Just Too Good to be True
I set out on a mission to attempt to earn a 498 pvp weapon last night through the justice point to honor conversion. For the most part it went easy enough, and while there were plenty of mouthy folks in LFG the instance runs themselves were smooth enough. I just kept my mouth shut and did my job as dps and pushed through it. It is amazing how much it defuses a troll when no one at all in the party responds. They make a few comments then quiet down themselves because no one is feeding them ammo. For awhile last night I was thinking that this was really going to be an awesome way to earn starter weapons. Unfortunately like so many great ideas this one had a massive flaw, that comes from the fact that I do not PVP… nor I understand how the PVP systems in any game work.
First flaw in the plan was the listed conversion rate was not 375 Justice Points to 250 Honor, but instead 500 Justice Points to 250 Honor. This was manageable but basically meant that you had to earn 3500 JP to be able to get a weapon. I did that last night without any real issue in a matter of hours. Second flaw… and this one is the fatal one. Apparently in order to purchase weapons with honor points, you have to have PVPed enough during the current season to earn 7500 honor. Since I have not PVPed at all on any of my characters during this expansion, let alone the current season I simply cannot purchase weapons. I have no desire to PVP enough to gain 7500 honor, which would be roughly 30 battleground wins. In fact that sounds like just about the worst possible way to spend my time I could imagine.
Jewelry Is Nice
Since I had already taken the hit converting 3500 Justice to 1750 honor… I really had no desire to take the hit again and convert 1750 honor back to 875 Justice. Other than weapons I have had a few glaring holes in my gear. I was still using a crafted 450 necklace and a 450 ring. While the weapons all require honor earned during the season to purchase, the gear however does not appear to have a similar requirement. As a result I picked out a fairly decent neckpiece from the vendor for I believe 1250 honor. This got me one step closer to my overall goal of being able to queue for Siege of Orgrimmar.
At this point I flew out to the Shadowpan Assault quartermaster in Townlong. Sure enough they had a decent ring as well. After plugging these two holes in my itemization and after picking up a slightly better weapon in the heroics I ran to get the stockpile of honor, I am now finally able to queue for Siege of Orgrimmar. While I didn’t necessarily get what I wanted out of the nights activity… I actually still got what I needed. Maybe the rolling stones were right all along.
Hole In Itemization
So after all of this, I return to the original thought process that there is a massive whole in itemization, at least from the standard late expansion “catch players up” mentality. I got into a bit of a discussion of an aspect of this yesterday over on Twitter. In previous expansions, there existed higher tiers of heroic level content. The prime example of this was Trial of the Champion that helped catch players up in gear, both on normal and heroic modes. Then later in the expansion you had the three instance story arc of Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection that ratcheted up the difficulty level as well as the rewards. I can remember Halls of Reflection heroic still being a significant challenge in Icecrown raid gear.
While I love the concept of the Timeless Isle, and the whole explore to find nifty things ideas… they are quite literally giving us epics in the process. This is extremely friendly to altaholics like myself, and has allowed me to gear out an army of 90s… but I feel little to know sense of accomplishment from doing so. The Wrath era sequence was probably my ideal for gearing. It felt significant gearing from heroic, to the trial 5 man and then finally being able to queue for the Icecrown 5 mans. Additionally the gearing seemed far more complete, since each 5 man tier dropped a complete set of gear including workable weapons.
Now it feels very much like, “Gratz on 90, here is your epic gear” but while you can queue for these raids… without having a way to get a decent weapon you become an instant drain on any group that ends up getting you. There are weapons you can get on the Timeless Isle, but like I said yesterday they are cost prohibitive (20,000 coins for a one-hander, 40,000 for a two-hander) and at 476 they are simply not worth the effort and do not provide enough of a bump over 463 crafted/heroic weapons to make it worth your time. Now that I can queue for Siege however I will hopefully get lucky enough to pick up a weapon that way. Additionally I will continue to run my nightly Heroic Scenario, as the potential 516 weapon would be well worth the time spent. Additionally these scenarios when run with a guild group put money in the guild coffers and count towards the weekly.
Crafting Hates Enhancement
My general theory is that this glaring hole was intentional… and by making it they did not want to devalue completely the 502 crafted weapons. I have my own opinions on the whole “crafting should be best” line of thinking, but I can see why they would want this. The problem however with this line of thinking is that there are simply not weapons available for every itemization. For enhance… they tend to favor slow weapons… so that rules out the daggers. That leaves Fist, Mace and Axe that are all usually 2.6 speed. In the 502 weapon itemization there is not a Fist, Mace or Axe that is agility based. The “rogue” weapon that is craft-able is a sword, which shaman simply cannot use.
I know in the past this has happened with Druids and other “weird hybrid classes”, but the fact that other players can nod and say “I know that feel bro” doesn’t really make it any better to try and work around. At this point I will start queuing my way through Siege LFR each week and hopefully in the process I will luck my way into a weapon. If not hopefully one of my nightly guild heroic scenarios will pay off and I will get one or more 516 random stat weapons. No matter which path I take however, my shamans fate is now in the hands of the random loot gods, which is never really a fun place to be.