The entire set of patch notes are below, with my comments following. Updated information is in red.
- The minimum cap on Conquest Points earned per week from Arenas is now
15001350 at 1500 or less BattlegroundArena rating. The maximum cap remainsis now 30002700 at 3000 or more BattlegroundArena rating. The cap continues to scale non-linearly between those two points. For comparison, during season 9 the cap ranged between 1343 and 3000.
- The game now separately tracks different Conquest Point caps for Battlegrounds and Arenas.
The cap for Arena rating will always be 2/3 of the cap for Rated Battleground rating at any given Arena rating.Battleground ratings receive a bonus of 22.2% to the cap they generate, meaning the cap from Battleground rating now ranges between 1650 and 3300. Players may earn a total number of Conquest Points per week equal to the higher of these two caps, but once players have reached the cap for either Arenas or Battlegrounds, they can no longer earn Conquest Points from that source. Conquest Points from Battleground holidays only count toward the total Conquest Point cap.
- Example: During the first week of Season 10 everyone starts with a rating below 1500. Therefore, the cap from Rated Battlegrounds will be
15001650 and the cap from Arena rating will be 10001350. In the first week, the character wins enough Arena matches to reach the 10001350 point cap. After that point, Arena wins will no longer grant Conquest points for the week. However, the character can still earn up to 500300 additional points, but can only earn those points from either Rated Battlegrounds, or from the Conquest Point bonus for holiday and/or daily random Battlegrounds. The following week the cap will be recalculated based on the character’s ratings, and it is possible Arena rating could now generate the higher cap. The second week, the character’s cap from Arena rating is 16001800, and the cap from Rated Battlegrounds is 15001650. The character has a total cap of 16001800 Conquest points for the week. Up to 15001650 points can be earned from Rated Battlegrounds, but the last 100150 must come from a different source.
The situation remains essentially the same, with sticks replaced by carrots. The ratio is slightly different, the math is more complicated, but the design goals are identical to last week’s version.
Players are being encouraged to go to Rated Battlegrounds, and it has nothing to do with slowing down the rate of acquisition of gear.
Take a look at the changes.
- The gap between Arena and RBG caps has been reduced from 33.3% to 22.2% across the board.
- The gap for the lowest-rated players is now 300 Conquest Points, down from 500.
- The gap for the highest-rated players is now 600 Conquest Points, down from 1000 points.
- The Arena cap for high rated players has been increased 700 points.
- Instead of phrasing the change as a penalty to the Arena cap, the change is now phrased as a bonus to the Rated Battleground Cap.
High-ranked Arena players now continue with a majority of their play in Arena matches, but will need to do some Rated Battlegrounds, Zulroics, or raids to get their remaining 600 Conquest Points.
Since there haven’t been any changes to the Arena Conquest Point per hour rate on the PTR, low-ranked Arena players are now able to gain gear at the exact same rate that they got it in 4.1. Unless the prices for Ruthless Gladiator’s Gear go up, there is no change to the absolute rate of acquisition.
If this was PvE, then this would all be a moot point. Gear increases are relative to a static encounter difficulty, so you can make the argument that you can choose to do, or not do, Rated Battlegrounds, based on the desires of your raid group.
But this is PvP. The encounter difficulty of PvP is entirely relative to other players. Players who play Rated Battlegrounds, even who play them poorly, will gear up faster than players who do not.
Rated Battlegrounds are not giving out more Conquest Points relative to their current version. Rated Battlegrounds are not being made a more attractive investment of one’s time – but they are being made into a requirement to stay competitive.
The only substantial change in this update is psychological. The stick has been replaced with a carrot, but there’s still a stick there. Cutaia pointed out this morning that this kind of change worked well before with Rested XP – changing the model from “Tired = XP Penalty” to “Rested = XP Bonus” made it vastly more attractive to players. That the time spent leveling didn’t change wasn’t important – giving players a bonus instead of a penalty changed their behavior. Rested XP is a bonus!
But it’s also the speed at which you were expected to level with originally. Whoops.
Ignore the hands, people!
The challenges of moving players away from Arenas into Rated Battlegrounds are substantial. It’s hard getting 10 people together when you’re used to only getting 2-5. It’s hard when rBGs don’t have enough players to offer newbies a fighting chance. It’s hard when the coding has been broken, when the maps aren’t tuned well, when you need a very specific comp to be successful. It’s hard.
I appreciate that Blizzard is at least looking at the way in which this change is presented. I really do. It didn’t go down well when it was announced, Blizzard is obviously trying their best to fix the the queue problems in Rated Battlegrounds, and they have to do something.
But no matter how these changes to the Conquest Point changes get spun, their purpose remains the same:
Get players into Rated Battlegrounds at any cost.