Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has confirmed via Twitter that PvP gear in season 15 will be ilvl 550.
And just in case, like me, you weren't 100% convinced he was serious, Community Representative Lore also tweeted confirming the item level was correct. Does this mean that the season is imminent?
Is this good or bad news? Depends what you play the most. If you're a PvE-er this is not such great news. Double-upgraded Flex gear is now 2 item levels behind Conquest gear. But more relevant is honor gear. What this means is that, if you're starting from scratch, the best way to hit a higher item level is no longer to farm Timeless Isle. It's to kill rares in Krasarang, do dungeons to get JP to convert and buy honor gear, which will likely be 522 or 524 ilvl, or to do PvP.
No player with a preference for PvP or PvE likes to feel they have to do the other to gear up. While this PvP gear won't have the PvE set bonuses or similar, and may not be superior to Flex gear as a result, it could still be perceived as such by someone focused on ilvl alone.
If you're a PvPer, this is great news. Your conquest gear is now 10 item levels higher than flex raid drops, and just three item levels below normal mode gear. Your PvP gear is suddenly viable for raiding, far more than it ever was 6 ilvls below flex gear. And what's more, this means that PvP gear is far more likely to be the best option for world PvP. PvPers, rejoice!