Monday, November 30, 2009

The Real Honor Cap

The new areana season is quickly approaching. By my estimates season 8 will be upon us in the next three to four weeks, so I think this is the perfect opportunity to discuss the honor cap. I've heard many of my friends lament the honor cap, and it's usually something along the lines of "only 75,000? That's piece of gear!" Yes honor caps at 75,000: but the real honor cap is much, much higher. In fact, it's technically possible to buy all of the new honor gear on the very first day of S8.

Battleground Marks

The largest and perhaps most obvious source of extra honor are marks of honor. As I think most of us already know, one of each can be turned in the Alliance Brigadier General or Horde Warbringer for 1,489 honor points. You can only have 100 marks of each, so with some very quick math we can surmise that by capping the marks in each BG you could potentially have 148,900 honor over the honor cap. Pretty sweet eh? Now the honor cap is 223,900!

Wintergrasp Commendations

I think a somewhat lesser known way beat the honor cap is with Wintergrasp Commendations. Despite what that link may lead you to believe these can be purchased not only with 30x Stone Keepers Shard but also with 9x Wintergrasp Mark of Honor from the your faction's WG supplier (The dude on the mammoth).

I think the best thing about them may be there is currently no cap on how many WG Commendations one can have, but you'd have to be off your rocker to play enough Wintergrasp and/or accrue enough SKS to get more than 50 of these, so for the sake of this argument we'll say you somehow managed to get 50 WG Commendations. Now the honor cap is 323,900!

Commendations of Bravery

The last and most humble way to save up honor beyond the cap come in the form of Commendation of Bravery. These can be purchased from almost any arena vendor for 100 Arena Points. Yes...Areana Points...please don't form a lynch mob. Although converting arena points to honor seems inherently unwise, CoB can be used capitalize on those extra arena points that would just get deleted anyway.

Arena points are deleted at the end of the season, so first you need to know when the season ends. Now don't run to trade and ask "guise, when does the arena season end!?" they don't know, none of us do at this point. Typically, however, the season will end one or two weeks after a major content patch, and the specific end date will be announced in a blue post of some kind. Stay tuned to MMO-Champion or other WoW news source to get the exact date, and I might update this article later when I learn the date myself.

Once you figure out that date you need to do some calculations. Ask yourself "will I be able to get another piece of gear before that date?" and be cautious in your estimates. Near the end of S6 I didn't think I would be able to get any more gear simply because I didn't have the personal ratings required, but it so happened that at the last minute I was invited to an rmp that quickly climbed to 1950 and I was able to purchase the Furious Gladiator's Shanker.

Once you're sure that your arena points could serve no better purpose only then should you buy Commendations of Bravery. They seem identical to WG Commendations, but there's an important difference: There's a line of text on the tooltip that says "Unique (5)". This means you can only have five at one time, but if you purchase five CoB and still have arena points leftover don't fear! Simply use a few of them and purchase more. Just make sure you end up with five! The goal here being to artificially increase the honor cap. Now the honor cap is 333,900!

Wait a Second...

"If I play enough BGs to get 100 marks in each, and enough Wintergrasp to get 50 WG Commendations then my honor will have capped 10 times over!" This is true, but that honor doesn't have to be wasted. In the Champions' Hall (Alliance) or Hall of Legends (Horde) there are Jewelcrafting Qaurtermasters, Captain O'Neal and Lady Palanseer respectively. These vendors can help you blow off some of that excess honor by purchasing epic gems!

It's not immediately apparent when talking to the JC Quartermasters, but if you flip to the next page you'll find that every color of epic gem can be bought for the measly sum of 10,000 honor. So instead of capping your honor just use it to buy gems for yourself or for the AH where they can fetch a tidy sum. I wouldn't recommend buying seven gems at a time and sending your honor back to the stone age, just buy two or three when your honor is close to capping.

The Grand Total

So, in our scenario, the real honor cap is 333,900! that's almost 4.5x more that the supposed "honor cap" of 75,000! Now, at the beginning of the article, I said it was possible to buy all the honor gear day one of S8, and it is, but you have to be literally insane to do so. If the prices don't change from S7 to S8 then the total cost of all of the honor gear will be 367,600 honor, so we're currently 33,700 honor short of our goal and there's only one currency we haven't capped: WG Commendations.

So on top of our already insane 50 WG Commendations we'd have to acquire 17 more in order to scoop up every piece of PvP gear on the very first day of S8. So, as I said, it's technically possible :)


Blizzard has pulled a evil neat trick with the honor system. There's a soft cap at 75k, and you can be happy with simply reaching that and calling it a day, but for others who want a bigger head start (and are willing to pay for it with hours of their time) it is possible to bypass that cap and head for a much larger one.

You may not reach the "real" honor cap of 333,900, but now you know it's there, and that you don't have to settle for 75k.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Lemonpoison,
    Man your awesome and a half! wait ...what? Seriously though thats a really well done article that I completely agree with and give the holy and very rare stamp of approval of the infamous Darkwhisp!

    Your Compadre,