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Player vs. Player
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In Cataclysm you will see many changes to the
systems such as the addition of new arena locations, whole new battlegrounds, rated battlegrounds, brand new rewards and an entire zone dedicated to world PvP.
New PvP Point System
: These are the lower-tier PvP points, and will be gained from most PvP activities. There will be a maximum amount a player can have, but no cap on how quickly they can be earned.
: These are the higher-tier PvP points, and will be awarded from rated battlegrounds and arenas. There will be a cap on both the amount owned as well as how quickly they can be earned.
With the Conquest points being obtainable through rated battlegrounds, it will be possible to gain high-end PvP gear without setting foot into arenas. Most PvP items will have their personal rating requirement removed. Also, there will be a way to convert Honor points into Conquest points (and vice-versa), though not at a 1:1 ratio.
New arena locations are planned for Cataclysm but have yet to be announced at this time. It is likely that these will be introduced after launch, when new arena seasons come up.
To better accommodate for the difference of power between a player in the lower end of a bracket (e.g. a 21) and one at the higher end (e.g. a 29), Blizzard is breaking down the brackets into smaller ones. Instead of encompassing 10 levels, every Battleground bracket will cover only 5. So starting at level 10, the ranges will look like , , ..., , , and . That's right, players who have reached the maximum level will compete in their own bracket.
In addition to this, the minimum level required for all of the pre-Cataclysm Battlegrounds is also being lowered. Come the new expansion, the minimum levels will be as follows:
Eye of the Storm
Strand of the Ancients
Isle of Conquest
Battle for Gilneas
Rated battlegrounds will be an alternate way of earning arena points, arena rating, and other rewards. There will be a limit on how many points you can earn each week through this method, and the amount of points able to be earned will be based on your rating. The higher the rating the more points you can earn. Points will be awarded after each win and you will not suffer any rating loss. There will be 2 types of ratings: personal and (internal) match-making. Here is a short list of important facts you should know about rated BGs:
Rated Battlegrounds are broken down into two brackets. 10v10 and 15v15. These brackets rotate weekly and can be viewed in-game via the calendar by activating the battleground holiday filter.
Players must create a raid with the full number of players required for the current bracket before entering the queue. Any level 85 player of your faction may participate in the battle (regardless of guild association).
When players win a battle, they are rewarded Conquest Points, up to their weekly cap. Weekly caps are individual for each player and are based on your highest single pvp rating from the previous week (the cap resets on Tuesdays). This rating can be derived from your 2v2, 3v3, 5v5 arena, or your rated battleground rating.
Players start at zero rated battleground rating and progress upward from there. Rating is only reduced after a lost battle when the player is above their internal matchmaking rating. For the most part, a rating only goes up.
Epic ground mounts will be rewarded at the end of each season to the top 0.5% of players (similarly to how the top arena players each season earn a flying mount). Titles are also available as you gain rating in the system. The titles are rewarded directly from achievements earned from gaining the required rating.
Winning a rated battleground with a team composed of 80% guild members (8/10 or 12/15) will result in the additional benefit of guild experience gain for your guild. The UI will display a guild banner near the minimap that lets you know if you are eligible for guild achievements and experience.
Battaglia per Gilneas
The Battle for Gilneas
is a new 10 vs. 10 Battleground for level-85 players. Much like they do in Arathi Basin, teams must control strategic capture points on the map to accumulate resources. Three control points will be available in the Battle for Gilneas - the Mines, the Lighthouse, and the Waterworks. In addition to the three control points, players can fight the an area called "the Overlook." It is roughly in the center of the map and its narrow paths, high ground, and convenient choke points can turn it into a vital crossroad between the control points. The first team to gather 2000 resources wins. The battleground itself serves as a continuation of the story told during the questing process in Gilneas and Silverpine Forest.
The Twin Peaks
will be a 10 vs. 10 capture the flag based battleground. It will play out within the Twilight Highlands on an asymmetrical battlefield in which the varying terrain will play a key role in victory. The faction compounds will be the northern Wildhammer Longhouse for the Alliance, which is located atop the valley; the Horde will use the Dragonmaw Clan Compound located in the south, situated over a body of water. Each base will have three different entrances. The first team to capture three flags will win this battleground.
Open World PvP
is an island located south of
Alture di Colletorto
and west of the
, in the middle of Baradin Bay. The island serves as a new outdoor PvP zone for level 85 players. It is the site of a power struggle between both the Baradin's Wardens and Hellscream's Reach for control over the prison on the island.
Tol Barad will be similar to Wrath of the Lich King's
. The prison itself is told have many secrets and treasures hidden within that both the Horde and Alliance want. The major bonus to controlling the prison is that it will also function as the major daily quest hub much like The Burning Crusade's
Isola di Quel'Danas
Every 2.5 hours Tol Barad will host a battle similar to the ones in Wintergrasp. The attacking faction will try to capture the three keeps on the island - Ironclade Garrison, Warden's Vigil, and Slagworks, and the defenders will try to stop them. Three spires will distract players from capturing the keeps, since every spire destroyed by the attackers will give them an additional 5 minutes towards the 15-minute battle timer. And as an addition to the Wintergrasp system, players who die in the vicinity of one of the keeps while it is contested will move the capture bar a tiny bit in favor of the enemy.
If PvP is not a meal for you, fear not, for Tol Barad offers content for PvE lovers as well. You can always go to the Tol Barad Peninsula, a small area north of the battle zone, and perform daily quests for the Baradin's Wardens / Hellscream's Reach. Those quests will award reputation and commendations for your Tol Barad faction, which you can use to purchase gear, pets, mounts, as well as special PvP consumables. And if your faction happens to control Tol Barad at some point of time, you can ride down to the actual battle zone, complete an additional winner-exclusive 6 daily quests and find a group for the new VoA-like raid - Baradin Hold.
A new balancing system was introduced in Patch 4.0.3, and it will apply to Tol Barad as well. Gone is the
balancing buff. Tol Barad will select an equal number of players from both factions when a battle is about to begin instead, allowing a maximum of 80 players on each side. So if one faction has 70 players in queue, and the other one has 50, the game will select 50 from both sides and keep the other 20 from the outnumbering faction in queue, waiting for the outnumbered ones to find more players.
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