Guide: Classic/Vanilla Honor System explained (World of Warcraft: Classic)

Those who played during World of Warcraft vanilla probably faintly remember the classic Honor System where all PvP was based around getting Honor. This system was removed in the Burning Crusade prepatch, but it will make a return in World of Warcraft Classic, and this guide will teach you everything you need to know about the vanilla Honor System, allowing you to target the rank and rewards you want.

It's worth keeping in mind that the vanilla Honor System was designed around spending a huge amount of time grinding Honor, so getting a high PvP Rank is an activity that will likely occupy 12-14 hours of your day. It is possible to get to around Rank 10 or so without putting in these insane hours, but 11 to 14 definitely requires an insane grind.

Anyway, let's get into the basic of the vanilla Honor System!

The basics of the Honor System in Classic / vanilla

The Honor System is based around getting Honor Contribution Points (CP). You get this from the following sources:

- Killing other players to get Honorable Kills (HKs). Not all players are equal; higher PvP Ranked players will provide more CP than lower ranked players. Also killing the same player two or more times within a 24 hour period will decrease the CP gained. Each extra kill during these 24 hours get 10 % less CP than the previous kill, so the enemies essentially become worthless after you have killed them 6-7 times. The CP is also split amount all the players that participate in the kill.

- Fulfilling Battleground objectives. Whenever your team gets a point in WSG, get resource ticks in AB or things like that, all the members get CP.

To get to a higher Honor Rank, you basically want to get as much CP as possible each week.

Getting Rating Points from your Honor Contribution Points

Your CP will be locked during maintenance every Tuesday (US) or Wednesday (EU), and used to calculate how much Rating Points (RP) you get. During this time, your CP will be measured against all the other PvP players on your faction on your server, and a certain percentage get awarded with RP. This means that you are essentially competing against all the other PvP players on your own faction, and only 0.03 % of the players with most CP will get to the highest bracket of RP.

Here are all the brackets and the top CP earners that get awarded with each bracket of RP:

12 000 RP: Top 0.03 % of CP earners.
11 000 RP: Top 0.08 % of CP earners.
10 000 RP: Top 2 % of CP earners. 
9 000 RP: Top 3.5 % of CP earners.
8 000 RP: Top 6 % of CP earners. 
7 000 RP: Top 10 % of CP earners. 
6 000 RP: Top 15.9 % of CP earners. 
5 000 RP: Top 28.8 % of CP earners. 
4 000 RP: Top 32.7 % of CP earners. 
3 000 RP: Top 43.6 % of CP earners. 
2 000 RP: Top 56.6 % of CP earners. 
1 000 RP: Top 69.7 % of CP earners. 
400 RP: Top 84.5 % of CP earners. 
0 RP: The rest who got 15+ HKs that week.

This RP is what determines your Rank, and as you can see, the max amount of RP you can get in a single week is 12 000. However, only a few people will get this every week.

It's also important to know that you get a 20 % decay of RP each week, so you start off with each week with 20 % less RP than the week before, assuming you didn't get any RP that week. This does not play a big role when you are a low ranked player, but it will be a huge pain in the ass when you are Rank 10+!

RP needed to reach each rank

Below is a table of each rank and how much RP you need. The titles are in brackets with Alliance first, then Horde.

Rank 14 (Grand Marshal / High Warlord): 60 000 RP.
Rank 13 (Field Marshal / Warlord): 55 000 RP. 
Rank 12 (Marshal / General): 50 000 RP. 
Rank 11 (Commander / Lieutenant General): 45 000 RP. 
Rank 10 (Lieutenant Commander / Champion):  40 000 RP. 
Rank 9 (Knight-Champion / Centurion): 35 000 RP. 
Rank 8 (Knight-Captain / Legionnaire): 30 000 RP. 
Rank 7 (Knight-Lieutenant / Blood Guard): 25 000 RP.
Rank 6 (Knight / Stone Guard): 20 000 RP. 
Rank 5 (Sergeant Major / First Sergeant): 15 000 RP. 
Rank 4 (Master Sergeant / Senior Sergeant): 10 000 RP. 
Rank 3 (Sergeant / Sergeant): 5 000 RP. 
Rank 2 (Corporal / Grunt): 2 000 RP. 
Rank 1 (Private / Scout): 0 / 15 HKs. 

As you can see, you pretty much need to get at least 5 000 RP + enough to combat the 20 % decay each week in order to rise to a higher Rank. 

The 20 % decay is 11 000 RP when you have 55 000 RP at Rank 13, which means that you will need to be in the top 0.08 % of players to even stay the same, or in the 0.03 % of the players to even get 1 000 RP that week. 

Funfact: About 3-6 players per server are able to get enough RP to fight the decay you get at Rank 12-13 and push them up to Rank 14. This is why you won't ever see more than a few Rank 14 players at a time.

Some tips for farming Honor Points in Classic

We will end this guide by giving a few tips on how to grind Honor Points, based on how it worked in vanilla. The community will obviously be a lot different this time around, but these tips will likely still be relevant.

- You need to have at least 15 HKs during a week to even get RP, or else it counts as 0 RP, no matter how many CP you got.

- Play with a team that can grind Battleground to maximize Honor gained per hour. And then begin to clock in as many hours as humanly possible if you want to get to a high Rank. It's virtually impossible to get to a high Rank without plating with a pre-made group.

- It might not be a bad idea to stay away from the most popular servers, since these will likely have a lot of dedicated players that are trying to get a high Rank, making it more difficult for everyone involved.

- If you get to the top 0.03 % of the PvP players every single week, it will take you 12 weeks to get to Rank 14. But it's extremely unlikely that anyone will be able to do this.