Have you noticed the gap?

I noted when running around after work on Tuesday night that the buff for extra Valor was still on my character, yet the cap had been refreshed back to 0/1000.

Like a good little grinder I’d almost finished farming my 150×4 of the bloody barrens boring grind-fest, so I got my last 35 oil, and parked at the quest giver.The ugly troll gave me the quest as expected.

Unexpectedly turning in the quest got me 300 Valor not 200. The What? +50% Cool!

Apparently it also works on the Isle of Thunder and disappears if you change zones or change maps. Yes it appears a bug, and likely unintended. I can’t say I’ll panic and plan to do this just for an extra 100 Valor each week, but it was a surprise.

BarrensArtwork

Old news is good news

Some thoughts on what is now old news…

Valor points are not being reset (huzzah) to Justice points, and patch is set for 5.2 If you’re able to spend and then earn the valor for an upgrade it is still worth it, just don’t upgrade an item you’ll replace early (trinket, ring, etc) once you get into the new Reps. I shot a stack of Justice points on a basically useless heirloom item for a Shaman, because I have little else to purchase with them. Justice are pretty dull at the moment once you’re past a gear level. That is ok in the most part, but it would be nice to do something good with them.

In 5.2 we get new reps to grind out, new gear to loath the drop rate for, and new dailies to make the drop rate seem a secondary concern. Less yay, but something to get into.

New raids look good, in a way that is a new visual presentation (cybernetic aztec dinosaurs with lasers…..roar) and also a new set of mechanical challenges. Good news. Lore/RP wise it will be an interesting patch if only because we get closer to finding out why Garrosh goes bananas and why Jania does not follow suit and smash a few cities. I know she’s taken the road less traveled, but Garrosh is going to need to do some more shitty things before the rest of the horde will use him as an end-boss. He’s been an unmitigated arse so far and the horde racial leadership are happy with that. Well the ones who are alive are anyway.

Oh, and Wrathion! He continues to give the heroes gifts and boons, as we continue to follow his agenda. I feel that either he’s a major player i the end of this expansion, or the major NPC in the next expansion. It would be great to see a character transverse the expansions so that during Mists he helps and rewards, and then in the next expansion we see what and why he did particular things. I can’t help but think his goal is to restore the Black Dragon flight, and that might be brilliant or could be a total disaster for the players. It would be especially good if Wrathion is actually a creature of leadership, but not a “corrupted bad guy”. Sure his view might be different, and lets see him as a leader for the future stepping into the empty shoes of the other flights now that they have left.

The season 13 pvp gear for Death Knights looks nice, particularly the shoulders. The help is less so, but overall ok. The Shaman set is great, and stinks of a HP Lovecraft touch. Creepy Shamans.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew.

Shafted by VP to JP conversion in 5.2

Aside

WoW’s Patch 5.2 will convert Valor to Justice points, just like all other major content patches. However this time the gear to be purchased will not be moving to JPs, instead it will be “greatly discounted” but still require VPs to purchase. So if you still wanted to purchase it you’ll need to farm VPs to replace the ones that were converted.

Seems like a silly idea to me, and I cannot think of a reason why making the “old gear” purchasable for JP is unreasonable. Just like previous patches. Oh, unless it takes more time to gear up an alt, then it makes sense. Shafted. The counterpoint is that the new VP gear will be what you’re buying, but then it still does not make sense not to move the old stuff to Justice.

Whats next for upgrades?

dk-symbolThere is a new-ish site which indicates which item on your character will benefit from Valor Points the most according to your class and spec stat weightings. Wowupgrade.com.

Cool stuff, and a great idea. Check it out.

That said, the best use of Valor for me is buying new gear, not upgrading. I suppose it should be obvious, but I jumped straight at the tool to see where the bang-for-buck was, and initially forgot to consider the purchase.

eg. 1500 VPs to upgrade a 476, or 2200 VPs to buy a 489? Get the 489 every time, as it can be upgraded later to even higher. Then once all the purchasable VP gear is obtained, then start the upgrade spends as per the site’s recommendations.

This week if I cap the 1000 pt limit successfully, then I’ll be darn close to the 3000 hard cap as well. A spend is a must do. This is a great problem to have, as I can replace either a set of 476 Bracers or Legs.

