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Getting started in PvP Season 12


PvP Season 12 has begun, as we informed you last week. First and foremost, where are the vendors with the PvP gear? They're a little hidden away in Mists, that's for sure, with the Alliance vendor on the Serpent's Spine, the huge wall, level with the border between Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Valley of the Four Winds. There is a flight point there, but you won't have it unless you happened to pick it up while looking for Bowmistress Li. The Horde vendor is also on the wall, but between Townlong Steppes and Kun Lai Summit, a short way west of the corner. Again, there's a flight point there, but you likely won't have it. For both vendors, you can reach them by getting up onto the wall at pretty much any point you can, and running along it. Of course, you'll likely be 90 before you're interested in hunting them down, so you can just fly on over!

And do check out our guides to the Silvershard Mines and Temple of Kotmogu.

Weapon Problems

The PvP vendors sell both item level 458 honor gear, and item level 483 conquest gear, but there is currently a complete absence of honor weapons. Rather flying in the face of the so-called "you can play the game how you want to" Mists philosophy, PvPers are yet again required to get their early PvP weapons via PvE. While hardly new at the beginning of an expansion, it's rather frustrating.

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted the following:
So, if you want better than a questing weapon for PvP, the easiest way to get one is to run some PvE, or amass enough gold to buy a weapon on the Auction House. The fastest way to get a fairly decent PvE weapon is to run the Arena of Annihilation scenario, which, via a quest reward, gives several item level 450 weapons. If those don't suit, then you'd better start running some heroics and hope for the best. Heroics award weapons of item level 463 or above, and of course, you can get weapons via reputation, with the Klaxxi holding most of the cards. The crafted weapons are also item level 463, so if you're wealthy enough to get one, and there's one suitable for your spec, that would be a good option. Inscription also awards a few weapons, which apparently bind to account.

Naturally, you can buy weapons for conquest points, but the points earned requirement remains. So, before you can get a weapon specifically designed for PvP, you need to amass 7250 conquest points, some of which can of course be put towards a weapon. This is a little suboptimal for getting started in PvP, to say the least! If it's any comfort, most others will be in the same boat, for the first 3-4 weeks it will take to get conquest weapons at least.

It also doesn't seem that you can convert your Valor points into Conquest points any longer, so that won't be a viable method to obtain weapons either. Of course, this could be rectified, or I could be wrong, but I can't find a vendor or any evidence that one exists yet. There could be a vendor coming, but with the woefully slow rate of valor accrual, this probably wouldn't be a viable method anyway.

Lastly, consider your old weapons, especially if you had conquest or glorious conquest weapons. Given how PvP Power scales against PvP Resilience, it could well be workable, at least temporarily, to use last season's weapons.

PvP Armor

Happily the situation is far better for PvP armor. As ever, the crafted gear is a great start, with complete sets of item level 450 gear available from crafters. The recipes start to be available at around crafting profession level 550-575, and it's a great idea to level up your professions to craft these pieces if you're able to, while material costs remain far lower than the cost of purchasing these items.

But your first step should be to get the honor gear, and fill in any gaps with crafted gear, to save your hard-earned gold. While, as mentioned, it's not possible to exchange your Valor for Conquest at this point, it is still very possible to exchange your Justice for Honor. There may well be a vendor that offers this service hanging out somewhere in Pandaria, but your faithful friends in Stormwind and Orgrimmar are still there from Cataclysm's days. There is still an honor point cap of 4,000, so spend carefully.

Your first purchase for honor should be gloves, as they provide a boost to a key skill. Next, you should look to get your 2-set, which boost your PvP Power by 500, and gives a boost to another key skill. If you have points enough, you should then shoot for your 4-set, which will give a boost to another key skill as well as 1,000 PvP Resilience. From my looking around at the boost, the 4-set bonus is really, really nice!

If you've got enough honor to get the 4-set off the bat, that would be a good way to go. Then, have a look around on your auction house at what is and isn't available, and hit up your crafting friends for pieces you're not seeing. If you can make gear yourself, even better!

Also, don't completely rule out your old conquest gear from Cataclysm, particularly in the early days of the expansion. If you look back to last week's column, you can see how important PvP Resilience is as a stat. While the set bonuses are nowhere near as good, and they should not be your first choice if either crafted or current season gear is available to you, they're a decent stopgap.

From Honor to Conquest

Once you're 90, you can start earning conquest points. It should be noted that doing random or call to arms battlegrounds doesn't award conquest until level 90, but from that point forwards your first random or call to arms win of the day will award 100 conquest points, and latter wins 50. There remains a 1350 point cap from arenas and random battlegrounds, with that increasing to 1650 as players move into rated battlegrounds, or increase their rating. Once your rating is over 1550, your cap available from arenas and random battlegrounds will steadily increase, meaning that you don't have to do rated battlegrounds to get the maximum conquest points per week.

By far the fastest way to earn Conquest is to get into arenas. It seems that the numbers haven't changed, so you will need 8 wins to get to your weekly cap. This is far, far faster than earning points via random battlegrounds, but still a bit slower than earning points via rated battlegrounds. As previously noted, it is not possible at this point to convert valor into conquest.

Conquest points will get you access to the Malevolent gear, which has an item level of 483. It has precisely the same 2-set and 4-set bonuses as the Dreadful gear acquired from Honor, but higher stats. And, of course, weapons!

Lastly, if you're rolling in gold, don't forget to check out the Black Market Auction House. You never know what might pop up!

Do you want to capture flags, invade cities, attack towers, and dominate the enemy for your faction? Do you dream of riding your War Bear with pride? We'll steer you to victory with secrets of Battlegrounds and Arena, prepping you with proven addons and keybindings that win! Send questions or comments to

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