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PvP Changes in Patch 9.1.5 - Gear Changes, Titles and Group Finder
06/10/2021 em 15:17
There are many PvP related changes coming in Patch 9.1.5 which includes changes to PvP item levels, titles and improvements to the group finder. We give our thoughts and opinions of these changes.
About the Author
has been playing WoW since Vanilla, first PvPing and obtaining Gladiator titles in Wrath of the Lich King. He started competing in tournaments in Mists of Pandaria, making it to his first LAN tournament in 2014.
To this day, Aveng has obtained 10 Rank 1 titles across his characters. He has also participated in 3 Regional LAN tournaments and competed at BlizzCon in 2017. Although he is a Paladin player, he can also play a Demon Hunter at tournament level. You can find him here:
9.1.5 PvP Gear Changes
Coming in 9.1.5 we have a big buff to PvP gear’s item level while engaged in PvP!
This is a massive buff for unrated (Honor) PvP gear. This is going to help fresh characters, alts, and those catching up to compete on a more level playing field.
New Honor Gear Item Levels
PvP Item Level
We can see from this that the beginner gear actually gets a larger item level boost than its upgraded counterparts:
177 -> 213 is
184 -> 216 is
190 -> 220 is
197 -> 223 is
203 -> 226 is
210 -> 229 is
216 -> 233 is
The fact that the gear scaling starts very strong and tapers off indicates that Blizzard is trying to give undergeared players less of a gear disparity when engaged in PvP.
What does this all mean?
The net effects from this change mean that the power boost you get from engaging in PvP with Honor gear, especially with low rank Honor gear, is much stronger.
This will result in players with Honor gear having less of a disadvantage against fully geared players than before
. This is undoubtedly one of the hardest things to deal with while gearing a new character. It's a great solution, but it’s not perfect.
The biggest two issues I see for Honor gear is the fact that the cost for upgrading the gear scales up as the item level increases, meaning getting a full set of fully upgraded Honor gear will take even the most dedicated of players months of farming. The second is that upgrades are locked behind Renown requirements. For a new character with no gear and a big Renown grind ahead of them, this is overwhelming. In 9.1.5 changing Covenants will no longer reset your Renown, so at least this part of the grind will only be required once per character if you want to try another Covenant.
Reduced Honor Gear Costs
While I was writing this article, we received some very relevant and welcome news!
Player versus Player
The Honor cost to upgrade Unrated gear reduced by around 25%, and the Conquest cost to upgrade Rated gear has been adjusted to spread across the new ranks.
To clarify some of the wording on this post: there isn't a Conquest cost to upgrade Rated gear (it costs Honor) so we can assume this means that although there are new ranks of gear,
the Honor cost will for fully upgrading the piece will be spread across the new ranks and the upgrade costs have been reduced by 25%, giving us some much needed relief with regards to the long Honor grind.
Thank you, Blizzard!
My advice to players still gearing and especially to those without Renown would be to supplement your PvP set with gear from other sources. As a PvP-only player myself, this is frustrating - but when I look at how previous expansions handled gear I am thankful that we at least have agency and a deterministic way to get our best pieces, even if the grind is on the longer side.
We can see that it’s now possible to get up to a 233 PvP Item level with Honor gear. This makes it stronger than Season 1’s Conquest gear and equivalent to Korthian Gear, the new Mor'geth World Boss gear, normal Sanctum of Domination gear, and end-of-the-run Mythic + gear. In my opinion, this is a great balance. Honor gear being equivalent or stronger than everything up to Heroic Raid gear is about where it should be. If you want gear that will surpass Heroic and Mythic Raid gear, you’re going to have to step into rated PvP - which thanks to buffs in 9.1 means Conquest gear is best-in-slot in PvP.
Here is how it compares:
PvP Item Level
We can see how the power gap has been narrowed, as Conquest gear provides a consistent +13 item level boost in PvP. This makes your base Conquest piece as strong as a fully upgraded Honor piece! There is a final frustration point I would like to address regarding random loot from the Great Vault; in particular, the weapon.
The weapon is, for most specializations, an enormous power bump. It is not only an enormous power bump, but also costs the most resources out of any piece by far. Getting a lucky Conquest weapon from your Vault means you won’t have to spend weeks of Conquest points on one plus an entire Honor cap to upgrade it, which is brutally unfair to anyone who wasn’t lucky. It’s worth at least 2-3 pieces of gear.
Unfortunately we have no good news here. I hope to see either the weapon removed as a potential Vault reward in future seasons or have the weapon cost greatly reduced to help even out the disparity.
Conquest Point Buff and Bind on Account Cache
News as of 7:00 a.m. PDT Tuesday, September 28:
the amount of Conquest points gained has been increased by 70%!
Conquest awarded by all activities has been increased by 70%.
This is a significant quality of life buff, especially for those starting late in the season. There is still an enormous Honor grind as mentioned earlier, so speeding up the Conquest catch-up is a very welcomed change. This is also good news for players that acquire their Conquest through limited activities such as the Daily Battleground! Rated Battlegrounds are considered one of the fastest ways to acquire Conquest, so if you have a lot of points to catch up that's what I recommend.
Additionally, a Bind on Account Conquest cache,
, will be available for players rated 1600+.
Unchained Equipment Chest for Conquest that contains 1 piece of item level 220 unranked PvP gear. The chest can only be purchased by a character with a 1600 or higher rating in any PvP bracket.
This will be useful if you have a geared character with excess Conquest points to spend as you can mail it to your other characters. Opening this will generate a random, unranked piece of Conquest gear which can be upgraded with Honor to higher ranks if your rating allows. If Blizzard keeps this available during the start of a new season, we may see players funnel all of their alt's gear onto their main to gear them extremely quickly. Hopefully we see that addressed before it becomes an issue.
New PvP Titles & Group Finder Changes
9.1.5 brings new PvP Titles, and Group Finder will now allow you to set rating requirements as a parameter. Blizzard is also requiring use of an Authenticator to help get rid of advertisement spam.
New PvP Titles
Rank 2 Combatant I
Rank 3 Combatant II
These changes together should help breathe some new life into the PvP community. Having different tiers of gear unlocked alongside the corresponding titles should add some depth and diversity to the Group Finder as the only metric available before (without addons) was item level, which is next to useless for gauging a player’s skill.
On top of this, Group Finder will allow you to browse for groups while hosting your own, which will allow your listing to get exposure while you’re simultaneously able to browse the pool of players for potential teammates. These are good changes and I'm looking forward to seeing how they play out!
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