ilvl 365 Vicious Gear and the Phantom Tier

I’m sorry; I’ve not been able to let go of the changes to how PvP gear is handled between seasons I talked about in my last post. I think that the issue around compensating players for the miscommunication between seasons threatens to obscure a more pernicious problem – the way in which gear changes between Seasons – which will have effects well beyond the mistakes that were made between Seasons 9 and 10.

Surely, there must be a reason for all this.


Let’s address the compensation package Blizzard has put together for players affected by their screwups first. Blizzard is going to offer 4k Honor Points to players who acquired gear during the interseason week as an apology for wasting their time; had Blizzard told players that the Vicious gear they were getting would be obsoleted in a week, players could have made an informed decision about gear purchases. Blizzard forgot to say anything, so players spent a lot of time grinding gear only to have it be replaced without warning.

No matter how much s9 Vicious gear was gained during that time, no matter how many Honor Points were ground out on Alterac Valley weekend, affected players will get 4k Honor as a consolation prize. There’s no accounting for the actual investment of time players made, so the relative justice or injustice of this payoff will vary between individuals.

This is a relatively simple fix that, most importantly, can be rolled out quickly, on a large scale once affected characters have been identified. There’s no need to perform a case by case analysis of each character – just identify all characters who made a purchase of S9 Vicious gear during a set period of time, and email them 4k Honor.

The problem is when this refund doesn’t make a customer whole. By not addressing individual effort, Blizzard shortchanges many of the affected players. If you’d ground 12k Honor Points for naught and got 4k back, you might be glad for the little bit back, but you’re still out a lot of Honor.

There are a few things Blizzard could do instead. They could refund all Honor Points spent during that week, and give people another week to make their purchases. This doesn’t replace enchants and gems and the like, but  at least it brings the gear pieces up to parity. The advantage to this solution is that it targets only those people who could have been affected by the miscommunication, and not people who waited a week.

The other option is to upgrade the S9 Vicious gear to match S10 item levels, either in bulk or only for affected individuals. A bulk update is simpler to achieve, but if you’re trying to apologize to players who actually lost time, upgrading only affected players would be the fair thing to do. This could be much harder to implement than one might expect, despite the simple logic behind it all.

I don’t think Blizzard will pursue either option.


I really feel that the new Vicious and Bloodthirsty sets introduced in Season 10 represent a step backwards for Blizzard. They represent a change of philosophy which will make PvP less fun and more confusing should it happen again in Season 11.

Take a look at the way the Season transitions were handled.

The original system that was introduced by Blizzard in Season 9 was:

  • Each season would have three tiers of gear available for purchase: fair (crafted), good (Honor), great (Conquest).
  • When the season ends, a new tier is introduced at the Conquest level, and all the other tiers slide down. Conquest becomes Honor, Honor becomes crafted.
  • Players in the previous season’s Conquest gear are now in Honor gear, and will get upgrades from Rated PvP.
  • Players in the previous season’s Honor gear are now in crafted gear, and will get upgrades from regular battlegrounds or Rated PvP.
  • Players in the previous season’s crafted gear are now a tier behind, and will get upgrades everywhere.

This system is easy to understand, plan for, and keeps the overall amount of PvP gear available to a manageable level. It mirrors the PvE gear setup, providing a consistent, universal gear philosophy that corresponds to the points system introduced in Cataclysm.

The system introduced with Season 10, however:

  • Each season still has three tiers of gear available.
  • When the season ends, the old tiers are removed. Three new sets are introduced, two bearing the names of the previous season’s Conquest and Honor gear.
  • The new sets are effectively a half-tier ahead of the previous season’s version bearing the same name. The current season’s Honor gear is a half-tier ahead of the previous season’s Conquest gear, and the current crafted gear is now a half-tier ahead of the previous Honor gear.
  • Players in the previous season’s Conquest gear are now a half-tier behind the current Honor gear, and will need upgrades from both regular PvP and rated PvP.
  • Players in the previous season’s Honor gear are now a half-tier behind the current crafted gear, and should get upgrades from the AH, regular PvP, and rated PvP.
  • Players in the previous season’s crafted gear should hit the AH ASAP.

