Wednesday, October 28, 2015

So I Can Get Valor From Some PvP but Not From Some PvE? Where is the Logic Blizzard?

I'll be the first to say I like the return of valor, it makes content long forgotten worth repeating, such as dungeons or LFR, but I am not exactly sure the way they are adding valor back is the right way to go.  Firstly there is no valor gear.  So collecting valor to upgrade gear is still RNG based.  Sure you can get the valor in a set way, but having something worth upgrading still depends completely 100% on RNG, which is a failed design to begin with.

But lets put the glaringly obvious fact that blizzard has completely screwed up the addition of valor without adding valor gear and look at the even larger glaring issue that pertains to something they did add, and not something they didn't.

Valor will be attained in the following ways:

  • Your first random heroic dungeon per day.
  • Each mythic dungeon completed once per week.
  • Each raid finder wing completely once per week.
  • Completing the weekly bonus event quests. (except for the pet battle one)

At face value everything here seem perfectly logical.  They are all well thought out and reasonable ways to gain valor.  Some people are complaining that the pet battle bonus event does not offer valor when all the other bonus events do but even if I do sympathize with their reasoning that because all other events do grant valor as a reward, the pet battle event should as well but I am going to have to side with blizzard here on this one, which if i am doing that must mean there is a good reason as I do not often agree with blizzard it sometimes seems, and say that the pet battle bonus even should not offer valor.

There are 2 solid reasons why the pet battle event should not offer valor and I will gladly share them, even if the blues have only shared one of the two reasons themselves.

1) The pet battle weekly is account wide.  This means I can pick it up on my hunter, do it on my hunter, and turn it in on my mage, for example.  It is not a quest for my hunter.  It is a quest for me, as the player, not me as the character I am playing.  As such, I can only do it once no matter how many characters I have.  So which one of my characters should I get the valor on?  What if I want it on all of them?  No can do, you can only turn it in on one character, as it is an account wide quest.  It is one and done no matter how many characters you have.  So I agree with blizzard, and this is the reason blizzard has given.  A very solid reason if you ask me.

2) This one blizzard has not said, but it is another very solid reason.  And there is also a reason why blizzard has not said this one, as you will find out shortly after I finish explaining it.  That reason is that pet battles are not PvE content.  Pet battles have noting to do with PvE, nothing to do with PvP, heck nothing to do with lore or quests or reputations or anything else in the game.  It is it's own stand alone mini game.  With that said, it makes no sense for a bonus event that honestly has nothing to do with PvE to award a currency that has uses for PvE purposes, and more importantly, only PvE purposes.  Like it or not, that is a very reasonable explanation for why a non PvE bonus even does not offer a PvE based reward.  Because it shouldn't.

Now, being we just explained why the pet battles are not offering valor, for two extremely valid reasons in my opinion, we need to look into what another bonus event does offer valor.  The battleground event precisely.

Why does PvP offer a PvE reward?

It is a very solid question, one I would love to see blizzard answer without just throwing their standard lines at us.  Give us a real and honest reason why someone should have to PvP to increase their PvE power.  Did they not learn anything from mists with their legendary quest line fiasco? Horde hated the 45 minute to an hour wait times, alliance hated the losing 39 times to get the wins they needed.  Win or lose, most people that were a solely PvE focused player liked it.

It seems that blizzard did not learn anything from their past mistakes.  They once again dangle the carrot telling PvE players, "hey, if you want to make the most out of your PvE gear the fastest you can, you have to PvP."  While it is true no one will be "forced" to do it and it most definitely is not "mandatory" the majorly of player who like to feel that they are doing all they can to better their gear will feel "forced" to do it and in their mind it will feel "mandatory".  So just because it isn't mandatory doesn't mean it will not feel mandatory for a great many people.

Just like I have two completely fair reasons why the pet battle bonus event should not offer valor I feel it would only be best if I do the same for why I believe the PvP bonus event should not offer valor as a reward either.

1) Just like pet battles, PvP has nothing to do with PvE.  While there might be a mild connection, such that you can PvP in PvE gear and you can PvE in PvP gear, they are two separate parts of the game.  Even blizzard has acknowledged that by the announcements for legion where they are splitting the two further apart than they have ever been.  So they can not play ignorant to the fact.  Unless they plan to start giving PvE players conquest points as a reward for finishing the weekly dungeon bonus events and killing raid bosses, they should not be giving PvP players valor for completing their battleground events.  It is as simple as that.

