Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reputation and Rewards

Reputation in Pandaria is interesting. There are a lot of factions, each with many dailies. It's clear that Blizzard is positioning the faction reputations as endgame content for the solo player.

However, Blizzard also tied the Justice and Valor point gear to the factions. This means that the Group PvE players also have to work on faction reputation to unlock gear.

In Cataclysm, this worked fine because of the tabard system. With tabards, a Group PvE player gained faction reputation by doing Group PvE. So faction rep was gained in doing what the Group PvE player was going to do anyways.

However, in Mists, Blizzard did away with the tabard system. This meant that the Group PvE players now had to do the Solo PvE game in order to unlock their rewards. Naturally, this made them upset, and Blizzard has had to weaken the repuation system, to make it easier, in order to compensate.

I think the major problem was "crossing the streams". The Group PvE endgame content should have stayed separate from the Solo PvE endgame content. To be honest, almost every time crossover happens, be it from PvE to PvE or Solo to Group, there is unhappiness.

And yet, if the factions have gear as rewards, they will be seen as necessary to the Group PvE player. But if they don't have gear, the Solo PvE players don't get to improve their characters by playing their endgame.

My solution would be to offer all Justice/Valor gear from a regular vendor, just like in past expansions. But if you get the faction reputation, you can buy that same gear at a significant discount, say half-price.

So this sets up two paths. If you don't want to dailies at all, you can just run dungeons, get Valor at a faster rate as well as boss drops, and buy gear from the regular vendors. If you do dailies, you get Valor at a slower rate, but eventually you unlock and can purchase gear for a significant discount.

If you do a mix, then you can get some gear cheap, and some gear at full price. You can do the factions you care about, and ignore the others. If you like min-maxing, figuring out the optimal mix of dailies and dungeons would be an interesting exercise.

But essentially, it would make reputation and dailies optional for the players who don't like doing them, since you can always replace dailies with more dungeon runs.


  1. You don't think that your system creates an obligation to do both dungeons and dailies to maximise your rewards?

    Seems essentially how 10/25 normal/heroic raids orginally worked. You could do a subset (in theory). In practice, because the returns were marginally better, you had to do all of them to keep up (as a top tier raider).

  2. Honestly there's a much simpler solution: use the same approach they are using for valor, i.e. have it come from different sources, and cap it so that the progression is automatically time-limited.
    This means that you can get reputation from:
    - daily quests
    - hardcore farming of mob drops (as it was for the sons of Hodir)
    - dungeons (tabard)
    - pet battles
    - crafting (see LotRO)
    - ...whatever else you can think of...
    and since the daily amount is capped, you can choose and use the approach which matches the part of the game you actually enjoy.
    (Note: this assumes that the reputation in question awards some rewards related to the activity in question).
    Then create an item which can be bought at exalted and which is BoA, allowing people to "transfer" reputation to their alts.... reputation which will be limited by the same daily cap, so that you cannot insta-exalt your alts.

    I may even get around posting a description in Blizzard's suggestion forum, if I manage to convince myself that someone will read it.

  3. This kind of problem will exist as long as some player think they are entitled for better loot then player of different content. (And at the same time think they should be entitled to not do the other content.)

    The only real solution is to give everyone access to the same quality of gear.

  4. Given the current state of theorycrafting, a lot of reputation runs will not be optional if you want to be "raid ready". I know that Blizz tried to confound theorycrafting in this expac with the talent changes, but many of us predicted that the theorycrafters will find the One True Way as usual.

    Once you let the genie out of the bottle, you can't put it back in. To be honest, I'm surprised that Blizz didn't see this coming.

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  6. As I mentioned in Reputation, I'd like to see Blizzard do something much more radical with rep. Do away with publicly visible reputation points altogether.

    As in real life, we should gain reputation from doing good and honourable things, and lose it when we do bad or stupid things. We shouldn't feel that we need to grind dailies to improve our reputation. We certainly shouldn't gain it from wearing an item of clothing.

  7. In fact reputations are not a problem. At least you can see when you will be finished with them. The real problem is to get the valor cap every week. It takes significant amount of time and there will be no end of this farming if there will be gear upgrade available in exchange for it.

  8. Valor isn't "tied to reputation", though I can see why you'd think that. The current Valor items on rep vendors is not meant for group PvE players, as group players would instead be using their Valor in the upgrade vendor that's not yet active.

    The items available on the vendors are meant to be things the solo/daily grinders can strive for from the small amounts of points they get each day.

  9. I think the system now is fine. You can ignore the rep grinds completely if you want by gearing up for LFR by buy Justice Pieces (now without rep requirements)and running heroics. Not too mention rare hunting and what not.

    I feel like the rep grinds are more for the completionists and it's something to do for the casual players. I got pretty close to honored just by doing the zone for the Kalxi. Lotus is a pain, but I don't feel compelled to do it. As far for Valor cap, you get enough from heroics and scenarios and now LFR. If you absolutely feel like you have to cap run some more heroics or do some dailies.

