And I couldn't be happier. For those unfamiliar with WoW's Arena system, it's basically the PvP equivalent of High End Raids. The Arenas have seasons, which we're currently in season 2, that correspond to the most recent Raid Dungeon's Gear. This way both hardcore PvP and hardcore PvE players stay pretty on par with each other.
The Battlegrounds, completely separate from the Arena system, are like the PvP version of WoW's 5-man dungeons and Heroics. You compete in them, save up honor points, and spend said points like currency on decent but vastly inferior gear to that of Raiders and Arena teams.
To put the Honor Gear in comparison to Arena Gear, let's take the Crossbows from the Honor System and the Crossbow from the Season 1 set. I don't have access to Wiki right now, but the Honor System's ranged weapon (the GM Crossbow for level 70) runs at about 66 damage per second. I was dead set on this weapon before I learned of the Arena 1 items coming in Patch 2.3. The GM crossbow exceeds my current gun's DPS output by about 10. I need an upgrade badly, and the GM weapons are definitely that, even if they pale in comparison to the Arena and Raiding rewards.
But no more. Path 2.3 will allow me to get the Season 1 weapons to give me the upgrade I'm looking for. And to explain why I'm so stoked... the GM Crossbow has 66 dps or so... the S1 Gladiator's Crossbow has 82 damage per second. Compared to what I'm currently equipped with, that's nearly a 30dps increase. I am so excited for a little piece of virtual weaponry that it has me questioning my priorities.
The Season 1 Honor Prices and stats can be found on MMO-Champion right now, near the bottom of their 2.3 catalog post. Armor ranges from around 11,000 to 15,000 honor and 30 tokens of one or another Battleground, while weapons top out at 27,000 and 40 tokens for the big damage dealers like Two-Handers and my lovely Crossbow.
There are downsides though. I never trained in Crossbows. I will have to raise my skill from 0 to 350 before I get full potential out of it. Also, the crossbow's cost is easily 3 weeks of Battlegrounds for me at my current rate of 1-2 hours of honor gain a day. It's not a hassle really, it's just that I want the weapon as soon as possible so I'm hoping I've got 3 weeks before 2.3 hits the live servers. I want to march right up to the Honor vendor and get that weapon the day it goes live. Because it's going to take a lot of skilling up before I can head back to AV and work towards the rest of the Season 1 Armor... which looks so awesomely evil I can't wait to wear it.
Aye... it was a good time to return to WoW. Attainable epic gear for a casual player? Who knew they'd ever get around to it?
EDIT: This found on the VN... For all 5 S1 armor pieces, it'll be 65,250 honor, 50 AV Tokens, 50 AB Tokens, and 30 WSG Tokens. Weapons, as stated before will range from 8,000 honor and around 20 tokens for the 1-handers/wands to 27,000 and 40 tokens for the big 2-handers and my crossbow.
Man, this patch makes me a very happy dwarf. Here's hoping they don't boost those prices too much because the vocal minority cries foul once again. I'm just a lowly noob, without a lot of time... these rewards are the best I'll see until the next expansion. Please don't eff with what seems to be genius. :)