Monthly Archives: December 2011

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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On the Highly Cerebral Joy of Resto Druid PvP

Cynli_-_eots_-_rocks_-_lol_rockstar

Cynli didn’t want you getting the wrong idea from the last post.

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On Sucking

Cynli_-_wsg_-_whats_going_on

I was playing Cynli in WSG the other night when I got whispered by a rogue on my team.

God, you suck.

Wait, what? What the fuck?

Holy shit man, do you even know how to play? I can see what you’re doing.

It was at the end of a long day at work. I was in my son’s room, waiting for him to go to sleep. It wasn’t a great game for us – the Horde was working well together, putting a lot of pressure on our GY. We weren’t getting farmed, but we were starting to get bottled up.

I CAN SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING YOU SUCK

I decided to take my chances and try to break through their lines – I was able to keep a few of them off of me, perhaps if we made a concerted effort to punch through their lines we could break the vice – worst case, get someone through to the flag. I ran through them, healing healing healing healing dead. They overwhelmed me.

You just ran straight at them. Holy shit you’re terrible. Stealth around them!

This rogue was not going to give me a break. I got pissed, really pissed. I’ll be honest – I think my first thought was a very uncharitable, “holy shit, do you know who the fuck I am, buddy?” – but then I came back to reality and just ignored him.

Release Spirit Y/N?

/ignore rogue

29 seconds to resurrection.

Well, damnit. We’re losing. Am I healing okay? Scoreboard says I’m healing okay, I’m 3x the nearest healer. I’m doing things right.

24 seconds to resurrection.

Damnit.

What the hell was I thinking, running into that pack? I might not be able to stealth that well, but at least I could have not just suicided into the Horde.

15 seconds to resurrection.

I shouldn’t PvP when I’m this tired. What the hell was I thinking, that I could distratct a group like that? That shit only works in Strand and EotS.

10 seconds to resurrection.

WTF am I thinking, justifying myself with the scoreboard? The scoreboard doesn’t mean jack or shit.

5 seconds to resurrection.

Damnit.

Maybe he was right.

—-

The problem with hostile criticism is not that it’s criticism, but rather that it’s hostile, which makes us immediately defensive. When we’re defensive, we’re closed to the possibility that we could be wrong. That’s why effective criticism isn’t hostile – if you want to actually change someone’s behavior with your criticism, how you say it is as important as what you say.

But being hostile doesn’t make the criticism any more or less valid. It just makes sucking hurt more.

It’s important to distinguish between criticism of an activity versus criticism of yourself as a person. This is a tough thing to learn in life; doing things poorly doesn’t mean you’re a failure at life. It doesn’t mean you’re doing them well – but failing at something doesn’t make you a waste of human genome.

Attitude is key. Jesus christ, I’m sounding like my father, but he was right – attitude is key. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to let people down. It’s not okay to stop trying to do better. It’s not okay to give up. Claim your successes, learn from your failures.

I remember the first time I got actively ridiculed in Warcraft. It was on my 59 DK, and some guy came up to me while I was at the training dummies. He laughed at me and said my spec was terrible. “Okay, I’ve been playing him for about a week, any suggestions how to improve?” “lol noob l2p” was all I got back.

I was pretty chuffed at that. But I really didn’t know what the hell I was doing on my DK yet, I knew I didn’t, so once I got over the gall of someone criticising a stranger, I went and asked for Twitter help on my build. I rebuilt my Frost spec and, indeed, did better. I stopped sucking.

It was easier for me to accept that criticism on my DK because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and the criticism was open. On my Druid, I actually felt like I knew what the haps are, and in WSG I feel like I know what the fuck I’m supposed to do.

So this impertinent rogue had a lot of gall telling me to learn to play. I know WSG, buddy!

But the rogue was right. I wasn’t playing well. I certainly wasn’t playing as well as I know how to play.

I pulled my shit together, waited for teammates to rez, and healed them as they went out of the GY. When they went down to the zerg I hid and abandoned them to die, sneaking around the Horde and getting into the base. The rogue was running the flag and I healed him as best as I could – which was pretty well – but we couldn’t get the other flag down, we were behind 2-0. We lost.

It’s okay to suck. Honestly, it is. There are plenty of times I really shouldn’t PvP – I’m exhausted, I’m stressed out, I’m not really focused on what I’m doing – but sometimes, PvP is really what I want to do right then. I don’t need to be at top performance all the time, as nice as it is. PvP takes my mind off my day, it makes me focus on pushing buttons. BUTTONS I LIKE TO PUSH YOU LET ME PUSH YOU PUSH PUSH PUSH.

