The sixth expansion for World of Warcraft, titled Legion, isn’t coming out until sometime time next year (Blizzard stated it’s coming out “before or on September 21, 2016”). However, the team decided to give players a sneak peek into some of the upcoming changes, specifically with the player versus player (PvP) format.
Change Of Honor
In PvP, the usual method of buying better gear consisted of using Honor and Conquest points. However, Blizzard is forsaking the old ways and switching to a new plan. For those who already reached the maximum level, competing in Battlegrounds and Arenas nets you Honor Points. This, in turn, will contribute to your overall Honor Level (the maximum Honor Level is 50).
As you progress through the Honor Level, you gain gold, Artifact Power, and new PvP-specific Honor Talents. These talents work only when the player is in a PvP state or combat, but they do work with your character’s regular talents. Blizzard said that once you reach Honor Level 10, you should have one Honor Talent picked in each available talent row, but more variations are unlocked as you progress through the Honor Levels, which gives your character a diverse and unique set of PvP skills.
Once you reach Honor Level 50, you have a choice to make: Stay at the top level and continue to use your Honor Talents, or choose to Prestige and return to Honor Level 1. Of course, you’ll have to work your way up the ladder again and reacquire all of the Honor Talents. However, you earn better rewards as well as few special items:
A badge, based on your Prestige Level, which appears on the scoreboard in Battlegrounds and Arenas, as well as on your nameplate and unit frame.
A title, also based on your Prestige Level.
Wearable faction pennant
New appearance for your Artifact
Unique mount and pet
Dress For The Occasion
With this new system in place, your current gear won’t contribute as much to your character’s overall strength against other players. This means that when you enter a PvP state, all stats on your gear are nullified and any special effects are disabled, save for any Artifacts and related Artifact Powers. The developers said that the sole effect of your gear to overall stats is through a small modifier based on the average item level, or the total average of the highest equippable items in all equipment slots. Every time the average item level increases, your PvP stats increase by 0.1 percent.
The reason for the reduced effect is twofold. On the player’s side, it offers a more balanced battlefield, and it gives both sides a fair chance to win regardless of the gear they use. For the developers, it gives them more control in terms of balancing various PvP statistics. In their words, “We can tune classes for PvP in a way that’s exclusively focused on PvP.”
Even with these changes, this doesn’t mean that you can’t earn new gear in PvP. By competing in Battleground or Arenas, you can earn new equipment for your character in addition to Honor Points. However, the gear acquired in these scenarios isn’t specific to PvP use, due to the reduction of gear effects in PvP instances. This means that you no longer have to deal with multiple gear sets for PvP and player versus environment (PvE).
End On A Good Note
As a final note, the developers also announced two new maps for Arena. The first is located within the fortress of Black Rook Hold with a series of alcoves offering a momentary hiding place from enemies. However, these alcoves are guarded by a series of gates that randomly open and close throughout the match, so don’t expect to stay in there for too long.
The second map is in the forest of Val’sharah. At the beginning of the match, you will be shrouded under a dome of vines, but once the game starts, these vines disappear to reveal the rest of the area. Three statues are placed in the middle of the arena and are the only place where you can break the line of sight to prevent easy pickings for the enemy.
With a nine-month window between now and Legion’s release, Blizzard is bound to release more details about the expansion’s new features, but this latest development is a game-changer for many players at the highest levels of the game. PvP is a major element in World of Warcraft, and this new system is a big development in one of the most popular games in the industry.