The incoming changes to the PvP gear set are… strange to say the least. World of Warcraft has been a game about prestige since day when the first guild got together and defeated the mighty Hogger. However, with these changes, gear may no longer be a PvP prestige, falling back to titles such as Grand Marshall / High Warlord and hopefully, some form of item coloring for those who earn a high enough rating.

How it Works

The changes can be confusing at first glance, but are actually rather simple. Dreadful Gladiator’s gear will now be craftable. This is the old honor set. Malevolent Gladiator’s gear will be purchased through honor, including weapons. Then Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear will be purchased via conquest points. This is a new tier of gear. An elite set will be purchasable once a player has earned 27,000 conquest points in the season.

Additionally, there will be no ratings cap on gear. You can buy any gear but the elite gear right out of the gate. Thus, all players are only limited in resource procurement to determine gear progression.

Okay, so that’s a lot to take in. There are even more changes though. The way points are earned is changing. There is a complicated sounding formula attached to the updates, but here is how it works in layman’s terms. For each week of the season you will be granted 1,000 additional points to your cap. Each point you earn in a season subtracts from this additional bonus cap. Therefore, if you play each week and earn over 1,000 points a week, you will have no bonus cap. If you don’t play for 5 weeks, you’ll have a 5,000 point bonus cap. If you earn 12,000 points and play for 10 weeks, but then quit for 4 weeks, you’ll have an additional 2,000 point bonus cap.

The bonus cap decreases as you earn additional points (so that you will always have at least 1,000 conquest points earned for each week of the season).

There is more. Once you reach 27,000 conquest points, you can buy Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear with honor points. Additionally, any patch without a new season will remove the seasonal currency requirement from purchasing conquest point weapons.

So, to sum it up, they are removing the ratings cap on gear. Altering the way you obtain gear. Altering the way conquest points work. In general, changing the entire game.

Realistic Expectations

This is the entire 99% vs. 1% argument once more. Right now, a very small fraction of the playerbase has a high enough rating to get all of the gear. Players who want that gear can’t defeat the players who already have it because the gap is too far apart. The gap needs to exist in order to make the gear relevant, but you can’t reach that top percent without being carried, an intense amount of time, or starting from day one.


Then another season rolls around, but those players already have the best gear from the previous season, roll over everyone, then sit at the top again with all of the gear. It’s truly a terrible situation for the majority of other players who can’t break into it. Normally, with say hardcore raiding, there is an outlet for you to go through at any point to transverse into that playstyle. If you want to hardcore raid you start off with a normal raiding gear, work your way through the content, gear up, and start applying to hardcore guilds. You eventually get into a lower tier one, do encounters / get achievements / get gear, and then move into a better one. With PvP, hard work doesn’t necessarily give results.  A 2300 rating team isn’t going to let in someone who is 1200 rating in and that 2300 rating team was 2300 from pretty much the start of the season.

So what this means is that PvP is going to be a bit more balanced. Teams will have similar gear and rating will be a bit more organic and less a mad rush to rank up at the start of the season and then idle at a high rating. Players who alt will be able to enjoy playing all of their characters in PvP, because even if they ignore one for a while, it’ll accumulate a bonus cap to be used later.

So how this affects players will different from perspective. The ones at the top now will feel upset that their prestige is being stripped away as Blizzard “newbifies” the game more and gives into casuals. The ones not at the top will see this as a change that finally lets them be on a bit more equal footing in the battlegrounds / arena and even things out a bit.

Personally, I see this as a positive change, but this is a game about prestige. They will need to make sure that each season, if you do reach a high rating, that you’re given something to celebrate your success for that specific season, if nothing else than a color swap on that season’s gear. Something for players to work towards, other than hitting their conquest cap each week.

These changes should be rolling out in patch 5.2 and are subject to change. Who knows, Blizzard may rework the season again, but Ten Ton Hammer will be here keeping you up to date on the changes.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.