World of Warcraft Classic will see its notorious PvP ranking system revamped in a coming update, as Blizzard looks to make the system “healthier.”
As it currently stands, WoW Classic recreates the game’s original PvP ranking system as it worked from 2004-2006. Players looking to climb the ranks aren’t so much battling the other faction as they are competing with like-minded players of their own faction, as they attempt to farm more Honor points than the person next to them. The game’s highest ranks are reserved for only a top percentage of players participating in the PvP system. Taking a day or (God forbid) a week off from the Honor grind means losing weeks or even months of progress and potentially being demoted in rank, incentivizing players to keep pushing and playing at all cost.
The updated WoW Classic Era PvP honor system is now available for testing on the 1.14.4 PTR. The team worked very hard on this, and I’m proud to see it in players’ hands.
We sincerely appreciate your time and feedback. Happy testing!#wowclassic #pvphttps://t.co/0gQ1cPae0N
— Nora Valletta 💙 (@NoraValletta) July 14, 2023
It’s an infamously grindy system, one that encourages players to play for over a dozen hours a day for months on end to achieve the game’s highest ranks. Those higher ranks are required to unlock exclusive titles and purchase some of WoW Classic’s best weapons and armor. Those who accomplish the feat are seen as local legends on their servers, mostly because the process of becoming Grand Marshal or High Warlord is like working a full-time job and is not for the faint of heart.
It’s not exactly a healthy system, as Blizzard notes in a forum post outlining upcoming changes coming to it on the game’s public test realm. Blizzard lists several different points it was looking to address with the old system to make WoW Classic’s PvP scene “healthier,” including eliminating the pressure to grind Honor nonstop, getting rid of the need for meta-gaming and collusion between players seeking the top ranks, and cutting down on the use of bots to artificially inflate the total pool of players so that rank brackets are larger. Blizzard states that the old code scripts for the original PvP Honor system are also prone to error and is seeking to rebuild the system with more modern solutions.
“Competing against your own faction for standing is interesting in principle, but in execution has a lot of problems based on the points listed above,” Blizzard writes. “The system is easily meta-gamed and encourages many weeks or months of high levels of play. Our goal for the new system is to grant ranks based on whether players hit specific Honor milestones with an increasing level of participation and challenge needed to maintain their progress as the weeks go by and the player moves through the ranks.”
Blizzard’s solutions are to eliminate the need to compete with other players of the same faction entirely. Instead of fighting for a few top spots, the new system will simply require players to achieve certain Honor milestones to rank up, with higher ranks requiring much higher amounts. Better yet, taking a break won’t cause players to lose ranks. While some progress towards their next rank might be lost (and killing NPCs will still grant dishonorable kills that can lead to rank demotions), players will no longer effectively lose weeks of progress for daring to step away from their computer for a day or two. Players will also receive updates on their progress in real time, as opposed to having to wait for weekly server resets to see how many Honor points they earned and their standings in the ranks under the old system.
Currently on the PTR it takes eight weeks for players to achieve the game’s max PvP rank if a player is earning the maximum amount of Honor each week. That’s still a long time but is a huge improvement over what came before. All the current amounts for Honor milestones on the PTR are subject to change, but players can expect the final version of the revamped system to arrive with patch 1.14.4 sometime in the near future.
WoW Classic’s new PvP changes won’t be present in the game’s upcoming Hardcore servers, which are set to arrive later this summer. As Hardcore servers operate on a one life ruleset (something the victims of a recent WoW Classic Hardcore “accident” learned the hard way), farming Honor and participating in matchmade Battlegrounds doesn’t exactly make a lot of sense. Players will, however, be able to challenge one another to “Mak’gora” duels to the death, even if there is no real incentive to do so aside from personal glory.
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