Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Reputation Gear Should Have Been Handled.

Being it seems blizzard is intent on making valor gear based on reputation I have been thinking of ways I believe it could have been implemented a little better.  Of course this is only my opinion but I feel that if they wanted to go the reputation way there was a better way to go about it.

First things first, as I have said many times, all slots should be available for purchase with valor.  This includes a second trinket, second ring, shields, off hands and weapons as well.

When 5.0 came out the four major factions were declared the gear factions.  I'll call them the big 4.  August Celestial, Shano-Pan, Golden Lotus and Klaxxi.

This is the model I think would have been better valor gear based on reputation design.

5.0 : First Raid Tier

Big 4 Friendly:  476 Valor gear.
Big 4 Honored: 489 Valor gear.

5.1 : Mid Tier

New One Time Faction Friendly : 2 496 Select Small Pieces
New One Time Faction Honored : 2 496 Select Mid Range Pieces
New One Time Faction Revered : 2 496 Select Main Pieces
New One Time Faction Exalted : 496 Weapon, Shields and Off hands

5.2 Second Raid Tier

All previous gear is now half of previous valor price.

Big 4 Honored : 502 Valor gear.
Big 4 Revered : 522 Valor gear.

5.3 Mid Tier

New One Time Faction Friendly : 2 528 Select Small Pieces
New One Time Faction Honored : 2 528 Select Mid Range Pieces
New One Time Faction Revered : 2 528 Select Main Pieces
New One Time Faction Exalted : 528 Weapon, Shields and Off hands

5.4 Last Raid Tier

5.0 and 5.1 gear reduced to justice points but now back at what was full cost.
5.2 and 5.3 gear is now half of the previous valor price.

Big 4 Revered : 528 Valor Gear. ( or whatever the level of LFR gear will be)
Big 4 Exalted : 548 Valor Gear ( or whatever the level of normal mode raid gear will be)

See, the basic concept here is that the Big 4 factions become useful the entire expansion.  So even the most casual of casual players has more than enough time to get their reputation up with them.  This makes the lock of reputation much more relaxed.  If blizzard wants to lock behind reputation, this is how it should have been done.

Not to mention the fact that it removes a triple gate system that has become standard at the moment.  You can just work the reputation with the Big 4 and catch up instead of working with it the big 4 to get gear to help you get into the LFR and then doing the LFR to help you get into higher LFRs so you can start working on another reputation to help you get the current gear.  Let the big 4 be the big 4 the entire expansion instead of just a stop gap measure once the expansion has been out for a few months.

There are much better ways to use the locked behind reputation model and this could be one of them.  I personally find it upsetting that the big 4 get lost so quickly and basically become a necessary evil to play catch up for people instead of the backbone of the expansion, as they should be.  They are the big 4, they should remain the big 4 the entire expansion instead of being abandoned once the first patch comes out.

I am not a big fan of locking the gear behind reputations, but if it is going to be done I believe there was a much better way to do it.  I like the new solo scenario design for locking things, if you want to lock gear behind something make someone have enough skill to finish the solo scenario before they are allowed to buy it.  Almost anything is better than the double gate of reputation and valor.  One or the other is fine, not both at once.  The gate of having enough valor slows it down enough on its own.  They do not need a double gate to gear.  Even more so now that the expansion is under way.

Just an honest question I would love to see what people think on.

What is the use of a double lock out system, reputation needed and valor needed, for the older factions now that the gear they offer is extremely sub par to what someone can get in the LFR, current raid or valor wise?

Does having 489 gear locked behind reputation make any sense when you can get 502 gear from random group content?

My opinion, no, it makes no sense.  All that original reputation gear should require no reputation any more and cost justice, not valor.  Making people grind for something that is out of date, under powered, and simply unattractive when looking at what else is available is where the reputation system failed as I see it. 

Making people have reputation was not a bad idea in and of itself, making them have it for that sub par gear is bad design, that is why the gear the big 4 offer should have been updated as I suggested.  When each new tier comes out, the big 4 get new items to sell that is current to the item level and up to the task at hand making the grind you did for reputation much more rewarding and making that grind last for the entire expansion, as it should.


  1. Sounds OK, if there really must be rep involved. Players would need to be able to earn the reps in multiple ways from the beginning: dailies, dungeons, raids, farming, etc.

    Honestly though, as others have mentioned, I'd prefer the PvP model where certain items are gated behind earning a certain amount of currency and there are catch up mechanisms to earn more of that currency than the usual weekly cap, if you are behind.