The choice then becomes between the two items – the bracers have Exp and Crit, where the Legs have Mastery and Haste. No brainer – Legs. I have no idea what the dps increase will be by upshifting 13 item levels, but it moves to what are almost perfect DK stats. And when they get replaced by 5.2 stuff the Mastery might be re-used in a Tank set.

I’m soon off to spend VPs – Wheeeeeee.

Happy Killing.

How do you get to 1000 valor per week?

I’d like to know how other players get to the 1000 valor cap per week? My method is constrained by small blocks of time, and a desire to alternate activity. I do:

  • as many dailies for valor and rep as I can fit in while waiting for a queue
  • x1-2 scenarios and x1 instance run per day, for the 3 nights a week I play. As a priority the Instance comes first, as it rewards more VPs, although the Scenarios can be quick.
  • rarely I’ll do one or two extra daily quests before work, or on an off-night. Only 10-20 VPs worth at a maximum.
  • even more rarely I get to kill bosses in a Raid or an LFR. Typically this happens if I don’t get a raid spot and I also get a night with no distractions. Once a month typically.

How successful is the strat? Its generally not enough. I get to around 650 VPs per week, although on a great week that might be almost 900 VP.

golden-pagoda-golden-lotus-wow-daily-quest-hub

Is this the fault of me as a player not having enough time, or the fault of game design?

Given I spend approx 9 hours playing a week broken into small chunks of 45 minutes to 1.5 hours (if not raiding) I’m very comfortable saying that it is my schedule which affects the lack of capp’ing Valor points. Adding a night, or even 1 extra hour per day would make a huge difference on this time, and that is my long term plan – to spread play into “off-nights” but only doing stuff that is very easy to be interrupted in.

I’ve posted about the Valor rewards themselves being poor, and it may appear to be an attack on the overall system. The facility for obtaining Valor is fine, but the reward rate (5x per Daily) feels very low, but has not totally prohibited gear upgrades.

Happy Killing.

Dungeon and Raid Requirements

A “note to self” on what item levels are needed to get into the MoP Scenarios, Dungeons, and Raids, and what item level they drop. Also what is obtainable from Factions and Craftables, via gold and Reputation.

Why? Because I frequently get them confused with each other…

cropped-woww2716topdumto.jpg

Scenarios

  • Requires: 425
  • Awards: chance of 463, and now a small chance of 476

Heroic 5-mans

  • Requires: 440
  • Awards; 463, with very rare 476 on a few end bosses.

Mogushan Vaults (raid)

  • Requires: 460
  • Awards LFR: 476, Normal: 489, Heroic: 502

Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (raids)

  • Requires: 470
  • Awards LFR: 483, Normal: 496, Heroic: 509

Reputation Rewards

  • (most) faction = 458 gear purchased with Justice points
  • (some) factions = 463 gear, such as Klaxxi Exalted weapons, for gold.
  • (most) Honored and Revered with faction = 489 gear purchased with Valor points
  • Friendly with ShieldWall Offensive = 458 gear purchased with Justice points
  • Honored with ShieldWall Offensive = 496 gear purchased with Valor points
  • Revered with ShieldWall Offensive = 496 gear purchased with Valor points
  • Exalted and doing a Quest chain, with the Golden Lotus grants a 489 Neck
  • Exalted and doing a Quest chain, with the Klaxxi grants a 489 Ring

Craftables

  • Item level 450s (no special mats needed – dirt cheap)
  • 463 (Spirit of Harmony needed – cheap-ish)
  • 476s (Spirit of Harmony needed – not badly priced at the moment due to new gear)
  • 496 (Bloods needed – very expensive)

Happy killing

Raidboss Valor Reward Increased

http://mmo4ever.com/mists-of-pandaria/gfx/icons/pvecurrency-valor.pngHuge news – and perhaps in response to the community being pissed off about the low rate of valor collection – the rewards will be boosted in maintenance today – from 25 to 40 VPs per kill. Wow Insider has the skinny, twitter post from GhostCrawler, and patch notes.

Normal and Heroic raid encounters in Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring now award 40 Valor, up from 25. This will take effect after the weekly reset.

