The release of patch 3.3 presents an interesting gear challenge for level 80 battleground enthusiasts. The Arena Season did not end with the patch, so no new top-level PvP gear was released. Because this set, the Wrathful Gladiator’s set, isn’t out, this means two things.
First, the past seasons are still available at the same currencies as before. Deadly is available for honor points, Furious for Arena points and a decent ranking, and Relentless for Arena points and a great ranking.
Second, that the current PvE gear is now even further ahead of the battleground kit, so you have to be aware both of your opponent’s increasing power, as well as evaluate your own gear and see if you might need to swap some pieces in from your raid set. You may find the reduced Stamina and Resilience acceptable tradeoffs for massively increased firepower.
The other big change in 3.3 is that dungeons are now as convenient to run as a battleground, and they have better rewards than bgs through the LFG tool. Battlegrounds give the same honor and worthless marks that they did before, and while the daily gives a little gold and extra honor, it’s just once, and honor gets you Deadly gear – roughly equivalent to Conquest gear, or T8. The arena points on the daily are similar to the bonus emblems on the LFG first random heroic in concept, but in terms of what they purchase they’re actually like the emblems of Triumph from the old Heroic Daily. You can work your way up to a nice piece of 232-245 gear, but it takes a few weeks.
Compare that to running random heroics with the LFG tool, which nets you gold and extra emblems for each dungeon run, in addition to the loot and emblems acquired in the instance. These emblems can be turned in for Triumphant/T9 gear – or they can get you Furious Gladiator gear.
In other words, grinding Battlegrounds for PvP gear is now both less effective and less efficient than running chain heroics through the LFG tool. Arena play is still the best way to get PvP gear, period. But running random Heroics until your fingers bleed is a close second.
Therefore, the strategy for gearing up for battleground fighting is substantially different from what I posted at the release of 3.2. Your ability to gear for Heroics is now also under consideration, and you really can’t afford to avoid Arenas anymore.
- Play Arena matches, even if you suck. Eventually you’ll win and be able to spend those points.
- Wintergrasp when it’s up, for some of the trinkets and starter gear. Titan-Forged gear remains very good and easy to get and will serve you well along the way. It also will only cost you Wintergrasp Marks, so you will be able to fill out your kit without having to sacrifice other currency.
- LFG all the rest of the time. Regular modes at first, then heroics as fast as you can.
The only time you should be in another battleground is because you want a break from this grind and have some fun. Yes, the honor can be used for offset pieces, or epic gems if you need cash. But they should no longer be part of your gear grind. Saying that saddens me, but until the rewards get better you should avoid them for anything but fun.
In many ways I’m glad that I’m playing more in the 19 bracket, because it gives one perspective on the endgame and challenges your assumptions about it. While it would be nice to get all of your battleground gear by playing Warsong Gulch, it’s just not possible (or even desirable.) There are some good PvP rewards which are BiS gear, but other gear comes from dungeons, quest rewards, world drops, and even crafted gear. This variety is good and the perspective that it’s the gear, not how you get it, is important.
Things will change. The current Arena season will end, and a new one begin, bringing with it the old fashions to a battleground near you. And then Cataclysm, in the far-off future, with its promise of simplified stats and rated battlegrounds, will change it all again.
But for now, do what you need to do. Don’t QQ; just join the LFG queue!
(Ugh. I can’t believe I actually typed that.)