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We're excited to announce that Blizzard has announced their 2009 Arena Tournament.

We'll keep you updated as we get more information.

Official Blizzard Quote:

We’re pleased to announce that the 2009 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament is nearly here. Starting next week (February 17, 2009), players will be able to sign up to compete in this year’s exciting competition. The tournament will feature an online qualifier played on our special tournament realms. Top teams will proceed to their respective regional finals and compete for a chance to reach the global world championship – with cash prizes totaling over $200,000.

These realms have been outfitted with level 80 character templates and the latest epic gear from Wrath of the Lich King. As an added bonus, we have included exclusive rewards that players can earn by participating in the tournament, including an Armored Murloc in-game pet. Top teams will also contend for a chance to achieve the “Vanquisher” title for their live characters.

If you would like to demonstrate your arena prowess, or simply want a chance to earn the exclusive loot, please check back next week for more details – including eligible countries – and register!

The wow-europe post includes a link to their informational website.

Special thanks to Grombringal for posting with this news. Back to Top

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Due to the recent changes to the rating system, we have found that the requirement of 2k across the board is not as restrictive as it once was. We ran some tests and compared the current ladder to the data we have on previous season and have decided to raise the requirements for access for 2v2. We will continue to evaluate the rating requirements as the season continues and adjust them as necessary.

This change has been made retroactively for this season. If you feel you had your access removed incorrectly, please feel free to send me a private message.

New Access Requirements:
2v2 - 2100+
3v3 - 2000+
5v5 - 2000+

Thanks for your feedback, and hopefully everyone understands that these changes must be made from time to time to help maintain the quality of information on the site. Back to Top

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Here are parts 1, 2, and 3 all added together. Hopefully more to come.

Priest, Rogue, Shaman

Official Blizzard Quote:

We are planning a lot of exciting content for patch 3.1.0, and we are doing a three-part preview series on upcoming class changes. This is the first in the series: Priests, Rogues, and Shaman. Please keep in mind, that this list is not at all comprehensive, and subject to change.
Divine Spirit – this spell is now a core ability available to all priests.
Discipline has access to a new talent, Power Word: Barrier. (Think of it as Power Word: Shield for your whole group).  
Several area of effect (AOE) heal spells have been improved: Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party. Holy Nova’s mana cost has been reduced. Circle of Healing now heals for more.
Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadow Form now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
Penance – this spell can now be targeted on the priest.  
Serendipity – this talent now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast.
We are also working to give Holy additional PvP utility.  

Hunger for Blood – instead of a self-buff, this ability can only be used when there is a bleed effect on the target. However, it has no stacks and grants a 15% damage bonus.
Adrenaline Rush – the cooldown on this ability has been lowered.  
Lightning Reflexes – reduced to 3 ranks. In addition to 2/4/6% dodge, this talent now also grants 4/7/10% passive melee haste.  
Killing Spree – while this ability is active, the rogue does 20% additional damage.  
Savage Combat – now causes 2/4% physical damage done.  
Mace Specialization – this talent now grants haste in addition to armor penetration.  

Chain Lightning – now jumps to 4 targets but does less damage. We wanted to make the distinction between Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning more clear.
Storm, Earth and Fire – this talent now increases all damage done by Flame Shock, not just periodic damage.  
Spirit Weapons – now reduces all threat, not just melee threat.  
Unleashed Rage – reduced to 2 ranks, now also increases your critical strike chance with melee attacks by 1/2%.  
Totem streamlining: The Mana Spring and Healing Stream Totems have been combined. The Disease Cleansing and Poison Cleansing Totems have been combined.
We are also working on giving Enhancement and Elemental more PvP utility.  
Warlock, Druid, Warrior

Official Blizzard Quote:


Improved Shadow Bolt – this talent now provides a 5% spell critical strike buff (similar to Improved Scorch).
Improved Soul Leech – this talent now provides Replenishment (similar to shadow priests)  
Drain Soul now has a chance to produce Soul Shards even if the target doesn’t die.  
Siphon Life no longer as an active ability but the talent grants the old Siphon Life effect to Corruption.  
Curse of Recklessness and Curse of Weakness have been combined into one spell  
Consume Shadows – this Voidwalker ability is no longer channeled but has a cooldown.  
Several other warlock talents have had their ranks reduced, their effects changed or removed. This list includes but is not limited to Demonic Empathy, Shadow Embrace, Eradication, Suppression, and Pandemic.
Additional new talents have been added.  


