I’ll be honest. Patch 3.3.3 is leaving me a little dizzy in the battlegrounds. The Battleground Finder is everything I hoped for and more. Getting rid of Marks of Honor has opened up the lower gear tiers to players of all levels without having to grind specific battlegrounds.
The biggest change is how much honor you get for PvP now. My GM put it really well: Honor is flowing like water in the battlegrounds. The honor boost to Honorable Kills has yielded a terrific boost to getting honor in every battleground. Blizzard stated that they wanted gearing up for PvP to be as easy as gearing up for PvE, and I think they’ve done that. You can outfit yourself in a full kit of T9 with a few days of random heroics, and now you can outfit yourself in a full kit of Furious Gladiator’s gear with a few days of random battlegrounds. This is a good thing.
I don’t see any new gear since 3.3.2; there’s no new Arena season with this patch, so Wrathful is still the top tier of gear. The vendors are different: Alliance is the badass-looking Knight-Lieutenant T’Maire Sydes, and I assume the Horde got a new vendor, too. But the gear is all the same.
The PvP gear levels at level 80, and how you purchase them, are:
- Wrathful Gladiator (ilvl 264-270): Arena Points + Arena Ranking
- Relentless Gladiator (ilvl 251): Arena Points + Honor Points
- Furious Gladiator (ilvl 232): Honor Points
- Titan-Forged (ilvl 200-251): Wintergrasp Marks
- PvP Enchants: Stone Keeper’s Shards or Honor Points
Offset Gladiator pieces are purchasable at a currency level or two higher than listed. Given how much honor is flowing right now, it’s worth changing the format and talking about the best PvP pieces you can get in each slot with only honor or Wintergrasp Marks.
- Head: Furious (ilvl 232) – 54500 honor
- Neck: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 52200 honor
- Shoulder: Titan-Forged (ilvl 251) – 40 Wintergrasp Marks
- Back: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 52200 honor
- Chest: Furious (ilvl 232) – 54500 honor
- Wrist: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 43400 honor
- Hands: Furious (ilvl 232) – 43300 honor
- Waist: Relentless (ilvl 245) – 34100 honor
- Legs: Furious (ilvl 232) – 34700 honor
- Feet: Relentless (ilvl 245) – 34100 honor
- 1st Ring: Wrathful (ilvl 264) – 52200 honor
- 2nd Ring: Relentless (ilvl 245) – 26100 honor
- Trinket: Medallion of the Alliance/Horde (ilvl 264) – 68200 honor
- Trinket: Battlemaster (ilvl 245) – 34100 honor
- Main-hand: None
- Off-hand: None
- Ranged: None
This entire kit will cost 583,600 honor and 40 Wintergrasp Marks. You’ll have to bring your own weapons. It’s a pity I haven’t been keeping track of the prices from patch to patch, because I suspect that the addition of Wrathful gear to the honor pool has made this the most expensive battleground kit ever.
However, with the recent buff to the amount of honor you get, it might also be the easiest kit to complete. So take it for what it’s worth.
Mount collectors seem to be unanimously in favor of the change from Marks to honor for purchasing PvP mounts. And I can see why. The convenience of not having to run specific battlegrounds outweighs the honor math, and to be honest, all math before 3.3.3 likely needs to be thrown out, anyways.
PvP mounts now cost 50k honor. Based on a day or so of running battlegrounds with the new levels of honor, that’s about 2-3 hours of random battlegrounds. Before this patch, 50k honor was a significantly greater investment. With moderate PvP, I used to hit the honor cap about once a week or so, and now I expect to hit it every 2-3 days. So comparing prices before (60 Marks * 248 honor = 14880 honor) and after (50k honor) is faulty. Fortunately, there is a common currency.
Time, not Marks or Honor, is the real currency you are using to buy PvP mounts. Getting 60 Marks took a minimum of 21 and a maximum of 60 battles. At 15 minutes each, that’s a range of 5.25 hours to 15 hours. Let’s take a median of 8.812 hours for each PvP mount.
Now, mounts will probably cost about 2-3 hours each. Seems like a good deal to me.
Mount collectors have every reason to celebrate this patch.
LOWER LEVEL HONOR
Things get a little trickier discussing honor when we move away from the endgame, mostly because each bracket offers substantially different levels of honor rewards. Where the gear scales with bracket, this works out fine. If you get 200 honor per match, buying a sword for 600 honor is a fine value and you should definitely consider it.
Rewards from Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley all fit this criteria. You can get them from the following vendors:
- Warsong Gulch: Illiyana Moonblaze (A) and Kelm Hargunth (H)
- Arathi Basin: Samuel Hawk (A) and Rutherford Twing (H)
- Alterac Valley: Thanthaldis Snowgleam (A) and Jekyll Flandring (H)
Don’t dismiss these rewards as PvP-only. They’re not. They’re solid leveling and dungeon gear, and at many points they are the best in slot items you can get. Be willing to spend honor as you level to keep your gear current.
Rewards that are useful beyond a bracket, though, are probably more inaccessible now than they were before. If you get 200 honor per match, a 50k Mount is now 62.5 hours of PvP time instead of 8.812 hours.
But to be honest, I don’t know how much honor folks should expect to get while leveling through battlegrounds. The changes at level 80 have me so disoriented — I seriously got 5k honor from Warsong Gulch, which blows my mind — that I can’t even guess how hard it would be to get 50k honor at level 60, let alone 40. I’m not worried about the scaled rewards, but the mounts and battlefield standards? Yikes.
This patch will take some time to really fully understand.