    Leave rep for vanity items: pets, mounts, xmog, etc.

    1. I prefer the PvP model as well. It is just a much better way to locking people out. Just refresh each "season" with each new release of valor gear.

  2. I think you missed removing rep as a requirement for the original big 4 once the gear drops down to JP level in 5.4, having those gated behind rep at that point would be as big an annoyance as it is now. They'd need to be JP-based and immediately available.

    I don't mind your system but I'm not sure it'd be much better than what we have now for the majority of people who would even care about the VP gearing system (note - be better, not that they think would be better, big difference between perception and reality in a lot of cases).

    I don't like the idea of weapons being available for VP, ESPECIALLY at current normal raid iLvls. Weapons SHOULD be harder to get than normal gear. Hell, I basically consider a tier to be over for a toon once I get an appropriate weapon, at that point that toon is ready for whatever comes next. Doesn't mean I won't run more, but mentally that's usually the final checkbox for a toon being "good enough".

    I also hate the idea of multiple current tier VP gear. Aren't things confusing enough as they are? It's probably a fair argument that there's a decent delta between i502 and i489 but i502 and i496 are close enough to be equivalent, with i496 VP gear available I don't see any need for i502 VP gear. With the new daily faction and the 5.1 faction I think there should be i496 pieces available for the usual number of slots, might be 1 or 2 missing but that's usually the case.

    Honestly, right now I don't find gearing up an alt to be particularly difficult at all.

    "I personally find it upsetting that the big 4 get lost so quickly and basically become a necessary evil to play catch up for people"

    Not sure what your gearing process is for a fresh 90 but for me, I ignore the big 4 at this point, have for a while. That ties into your follow-up comment that they should remain relevent but again, that's never been the case as far as I can remember... in Wrath, they offered entry-level epics at Exalted and after that, nothing. Seems Blizz wants us to move on to the new reps when they're available. I don't have an issue with that.

    1. I agree, and by that point those original pieces of gear would be two tiers old. Can you imagine how it is now and the poor people that just make it to 90 then will have it if nothing is done? They will have to grind reps for something two tiers old before they can even think about second tier and then current tier.

      I want weapons for valor. Anyone that has ever had my luck wants weapons for valor. My guild was clearing DS by the time the first buff came out, missed it by one week. I never saw the bow drop until a few weeks before the expansion ended. Not in LFR and not in normal. So yes, weapons are a MUST. If there are no valor weapons then the purpose of valor gear is useless.

      Or how about last tier. Every week running LFR with a coin, some weeks running it two or three times with coins on all three meaning 4 chances a week, and never getting the bow. No doubt, there needs to be valor weapons. That is not even up for negotiation in my model. lol.

      I have no problem either. And I do not need the big 4 to get to the new raids. But I am a raider, I have friends to help me, I have every profession maxed, I have enough gold to buy every BoE on the market on my server and still have cash left over.

      Not everyone is me, or you. We might not have a problem, but the average player does, the casual player does, the lesser skilled player does. They are the majority of the player base. Not taking them into consideration is an insult to the entire player base basically. So just because you and I have no problem with it doesn't mean it is not a problem.

      In wrath those entry level items were for gold, not valor. So that was fine. It something costs valor it should be relevant to the current tier. Simple as that.

    2. I leveled another DK recently.
      Currently at 89.

      Blizzard's new championing system will probably make it easier for me to avoid grinding rep by questing at 90.

      * golden lotus 360/12K honored
      * kirin tor offensive 0/6K friendly
      * shado-pan 980/12K honored
      * tillers 3958/6K honored

    3. Nobody has your luck for weapons so they can't really design around that kind of luck. :)

      ToT at least has multiple bosses for weapons, hunters have it especially easy (can just run Tortos and Dorumu, first bosses of their wings, weekly for 2/4 quick chances if you don't care about VP for clears).

      Oh, I factor a lot of different types of players into my general responses, most of the people I know in game at this point (the few who still log in) are either poorish, don't have much play time or both. I'm an outlier even within my own shrinking circle.

      To me, gearing up a fresh 90 quickly simply means getting them up to i460 to run LFRs, then i470 to run the next tier, then i480 to the final tier. I'm not saying it's quick or easy to get to i500 within a week or two but it's entirely possible to get into the i480s within that timeframe, I do enough dps in the low i480s in ToT to contribute enough to a kill so that would be enough gear to be a useful alt to provide a needed buff or utility for a particular fight while not being a burden to the group from a performance standpoint. This isn't the case for a high-calibre raid, of course, but they would probably have the resources to carry alts through earlier content to make it even easier. I'm talking someone without any external resources at all.

