We haven't even touched upon one of the most game-changing aspects of Patch 3.2, which is the introduction of experience in the Battlegrounds. Corollary to this is the ability to toggle xp gains on or off for a token fee. I won't even bother with the implications of this, but I'll focus on the fact that it will now be possible to grind through levels purely through PvP. That's pretty insane, and it's something I would've appreciated years ago but I'm sure I'll find handy when the next expansion hits.
This also has deep implications for the twink community, who will now find themselves facing other twinks as Battleground queues will be separate for players who have xp gain toggled off and those who have it toggled on. It's something many have been asking for, and is a win-win situation for hardcore twinks and casual players who are merely leveling and want to enjoy the Battlegrounds without getting stomped on. Those interested in the xp toggle feature can approach experience eliminators Behsten in Stormwind or Slahtz in Orgrimmar (they're stealthed, so look carefully).
It's also important to note that experience in the Battlegrounds will be awarded for actually completing tasks in the map, such as capturing flags or defending nodes, instead of from Honorable Kills. While this won't make an impact on max level Battlegrounds (more on that later), it will have the effect of players in lower level brackets actually working together to win. Imagine that.
Other small things
Koralon the Flame Watcher
While technically a PvE encounter, Koralon is the third big baddie to show up in the Archavon family vault. As with his predecessors, Koralon drops 'free' PvP gear and should always be a weekly stop for anyone serious about gearing for PvP. This continues the tradition of controlling Wintergrasp for some of the best possible gear in both PvP and PvE. It's highly likely that Koralon's loot table will resemble Emalon's, where non-set pieces will drop along with set pieces of Season 7 or Tier 9.
New Wintergrasp queue system
As if killing Wintergrasp's epic-ness through the change in the quests from daily to weekly wasn't enough, Blizzard has instituted a queueing method for Wintergrasp that will limit the number of players in the zone to 240 (120 per faction) throughout any given battle. While it retains some of its scope - 240 players is still a pretty darned lot - it loses some of its appeal as a non-instanced zone. I mean, what's the point of having it non-instanced if Blizzard limits its participants?
Obviously, it's a technical limitation where Blizzard's ambition exceeded their servers' capacity, but the structured queue system is good in that it removes the whole 'LFM Wintergrasp, PST so-and-so' that happens before every match. Will it do anything to curb Wintergrasp's popularity? No. In fact, this will likely increase it considering players will be assured of a hard limit to the zone which, assuming Blizzard calculated it right, will result in minimal lag. Expect better, smoother Wintergrasp games this time around.
Patch 3.2 also heralds the start of Arena Season 7, which will also see a multiple tier gear system first introduced in Season 6. If the new season begins as scheduled, it marks the shortest Arena season yet and reaffirms the trend towards shorter Arena seasons - Season 5 and 6 lasted for 17 weeks each. If this is any indication, there's a good chance that Season 7 will have roughly the same length.
Blizzard also finally removed the annoying fire from the Orgrimmar Arena, allowed mounts in an enlarged Dalaran Arena, and alcoves have been removed from Lordaeron Arena. What does this mean? Better fights, quite simply. The flames, for example, were one random element that simply had no place in competitive play.
One interesting note is that the removal of the 2v2 bracket from contention for end-of-season rewards means there will be no Gladiators from 2v2. This means fewer Gladiators overall unless Blizzard tweaks the system. A few more changes in the Arena system seem inevitable considering Season 6 saw players hit the 3000 rating ceiling, which was never intended. Overall, Season 7 looks to be an interesting chapter in the history of Arena play, and it should be fully expected that like Season 6 before it, this season will be friendlier to casuals than ever.
General Battleground improvements
Blizzard changed some things in the Battlegrounds that will ensure that matches will be fast and furious - there is now a 20-minute time limit imposed on Warsong Gulch, and the resource requirements in Arathi Basin and Eye of the Storm have been lowered from 2000 to 1600. Furthermore, they have implemented a buff called Honorable Defender, which increases Honor gained from Honorable Kills by 50% if players are within the proximity of capture points in Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, and the Isle of Conquest. This should mark the beginning of the end for fighting on roads.
While Patch 3.2 might be lackluster for the PvE crowd, it is about the best patch for PvP in a long time. Pretty much everything in this patch, even balance changes to classes, will contribute to a better PvP experience overall. From the longer Arena matches to more populous upper brackets, this patch changes the PvP landscape significantly. From permanent twinks to improved Resilience, from new Battlegrounds to better Battlegrounds play... so many things will change about PvP that it will feel fresh and fun once again.
| WoW's Patch 3.2 ushers in the Crusaders' Coliseum, the Isle of Conquest, flying mounts at 60, and much more. WoW.com has all the patch information your Worgen obsessed mind can handle in WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2!