MMO-Champion - Patch 5.3 Release Candidate, Tom Chilton Interview, PvE Gear in PvP, Blue Posts, DLC
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Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16958
Another PTR build came out very early in the morning yesterday. It is a Release Candidate build, which means Patch 5.3 is closer to going live.



Blizzard Insider #48 - Interview with Tom Chilton on Patch 5.3: Escalation
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In Patch 5.3: Escalation, players fight back against the aggressive reign of Garrosh Hellscream, once proud War Chief of the Horde. His crimes are many and his allies are dwindling, but he still holds the Horde capital city of Orgrimmar and retains full command of a vast army of loyal Kor’kron elite soldiers, fed by reinforced supply lines running throughout the Barrens.

Toppling the tyrant will not be easy.

To prepare you for this monumental struggle, the Blizzard Insider discussed the content in Escalation with Game Director Tom Chilton.

Blizzard Insider: Before we dive into the details of Patch 5.3, can you tell us about how the previous patch, 5.2: Rise of the Thunder King, has gone?

Tom Chilton: Overall we’re very happy with how the Thunder King raid turned out. I think it ranks among our best ever as far as size, scope, and overall quality of raid mechanics goes. Lei Shen in particular stood out as a great final encounter for the raid, on par with Yogg-Saron or Ragnaros. One of the more experimental aspects of the Thunder King patch that we’re especially happy with is the Determination buff, which gives all Raid Finder group members a 5% boost whenever they wipe. Raid Finder groups tend to have players of all skill levels, so this change has really helped these groups hold together and learn the mechanics of more difficult encounters, which overall has made Raid Finder groups a more viable option for progression.


Blizzard Insider: How does Escalation fit into the larger story arc for Mists of Pandaria®?

Tom Chilton: Patch 5.3 tells the story of what’s been happening on the Kalimdor home front while the continent of Pandaria was being explored across the South Seas. As the name implies, the core conflict revolves around Garrosh Hellscream and his escalating war efforts. Of course, the Alliance opposes Garrosh—for obvious reasons—but now even large factions of the Horde have turned on Garrosh as well. They’ve grown tired of his constant warmongering, and so Vol’jin leads the Darkspear trolls in open rebellion against their former war chief. Garrosh seems to be universally despised, so now players on both sides of the Horde and Alliance will soon get a chance to take a swing at him.


Blizzard Insider: Can you talk about the new features being added with Escalation? What features are you most looking forward to seeing players dig into?

Tom Chilton: The new Scenarios constitute the backbone of the Escalation patch, and we think players are going to have a lot of fun with these. Another big change will be the new events in the Barrens. The main supply lines that feed Garrosh’s war machine in Orgrimmar run throughout the Barrens, so players must win victories there first before they’ll be able to take on Garrosh directly. From the design side, we want to use the Barrens events to experiment with end-game open world content in new ways and try to get away from some of the more repetitive aspects of daily questing. As a result, we shaped the events as a series of dynamic events, rather than a straightforward progression of daily quests. We hope this ends up feeling much more fluid and freeform than previous end-game quests, with players of both the Alliance and Horde rampaging around, raiding Garrosh’s supply lines and spoiling his war efforts. Plus, just having the Horde and Alliance together in the Barrens at the same time will open up a lot of opportunities for world PVP.


Blizzard Insider:Can you talk a little about the changes to PvP combat? In what ways do the mechanics of PvP evolve in Escalation?

Tom Chilton: One of the biggest evolutions in PvP stems from the changes to the Resilience system. Mechanically speaking, Resilience stays much the same as before, but most of it has been removed from gear, and instead players are getting a much higher innate level of Resilience. Gear still matters in PvP, and certain gems and enchants will retain bonuses to Resilience, but the overall survivability difference between players with different sets of gear is narrower after patch 5.3. This means player skill plays a larger role in determining the outcome of a PvP battle than before. Plus, the Resilience change has the secondary benefit of allowing PvE players to cross over more easily into PvP, since they won’t have to first collect a separate set of Resilience gear in order to survive.


Blizzard Insider: How about new PvP content?

Tom Chilton: On the PvP content side, we’re also adding a new Battleground and a new Arena with Patch 5.3. The Battleground is called Deepwind Gorge and it features a “gold grab” mechanic, where both factions race to collect a certain threshold of gold for their side. Players can get gold in two ways, either gradually over time by holding key strategic points around the mining operations, or they can steal a gold cart from the other team’s base and drag it back to their own base. So Deepwind Gorge essentially combines classic “king of the hill” with “capture the flag” PvP mechanics.

