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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Season 9/10 Vicious Gladiator Gear Changes in 4.2

For those of you who didn't understand the Arena drama going on, Blizzard stealth-upgraded all the parts of Season 9 Armor into new ilvl 371 items to replace the old ilvl 365 items. For example, Vicious Gladiator's Armbands of Meditation (365) was replaced with Vicious Gladiator's Armbands of Meditation (371).

The change wasn't retroactive and people who bought their gear a few days before the patch basically ended up spending their points on gear that was slightly outdated a few days later, without warning from Blizzard.

I've also seen a forum thread wondering why I didn't announce the change, easy, the items were definitely there but I had no real ways to know why; back in the day I just assumed it was Blizzard testing their new tooltip code (season displays) with old items to test everything. Test items happen all the time, and without anything mentioned in the official notes there was no real way to figure out what they are.

Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks for making a clear-cut thread summarizing why this is a big issue within the PvP community, Tauranewone. To keep communication on this as clear as possible, I'll try and clarify what has happened with the transition between Season 9 and 10, as well as give you our take. For everyone reading along, please do not create new threads on this issue. We'll be primarily watching this one and would prefer to keep our forums as easy to read as possible.

Before getting into it, I want you all to know that we've maintained an open dialog with our developers over the past 24 hours regarding the way in which the PvP season transition went down since patch 4.2 (this includes relaying a lot of the feedback we've seen on the forums to them). We agree that the mistakes made were very unfortunate and unfair to a lot of players. We're currently exploring some options to try and alleviate some of the misfortune many of you experienced while purchasing PvP gear in the last week.

First off, to be clear, we made two mistakes which led to the primary cause of frustration for players:

1) We noted that Conquest Points were going to be converted into Honor Points above the 4,000 cap with the release of patch 4.2, giving players one week to spend these excess points before the start of Season 10, at which point the 4,000 point cap would go into effect. Instead, the Honor Point cap intended to be enforced yesterday was applied at the same time Conquest Points were converted to Honor Points with patch 4.2. This led many players who saved Conquest Points up for the season transition to receive gold for any Honor Points above 4,000, rather than points above that cap. There wasn't a feasible solution for correcting the fact that the calculations had been run a week early.

2) We didn't notify players that we made a slight change to the way PvP gear is introduced each season. The change simply wasn't communicated among all of the other patch 4.2 changes, which was a big oversight on our part.

These two errors compacted each other. Players were left with no more than 4,000 Honor Points after patch 4.2, which led many players to farm more HP to buy Season 9 gear. Then, when Season 10 hit yesterday, Season 9 (ilvl 365) items were replaced with an HP tier of Season 10 (ilvl 371) items. Since players didn't know this would happen, many of you farmed HP and spent it on the Season 9 items prior to yesterday's maintenance.

Obviously most of you already know what happened and are very frustrated by it, but I just want to clarify the nature of the unrest, as well as the intended way this season transition was to happen. This is the way it should have worked, and how it should work going forward:

1) During any season, a low tier of current-season items will be available for purchase with Honor Points.

2) During any season, a high tier of current-season items will be available for purchase with Conquest Points.

3) At the end of any season, any remaining Conquest Points will be converted into Honor Points above the 4,000 cap.

4) In between seasons, the previous high tier of items becomes available for purchase with Honor Points, allowing anyone who could not previously afford them with CP one last chance to buy them using the excess Honor Points.

5) The new season begins. Honor Points are capped at 4,000 again. The previous season's sets are removed and replaced with current-season HP and CP items.

We've seen a lot of players ask what the purpose is of having Season 9 items available for purchase with Honor Points for a week, before replacing them with better items. The purpose was for people to spend their excess Honor Points on any leftover items, as once the next season starts players can't keep more than 4,000 HP to spend. Now, the reason why this intent wasn't evident to most players is because we capped HP a week too early, which made spending any Honor Points last week less than ideal. The reality is players would have been better off saving 4,000 HP for the start of Season 10 when ilvl 371 gear was released. But they had no way of knowing that.

That is about all of the information I have to share on this subject at the moment, but I want to remind you that the issues with this season transition are well on our radar. We know we messed up in multiple ways. This not only made our intentions very unclear, but led players to make choices to spend their Honor Points they otherwise probably would not have made.

If everything went according to plan, you probably would've spent any HP over the 4,000 cap last week on any remaining Season 9 items you maybe didn't have. You then would have saved 4,000 HP to get started on the low tier Season 10 items. This is the way we're looking at it and will let you know if and when we have more information to share.