Wow. Excellent!

What does it mean? Well for a start raiders have a reason to spin through a clear of Mogu’shun Vaults for Valor instead of doing dailies. 240 VP per clear is far better than 150.

Also in this patch is the Spirit Kings appearing in a set order – interesting. Was it enough of an issue that folks found it hard? A particular order did not seem to be more difficult. No more than the selection of Doggies in the 3 Dogs fight being sometimes a pain.

Happy Killing. Continue reading

Gearing up for an adventure

That scene in the Matrix when Neo fights an upgraded Agent and says, “hmm, upgrades…” resounds at the moment.

Recently I’ve been lucky to have some very good gear drops in normal MV and also had some of the hard work grinding and AH farming pay off. I found it odd that the relative score of the gear in sites like Wow Heroes did not jump significantly. It’s not like there are not 300+ characters who are better geared on the server, but bragging right are fun sometimes.

Gear which changes was:

  • a Dps 489 ring from Quest/Exalted Rep with Klaxxi. It is no small effort to get to Exalted with this faction, and it is a pity that I took the reward so close to the update to patch 5.1 as the ring will hopefully be replaced in the coming months. I will not be doing the Klaxxi zone at all unless I max out all the other dailies, which in very unlikely.
  • a Dps 489 gauntlets from MV, upgraded from item level 372.
  • a Dps 489 cloak from MV, from level 372,
  • some Dps boots that I’ll be using as part of a Tank set,
  • switched the old 472 dps Cloak and Gauntlets to the Tank set,
  • and purchased the Dps trinket from DMF, which replaced the 450 ilevel dragonling trinket. I’ll miss that little dragon proc. I think it cost around 12,000 gold buying it with cards.
  • then finally purchased the other DMF trinket too for the Tank set, for around 8,500 gold. It was far less of an upgrade that the Dps one, but it will serve well for the rare Tanking I do in instances and is more than powerful enough for 5 man runs.

Yes, its been a good few weeks.

I know that using Dps gear is not ideal for Tanking as I miss out on loading the secondary Tank stats like Parry and Dodge, but a 486/472 dps item is rated higher in terms of overall itemisation than a 463 item with those stats because often the Mastery loading on the dps items is still good. It is not ideal, but any upgrade is an upgrade.

Next on the list is:

  • I’m likely to valor-upgrade the two-hander Star Shatter, as it is likely the best weapon I’ll see before we are either killing the end boss in Heart of Fear on normal (a while away), or killing Heroic Elegon (longer still). Spending Valor on that seems a worth while update as it is unlikely to be replaced.
  • Rep farming the Shieldwall faction is important (Ring, then Trinket, then Boots/Belt),
  • but as is completing the Exalted rep with Goldebn Lotus for a Tank Neck (a quest reward), because I have a 489 item on neck already and the itemisation on the Dps quest reward is sub-par for DKs playing Frost 2 handed. Might as well get +5 Valor and a nice upgrade when it does not disadvantage the other grinds.
  • getting to Revered with the Shadow-Pan for a new 489 trinket (also costs VPs), but I am now sure that the Ironbelly Wok is nothing compared to the upgrade of switching to a 496 with the Shieldwall trinket. Those poor Shado-Pan might have had their day.
  • I’ll visit the August Celestials soon to see how I can help them too.

At this stage I’ll wait to see how my reps are when I next cap out on Valor, then purchase the item which gives the best upscale in core ilevel, with a preference for the Shieldwall gear.

I did wonder and have no answer, except to perform case-by-case testing for:

  • Is it worth upgrading a weapon by 8 item levels (say 489 to 497), or a trinket (from 472 to 480)?
  • or better to spend VPs on higher gear? buy a 489 which replaces a 472, which is more of a point difference.
  • How far does the preferred vs sub-optimal secondary stats factor in that?

Perhaps the answer is to only upgrade the gear which is both the highest level you expect to attain in the short to mid term, and also only when the same amount of Valor Points could not purchase an equivalent upgrade elsewhere on the character.

i.e. You’re better off purchasing a higher ilevel item than upgrading another, as you change the base level of your gear to be higher, and therefore open to enhancement with Valor later. This means that as most of my stuff is 489 now, I’d be mad to upgrade a 472 with VPs, especially when 496s are available with Reputation.

