My Warlords of Draenor PvP wishlist, and looking back at Mists

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My Warlords of Draenor PvP wishlist, and looking back at Mists
So, let's have at this again. A fair while back I wrote a similar article for Mists of Pandaria PvP, and in all honesty, I was giggling to myself looking back at it. At the time I wrote it, I'd been chatting with Eldacar, PvP theorycrafter extraordinaire, and bouncing ideas around. We both felt, ironically, that CC was a little out of hand. We were worried that too much existed, and that it had the potential to become a problem. And how right we were! Fortunately, a CC squish is inbound.

But I did get a lot of what I wished for. Role-specific queues in random battlegrounds, and associated matchmaking was introduced in 5.3, and bots are slowly being whittled down. PvE gear has been squashed a lot better in instanced PvP, although it still massively prevails in world PvP. Burst damage is becoming less and less of a problem, with a few notable exceptions (I'm looking at you, elemental shaman).

And what's more, while the implementation had some ill effects, one thing I wanted to see but was conflicted about came into play with The Crowd Chose You, and later with Dampening and the fix to make teams who've lost more players lose the arena too. We did pretty well, altogether.

But there were plenty of things we didn't get. Has my wishlist changed? Yes, in that I now want an even bigger moon on an even longer stick. Again, do note that these are just desires. Where I am aware of Blizzard talking about things being done, I'll say so.

PvP gear being the best in all PvP

When I wrote the Mists version of this, my complaints specifically related to things like the Vial of Shadows or Tarecgosa's Rest. These, and similar items with big procs, were wreaking havoc in arenas, and I wanted to see that disappear. And in Mists, with some exceptions, they largely have. But we're faced, now, with a different problem altogether. Since the huge pvp changes that came in in patch 5.3, base resilience combined with massive item level escalation has meant that PvE gear is massively outdoing PvP gear in world PvP.

While the responses from Blizzard have been that this is a problem, even if world PvP is inherently unfair, there's some inconsistency there. On the one hand, we have Crithto's gearing Q&A post, which explicitly states that PvP gear will be the best in world PvP, and on the other hand we have Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka tweeting in a way that implies that Mythic gear might still be better.
The argument for Holinka's position is that Mythic gear will be way harder to get, and as a result way rarer than even full conquest gear. But to me, it's still not OK that it outdoes the best PvP gear in world PvP. With the way they're currently examining redesigning PvP Power, it doesn't seem like it'd be that hard to increase the PvP Power budget on PvP gear to ensure that Conquest gear outdoes even Mythic gear, without making the item level of PvP gear too high.

This is a wishlist, and I would really like it if, in every case, the best PvP gear is the best for PvP. Sure, mythic gear might be harder to get, and there will be very few people wearing it overall, but that doesn't mean that it should outdo those people who've done the work required to get a full Conquest set. It's easier to do, sure, and faster maybe, but it's still an effort, and it's still PvP gear. You should be able to gear your character to the optimum level for PvP in all contexts by doing PvP, not by doing PvE. To me, it's as simple as that.

Oh, and why can't PvP gear's ilvl be too high? Because then PvPers might use it for raiding, which brings me to my next point.

Parity in utility

A lot of these wishes relate to gear, simply because it's an area where I think Mists has been rather problematic, and where changes need to be made. One change I mentioned above, base resilience, is, in my opinion, a great concept. Good idea, poor execution. I've already mentioned the reasons why it was executed poorly, ilvl escalation mostly, but let's look at why it's a good idea.

Quite simply, it makes it far easier for players to get started in PvP. Whether you're a PvP-focused player who's just hit level 90, or a hardcore raider, or a seasoned multiglad, you've all got roughly the same amount of base resilience. You're all protected from the same amount of damage. You may well hit and heal like a wet noodle being wielded by a particularly incompetent t-rex, but you have resilience on your side. Of course, with the ever-increasing ilvls of both PvP gear and PvE gear, both base resilience and battle fatigue are now completely out of control, and very clumsy in their implementation, but the core idea was a good one -- increase participation in PvP. The great squish of 2014 will help the devs to sort out the mess it's become.

But what I want to see, what's on my wishlist, is for PvP gear to be more useful in raids. For the transfer to go both ways. We're getting back there, now, with conquest gear at ilvl 522, which is six ilvls below LFR gear (528), but the problem here is that the very best PvP gear available is worse than the base-level PvE gear. Back in the first tier of the expansion, we were in a better spot. Mogushan Vaults normal gear (489) was six ilvls higher than conquest gear (483). This meant that, while PvE-ers didn't feel obliged to go out and farm Conquest Points (CP) to get the best gear, PvPers who had made that effort had a decent leg-up to take their gear into PvE.
I'd like to see a similar parity in utility be the case in Warlords. With the great raid-name-shuffle, I'd like to see Conquest Point (CP) gear, which I'd remind you is the PvP gear that is harder to get, a few ilvls below normal mode gear. Remember that, in Warlords, Normal is the new name for Flex. So if we were to apply that to current numbers, I'd like CP gear to be around ilvl 536.

A full set of CP gear costs 27,000 Conquest Points. If you cap on a basic arena-only cap of 1800 every week, that will take you 15 weeks. If you cap on a full basic cap of 2200 every week, it'll take you 13 weeks with a bit to spare. I think that time investment warrants a better leg-up in raids than just below LFR gear. Especially when, with base resilience, warforged and upgrades remaining, it seems likely that PvE gear will continue to be pretty darn good in PvP.

Profitability in PvP

In before "but PvP doesn't cause durability damage!" First up, yes it does. Barely any, but it does. Secondly, guess what PvPers still need to buy? That's right, gems and enchants. In this latter part of the expansion, on a new US account, I'm doing pretty much pure PvP apart from the very occasional Flex night. I don't have maxed-out professions, and I'm really seeing for the first time just how much of a gold loss PvP can be. Once you're maxed out on gear, gems and enchants, it's all good, you don't really have a gold cost, but getting to that point can be expensive. Glyphs too, they cost gold, as does reforging.

I'm not asking for the world, to be clear. PvE earns you gold through loot and failbags, and I'd like PvP to do the same. The idea was raised at BlizzCon, and according to Holinka, might well still be in the works. Every time you do a battleground, particularly, there's a chance to get a loot bag. Maybe guarantee it in the first seven battlegrounds you do a week, maybe the first one per day. Something similar to scenarios. And then have a random drop chance after that. These loot bags, in my mind, would contain either gold, or materials like Spirits of Harmony, or a piece of loot. Maybe even a tiny chance at pets or mounts. BoE loot would be especially helpful here, both for gearing up alts or friends, and for selling on the Auction House for extra gold.

I feel like the same could apply for arenas, too. Again, a loot bag dropping from the first seven per week, and then randomly after that, could contain gold, materials or gear. I do think that, even in the case of arenas, the gear should be honor-level gear, not conquest gear. And it should be BoE.

There's so much else I'd like to see, too, a general disarmament of damage, CC and healing, mass reduction of instant casts, improvements in PvP leveling, and more. But for now, at least, these are the key wishes. What's on your list?
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