Battleground PvP Gear in Cataclysm Patch 4.3 / Arena Season 11

Today marks the start of a new PvP season, PvP Season 11, which means a new tier of PvP gear – Cataclysmic Gladiator’s Gear – is now available for purchase. All PvP gear has been upgraded at the vendors. Crafted recipes have also been updated.

GEAR TRANSITION OVERVIEW

Following the Cataclysm gear philosophy covered in my Season 94.0.6 update, and Season 10 PvP gear guides, there are three levels of current PvP gear: crafted, purchased with Honor Points, and purchased with Conquest Points.

  • Crafted: Vicious crafted gear (ilvl 377)
  • Honor: Ruthless Gladiator’s Gear (ilvl 390)
  • Conquest: Cataclysmic Gladiator’s Gear (ilvl 403).

Last season’s gear has been completely replaced by sets with the same name but higher item levels. Check the item tooltips to be certain which PvP season the gear applies to – names alone are insufficient.

Item levels have jumped a half tier (6 ilvls), the standard season transition. This means that last season’s gear is worse than the gear you can buy now with the same name. PvP has strict fashion rules, namely that: you’ll need to replace all your gear this season. 

HONOR AND CONQUEST

The PvP vendors for level 85 are still in the Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar’s Valley of Strength and the Hall of Champions in Stormwind’s Old Town.  The same vendors are present as in Season 10.  The only minor addition is Epic PvP gems at the <Conquest Vendor>, which I’ll cover in a separate section below.

If you’ve never been in these locations before, the picture above shows the Stormwind vendor layout, and below is the Orgrimmar layout. The person you’re going to want to talk to first is the <Honor Quartermaster>.

Regular battlegrounds, Tol Barad, and world PvP award Honor Points. With them, you can purchase Ruthless Gladiator’s gear from the <Honor Quartermasters>. If you don’t participate in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds, this is the set you should be aiming for. You can only have up to 4000 Honor Points at any one time, but there’s no limit to how much you can earn over time.

Arenas, Rated Battlegrounds, and random Battlegrounds award Conquest Points. Conquest Points purchase the current top PvP gear, Ruthless Gladiator’s gear, from the Conquest Quartermasters. There is a weekly cap to the amount of Conquest Points you can earn that is related to your Arena Rating and Rated Battleground Rating, but there’s no limit to the amount you can have at one time. You purchase Conquest gear from the <Conquest Quartermaster>.

One significant change in Season 11 is the introduction of substantial Conquest Point rewards from winning random battlegrounds or the Call to Arms weekends. The first victory of the day awards 100 Conquest Points, and each subsequent one awards 50. This change means that many players who previously did not participate in rated PvP will be able to purchase Conquest gear in Season 11.

The point costs for each set of appear to be unchanged from Season 9, though there are slightly different thresholds for purchasing weapons.

Slot Vicious
Honor Points
Ruthless
Conquest Points
Head 2200 2200
Neck 1250 1250
Shoulder 1650 1650
Back 1250 1250
Chest 2200 2200
Wrist 1250 1250
Hands 1650 1650
Waist 1650 1650
Legs 2200 2200
Feet 1650 1650
Ring 1 1250 1250
Ring 2 1250 1250
Trinket 1 1650 1650
Trinket 2 1650 1650
2H Weapon/Ranged 3400 3400
MH Weapon 2450 2450
OH Weapon 950 950
Wand/Relic 700 700
Minimum Total 26,850 26,850

PvP weapons require a minimum number of points earned in Season 11 to purchase.

  • Honor PvP Weapons (Ruthless, ilvl 378) require 7,250 Honor Points be earned before purchase.
  • Conquest PvP weapons (Cataclysmic, ilvl 397) require 7,800 Conquest Points before purchase. These should be first available in week 3-4, and commonly available in week 5-6.
  • Glorious Conquest weapons (Cataclysmic, ilvl 410) require 15,700 Conquest Points and a PvP rating of 2200 to purchase. We should start seeing these around week 8 or so.

These point restrictions are to prevent these weapons from becoming attractive alternatives for PvE gear.

EPIC PVP GEMS AND PVP ENCHANTS

No new head or shoulder enchants have appeared in Season 11. Enchants purchased in Season 10 are still viable.

However, new epic PvP gems are available at the Conquest Quartermaster for 750 Conquest Points each. They’re at the back of the available goods selection.

The following gems are available:

My recommendation is to get standard gems until you are in your Cataclysmic gear and have no further need for Conquest Points.

Related to the reintroduction of gems for sale for Conquest Points, it looks like you can no longer convert Valor Points to Conquest Points. My guess is that this change is to prevent raiders from being able to purchase PvP gems through grinding Valor Points.