The new Arena is called the Tigers’ Peak, and it experiments with the concept of “high ground” in an interesting new way. The Arena geometry includes several raised pillars, the tops of which are ringed with fences. These fences do not block line of site or ranged attacks, but they will catch any player who gets knocked back into them, thus enabling ranged players to hold the high ground and snipe or land heals from on high a bit more easily than they could otherwise with normal un-railed pillars.


Blizzard Insider: Can you go into details on the new Scenarios in Patch 5.3? Has the design philosophy of Scenarios changed much since they were first introduced at the beginning of Mists of Pandaria?

Tom Chilton: One thing we thought that Scenarios lacked after the launch of Mists of Pandaria was a sense of possible failure. Don’t get me wrong, they were always meant to be quick, fun, bite-sized pieces of content, but I think we can offer more of a challenge to players who are ready for it. So we’re introducing Heroic versions of several existing Scenarios, plus all the new Scenarios coming with Patch 5.3.

Unlike most normal Scenarios, the Heroic versions will only be available if you’re already in a premade group with two other players. Since the difficulty will be ramped up, we wanted to be able to tune the Heroic Scenarios around a group of players who know each other and are used to playing together. Plus, since it’s easier to build a group when you only need two other players, rather than the usual five, we figured Scenarios are a good place to experiment with requiring premade groups again.


Blizzard Insider: Let's talk loot. What kinds of items can players expect to find?

Tom Chilton: Players can definitely expect the usual Item Level upgrades. In addition, we’re also tweaking the loot system so players have option to choose which spec they wish to receive gear for [bonus rolls, Raid Finder loot, Heroic Scenarios, and Mists of Pandaria quests]. This means, for example, you can collect gear for your tank spec while you’re DPS-ing, or vice versa, which makes it easier to collect different sets of gear for your off-spec. In addition, on the art side, we’re also reintroducing the old world Dungeon Tier 2 armor sets back into the game as rewards for the revamped Barrens content. This enables new players to collect some of the older gear sets for Transmogrification without having to go back and farm the old world dungeons

Blizzard Insider: Anything else you’d like to share before you go?

Tom Chilton: Yeah, one more thing—another cool feature we’re adding with 5.3 is the ability to see other players’ Pet Battles, so you can conduct Pet Battles with an audience now. Other than that, we just wanted to say thanks again to our all of our play testers who’ve played through the 5.3 content on the Public Test Realm—your time and contributions are always much appreciated.


PvE Gear in PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This one is a bit of an eyeful, so be prepared for a long post. I recommend reading the whole thing, but there is a TL;DR at the end. If my memory serves me well, this will be my biggest post since joining the community team!

Mírion has hit the nail on the head in pretty much all of his posts in this thread so far. Rated PvP has been seeing a decline in participants over time; however this is not because of balance issues as most people assume it to be. It is mostly due to the increased separation and distinction between PvP and PvE gear. As has been said, getting a full set of PvP gear is not really that hard in the sense of difficulty, but it is when you consider the grind and the feeling you get in those first few steps of PvP without the right gear.

I am sure that most, if not all of you here have at least once had the experience of entering into PvP either late in an expansion or season. If you have, then you know how difficult the process of getting your honor set and first few conquest pieces is. You start off by getting hit by trucks and attacking back with the damage of a wet noodle, as your gear gets better though, the experience improves and you start having fun. But you have to remember that it's those first few steps which are the most crucial to people continuing their PvP experience.

This separation of gear has caused a decrease over time in the number of PvP participants because the first few steps into PvP are so daunting for those who try it that the turnover results in a drop rather than an increase. For PvP, because so many people get scared away from it when they first have a go, you have much less "fresh blood", so to say. This ends up resulting in there not being enough new players sticking with PvP to compensate for those that decide to move onto something that is better suited to them.

Let's take two examples of people who are taking their first steps in PvP right now and making their decision if this is something they want to keep doing:

  • Player A is an established raider. They’re geared out in some pretty sweet ToT items, but wants to try out something new.
  • Players B is a freshly dinged level 90. They’re keen-eyed to try out PvP and has their crafted PvP set.
  • And to have them here to be used in the two below examples, Tyrannical, the BiS PvP geared player having a bit of fun in battlegrounds.

Now the below scenarios are extreme cases, you will not always be coming across a BiS person in PvP, and there are ways in which to increase your enjoyment when starting out such as playing with friends. While a lot of players will push through this initial hurdle and start to enjoy their time in PvP, I just want to give you some examples of what a first time experience can be.

Epic storytelling time #1:
Player A:
A enters an Arathi Basin match, bright-eyed and keen to try out this aspect of the game that's entirely new to them. The gates open for A and they charge off to Lumber Mill and engage their new-found foes. They are having a jolly time doing some decent damage and even scoring a kill while no one is attacks them, however then Tyrannical on the opposing side decides to attack A and he dies in an instant. A wonders what happened, but ignores the occurrence the first time.

