Blizzard made good on their promise to go into detail about the upcoming changes to the PvP system coming in WoW 5.3.
Blizzard states that there are some difficulties when it comes to balancing PvP gear against PvE gear. They want to create a system where good PvP gear isn’t the only reason you win a match. This is contrary to World of Warcraft’s PvE gear which is purposefully meant to get more powerful as you complete tougher raids and get better loot.
WoW patch 5.2’s creation of Elite conquest gear was an attempt at basically creating three tiers of gear in PvP ala the three tiers of gear in raiding (LFR, normal, and heroic gear.) The third tier of gear was meant to be difficult to get with its requirement being you must have raised at least 27k of conquest this season.
Despite the cap put into place, there has been a bit of a balance issue with the elite gear in 5.2. Blizzard thinks that a fresh 90 trying to make their way into WoW PvP for the first time (or at least for the first time on that character) is going to be discouraged by the beating they take.
There is one great thing that came out of MoP’s PvP gear changes so far: PvP power. Blizzard seems perfectly content with how PvP power works for the most part, only doing some minor tweaks to it in 5.3
PvP resilience isn’t as highly regarded as PvP power is by the WoW staff. The upcoming changes in WoW 5.3 with most resilience being cut from gear and players having a base resilience of 65% is done to give players less damage from the start but more survivability so that they don’t feel like they’re getting squashed when trying to break into the PvP circuit.
The Changes to PvP in 5.3
Starting from level 85, players will have a base resilience of 65%. This is balanced by having most gear stripped of resilience. Players will still be able to build more resilience by gems and enchantments, however.
PvP power is still exclusively for PvP gear. Furthermore, set bonuses that provide extra resilience now drop that and gain bonus PvP power instead.
Healers and hybrid-casters rejoice! You will now get more of a benefit from PvP power. Battle Fatigue will increase, as well, in order to make PvP gear better for healers.
Conquest and Elite gear will both have their ilvls changed to 496. Along this vein, there will be an ilvl cap in arenas, random battlegrounds, and rated battlegrounds; the ilvl cap will be 496. This prevents PvE gear from having an advantage.
The previously promised change of removing the conquest cap on conquest weapons will be removed during patches that do not include a new season. The cap on obtaining elite gear must still be met. However, once that is met, players will be able to buy said gear with honor instead of CP.
Blizzard expects quite a few things from these changes. First and foremost, they think that the best gear for competitive PvP will come from the PvP gear itself. Honor gear will provide more damage in PvP due to its PvP power than even normal and heroic raid gear. Conquest weapons will provide more damage than the highly powerful Thunderforged weapons.
Ultimately, Blizzard’s goal with these changes is to motivate more people to play PvP in WoW. They want beginners to feel like they actually have a chance. These changes mean that, while beginners won’t do nearly as much damage, they should have roughly the same survivability. No more quick deaths!
Personally, I am excited about these changes. Up until this season, I had always been more of a casual PvPer and hadn’t previously even completed an honor set. Now that I’m breaking into it, I’m having a lot of fun, but there’s still times where I get stomped even when playing cautiously.
I don’t mind losing to better WoW PvP players at all, but I look forward to having said fights last longer. It’ll give me a chance to admire their skill.