As it stands, I believe everyone is pretty unhappy with the current system. The colo is full of warriors only now, the mages are next to useless, and hunters are running around at mach 7. This leads to everyone screaming “buff this, nerf that” etc. But nerfs and buffs won’t fix the core issue. It won’t even fix the meta. It will just change it. A prime example of this would be the rework changing the meta from hunter to warrior for the most part. I believe the primary cause for all of this balance concern lies in one fundamental issue: it’s impossible to balance a game for PVP and PVE at the same time. This leads me to my suggestion…
I believe that the PVP and PVE systems should be separated. I am aware this would increase times between updates as well as time needed to balance new items, but I believe as a whole this would be beneficial. You’re probably wondering how, exactly, this would be accomplished though. Combat is combat, regardless of what is attacked, correct? While this is true, it still has large limitations. With PVE, the creatures have an established attack pattern they use and players can form strategies in advance to counteract this. With PVP, however, you are fighting something much more intelligent than a couple lines of code - another human being. They’ll change what their playstyle based on yours, causing you to make modifications to yours, leading into an endless loop known as PVP.
I am aware however, that I haven’t exactly discussed how they should be separated. I’m on to that now. Firstly, skills, basic attacks, potions, etc. would all have slightly modified multipliers/cooldowns/usage animations based on which category of combat the player is in. For example, ground slam could receive a slightly lower area of attack and slightly lower damage in PVP while maintaining the same it has right now in PVE. Mage’s mana regen could be increased in PVP to allow playing it without having to chug potions constantly - a death sentence in PVP now. These two things are just examples on my part. They are not refined or polished ideas, and quite frankly, aren’t very good ideas at all to prove my point, but it’s the best I could come up with on the spot. Finally, the third way to balance distribution between PVP and PVE would be changing the way armor and weapons are worked in a similar way.
As it stands, people with the right gear can one shot other players in PVP, while other, casual players with lower level gear have to hit several times with their best attacks. I believe the way to fix this is to have one of two possible solutions.
Solution A: Players are given a set of pseudo armor and weapons upon entering a PVP area based on class/subclass. These armors and weapons will all have the same stats (within their respective class. Two warrior armors would be the same, but a warrior and a mage armor would not), leading PVP to be much more skill based rather than stat based. Marks of valor could be used as they were before (to buy armor and weapons) but these would make no difference inside the arena. Only the pseudo armor and weapons would matter. The items bought with marks of valor could still be traded with other players.
Solution B: Same as above for the most part, but with minor differences. Instead of buying the armor and weapons with marks of valor, they are awarded based on total kills. The armor and weapons are applied as a cosmetic change within the arena, showing the player has superior PVP skills (or a large amount of alternate accounts to grind with). There would be no benefit to the player being given the honor of wearing the armor and weapons in the arena, it would be purely visual. The player would also be given the option of visually wearing the armor and weapons outside of the arena, should they so choose. Marks of valor, in this system, would have a changed utility to give minor boosts in PVP. A +% boost in various stats (with a LOW cap). This would encourage players to grind marks to stand at the top of PVP, but would also allow new players in the colo to still have a chance.
TL;DR separate PVP and PVE more. Stop trying to balance them together since making one balanced makes another unbalanced and vice versa. Make PVP skill based rather than stat/equipment based.