Bornakk has since came out and clarified the changes a bit, and provided a bit more detail. Most interestingly is that this change was intended for Patch 3.3, and was accidently applied to Patch 3.2.2. I'm not really sure how such a significant change could accidently make it in, but there we have it. From Blizzard's mouth to your ears.
It would make sense that the change be applied in Patch 3.3. Cross-server instances are coming in Patch 3.3, and that's going to help leveling a ton. Think of how easy things will be if you just want to chain run dungeons at 1 a.m. for a few hours. That speed and leveling agility would help offset the XP nerf contained in this sudden AV change. But as it stands, we'll have to wait a few months to allow for another quick level mechanism to be put in place.
The other part of the change that was clarified is exactly what happened with the brackets.
In a nutshell, the following occurred:
- 70 was removed from the 61 to 70 bracket
- There is now a bracket for 70 to 79 players
- 80s are now in their own bracket
- XP was cut in half (note this change was not in Bornakk's announcement, but is what everyone is observing)
- Level of bosses (and NPCs) in the 70 to 79 bracket have been reduced
With the launch of patch 3.2.2 today there have been some changes to the Alterac Valley battleground and we wanted to clarify what exactly has been done.
Level 80 characters now have their own bracket and there is a separate bracket for characters that are levels 70 to 79. This change was originally planned for patch 3.3 but it was accidently applied to the current patch 3.2.2. As we had already intended to make this change so that players who are leveling play together and players who are at the level cap play together, we will be keeping the bracket setup this way, but the level of the bosses in the brackets below level 80 will be reduced to compensate.