A resurrects at base and heads out into the battle, but the same thing keeps happening — A goes into battle, gets attacked and dies. They get tired of this happening repeatedly and decide that PvP is not quite their cup of tea.

Epic storytelling time #2:
Player B:
B just got their Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's gear and an okay BoE weapon from the Auction House. They queue up for a battleground and get thrown into Twin Peaks, ready for battle they run out of the gates bearing down on the opponents flag, eager to capture it and bring glory to their team.

Another person manages to grab the flag before B can reach it, but that's okay — B now wants to go take down the enemy flag carrier. Little to B's knowledge, Tyrannical has the flag and is running along to bring it to their base. B intercepts Tyrannical and starts attacking as hard as he can but is doing little to take away from Tyrannical’s health. Tyrannical decides that the damage B is doing, while minimal, is becoming a nuisance, B is attacked and dies in moments. Like A, B ignores this first occurrence and decides to head back in to battle. But after this situation is repeated they become frustrated by doing so little damage and dying so quickly. They give up on PvP and move on to another aspect of the game where they feel they can make a more meaningful contribution.

As you can see, both players entered into PvP, bright-eyed and looking to have some fun, but they were met with a brick wall as they began their journey. Because of this brick wall that they encountered though, their motivation waned until they gave up and eventually decided to move to something else. The changes that we have planned for patch 5.3 are designed to improve the first time PvP’ers experience to try and increase the retention rate of newcomers to the scene.

The change will also ensure that PvP gear remains the best possible choice for PvP, do not fret over this. What we is to improve the experience for those starting out in PvP and as such increase the pool of players and the size of the community; which in-turn makes the experience of current PvP’ers playing the game that much better too.

TL;DR — The changes help increase the size of the PvP community and makes PvP more welcoming to new players, without making PvE gear BiS.

Making PvE gear BiS something I'm a bit scared off, since you nerfed the PvP gems it just seems like the pure stat gems will be better. Hope you're keeping an eye on them.
However any additional gem sockets come at the cost of the Ilvl budget, lowering some other stats. Base stats will be near, if not exactly identical when scaling comes into account. The reason that PvP gear will be stronger is because of the PvP power stat that is not taken into account for the Ilvl budget on items.

In the blog you posted it said that you removed resilience on "most" pvp pieces, are they still on trinkets?
At this time Medallions still have Resilience on them, Insignias, Badges and Emblems do not have resilience. This can possibly change in the future, but right now we will be keeping an eye on trinkets to ensure that they do not become a problem.

what about player C ?
I was giving some examples of situations where players take their first few steps into PvP. The examples I gave were enough to display the point behind the post, any more would have just made it far too big for anyone to read.

anyway... without these double proc, how do you kill a healer?
Coordinating burst and having good CC timings and effective target swaps. I take it from your posts that you are referring to difficulties killing a healer solo, first off — bad idea; it's do-able, but I would definitely recommend going at them with a friend. Healers are built around the concept of being able to, if played well, keep a team of three players alive against another team of three players, generally 2 DPS and a healer. If a healer was designed to be taken down by a single player in a 1v1 situation, then what kind of hope would they have in keeping a group alive in arenas or battlegrounds?

Healers can be killed and are far from being immortal, you just need to apply the appropriate pressure and play your cards right.

begin with ... these trinket should not even exist, or certainly should not be allowed to use them in pvp.

these trinkets currently have a unique function spoil the game.

Those trinkets offer a different playstyle and have received multiple changes to adapt them for PvP. Not only this, but those trinkets will also be susceptible to the same effects of the Ilvl cap as every other piece of gear in patch 5.3.

There is a PLAYER C which you didn't consider in your example. Player C enters a Battleground to get trashed like player A and player B but does not quit.

While a lot of players will push through this initial hurdle and start to enjoy their time in PvP, I just want to give you some examples of what a first time experience can be.
But I do understand where you are going with your post. But if the situation you give is accurate, then once that player reaches full BiS PvP gear, they will just stop until a new season comes around. A better way to entice people like this to play and continue to play is not to just offer them a way to enhance their characters power which is quite limited in how far it can go, but rather to also provide other rewards like those planned for patch 5.3. Some of the rewards we have planned are for when players reach 2500 rating, they can get a special tabard and a cloak. We also are thinking of potentially adding in rewards for accomplishments such as X number of RBG's or Arenas won.

