The new gear system in 5.2 announced.

#1 - Jan. 18, 2013, 3:06 a.m.
Blizzard Post

Change is coming to PvP gear in the relatively near future, and we wanted to provide a not-so-brief update on the improvements we’re planning, while pulling the curtain aside a bit so you can see the thought processes that motivated the coming changes. We also thought this would also be a great time to get the World of Warcraft PvP community involved in the discussion.

The Challenges
There are a few main issues that we’re working to address within the next couple of patches:

Early Advantage
Currently, it’s very common for players that have a head start at the start of the season to earn the best gear quickly and gain a dominating position on the ladder with a very high Match Making Rating (MMR). It’s then pretty common for those players to only participate on the ladder in a minimal way before reaping their rewards at the very end of the season. 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. 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.

Mid-season Start
Players getting into PvP mid-season face a very significant challenge to gear up and become competitive because players that started earlier in the season are so far ahead in terms of gear. We want to make it more reasonable for a player to join in on organized PvP mid-season, while still rewarding the commitment of players that have remained invested in PvP throughout the season.

Rating Requirements
The current rating requirements on PvP gear create an artificially sharp division between players over 2200 rating and those below that rating threshold, which is unduly difficult to cross. We’d prefer that teams progress up the ladder on a curve against gradually more difficult opponents, instead of running into a wall at a certain rating.

Gear Advantage
Over time, the gap in power between Honor and Conquest PvP items has widened. This happened, in part, because it’s necessary for us to preserve the balance in power between PvP and PvE gear so that one doesn’t become the most obvious path to victory for the other. Right now, there are four tiers of PvE items, but only two tiers of PvP items. To keep Honor items from being the best choice for entry into PvE, they needed to have a lower item level than equivalent Raid Finder items. At the same time, Conquest gear still needs to be better for PvP than Heroic raid items, which puts it way over on the opposite end of the power scale from its Honor counterpart. While there are items that bridge the gap between Raid Finder and Heroic Raid loot, there really haven’t been any PvP items to bridge the gap between Honor and Conquest gear. We plan to solve that problem by introducing new tiers of PvP items, changing which currencies it takes to buy items and when, and by making PvP weapons more readily available in general.

While the item upgrade system has the benefit of allowing players that have “finished” their PvP set to continue to progress their character’s power, because there’s built-in pressure to continue upgrading their main set, it also means that players don’t always feel comfortable spending those points on alternate sets of gear for different specs (though it’s worth mentioning that the upgrade system will be disabled for patch 5.2). We’d like to make it easier for players in this position to experiment with alternate specs and stats.

Moving Forward
Meeting these challenges will mean that some changes are coming to MMR, PvP gear, and how gear is earned and paid for:

Team Rating Inflation
As we’ve mentioned previously, we want to see the ladder rankings decided toward the end of a season, and not a foregone conclusion dictated by what happens at the start. As discussed in the PvP in Mists of Pandaria Dev Watercooler, as of patch 5.2 Team Rating will gradually increase as players participate in PvP over the course of the season. We expect the new system to help ensure that the ladder remains active at all ratings and that the competition stays fierce from start to finish.

Gear Changes
To accomplish the goals of making PvP more accessible and less punishing, gearing more consistent and flexible, and flattening the power curve out over the course of a season, there are some significant changes in the works:
2200 rating requirements removed from all PvP gear. (5.2)
Gear will be available in four tiers:
Dreadful Gladiator’s gear will be crafted. (5.2)
Malevolent Gladiator’s gear, including weapons, will be purchased with Honor Points. (5.2)
New tier of PvP items: Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear will be purchased with Conquest Points. (5.2)
Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear can be purchased for Honor after 27000 Conquest Points are earned for the season. (5.3)
Elite Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear can only be purchased with Conquest Points after 27,000 Conquest Points have been earned for the season. (5.2)
The 2200 rating requirements on gear will be removed in patch 5.2, and when that happens, the only barrier to acquiring top of the line Elite gear will be the 27,000 Conquest Point seasonal currency requirement. While highly rated players will still earn gear more quickly, there won’t be an invisible wall to progression at 2200 rating.
As of patch 5.3, patches that don’t include the start of a new season will offer players the opportunity to purchase Conquest Point weapons without first meeting the seasonal currency requirement for them. We’re relaxing these restrictions because, by the mid-point of the season, the restriction has served its purpose and is no longer necessary. It’s worth noting here that the 27,000 Conquest Points earned requirement must always be met to buy Elite armor and weapons in every season.
In terms of relative power, we’re tuning the item levels, PvP Power, and Resilience on the new set of PvP items so that the difference between Malevolent and Elite Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear is similar to the relationship between this season’s Dreadful and Malevolent Gladiator’s gear. This helps accomplish the goal of smoothing out the power curve by adding a tier in the middle of the PvP gear spectrum. Also, to add choices and flexibility, once the seasonal currency requirement is met, players will have the option to purchase Tyrannical pieces for Honor, which should allow players to more easily experiment with alternate stat loadouts and specs.