I don’t understand how this change benefits players. You take an elegant system which showed no problems and substantially modify it with negative consequences.

  • More gear sets: instead of going from 3 to 4 PvP sets in the game, we’ve jumped up to 7. Each season will compound this issue.
  • More gear confusion: not only are there Glorious Conquest recolored sets for 2200+ ratings (which confused a lot of players), but now there is gear with identical names but different stats.
  • More gear grinding: instead of letting players continue playing in their chosen realm, we’re sending Arena players back to regular battlegrounds to grind out a new set each season.
  • More time spent acquiring gear: not only will rated PvP players have to spend more time getting gear, but casual PvPers – BG enthusiasts, PvEers who like a little PvP on the side, etc. – will lose the benefits of any Conquest pieces they managed to get last season.
  • Different gear systems for PvP and PvE: instead of having a unified system that new players can pick up in one realm and transfer over to another, now we have two different systems.

Consider that last point for a moment: what if the Valor and Justice point systems required raiders to go out and grind heroic dungeons for gear each tier, just to stay competitive?

(Oh, wait, that was actually proposed for 4.2. But it was dropped, and for good reason – raiders wanted to raid to get Valor Points, not run heroics they outgeared.)

Is this trying to get players to spend more time in battlegrounds? I wondered about this one briefly – perhaps because I’m playing Alliance with instant BG queue times I don’t see population problems across servers. But why regular battlegrounds? All of Blizzard’s focus has been on getting players into Rated Battlegrounds, not regular ones.

What problem could adding a half tier to PvP gear between seasons possibly hope to solve?


It’s easy to lose sight of things when you’re angry. I think a lot of people are still really pissed about the miscommunication of the Vicious gear ilevel change and compensation package, which jeopardizes losing sight of the substantial changes made to how gear upgrades from season to season. The personal injustice of now has more urgency than a longer gear grind later.

But I too am angry, and I think I got lost in my own anger at Blizzard bringing the Honor grind back into PvP. The problems that have been introduced are real, and will have a wide-ranging unpleasant effect on people, and there’s no explanation from Blizzard why these changes were made. Getting pissed about what this change meant to a lot of casual players blinded me to a very simple observation.

Season 10 Conquest Gear is an extra half-tier higher than expected.

This isn’t about the low gear. It’s not about Vicious gear. It’s about Ruthless gear.

It’s easy to get lost in the urgent now, in looking at the problems with Vicious gear that will make players spend a lot of effort to get back up to their previous baseline. But that’s not the point of this change. Not at all.

The gear model that I presented above is actually a currency model.

  • Great: Valor, Conquest
  • Good: Justice, Honor
  • Fair: Gold, Materials

The currency model is then mapped to an activity model, corresponding to the rewards you get:

  • Great: Raids, Zulroics, Rated PvP
  • Good: Heroics, Dungeons, Tol Barad, BGs
  • Fair: Playing the AH, gathering, dailies

Now we can go ahead and equate the gear gained from these activities with the currencies that they provide, right?

Except… the model is missing something.

In PvP, going from activity to currency to gear works flawlessly, because there’s no other way to get gear in PvP. You have to PvP to get the currency to get good PvP gear, period.

In PvE, the activity itself randomly rewards you with gear. Currency buys you good gear, great gear even – but not the best gear.

No, the best gear in the game comes from raiding heroic modes. There’s an entire tier of gear that’s not in the currency-based model. A phantom tier, one of superb gear.

  • Superb: Heroic Raids
  • Great: Raids, Rated PvP
  • Good: non-raid PvE, unrated PvP
  • Fair: Crafted, quest

The simple currency based model which worked so well in PvP – where points are the only way to get gear – doesn’t translate when you take Heroic Raids into account. Look at the various item levels of rewards from specific activities.

