Psyched About the Proposed Changes to RIFT PVP Gear


Trion made a huge announcement today about changes coming to PVP gear. In particular, Valor will no longer scale as it currently does with Rank:

With this Hot Fix you will find that all 4 PvP sets will share the same amount of total valor. This means that the set earned in Ranks 1 & 2 has the same amount of valor as provided by the set earned over Ranks 7 & 8. How much? It works out to 751 Valor, or a 30.04% Damage Reduction.  Instead of being differentiated by survivability, they will be differentiated by their main stats.

This is an awesome and much-needed change in my opinion.

I’m a firm believer that player skill and coordination/communication should be the most significant factors in determining PVP outcomes, but with RIFT’s current PVP gear system, players of higher ranks enjoy two significant advantages:

  1. significantly higher PVP mitigation via Valor
  2. significantly better stats on their gear and weapons

As an example for point #1, an R6 player can reach ~1100 Valor for 45% mitigation whereas an R2 can reach ~580 Valor for ~23% mitigation. So an R6-R8 literally mitigates twice as much damage as an R2.

These two factors synergized to create strong imbalance issues in PVP – and frequent request by players for PVP brackets based on Rank – and it made fresh 50 PVP a frustrating experience for most players (not including me). I believe the 2nd bullet point alone is sufficient reward for ranking up and will provide a meaningful but not imbalancing competitive advantage – and Trion is moving in that direction.

As a point of reference, Blizzard finally figured this all out after 3.5 years of Arena with the launch of Cataclysm for World of Warcraft. In Cataclysm, epic PVP gear could be purchased by anyone who participates in Battlegrounds and Arena, with the sole exception of the 2200-ranked weapons. Thus, gear has been greatly reduced as a differentiating factor. This was a very positive change for WoW PVP in my experience in battlegrounds and in 2k 2v2 and 3v3 Arena, because combat was much more balanced and challenging. Gear still matters in Cataclysm, but PVP no longer felt like the old oft-quoted formula:

gear > spec > skill

Some RIFT players who grinded up to R7-R8 will be disappointed by the change to Valor, but I think it’s for the better of the game. And frankly, if I hit R7-R8 in the current system, I believe the degree of PVP challenge would be too low for me – I would simply faceroll lower-ranked players, and that would be boring.

I want to lose to better players not simply better-geared players, or the side which has the better class/spec mix. And it sounds like I’ll be getting my wish :)

Rock on Trion!

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Posted in PVP, RIFT, World of Warcraft
14 comments on “Psyched About the Proposed Changes to RIFT PVP Gear
  1. Jodah says:

    The stat divide that fresh 50s faced in PvP was one of the things that lead me to seek blood places outside of Rift (LoL won, mostly). This would go a long way towards bringing this game back into my rotation. My main concern at this point is how much of a remaining divide the “main stats”, I assume this includes Vengeance, will continue to wedge.

    Cautiously optimistic.

  2. Very interested to see how this turns out.
    I do agree with your point about in regards to facing and fighting skilled players. I think we all experienced a lot of this when we were in during Warfronts and you would end up basically dueling someone in the that WF (happens rarely, but it does happen).

    I also think it will also players learn their classes and callings better to become a better PvPer, which is great. Know your skills, spells, abilities and when to use them.

    I hope this takes the pain away from the brutal grind for players when they would hit 50. Hopefully, this makes it a much better experience for everyone. After all, the point is to have fun, not get obliterated in two seconds. That is not fun. :)

    • taugrim says:

      jasonwilliams :

      I also think it will also players learn their classes and callings better to become a better PvPer, which is great. Know your skills, spells, abilities and when to use them.

      I hope this takes the pain away from the brutal grind for players when they would hit 50. Hopefully, this makes it a much better experience for everyone. After all, the point is to have fun, not get obliterated in two seconds. That is not fun. :)

      You’re not the first person to say that the normalized Valor will force players to raise their game. I just don’t know whether that’s realistic.

      In my experience, a significant % of players are not willing to do the work to improve their play, e.g.: by
      – assigning keybindings in a way that facilitates quick, accurate skill usage in PVP
      – learning how to properly strafe/move in PVP
      – paying attention to the situation and surroundings, and making the appropriate adjustments
      – writing the most efficient, effective, and flexible macros for a given spec

      I know this because I have talked to dozens of guildees over the years who have bad habits that need to be broken (e.g. keyboard turning, skill clicking, poor keybindings setup, etc), and the degree of change needed was often more than people were willing to stomach. Change is hard.

  3. Jace says:

    Really like these changes. I still think there’s work to be done as there’s some insane burst damage out there but this is a definite positive step in the right direction.

