Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Preparing for Battle

Remember how I said I was going to try for [School of Hard Knocks] during Children's Week?  Well, I failed.

I admit, I didn't try very hard. I realised early on that I was going to have to throw more than a few hours at it, but by the time I actually got a decent chunk of playtime, it was already the Friday night before a busy weekend (my Sproutling doesn't let me get a lot of playtime at once these days).

I won't go into the sordid details of what happened but I will say that I gave up before many attempts at reaching a tower in Alterac Valley.  The most important thing for attempting this achievement (which I did not do) is to be prepared. Read Cynwise's awesome guide (so awesome!) on each part of the achievement and practise running the battlegrounds to learn how they work and where the towers and flags and such are located.

Afterwards I had a bit of a look into PvP gear for Resto Druids for future reference. Here's what I found. Please note that I don't generally do much PvP, so if I get anything terribly wrong please comment and let me know!

What is PvP gear?
Any gear with resilience, spell penetration or stun/snare/fear duration reduction is usually considered to be PvP gear. Since the Cataclysm, Resilience has been simplified - it now reduces all incoming damage. Spell Penetration ignores some of the target's resistance to the school of spells you're casting, reducing the possibility that the spell will be resisted. It should be fairly obvious why a reduction in stun, fear and snare duration would be beneficial!

As healers, we don't need to worry about Spell Penetration since our spells aren't generally hitting anyone who will resist them. 
Edit: I stand corrected. Here's what a very informative email from Aggrazel revealed:
Spell Pen is indeed necessary to cap for resto druid because healing is not all what pvp is about, a Resto druids real strength in PVP lies in our control tools, root and cyclone. You definitely want to be spell pen capped because you don't want your cyclone to be resisted at the wrong moment. The good news is that Spell Pen is really really easy to cap, you just buy the spell pen cloak and get the spell pen enchant on it, done.

Resilience and stun reduction will help us to stay alive. If you're trying PvP early before you have any resilience gear, put on whatever you have with the highest Stamina, as the more health you have the longer you're likely to stay alive!

Where do I get the Gear?
In the past, PvP gear was easy to come by - in fact in Burning Crusade items such as [Wyrmhide Gloves] could be purchased from reputation vendors for gold. During Wrath, some items could be purchased with Stone Keeper's Shards, which were ridiculously easy to come by since they dropped from bosses in Heroics if your faction controlled Wintergrasp. There has also always been basic Resilience gear made by crafting professions - Tailoring, Leatherworking and Blacksmithing.

PvP gear is also available through spending Honor - now known as Honor Points. Honor Points are awarded for killing members of the opposing faction in the world or in un-rated battlegrounds, plus from some quests in contested areas such as Tol Barad. The highest tier of gear is available by spending Conquest Points, awarded from ranked arena matches and rated battlegrounds. The first random battleground of the day awards you a few Conquest Points, so if you're persistent you'll eventually save up. You can also purchase Conquest Points in return for Valor Points, if you have VP to spare.

At level 85, PvP for Resto Druids comes from Leatherworking, Honor Points and Conquest Points. There is also the singular Battle Tome - an Off hand crafted with Inscription.

These items are all BoE so are purchasable from the auction house or you could have someone else craft them. Depending on the price of Heavy Savage Leather and volatiles or the items themselves on your server it might be more affordable to just run battlegrounds and save up the Honor Points instead.

Honor Points

Conquest Points
If you're taking part in arenas or rated battlegrounds, you can purchase the Vicious Gladiator set using Conquest Points. Remember, Conquest Points can also be obtained in exchange for Valor Points.

Honor and Conquest Point items are purchased from the Quartermasters in the Old Town in Stormwind for Alliance, and in the Valley of Strength in Orgrimmar for the Horde.

Please let me know if I've missed any items.

Further Reading
For Gem and Enchant advice and other general Druid PvP information I suggest you head to Oombulance.com where it is all very neatly laid out!

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