Source Item Level
 Heroic Firelands  391
 S10 Conquest Gear  384
 Firelands  378
 T12 Valor Gear  378
 Heroic T11  372-379
 S10 Honor Gear  371
 S9 Conquest Gear  365
 T12 Justice Gear  359
 T11 Raids  359
 PvE BoE/Crafted  359-379
 Zulroics  353
 S9 Honor Gear  352

The best gear available at any given time is always heroic raid gear – that’s a given. But look at the point differences between gear types.

  • PvP gear is always 13 ilevels apart within any given season.
  • Heroic raid gear is always 13 ilevels higher than the regular raid gear.
  • T12 Justice gear is 19 ilevels lower than T12 Valor gear because it matches the T11 raiding gear ilvl (per the currency model).
  • S9 Conquest gear is 19 ilevels lower than S10 Conquest gear. If S9 Conquest gear adhered to the currency model (like Justice gear) and converted to S10 Honor gear, PvP would be imbalanced because of the huge gap between Honor and Conquest.
  • PvP gear has a higher ilevel than equivalent vendor-purchased PvE gear, likely due to Resilience in the item budget.
  •  Conquest gear is always 7 ilevels below Heroic raid gear.

The reason that Season 10 PvP gear was bumped up 6 ilevels has nothing to do with PvP at all. PvP item levels were bumped to keep pace with PvE gear, most notably Heroic Firelands gear. Honor gear was kept within 13 ilevels of Conquest gear to keep PvP balanced.

Consider what would have happened if the S10 Vicious gear had not received a 6 ilevel boost: S10 Conquest gear (Ruthless) would be 13 item levels higher than S10 Honor gear (Vicious), putting it at 378 – equal to T12 Valor gear. That’s not bad in and of itself, but then Heroic Firelands gear would be 13 ilevels higher than the Conquest gear – which is a full tier better.

If the best PvE gear available is a full tier ahead of the best PvP gear, PvPers will go after that gear. Each sphere of the game will do this – if the other side grants better gear, then it becomes Best in Slot and people feel they have to go after it. In PvP’s case, such items can unbalance rated PvP play – Shadowmourne in S8, anyone? – which can cause a ripple effect through the lower brackets.

So the reason that we have two different sets of Vicious gear, the reason that we have a lot of PvPers grinding out another Honor set, the reason why the PvP gearing system is out of whack right now, is not because Blizzard is trying to screw over casual PvP players.

No, it‘s entirely because Firelands drops 378 loot, 6 ilevels higher than the T11 Heroic raids. Firelands could have dropped 372/385 loot, but it doesn’t. I can speculate on why this was done – more epic feel, give people who have been raiding Heroic T11 immediate upgrades – but in order to maintain parity between PvE and PvP, PvP gear was bumped up too. That decision had a negative cascading effect for PvPers gearing at the start of the season, as well as inadvertently causing a major snafu with the transition from S9 to S10, but it will keep PvPers from having to get Heroic raid gear in order to be competitive.

I no longer know if this is going to happen every season. I seem to recall that PvE gear levels used to go up in pretty even tiers of 13 in Wrath, but there must have been a 6-point jump somewhere to get to 245. (There was 200, 213, 226, then … 232 in Ulduar, 245 with ToC?) So it might happen, it might not happen.

I feel better knowing that there is a explanation for it all.

I may not like its effects, but at least there’s a reason for the change.


This isn’t about PvE screwing over PvP.

I mean, yes, in this specific instance a design decision in PvE had wide-ranging implications for PvP players. And it’s a decision I don’t personally understand – because I don’t raid – but because I don’t understand the nuances of it, I’ll take it at face value for now.

This is the price we pay for having an interconnected game. Balance issues in PvP affect PvE abilities. Class issues in PvE can cause problems in PvP. Gear needs to be balanced between the two, which is – obviously – more complex than it seems.