But I should be honest with myself when I’m not playing well, and accept criticism when it’s deserved.

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Earning Conquest Points During Interseason Play

You can get a jump start on next season’s Conquest Points by winning random battlegrounds this week.

Daxxari mentioned this on Twitter, and confirmed on the forums:

Conquest points you’ve earned from Random Battlegrounds after the 4.3 patch was applied shouldn’t be going anywhere.

This issue was somewhat confusing during the last interseason patch because Conquest Points converted to Honor at the same time Honor (incorrectly) converted to gold. The correct sequence of events should be:

  • Season X ends.
    • Honor Cap is suspended.
    • All Conquest Points are converted to Honor Points.
  • One week passes. Titles and ranks are awarded.
  • Season Y begins.
    • Honor Cap is reinstated.
    • Excess Honor is converted to gold.

Before the daily random battleground quest was buffed, this represented 175 additional Conquest Points. Now that the daily quest is buffed, this represents 700 Conquest Points. Not only that, but with 50 CP for each subsequent win, it’s possible to hit the cap of 1650 with some grinding.

This is a major reason why a lot of Rated Battleground teams are running premades this week in regular battlegrounds. The incentives to cap are pretty high.

Still, even if you are a solo PvPer, it’s worth jumping in to get a head start on your Conquest Point grind.

To the best of my knowledge, these won’t count towards your S11 weapon purchases because the season hasn’t begun yet. You will still have to earn Conquest Points during each season to be eligible to purchase PvP weapons..

Good luck!

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An Open Letter to Blizzard About Mailing Transmogrified Heirlooms

Dear Blizzard:

Earlier this year, you said that mailing transmogrified heirlooms would strip the transmogrification. I was disappointed – I have a lot of alts, you see, even if I’m not the game’s best leveler – but I figured it was a technical limitation that you couldn’t work around in time. Got it! Spend your development resources elsewhere.

And then you released Patch 4.3, and OMG the excitement! New raids! New 5-mans! LFR! Bag searching! (Very slick UI, by the way.) Void Storage! And our very own transmogrification box! All my old gear is new again!

So I was testing things out, mogging all the things, when I decided to try mogging a loom and sending it one of my twinks. (It sounds cooler that way, you see. Saying that I altered the appearance of virtual gear bound to my account through transmogrification and then sent it via in-game messaging systems to a low level alternate character with locked experience might be correct, but it doesn’t flow. It’s kinda dorky to be that precise, if you want to know the truth.)

You can’t imagine how surprised I was when it worked!

I did it again, and again, and again. Usually it worked flawlessly, but sometimes it didn’t.

This was amazing. Wow. WOW. A world of possibilities opened up to me – of being able to create my own look for my leveling alts. I didn’t mind some of the heirloom sets the first few months I lived with them, but this world you’ve created has so many more clothes, and being able to create unique looks for my toons made me love the transmogrification feature all the more.

This … bug, as I suppose it is, made me really happy. It makes gearing up alts fun. Yes, I like PvP, and killing Internet Dragons, and leveling, and playing the Auction House, and leveling Engineering over and over again.

Ok. Maybe I’m exaggerating about Engineering. But I’m not exaggerating that having the ability to transmogrify my heirlooms and mail them to my alts rekindled my interest in the game because it is fun. It’s fun playing dress up. It’s fun making your characters look the way you want, of trying to find just the right look for them.

I told my friends about it, and they found it to be a lot of fun too. A LOT of fun. Simple things like character appearance matter. Looking put together makes you feel better about yourself, and it’s no different for our characters, too. People are embracing this possibility, of breathing life into the same old heirlooms and the same old leveling grind.

People are having fun mailing mogged looms around.

And that’s why I’m writing to you today, to ask you something kind of odd.

Please leave this bug alone.

Really! Just … don’t fix it. Leave it be. Ignore it, turn the other way, close that bugzilla ticket. It adds fun to the game. It doesn’t harm anyone – no one really believes that a level 10 Mage is in S10 PvP gear – but it sure makes the game more lively and interesting. Being able to change the same old heirloom into a Frostscythe for one character and a Warstaff for another is awesome.

There are other, more boring reasons I could ask you to keep it in place. Transmogrification extends the life of content by giving purpose to unused art content, and adding heirlooms to the list extends them even further, thus increasing the yield for your investment in the artwork. There are more important bugs that you can focus your effort on now, issues with the UI and gameplay which are normal after any given patch. There’s Mists of Pandaria, which I’m hoping you knock out of the park.

