WoD PvP Plans & Patch 5.4.7 Aftermath

Purchasable LvL 90 Boost News

For a brief moment on the World of Warcraft US servers, as they came back online after the planned 11 hour patch / scheduled maintenance for 5.4.7’s inclusion into live servers, players were able to browse the new Blizzard store on the character select screen. At this screen it could clearly be seen that the price of the 1-90 purchasable character boost was listed as costing $60.

Image Courtesy of MMO Champion forum poster 'Zheo'

Image Courtesy of MMO Champion forum poster ‘Zheo’

During our recent podcast here on WoW Stratics, we speculated as to the planned price of this service, agreeing that it would have to be more than some of the current character services already on offer by Blizzard. To bring it in-line with the character faction changes and transfer costs, we guessed anywhere from 30-50 Dollars, there abouts. $60 is perhaps slightly more than we originally expected, yet it becomes clear to me if you think about that for a second that this is a direct reflection of the intended use of the service.

To prevent miss-use and an incredibly large amount of fresh level 90’s being present in the game, which would hamper the efforts of those who level through the actual content is obviously the highest concern. The price is of course at the date of this article un-confirmed, and comparative conversions between currencies are particularly unhelpful as to the possible cost for EU players either. The general feedback across social media was majorly fixated on the cost compared to the price of the actual game ($40), leading to many people to be outspoken and generally concerned for the path that Blizzard could take with this first move towards paying for player advancement in game. However unlikely it may be, the concern is stiall particularly very real, especially with many other MMO’s out there switching to a Free-To-Play model with microtranactions, which many believe is a step towards ‘Pay-To-Win’. As much as i would like to agree that this move does pose the question of wheather in 3-4 years we could see gear purchasable in-game on the store, i have to believe that this concern is out-weighed by the fact that Blizzard and World of Warcraft are still holding on to the most played, and popular franchises in the industry, and as such any decision that would endanger any subscriber numbers, nor the experience of those who play their games would be highly against their own ethical and practiced standards. Time will tell, butat this point it’s too early to be grabbing the pitch forks and forming outside Blizzard HQ in California.

PvP in Warlords of Draenor

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All this over-dramatised, unconfirmed, yet still likely information unfortunately overshadowed the actual Blizzard reveal of the day, which regards the plans in Warlords of Draenor for changing PvP.

Originally the ‘Trial of The Gladiator’ system was referenced back at Blizzcon 2013; a system that would reward players based on closer competitive arena gameplay, where upon individuals would adorn special ‘ToTG’ Gear, used only for this system to create a level and equal playing field for combatants in the competition. This it was confirmed today has been scrapped in consideration of the accessibility of the feature and the mentioned lack of incentive for new players to experience this side of PvP. As this system get’s pulled, Blizzard go on today to mention a new system which allows for players to also queue for unranked arena both with friends or alone for additional rewards such as Honor or a small increase in Conquest points for the session. The focus on PvP and its more broad appeal is key to the plans for WoD’s PvP, and allows for some interesting opportunities within the E-Sport scene.

The planned ‘Arena Skirmishes’ System, as it’s dubbed is a potentially much more positive addition to the PvP within World of Warcraft than the Trial system would have been. To further extenuate the focus on more competitive, yet accessible Arena in WoW, Blizzard’s last additional Paragraph on today’s press release mentions the importance of E-Sport involvement and private tournaments, and as such are working towards implementation of a ‘Spectator Mode’, which will allow extra members to join a skirmish match as spectators, giving Add-on developers the opportunity to create delivery methods based on internal infrastructure. This is definitely a long awaited, and asked for addition, which it would seem will now further not just the PvP scene in general in game, but also increase the E-Sport’s availability and accessibility worldwide.

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LIVE PvP Changes in 5.4.7

Further PvP news today saw changes to Alterac Valley, in a rather strange, and somewhat unexpected series of changes, Blizzard have actually altered parts of the Alterac valley Battleground to feature both raised ground on the Horde side of the map near to Drekthar and the bunkers around that area (see screenshots) and also added an extra piece of wall to an area near a tower, presumably to prevent access from the rear and bottleneck teams against each other in the central courtyard without worry that they are being secretly flanked. This is one of the few actual physical changes to the game in this patch, but nonetheless worth mentioning.

 

522 Item LVL pieces for Honor

522 Item LVL pieces for Honor

Additionally, MAJOR PvP implications come with the Patch in form of purchasable 522 Item Level gear for honor. The previous season has ended, and as such what previously cost Conquest points. The gear iteself does require a certain amount of Honor to have been earnt this season, however this does crush the item level entry requirements for PvE’s LFR system and indeed allows people to aquire enough Item Level to get into Flex groups. This is a negative, and obviously troublesome inclusion, as it will reduce the quality of players within those arguabley difficult to exectute encounters. Unless raid leaders inspect each person individually to confirm the quality of the gear they are wearing, it’s extremely likely that this will cause confusion and unwanted stress within the comminity, which until now had aquired a simplistic way of confirming if somebody would be an addition to your group or not. Many players will certainly do this now, as it completely circumnavigates the older LFR raids that you would need to otherwise gear through. Many of my alts included would be foolish not to grab a few pieces of the last seasons gear to allow them to queue into Siege LFR. It’s fairly certain that this unseen implication will no doubt be raised in discussion in the near future, especially with the continuous argument of weather PvP gear and PvE gear should be usable outside their respective environment, a discussion perhaps for a future Podcast episode.

That about wraps up today’s news, along with the aftermath report on Patch 5.4.7, if you have any questions or opinions you would like to share with us here at Stratics, you can continue to conversation over at our dedicated WoW forums.

Thank you for reading, keep up to date with all the latest news as it unfolds as we float towards the beta of Warlords of Draenor by bookmarking our site today!

 

Further, additional information and patch notes for the latest patch can be found here:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/12592415/547-ptr-patch-notes-february-11-2-11-2014