Mid-Season Catch Up
Players who are starting their journey into PvP mid-season start significantly behind the gearing curve. 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, so a new Conquest Point catch-up cap will be implemented using the following formula:
(Current week of the season) * 1000 – (Conquest earned thus far this season)
Here are some examples of how this will work:
Player A is starting PvP for the first time in week 10 of the season, and hasn’t earned any Conquest Points at all that season. He will have an additional cap of 10,000 points added to his normal weekly rating based cap.
Player B has already earned 5,000 Conquest Points by week 10, so she would have an additional cap of 5,000 points added to her normal weekly rating based cap.
Player C has been playing all season long, and has earned more than 10,000 Conquest Points by week 10. He only has the normal weekly cap to work with (but should already be on their way to being well geared).
If a player “redeems” their catch up cap by earning all those points, then they’ll begin the next week at their normal weekly rating based cap. Should they miss more weeks, then the catch up cap accrues again.
So, to sum up the planned changes for Patch 5.2:
Rating requirements will be removed from PvP gear.
Malevolent Gladiator’s gear, including weapons, will be available for purchase with Honor Points.
A new tier of Conquest Point gear will be added that becomes available once 27000 Conquest Points have been earned for the season.
Team Rating will gradually increase during the season for teams and players that continue to compete in PvP. This system is explained in the Mists of Pandaria PvP Dev Watercooler.
And here are the specific changes that are planned to hit in Patch 5.3:
In patches that don’t include a new season (including patch 5.3), the seasonal currency requirement of 27,000 Conquest Points earned will be lifted from weapons. The seasonal currency requirement must always be met to purchase Elite items, though.
Once the seasonal currency requirement is met, players will be able to purchase Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear with Honor Points.
The Conquest Point catch up cap will be introduced.

Overall, we expect that these changes will create a more active and competitive PvP environment, narrow the gear gap between the highest rated players and those still working their way up the ladder, and open the door for more experimentation in terms of class or spec.
We look forward to hearing your opinions and feedback on these upcoming changes!
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#66 - Jan. 18, 2013, 9:22 a.m.
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Also what will motivate people towards glad now, except glad? Arena tabards, recoloured gear or won't there be any rewards at all? :<

Yea this is still a big mistake Blizzard are making, they are still amusing that people are motivated by gear in PvP, this hasn't been the case (largely, naturally a very small % still do care) for a very long time now.
This is actually something that we are also looking into. We are aware that pure performance enhancers are not something that is of a large interest to the majority of PvP'ers. We are investigating ways of implementing more vanity rewards for participating in PvP combat.

18/01/2013 03:23Posted by Deadandlivin
Then you could also throw inv arious special Mounts or Pets between the 2000-2700 range or something.
One issue that can arise with the rating requirements on rewards with the new MMR inflation system is that rating is going to inflate throughout the season for those that continue to compete. This could make rating requirements such as those you have mentioned much easier to attain. As said however we are looking into ways to implement more vanity rewards into PvP and we will update you with more information on this when it becomes available. :)

18/01/2013 05:55Posted by Bèar
But honestly, why should someone with inferior skill to myself have the same gear? This basically puts us on the same level.
I have to ask; why is it that you feel entitled to have better gear than someone of lesser skill and as such bridge that gap between you both even further, giving you an even more distinct advantage?
If players are able to fight with an equal footing in regards to gear, then you will be able to tell who has more skill as the better player will obviously be able to attain more rating. This change should excite you with having a better chance to show your stuff and surpass 2.2K rating, push yourself beyond your known limits and try for the best you can!

18/01/2013 06:39Posted by Røøted
So we've nothing to aim for now ?

Whoever said that? You have plenty to aim for, the sky is the limit. You still have the elite gear to aim for, it simply does not come with a rating requirement now. You can also set your own goals rather than only aiming for those we already laid out before you.

18/01/2013 08:58Posted by Lilléy
I think the new conquest system will promote players to start late in the season. This way you will save money and the catch up rate will be crazy high.

Far from it, you only get the 1000 points per week missed minus your already attained Conquest points. If you played throughout the entire season then your weekly cap would be higher than that and as such you should have more conquest points than those who start late. The main difference now is that catching up if you started later in the season should not be as difficult.
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#98 - Jan. 18, 2013, 10:20 a.m.
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18/01/2013 10:15Posted by Scrubbles
all we want is something to show off, maybe like teh challenge mode gear, if you get 2.2k rating you get a set of gear with no stats thats purely for transmog. and this thread then dosent need to exist.
As has already been mentioned even before this blog, more vanity rewards for PvP'ers is something that we are currently looking to implement. We will provide more information on this when it becomes available :)

18/01/2013 10:16Posted by Stalkewt
I approve this change.

