Guide to 5.3 PvP.

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Guide to Gearing for PvP in 5.3

1) The hard and fast rule is that there is only one, one circumstance where PvP gear is actually advantageous to wear in PvP. In every single other scenario, PvE will help you do more damage, more healing, and take a bigger beating than PvP gear will, in PvP. This one single circumstance where PvP gear is actually better for PvP is when you have a full set of Tyrannical gear inside of instanced PvP. Basically, the only thing that ever makes PvP gear better for PvP is the item level cap in BGs and Arenas, and that only benefits PvP gear when you are actually at the cap because before then PvE gear is better.

2) So, since most of us are not in full Tyrannical yet because we are cool bros and have lives and sometimes don't get capped every week, what do we do with all that Malevolent gear that is basically trash this patch? You know, the stuff that you ran around in a BG graveyard for a week for, because you instantly died until you got about 10 pieces. Well, the short answer is replace it with LFR gear. LFR gear is actually better than Malevolent gear for PvP. But it is more complicated than that. Let me be more specific.

-Keep any Tyrannical pieces you have.

-If you have 522 or higher iLvl raid gear, wear it outside of instanced PvP. Only wear Tyrannical inside of Battlegrounds or Arenas.

-If you still have Malevolent pieces, and a lot of us do, replace any piece you can with LFR or higher level raid gear. Even the lowest level LFR gear is better than Malevolent even inside instanced PvP such as BGs or arenas. However, you must keep some Malevolent gear! Keep your weapon. Keep your Crowd Control Trinket if it is Malevolent. Keep only as many set pieces as you need to maintain the four piece PvP bonus and glove bonuses. Every other Malevolent piece can be replaced with LFR or other PvE gear and you will perform better in PvP. Try to get rid of Malevolent pieces with the highest stat benefit, because you will get proportionally more damage/healing when replacing those with functionally equivalent raid gear. For example, a chestpiece generally has more Strength than a helmet, so replace that piece (as long as you don't break your 4 piece bonus) with raid gear and the strength gain will be larger and thus offset the PvP power loss more effectively than replacing the Helmet.

-Avoid gems and enchants with PvP Power like the plague. PvP power was reduced in value in 5.3 by almost half. Gems with PvP Power also had the amount of PvP power on them reduced by 50%. As such, these gems provide such low damage/healing that they are NEVER worth using. Enchants are in a similar boat, though in some circumstances you may have no alternative enchants on a specific slot that actually provide much if any benefit. These circumstances are rare, if they exist.

A Brief Experiment to Determine the Viability of PvP Power During PvP Progression:
Result? Unviable.

SS of Malevolent Neck:
SS of stats with Malevolent Neck:
With Malevolent neckpiece:
140 more DPS from AP
0.75% more damage to players.
Total DPS increase against players = (1-0.65) * (1.0075) * 140dps = 49.3675 more DPS against players.

SS of Raid Finder Neck:
SS of stats with Raid Finder Neck:
With Raid Finder neckpiece:
146 more DPS from AP
0.0% more damage to players.
Total DPS increase against players = (1-0.65) * (1.00) * 146dps = 51.1 more DPS against players.

By using the raid finder neckpiece, I gain 1.7325 more DPS than I would if I used the Malevolent neckpiece. Here are some things to note before you jump to conclusions.

1) I am not looking at my paper doll DPS, I am looking at the increase provided to my paper doll DPS from attack power only. This means that I am ignoring haste, crit, expertise, hit, mastery and any other secondary stat. I am looking purely at the benefit to my DPS from strength alone.

2) Taking into account other sources of damage, such as haste, mastery, or critical strike rating would be difficult and also a waste of time. Why? These stats are budgeted by item level. PvP gear is inherently lower in item level than an equivalent tier of raid gear, thus, it follows from logic that you will gain secondary stats by switching from the lower level PvP gear to the higher level PvE gear of the same "tier." As such, a much larger damage difference would be calculated if these stats are taken into account. It can be assumed that given two pieces of gear, one Malevolent and one Raid Finder, with the same primary and secondary stats, that the difference in damage is actually the difference calculated using the above approach plus the difference resulting from secondary stat gain, resulting in a more positive value and favoring the piece of PvE gear even more.

3) This test is performed in Unholy specialization. Unholy gains 10% extra strength in 5.3, but other specializations for other classes have similar passive abilities. Subtlety Rogues, for example, gain a large increase to their agility by percentage. Specializations with primary statistic percentage increases see a much more dramatic effect in favor of PvE gear over Malevolent gear. This follows from the logic that if A > B, then (C*A)>(C*B). Where A is the amount of some arbitrary primary statistic on a piece of raid gear, B is that same stat on a piece of Malevolent gear, and C is the percentage increase in that stat from some passive specialization ability.

