Patch 4.0.1 is here; the patch that starts wrapping up Wrath of the Lich King, and gets us ready for Cataclysm. This patch brings some major changes to the abilities and talents of every class, the combat statistics on gear, and how gear is purchased. The next two months will be filled with adapting to those changes before Cataclysm is released. We are in for some interesting times!
The class changes are going to take some time to get our collective heads around. Personally, I enjoy periods of experimentation, where players creatively tinker with new possibilities and challenge previous assumptions. (From the perspective of my own main class, Warlocks using Imps in PvP seems like a terrible idea, but it’s working fantastically.) The stat changes, too, will require some time and experimentation to understand. Gear at all levels will change, and what was once Best-In-Slot for leveling PvPers may not be anymore. There’s lots of work to be done there.
The biggest change to PvP gear is that Resilience will no longer reduce your chance to be Critically Hit; it just reduces damage taken from other players. This makes Crit-heavy builds even more viable, so you may want to experiment with swapping out Haste gear for Crit gear if you’re overloaded.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 6 months since the last substantial change to endgame PvP gear.
The currency changes I noted in Preparing for Rated Battlgrounds are now in effect, which has some great implications for battleground players. Only Honor Points are available, and since higher tier Conquest Points will only become available when Cataclysm launches, all gear that’s available in Wrath is now available for purchase through Honor Points.
Unfortunately, the top level gear still requires ratings, so you can’t get a full Wrathful set from running normal battlegrounds. You can, however, get Relentless gear without a rating, so this still represents a step up. I’m a little disappointed that the Wrathful set still requires a rating (since the Arena season is over), but not entirely surprised.
Update: Wrathful gear, up to rating level 2000, can now be purchased without an Arena rating. My previous information is now out of date, and you can get nearly an entire Wrathful kit, sans the shoulders, some weapons, and the tabard. I’ve updated the list below to reflect this change.
Here’s what the full PvP kit will cost you in the new system.
- Head: Wrathful – 1650 Honor Points
- Neck: Wrathful – 725 Honor Points
- Shoulder: Relentless/Titan-Forged – 695 Honor Points
- Back: Wrathful – 725 Honor Points
- Chest: Wrathful – 1650 Honor Points
- Wrist: Wrathful – 600 Honor Points
- Hands: Wrathful – 1040 Honor Points
- Waist: Wrathful – 945 Honor Points
- Legs: Wrathful – 1650 Honor Points
- Feet: Wrathful – 945 Honor Points
- 1st Ring: Wrathful – 725 Honor Points
- 2nd Ring: Relentless – 485 Honor Points
- Trinket: Medallion of the Alliance/Horde – 945 Honor Points
- Trinket: Battlemaster – 725 Honor Points
- Main-hand: None (still requires rating)
- Off-hand: Possibly Wrathful 70-260+ Honor Points
- Ranged: Possibly Wrathful – 260+ Honor Points
This entire kit will cost at least 14,025 Honor Points. If you’ve been working on your PvP set for some time, you’re only going to need to update a few items, so it should be pretty easy to bring yourself up to speed.
(I would also recommend that you not get the second PvP ring, and instead get the Ashen Verdict ring instead.)
PVP MOUNTS, ACCESSORIES, AND GEMS
There have been a few changes to the PvP vendors; pre-cut gems are gone, for one – but by in large all the gear you used to be able to get is still available for Honor Points.
Mounts are now 2000 Honor Points. Depending on how much currency mount collectors carried over, this may be easier to get now than before in terms of time to acquire, but in general PvP mounts are as easy (or as difficult) to get as before.
Other accessories you might be interested in are below.
- Battle Standard: 2550 Honor Points
- Level 70 PvP Trinket: 140 Honor Points
- Epic Gems: 165 Honor Points.
In general, the currency conversion is really the only thing that’s changed with PvP accessories.
The PvP Jewelcrafter is still in the game, so you can still PvP For Profit. The rumors of his demise were much exaggerated.
Though, seriously – there are plenty of other ways to make money in Warcraft. Trust me.
LOW-LEVEL PVP GEAR
One of the pleasant side effects of the 3.3.3 removal of Marks of Honor was how accessible low-level PvP gear became. At level 18, 28, 38, and 48, you can visit the Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin vendors and get awesome leveling gear for a pittance in terms of honor gained. The prices are a little different now, and we’ll have to see how the costs scale with Honor Points gained in the leveling battlegrounds, but you should be able to get gear with the same minimum effort.
Those vendors are:
- 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)
The AV gear continues to be good for the early 50s, but is quickly replaced by Outlands gear at 58.
The stat changes have some serious implications for lowbie twinks, which I’ll be covering in more detail over at Green Tinted Goggles when I have a chance to absorb all the changes.
PVP HEIRLOOM GEAR
The currency changes obviously affect how you purchase Heirloom Gear; Emblems and Stone Keeper’s Shards are out, Justice and Honor Points are in. Champion’s Seals are still a viable currency from the Argent Tournament for the PvE gear, but the Stone Keeper’s Shards are gone as the way to get PvP heirlooms in Wintergrasp.
Interestingly, the costs of Heirlooms have been scaled up to account for the rate at which points should be earned at level 85, not at 80, so they are more expensive now than they were in 3.3.5. So if you’re looking for PvE Heirlooms, the Champion’s Seals are probably your best bet right now. For PvP Heirlooms, here’s what you’re looking at.
- Shoulders, 1H DPS Weapon: 2175 Honor Points
- 1H Caster Weapon: 2725 Honor Points
- 2H Weapon, Ranged Weapon: 3500 Honor Points
- Heirloom PvP Trinket: 2725 Honor Points
The stats have also changed somewhat on this gear, just like all the other gear. Depending on your class, this is either great or terrible.
Hopefully, the Heirloom Items Scale will be updated soon to reflect all the new stats!
LEARNING TO PLAY AGAIN
One of the biggest challenges of the next two months is understanding the changes to the classes and combat systems 4.0.1 has brought us. The currency we use to buy gear is different, and the stats on it might be altered — but the gear itself isn’t new. That’s okay – we have enough to learn without having to worry about new types of gear.
That will all come soon enough, when Cataclysm launches.