Another PvP season, another set of gear-related issues. It was no surprise that the conquest vendors were despawned
shortly after season 14 began, the same happened for season 13 after all, but it turns out that their return
may have been more than a little premature. As Blizzard Community Manager Lore explains, the initial removal of the vendors was really just the start of an ongoing comedy of errors that is, as yet, not completely resolved. Lore's full post
is after the break, but let's sum up the key issues here.
- At the start of Season 14, a small number of players had a conquest cap of 28,000 instead of 2,200. This was due to some issues with the catch-up cap rolling over from season 13.
- Conquest vendors were removed while the error was fixed.
- Conquest vendors were reintroduced, but it turns out the error was never fixed, because it transpires that realms should have been restarted. Conquest caps remained far too high.
- Players were able to purchase gear they shouldn't have been able to get, and some even got the Grievous Conquest achievement, allowing them to purchase conquest gear with honor.
Blizzard's team is working hard to fix the issues, starting with the correction of caps from 28,000 down to 2,200. They've also pulled the vendors selling conquest gear for honor, and made the Grievous Conquest weapons unavailable. Unfortunately, as it's a far harder issue to fix, removing the extra gear from people who shouldn't have it is going to take a lot longer.
The reason for this is manifold, and getting worse by the day. Firstly, players could have legitimately earned pieces from world bosses, or earned more than just one piece thanks to conquest caps being elevated by rating. This makes it harder to be sure that pieces they're removing are genuinely ill-gotten. Hence, they're starting with the most egregious offenders, and working their way back from there.
But every day this continues, the situation gets worse, as more gear can be earned legitimately. And who knows whether they will feel it's necessary to take any action regarding elevated ratings thanks to better gear. It's a comfort, at least, to know they're working on it, and hopefully learning from their mistakes. Fingers crossed season 15 gets off to a better start.
As many of you are aware, there have been several hotfixes regarding PvP gearing over the past week. We wanted to take a moment to not only explain what exactly went wrong, but also what we're going to do about it.
The problems started with an error in calculating the season "catch-up cap". As you may know, this cap is calculated on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, for some players, these calculations began before Season 14 had officially begun. So, when the season did start, those players essentially had an entire season's worth of catch-up credit added onto their normal weekly cap of 2200.
As soon as we recognized the error, we despawned the Conquest vendors while we worked on and tested a hotfix to correct the artificially inflated Conquest caps (and remove extra Conquest that had been earned). We also created a hotfix that was intended to solve the initial error with the catch-up calculations during maintenance in other regions, but were unable to apply it before the issue had spread to other regions.
Once the hotfix to correct Conquest caps was completed, it was applied to all regions, and the Conquest vendors were respawned. At the time, we believed that the hotfix would take effect without realm restarts. That, unfortunately, did not turn out to be the case, so over the weekend, a number of players were able to acquire several pieces of gear that they should not have otherwise been able to. On top of that, a small number of players were able to earn the Grievous Conquest achievement, which then allowed them to purchase Conquest gear with Honor points.
We've since been working hard to correct our mistakes, and as of right now, here's where we stand:
- All players who had an inflated Conquest cap have had those caps corrected
- The Grievous Conquest achievement vendors have been despawned temporarily, as no one should have access to them through normal play at this time
- The Grievous Gladiator weapons have had their level requirement hotfixed to 91 temporarily, as no one should have access to them through normal play at this time
However, there is still the matter of the extra gear that some of these players were able to obtain. We need to remove this extra gear to maintain a level playing field for all of our players, but we also have to be extremely careful not to remove extra gear that players earned legitimately (as drops from world bosses, for example). To that end, here's what we're planning to do:
- We've already begun manually investigating players with multiple pieces of Grievous Conquest gear, starting with the most abusive cases
- For less abusive cases, we intend to apply a hotfix during the next maintenance period that should clean up any remaining extra gear
- This hotfix will also remove the Grievous Conquest achievement from those who have earned it prematurely
- In both cases, our plan is to convert excess Grievous gear into its Tyrannical equivalent, to ensure that no players are accidentally left without an item in a given slot
We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, and are working around the clock to fix things as quickly and cleanly as possible. Thank you for your patience.