World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is just around the corner -- and that means Rated Battlegrounds will soon be available. While Rated Battlegrounds will only be open to level-85 characters, we know many of you may still have some questions about this new system, so we’ve put together an FAQ to help address some of the more common inquiries we've seen.
Q. What are Rated Battlegrounds?
A. Like the Arena system, Rated Battlegrounds are an alternative way for players to battle against opponents of similar skill levels and accrue rating to purchase powerful PvP gear. Instead of competing in a 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 bracket, though, you'll be testing your mettle in familiar environments like Arathi Basin and Eye of the Storm, as well as all-new Battlegrounds set to release in Cataclysm.
Q. How are Rated Battlegrounds structured?
A. Rated Battlegrounds are broken down into two brackets: 10v10 and 15v15. These brackets rotate weekly and can be viewed in-game via the calendar by activating the Battleground holiday filter.
Q. What Battlegrounds are eligible for Rated Battleground matches?
A. Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, Strand of the Ancients, Battle for Gilneas, and Twin Peaks.
Q. What happened to the 25v25 bracket?
A. We decided to remove this bracket. We don't feel it's feasible to ask players to coordinate a group of 25 players for Rated Battlegrounds. If any player happens to drop group just before a match begins, the raid group would not be able to enter the battle. We anticipate most players or guilds will stick with fairly dedicated 10-player groups, and making the jump to 15-player groups shouldn't be too difficult.
Q. How can I queue for a Rated Battleground?
A. Before entering the queue, you must first create a raid with the full number of players required for the weekly bracket (10 or 15). Any level-85 player on your realm and of your faction may participate in the battle regardless of guild association.
Once you have a raid of the appropriate size, simply open up the PvP window, click on the Conquest tab, highlight "Rated Battleground," and then click "Join Battle."
Q. Can I queue up solo and just be matched with a Rated Battleground team?
A. No. You will need to first join a raid of the appropriate size and level before you can queue up for a Rated Battleground. Individual queuing will not be available for Rated Battlegrounds.
Q. Do all players in the raid group have to be from the same guild in order to queue for a Rated Battleground?
A. No. So long as the raid group size matches the weekly bracket and is comprised of level-85 players, you can queue up for a Rated Battleground no matter what guild you are in. Guild membership has no effect on the formation of Battleground teams.
Winning a Rated Battleground with a team composed of at least 80% guild members, however, will result in the additional benefit of guild experience gain for that guild.
Q. How can I tell if my Rated Battleground team meets the minimum guild requirement?
A. If you join a Rated Battleground with the minimum number of required guild members, a special guild banner will appear in the upper-left corner of the in-game mini-map. This will let you know if you are eligible for the bonus guild experience.
Q. What are the normal benefits of winning a Rated Battleground?
A. When you win a Rated Battleground, you will be rewarded Conquest points, up to your weekly cap. Weekly caps are individual for each player and are based on your highest single PvP rating from the previous week (the cap resets on Tuesdays). This rating can be derived from your 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 Arena rating or your Rated Battleground rating.
Q. What Rated Battleground rating do players start out with?
A. Players start at zero Rated Battleground rating and progress upward from there. If you lose a battle, your Rated Battleground rating will only be reduced if that rating is currently higher than your Match Making Value (MMV). For the most part, a rating only goes up.
Q. What’s MMV?
A. Match Making Value (or MMV for short) is our best measure of an individual player's skill. MMV is the skill rating per format (2v2, 3v3, 5v5, Battleground) and per character that is used for matchmaking. It exists to help the matchmaking system create great matches as quickly as possible for all players. It's generally not a rating we show, with the exception of an average MMV for Arena teams.
Q. Will my MMV go down in the event of a Rated Battleground loss?
A. Yes; however, unlike Arenas, all players in a Rated Battleground team will win or lose the same amount of Rated Battleground rating per match depending on its outcome.
Q. Does MMV for Rated Battlegrounds function the same as it does in Arenas (i.e. does it go up more when you beat a higher-rated team, and go down more when you lose to a lower-rated team)?
A. Yes. Your MMV will go up faster if you defeat a Rated Battleground team with a higher average MMV.
Q. What’s the plan to prevent your Rated Battleground rating from skyrocketing at high win ratios? If your rating only goes down when it is above your MMV, it seems that ratings will just be high on average (compared to Arena).
A. If your Rated Battleground rating gets inflated much beyond your MMV, you’ll only receive a minimal amount of points when you win. Similarly, you’ll lose many more points after a defeat, until your Rated Battleground rating gets back in line with your MMV. This will prevent inflation.
Q. Can consumables and engineering items be used in Rated Battlegrounds?
A.Yes, but they will follow the same rules and restrictions as Arenas.
Q. Will Rated Battleground teams only be matched against other teams in their Battlegroup?
A. No. Rated Battlegrounds will be region-wide, meaning that when you queue for a Rated Battleground, you will have the opportunity to be matched against a team from any of our North American World of Warcraft realms.
Q. Are there any plans to reward players with the highest Rated Battleground rating, similar to Arenas?
A. Epic ground mounts will be rewarded at the end of each season to the top 0.5% of players according to Rated Battleground rating. Titles are also available as you gain rating in the system. The titles are rewarded directly from achievements earned from gaining the required rating.