Like all World of Warcraft expansions, Warlords of Draenor is aiming to shake up nearly every aspect of the decade-old MMO when it launches this fall. The level cap will increase to 100, old character models will get a long-overdue makeover, and a new zone will introduce ten levels worth of quests and lore to tackle. In addition to the many additions coming to the PvE side of the game, players who live for the on-going Horde versus Alliance war are in for some changes, as well.

The last WoW expansion, Mists of Pandaria, introduced some big changes to PvP gear with the addition of the PvP Power stat. The system has worked pretty well for the last couple years, but it isn’t without its flaws. For one, the Power Stat doesn’t offer players any help in open-world PvP encounters. Blizzard plans to alter the system and resolve that issues and a few other with some big changes in Warlords of Draenor.

Warlords will eliminate the PvP-specific stats and replace them with a system that scales items up to a higher level as soon as players enter a designated PvP area. The designated areas range from Arenas and Battlegrounds to PvP combat anywhere else in Azeroth. That is a huge help for players who are fed up with getting ganked in the middle of a quest because they aren’t geared up for a fight.

Blizzard explained the upcoming system in the most recent Warlords blog update

If you’re out questing with PvP gear, your items’ base item level will be used while fighting back the Iron Horde, but the second that raiding Druid tries to gank you, your higher PvP item level kicks in and you’ll have the upper hand. Each piece of PvP gear will have its PvP item level displayed clearly on its tooltip, so there’s no guesswork involved.

World of Warcraft Horde vs Alliance

The system also helps out PvE players who are dabbling in PvP encounters by no longer downscaling PvE gear. Because the equivalent PvP gear is already a higher item level in PvP situations, there will be no need for the typical downscaling. In theory, this should give PvE players a chance to feel just as strong as the other players when they casually enter a Battlegrounds.

If loot is your primary motivation for entering PvP encounters, then you’ll be glad to hear that the rewards system is seeing an overhaul, as well. The bonus rewards are being ‘vastly improved’ according to Blizzard and players will soon have the chance to earn up to three reward strongboxes after each Random or Call to Arms Battlegrounds.

Take Warsong Gulch,for example. If your faction captured at least one flag before the game ended, you’ll get the Bronze Strongbox. Capture a second, and you’ll earn both the Bronze and Silver. And if you capture all three, not only do you win the game, but you’ll also earn all three Strongboxes… Inside those Strongboxes could be any number of rewards: Honor points, Conquest points–even gear. Better Strongboxes can have better rewards, so even if your team is behind in the match, it’s worth keeping up the fight to try to earn the best reward you can.

We’ll have to wait to here more details about the specific contents of the Strongboxes and what new items we can purchase with our hard-earned bounties before we judge how well the system will motivate players to compete and keep up the fight until the last point is scored. At the surface, it certainly seems like it will bring well-deserved rewards to PvP players and make the Warlords expansion appealing to that crowd as well as the PvE majority. With the usual big content patches like the Siege of Orgrimmar and a plan for annual expansion packs, Blizzard should be able to tweak the system fairly often after its release to work through any bugs.

Do you think the outlined changes will increase motivation to participate in PvP encounters? Let us know in the comments.


World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor launches this fall for PC.

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Source: Blizzard