Casual and hardcore players (effectively the 99% and 1% respectively) have often been secluded from one another in World of Warcraft’s endgame content. The hardcore speed ahead, obtaining loot and prestige items, while the casuals whittle away at the easier content. Casuals often attempt to accelerate their loot earnings by trying to play with the big dogs, but the loot gap is often too much that they find themselves in a world of hurt. A great example is the Arenas and gaining Conquest Points.
In the big dog Arena it is easy to get bitten, especially in a game where skill = gear = time. Those of you who are preparing to bandy words with me on this subject should analyze one of the basic premises that our game is built on. The more time you spend working on content the more gear you can obtain; therefore skilled players are players who spend more time on the game to obtain gear. Equipment comes at the cost of time. Take someone in ilvl 384 rolling their face on the keyboard versus someone in blues with skill and see how long they can stand up against one another.
No matter how great you are at the game, without gear you’re not going to go anywhere, and with the Arenas right now you need to win matches in order to get gear. Winning is tough, even in the lower brackets, of which are often dominated by players who are reforming arena groups (especially this late in the expansion). I’m not even going to consider rated battlegrounds, getting together the troops for that one as a casual is nay impossible.
Conquest Points are difficult to come by for those who do not play in the Arena.
So in order to play the endgame, you need the gear, and the gear is tough to get. A lot of players also like the Battlegrounds way more than the Arenas (and I can admit that I find the Battlegrounds a lot more pleasant than the stressful adrenaline pumping Arenas) and feel that they should be able to get the gear without having to step foot in the Arena. Well, Blizzard has heard this problem out and are pushing forward with plans to award 50 Conquest Points per normal Battleground victory.
Conquest Points and Obtaining Them
As it stands right now, in order to obtain this season’s gear you’re going to have to win around five Arena matches each week. That’s not a problem, outside of the fact you need an Arena team and Arena partners and you all need to be online at the same time. You can also do Rated Battlegrounds, but the difficulty in coordinating that is a bit tough week to week. So if you can’t get an Arena team (or just refuse to play the Arenas) you can only get Conquest Points via the Daily Battleground.
You can do the Daily Battleground seven times in one week and each one rewards 25 Conquest Points. That is 475 Conquest Points each week if you win one Battleground per day. Sounds like fun right? Well, here is the catch, the default Conquest cap each week is 1,350 points (rounding up a bit). You come up 875 points short, a tough problem. Well, how does Blizzard intend to fix it?
Starting next patch we’re going to get 50 Conquest Points a Battleground victory and 100 Conquest Points for the first victory in each day. That’s big news for anyone who wants to farm Arena points outside of the arena. Before you jump for joy though, let’s do a bit of math. Let’s say you do the daily each day which will now net you 700 Conquest Points in a week. That leaves you 650 Conquest Points away from your target. You’ll need 13 more wins on top of the one win each day in order to cap out or a total of 20 victories a week (I’m sure the number is intentional).
In order to win 20 matches you’ll need a time commitment of about 600 minutes or about 10 hours (let’s say 30 minutes per battleground victory). Give or take with your luck, of course. Compared to what five or six Arena victories are that is a huge difference. Plus, you don’t raise your weekly cap by just lollygagging around in the regular Battlegrounds nor do you gain access to higher tier gear via 2,200 rating.
The Conquest Point Deluge
Yet, this does give players two new distinct benefits. The first is that if you dislike the Arenas but want Conquest gear then you no longer have to struggle to throw a team together and try to get points. Second, if you have just hit level 85 and want to get into the PvP game you no longer have to struggle endlessly against teams better geared than you when you can go into the Battlegrounds and gain both honor and Conquest points to get gear.
So this is a remarkably healthy change for the game, but isn’t a game changer. Some players see it as the start of a “noobification” of the game starting in Mists of Pandaria, while I see it as a positive change. You take something that is difficult to obtain (Conquest Points) and give an option that is very difficult to obtain them (a small amount of Conquest Points from battlegrounds) for those who do not want to or cannot participate in the Arenas.
The cap also still exists, so it isn’t as if the game is giving anyone free Conquest Points. The cap can’t be raised either without doing Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas. I think it’s a very healthy change because PvP isn’t PvE. You need PvP gear in order to compete and <random WoW player> isn’t a boss you need to farm <other random WoW player> to defeat.
What do you think about the entire change? Should Blizzard not make WoW a welfare state or is this something great for the game? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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