If you haven't been keeping up on the latest World of Warcraft news, you might not be aware that World of Warcraft Patch 5.2: Throne of Thunder is on the horizon. Well, 5.2 is well on its way and it's bringing PvE features like a brand new questing hub and a huge new raid, but it's also introducing new features that will have a significant impact on the PvP aspects of World of Warcraft, including a number of class and gearing changes.
I thought this would be a great time to discuss some of the ways we can prepare for when 5.2 goes live and we can once again attend to the important business of watering the tree of awesome with the blood of our enemies.
We've already covered that the way PvP gear is acquired is changing in patch 5.2, but I'll briefly recap.
Rating requirements will be removed from PvP gear.
Malevolent Gladiator's gear will be available for purchase with Honor Points.
A new tier of Conquest Point gear will be added that becomes available once 27000 Conquest Points have been earned for the season.
Team Rating will gradually increase during the season for teams and players who continue to compete in PvP. This system is explained in the Mists of Pandaria PvP Dev Watercooler.
As Bashiok mentioned in his recent 5.2 Currency Conversion blog, any unspent Conquest Points will turn into Honor. That could represent a significant chunk of Honor Points, so if you find that you don't have quite enough Conquest to buy or upgrade a piece now, you could still potentially afford to buy a piece of Honor gear when the new season starts.
If you're just starting your PvP journey in 5.2, then you might want to think about investing in a set of crafted Dreadful Gladiator's gear to get started on the right foot.
If you're already wearing Malevolent Gladiator's gear in patch 5.1, then you could be faced with a choice. In patch 5.2, the Item Upgrade vendors will no longer be active. A new set of non-upgradeable Malevolent Gladiator's gear is being introduced in patch 5.2; though it is technically a lower item level, it also has boosted PvP Power and Resilience to compensate.
So, if you have the points to buy gear, do you buy a current Malevolent piece now, do you upgrade an existing piece before patch 5.2 arrives, or save points to buy new pieces once patch 5.2 arrives? Keep in mind that a fully upgraded (2/2) piece of 5.1 Malevolent Gladiator's gear will be slightly better than its 5.2 counterpart, so if you already own pieces that you haven't fully upgraded yet, then going for full upgrades might be a good course of action. On the other hand, even a piece that isn't fully upgraded will be about as good as one of the brand new pieces in patch 5.2. Since any Conquest Points you have when patch 5.2 arrives will be turned into Honor that can be used to buy Malevolent pieces when the patch arrives, it's up to you to decide how you want to spend those points.
Knowledge is power! Lots of class changes are coming in patch 5.2, so it's a good idea to stay up to date on the latest changes by visiting the PTR patch note blog, and reviewing the class notes. Take note of the class changes-knowing what you, your teammates, and your foes are capable of will help shape the team compositions you use and the tactics you employ in battle.
If you're feeling particularly feisty, you can download the Public Test Realm Client by visiting the Account Management page to experiment with the coming changes firsthand. Not only will you be helping us test the upcoming patch, but you'll gain a keener grasp of what the changes will mean for you.
What About Mid-Season Catch Up?
That's actually planned for patch 5.3. You can read more about it in the PvP Gear in 5.2 and Beyond blog I mentioned earlier.
When Does The New Season Begin?
Patch 5.2 is arriving soon, so keep an eye open for the blog announcing next season's start date.
It can be difficult finding and fielding a team for organized PvP. If you're looking for allies, you have many places to begin the recruitment process, ranging from the official forums to fan sites like Arena Junkies (also a great place to look for information), to just hopping into the General channel while playing to see if someone wants to play a few games.
If you've had success finding or forming an Arena Team or Rated Battleground group, how did you go about it? Let us know in the comments..