4) I have not actually calculated the difference in damage when you take into account the bonus PvP power on weapons or given by set bonuses. I will however assume (and hope to dear God) that these set bonuses and extra PvP power on the weapon are not worth trading for the extra strength. While a Malevolent necklace or ring is easily replaced with LFR gear and the primary stat gain is big enough to offset the PvP power loss, I am giving Blizzard the benefit of the doubt and assuming they did not screw up so badly that the primary stat gain from using entirely LFR gear over Malevolent more than offsets bonus PvP power from set bonuses or weapons. I am also making an educated guess. From the calculations above, it is clear that LFR gear is superior to individual pieces of Malevolent for PvP, but the benefit is rather small, so I can assume that any extra PvP power awarded by set bonuses or weapons will put Malevolent gear ahead of LFR gear.
Why we Hate the 5.3 PvP Changes.

1) We are not upset that everyone has 65% Resilience.

2) We are not upset that everyone has 65% Resilience.

3) We are not upset that everyone has 65% Resilience.

4) The only time and place where PvE gear is actually inferior to PvP gear in PvP is inside of Battlegrounds and Arenas, and only if your average item level is very very close to 496. For most PvPers, this is not the case yet. If you are below iLvl 496, PvE gear is superior inside BGs and Arenas. If you are world PvPing, PvE gear is superior.

5) People in 522 or higher raid gear are killing everyone else with lower gear levels very, very quickly in World PvP, much quicker than anyone in mostly Tyrannical is.

6) Inside of BGs and Arenas, where people in 522 or higher raid gear have their item levels scaled back, people are dying too slowly resulting in a lot of stalemates and the illusion that "healers are overpowered." Players have experienced, myself included, many more draws in arenas, and tons of stalemates at control points in BGs. Assaulting a control point is very very difficult even for skilled teams against any class that cannot be crowd controlled for long periods of time or against two defenders even when outnumbering the enemy defenders at a point significantly.

7) Players with normal mode raid gear can enter a BG or Arena, and even though their iLvl is scaled down, they essentially have a full set of "Tyrannical Light." The extra gem slots, better itemization, and powerful damaging set bonuses do a lot to offset the lost PvP power they would otherwise have in iLvl 496 PvP gear. Yet players in full Tyrannical have almost no shot at even securing a position in a normal mode raid except through the graces of their guild or through desperate need to fill a role.

8) Most people that PvP do not have full Tyrannical sets yet. Many, many raiders are in normal mode gear which is superior to Tyrannical outside of BGs and Arenas. When these players enter BGs and Arenas, they are converted to "Tyrannical Light" mode. This means they are still superior to most PvPers in BGs and Arenas, even with the iLvl cap, because most PvPers still use a few pieces of Malevolent gear. As a result, many PvPers feel like they are now playing "catch up" with the PvE players as well as any PvPer that started gearing earlier than them in the season.

The Preemptive Rebuttal.

1) "PvPers are just upset because they don't get free kills on poorly geared or PvE geared players."

Actually, no. We are not upset about that at all. Just about every PvPer likes and approves of the resilience change, where players not in PvP gear were given PvP resilience equal to the amount you might find on a fully PvP geared player in patch 5.2. This is a good change. Nobody liked jumping into BGs after hitting 90 and running circles in the graveyard for a week because you couldn't actually participate until you had mostly Malevolent gear. This change is a very good one, and I am glad we have it. If you really want to know why everyone is upset, here is the short version:

The PvP Power conversion ratio has changed: 1% now requires 400 rating instead of 265.

For the long version, or to understand why this makes PvP gear progression such a nightmare, keep reading this post.

2) "PvPers are just upset because they can't gank anymore"

Well actually, we still can. Also, have fun getting ganked now by PvEers with better gear than you, with no chance of securing a win through smart use of crowd control because they have 65% resilience to drag the fight out. Sorry man, you should have chosen a PvE server.

3) "PvP is now about skill instead of gear."

I have two arguments against this.

The first argument is this: people want gear progression. Tell me, how would you, the raider, like it if every new raid that came out required the same iLvl of gear? All raid drops were simply cosmetic changes for you to transmog? Bosses all had roughly the same health and same damage, just different mechanics? The only thing that would get you a raid spot then would be skill, and gone would be the days of whispering your item level to the raid leader. Would that be fun? Skill > gear, right?