    I never felt more that wow has got it right. Everything you do in the game feels like the rewards are worth the time and there are multiple avenues for gearing. The dailies that I have been doing are fun to boot. Come'on! Serpent racing! Serpent racing is freaking sweet!

  10. I don't think halving the cost for rep attuned players would mean people would feel less inclined to grind - in fact it would make it more important (better gear faster).

    What about instead using the currency that soloers don't get in lieu of reputation? Say a chest can be bought with 2250 VP and rep OR 2250 VP and 4000 JP (at almost a 2:1 ratio, well below the JP:VP gains from heroics). Then all you need to do is make sure raid bosses drop JP and VP in equal amounts. Raider will get enough extra JP from heroics and raiding and no longer needs dailies. Dedicated players of both types will be getting gear at the same rate.

  11. I really like your idea here.

    As a group PVE player, I really dislike being 'forced' into doing dailies to be the best resto shaman I can be for my raid team- and then feeling like I'm letting them down when I consistenty fail to do so. There are so many things in game that I'd much rather being doing- I have so many characters to level, I'm interested in working on tillers and anglers, yet I feel bad doing anything but what I am 'supposed' to do to optimize for my primary end-game, which is raiding.

    I think that you should definitely get some tangible benefit for doing dailies, but I hate that they are completely necessary, that there is no alternate path other than 'don't get the rep reward gear then'. I feel like it makes me a bad team player, but I just don't have the time or interest in those dailies.

  12. I think if they just move the VP rewards back to a neutral city vendor and make it so you can cap VP easily in a week by doing either group pve or solo pve content then you wouldn't have to worry about different values for the two. If you can get your 1000 valor easily from running dungeons or raids and also easily from just doing dailies then you wouldn't feel like you had to do both. I have no problem with the JP rewards because I feel like they are worse quality than heroic drops so they aren't "needed".

  13. @Cain:

    You can cap out easily just by doing solo or small group content. Each end-game daily gives 5 Valor, which means 200 daily quests over a week, or an average of 28 a day. If you do ONE random Heroic each day (for the daily bonus), that alone gets you 420, meaning you only need to complete 116 daily quests, or an average of 16 a day. When I do the Golden Lotus, Halfhill, and Cloud Serpent dailies, that is roughly 20 quests by itself.

    Now, is it as fast as if I was raiding regularly? No, but at the end of the week I'm still capped out just the same.

  14. I don't consider 28 dailies a day capping out easily for a solo player as 28 dailies will take a lot of time to complete each day. And if you are talking a heroic everyday you are no longer talking solo play you are talking group pve. Under the old system 7 heroics capped you, LFR plus 3-4 heroics capped you, or running current tier raids capped you. One heroic doesn't take nearly as long as 28 dailies. Now 7 heroics gets you less than half way.
    I think they were closer to the right amount of effort to cap valor with the 7 heroic level that used to exist. If it was still 7 heroics capped you, and you took the average amount of time to run those and determined the average number of total dailies you could complete in the same amount of time and rewarded those sufficiently to also cap you is what I would consider as "easily" capping. Then the truly solo player can still cap valor each week even if they miss one day of doing dailies and do some extra the other days to make up the difference. The group pve player can either do heroics or raids or a mix and cap valor without having to do dailies. You eliminate the "crossing the streams" that was mentioned, and the total time to cap is not that significant that a more casual player could still expect to cap.

    Neither the solo pve or the group pve player has to "cross the streams", and they will both easily cap doing what they were already doing anyways without a major time investment. During WotLK you had to log in each day for the daily random heroic. The improved that by just making it a weekly cap not an every day thing. I think they had the right amount of time before, and I think the not having to log in every day was an improvement as well. Now they are trying to expand it to solo pve, but they increased the time investment by a lot and they basically added back the can't miss a day.

  15. As a side note I wish they would allow 7 random BG's in one day and cap instead of only one per day, like they did during Cata with heroics where you could do 7 heroics in one day and cap,

  16. I'll note one other thing that I left out of my equations, which is that there's also some other sources of VP, for example doing the race when it pops is worth a bonus 5~15 VP on top of it's regular 5 points.

    28 can be fairly fast, depending on what you want to focus on. For example, if you make all of the meals for the Tillers people each day, that is about 8 "dailies" right there that can be completed while doing something else, and I didn't factor them in in my own experience (I don't bother to do them all each day). Scenarios are also small-group content that's worth half what a heroic is, but that's still 30 for the first time (6 quests) and 15 for each subsequent (3 quests), and it's possible to get into them quickly.

    But, like I said. Is it as fast as raiding? No. But there's more then enough content available to cap out on VP if you don't want to raid, or do dungeons/scenarios. It requires more time, but it's there. The game currently has way more then 28 possible quests you can do a day, after all. And I think this is an outstanding balance they've struck.

    I can get online for 2~3 hours a day, do dailies and a Heroic/Scenario, and be capped out by the end of the week. I don't know about you, but I feel this is pretty fair.