Changes in PvP affect PvE, and changes in PvE affect PvP. This happens all the time. There’s no agenda here, just the butterfly effect. One example of this happening doesn’t prove anything. Instead, let it serve as a reminder: little changes matter.

Adding 6 item levels to Firelands gear caused Conquest-clad PvP players to get new Honor gear at the beginning of the season, but that grind also was also a byproduct of ensuring an even tier between Conquest and Honor gear, and prevent PvPers from seeking out Heroic raid gear for PvP.

Is this still a problem? You bet. If T13 comes out with another half-tier boost, we’re going to go through this all over again.

But at least we can have a discussion about if that boost was worth the trouble it causes in PvP.



Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

33 responses to “ilvl 365 Vicious Gear and the Phantom Tier

  1. Gameldar

    I can see and understand that as sound reasoning – however that would allow the bumping of the ilvl of the season 9 vicious gear (rather than introducing a new tier) to become the season 10 equivalents. Although I can see that would come under the ‘well it would work, but we don’t like that model’.

    I would like to see an official statement to say why they introduced it (it was also missing from Ghostcrawlers blog post about 4.2 patch changes)!

    I wonder if some of this is introduced by making end bosses (in heroic) drop a higher ilvl item rather than maintaining the same level – for examples for bear the belt from sinestra is BiS before heroic firelands raids for this reason. I thought they had generally moved away from that model – because adding in tiers and half-tiers really is complicating the system. I think you could get away with removing the extra tier by instead placing BiS items in the same tier on that boss (although that is a complex equation to meet all specs etc)?

    The parity between PvE and PvP is complex – the delayed weapon introduction was foreseen as providing the advantage to those that could raid (or have options that are on the AH – agility 1 handers and strength 2 handers miss out there however). I don’t see an easy way forward – apart from as you said – maintaining that parity. The other side is I’m not sure why there is a 6 point difference at all – by virtue of the wasted itemisation into resilience pvp gear is substandard to the pve equivalents.

    • After realizing that PvP gear was tied to PvE gear, I came to the same conclusion you did – that they could update all S9 Vicious gear to the new versions without any real effect on game balance. It would fix the communication fiasco and be a good restitution for those players who were affected.

      The immediate problem I see is that it’s too late to do that, because now if they update S9 to S10, people who went back during S10 and bought gear would have ground gear unnecessarily. It’s a Catch-22.

      I think the net effect of the 6 point difference is to offset the huge chunk of item budget that’s spent for Resilience, so that it’s not *that* much worse than the equivalent PvE gear when questing, running dungeons and the like. PvP gear is (in most cases) still inferior to PvE gear, but with 300+ Resilience on each item, that’s a pretty big gap to overcome.

      I looked at Sinestra’s drop table and realized that I didn’t really understand how that gear was influencing the model. For guilds that are 13/13 HM, I suppose it explains why Firelands regular was so easy. But I’m not sure if Blizzard looked at Sinestra loot in their decision or not.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. I read both your posts regarding the PvP gear issue and I think you hit the mark in both. I just came back to WoW about a month ago, after Cata came out, I found myself like most of my friends in complete and utter distress over so many game issues, the glut of players crowding servers and the general need for some time away.
    I was excited for Cataclysm and I knew I would be taking a break but also knew I would be coming back, that hopefully some things would have been worked out, the wrinkles all ironed nicely (I know, Im both delusional and neurotic). The PvP gear I have been grinding for the past month was fun, I enjoyed it and moreover found that moving to a new server and actually losing to Ally’s was invigorating, that the new Rated PvP team premades were a welcomed surprise, (what can I say, Im a glutton for punishment and I enjoy seeing good teams do their thing even if its the other side). When season 9 ended I continued to work on gearing and being out of the game for a couple months leaves a learning curve but I really thought that the week long “catch up” time I was putting in would go to good use, get me ready for season 10 arena and RBG’s. After getting my 3 main 2200 honor pieces and my weapon, the season started and my “feel bads” went south quick. “WTF is this”, I asked myself? I had spent all this time grinding out for decent gear, season 9 conquest gear only to find that it suddenly morphed to season 10 gear, or 9 gear on steroids, lol.