*Thumbs up*
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#183 - Jan. 18, 2013, 12:56 p.m.
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18/01/2013 11:32Posted by Draugarth
The Blue has left the building. How unexpected.
Nope, still here.

18/01/2013 12:21Posted by Helexis
We, who are about to farm, salute you!
How will it be any different to the farming that you are currently doing? You farm up your honor gear while buying conquest items with what you earn and then once you get full honor gear you go all out with farming your conquest points for gear.

Remember also that the rating inflation system might mean that the average MMR and team rating could increase, this means that the amount of Conquest points that you can earn each week may go up too. :)
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#191 - Jan. 18, 2013, 1:13 p.m.
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18/01/2013 13:07Posted by Kyutoryu
Can anyone confirm the statement quoted?
A quote from the "PvP Gear in 5.2 and Beyond" blog:

  • 2200 rating requirements removed from all PvP gear. (5.2)
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    #209 - Jan. 18, 2013, 1:51 p.m.
    Blizzard Post
    18/01/2013 13:24Posted by Bòby
    So you think pvp should be about who plays the most not who skilled? since i only play like 2 times a week as said in my post" " Genuis fair play where did you grade at uni?
    It should be about who is the most skilled, this is the reason that this system has been created. This system is not intended to take away from those that are really good and put in that effort to get a high rating.

    18/01/2013 13:24Posted by Bòby
    people that put effort into being good should get more than cosmectic's as reward but you probs dont know that..
    If you are saying that, I assume that you mean they should get direct performance enhancers. Why is it you feel that because you can achieve a higher rating, you should have better stats than everyone else? If you are better than another player then you wouldn't really need better stats, you should be able to beat them with equal level gear. I can understand the issue players have with the "Elite" gear now being available to all and we are looking into more avenues for vanity items in PvP which should help in this area, but please explain why it is that you feel stronger gear should only available to those of a certain rating.
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    #419 - Jan. 21, 2013, 12:33 p.m.
    Blizzard Post
    I am just going to jump in here again and respond to a few of the points that have been raised so far in this thread, but have not received a response.
    18/01/2013 17:39Posted by Dagran
    I approve this change but more rewards for PvP have to be given!
    We have a cosmetically different and unique weapon enchant planned to be available at 2200 rating. We are also looking into the possibility of adding in some additional vanity items and rewards that can be earned at various ratings.

    Whats the point in having elite gear at all with this change?
    Why not just remove it?
    The reason it's not simply removed is because with this change we are making it so that there's a difference in stats between the normal and elite versions, while it is not nearly as big as the difference between the Malevolent and Tyrannical gear, it's still desirable. The problem that lies in the current system we use is that you have 2 sets of PvP gear (Honor and Conquest) comparatively to there being four levels of gear for PvE (LFR, Valor, Normal and Heroic raid).

    You need to remember that the Honor gear cannot be so good that it substitutes dungeon gear as an LFR entry item or is better than loot from LFR, Conquest gear cannot be better for PvE than the Heroic raid items, but both need to be stronger in PvP than their counterparts. This ends up creating a system where we have to balance two tiers of items against four, meaning there's a void for upgrades between Honor and Conquest items.

    This new system means that we will now have four sets of PvP gear (Dreadful, Malevolent, Tyrannical and Elite Tyrannical) to scale up with the PvE sets so that the stats will increase in a much more gradual manner. So we can now avoid the gap in upgrades caused by having only two sets of PvP gear.

    18/01/2013 15:02Posted by Akarina
    This means that you can get 27k Conq Points over say 3 months, dont spend them, and then buy they full set of Elite gear in 5.2.
    Ooooh... You so sneaky! :O

    Your plans have already been thwarted, though :) Not only will you be having some trouble competing with those that have started buying the normal version of the Tyrannical gear while you are waiting, there is also a 5000 Conquest point cap. This will prevent you from saving up your points, so it is definitely recommended that you buy the normal version before you get the elite one to avoid missing out on gear. ;)
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    #427 - Jan. 21, 2013, 1:48 p.m.
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    21/01/2013 13:42Posted by Diphtérie
    Do you think players will feel rewarded for achieving a rating that can simply be "farmed" and is not earned like in the old days ?
    The rating inflation will mean that ratings end up being higher at the end of the season than what has been seen previously, but this does not mean that they will be so dramatic that 2200 rating will be easily achieved by everyone.