End of Justice, Valor in Warlords

I cannot imagine this is breaking news, but it certainly came to a shock to me:

Honor and Conquest definitely are not going away, just to clarify a misconception – you’ll still be earning those currencies through PvP and using them to buy your PvP gear.

What will be going away is Justice and Valor. Over time, they’ve moved away from their original purpose, and given how widely available they’d become (awarded from quests, scenarios, dungeons, raids, etc.), we’d rather return to the original universal currency: gold. The final values aren’t hooked up yet, but the old Valor rewards for completing your daily random dungeon or an LFR wing will be replaced with a hefty sum of gold, which should make something like the gold turn-in for a bonus roll seem far more attainable even for players who currently don’t have much gold.

Watcher went on to clarify:

Just to clarify, I’m not saying that players should expect to see a vendor with a full set of endgame gear for gold as a one-to-one replacement for the Valor vendors from Mists. For the initial Warlords content, Apexis Crystals will largely fill that role, and you can see most of that structure already in place in the Beta today.

I honestly don’t know what the hell Blizzard imagines they are doing.

The original thought I had was that Blizzard was going to remove all Justice/Valor points and related vendors, and then heavily lean on the Bonus Roll mechanics they introduced in Mists. Gold is indeed one of the methods you can use to get a Bonus Roll, but it is one of… five I think, and you can use a particular method once per week with 3 Bonus Rolls being the limit. It sorta makes sense from a design perspective insofar as the current Justice/Valor system has an awkward down-leveling that occurs every patch, with Valor turning into Justice, Justice items going down in price, issues with people banking dungeon currency, and so on.

The issue I have with this change is one of motivation. In a world where you are running dungeons for specific gear, what motivation do you have to run said dungeon after you have gotten your gear? There isn’t any. And… maybe that’s a good thing? Back in the day though, I would routinely farm dungeons on my tank characters (instant queues) specifically because I could earn currency to get raid-level upgrades that would help guild progression later. Without that carrot, I would queue for nothing, and the LFD system itself would that much worse off. Alternatively, perhaps it means that LFD would be stocked with people specifically farming for gear, e.g. the intended audience for the content, so maybe people would be more accepting of lower-geared strangers.

Then I remembered that Blizzard is still using alternative currencies: Apexis Crystals. So… they do have the equivalent to Valor points, but you don’t earn them in dungeon/raid content. Was this their solution to reputation grinds? I don’t know, I’m not in the beta. But all I can think of is: Frost Badges. You know, back in Wrath when there was a different raid currency for every tier. Because we sure as hell aren’t likely to be using Apexis Crystals for Tier N+1 vendor gear.

So now I’m back to having no idea what Blizzard imagines they are doing. I actually liked the Valor system, and I liked it all the way back when it was Badges of Justice in your inventory. Granted, it led to some targeted farming behavior like running Heroic Mechanar every day and weekly Kara farms, but at least it got everyone in groups out in the world. As someone would more gold than I would know what to do with, I’m not entirely sure what I would be doing in Warlords other than perhaps farming Apexis Crystals. Which is like farming Valor, except much easier to do by myself.

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Posted on August 25, 2014, in WoW and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. BoJ pre 2.4 was an alternative endgame for people who can’t stand raids (like me).

    After that, all further iterations of BoJ were just Blizzard trying to bend the system to add usefulness for raiders. They bended it enough to break it. It’s good it’s going away.

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    • That’s an interesting point. I’m not convinced that it’s good that it’s going away, but I can see how the removal might be a relief to raiders who otherwise might feel Valor farming is required for progression. Hmm.

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      • This is why they are removing it. They wanted to make sure raiders didn’t have to deal with too many tiers. Too many people this expansion feeling obligated to run LFR. They stated they wanted them to be able to jump into normals and bypass LFR. How this works out once a tier of content is in and people need to play catch up has yet to be seen.

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  2. I am with you. I also think that giving more reasons for people to run that content was beneficial too. I hate seeing the game stratify more and more along content lines. People of all types should play together in at least a few aspects of the game, right?

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    • Yep. I’m not entirely sure how someone with a single-player mindset is going to “graduate” to raids or even group content now. And nevermind what’s going to happen to the average skill/gear level in LFD content.

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  3. I am VERY curious to see how their endgame works out this expansion. They seem to be changing an awful lot of stuff that isn’t broken to address that forum poster who’s always screaming “Blizzard is forcing me to do xxx activity!”. Another example is them removing all profession perks. We’ll see how it goes.

    On the one hand it adds a lot of gold sinks in game. Each time you want to upgrade gear or buy old transmog then they can retrieve that gold. On the other hand it risks adding a lot of one and done content to an MMO, which I think most of us realize is a bad idea these days.

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  4. I’ve seen a few things that make me a bit less worried; hints that dungeons might scale in difficulty and gear over time, that we may get new dungeons with every raid patch, that they might only have 2 raid tiers before the next xpac and rush out the next (boy, talk about another set of issues that’ll raise), so at least in the context of dungeons I have hope that they won’t completely invalidate them with this change, but I still don’t think they have addressed loot RNG with this.

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    • The real nightmare scenario here though is a repeat of heroic ZG & ZA, e.g. when everyone basically had two relevant dungeons for an entire tier. Valor so neatly solved the issue of “old dungeons” that I’d be surprised that there could be something better. I mean, what else will they do? Bump up old dungeon loot?

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      • Yes. Bullet Point 25 and about 44:36 in the video (blah, programmer jargon (attendant mentality too?) bugs me). It’s almost 4 months old, so possibly outdated, but still a recognition of the issue, so hopefully they haven’t abandoned it, otherwise we are looking at some very interesting times.

        ZA & ZG were painful not just because there were only two, but because of a number of issues. Lets compare them to ToC (similar placement): ZA & ZG difficulty, both being Cata-hard and not having normal mode versions, was a definite drawback. You had to meet rather tight ilvl requirements, coupled with the 353 ilvl drops meaning few or no raiders entering them willingly after the first few weeks, while in ToC the fact that you almost always had a raid tank looking for The Black Heart meant that you had a reason for raiders to run it too, even in normal. Also, having a normal version meant exposure to mechanics in a somewhat more forgiving environment, and more content for those playing/gearing. Then we have 4 months of ToC being top content with ilvl comparable to the last raid tier and 3 badges (Gundrak has 5, plus one for finishing if it’s the daily), while you spend 7 months with only the Zul’s, which give the highest VP for a completion but still 6 ivl behind current tier and soon (less than 3 months) 31 points behind the new tier. If anything it seems designed to make you hate them.

        Total content I think has an impact too. Wrath launches with 12 normal dungeons and the same 12 heroics, then finishes off with 4 more added, heroic and normal. Cata has 7 normals and 9 heroics at launch, adds in 5 heroics, no normals. I think it’s much easier to burn out on content where you grind less content longer.

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