The second argument is that this statement is completely false. A player in quest greens stands no chance in PvP even with his 65% resilience, but at least he can help stun or fear enemies now instead of dying immediately. In world PvP, a 522 raid geared player has a massive advantage over a fully tyrannical geared player from gear alone, such that a raider with almost no PvP experience will in many cases be capable of killing the experience PvPer in full Tyrannical (remember, he would only have full Tyr if he had a high rating, as low ratings do not give a high enough weekly cap to have earned enough CQ for full Tyr yet.) So gear is still better than skill in PvP, and the 5.3 changes did not usher forth a new era of skill-based PvP.

4) "Raid gear above iLvl 496 gets scaled down in the PvP that matters, BGs and Arenas."

First off, the PvP that matters is the PvP that people have fun playing, because when people stop having fun they stop paying. When enough people stop paying, YOU stop getting content and patches whether you are still paying or not, so I suggest you get on board with making every aspect of the game as fun as possible even if you have little interest in some aspects of the game.

Secondly, I do not know a single character in-game, nor have I come across one randomly, that has a FULL set of Tyrannical gear. However, I see a whole lot of people in PvE gear with full sets over ilvl 496. A whole lot of them. What does this mean? It means that PvE players not only have a distinct advantage in world PvP, they can step into a BG or Arena, and even with their iLvl getting reduced, they essentially have a free set of Tyrannical equivalent gear which almost no PvPer has yet. Yes, we know that someone in full 522 raid gear is disadvantaged in instanced PvP against someone in full Tyrannical, but not by much. Yea, the PvP guy has enough PvP power to make a difference, but the PvE guy gets better itemization, more gem slots, and set bonuses that dramatically increase damage to the point where the advantage that the PvP guy gets isn't that big anymore.

But, remember how I said almost no PvPers have full sets of Tyrannical yet, while many PvEers have full sets of raid gear above iLvl 496? That means when they step into an arena or BG, they have a significant damage advantage over everyone that doesn't have their full Tyrannical set yet, because even though their gear gets scaled down it still ends up being pretty close to Tyrannical equivalent. Raiders basically just got a free "Tyrannical Light" set for stepping into a BG while PvPers are still working on completing theirs, and outside of BGs and arenas, Raiders get a set that is better than Tyrannical!

5) "PvP is just a minigame anyways."

This is one of the more ignorant comments I have seen. Let us take a look at some facts.

    -While the PvP community is smaller than the PvE community, a large percentage (even 15% is large, I expect that more than 15% of WoW players PvP) of paying customers would stop paying should PvP cease to exist.
    -If a large percentage of paying customers stopped paying, Blizzard re-evaluates the service it provides from a business and numbers standpoint. Ultimately, if enough customers bail to where WoW no longer generates enough overhead to create new content, new content is no longer created.
    -PvE dies, COMPLETELY DEAD, when content stops being made. No more new raids? No more PvE.
    -The funny thing is, PvP would survive completely with no new content, so long as content in other aspects of the game did not interfere (like it is now).
    -PvP is far from a minigame, seeing as you can literally experience the entire game without killing a single mob. Sure, you need to be granted a few levels before you step into BGs and need to grab some heirloom PvP gear, but it is certainly possible. Just the fact that it is possible is evidence enough that PvP is not a minigame. But it goes beyond that. Just remind yourself for a minute that WoW arena tournaments are a pretty big e-sport (as much as I dislike the idea of "e-sports").
    -To me, PvE looks like a minigame. I don't enjoy it. I only step into raids every once in a while for some transmog gear once I am Conquest Capped. I never do dungeons. I only do dailies to get mounts and a little buffer cash, and never for PvE gear.
Dont be bad

Acquire PvE gear


Fixed that for you.

Pretty much sums up the entire post. There is a lot of confusion on live right now about what the heck to do about gear for PvP.

I hope this will answer some questions.
This is a great post and needs more attention.

So few people here actually read stuff :(
Acquire PvP gear, use it in PvP.

Acquire PvE gear, use it in PvE.

Also, capping takes about an hour (soft), or an hour and a half (2200+) for the week. Not exactly the most time consuming thing in the game.
He's right.

Good post, sums up the current problems fairly well. Although I would argue that healing is a bit too strong anyway, that's due to a design the developers have taken that I believe is flawed.
Dont be bad


I could fill a swimming pool with all the tears that are still flowing.

Be back in a while... going for a swim.

I don't PvP, but I think the post was informative and was the exact opposite of "ZOMG BLIZZ FIX THIS." He was completely constructive and actually used some pretty good logic in his arguments and rebuttals. People like YOU (quoted folks) are the reason the forums are crap: "lol stuff changed and ur crying about it" is an idiotic response to a well-thought-out and interesting post.
Blizzardu droppêdu da ballu. Yakisobé
I skimmed this. Read a bit here and there, and as someone who pvps practically zero, I have to say I like this post.
Good post.

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