Valor Points can once again be converted to Conquest Points. As you were.

LEVEL 85 GEARING STRATEGY

For level 85 endgame characters, I would adopt the following general strategy for gearing up for battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas:

  1. Get as many of the crafted pieces made as soon as you can. Any Resilience is good. The current set lacks the 2-pc bonus (+400 Resilience) of the previous set, so this is less desirable as in Season 10, but it’s still good to have some protection.
  2. Supplement with good items gained from PvE, but only if they’re a substantial upgrade over the crafted gear.
  3. Run Tol Barad dailies for the PvP head and shoulder enchants. Use good PvE enchants on your gear in the interim.
  4. PvP in regular random BGs and Tol Barad for Honor (Ruthless) gear. If you are upgrading from crafted gear, get the bonuses of the Ruthless PvP hands first, followed by the 2-pc and 4-pc set bonuses. If you are coming off the previous season’s PvP gear, the order doesn’t matter as much.
  5. Participate in as many rated PvP matches as you can, up to the limit of Conquest Points you can gain each week.  Random battlegrounds will also reward Conquest Points – do what you can to hit your CP cap every week.
  6. Upgrade your weakest pieces with Conquest gear. If you have a mix of Vicious and Ruthless gear, upgrade the Vicious to Cataclysmic first.
  7. Upgrade your PvP weapons when they become available, regardless of level. If you can upgrade to the Glorious Conquest weapons (2200+ Rating), do so in favor of other upgrades.

You can upgrade your Conquest armor to Glorious Conquest armor with a 2200+ PvP rating, but it is purely a cosmetic upgrade. A high PvP rating only gets you better PvP weapons, not better armor.

UPDATES

Like with previous seasons, I’ll update this page as new information is released.

December 11, 2011: Valor Points can once again be converted to Conquest Points.

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30 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

30 responses to “Battleground PvP Gear in Cataclysm Patch 4.3 / Arena Season 11

  1. Question;
    has there been any indication if the honor count to acquiring weapons can be obtained from the conversion from Justice Points?

    • Last season it didn’t work. You had to earn the Honor points while S11 was active. Conversion didn’t count.

      I don’t see any reason they’d have changed it, but if you have JP to burn, I’d love data to confirm or deny! :)

      • Well, I got as much gear from JP as I can. Now it’s time to start stockpiling and converting the honor points. Is there anything you’d like me to do so we can see if this works? I just got back from an 8 month hiatus, so, I’m trying to catch up.

  2. That’s some very interesting news about pvp epic gems and the removal of the valor->conquest conversion. I agree with you that it would give pvers a leg up in buying pvp gems, but I wonder of its more than that. The argument for why you couldn’t convert conquest to valor was that it was “too easy to get”. I bet the same reasoning now applies to valor, in that removal of tier pieces from the valor vendor took away the natural restriction on raiders blowing their valor on pvp. Either way I’m happy that shortcut into conquest gearing is closed. I like the resulting model where you can get a decent set of gear by converting your excess lower tier currency, but the higher tier gear takes work in that activity. You need practice to get good, and buying you way to top level gear removed the incentive to get dirty in the trenches and EARN that gear.

  3. Also there’s going to be some good math going on about whether these epic pvp gems are better than blue quality reds for a lot of classes. 1) Full season 11 ruthless gets you well over the 4200 softcap for resilience without any resil gemming/enchants. 2) The spell pen back piece completely removes the need for pen gemming/enchants for int classes. 3) Primary stats are incredibly powerful compared to all remaining secondaries, and this gap is only going to increase as people get full cataclysmic. The only ones I could see really getting a huge benefit out of these pvp gems are flag carriers (damn they are going to be tough to kill) and perhaps non-caster magic damagers, like frost dks and enhance, that can use to pen gems.

    • Yes, these gems really aren’t all that great. The orange and yellow ones have potential, but they’re really expensive. I’m starting to think they’re a CP dump more than anything else.

    • troubledman

      truth is it didnt bother me much cause in general most pver’s cant pvp without alot of practice, and i mean alot. The games are completely different. I love choppin down healers that stand there and keyboard turn. BRING THEM ON , I SAY

  4. Yoco

    It looks one important part of your post is wrong: honor weapons don’t have a “minimum amount of honor earned in the current season” restriction anymore. I just bought the ruthless mainhand and shield for my eleshammie – no restrictions applied.

    The Cataclysmic weapons do have the “7800 conquest to be earned in season 11″ restriction as your post suggests indeed.

    • Interesting. I saw the text was still in place on the weapons but didn’t attempt to purchase them. Not sure if this is intended or a bug – I saw several threads last night saying that the Honor Points Earned field was counting everything from S10 as well as S11.