2) Just like valor does nothing for the pet battler, because it is not like you can level pets or increase their rarity with valor, it does nothing for the PvP player.  It is a completely useless currency in PvP.  You can not buy PvP gear with valor, you can not upgrade PvP gear for valor, you can not use valor to get enchants for your PvP gear even.  Bottom line is, valor is 100% useless to the PvP player.

All that said, if you do both normally, kudos to you, you can benefit from it.  But for everyone else, it makes no sense what so ever.  But there is something that makes even less sense than a PvP quest offering a reward that can only be used in PvE and that is the general focus of the entire game in PvE, raiding, not offering a reward that is used for PvE power.

Why doesn't raiding offer valor?

Sure, you can say looking for raid offers valor, but that is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about organized raiding, not random group raiding.

Lets look at what valor is intended to do this time around.  It is intended to boost the power of PvE gear a tiny bit to help people feel like they are getting stronger as the expansion goes along.  This is something all MMOs require.  As soon as people stop feeling as if they are advancing, they stop playing, in large amounts it seems.  To keep people playing you have to keep them feeling like they are moving forward, getting stronger, even if it is only 10 item levels at a time on one single piece of gear.

So even if all you are doing is farming content and not pushing it, having a little boost to your gear allows you to go from doing 88K on that farm boss to 90K on that farm boss.  It makes you feel as if you are still growing stronger as time goes on even if you are not pushing any new content for yourself, be it moving on to heroic or mythic.  You still will get to see your character grow stronger week by week, and people like that, they really really like that.

See, that is what the valor is being added for, to make people feel as if they are growing stronger.  But in some cases, and for a great many guilds out there, that feeling of getting stronger is not just about feeling stronger, it is about getting stronger. 

If you are that normal mode guild stuck on archie, having the entire guild being able to add 10 item levels could help push you through.  If you are that heroic guild just starting progression and hitting the gorefiend wall that seems to effect a great many guilds when they first got to it, those 10 item levels for everyone can actually mean the difference between downing it or continuing to wipe.  And then there are guilds like mine, with only 15 or 16 decent players, at best, that will never get to see a mythic.  Maybe, just maybe, we might be able to get a couple of bosses down if those 16 all had 10 extra item levels so we can carry a few slots with people doing heroic numbers in a mythic.  Or perhaps you are a group that have been working mythic but each boss becomes a new challenge, those 10 item levels for everyone can make that new challenge a hell of a lot more bearable in the dull drums of a late expansion when people start getting bored and wiping tends to tire people out more causing them to quit by turning and 50 wipe first kill into a 25 wipe first kill thanks to having a higher item level.

You see, the item level boost, while nice for everyone, is actually required for raiders.  And not just high end raiders, raiders of all skill levels from normal to mythic.  Allowing a normal guild to get their first archie kill, allowing a struggling guild to get past gorefiend on heroic, allowing guilds like mine who thought mythic was out of the question to think, once again, we might actually have a prayer of seeing a few bosses if we were higher geared so we could carry a few lesser players, and of course, the better guilds working through their first progression on mythic will have a more enjoyable time with it, or even the best guilds that already have everything on farm by making their farming go much smoother and faster.

So those valor upgrades will effect raiders, actual raiders, more than any other players in the game.  Yet for some reason, one that completely escapes me, you can not get valor from raiding.  Why?  If you can get valor from PvP and PvP gear can not even be upgraded, why can you not get valor from raiding when those people not only can upgrade their gear but very well might be the people that need to do so the most.

Now with my piece said, I would like to end by adding, why no valor from our first of each challenge mode each week too?  It could breath more life into it and isn't that what valor is supposed to be meant to do, at least this incarnation of it.

So my question is this blizzard...

Why can we get valor from PvP when we can not upgrade PvP gear but we can not get valor from raiding when we can upgrade raiding gear?

I do not see the logic behind this at all.

10 comments:

  1. Grumpy, I believe the reasons are pretty clear upon close examination. You stated that clearly everyone, especially the raiders could benefit from the valor upgrades, and so must upgrade. The impetus is very very high. Then look at specific similarities between the activities.