      I was going to post my process for quickly and easily gearing up a toon to i480 (2 weeks, max) but I'm going to put it to the test first, I have a fresh 90 on another server in quest gear with no JP or VP, I'll spend some time this weekend gearing him up and I'll report back, if the results are good (I'm expecting i470+ from this weekend alone) I'll share the process.

    4. I'll follow up on this idea in a comment to the next post since it's a lot more related to that one than this one.

    5. This tier I got a weapon with much less fuss. Still took a bit but nothing excessive so that was nice.

      Actually I know quite a few that have had that same luck with weapons. While I do appear to be the "worse case scenario" for weapon drops there are others that have had it a hell of a lot harder than I.

      As I mentioned before, and in the other reply. For a knowledgeable player with some experience and even a modicum of skill gearing up is a fair deal easier. For many it can still be quite the hassle.

      My guild can only really carry people through the first boss. Can 8 man that. No problem. However the second boss is still a freaking nightmare and a half for the full 10. I think that was is a bit much for the casual once a week 2 hour raiders. Way to much.

  3. Really confused by the 5.3 rewarding 528 gear. 90% of raiders aren't into Heroics this will cheapen all of the regular raiding gear by being better than everything but thunderforged drops. These should be at most 522 like the current raid normal mode.

    1. I agree, but I was just making up numbers on the fly. Could be something different I am sure. The concept was more to not add the main valor gear to new secondary (and soon third) tiers for rep making it harder for the ones behind us to catch up.

  4. Seem's fine, I like it one concern would be its a bit complicated. As you know half the people can't even managed 38k damage. I'd imagine half the people would have a hard time grasping this system. Not that I think its rocket science or something I just think the player base is that stupid at this point.

    1. I think it is a bit complicated. I would like easy, many would like easy. Blizzard just seems intent on making things as complicated as possible.

      I am with you. The player base seems to be getting worse by the year too.

  5. Anon, Grumpy's retired GL:

    The reputation race for gearing as much as anything or rather I suppose, the actual need for gear as the method of progression once level capped is what has made me your ex-GL. I am tired of it. The running of raids with my friends I enjoyed, wipe win or otherwise.

    The constant stress of looking for more gear however ruined the enjoyment for me. So I opted out. I still love the game enough I am maintaining both my accounts and I still log in every week though not as often on our server.

    If Blizzard maintains the system of gear as progression (and I think they will as it would take a very different approach to the game to do otherwise) then I am likely never going to be a regular raider again.

    So I guess it really doesn't matter how valor points are earned or used for me. I don't care and I can't be made to care by Blizzard by tempting new epics just out of reach, hidden by reputation requirements or not.

    I hope btw, that my choice of my replacement GL was one you approved of and support. I thought long and hard over my choice. And to be honest, though I suspect you could make yourself a good guild leader (your sense of duty would come into play on that), I could not see you enjoying it and still maintaining the raid lead role.

    Cause believe it or not, you are one hell of a good raid leader. That was why when we revived and restored our guild in late Wrath I asked you to be in that position. I saw your potential and was absolutely correct in my assessment of your ability.

    1. You are very right. I would have done it if asked, but I would not have wanted to do it. I am glad you did not ask me to do it. Your choice was excellent and between you, me and the wall, she comes to me for everything anyway so in a way that makes me the guild leader from the background and she is the face in the front.

      That works for both of us quite well. She likes that position but does not like making the decisions and I can make the decisions but hate having to talk to everyone all the time about everything.

      I fell in love with the alt game, more so in cataclysm because of the ease of gearing them and then the ease of the DS LFR for the most part. Their change to gearing and total disregard for people who like alts making it harder for them has turned what is an exceptional expansion into a lackluster one. Still leaps and bounds better than cataclysm based on content, story and actually everything else except the gearing process.

  6. Catching Up to 5.3

    by Blizzard Entertainment May 2, 2013 6:00 PM PDT

    1. Yes, saw that article. It's sad that they need to even write such an article. The process is obviously too complicated and too long.

    2. Agreed.

      So unintuitive that they have to write a guide (outside the game) to explain it.

    3. And we all know that the people that would NEED the guide are the same people that do not go outside of the game for information.

      Then writing the article is basically them admitting defeat. They are saying, we screwed up gearing so badly we have to help anyway we can.

      Making it easier for people that do not go outside of the game for information apparently never crossed their minds.