    I guess I don’t have a whole lot to bitch about other than I have been playing since the game started, we have come a long way together, Blizz and I, through the good times and bad times and I have to say, when Blizz is good they are really good but when they are bad, they are awful. I thought WoLK was a complete clusterfuck and I was so happy to see that utilities were coming back with cataclysm for raiding, which is something I am not doing now but look forward to in the future. When I have decided I can find a decent guild that I gel with, screaming in vent is not my idea of a good time and weeding out the baddies in WoLk was just too daunting being gear ruled and the lack of CC’s in raid environments made the tank and spank rather entertainingly bland.

    Either way, I enjoyed your posts’ and found agreement in both. Although I still don’t understand completely what Blizzard did with the PvP gear or why they would make this decision without letting people know ahead of time shows the same old money making machine at work, it is a corporation and the cash has gotta come first. A shout out stating to players that they might want to wait a week before they start buying honor gear as it will be the same named gear from the same vendor for the same amount but will be completely different seems sketchy to me.

    Alas, it is great to be back in the WoW and I look forward to getting my shit together, maybe Blizz will take the lead and help me get my shit together by getting their shit together first but I’m not sure I will be holding my breath any time soon 😛
    Thanks again for the reading Cyn
    Peace 🙂

    • This is an interesting case where Blizzard clearly acted against their own fiscal interests by screwing up the communication. I’ve reread the earlier blue post and I don’t think this has gone over well inside the company at all – this was a mistake that they couldn’t afford to make during a time when subscriber numbers need to go up, not down. It’s not about giving players everything they want, but rather giving them enough information to make the right choices with how they spend their time.

      The net effect of realizing that PvE gear levels were the root cause of all this made me hopeful that next season it can be different.

      Definitely take the initiative and get your own affairs in order in game, don’t wait for Blizzard! 🙂

  3. CheersDaniel

    Ok, I really wish there had been a blue post that had summed up the reasoning like you just did Cyn. I still despise the way it was implemented/communicated, but if all the other snafus hadn’t occurred, and I had known about the 371 gear ahead of time, I’d rather regear at the beginning of each season than have the season be decided by OP heroic pve trinks and weapons.

    Now, if only they hotfix Tarecgosa’s Rest to read “….duplicating the harmful spell. Effect does not occur upon damage to enemy players.” we maybe we’ll see pvp in all pvp gear this season!!

    Thanks again Cyn for the analysis.

    • Yeah, I’m shocked at how fast my anger dissipated when I realized that the other option was having players in Heroic Firelands gear totally pwn PvP. Blizzard could have communicated this much, much better.

      Hindsight’s 20/20 and all that. 🙂

  4. Yeah, that’s pretty much it- they make the best PvP gear halfway between N and H raids and the lower PvP gear half a tier down from N raids to minimize incentive for people to do one solely to get gear for the other.

    As a hardcore raider I don’t understand why FL is 378 instead of 372 either. Probably so that the guilds that had full T11 BiS due to farming 13/13H for months didn’t just shard everything they got from normal?

  5. You know, AoC had the same issue with imbalances between pve and pvp gear ranges over time. There is no easy answer though simply because the company is largely basing it’s money making model on PvE end game and Tier increases without whole new level ranges beyond 85. It’s not the best answer from them, but it does seem they are trying to find work arounds. Thankfully I don’t have any toons high enough to worry about it one way or another at this time, But players keeping up with future patches and increases to seasonal gear may want to stop their purchases a couple weeks out before future releases to have the points to spend on upcoming gear if they have it. Hopefully this all makes sense from a newer pvp’er. Anyways, just some thoughts for future reference.