Savage Defense – this is a new passive ability. When a druid in Dire Bear form deals a melee critical strike, the druid gains a damage shield equal to 25% of their attack power. The next hit completely removes the shield regardless of how much damage was done.
Survival of the Fittest has had its bonus armor reduced to compensate for the above increase in damage mitigation.  
Faerie Fire (and similar debuffs) now reduces armor by 5%. See Sunder Armor in the warrior update below for additional details.  
Thorns and Nature’s Grasp can be cast in Tree of Life form.  
Survival Instincts now works in Moonkin form.  
Replenish – to avoid confusion, this talent has been renamed “Revitalize.” It now also works with Wild Growth.  
We are also looking at increasing the sustained (not burst) damage of feral druids in cat form.  


Changing stances now has a much reduced cost: you lose a maximum of 20 rage (10 with Tactical Mastery). For example, if you have 100 rage and change stances, you will have 80 rage remaining. If you have 10 rage and change stances, all of your rage is lost. In addition, we may change the penalties associated with some stances.
You now gain rage when damage done to you is absorbed, such as through a Power Word: Shield.  
Blood Frenzy now causes 2/4% physical damage done.  
Sunder Armor (and similar debuffs) now reduces armor by 4% per application, and is now a single rank. Creature armor has been globally reduced so that debuffed targets should take about the same damage from physical attacks that they did before this change. The net effect should be that this debuff is slightly less mandatory in PvE and is not disproportionately more powerful against cloth targets in PvP.
We are also adding increased damage to Arms, possibly through Overpower or Slam.  
We are also looking at granting rage when the warrior blocks, dodges or parries.  
Mage, Paladin, Hunter, Death Knight

Official Blizzard Quote:


Improved Water Elemental – this talent has been removed and replaced with a new talent that grants Replenishment (similar to Shadow priests).
We are also working on a way to give frost mages Ice Lance “Shatter combos” in PvE.  
We are also working on more survivability for Fire spec in PvP.  
We are also working on making Spirit a more useful and interesting stat for all mages.  


Blessing of Kings – this spell is now a base ability trainable by all paladins.  
Exorcism – this spell now causes damage to all types of enemy targets. However, it always critical strikes undead or demon targets. This change should make sure paladin damage doesn’t drop when going from Naxxramas to later tiers of content.
Shield of the Templar now causes your Avenger’s Shield and Shield of the Righteousness to silence targets for 3 sec. The old damage bonus of this talent has been folded into Holy Shield, Avenger’s Shield, and Shield of the Righteousness.
Ardent Defender, Improved Hammer of Justice, One-Handed Weapon Specialization and more have had their ranks reduced.  
Guarded by the Light – no longer reduces the mana cost of shield spells, but now has a 50/100% chance to refresh Divine Plea duration.
Judgements of the Just – now also reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 10/20 seconds and increases the duration of the Seal of Justice stun effect by 0.5/1 second.


Consumable ammunition has been removed from the game. Arrows and bullets no longer stack, but are not consumed. Ranged attack speed bonus gained from quivers and ammo bags will be preserved in a different capacity.
A new tier of hunter pet talents have been added. In particular, this allows Beastmaster hunters to improve their damage per second (DPS) with their 51 point talent.
Hunting Party – this talent has been reduced to 3 ranks and also grants a passive bonus to the hunter.  
Piercing Shots – this talent has been changed. Your Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of damage dealt for 8 sec.
Sniper Training – this talent has been changed. After standing still for 6 sec, you gain a 2/4/6% damage bonus to Steady, Aimed and Explosive Shot.
We are also looking to add additional trap functionality to Survival.  


Gargoyle and Unholy Blight have swapped talent positions. Gargoyle’s damage has increased and runic power cost per time has decreased.
Pestilence – this spell no longer causes damage but just spreads diseases. Blood Boil is intended to be the general area attack, and has been changed to be castable on targets with no diseases on them, but does extra damage if diseases are present.
Unbreakable Armor now absorbs a flat amount of damage that increases as your armor increases. It no longer boosts armor.  
The Frost tree has been shuffled. Among other things, PvP talents such as Endless Winter are closer to the top of the tree where Blood and Unholy death knights can access them.
Sudden Doom – this talent now procs a Death Coil rather than requiring an additional button click. It works similarly to shamans’ Lightning Overload.
Magic Suppression and Blood of the North have been reduced to 3 ranks for the same benefit.  
Blood Gorged now grants armor penetration instead of expertise.                          
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