    All the activites involve grouping up to do LF group content (and mythics). They are gating the valor behind group content to force people to participate at higher rates in that type of content. They need to boost the numbers queueing to stem the lopsided times. The additional benefit is exactly what you stated in a previous post, more competent and highly geared players are participating in group content raising the numbers of positive outcomes and quicker execution on average. They need those raiders in group content to bolster the systems which feel to me if not in the ICU, is at the hospital in the Emergency Department.

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    1. Spot on. This is all about Blizzard hitting a KPI, it is not about helping guilds clear more raid bosses. That's incidental to them: the carrot they dangle to get us to play the bits they need us in. LFR is clearly very important to Blizz, probably because it's content that everyone has to do, especially new starters, and they can't afford for it to put people off [pregnant pause to appreciate the irony of that statement].

      My initial worry was that I'd burn out trying to do all the Valour-earning activities every week. But the (sad) reality is that new loot drops so infrequently that once I've upgraded my current kit I'll only need to do a few bits each week to keep Valour topped up so I can boost any new gear I get straight away.

      I'm determined to not let yet more poor design decisions by Blizzard undermine my enjoyment of something that might help my guild GET to Archie on Normal, let alone down him :-)

      This will help our guild *if* enough people in our team are motivated enough to use it. Sadly there are a hardcore of non-potters that can't even be bothered to get 695 T2 gear, so I doubt they'll be running much of the Valour content :-/

      My big relief was to see that crafted gear can be upgraded through Valour. Blizz can see sense occasionally it seems.

      I'm looking forward to 6.2.3 going live and getting groups into LFR like we did in SoO, and running guild dungeon teams. It'll be like T2 in the first few weeks, and that was great fun.

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    2. @Thuggs

      I do agree with what you said, as you mentioned, I have been saying it myself. You need valor as a motivator to get the better players into random content to make those runs smoother and more fun for everyone.

      My point here is not so much saying that raids "should" offer valor as it is saying that PvP "shouldn't". There is no reason what so ever for a PvP bonus event to offer valor. Not a single one. Valor and PvP have nothing in common. How would you like if doing LFR no longer dropped PvE gear but dropped PvP gear? I am sure that would piss people off a great deal. That is what this is is like for PvP. You PvP to get better PvE gear. It makes no sense.

      However, even with my belief, and I do still completely believe it, that valor is needed to get people to do lesser content and make it worth repeating, raids should drop valor. Even if it were only 25 per boss. It should give something.

      @Grumsta

      You nailed it. LFR is very important to them and without the vast majority of players that actually want to raid doing it, thanks to the removal of tier, the removal of best weapons and best trinkets, and the removal of valor, LFR is suffering. It is suffering hard.

      Perhaps blizzard should look at the bigger picture here. Put tier sets back, put decent weapons and trinkets back. Stop listening to the 0.07% that think that people that play lesser content have no right to own anything "nice".

      I never grasped the concept of why it should bother me that someone is wearing the same gear as I am labeled raid finder while mine is labeled heroic. I don't think I will ever understand. I do not care if they have nice tier sets too. Actually I would prefer they had nice tier sets too. It would make recruiting so much easier to have someone come to the guild with a lower level tier set than come to the guild with no tier set at all.

      If you get upgrades as often as I do, which is near never, then you will quickly run out of things to upgrade and not need to stress about it. But the first weeks I can see myself and many others like me burning themselves out.

      What you mentioned, the "if" people use it, is why I always preferred the DS/ICC debuff/buff design instead. The valor upgrade system is only good if 1) you have the gear to upgrade and 2) you actually go through the effort to do it. But the blanket 5%, 10% etc, helps everyone. I am all for helping everyone. Again, I do not sign up to the elitist manifesto that no one is allowed good things but myself.

      As first they did not mention crafted gear, I am glad they added it. Do you believe I am still using a crafted bow because I still have not had one drop for me? Yeah, this expansion sucks major balls, excuse my language.

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    3. I think that Grumpy is correct in his post in terms of the spirit in which valor serves the game itself and I think the two responses to his post here are correct on its actual upcoming mechanics. This is a sort of firewall against self-inflicted wounds. I'm looking forward to this patch -- and yes, I'm still playing, which I wasn't expecting -- but only because it makes things better... not because it makes things right or good.

