And do check out our guides to the Silvershard Mines and Temple of Kotmogu.
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:
@danbuster1 Weapons are so attractive, that every PvE player would buy an Honor weapon.- Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) October 3, 2012
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.
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!
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