    I am curious about one thing though. The Heirloom gear ceases to be useful around 77 because of post cata greens that rock them out of the system. It takes purchase power yes, but woe to the fool who can’t pick up a couple of pieces of Cata greens to compete well in the 75-79 range. This is something I did not understand unless it was a loophole that Blizz had not considered at the time. Anyways, random thoughts. Your take on this Cyn?

    • The best gear for the 75-79 bracket hits at level 78, when you can get the i187 blue crafted PvP gear from Wrath. The Resilience on those pieces make up for the stat inflation that you’d get from Cata greens, which are the next best thing you can have. Heirlooms start really only being useful for the XP bonus starting around level 68 or so; I’ve noticed that there are better pieces available at any given level, especially once you factor enchants in. They’re okay but not awesome.

      • Interesting thoughts, Ill give it a go when I get to that bracket. Thanks for the info. For me the Heirlooms have proven most useful in the lower level BG’s. Even unenchanted, I end up top of the dps list and most of the time top of the KB list during the fights I’ve been in with my SV Hunter. Dont always win the matches since pugs are pugs, but I do pretty decent. My only true bane so far has been rogues lol. Seems lately on my server, there has been a huge influx of teams with 3-4 + rogues on opposing team, makes life hell on a poor hunter lolol. Anyways, as always I enjoy your commentary and analysis. Keep up the good work!

  6. fathergod

    What about Bliz making it so you can use pve gear in bg’s etc up to a certain gear level. After that, the item is unequipped and you can’t wear it and vice versa for pvp gear.

    That way they can have two groups of gear which wont effect each other

    • Dawn

      The problem with that is that someone new to PvP won’t have PvP gear, or all of the PvP gear. Granted, you can get the crafted blues for most slots now, but getting a full set’s mats costs thousands of gold or days of volatile farming, and if you catch a good holiday weekend or hit Tol Barad religiously you’ll be vendoring or sharding most of it in a day or three.

      And, admittedly, I use some PvP gear in my offspec DPS set, for now. I’ll get JP pieces once my tank set’s complete, but honestly, the s9 PvP epics were dead easy to get, and are fine for heroics and even troll heroics. I wouldn’t raid Firelands in it, but it beats the 346 blues I’d not yet won an upgrade to.

  7. Bear

    I think you’re right about the reason for pvp gear being bumped the way it was. And I think it has to do with 5 man heroics and the grind for Valor points. PvE fights are tuned to the expected gear level of the raiders so a tier that drops 372 gear is marginally easier than one that drops 378s; Valor points will let you buy gear for the current raid difficulty, no matter how hard it is.

    Guilds that had the Tier 11 heroic raids on farm were always going to steamroll normal mode Firelands regardless of whether the Tier 12 HMs dropped 385s or 391s. Where the 6 point bump makes a difference is for raiders that were working on normal modes and maybe cleared 12/12 with 359 gear at best. If normal T12 drops 372s, the temptation is to just jump in and start raiding. A 13 point gap is something that can be overcome. But if normals are tuned for a 378 ilevel, that creates an incentive for raiders to run heroics to get Valor points to buy their way up to a couple 378s to make raiding easier. That 6 point bump creates an incentive to grind Valor points, which in turn fills the LFD queues, which makes it easier for non-raiders to also earn gear. One of the challenges with a new tier like this is how to get new raiders from heroics into Firelands. Valor points are the answer.

    When T13 comes out, raiders will be in the same situation. Valor points will be reset and allow you to buy into T13 raids. I expect another 6 point bump between HM Firelands and normal T13 for the same reasons, which means I’m pessimistic about PvP gear scaling elegantly from season to season.

    • I think you’re right on the reasoning. Hamlet told me on Twitter that heroic modes have been doing the 19-point jump since T8, but it wasn’t affecting PvP like it is is now.

      That’s probably foolish optimism on my part, though.