There is no sneaky way to grab my last 472 upgrades for Legs and Bracers except getting lucky in a few runs, or Valor farming – so farming it is. Yay! Cough.

dk_headshot_armour by wow insider

wow p5.1 Valor Grinding Update by Ask Mr. Robot

You PvE folks don’t need more gear drops, just update the gear you have with Valor and Justice! Yay. Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Mr Robot has an excellent summary with examples of how and how gear will soon be able to be upgrades with grind-able points. In Patch 5.1 for WoW you’ll get a +8 item level boost on any gear, costing 1500 points. That is pretty neat for a raider who is missing a key upgrade due to poor luck. It offers an alternative which was not available.

I have a niggling feeling though that it will make capping Valor/Justice each week so much more important. It was already very desirable, but now it feels even closer to a mandatory requirement.

Q. Where do you get the points?

A. Same places – boss kills, instances, and doing daily quests. Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Q. Do we get more, or are the scales adjusted?

A. Nope, all is good in the ratios so I’m told. 25 points per boss kill is apparently what is needed.

Raiding and LFR offer between 40-50% max of the Valor, assuming that you are doing full clears. Not many guilds are doing full clears – so many raiders are not even close to max before they start doing Instances and daily quests.

Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Q. Should I do progression, with wipes, long effort, etc or do Valor farming?

A. Both. You need to play more, or play more efficiently, or whatever – this is all about being given expanded options. Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Q. How could the reward improve or valor system improve?

A. How about:

  • Increase the reward from the instances from 80 VP first and 40 every run afterward to 100 and 60 each extra run. Make it so more people run instances to get their Valor – it can’t hurt. It still makes it a hard slog to cap. Increasing the JP reward is a good idea too.
  • Reward both Valor and Justice from Scenarios, unless they are intended to be done once and then forgotten.
  • Reward more from boss kills in PvE, from 25 to 40-45. This means that it is still very unlikely that a character will cap valor just from PvE clearing.
  • Reward daily quest reward from 5 VP to 10 or 15 VP. This is for fools like me who are earning valor through daily quests a lot and are really bored with it.
  • The bonus for valor capping a character changes so that instead of one character getting to 1000 valor and the buff kicking in, the 1000 can be gained on any set of characters, then all get more. This means more people are using alts – which would be their choice.

Remember: Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory. Are you happy citizen?

Refs:

Faction reps gaining slowly

A quick toon update on Reputations in progress for Mortigen my Death Knight, making me think that daily quests do have a reward, but by golly that does not make them entertaining.

  • Black Prince now Honored. Not a big deal without the drops needed from raid bosses, which are darn rare and most of what I need now coming from Heart of Fear.
  • Golden Lotus now Revered, so I can save that little more valor and might soon have some upgraded epic Shoulders. Yay. Anyone got some spare Valor? Also means I can unlock the Shadow Pan to start more quests. And a step closer to the epic quest reward too.
  • Klaxxi now Revered, also not a big deal due to the Valor requirement on rewards. I suppose it is one step closer to Exalted and a free 487 epic item. Yippee. Grind.
  • Tillers now totally beyond my comprehension of which idiot farmer likes me, and which are snarky. I do not understand why Farmer Yoon (or whatever his name is) actually needs rep or help. What he really needs and actually has is a host of available players to be slaves on his farm while he stands idle beside the hut watching. That shovel pusher is lucky he is not a yellow-mob, because I’d be killing him every week. Yes, I am exalted which is why these turkeys get the biggest rant.
  • I also do not understand how to get Cooking leveled quickly. All my non-“Way-of-the” cooking is gray.
  • Anglers have had a brief look in, but fishing is no more compelling than before, which means that it’ll be one of the last things I do each week if I have the time.
  • Archaeology is after fishing/Anglers. Yawn.

So I keep doing Golden Lotus and Klaxxi for the Exalted quest chain, garnering Valor to buy the Shoulders, then add Shadow Pan into the mix instead of Tillers so that the epic Helm will one day be something available too.

It’s nice to have an upgrade path. See you online.