  4. L2P says:

    You all are a bunch of carebears. Learn to spec something useful in Warfronts instead of trying a squishy Burst DPS paragon/2hander. Lets keep adding stupid stats to balance the game! rofl

    • taugrim says:

      L2P :

      You all are a bunch of carebears. Learn to spec something useful in Warfronts instead of trying a squishy Burst DPS paragon/2hander. Lets keep adding stupid stats to balance the game! rofl

      I’m a diehard PVP player, and I believe these changes are for the better.

      If you need a severe gear/Valor advantage to be functional in PVP, you simply lack skill.

      And no, I don’t personally spec “squishy” – which you would know if you spent 5 minutes reading my blog.

      Anyway, QQ away.

  5. Jason says:

    taugrim :
    You’re not the first person to say that the normalized Valor will force players to raise their game. I just don’t know whether that’s realistic.
    In my experience, a significant % of players are not willing to do the work to improve their play, e.g.: by
    – assigning keybindings in a way that facilitates quick, accurate skill usage in PVP
    – learning how to properly strafe/move in PVP
    – paying attention to the situation and surroundings, and making the appropriate adjustments
    – writing the most efficient, effective, and flexible macros for a given spec
    I know this because I have talked to dozens of guildees over the years who have bad habits that need to be broken (e.g. keyboard turning, skill clicking, poor keybindings setup, etc), and the degree of change needed was often more than people were willing to stomach. Change is hard.

    Totally agree.

    I guess I am a little surprised at people not wanting to adapt to become better players. I personally think that if you want to PvP, you need to raise your game significantly to be good at PvP. Maybe that is the hardcore PvP’r in me. I personally, am constantly looking for new ways to improve my game. Whether it is through keybindings, macros, movement settings or situational items like knowing when a buff has been stripped. I am no expert by any means (and Rift being my first MMO, I am a bit behind the curve, but trying to catch up as fast as I can) but it is a lot fun to have very big competitive battles with others. I think it is also very satisfying when you are consistently in the top 5 in WF for either killing blows, damage done or healing done.

    • taugrim says:

      Jason :

      I guess I am a little surprised at people not wanting to adapt to become better players. I personally think that if you want to PvP, you need to raise your game significantly to be good at PvP. Maybe that is the hardcore PvP’r in me. I personally, am constantly looking for new ways to improve my game.

      I have the same mindset as you – I’m constantly tweaking and incorporating feedback to be the best player with any given class / spec. That’s just my personality.

      But there are a lot of ignorant people who equate gear and RIFT Rank with skill – such as the idiot L2P poster above – when there is no real correlation between them. RIFT Ranks are a straight-up grind, and a lot of people make R8 without being particularly skilled and become IMO too reliant on a simple huge numerical advantage to win, as opposed to using skill and tactics.

      I am not saying that there are not highly skilled Rank 8 players. There are highly skilled players at any Rank, and IMO the skilled Rank 8 players will still kick ass when the changes go live, because they’re skilled and will have the best gear available.

  6. taugrim says:

    Based on several days of playing with the live normalized Valor change, my opinion is the changes rock.

    Even some skeptical high-ranked guildees have come around and now believe PVP is much better.

  7. Robinton says:

    Taugrim,

    Looking forward to my first level 50 – my rogue is my highest level character and turned 49 yesterday. My cleric (due to a lot of tips from here) I find to be my most fun character and is at level 42. Based on your comments, I want to get to Rank up as quickly as possible, but I have hope with the valor changes that skill now has a better chance.

    Question: What progression should I use in buying pvp equipment?

    I am guessing at level 50 I can buy something for every slot and it takes favor to do so. Do I want to buy everything available at 50 or do I need to save favor for when I reach Rank 2?

    I guess the favor used at 50 to purchase all the new items may be fully replaced on the road to Rank 2, but I don’t have any experience yet. If you could share some of yours with me, would be most appreciated.

    Robinton

    • taugrim says:

      Robinton :

      Question: What progression should I use in buying pvp equipment?

      I am guessing at level 50 I can buy something for every slot and it takes favor to do so. Do I want to buy everything available at 50 or do I need to save favor for when I reach Rank 2?

      The R1 and R2 gear cover different slots, so buy everything at R1 and again at R2.

      Make sure when buying the necklace that you buy the one that makes sense for your spec, as there are two available.

      Also, for the R3+ gear, to upgrade to a new piece you need the previous piece.

  8. […] talents were capped, which made sense given the magnitude of Warrior burst. And Trion implemented a hugely positive change: Valor Normalization, which removed the unnecessary mitigation advantage that R8 players enjoyed on top of having […]

  9. […] of gear with increasing overall stats but with the PVP stat normalized across all gear tiers (e.g. the Valor normalization that I was a huge proponent of), […]

  10. […] of gear with increasing overall stats but with the PVP stat normalized across all gear tiers (e.g. the Valor normalization that I was a huge proponent of), […]

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