  8. thanks for this excellent explanation and insight..

    im pretty new to the game, dabbling with my ‘lock around in both PvE and PvP, enjoying both but exceling in neither.. i was pretty surprised at all this rage and wrath all around the intertubes because of the “371-fiasco”, mainly because i didnt really see the implications.. most rageposts were of course about “i wasted two days worth of grinding points, ragequit!” and not about game balance..

    although i enjoy your warlockery for some days now as a reader, this post made me actually want to reply and thank you.. some things are much clearer now 🙂

    (of course i cant let this opportunity slip and thank you for an excellent ‘lock ressource in general 😉 [+1]/[Like])

  9. You know, everytime I think I am starting to get a handle on how the whole PvP gear system works, I read something like this and realize I have yet to pass Go or collect $200.

    Thank you for teasing apart all the interesting subtleties for us. It took me a long time to get through this post, but I learned a lot, so I’m grateful. 🙂

    • Thanks! There are a lot of things to like about the PvP gear system, as you’re discovering. It’s predictable, it’s controllable, it consistently rewards effort. If you put in the time, you will get the gear (eventually). There’s no randomness of bad drops to contend with, no loot rules to worry about.

      Yet, it’s still really complicated. Having one currency means that changes in one area (*cough* Tol Barad *cough*) can dramatically impact other areas. The HP/JP conversion now means that folks should really look at PvP as a way to gear up their endgame toons for PvE, which seems backwards but there you have it.

      Glad you got through it! I’m always worried when I get angry about a topic; they tend to be wordy when I most need to be concise.

      • Honestly, your anger really didn’t come through at all, at least to me. You mentioned a couple times that you were concerned, but the whole post was quite thoughtful and reasonable.

        Of course, it’s easy for me to feel calm about it, since I never had any of the gear in question. 🙂

      • Well, thanks. 🙂 I was angry when I started writing because the change is unfair – it’s even more of a grind than in previous seasons – and was so poorly explained. I don’t even think the right hand knew what the left hand was doing, which makes me reconsider my attachment to the game.

        I think Psynister put it best when he said it’s a lot of little things all adding up to no longer caring about part of the game. I wasn’t personally affected by the week of grinding, but coming back to the game and being faced with an unexpected grind to remain competitive just killed my desire to compete at all. I was angry because it seemed so capricious, even vaguely malicious – oh, y’all had it too easy in S9, y’all had too much fun, here, grind some more honor – that I stewed about it for a few days.

        I feel better knowing the reason behind it now. It hasn’t restored my desire to play or grind out PvP gear, but at least I can have perspective on the matter.

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  12. Keldion

    After reading over this article, your logic does much to provide a frame of reason for the legendary staff moving down from ilvl 404 to 397. The top-end Season 10 Conquest weapons are 391.

  13. Taer

    “Players in the previous season’s crafted gear should hit the AH ASAP.”

    Not actually true, you haven’t checked the crafted pvp gear. The s9 crafted gear (bloodied) and all it’s recipes got a free upgrade to s10 crafted (bloodthirsty) upon the application of 4.2. So in fact, it should read “Players in previous season’s crafted gear are now in the new season’s crafted gear; fresh 85s should hit the AH ASAP.”

    (I still had a bloodied belt and something equipped when 4.2 hit, since my main focus is pve, now they’re bloodthirsty)

    There’s also the justification for the 4k honor that you didn’t mention: you would have been able to save a maximum of 4000 honor to 4.2 anyway, due to the cap (the over-the-cap was only meant to be for the transitional week), This does screw over people who grinded more, yes, but I still feel the biggest problem for the hardcore pvpers must be the gold spent on gems and enchants (this doesn’t hurt me so much).

    In the end, I’m not so fussed, although I did buy the 5piece resto 365 set for my druid. Because I still have lots of feral pvp gear to buy, that I’ll do at 371, and it’ll be a long time before both are fully in 365 or 371 anyway. (I guess most people only pvp in one spec?)

    P.S. I can’t help but wonder if it really would have been that hard to make the tier ilvl jumps in pvp or pve a bit smaller or something, so the whole issue never would’ve cropped up.

