Another patch has come and gone, and we continue to fight the good fight. Cataclysm patch 4.0.6 has brought a few new items to consider while gearing up for PvP, but nothing that changes the tiers of gear outlined in my Season 9 PvP Gear post.
- Glorious Conquest weapons – the upgraded versions of the Vicious weapons which require 2200 rating to acquire – are still unavailable. They will only become available when PvE progression gets to a point where they will not be substantial upgrades for raiders.
- Tol Barad rewards have changed to make it worth your time to participate for Honor Points. Losing the battle awards 75 Honor Points, not zero, making it now worth participating in even if you lose.
- New PvP enchants are now available.
Let’s take each of these in a little more detail.
UPGRADED CONQUEST WEAPONS
They’re on hold. The upgraded weapons you could get with a 2200 rating were first made unavailable due to some problems with the Conquest Point cap early in the season, then delayed further because they are better than most raiders could get at this time. The previous date of January 25th has been pushed back indefinitely, until progression raiding catches up.
This is really a minor inconvenience, especially for the tradeoff of not making raiders feel like they need to PvP to a 2200 rating to get decent weapons. Not having the upgraded PvP weapons isn’t sending Arena players into raids to try to get better stuff – it’s just not there yet. Parity between the two worlds is hard to achieve, and this delay is an interesting way to handle it.
TOL BARAD IS A NOW GOOD PLACE TO GEAR UP FOR PVP
Finally. When I first wrote my Season 9 PvP Gear guide, Tol Barad didn’t have much to offer over grinding regular battlegrounds. The honor return was good if you won, but lackluster if you lost, and there was no reason to collect commendations from the victory or the dailies.
After some major flip flops in Tol Barad’s rewards, the battle has now settled in to:
- 360 Honor Points for an offensive victory,
- 180 Honor Points for a defensive victory, and
- 75 Honor Points for a loss.
This is actually a pretty good return on your time if you’re grinding Honor Points. A loss will usually net you around 100-125 honor for 25 minutes, about as much as a good AV or IoC victory. If you sneak in near the end of the battle, your Honor Per Minute goes way up, but it’s hard to gauge when it’s going to end, and it’s best to just queue for it when you see it’s up.
Furthermore, 4.0.6 has added new PvP enchants, available at both the Tol Barad quartermasters – Quartermaster Brazie for Alliance, Pogg for Horde – as well as the Honor Quartermasters in your capital city.
- Head enchants give you 60 of a primary statand 35 Resilience. They cost 1000 Honor Points or 40 Tol Barad Commendations.
- Shoulder enchants give you 50 of a primary stat and 25 Resilience. They cost 2000 Honor Points or 80 Tol Barad Commendations.
The naming convention is also somewhat clearer than previous versions of these enchants, with the Arcaniums of Vicious Agility, Intellect, and Strength for the head enchants, and the Greater Inscriptions of Vicious Agility, Intellect, and Strength for the shoulders. Having the season name in their titles leads me to believe that these enchants may be upgraded over different seasons, but that’s just a hunch. It certainly is nice to keep them all straight!
Finally, there have been some changes to the victory conditions in Tol Barad – it’s easier for Defenders to keep 0/3, easier for Attackers to take the last base at 2/3 – until we’ve seen them in action. It’s not going to change the fundamental structure of the battleground, but it is at least going to – perhaps – make it less frustrating overall.
I like having alternate currencies to play with when talking about how to gear up a character. They make it interesting – it’s not just all about how many points you can grind out.
So, I’ve slightly modified my own recommendations from the original guide:
- Get the crafted pieces made as soon as you can.
- Supplement with good items gained from PvE.
- Participate in Tol Barad whenever possible, win or lose. Do dailies for Commendations for PvP enchants.
- PvP in regular BGs to grind as much Honor Points as you can to get Bloodthirsty gear, focusing on offset pieces and the 2-pc set bonus.
- Participate in as many rated PvP matches as you can, up to the limit of Conquest Points you can gain this week. Focus on gaining Vicious set pieces and weapons first. (As Taugrim points out in the comments below, if your class depends on their weapon, get the weapons first, before anything else.)
- Once your Vicious set is complete, start replacing Bloodthirsty offset pieces with Vicious.
- Once you’ve upgraded your offset, upgrade your weapons to the Glorious versions.
- Skip upgrading the Conquest armor unless you have points to burn at the end of a season (and even then, just consider stockpiling them at the cap.)
It’s nice that with a few changes of gear and reward, Tol Barad has become a place that is at least worth a PvPer’s time to visit.
Good changes, overall. I’m glad to see some PvP enchants in the mix finally.