I started out wanting to write a nice little opinion piece on the new PVP zone. Right after launch (well, after the launch DDOS/lag fest/6 hour queues fiasco) and leveling to 100, the zone clearly had some issues – but what new feature doesn’t? So, I waited. Like the first 2 hours of the queue I am currently in to get into the zone I waited patiently for issues to be hammered out, balanced to be restored, etc. But a month after the release of Warlords the zone is more and more abhorrent. It’s past the point where I can feel the issues are bugs and more so that they’re working as intended. It’s not balanced, it’s “required” (I’ll get to that) and it’s just not fun. So, instead of writing a nice opinion piece about a feature I was once so excited about – there’s a rant incoming. (more…)
So lets talk a little about PVP gear. It’s pretty standard to be able to buy the last tier of pvp gear and maybe the current tier of off set pieces with honor points. PVP gear this point in wrath is not typically optimal for a PVE environment (raids, instances, etc). PVP gear on the other hand is great for gearing up an alt with points that are traditionally easier to earn than the badges needed for PVE gear. For example, in the latest tier, wrathful gear is the best PVP gear a player can get, though furious set pieces, some relentless pieces, and wrathful off pieces can all be purchased with honor points. An item level 200 head-piece has less strength and overall stats than a 232 furious gladiators plate helm that can be purchased with honor from any random battle ground or weekly WG quest. Tanks that are in high need of stamina will find some great pieces this way, as PVP gear has higher stamina than PVE gear of the same level. Higher tiers of PVP gear that could best heroic instance PVE gear have typically been off-limits to people without arena ratings – until now.
Currently all PVP gear except item level 270 and above is available without an arena rating and with only honor points. This means you can gear and alt, or even a main character, with a 264 level weapon, something otherwise only reached in ICC 25 raiding or decent skill in arena. I bought my Paladin a 264 Wrathful Gladiators weapon with 100 more spell power than my 10 man ICC weapon I had currently. Over all a solid upgrade for easily acquired points compared to hoping for a 25 man raid drop. He’s just had no luck getting a good 25 man caster weapon. These weapons will have much more spell power or weapon damage than a lower level weapon you can get from a heroic or lower tier of raid. The weapon I bought had 100 more spell power than the lower piece I was using, at the cost of 50 haste though, but 100 spell power greatly outweighs 50 haste. Unfortunately, the best of the best gear still requires arena rating and PVP skill to get. Go check it out for yourself and see if you have an upgrade waiting with honor points you might already have. It’s important to note that 264 wands are only 260 honor points and shields/off-hand gear are only 70 honor points. That’s a new shield for your tank, pally or shaman for basically one wintergrasp win.
Somewhat tangentially related to the previous topic is my death knight who is now frost dps and blood tanking spec. He needs to get one of the 264 weapons with honor as he only has the weapon from heroic Pit of Sauron which took 15-20 runs to get. I just wanted to mention, if you respecced to frost dps from unholy or particularly blood after 4.0.1 hit, be careful with your AoE damage. Howling blast can crit for 13k+ in my only somewhat decent gear and threatens to pull aggro often. A couple of heroics in and I’m finding this spec more fun than blood dps used to be, just lacking the self-healing while soloing content. Again, howling blast with caution.