      • Yoco

        Are you sure the text was still in place? For me (EU realm) the text was not present on the ruthless weapons. I’m tempted to suggest they changed something in a hotfix in that case, but as far as I know that kind of tooltip changes would require a client side patch.

        Screenshot taken on one of my alliance toons: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/221/ruthlesssword.jpg/

      • Yes. I just validated it.

        Check your Honor Gained during the season and make sure that you’re not already over the required amount – maybe it won’t show up if you have already reached the minimum?

        This is also definitely taking into account my S10 Honor Points earned. I have PvPed maybe a half-dozen times on this toon in S10, none during S11.

      • Yoco

        Oops, I just checked a toon that didn’t do much pvp since last week, but plenty in season 10, and it seems indeed that the “Season total earned” hasn’t reset. She had a “Season total earned” of 18076 (with maybe one tol barad battle played), and that seems enough to remove the note on the vendor tooltips…

        The two other toons I used to check the vendors are in a similar situation, they played a lot since the start of the previous season, even if they didn’t play much last week.

        Thanks for reminding me how to check that “season total earned” – having to check a tooltip isn’t the most intuitive way of seeing that number.

        Summary: it was a false alarm about the weapons being available to everyone without pvping, but blizzard seems to have made an error and didn’t reset the “Season total earned” counter for honor…

  5. Mama Druid

    I’m trying to figure out why I don’t see any 390 gear on the Horde Honor Quartermaster in Orgrimmar, but it’s on the Alliance Honor Quartermaster in Stormwind. Regardless the character I use to look, it’s just not there in Orgrimmar.

    On Horde, I have to go to the honor vendors in Dalaran to see the 390 gear.

    • There is something wrong on your realm. Ever since the season started some realms didn’t have the vendors spawn. Open a ticket and post on the forums – I think the blog post announcing S11 has a thread on this very problem.

  6. Cynwise, as it turns out, you CAN still purchase Conquest points from the Valor Quartermaster – in Stormwind, it’s Faldren Tillsdale. Go to the very last page, it’s under the heroic tier gear.

  7. Michelle

    Hi Cynwise! Any idea where I can find information about the Vicious crafted gear? Like, what professions make them and where to get the recipes? I had the full set, but I got rid of the shoulders and I’d like to get them again for future mogging. Thanks for your help!

    • Yoco

      The old crafted gear recipes are automatically converted to the new ones – so if you knew the old recipes you now know the new ones. If you didn’t have the old recipes, learn the current ones from the trainer.

      And yes sorry, that means the old ones can neither be crafted nor learned anymore.

      • Michelle

        Hi Yoco,

        Thanks for your reply! I didn’t know the old recipes, so that wouldn’t work.

        I tried looking with the trainer, but he doesn’t have anything for me. And I tried the supplies person for patterns where I found some Vicious gear, but not the S10 set I had. :-/ Still don’t know.

      • I hate to be the bearer of bad news. If you are trying to replicate the look of the Vicious gear from S9/S10, you’re out of luck – for now, at least. Those models could only be purchased with Conquest (S9) or Honor (S10). Once S11 hit, the Vicious level of gear is crafted, which means it’s Vicious Emberweave or Vicious Fireweave instead of Vicious Gladiator’s gear, and therefore has different (crafted) models.

        I would hope that they bring the models back in Mists, but they’re not available not right now. :(

      • Michelle

        Ah bummer. Thank you for the info, though. :)

  8. Thank you for this, as always. One question you might know, is there any way to calculate which slots to upgrade first (rather than just vicious to cata)?

  9. What a great guide. I’m slowly getting back into PVP again and am working on getting a full set. Managed to buy a piece today :)

  10. Anyone else think it’s bullshit that the gems are only available for conquest? Extrapolating from Cynwise’s estimates I’d say it’ll take four months for the crazy 2.2k+ pvpers to get a full set of cataclysmic gear, and even longer for the rest of us. Only then is it a wise move to start buying the epic gems for conquest.

    Then from there you have 9 gems slots on you pvp gear…if you were to fill each with a conquest gem (unlikely, but for the sake of argument) it would be another 6,750 points which is another month or so of grinding. All told it’ll take around 5-7 months to get a full set of epic gems.

    Those gems should have been available for honor. It wouldn’t have broken anything. They’re garbage for pve so it’s not like raiders are going to feel forced into BGs to get their gems or anything. Blizzard is just being retarded.

    • 13 weeks at 2200, 20 weeks at < 1500 arena only to complete a set. Yeah. It's a long time to gear up.

      To be honest these feel like a Conquest Point dump – something to spend points on when you're complete and bored. Even then, you're probably better off getting gems in your primary stats, unless you are very deliberately stacking Resilience.

      They are what they are – I really miss the Wrath model. :(