Are you a point hoarder, or do you know someone who is?
Maybe you don’t know what a point hoarder is.
Here are a few simple questions to help narrow it down.
Do you know someone who has a habit of holding on to Valor or Justice Points without using them, until they hit the cap and are forced to make a decision?
Maybe even then, they’ll sit and stare at the choices, and despair for they cannot commit to spending those points for fear of not getting the most out of them.
Whatever they choose, they are afraid it won’t be the optimal use of their points… and so, they make no decision at all. They never spend them, until they hit the hard cap and have no choice.
Do you know someone that is one of the most extreme cases, at the cap and beyond, still running content but no longer getting new points because they just can’t decide on what to spend them on?
I feel your pain.
Point Hoarding is a very real thing, and it’s not a joke.
Well, okay. It IS kinda funny, because, you know… video game problems. Not exactly in the same class as “I can’t make the mortgage payment this month”, now is it?
Still, it’s a very serious problem within the context of the game.
You play for a solid week, doing daily quests, running LFR, doing Heroics and Scenarios. You bust your butt to hit that 1000 Valor Point weekly cap, so the pressure to get the most bang for your Valor Point (or Justice Point) buck is immense.
Granted you had fun earning those points, or you should have, but you can only ever get 1000 points that week. If you blow them, you’ll never get them back.
What to spend them on that will benefit you the most?
I know a Point Hoarder, someone very close and dear to me. I know exactly how it works, and the pain it can cause, especially if the person doesn’t play enough to normally max Valor out.
If it took three weeks to reach 1750 Valor Points, or even longer, the worry over spending them on the wrong thing can be a nightmare. Much easier to avoid the worry by pushing it off as long as possible. Those points are precious, my precious.
But what to do?
Let’s just look at upgrades, at improving the power of your character at max level.
Justice Points can buy you iLevel 458 blues, or you can upgrade an existing blue (rare) item by 8 item levels. Personally, I would only ever consider upgrading an iLevel 463 drop with Justice Points, and even then one that was proving insanely hard to replace. Or maybe one whose stats are better than their iLevel would suggest, like the ilevel 458 Alchemist Trinket.
Valor Points can be used to buy iLevel 489 epics from your various factions, and with the new factions that can even get up to ilevel 496. Or you can upgrade one of those, OR an LFR drop by 4 iLevels a pop.
So many choices, and so expensive!
Choice is the enemy of the Point Hoarder.
But when you get close to the cap, you have no choice. It’s either spend the points, or reach the cap and accrue no more.
Go forth and accrue no more? NEVER!!! I must consume mass quantities!
That was exactly the choice I faced last week. There were three iLevel 496 items from Operation: Shieldwall I wanted, each costing 1750 Valor. BUT… I wasn’t going to hit Revered with them until Thursday night, and I was going to hit the Valor cap on Tuesday.
I had to spend some to make room for more Valor. Had to. BUT… I didn’t want to buy an expensive item that wasn’t as big a boost from some other faction.
The best choice was to spend just a little Valor, just a smidgeon. And that meant picking something to upgrade.
So I did. I picked something, and then I upgraded it.
After I was done with that, what do you think I realized?
I SPENT MY VALOR UPGRADING THE WRONG DAMN THING!!!! ARRGGGHHHHH!!!!!
Oh no, I ain’t kidding. Hell no.
It was completely preventable too.
See, I looked at my gear, and had to decide which item to upgrade. Which one would I be most likely to keep for a long time? I don’t want to upgrade something and have it be replaced next week, thats the same as blowing my Valor on cheap wine and loose women.
Not that blowing your earnings on cheap wine and loose women can’t be a valorous endeavor, but that ain’t the topic for today.
I tried to pick from those items I was likely to hold on to for a while, and decide which one would give me the biggest boost from upgrading.
I looked at my gear, and I thought that my iLevel 489 shoulders from the Golden Lotus faction were the ones most likely to be kept. I don’t have a single piece of Tier gear yet (thank you, Sha of Anger and LFR!) so even if I get a piece or two, the 489 shoulders I’ve got would be better.
