New World posted the patch notes for the upcoming PTR for the Eternal Frost update. There were some unexpected changes buried within the notes. Some which I don't think anyone was asking for!
The biggest area of "no one asked for this" is a nerf to 3v3 PvP arenas and the rewards they grant. Effectively nerfing rewards by 40%. I will let the developers own notes speak for the change:
We originally wanted 3v3 Arenas to be a more challenging space with additional value for the winning players, so we greatly improved the PvP XP and Salts given by the mode in the expansion update. It was a successful change in that sense, but now our other PvP game modes are suffering. We're reducing 3v3 Arenas so they don't overshadow other modes as much. As a result, Outpost Rush and War will grant greater rewards.
The maximum reward given by 3v3 Arenas has been reduced to 1200 XP and 500 Salts. The other contribution tiers have also been updated in a similar fashion.
That is down from 2500 XP. So instead of 4 wins unlocking a PvP track it will now take 8 wins; even more if you are not a winner like me. That sort of sucks; both for the future but also anyone that hasn't gotten to enjoy the current reward structure. This will make unlocking the PvP artifacts that much longer of a process compared to folks like me who have them all done already.
The good news (I guess) is that other PvP game modes such as Outpost Rush (OPR) and influence races are being buffed to give more rewards. This was definitely a change needed as the time investment in those events did not match how long they took to complete, but at the cost of arena rewards it feels cheapened.
On to other changes no one asked for...
Increased maximum non-sprint move speed to 4.0 m/s.
We just got mounts and now.... NOW.... we're increasing base move speed? I'll take it but really?
Fixed an issue that prevented all of the Elk related creatures from being skinned.
The irony in this one is everyone assumed that elk could not be skinned unless you owned the territory; sort of like the "king's woods" concept where only the king can harvest the male animals. Guess it was just a bug!
Removed the consumable heal mod PvP adjustment. Consumables now heal at normal amounts in PvP.
In Season 3 potion heals were reduced in effectiveness in PvP. Now they are being moved back to normal. Ping meet pong. I personally enjoyed less potion healing in PvP. Fights felt a lot better. My main fear is this makes healers that much harder to kill since they can self heal + pot at 100% effectiveness again.
Updated the Ankh Artifact heal mod to also decrease lifesteal healing (gives bigger trade off and creates additional differences between it and the Blooddrinker ring).
Blooddrinker Artifact - Added a 5% bonus to all lifesteal healing while active.
This one actually makes sense. I personally was using Ankh with leaching/lifesteal because... well... I get all the 25% bonus heal with none of the downside of Blooddrinker. Now Ankh will mostly be for group play (which I think is what it always should have been) and Blooddrinker actually has a purpose and increased effectiveness to go with it! Nerf buffs are the best!
I doubt I am getting a refund for the time and effort + materials I dumped into upgrading Ankh though...
Tons of changes to gems... which are fine but not sure anyone was out there asking for them. One pretty big nerf though:
Gambit (Opal) - By far the most used Gem. Reduced damage values from a range of 6% to 15% to a range of 4% to 12% while stamina is not full.
And another one that makes sense. You almost always used opal because it was just mathematically better as it was active more of the time. Now other gems have higher % damage compared to opal and thus makes sense to try other ones out. Still think even 12% is high for opal; should be more like 8% since it is easily active 2x more often than ones that do 16% damage.
Updated the Life Staff Sacred ground upgrade "Anointed" heal mod to not affect consumables or lifesteal healing.
Updated the Life staff Sacred Protection passive to not affect consumables or lifesteal healing and buffed its value from 5% to 10%.
The life staff/healing nerfs we all wanted! Yes! This actually is a good change. It was comical being able to stand in a sacred ground circle and basically be unkillable.