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.