I haven’t particularly been keeping track of my honour gains during the Burning Crusade, and was quite surprised when I glanced at the PvP tab of my character last night and found I had 15,000 honour points. I had a bit left over from level 60 (possibly around 4-8,000 points, I can’t really remember), but hadn’t expected to have gained much more, as barring the weekend’s battlegrounds and Halaa fighting I’d only been in Eye of the Storm a couple of times and participated in a few world skirmishes. At this rate, I’m fast closing on the 22,000 points needed for a Grand Marshal’s weapon, though of course now I know this, I’ll be bringing up the PvP tab every couple of minutes and shouting at it if there aren’t another thousand honour points there (just as a watched pot never boils, so a watched honour point total never increases. Although the fact that honour points are only calculated overnight might have something to do with the latter.)
Presuming I do get the requisite number of points, the next question is: main hand or off hand sword? To figure out which would be the better option, I had a look around to find what other swords would be available (so if there was a nice off hand quest reward I could get the Grand Marshal main hand sword, and vice versa).
The first step was to discount weapons that have an x% chance to drop from a mob somewhere. I think I’ve briefly touched on my dislike for random loot before; if I run an instance, something nice drops, and I win the roll for it, that’s a bonus. If I start obsessing over a certain item, run the same instance 17 times until it drops, then someone else in the group wins the roll for it… that way madness lies. (For those keeping score at home: during last night’s Underbog run with a Priest, Warrior, Paladin, Warlock and Rogue, the bosses dropped a Shaman totem, spellcasting Druid chest armour, Paladin belt (woo! one entire usable item!) and Shaman/Hunter chest armour. Total ‘phat lewt’ personally obtained from the whole of Coilfang Reservoir so far: one trash green.) Also discounted were crafted weapons, with most of the nice items like the Felsteel Longblade needing the enormously in-demand Primal Nether. So far as I can tell, that basically leaves the PvP weapons (the Gladiator’s Slicer/Quickblade from the arena or the Grand Marshal’s Slicer/Quickblade for honour points), and the main hand Vindicator’s Brand, obtainable when Exalted with the Aldor.
I’m not really one for reputation grinds; I haven’t made it to Exalted with any faction yet, but then there hasn’t been too much incentive before. About the best you could hope for in most cases was a few crafting recipes; I made a bit of a half-hearted stab with the Argent Dawn, as they had a nice epic amulet on offer, but gave up after, over a couple of months, I’d amassed seven of the required tokens, and needed another four hundred and twelve. Still, it looks like gaining reputation with most of the Burning Crusade factions is somewhat less onerous than, say, Timbermaw Hold; I remember the days when raids swept through Felwood and Winterspring annihilating countless millions of Furbolg to gain Timbermaw reputation… I’ve been banking my Marks of Sargeras ready for when I hit Honored with the Aldor, keeping an eye out for cheap Marks at auction (found about 2 so far, I was hoping someone might list a stack of 100 for 20 silver, but hey) and swapping Signets with Scryer guildmates. It looks like there’s a fair amount of reputation to be had from quests in Netherstorm and Silvermoon as well, so I’ll hopefully make it up to Exalted. It’s not going to be quick, though, so I’ll probably grab the Grand Marshal’s Slicer when I hit level 70, work towards the Vindicator’s Brand to eventually replace it, and perhaps get a Gladiator’s Quickblade for the other hand if I can pick up enough points in an Arena season. That should at least guarantee that, on the next instance run after I get the Slicer, a very-nearly-but-not-quite-as-good sword drops, and I can come here and swear about it some more.