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 9, 4.0.6 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.
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:
- Stormy Deepholm Iolite (+63 Spell Penetration)
- Infused Elven Peridot (+32 Spell Penetration / +25 Mastery)
- Shattered Elven Peridot (+32 Spell Penetration / +25 Haste)
- Balanced Elven Peridot (+25 Hit / +25 Resilience)
- Radiant Elven Peridot (+32 Spell Penetration / +25 Crit)
- Steady Elven Peridot (+25 Resilience / +37 Stamina)
- Turbid Elven Peridot (+25 Resilience / +25 Stamina)
- Vivid Elven Peridot (+32 Spell Penetration / +25 Resilience)
- Lucent Lava Coral (+25 Resilience / +25 Agility)
- Splendid Lava Coral (+25 Resilience / +25 Parry)
- Willful Lava Coral (+25 Resilience / +25 Intellect )
- Resplendent Lava Coral (+25 Resilience / +25 Strength)
- Tenuous Lava Coral (+25 Resilience / +25 Expertise)
- Mysterious Shadow Spinel (+32 Spell Penetration / +25 Intellect)
- Mystic Lightstone (+50 Resilience)
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:
- 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.
- Supplement with good items gained from PvE, but only if they’re a substantial upgrade over the crafted gear.
- Run Tol Barad dailies for the PvP head and shoulder enchants. Use good PvE enchants on your gear in the interim.
- 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.
- 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.
- Upgrade your weakest pieces with Conquest gear. If you have a mix of Vicious and Ruthless gear, upgrade the Vicious to Cataclysmic first.
- 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.
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.