    • I did check the crafted PvP gear, both when I posted and again just now, and I do not see what you are seeing. The recipes updated to Bloodthirsty, but the 399 gear itself did not. Here is a screenshot of my soulbound Emberfire gear compared to my equipped Vicious gear – note the Season 9 tag on the Vicious gear, introduced in Season 10 – and the Emberfire Cowl is still item level 339. I just checked other types of gear in our gbank and auction house, including Bloodied Pyrium Belts, Ornate Pyrium Belts, Bloodied Wyrmhide Gloves, and Bloodied Leather Helms – and they are all still ilvl 339.

      I haven’t heard of anyone else’s gear updating, and I don’t see that any of the other gear updated in the game, so I will need some evidence before I revise my posts.

      Saying that the compensation is justified because you could only carry 4000 Honor into Season 10 is disingenuous. Blizzard gave every indication that players were purchasing the base Honor set for Season 10 during that interseason week, and that players upgrading their gear were spending their time wisely. This was wrong, because Blizzard didn’t give players enough information that the gear was changing, which resulted in players spending hours of their time for something they should have waited a week on.

      The time wasted by players is what’s important here, not the gold, not the points. Blizzard needs to compensate affected players, like you, for time lost. The current offering simply doesn’t do that.

      • Scotty

        The 4k honor arrived with last nights patch. Or should I say it arrived for some players … my wife didn’t get hers (and I’m sure many others didn’t also) and they’re doing another short maint tonight as a result. So they couldn’t even get THAT right. I wonder if they’ll manage on the second try?

        I spent my 4k to replace my S9 Vicious Helm and Arcanum with the S10 version. That left me with 800 honor. The only problem is that I still have to upgrade the S9 chest, gloves and shoulders I bought during the week in question. In other words I have another 7500 honor’s worth of gear to replace (not counting the cost of gems and non-pvp enchants).

        My wife and I only play WoW for the BG’s now anyway … PvE bores us and after two guild implosions we’re happier just doing our own thing. But the BG’s are broken – In a PUG WSG the optimum tactic to win is to camp the GY if you can pull it off. I refuse to do so, but plenty of players do and Bliz won’t even acknowledge the flawed design.

        Reading Cyn’s posts made me realise: I really do have better things to do than put up with Blizzard’s crap.

        As I type this I’m installing Runes of Magic (and I have Forsaken World and Allods on the hard drive awaiting installation) because I no longer have faith that Blizzard can actually provide a product that I’m willing to invest my time and money in.

        I’m sure the other games won’t be as good … but, quite frankly, WoW is no longer up to standard either, and I have to pay for it.

        TL;DR Bliz screwed up the compensation, which isn’t enough anyway. Bye Blizzard … I’m outa here. I’ll swing by in 3 or 6 months and see if you’ve manage to fix ANYTHING.

  14. Cyn – From the perspective of someone outside the game (I retired about 5 months ago), it is just a sad state of affairs. Blizzard spent a huge amount of time and resources revising the game in Cata to make the game system more simple and elegant, and within 7 months, they have already abandoned the philosophy behind those changes. What makes it so tragic is that Blizzard alienated so many players (such as myself) with Cata.


    • Vess,

      I honestly mourn the elegant system that they’d come up with. The Arena/RB cap is an ugly, unnecessary bolt-on kludge that telegraphs its behavioral agenda. The gear upgrades are… How is this elegant? Who the hell thought this makes sense to new players?

      I seriously wonder how these changes made it through an architecture review.

      Thanks for your comment – glad you’re still reading if not playing! 🙂


  15. Not sure I got it right, but I am sure you did. Thank you for this in-depth post. Hopefully the PvP nerd-rage at the home front will calm down a bit.

    • Thanks!

      I don’t know if the nerdrage will subside in the community or not. Blizzard has made a number of missteps in Cataclysm; this sequence has just been especially egregious.

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