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Patch 5.3 PvP changes


From a PvP perspective, patch 5.3 is one of the biggest patches in a really long time. A really, really long time! WoW Insider has been covering the changes from a PvP angle to a pretty reasonable extent, from the first moment the resilience changes were announced, through the new arena and the new battleground, right up to the more recent alterations to tank damage and the like. All our coverage is collected in one easy place, so do check it out if you're searching for more information.

So we've struck upon a few changes already, but let's dig into the patch notes and provide some additional clarity. I've pulled out the PvP-specific items from the patch notes, but if you want to see them in full, that's absolutely fine too.

  • All characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
  • Battle Fatigue now reduces the amount of healing and absorbs by 45%, up from 30%.
  • PvP Power conversion ratio to obtain 1% damage at level 90 has been changed from 265 to 400.
  • PvP Power bonus to healing is now based on class and specialization.
  • Healing specializations receive a 100% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
  • Damage specializations for Druids, Monks, Paladins, Priests, and Shamans receive a 70% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
  • All other specializations and classes (including tanking) receive a 40% bonus to healing from PvP Power.

These are the really big, key changes. What does it all mean? Well, your PvE gear is now essentially slightly underpowered PvP gear. It'll be downscaled inside instances, so its item level is on a par with that of PvP gear. However, PvP gear has a key advantage, and that advantage is PvP Power. While we won't be seeing the same increased damage levels of up to 60% as we're used to seeing on live servers, PvP Power will still be generating a huge chunk of extra damage over PvE gear, which is downscaled, as I mentioned.

Looking at the healing side of things, PvP power now contributes an extra 100% to healing. This is a lot higher than the patch 5.2 numbers, and Battle Fatigue, the debuff that lessens player healing on other players in PvP has been increased accordingly. The devs have aimed to maintain the same or similar levels of healing as we're used to on live servers, but a notable change is that hybrid classes will now have a boost from PvP power to their self-heals, and heals they can put on other players. It's important to note that this does also include tanking classes.

PvP Items
  • Season 13 Tyrannical gear had their item levels increased to ilevel 496, up from ilevel 493. Weapons and shields/off-hand items remain unchanged at ilevel 498.
  • Season 13 Tyrannical Elite gear had their item levels decreased to ilevel 496, down from ilevel 512.
  • Resilience has been removed from most PvP gear.
  • Resilience gems and enchants will continue to be available and remain unchanged.
  • 4-piece PvP set bonus for all Season 12 and 13 armor sets that granted 1000 Resilience now grants 1000 PvP Power instead.
  • PvP Power will remain exclusively on PvP gear.
  • The amount of PvP Power and Resilience on gems and Mystic Cogwheel have been reduced by 50%.
  • Tyrannical weapons no longer have a conquest-earned prerequisite to purchase them.
  • Glorious Tyranny weapon enchantment now grants 600 PvP Power instead of 400 PvP Power and 200 Resilience.
  • New weapon enchantment: Bloody Dancing Steel is functionally equivalent to Dancing Steel, shares the same visual effect as Glorious Tyranny, costs a scroll of the base enchant, and requires a 2200 rating.
  • New weapon enchantment: Spirit of Conquest is functionally equivalent to Jade Spirit, shares the same visual effect as Glorious Tyranny, costs a scroll of the base enchant, and requires a 2200 rating.
  • Tyrannical Gladiator's Tabard and Tyrannical Gladiator's Greatcloak are available as new prestige items at 2500 rating for 1000 Conquest Points.
  • Big Zokk Torquewrench has returned from their leave of absence.
  • Glorious Conquest Quartermasters (Acon Deathwielder, Ethan Natice) have returned after refitting their wares.

Taking this section of the patch notes in tandem with that above, you'll note that resilience is gone from PvP gear, after its long stay with us in WoW. This is because everyone now has 65% base resilience, as we mentioned earlier. Don't panic. It's also worth noting that this change does not carry on down through lower levels, so you'll likely still find your resilience gear there, along with the standard base resilience of 40%. It is worth noting that players do have the option to rework their resilience a little with gems and enchants, if they wish, but these have also been nerfed quite considerably. Consider what are traditionally PvE gems for PvP, and do keep an eye on the various theorycrafters for analysis of the new gems and enchants. Things may well change, and it's going to take PvPers a little while to shake off the old habits of years of resilience and PvP-specific gemming or enchanting.

As promised, conquest weapons no longer have a points-earned requirement for their purchase, and what's more the Catch-Up Cap for conquest is in place, meaning that players can earn up to 12,000, if they have earned no other conquest this season, from the first time they log in after the patch until they are caught up. For the high-end PvPers, there's both enchants and tabards to show the world that high rating! Item upgrades are also available for PvP gear, but only for season 12 gear. Players who have earned over the 25,000 conquest cap in the season will be able to purchase conquest gear for honor.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas now have an ilevel cap. All gear will be scaled down to ilevel 496.
  • To facilitate a more balanced team composition, players now need to select a role when queuing up for a Battleground or Rated Battleground.
  • Picking up the Alliance or Horde flag while in a Rated Battleground now increases damage taken by 50% for characters in a tanking specialization, and increases damage taken by 20% for characters in a non-tanking specialization.
  • Dalaran Arena: Masons of Dalaran have been hard at work installing steps in the two remaining corners of the arena.
  • Eye of the Storm: The starting platforms have been lowered.

It is very important to note, as Brian Holinka clarified in an interview yesterday, that the role check is not likely to affect queue times, and therefore will not result in players queueing as heals when they intend to DPS. The way the system works is that, when there are enough players queued to create a battleground match, the system assesses how many healers are available, and allocates the same number to each team, with a tolerance of one. So, if there are seven healers in the queueing pool, one side will get three and the other will get four. If there are only two, then each side will get one healer. This system does not work like raid finder, where groups need pre-defined numbers of healers, tanks and DPS to start.

We've already discussed the scaling, as well as covering the tanking nerfs in a previous article, so if you're looking for more information on these or any other aspect of the patch notes, do check out WoW Insider's Patch 5.3 PvP coverage.
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