As everyone knows, expectations about how PvP gearing should play out during a player’s initial gearing-up phase each Season have shifted from expansion to expansion, and we’ve seen a lot of those expectations even shift from patch to patch, especially since the end of Legion. When we set about working on 9.1.5 from a PvP perspective, it was very clear that players want the gearing-up phase to be shorter and the staircase of power that PvP gear represents to be less-steep. So we did just that in 9.1.5 and then saw mountains of feedback from PvPers that you wanted it to be even shorter and even less-steep. By a lot! Players who posted in those threads were, in a word, unhappy.
(We also spotted some feedback about 9.1.5 that looked very positive on the changes we made. Please don’t think we didn’t see you!)
And to cut to the chase on that subject: the item level upgrade via rating tiers has to stay in place as it is currently works for the rest of this Season. We’re committed to keeping some consistency around such things in the middle of a Season.
Post-Legion PvP, and really the entire game, is different than it was pre-Legion. We’re striving to make a PvP gearing system that balances character progression with fairness, rewarding players who improve over the course of the season with noticeable power increases that can be overcome through skillful play.
We believe that the current arrangement – using PvP item level – has reduced the power gaps between players to reasonable amounts that make for fulfilling games where your team usually has a good chance to defeat your opponents in Arenas and Battlegrounds. You can get started quickly, and perform adequately, with Honor gear but still experience noticeable power increases as you acquire and upgrade your Conquest gear.
Nonetheless, with each passing Season, we’ve heard loud and clear that players think it takes too long to gear up for PvP. As far as we can see, it looks like the best way for us to address that concern immediately would be to add a significant Honor increase (40%) to the Spoils of War buff that is currently in place. So we’re looking into doing that soon.
Thank you for your feedback, and also, thank you to everyone who provided valuable feedback on this to us in previous forum threads, such as the massive thread in the 9.1.5 PTR forum. It may take us some time to formulate an answer, but we do see your feedback every day.