The great thing about PvP is you can pretty much start with nothing and build up over a day or two. I don’t mean “nothing” like a couple of bits and pieces here and there… I mean nothing as in “I don’t even have a spec for this, and I disenchanted any gear I could have used for it months ago”.
Meet Drythorn, my first ever level-capped character. Back in the halcyon days of early tier 11, when Tol Barad was a win-trading fast-track to the honour gear of one’s dreams, Dry sported a full set of ret gear to go along with his prot spec*. Yeah, crazy times. That example I gave in opening isn’t theoretical, though. When I logged him with the bright idea of giving him a PvP-specific spec and letting him loose into BGs, it was with a sinking feeling that I realised that any and all ret gear that I’d accrued over the course of the character’s playtime – including a full set from the HoT dungeons – had been sharded in a manic-depressive cleanup effort. Whoops.
So, from there to here:
- No ret spec. Somehow I have a Holy offspec. With no gear for that either. Genius.
- No gear.
- Approximately 180 elementium ore and 50 volatile fire later, along with 10 minutes on my blacksmith, there was much crafted plate and rejoicing.
- Spidersilk whatsit trinket can stay, the “shield on low health” proc seems legit for PvP.
- Somehow I have an old PvP freedom trinket in my bags that escaped the shardening. Sweet. Welcome back, old friend.
- Jewellery can stay for now because the JCs on my realm are on acid and also who cares really.
- Okay, wait a sec. The only 2h weapon I can make is absolutely terrible.
- Screw it, keep the shield and go TB as prot. Simple!
- Oh god 2k dps what is this
- Wait a minute, most of the other players are pulling somewhere around there as well, and as Prot I have approximately a million interrupts. Go me!
- Earned enough honor for shoulders, bracers and a ring. That puts me in range of the season honor requirement for a weapon. Saving every last point until…
- A weapon! At last. Went for the axe because the other options were gorgeous, but not exactly convincing in terms of threat value.
- Okay, so I really miss having all of those interrupts. Still, being able to actually kill something is nice.
- Dear sweet heaven, the 2-piece honor gear bonus is 400 resi. 400. How did I not notice this? Prioritise getting 2p – gloves are good, they’re cheap.
- 2 days, ~11k honor, 1250 valour converted to conquest, and a whole heap of BGs later, I’m… still getting there. At least it looks good without needing a transmog.
Honestly, though, after 2 days your average DPS character has spent a couple of k on BoEs and/or is still waiting for the &%^! weapon to drop off some boss in an HoT and wishing the queue time was shorter. In the case of a PvPer, queue times are obscenely fast, BGs are generally quick, and even if we lose I’m still making progress to the eventual goal. The only thing gating PvP is time invested… and after a couple of years of being screwed by random drops** and needless needing in LFR, points buy is looking pretty damn good.
All of this is mostly in aid of becoming a better offensive player. I do support pretty well in BGs, but my experience in 2v2 has been that an HPala can’t really provide much by way of pressure in arena***. While that’s probably largely because of how I play the spec, it’s time to try something with a bit more oomph.
The really sad thing is that, since I’ll be in Indonesia and Thailand on honeymoon from the end of this week, I doubt this PvP set is going to go very far. No-one ever accused me of thinking things through…
* Ret being tragically broken at Cata’s release, prot was actually more fun, more effective, and more mechanically sound
** Dry never even saw the mace off Peroth’arn, despite 17 clears of the place
*** Also I really, really hate mana burn