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A great feature to allow players to catch up in PVP gearing was added with Patch 5.3, however it slipped by many players notice. What is this great feature and how do you make use of it, let’s take a look.
What is the Mid-Season Catch Up?
Blizzard announced the system and described it in the patch notes with this comment:
Mid-season catch-up for Conquest Points has been added. Players will now see their cap on Conquest Points increased by 1000 per week since the start of Season 13 minus the amount of Conquest Points earned so far in this season.
Normally players are limited to a weekly cap on the number of Conquest points that they can earn. This limits how quickly we can all gear up at the start of each new PVP season. The normal cap depends on your PVP rating and where you earn your points, but with a 1500 rating you could earn up to 1800 in Arenas or 2200 points from Rated Battlegrounds per week.
The mid-season catch up system allows players to earn more points per week until they have caught up to roughly what they would have earned if they had capped each week up to that point.
In theory this means that at any point in the season all players will have had the opportunity to earn about the same number of points and therefore have roughly the same gear level, no matter when they started competing in PVP that season.
Since the system allows you to catch up by 1,000 points per week behind you are and not the full 1,800 that you could have earned, you will still be behind. However, it is far better than not being able to catch up at all.
How to Calculate your Cap?
It is very easy to calculate what your cap should be based on finding out what week of the season you are currently in.
(Current Week) x 1,000 (Points earned so far)
You can find your points earned so far in the season by going to your character screen and selecting the currency tab. Once there mouse-over your conquest points and a pop up window will appear and display the following information:
- Weekly cap
- Current conquest points
- Total conquest earned so far this season
The only information it doesn’t show is what week of the season it currently is. For that you have to check patch notes. Season 13 began March 13th 2013, so you can calculate based on that date for season 13.style="padding: 5px; float: center; width: 600px; text-align: center;">
As seen here, the new system really gives you a huge boost for catching up, as you can get a whole lot of extra points.
How the Catch Up Cap Works Examples
For those that would like to see how it works based on numbers here are a few examples. All are based on being in the 11th week of a PVP season:
Player 1 - Started competing in PVP the first week of the season. He has earned his full cap of 1,800 points per week in the Arenas for the last 10 weeks. He will have earned 18,000 points so far this season.
Math: 11 x 1,000 18,000 = -7,000
Since the number from the calculation comes out below 0, the catch up mechanic has no effect and he will have a weekly cap of 1,800 for week 11.
Player 2 Started competing halfway through the season and has earned a full cap op 1,800 points each week for 5 weeks in the Arenas. He will have earned 9,000 points so far this season.
Math: 11 x 1,000 9,000 = 2,000
Since the number from the calculation is above 0 the catch up mechanic is in effect and will add to the weekly cap for week 11. This player will be allowed to earn up to 3,800 for week 11.
Player 3 Just reached level 90 and started competing in the Arenas this week. He has earned 0 points so far this season.
Math: 11 x 1,000 0 = 11,000
Since the number from the calculation is above 0 the catch up mechanic is in effect and will add to the weekly cap for week 11. This player will be allowed to earn up to 12,800 points for week 11.
If I don’t earn the points in the week do I lose them?
No you don’t. The catch up mechanic is calculated for each player each week. This means that players catching up can do so over several weeks. It also means that players that had caught up, but then missed a few weeks and fell behind may be allowed to catch up again. I say may, as the math is based on 1,000 points per week, but you can earn more than that by competing in the arena or rated battlegrounds.
To see how this works let’s continue to look at player 3 again from the example above.
Player 3 has reached week 12, having managed to earn a massive 6,000 conquest points in week 11 trying to catch up and gear up in the arenas. The 6,000 points he earned now applies to the calculation.
Math: 12 x 1,000 6,000 = 6,000
Since the number from the calculation is still above 0 the catch up mechanic is still in effect and will add to the weekly cap for week 12. This player will be allowed to earn up to 7,800 points for week 12.
If he managed to earn another 6,000 points in week 12, then in week 13 the it would work as follows.
Math: 13 x 1,000 12,000 = 1,000
Since the number from the calculation is above 0 the catch up mechanic is in effect and will add to the weekly cap for week 13. This player will be allowed to earn up to 2,800 points for week 13.
Who will the Catch Up system help, and will it really help?
While this is obviously an opinion section, I think most players would agree with me that the new system really will help new or returning PVP players.
It will do so by closing the gap between those that started PVP at the beginning of a season and those that start halfway through a season. When starting late in a season without this mechanic it always felt like you have no real chance. It took several weeks to get even a few pieces of gear, but even that never felt like it helped much since those ahead were still gearing up.
Since you had to struggle just to get a piece of gear a week which didn’t catch you up that much, it lead to frustration. If you missed the first few weeks of a season for any real life reason, it almost felt like, why bother.
The new system will help new players catch up faster and therefore be less likely to get as frustrated and quite PVP for that season. It will also help encourage new players to try PVP for the first time since they will be able to collect a lot of new gear quickly.
As an additional bonus, this could help established PVP players gear up alternate characters that are deemed required throughout a season. Meaning that if you normally play a Rogue but decide that you really need a mage for your arena team, you could level a mage, and then catch up a significant amount of gear very quickly.
You can find out even more about the PVP catch up system from Blizzards post: PVP Gear in 5.2 and Beyond.
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