Gearing Difficulties

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I 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.

If this leads to players capping arena gear too quickly, I suggest cutting the regular point cap provided from arena and RBG in half. Obviously numbers can be tweaked as needed.

This system would lead to more incentive for new players to participate in PvP by giving them easier initial opponents and by giving them a chance to catch up, at least somewhat, with the weeks of gearing that they missed. It would also give all WoW players some extra incentive to play some games every week, as they see their conquest bonus pool grow and grow. Some of these players might turn into active, engaged arena players. Let me know what you think!
Yeah I feel you, no real point in gearing an alt until the next season starts at this point, unless of course you like pain, torture, and self-loathing.
Good suggestions! I particularly like the part where you say you are struggling. A lot of 2200 elitists like to come on these forums to tell us that 2200 is obtainable with nothing but full dreadful gear and that its a learn to play issue.

Gear is a major factor in Arena now. Far more than ever before. The fact that it is so difficult to obtain now if you start late or level up an alt is really hurting pvp a lot.

I think we can all agree Blizzard should have went the other way when it comes to pvp. There should not be that large of an imbalance for people wanting to compete against eachother.
damn nada you've been contributing a lot of really good feedback this expansion

hire him already
Good post. +1
Made the suggestion in another similar posting that if they want to reward those that started at beginning of the season and still help alts then they should:

1) Make a rolling Conquest cap. The minimum is 1800 a week so if its week 4 you can earn 7200 conquest off the bat. This still rewards those that did RBG's and have a higher conquest cap from arena or rbg rating since they have more gear or upgraded it, and you still have to farm your gear.
2) Make the requirement on the weapons go away after 4 weeks into season (1800x4=7200) so at worst you would only have to grind 2 weeks for your weapon and maybe have more of a chance to compete by using the crafted/honer/conquest gear philosophy.

As above stated nice to see a Gladiator agreeing that gearing an alt right now is near impossible and not just a LTP issue.
I just came back to the game. I'm a multi glad rank 1 feral and gearing up is very frustrating. Although I was able to pull 2100 with no pvp weapon, I am sick of losing to teams b/c of my lack of gear. When I do the math to see how much more conquest I will need to have full gear it is VERY VERY discouraging :(. I can't imagine how flustering it is for people who just started playing the game for their first time or trying to learn a new alt.

I would like to level an alt this xpac too, but I don't feel like getting squashed for months on another character too.
Great post.

I think the bonus pool could be a little smaller though or it would seem to people that have been playing that people are "getting gear handed to them." 1500, for example, seems more appropriate since not everyone even caps every week due to rl etc. My point is, I don't think you should be able to make up nearly all of the conquest you missed no matter when you hit 90/started pvping.

Lowering starting mmr to 1k is a good idea. People in contenders gear or whatever aren't going to beat anyone that has been playing since the start of the reason and are in full malevolent.
The bonus pool concept is awesome. I can't see a reason for any players to be against this. If developers saw a problem with the speed in which fresh characters were receiving gear, then the numbers could obviously be tweaked a little bit. I do hope that this is implemented.
I agree capping on alts is very painful.

However, I would like to point out that gear upgrading lessens the disparity between more and less active characters during the beginning and middle of the season. It lowers the item lvl gap between honor and conquest gear until the more active pvper completes a full set of conquest gear.
it's impossible to catch up on gear on my alts.

i support this post
Normally I may agree with you on the upgrading of honer gear leveling the playing field some. I just feel that this expansion, and this season more then last expansion all together, the difference between crafted-honer-conquest is not a small difference, it is game changing. The small upgrade you get from the honer upgrade is still minimal and not felt compared to what conquest gear does. The biggest factor is the weapon, it is I think 7% pvp power upgrade by itself which is massive this season and negates the skill>gear aspect of what I think most PVP'rs would like to see. Yes gear is important and if you don't grind you shouldn't be rewarded by PVP should eventually be about skill. And don't forget your honer upgrades are matched by their conquest upgrades as well.
Very much agree. +1
Bump and thumbs up and all that good stuff
I'm one of those people who play at least 6+ classes at all times through out the season in arena. The way it is now with being able to upgrade gear, it discourages anyone to actually level another character, which is what i think is the opposite of what blizzard wanted to do. I know plenty of people who quit the game and want to come back and the only thing keeping them from doing it is knowing they they will be so far behind every other player that its not even worth it.
12/17/2012 08:58 PMPosted by Scumcepticon
Yeah I feel you, no real point in gearing an alt until the next season starts at this point, unless of course you like pain, torture, and self-loathing.
Great post. Two friends and I have been talking about arenaing, but at this point it seems completely pointless because we will never catch up to everyone else's gear.
This is by far the most frustrating arena season I've played. I have great partners, but all of us started late this season and we're struggling against this gear wall.
To put it in perspective.

All 3 of us are 2200-2600 players who came late to this season. We have 10k, 15k, and 17k arena matches played on our statistics tabs. So we're also very experienced.

Week 1 of games, we were in contender + honor gear. I was completely new to playing a fire mage. We had no idea how most class mechanics worked. In this condition, we played to a rating of 1450.
We stayed at that rating for 3-4 weeks. We played about 1200 arena matches. In that time, we learned our classes and learned our enemy classes. We also got much better at our teamwork. Despite these improvements, our rating DID NOT CHANGE.

It was not until we earned our T1 weapon, that our rating has begun to climb.

1000 arena matches of learning and growth had almost zero impact on our performance. I can't really express how incredibly frustrating that is.

I can tell you exactly what's going to happen to us.
We will climb quickly to 1650. Then over the next MANY weeks, we will slowly climb to 1800 as we switch from blue gear to epic gear. Then we will be stuck there until the end of the season, with no real hope of climbing without a T2 weapon.

What's missing from this equation is: <me>
I feel like I'm the least important factor between gear, comp, class, and player. My 12 seasons and 20,000 arena matches of experience don't matter. This sucks!

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