World of Warcraft patch 5.3 to significantly alter PvP gear

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria PVP

Blizzard has kept up its focus of "narrowing the PvP gap" for World of Warcraft players in the last few major patches, and changes on the way along with a new battleground and arena in patch 5.3 are perhaps the strongest steps taken to lessen the gear disparity between hardcore PvPers and more casual combatants.

In an article on its official website, Blizzard describes its intentions to address "significant challenges" in smoothing out the abrupt boost in power provided by high-end tiers of PvP gear. "In PvP, we want gear to matter, but we don't want gear to become the overwhelming reason someone wins a match," Community Manager Nik Gianozakos writes.

He continues: "We think that most players would be okay with going into PvP with lower damage if they were a bit more durable. We believe that a broader population of PvPers will offer a better experience for everyone, and also provide a better pool of players as we introduce refinements to how Battleground queuing works in the future. One of the best ways for us to increase the number of players that participate in PvP is to reduce the barrier to entry for those who play World of Warcraft regularly but don't participate in PvP. Specifically, we're referring to PvE players that spend a lot of time gearing up in PvE but feel that PvE gear is a severe liability in PvP."

I'm glad Blizzard is finally examining gear discrepancy in PvP. I enjoyed both raiding and fighting other players during my time in Azeroth, but the sheer effort required to construct a powerful enough gear set to go toe-to-hoof against others in battlegrounds and arenas meant I often fell behind in clearing major progression content.

Here's the full list of 5.3's changes:

  • Base Resilience will be set to 65% for all characters level 85 and higher
  • Resilience will be removed from nearly all PvP gear
  • Players will still be able to use Resilience gems and enchants
  • PvP power will remain exclusively on PvP gear
  • PvP set bonuses that currently provide Resilience will now provide PvP Power
  • Healers and hybrid-casters will benefit to a greater degree from PvP Power, and Battle Fatigue will increase to make PvP gear superior for healers
  • Conquest gear will be increased to item level 496 (up from 493)
  • Elite gear will be decreased to item level 496. This gear will essentially become a prestige upgrade
  • The Big Change: We will be adding an item level ceiling to all gear in unrated Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas

    • All gear with item levels higher than 496 will be scaled down to 496 (Conquest gear item level). This includes even Conquest items that exceed the ilevel ceiling, such as weapons

  • In patches that don't include a new season (including patch 5.3), the seasonal currency requirement of 7,250 Conquest Points earned will be lifted from weapons. The seasonal currency requirement must always be met to purchase Elite items, though
  • Once the 27,000 Conquest Point seasonal currency requirement is reached, players will be able to purchase Tyrannical Gladiator's gear with Honor Points

The official website also lists the rest of patch 5.3's lengthy notes .

Omri Petitte

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?