Also, I am not sure where the progression of gear is being halved. The gear progression is no different from what it has been in previous seasons (Elite weapons being the exception), outside of the start of Season 13 where Elite gear was better than the normal one. In all previous seasons the progression was as follows:

  • Crafted PvP gear
  • Honor Gear
  • Conquest Gear
  • Elite weapon (Only one that was an upgrade)/cosmetic elite upgrades

Now the progress of gear will be as follows:

  • Crafted PvP gear
  • Honor Gear
  • Conquest Gear
  • Cosmetic upgrades

So in the end, the progression of gear has not really changed apart from the Elite weapon just becoming a cosmetic improvement. All this change is doing is leveling out the playing field a bit more to make entry into PvP a lot less daunting to help welcoming more people into the PvP community — this helps the entirety of the PvP community, even the player C you mentioned as they now have more people to play against.

You don't get ilvl 440 gear and go to take on Ra-Den.... that is why there is other raids and LFR to gear up and "progress" to finally take down Ra-Den one day. The point is to grind and get the gear to be able to do so.

Same with PvP. You don't just slap on gear and expect to take down a fully geared PvP player, that is just silly and should not be accomplished by someone with PvE gear.

PvE however has dungeons, heroics, LFR and then raiding in order to ease you into the process, so you are able to participate in gear appropriate content until you are able to enter raids. When a PvP player starts off their journey, they have no equivalent of dungeons where the health and damage of their opponent isn't insurmountable. They are thrown straight into a raid, where they have to overcome a raid boss with the gear you would normally use in a normal dungeon.

Why not make BG with a ilvl cap and pitch players with a certain amount of PvP ilvl against each other and those with better gear against their counterparts.
That's kind of what this change does, without diminishing the overall pool of players. It also accomplishes multiple other tasks as well, such as helping prevent PvE gear in PvP.

I was refering to the gear grind through the upgrade system in patch 5.1
This system got a lot of disapproval from the PvP community, from the feedback we received it was deemed best for it not to return in patch 5.2 or 5.3, which I am sure a lot of people here are glad to hear.

and, as you said, the expected elite gear in patch 5.2 which was abandoned during the first few weeks in favor of the 5.3 system.
This was removed because the gear inflation that would have occurred with season 14 would have been immense. Also, the difference between someone starting out in PvP and someone in full elite would have been too big. The new system for 5.3 was developed and deemed more appropriate and better for the community as a whole. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.3 Release Date
Do you know if 5.3 is coming out this month or not for sure. I heard that is what you guys are aiming for but not sure if its a possibility it might not happen.
At current, it won't be much longer. We're hoping to get it out soon (and not the usual soon). I can't confirm more than that for you right now. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight Changes and CC in PvP
I'm glad they're reverting the nerfs and buffing necrotic strike, I was getting worried.
That's not the case anymore, the developers implemented a different change so that Death Knight diseases will no longer gain benefit from Tricks of the trade:

  • Change reverted: Festering Strike reverted to deal 200% weapon damage.
  • Change reverted: Scourge Strike reverted to deal 135% weapon damage.
  • Change reverted: Unholy Might reverted to 15% Strength increase.
  • Frost Fever and Blood Plague: The damage from these two diseases can no longer benefit from the damage increase granted by Tricks of the Trade.

How can one class just flop over the second he makes one tiny mistake, while the other can survive 3 people dpsing him while his healer:

- Runs of to get out of combat and ress
- Sits in multiple full CCs

Speaking of CCs and (burst) damage, which is something that gets mentioned from time to time:

The developers are keeping an eye on both burst and CC. Not being able to play your character for some time isn't fun, and neither is being bursted from 100% to 0.

Crowd Control is an integral part of World of Warcraft PvP. Without it, it would be little more than tunneling down your opponent. CC introduces the opportunities for skill and timing to come to shine in a way that wouldn't be possible in its absence.

What helps developers the most are specific examples. They do see the YouTube videos that the community shares from time to time, and all too often, they're taken against an undergeared opponent, or a player has every conceivable RNG going for them when they post a highlight.

Nonetheless, they're looking at simplifying CC and diminishing returns in the future, and they already recognize that some abilities and combinations of abilities can lend themselves to burst that's higher than what they'd like, such as Incanter's Ward (which was recently modified on the PTR to Incanter's Ward now allows the Mage to gain up to a maximum of 15% increase to spell damage, down from 30%, but the effect now lasts 25 seconds, up from 15 seconds.). That's the kind of ability that they'd likely 'smooth out' a bit, as they did in this case, where its effects get spread out in such a way as to not damage PvE dps, while lessening its burst potential in PvP. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dark Legacy Comics #389
DLC #389 has been released!

This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 5.3 Release Candidate, Tom Chilton Interview, PvE Gear in PvP, Blue Posts, DLC started by chaud View original post
Comments 61 Comments
  1. Yanthir's Avatar
    When they manage to copy the skill- and skillshot system from Guild Wars 2 and implement dodge rolls I maybe return for another month.

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