Hey all, I’m sure you’ve all seen/heard about the new changes slated to be implemented in 9.1 for gearing, whether they be positive or not. Stoopzz just released a good video on this as well, but I wanted to make a forum post because this NEEDS to change.
In 9.1 the plan is to reintroduce the gearing system where gear scales to a higher item level in PvP combat, a change most likely aimed at addressing concerns among PvE players that PvP was required or nearly required, especially at the highest levels. This change was pretty much certainly not made in any way to address PvP player concerns.
HOWEVER, not only does this change do very little to alleviate the PvE issues (according to some top end raider friends, PvP will still be desirable for early raid gearing at the highest levels), it also addresses literally NONE of the issues that we PvP players have been complaining about. Since gear will still have ilevel based upon rating, massive rifts are created at rating cutoffs, where you’re forced to play versus players that may have 10-15 or even 20 ilevel on you, making pushing certain ratings extremely difficult (particularly 2.4k).
This change does somewhat alleviate the boosting problem created by those who are getting a boost for PvE purposes, but doesn’t entirely, as people who want the gear for PvP will still want boosts to certain ratings. Additionally, if any player who is 2.4k+ (or 2.1k, or 1.8k) wants to play another bracket, play with a friend, play with viewers from their stream etc. etc. their gear will be massively superior to those they are qing into which just isn’t fun for anyone.
This system is actually arguably worse than the current one - PvP gear won’t be great in PvE past the first week or two (possibly okay, ilevels are not final), and the PvP honor/conquest grind is STILL as bad as it was before unless things are addressed . The honor gear is essentially useless, conquest gear is hard to obtain because of how little you get per game and then you still have to do a tremendous amount of honor grinding to even upgrade your conquest gear and then on top of that, rating is required to get it to the highest ilevel.
Personally, I believe Blizzard’s logic behind limiting conquest gains and adding upgrades to PvP gear that were locked behind rating were systems added to gatekeep the usefulness and obtainability of PvP gear to use in PvE. Adding the ilevel increase that only activates in PvP eliminates this, so there is absolutely no need to keep these systems in place.
In my opinion we need to go back to one set of gear for each “level” of PvP - 1 honor set, 1 conquest set. No upgrades, nothing tied to rating. I also think we need to earn more conquest per game. Making PvP gear less useful in PvE is fine, if you can get gear for PvP via PvP relatively quickly and efficiently. The system in WoD lead to more alt activity, more people being encouraged to try other classes and more players having fun in PvP in general. Any issues with WoD ladder activity were tied to balance alone (and that’s a different story).
The biggest pushback to this that I’ve seen is “What will the reward be then?” Realistically when has gear EVER been "THE NUMBER ONE PvP reward”? Some very old systems valued gear as a reward, but they were removed for the same reasons. The disparity in gear made pushing unfun. We have titles, rating achievements, mounts, etc. that are the reward for doing arena. Arena in the past has primarily been about these rewards and about HAVING FUN PLAYING PVP. Never before has gear been the driving factor to q up.
I think what 99% of people want is an even playing field. That’s the starting point, and that’s what players deserve to have so they can prove their skill.