One of our site leads, Dan O'Halloran, asked me a question that surprised me yesterday. He asked me what he was supposed to do with Honor points and where he could spend them. See, Dan isn't a huge fan of PvP. In fact, he only happened to try out the wonderfully fun and crazy Wintergrasp in between exploring on his brand-spankin' new epic wings. I think he found it fun enough to play it again.
This brought us to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, a whole lot of players are going to be accumulating Honor pretty soon without them knowing it. He thinks that a lot of players, mostly strictly-PvE carebears, would be curious enough about Wintergrasp to try it out... and hopefully enjoy it enough to play it again. I hope so, too. This means a whole lot of players who'd never PvP'd before, like Dan, for example, would need some sort of guide on Honor points and what to do with them. Here's where we step in with this handy little Honor overview.
What are Honor points and how do I get them?
Honor points are a type of currency used to purchase rewards in the game. Just like Emblems or Badges from dungeons, the amount of Honor you have can be tracked through the Currency tab in your Character panel. Unlike other types of currency, however, you do not loot Honor. You automatically gain Honor from participating in killing players or key NPCs of the opposing faction. As long as those players or NPCs aren't gray (too low level) to you, they will count as an Honorable Kill (HK).
The amount of Honor gained from each HK varies greatly. It used to be based on the obsolete PvP Rank system, but now that those ranks are merely cosmetic, the base Honor gained from a player is dependent purely on their level versus your level (higher level players are worth more Honor to lower level players). This Honor gain is adjusted depending on other factors such as the number of players in the vicinity -- e.g., if you killed a player solo, you would generally gain more Honor than if you killed one with a group. Certain buffs also adjust Honor gain, such as the buffs in Wintergrasp like Honorable, Great Honor, Greater Honor, and Greatest Honor for the Alliance; and Lok-regar, Lok-narash, Lok'tar, and Lok'tar Ogar! for the Horde. Honor is also granted by some quests, particularly PvP ones, as a bonus reward in addition to Gold or experience.
What can I buy with Honor points?
Cool stuff! No, really. Honor points can be used to buy rare or epic item rewards from vendors in Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Naturally, most of these item rewards are PvP-oriented, which means a lot of the item points are spent towards Resilience. You won't need Resilience for your heroic runs or raids, but sometimes the items are good enough for you to get until you get a better item from PvE.
Hateful Gladiator non-set items, for example, are Level 80 epic gear that are purchaseable purely with Honor points and don't require any Arena ratings. This means that any Level 80 player with enough Honor can buy them. PvP items are made for PvP, so generally they will be loaded with Stamina and Resilience, which won't be terribly useful to you in instances. Even tanks will be better served by dungeon drops with the proper mitigation stats. Aside from non-set items, Honor points can be used to purchase complete sets of the rare Savage Gladiator PvP gear and as partial currency for epic Hateful Gladiator gear.
If you're not going to use the items for PvE, there are Jewelcrafting recipes available for the low cost of 1,250 Honor points. That's like one Honorable Kill above the Honor you gain from a Wintergrasp daily quest. Most of the designs are PvP-oriented, of course, with many of them containing Resilience. Some have odd combinations that might appeal to a few players, like Shattered Dark Jade, which has Haste and Spell Penetration. You can also buy Star's Sorrow, the only Level 75 water that's usable in Arenas.
Arthas awaits and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for that will help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.