The systems through which World of Warcraft players obtain player-versus-player gear will be getting a complete overhaul to even out the playing field during PvP season, Blizzard announced today in a post on Battle.net.
According to the post by community manager Nik "Daxxarri" Gianozakos, many players who begin participating in PvP season at the very beginning are earning the best gear at an accelerated rate, gaining very high Match Making Ratings and claiming a dominant position on the rankings ladder. From there it is "pretty common" for these players to severely scale back their participation and still obtain the highest rewards at the end of the season. Meanwhile, players beginning mid-season do not have the advantage of more powerful gear.
"That's not particularly good for competition, and we don't think that it's a very fun way for a competitive ladder to work," Gianozakos wrote. "We would like to see the ladder remain active, and for high ranking players to earn their positions throughout the season, instead of just blitzing early and camping a spot above a certain threshold."
"While we want to avoid invalidating the effort of players that have competed for the whole season, we agree with the feedback we've received that the starting gap is too large."
Blizzard wants to make it "more reasonable" for players to jump in mid-season while still rewarding commitment from players active all season. With the game's next update, patch 5.2, a player's Team Rating will begin to gradually increase through participation in PvP events. Blizzard expects the overhauled system to foster competition and keep players of all ratings active.
Additionally, there are not many PvP items that can be used to bridge the power gap between Honor gear and higher-level Conquest gear. Blizzard will now make four tiers of PvP gear available to balance out this discrepancy, as well as remove the gear usage requirement of a 2200 Match ranking with patch 5.2.
To bring mid-season starters up to speed with those who began at the start, Blizzard will be awarding latecomers a certain amount of Conquest Points (high-tier PvP rewards) based on a formula. Blizzard will multiply the current week of the season by 1000 and then subtract how many Conquest Points they have earned so far that season, and award them accordingly.
"Players who are starting their journey into PvP mid-season start significantly behind the gearing curve," Gianozakos explained regarding the formula's implementation. "While we want to avoid invalidating the effort of players that have competed for the whole season, we agree with the feedback we've received that the starting gap is too large."