Players participate in battlegrounds for many reasons: fun, the thrill of victory, a break from questing, an alternate means of leveling, gear, and yes – profit. I’m all for fighting for honor, glory, and a righteous cause, but getting paid to do it warms my cold mercenary heart and makes my banker very happy.
Making gold in the battlegrounds, much like making gold by raiding, is not an obvious thing. Unlike 5-mans and the Dungeon Finder, you can’t queue for a random battleground and get 13 gold for every fight.
(Though, how cool would a Battlefield Finder like that be? Make it happen, Blizzard!)
No, aside from the daily battleground quest, there’s no direct monetary payout for PvP. Instead, you have to take the personal rewards you are given – honor and marks – and transform them into things of global value, which in turn can be converted into cash.
In other words, you PvP for epic gems and sell them for gold.
Honor is the currency of the battlegrounds, and with it you can buy raw rare and epic gems at the honor vendors in Stormwind (Captain O’Neal) and Orgrimmar (Lady Palanseer). These raw, uncut gems are the materials needed to create the gems that get socketed into high-end gear, and are always in demand by Jewelcrafters.
Which, in turn, means they’re always in demand on the Auction House. Your server prices will vary, but right now the raw epic gems which cost 10,000 honor are going for 150-225g on Durotan. There’s your conversion rate between honor and gold, right there: if I can consistently net 200g profit off each gem (which is very reasonable in this upgrade-heavy part of the release cycle), then 50 honor points = 1 gold piece.
The process works something like this.
- PvP for Honor, just like if you were grinding it for gear. Focus on the Wintergrasp weekly quests, the daily battleground quests, and then the high honor battlegrounds (Alterac Valley, Strand of the Ancients, Isle of Conquest) when Wintergrasp is not up. Wintergrasp whenever possible.
- Convert the Marks of Honor you receive in the various battlegrounds to honor. Wintergrasp Marks can be turned into BoA Wintergrasp Commendation badges at the Wintergrasp heirloom vendor (9 Marks for 2000 honor) and the other battleground’s Marks can be turned in for the repeatable quest Concerted Efforts / For Great Honor (1 mark from each battleground for 1489 honor).
- Purchase the gems from the vendors in Stormwind or Orgrimmar. Which color you get should depend on two factors – what sells well and what you use yourself. As a Warlock I really only use three colors of gems: Yellow for Hit, Red for Spellpower, and Purple to activate my Meta gem (PvE) or Spell Penetration (PvP).
- Sell (or use) the gems. If you have, or know, a JC you can often sell the cut gems for much more than the raw gems, but uncut gems are in higher demand and will sell more quickly. Defraying your own gemming costs with these gems is a good strategy, as saving the cost of buying a gem is even better than selling it (due to the Auction House’s cut of the profits.)
The nice thing about this method is that, just like any other honor grind, there’s a lot of honor right up front for the casual PvPer in the Wintergrasp quests and a few daily quests. 10,000 honor every week is very reachable at level 80 with a minimum of effort. One or two Wintergrasps can fill your personal gem needs, and the rest is pure profit.
It’s nice to slaughter your enemies. It’s even nicer when you’re getting paid to do it.