph of Poly/Blind, etc that I feel really promote less thinking.

Alright, last question - what song are you listening to right now?
Radiohead - Bloom

I would add that I think these interviews are great, I'm liking the direction AJ is going with everything, and it really helps the WoW community as a whole to have a site like this.  Shoutouts to Nerdstomper, ArenaRating, Shani, Bill German and the crew at SIDS Tattoo shop!

Wait, a tattoo shop? There's got to be a story (or a picture) there.
Yeah, this is a half-sleeve design that I created: Hoodrych's Tattoo

Thanks again for talking with us Hoodrych. Good luck with everything!

Don't forget to follow ArenaJunkies on Facebook and Twitterto keep up to date.

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We just got in some exciting news from Blizzard about arenas. For a long time, Blizzard has given most of their attention to raiders, but today we're finally getting some love with the addition of Heroic Arena Maps! We've got preview of the patch notes and it appears these will be live in 4.1.12.

Official Blizzard Quote:

World of Warcraft Patch 4.1.12 Preview


Arena Maps
A new feature has been added to arenas to challenge those who have achieved ratings of 2400 or higher. Heroic Arena Maps are now available for the most dedicated PvP Players, featuring exciting new game mechanics and additional map balance tweaks.

Heroic Blade's Edge
Our new Heroic version of Blade's Edge Arena will include multiple new features to intensify up the gameplay. Included in these additions will be the following:
  • Stairs will be attached to both pillars to compensate the keyboard turners and melee players who have been falling off or been getting knocked off. In addition a pole similar to that in a fire-station will be accessible for z-axis transport.
  • A bomb will be placed on top of the fireman's pole and will detonate every one minute of game play with warnings preceding every detonation. This bomb will deal 250,000 damage to anyone in line of sight, so players will be required to avoid the detonation blast by jumping into the lower level and using line of sight to avoid the blast. One could also utilize massive defensive cooldowns to survive the excruciating damage from the blast if they cannot avoid it.
  • The extensive detonations have ignited the sand at the lower level, turning it into lava that deals 2,000 damage per second to all players in it.

Ruins of Lordaeron
The tomb on ruins of Lordaeron has been remodeled with spikes that deal damage to all players that are within a 3 yard radius. This has been done to alleviate players staying near the tomb and hence abusing line of sight mechanics.
The slime has been replaced with fiery magma that deals 10,000 damage per second. Conveniently placed fire hydrants have been added to drench the magma by soaking players in water.

Dalaran Sewers
The middle of the map has been remodeled to remove the random nature of the waterfall. In its place we've placed a spike-filled pit that permanently kills any character that falls in it.
To compensate those with knock-back abilities burdened by the addition of stairs and a fire pole on Blade's Edge Arena, we have removed the stairs from Dalaran Arena forcing anyone who falls off of the platform to be permanently stuck on the bottom floor unless they or their team has abilities to transport them back up.

Nagrand Arena
Due to overwhelming community feedback about Nagrand Arena being the most balanced map, we've added a boxing ring to the middle of the map, where randomly selected players from each arena team may face each other in one versus one combat.
The outcome of the boxing match is determined by the achievement points of each contender.  

Unfortunately, these aren't on the PTR yet, but a contact at Blizzard shared some early renderings of the Heroic arenas with us here at AJ below. We're really excited to see these fully rendered and in game. Finally, Blizzard has brought chess back to arena.

Blade's Edge
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When we posted about Reckful 3, we promised we would be highlighting more content from our users. And it just so happens that the past week or so has seen some epic arena videos from some big names, so we're rounding them up for you!

Below are recently released videos from Arthess, Azael,  Vileroze, and Vanguards. Vanguards' video was released today and we have a mini-interview with him as well.

NOTE: I have embeded the HD YouTube streams that were available, but if you follow the links by clicking on the video title, you will find alternative (probably higher quality) ways of viewing the videos that the creators have recommended.

Arthess 4

Azael 6

Unavailable as an embed. View here on WCM or download from the link above: http://warcraftmovie...w.php?id=180679

Vileroze 4

Vanguards 4

Mini-Interview with Vanguards

Vanguards launched his fourth video today and I got a chance to ask him a couple questions. He also happens to be currently rated as the top arena player on our Player Rankings.

What's new since Vanguards 3?
This video includes games that were much closer, I hope these closer games will make it more intense and enjoyable to watch. Vanguards 4 also has very slightly more editing than Vanguards 3, adding some captions for certain events that occurred in a game. Though these captions will probably be more of a humorous thing for ArenaJunkies members!

What keyboard, mouse, and headset do you use?
I use a Razor Keyboard and a Logitech Wireless Mouse that has 2 extra buttons on the left side. As for headset, my headset is just a plain Microsoft headset (it's very uncomfortable) that costed like $8 at Staples.

Not really haha, I don't really care for much on factions. Kinda just go wherever friends are and good partners are to play with.

What's your team composition? What's your biggest strength and biggest weakness?
In Vanguards 4 my team composition was Ret + War + Priest. It's biggest strength as probably anyone can figure is it's insane burst that it brings. The weakness is mobility and how vulnerable we are to CCs.

What are the top 3 tips you would give to a Paladin that's new to arenas (besides watching your videos )?
I would say these tips are more for Ret Paladins as I've never played holy.
1.) Looking at your party screen constantly
2.) Be considerate with your cooldowns
3.) Communication, it's better to talk a lot and call out insignificant things for your partners than to miss out on something completely

What's your current spec? Any changes you think you'll make in 4.1?
My current spec is 2/7/32. I'm planning to try out a spec without selfless healer in 4.1, and also in the Prot tree I plan to put eternal glory into Divinity.

Give us a little perspective on the current state of Paladins and where you see the class going in PvP?
I find holy paladins to be underpowered right now, they are from what I can see the weakest healer in the game. 4.1 doesn't seem to be addressing this in any way. Rets are strong right now, but we're getting huge nerfs in 4.1 and I definitely see us being underpowered after patch hits. So I would say from a PvP perspective paladins seem to be heading in a wrong direction.

Any shoutouts?
Shoutouts to my partners Mouzi, Getcleaved, Diziet, Venoma, Alex, and Debao!

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