So I upgraded them one level.
I am not a Point Hoarder, I just know how it feels to look at the points I have, the choices open to me, and fear I’m about to make the wrong decision.
I make the decision anyway, I just accept that there are consequences if I chose… poorly.
Then, yep, I find out I made a decision that was NOT OPTIMAL, and feel like an idiot.
The key difference here is, I may not have made the best decision, but I did still make a decision, bought an upgrade of some sort, and have enjoyed improved performance from that point.
Just, you know… not the optimal performance I could have had. DAMNIT.
In my case, if I had really studied before rushing to spend Valor, I would have seen there was something else worth upgrading first.
In Patch 5.1, Blizzard implemented the item upgrade system, but currently there is no way to load your character directly from the Armory and tell if a piece of gear is already upgraded or not.
Ask Mr Robot has worked around this by upgrading their system so that you can load your character from the Armory, select an item, and manually upgrade it and save the results.
This lets you manually modify your equipment to its real values in-game, and then run their optimizer… and also see how your upgraded items rank in the “Best in Slot” lists.
What I failed to do was take a long, hard look at Ask Mr Robot, compare point improvement scores, and see that my lowly iLevel 476 trinket, the Relic of Xuen, is actually the best trinket I as a BM Hunter can get in the game short of Heroic modes.
For me, right now and for the foreseeable future, there is no more effective trinket than the Relic of Xuen. And even worse… the upgrades would just make it awesomer. Awesomest? More awesome. It would be damn good, is what I’m saying.
Ask Mr Robot is great, I am truly grateful for how it helps me plan improvements. But it’s not idiot proof… as I have hereby proved.
With these pitfalls, and my proven track record of spending my Valor Points unwisely, how do I convince that Point Hoarding loved one to let go of the points and spend them with confidence?
The answer is WoWUpgrade!
WoWUpgrade is my new best friend.
At WoWUpgrade, you enter your character and server, it pulls your details from the Armory, and then it shows you a list of your gear, ranked by your currently chosen spec and gear, with the items that would MOST benefit from being upgraded up at the top… and shows you HOW MUCH those items would be improved from upgrading by a comparative point score.
Yes, you can get to the same results within Ask Mr Robot, right down to comparative point scores, but this website takes all your gear and shows you the best point improvements right at the top.
It does not show you currently upgraded gear, because the Armory API can’t discern that yet.
So, WoWUpgrade has the horrible power of ranking what you SHOULD have upgraded first, and then you get to see where your actual upgrades ranked in the list.
Take, for example, my raiding character and main, my Beastmaster Hunter Beartrap on Azuremyst-US.
If you were to call that up, you’ll see that my most effective upgrade would be my Tempestuous Longbow with Justice Points, followed by the Alchemist Trinket with Justice Points, and then of course the Relic of Xuen. Right there. Obvious, right in my face.
Those shoulders I upgraded? The Windwalker Spaulders are freaking eighth.
On the positive side, I did upgrade my Tempestuous Longbow and Alchemist Trinket weeks ago, so there’s that. I’m not a full-on huntard.
What this added website tool does is give you a much clearer view of which upgrades are of the most value to you.
If you start at WoWUpgrade to see what your best performance enhancing upgrades are, and then go to Ask Mr Robot and use their ‘upgrade an item’ feature to see where that upgraded item falls among your best in slot list, you can see if upgrading an item makes it more valuable than other potential items you might have been thinking of buying. Or have a reasonable expectation of seeing drop.
It can help give you confidence in your decision… and maybe, just maybe, a Point Hoarder can finally pull the trigger and BUY SOMETHING.
I know buyers remorse can be painful, but geez, there is a cap, after all. Use ‘em or lose ‘em!
*The Point Hoarders mentioned in this post bear no resemblance to any person I know, living or dead, who may make me sleep on the coach when they read this. Love you, dear!