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    4. I don't disagree with your point. I'm just trying to say that you can reasonably infer the primary purpose of the patch. Its to bolster flagging systems in a hope to maintain them well enough to endure the beta process of legion. I'm sure the conversation went something like, "Developer1: Battleground queues have show steady increases. We need more people q'ing up for battlegrounds to maintain the pvp playerbase. Developer2: We have targeted the group content as valor sources to reinvigorate those queues. You could do something similar with honor to entice people to participate in this new season. Manager: Building an honor system on its own would double the manhours that we already spent on the valor and it could rush the gearing process for the next season and shorten its life. Lets just tack on valor with pvp and we should get enough participation looking for valor to accomplish the purpose."

      Its a framing issue. You are viewing it from player perspective. Their goal is in no way to provide reasonable rewards for reasonable effort in similar endeavors. The goal is to use the value of valor (upgrading gear) to entice you to participate in specific forms of play you may not want to do. If they provide reasonably sufficient gains from normal raiding, for instance, then there is less chance you will run, what Blizzard needs you to run.

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  2. Interestingly, Blizz is re-instituting something they said was bad for the game. That is, when they made the changes to LFR at the start of WoD, they said one of the main reasons for doing so was that the gear rewards were too high, which was forcing raid team members to feel like they had to run LFR in order to gear up for their own raid nights.

    Now, it seems, the need for valor upgrades will force raid teams to do the same thing. *shakes head*

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    1. Blizzard made a mistake removing tier from LFR, they made a mistake removing the better weapons and trinkets from LFR, and they made the mistake of removing valor and its associated gear.

      Anyone with even half a brain knew that the participation would drop drastically once they removed any reason to actually go there. Outside of the legendary quest line the only people you will see in LFR are people that only do LFR. And LFR, as I have said a million times, is way over tuned for people with LFR only skill sets.

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    2. I agree completely. What I was trying to say, but didn't very well, is that Blizz took a stand on LFR gear at the beginning of WoD, and the reason they gave for essentially stripping gear out of LFR was to ease the burden on the raid teams who were complaining that they felt "forced" to run it in order to start out properly geared for progression. (At the time I thought Blizz was coddling the 5% at the expense of the other 95%, and I still think that.)

      But, right or wrong, having laid out that it was a bad thing for raiders to feel such "awful" pressure to run LFR, Blizz then proceeds to put into place the new valor system, which DOES THE SAME THING THEY SAID WAS BAD.

      There is apparently no one at Blizz who is capable of seeing in advance the larger game consequences of their design changes. As you said, anyone with half a brain could see that what they did to LFR would yield the situation we have today, and yet Blizz either does not have half a project management brain, or they just don't care.

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  3. "the glaringly obvious fact that blizzard has completely screwed up the addition of valor without adding valor gear"

    This is not obvious, glaring, or really a screw-up at all. This version of valor is intended to solve two of blizzard's big participation problems: 1) nerf HFC for casual guilds struggling to progress, and 2) push raiders into non-raid content to repopulate it.

    Neither of these is accomplished by providing purchasable side-grade or same-as-raid items. While I agree it would be fun to gear alts in raid-equivalent gear by running some heroics, it won't make heroic Archimonde any easier for my raid team. Nor will it compel most heroic and above raiders to spend much time in LFR or random heroics.

    In my opinion, your frustration with this particular issue is personal, not really a reasonable criticism of Blizzard's implementation.

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    1. People would be much more likely to run randoms if they can get gear from it with the valor.

      If they want to get more people doing dungeons and lfr then letting those people get some 700 or 710 gear with the valor, instead of just upgrading gear, would get more people into it. And it would extend the life of the valor because of the cost to get it and the cost to upgrade it on top of that.

      So I agree, it is absolutely a glaring oversight to not add valor gear. On my main I will collect valor to get stronger and I would have no use for even 710 gear, but this will not entice me to run my alts who could use that gear if they had it. Having nice gear for valor would make me run alts, at least the one dungeon a day and a few mythics a week.

      So yes, the lack of gear is a glaringly obvious oversight on their part, for non raiders at least, as my alts are.

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