But I’m going to make a more straightforward appeal: being able to mail transmogrified heirlooms makes leveling fun.

I thought about not saying anything to you directly, of quietly mogging my looms and rolling alts. No one wants to be the person who spoils fun, and if this isn’t what you want transmogrification to do, well, you’re going to find out about it eventually. You probably already know about it already.

And that’s why I wanted to say something to you now, and let you know how ridiculously fun I’m finding this new feature to be. I’m spending hours combing Wowhead trying to make up outfits for my alts. I’m looking at each of my alts and wondering how to make them even more fun to play, how to let them acquire gear but still have a look. I’m suddenly looking at my cache of 30 or so heirlooms and going, this is not enough. I need more heirlooms.

This bug has made me pretty happy to be playing Warcraft this week. So please consider leaving this bug alone.

Some bugs actually ARE features!

Thanks!
Cynwise

This post is also available on the official forums. Please let Blizzard know your thoughts!

Update 12/6/11: My post has been deleted and this has been officially addressed in today’s hotfix note:

Transmogrified items should always lose their transmogrification when mailed.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am right now. I don’t care how silly it was; this was fun.

Update 12/7/11: My post was restored by Blizzard, though mogging has not been restored. In a tweet, Zarhym stated:

Level 20 characters shouldn’t be wearing raid gear.

Keep in mind the nature of twitter is for short messages; don’t read too much into the brevity of Z’s statement, though it goes further than just wearing raid gear – wearing certain specific raid gear is okay, other raid gear (or non-raid gear) is not.

This is a complicated issue.

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Five Ways I’m Amusing Myself with Heirloom Transmogrification

Screen_shot_2011-12-01_at_1

Oh, Cynderblock. You offer me all sorts of opportunities to do silly things, and I admit, I’m hitting the transmogrification cardboard box pretty hard with you. It’s a pity that you wear plate heirlooms, though – I have great outfits picked out for you, but they require a mail chest and shoulders. And mail chests at your level just aren’t BiS.

Still, we can work around it, especially since you can mog heirlooms on high level toons and send them to leveling alts with the new image intact. Here are five silly ways I’ve been amusing myself with transmogrification.

1. Smite’s Mighty Hammer on Repurposed Lava Dredger. The thing about the Lava Dredger that I’ve never really liked is that it’s an awesome looking weapon that’s itemized for a thematically-conflicting class. Druids, defenders of nature, wielding something with gears and a turning key? Doesn’t fit. So I took Smite’s Mighty Hammer – which looks either like a massive boulder on a stick, or a big pillow on a stick – and replaced it. I don’t get to use Smite’s hammer anymore, but I’m sure one of my future putative Druids will.

2. Armored Titanium Goggles on Burnished Helm of Might. These goggles have been tanking goggles in my mind ever since I started playing WoW, at first due to Aggrojunkie’s love for them, and then later because they were my tanking goggles, too. I was disappointed when I got a helm upgrade for Cynwulf in ICC, because that meant his goggles were no longer for tanking. Now, with mogging, I really want to find a good complementary chest and shoulder look so I can level all my tank alts with his goggles.

3. Argent Avenger on Bloodsoaked Skullforge Reaver. I like the look of the Reaver, especially since it’s one of the few 1H swords to go across the back. But I’m kinda disappointed that Cynwise never gets to use her lightsaber, especially since PvP spellswords are usually not available. (Maces and Daggers cover more classes. Phooey.) So now my tanks get to experience a little bit of SW:TOR and tank with a lightsaber. (If you are leveling Arms/Ret, use the Very Light Sabre from a gnome warrior alt on the Reforged Truesilver Champion – another sword with a great model, but not a lightsaber. If you don’t have the Argent Avenger, the Spellfire Longsword works too.)

4. Scarlet Sin’dorei Robes on Tattered Dreadmist Robes. I rather liked the purple Dreadmist heirloom set when it first came out, but, oh god am I tired of seeing it. Level with something pretty, like the gorgeous Scarlet Sin’dorei Robes instead. (There are a lot of great looking robes in the game – I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to stick with just one.)

5. Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix on Charmed Ancient Bone Bow. I have this bow on my Warrior, of all toons, and she’s not going to be able to use it come Mists. Time to put that flaming bow to good use.

I’m honestly really excited by the possibilities of changing the look of my heirloom gear. It really opens up possibilities I hadn’t considered for leveling outfits, and makes me think about how I want my character to look like for 80 levels, and that I can change my mind. 

I love it.

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