#1 - 2012/12/18 04:48:00 AMI believe the most important issue facing WoW PvP today is the difficulty in gearing alts or mains who have simply not PvPed yet this expansion. The way the system works right now creates a painful experience for new PvPers and alts as they get demolished by players with far more gear with them for weeks or months at a time, while they slowly work up their conquest cap. This creates a system which discourages, rather than encourages, new players to participate. I think it's mostly because of a few changes, which had good intentions, and which I actually like, for the most part.
1. Large amounts of PvP power added to weapons. This is a fantastic addition to the game, but it makes plying arena at all for the first 3-4 weeks (before you have any arena weapon at all) of your character's life a very painful experience.
2. Gear upgrading system. This increases the number of conquest points needed to 'finish' gear for a season by approximately a factor of 2. Again, this isn't a terrible change for mains, but for alts and new players, this is extremely punishing.
I think the current system is crushing any new players who want to get into PvP. It's simply too difficult to get to a point where you're even able to be competitive in arena, because it takes many weeks of conquest point capping just to get enough gear to not be ~30-50% worse than geared players.
Here's an example to illustrate my point. I'm an MLG/Regionals/multi-R1 player. I have a lvl 90 Monk who hit 90 about 3 weeks ago. I would love to play my Monk in PvP, but I cannot, simply because I have no PvP weapon, and nearly full blue gear instead of epic Malevolent gear. For point cap, I have been playing 2s with Hoodrych (one of the absolute best Warriors in the world) and it's a painful experience. He pretty much has to 1v2 teams, as the damage I can contribute is weak, but more importantly, I die if anyone looks at me the wrong way. I feel like a jerk just by asking him (or anyone with any gear) to play with my Monk. Keep in mind this is the 1600-1800 2s bracket. Not exactly top level play.
If it's such a painful experience for me to get points on my alt, playing with a world-class Warrior, imagine how hard it must be for a newly-dinged, inexperienced 90 who wants to give PvP a try with his buddy. Obviously a system like this will choke off any influx of new players.
What can we do about this problem? I have a few suggestions...
1. Lower the MMR characters start with. As I currently understand it, (and I could absolutely be wrong here) players start with 1500 MMR. This is too high. Can we start it at 0, or 500, or 1000 MMR? 1500 players are too difficult for new PvPers to fight, especially with the gear gap as punishing as it is.
2. Add a Starcraft 2 style bonus pool. In Starcraft 2, to keep ladders active, and to make players feel like they are progressing, there's a bonus pool, which is always increasing, for all players, regardless of whether or not they are playing. I believe they are planning on applying something similar to the ladder rating system, which is great. I suggest adding a similar system for conquest points. Here's how it might work:
2a. All characters gain 2000 conquest point bonus pool cap per week. Regardless of whether or not they were 90, have participated in PvP at all, or anything else. Everyone gets a conquest point pool that increases by 2000 per week. You obviously must be 90 to claim your conquest points from the bonus pool.
2b. Characters must play arena, RBG, or random BG games to convert this bonus pool into actual conquest points. Say I get lvl 90 on my Monk 10 weeks into the season. I will have a 20k conquest point bonus pool waiting for me, alongside the regular 2.2k weekly RBG conquest point cap. If I play and win an RBG, I'd gain 400 points from my regular cap, and another 400 (or possibly 800, since it might take awhile to go through the bonus pool otherwise) from my conquest point bonus pool.
2c. The conquest point bonus pool resets when seasons end. This prevents the bonus pool from carrying over to next season's gear, and increasing indefinitely. Perhaps the conquest point bonus pool turns into an honor point bonus pool?
3. Add honor weapons. I believe these were not added in the past due to possible issues with overlapping with PvE gear. But I think that with LFR out, this is probably much less of an issue right now. An ilvl 450 or 458 honor weapon with abnormally high PvP power for its ilvl would not be as much of an issue now as it was at release.