Valor in Name Only
One of the big struggles I have had coming back is wrapping my head around the current state of Valor currency. There are many times in playing World of Warcraft where actually having a large volume of ancestral knowledge about the game… makes it a severe detriment. One of the big things that interested me in WoW was the fact that they were supposedly resurrecting the concept of Valor points earned from doing things. In the past this was important because ultimately you were able to purchase raid quality gear, and they served as a sort of “bad luck token” as my friend Rylacus and I thought of them. While they always sort of half assed the implementation, it did provide you with a bit of a way to offset your bad loot roll luck, by purchasing much needed tokens from saving up valor for several weeks. Granted it could have been a better system all along had they just offered all of the drops from raid bosses, on a vendor somewhere for varying prices to denote the importance of the drop. There were expansions where this token was done extremely well, and others where all you could purchase were a sequence of frustrating “offbrand” items that were never quite as good as the ones that came from the raid.
However as a raider… I always appreciated the fact that there was generally some upgrade path that I could take without relying purely on my luck. It never bothered me that those “damned dirty casuals” were able to get the same gear I could from out of the raid. In fact I liked the fact that there were many paths to end game viability, and I always thought this was one of the things that World of Warcraft struggled with. Apexis was supposed to be the solution to all of our gearing problems, or at least it seemed like that was intended to be the case. The problem is that the items purchaseable from Apexis crystals were significantly worse in every possible way for certain specs. Maybe this was just something that I experienced in playing Gladiator, one of the Warlords expansions special snowflake classes… but none of the gear from the Apexis vendor was in any way viable. As a result I simply ignored most of it and stockpiled my tokens hoping that at some point they would be useful. Now we zoom ahead to this patch cycle, and I am raiding on both my Alliance and Horde characters… so I kept thinking that surely I would be swimming in Valor by now.
Currency of Bribery
It turns out that is absolutely not the case, and the new version of Valor while similar in some fashions… has some fairly stark differences. In the past the best method of Valor acquisition was simply doing the raid every week. Each boss downed gave you a bit of Valor which added up quickly… and often times capped you without much effort. Now however the priority is massively different, and it feels like they are doing something that Square Enix is the master of. Bribing players to do community focused content. I finally looked up what actually awards Valor and it was a surprisingly small list of things.
- 100 Valor of the first Heroic of the day.
- 300 Valor for per mythic dungeon each week.
- 500 Valor for completing the weekly bonus quest.
- 150 Valor for completing each wing of Hellfire Citadel on LFR.
- 75 Valor for completing each wing of Highmaul and Blackrock on LFR.
So essentially this is no longer the currency of raiding and has instead become the currency to bribe players to participate in group content through the party finder. I am not sore about this or anything, because it makes sense. If you want to fix the queues… you need to get people into the system and what better way to do that then dangling something over their heads.
The only slight problem I have with it is that in theory they should have just introduced a brand new currency. Valor has a very specific meaning to me, as being the highest tier of raid currency. Justice points similarly has a very specific meaning to me… with them being the lower tier of activity currency. For me at least there has been a significant amount of cognitive dissonance in trying to adjust to Valor simply being this upgrade only currency. There is no gear purchasable with Valor, and instead everything you can purchase still relies on Apexis crystals… a currency that I am pretty certain will ONLY exist while we are on Draenor since lore wise they simply would not make sense anywhere else in the setting. What makes this doubly confusing is that we still have two different PVP currencies, being Honor and Conquest… and they still function in the same roles as Justice and Valor once did. Honor being the generic activity currency, and Conquest being the rationed and limited… and therefor more powerful currency. It just feels like they uprooted Justice and Valor for no reason… especially if they are going to further confuse things by introducing it in a completely watered down version later.
Late to the Party
I realize I am bringing this up a month late, and as such my discussion loses a lot of its validity in the eyes of many people. When patch 6.2.3 initially was released… I was fighting the desire to come back to the game. Then upon returning, it took me awhile to get adjusted to everything that happened in 6.2 let along the new patch content. So as often I am lagging behind. Largely I am not really that frustrated, but mostly pointing out my thoughts on the matter. As always I get to this point where I feel like a tweak here or a tweak there would greatly improve the game play experience. Where I am standing now however is that I feel like even though I really have no more upgrades available, in order to be the best player I can be… I really need to be running LFR every single week on every character that is available. If I do this however I am absolutely certain to burn out and be discarding this game into the waste bin once again. As awesome as I think Hellfire Citadel is as an actual and genuine raid… it is equally horrible in the LFR experience. So I am at this wall of… do I just accept that I won’t be progressing as quickly as I could be… or do I keep throwing myself against some content that I am not enjoying that much. I have to say… I am actually finding myself missing daily quests that I could do for Valor points.