One of the big changes that they said was coming with the expansion was changes to the PvP system and honour.
Some people may not have been around when PvP version 1 was around. There are a number of veterans around who will talk about those days where you had to basically PvP 24/7 in BGs to be able to get enough kills to be ranked #1 for the week and be the High Warlord. Many veteran Frostwolves will remember Aoitora, who managed to get High Warlord with the original system.
But achieving that was pretty horrendous. Nobody could get it unless you played 24 hours a day, get your friends to play for you etc. And it would pretty much burn you out and it could even turn you off PvP forever...
So they introduced a new honour system in BC, with honour points where you could buy gear with honour points. They also made a separate currency, conquest points, which could buy you better gear and was for the less casual PvPer. That system has lasted until present day. You earn honour and conquest doing PvP or dailies, and you buy stuff with your points.
PvE had a similar system with Justice points and Valour points, but that system has been gone for a while, and now Blizz is saying that PvP should follow suit.
What they are introducing NOW for PvP is a total revamp of the system, and I must say that I am excited about the change.
There will be a different talent system and ranks to work through for PvP. Special talents just for PvP. And to get stronger in PvP it will be about you levelling and getting to 50, not about your gear, which is .. different. PvP has always been about being strong by getting better gear, and they want to change that with the new expansion.
So what is good about this?
What I think is good about this system is that it is supposed to be totally separate to PvE. There are some funny talents that I have that are pretty pointless in PvE and are great for PvP. It's nice now that they will be only used for the PvP side of things (seriously, when would I use Nature's Grasp in PvP?). You can still casually PvP, but to do well in PvP you would have to level through these ranks to get access to the cool abilities.
Another good thing about it is that some of the "necessary" things that we use for PvP (like trinkets for stun and silence breaking) will be come talents so we don't have to burden ourselves with that trinket anymore.
Thirdly, it looks like we can use our current gear for PvP, much like we do now. In WoD, PvP gear did this scaling in battlegrounds/arenas thing to make them equivalent to mythic item level gear. I think that was so that people who were hardcore raiders couldn't just wander over to PvP in their awesome gear and outdo everyone, even hardcore PvPers who didn't do PvE, as gear would get them through the fight.
There are a few things that I don't quite understand yet or am unsure about.
The prestige rank system unlocks cosmetic things such as weapons and mounts, and you can get rid of your honour ranks you have earned to get these things. It sounds to me like that is cool if you want to PvP for looks, but doesn't that mean you will have no talents for PvP now because you got rid of them all? So how are you supposed to PvP effectively if you don't have those level 50 talents you unlocked? Perhaps I am misunderstanding it, and you keep all those level 50 things but now your honour is being used to unlock these ranks instead of contributing towards your level 50 PvP.
The other thing that I don't quite understand or that I'm worried about is that now GEAR won't be the issue, it will be levels. So you were scared to PvP before because you didn't have gear and you would be mown down in 3 seconds? Well, now you will be level 1 and out there someone will be level 50 and they will mow you down in 3 seconds. Have we just swapped one thing for another? So gear doesn't matter now, but level does? And how are you going to get levels if you're dying all the time because someone out there is way better PvP talents than you?
The real question is - if you weren't a PvPer, would these changes make you want to PvP? And if you do PvP do you think of the changes?
I asked Shab, because he only PvPs and does no PvE (what legendary ring, he has said previously). He says that he hates that gear limits you and he thinks the ranks thing will be a good thing. Sev seemed unsure and said it was too early to tell. I always like new things to try, so I am eager for the change and look forward to trying it. I wonder if I'll enjoy levelling in PvP more than I enjoy levelling in PvE?