Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Disconnect on Valor Gear

After thinking about the dailies issue for a bit, I wonder if there is a disconnect between Blizzard's view of Valor gear in this expansion and the player's view of that same gear.

Perhaps Blizzard is viewing Valor gear as entirely optional in this expansion. That the best route for PvE players to get gear is to skip factions entirely and just run dungeons and raids. Meanwhile the players feel that capping out faction rep is the best path to gear.

I think the disconnect between the two views hinges on how both parties view randomness. I've mentioned before that I don't think raiders handle randomness particularly well, and I think this is yet another example of that.

If we just look at what gear is available and the timeline to acquire it, I suspect that gear that drops from instances will account for the vast majority of slots, and players will only have one or two pieces of valor gear, even if they cap out reputations as fast as they can.

But instance drops are random, and raiders tend to discount randomness. Or they expect the worst possible outcome of that randomness. But Valor gear is entirely under their control. They guarantee themselves a piece of valor gear, even if it is more probable that they will get enough gear just through random drops.

That difference between randomness and guaranteed result pushes the raider to focus her efforts on the guaranteed result, even if that path is far more work per item than purely running instances.


  1. I've mentioned it in a few posts already, but I think the disconnect is because players don't have access to the Valor upgrader yet, which is coming in 5.1 ( , ).

    Once the Valor upgrader is in place, the role of the gear you can purchase for Valor is to be an upgrade path for players who do not wish to regularly raid. Though at the same time, they can certainly be used to fill in a raider's gaps, but I imagine that a raider would get said upgrades much faster then it would take for them to get Revered in the appropriate factions.

  2. Interesting idea, and from what I've seen as far as fighting over gear drops goes, you're probably closer to the truth than a lot of raiders would like to admit.

    Quite a few of the more hard core raider types that I know got their gear lists together and are diligently acquiring and checking off the items on the list. That sense of thoroughness plays right into the hands of the dailies, because there's a road map just waiting (begging?) to be used. Running the same instances day in and day out can get wearying, especially when people are convinced the odds are against them.

  3. RJ No it was much faster to reach revered then it is too get heroic upgrades, let alone raid upgrades. I will be revered with every faction before the end of this reset. I have had a grand total of 5 463 upgrades from 35 heroics.

  4. Wow you are lucky, I prob have same number of heroics runs but only 3 upgrades dropped so far :(

  5. I ran 23 consecutive dungeons with a friendly tank last weekend. Only 2 pieces for my class and spec dropped. Since then, I've run probably 12 more this week. I've only seen appropriate gear drop twice, and both times they went to someone else.

    So yeah, screw random.

  6. It's also very unfortunate that JP is rather lackluster at helping you fill out gear slots. I'm really not sure why they changed the currency system so much this patch. Perhaps this fabled 'valor upgrader' will herald in a new era of rainbows and prosperity for gear progression.


  7. I'm not sure why everyone thinks JP is so lackluster. The situation is nearly identical to the one at the beginning of Cata. Then, justice points bought you ilvl 346 gear, and heroics gave you ilvl 346 gear. In MoP, jstice points buys you ilvl 458, and heroics giuve ilvl 463. A 5 point ilvl difference, and considering the jump to 476 for LFR, and even higher for Mogu'shan Vaults gear (489), the 5 ilvl is tiny.

    That being said, I agree entirely with Rohan. VP gear is very easily roadmapped, versus random drops which you have to hope and pray for. So what's an algorithmically minded person to do? Go for the definite thing, rather than the maybe.

  8. 5 Item levels is indeed tiny, the problem is the gearscore needed for LFR. Someone in mostly JP gear cannot meet the requirement. Most people had the foresight to nab a couple trinkets from brewfest (even if they don't actually help them) and the rings from the horseman to boost their iLvl. I suspect if those two holidays had not happened there would be a lot of people still unable to get into LFR.

    In that context, 5 points is all the difference in the world, because you get stuck at 459, unable to get that one last point to be able to sign up.

    I really had no issue since I decided to do all quests in dread wastes leveling up. I was able to jump into heroics right away upon reaching 90. Since I play way too much, I was able to relentlessly farm the gear I needed from heroics, and thus had no problem jumping into the LFR.

    However, I wish gear progression was more organic for people who played less. Having to stock their bags with useless epics to cheat their way into things just seems to go against the spirit of the game. It's not fun, and makes them feel gimp. They could chose not to do that, and fall behind, but that would make them feel worse, I think.