  7. Looks like a good system. However, instead of gearing up by rep factions, I'd rather like to see a boost to crafted gear and weapons throughout the expansion. Especially without crafting mats which drop in raids of the same tier as the gear you need it for.

    1. Would love to see a system where gearing was completely player supported. Raid stuff could be set stuff and with extra gem slots. Same for valor stuff. But there should be a lot more craftable gear going around in my opinion. I agree.

  8. I agree with you, Grumpy, that the system could be streamlined; but I don't mind that the gear provided by the original four factions should remain at a lower level than the gear for later factions. The real purpose of this gear is to help the adventurer get into the tier 14 LFR raids. From that point in 5.0, the only way to improve your gear was to run these raids. 5.1 introduced a new way to gear up, operation shieldwall gear.

    As this gear is better than both the gear from tier 14 LFR raids and the rep gear from the original 4 factions, my view is that access to it should have been gated by either a t14 raid rep (akin to the Shado-Pan Assault in tier 15), or by being exalted with the earlier factions, or by costing more VP than the original 4 (it would be okay to solve that by having reduced the cost of the 476/489 gear when operation shieldwall was introduced).

    The same schema could have been extended to tier 15.

    To ameliorate the problem of having to get to exalted with earlier reps before being able to proceed with later reps, blizzard already introduced commendations. they could also have increased the rep rewarded for dailies with the earlier factions.

    The fly in the ointment was that Blizzard wanted us to experience the story down on the Krasarang beachhead, and they estimated that we wouldn't care about their story if they didn't bribe us with better gear. So they didn't add operation shieldwall as the next step in the ladder, but instead allowed us to bypass golden lotus et al.

    1. If anything the shieldwall / domination quest lines are a better option, not just because of the better gear but you can move it up a lot faster than the original four.

      At least they are removing the need to do GL to be allowed to do SP and AC. They should have done that so much sooner in my opinion.

      My poor tailor that is a healer and I do not quest on had to wait until those tokens from the warbringers came out before I could make bags and that is flat out wrong.

      Even if I do not quest on that character I would have done that one faction for the bag pattern but not do GL and then do them. It is way to much for an alt to make me some bags and it was horrible alt unfriendly design by blizzard.

  9. The problem with your system is that except for new players/alts everyone that wants to will have max rep with those factions in the first patch. Reputation requirements then become meaningless as people can just go get the new stuff as if they weren't there. Once rep has been gained that's it, it's open and the quartermaster is just another vendor.

    I'm not disagreeing, your system would be nice though it does render pointless the rep barrier after the first patch anyway.

    I geared my lock the other week. Took me 3 days I think to get from ding to ilevel 480. The only classic rep I did was klaxxi for the free ring at exalted. I was lucky I admit that, I had good luck on drops. Got my tier hands off Nalak with a coin roll. I've been running Nalak with coin on my main every single week and seen nothing. So I was lucky. By the time I'd run MSV and HoF LFR's once each I was 480 geared. Went straight into ToT LFR, ran all 4 wings, got nothing which was more than fair given the luck streak that had got me to that level. The groups were so awful though that I can't bear to go back. At least if I'm tanking I have some element of control.

    Anyway my point is your idea invalidates rep. Once it's been gained it's forever gained making the subsequent gate non-existent.

    1. I geared my lock from 90 to LFR without even stepping into anything this weekend myself. I am sure, with luck, I could be 480 in a short time too. But we should not need to have to do that on alts. It should be easier on alt and it should be easier for people that are not like us that have the time and knowledge required to gear quickly.

      I find it funny that I still hear people screaming that game is "going too casual" and it makes me wonder if they are playing the same game as I am.

      This is the most casual unfriendly expansion since BC. If anything it is telling people, "play more or GTFO". This expansion has killed the casual player base.

  10. I think eliminating GL gating to SP and AC. Putting a weapon option on valor even if has a requirement of X valor earned. And personally changing GL to be 5 dailies not 15 while keeping total rep gained constant would have gone a long way to fixing many of the problems MoP had at drop while still keeping it close to their idea.

    If you wanted to really change their idea I still prefer valor items to just be on a vendor in the main city not tied to rep, but I think if it had been tied to only one rep each patch it would have eliminated a lot of the complaining in 5.0 of "having" to grind all 4 every day.

    I don't think at this point that any of those reps are really needed to gear a new character. As soon as you get 460 to get into LFR you can gear up pretty quickly, and you don't need the 489 valor items to get into LFR. Whereas with your system every char has to get the big 4 reps to get the current valor gear even at patch 5.4. If it was just a new rep each patch you'd really only need to grind the one current rep for access to valor items.