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.

Idiot proof.

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.

Brilliant. /cry

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!

25 Responses to “The Point Hoarders Dilemma”
  1. Caniki says:

    Has blizzard given any sort of indication as to when the Armory webpage/API will reflect item upgrades? I imagine this has to be coming soon.

    Personally I freak out and just buy pet stones with my JP.

  2. Ted says:

    Hello. My name is Honorshammer, and I am a Point Horder.

    (thanks for the link to WoWUpgrade. That looks very helpful!)

  3. Matt says:

    Upgrading your weapon is usually a no-brainer. After that would probably come trinkets, or tier pieces if the set bonus is very good. I probably wouldn’t upgrade anything else. I do wish VP had a higher cap. 3000 seems unnecessarily low.

    For JP, just upgrade everything, because heroic dungeons drop better gear than the JP gear and you really have nothing else to use them on other than cataclysm crafting mats or something.

  4. Chique says:

    Hi Bear! Lurker here…and I was thrilled with this post and immediately set out to WoWUpgrade to prepare for uncapping my precious valor aaaaannd!

    “Sorry, healers and tanks are not yet supported – stay tuned!”

    /cry

    • bigbearbutt says:

      WOW…. I had no idea.

      Oh damn, that sucks.

      I am so, so sorry for that.

    • vinetail says:

      I just discovered the same thing. Alas. I wonder if I switched into my feral spec from guardian, then tried again, if it would help. There’s a LOT of gear overlap, so it just might. I’ll test it out.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        I tested it on a Feral Druid, an Enhancement Shaman, a Rogue and of course my Hunter. I say tested, those were simply the classes I have used it on.

        It never occurred to me to test a tank or healer specifically.

        I really, really hope that they add some adds and complete the functionality soon. I see WoWUpgrade as being a very valuable tool. I want it to succeed.

  5. Thunderspank says:

    The Darkmoon trinkets have an ilvl of 476 but are itemized for item budget of an ilvl 489 item. They’re some powerful shinies. :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      If I had my head pulled out at the time, I would have realized which I should have upgraded.

      Hilariously, on my druid there is only one item available top upgrade – the Archealogy polearm! I really do have horrible gear on my Druid. /sigh.

      In other news, I played my Shadow priest last night and got halfway to 86. I learned a LOT about how things changed. I think… don’t tell anybody but I think I like it. :)

  6. Beshara says:

    I am also a point hoarder. I haven’t played much the last few weeks, so I’m not at cap yet, but I know soon I will have to buy something. Hopefully that website will support healers soon, because despite my love with shadow, I like to heal in LFR and dungeons.

    Also, I keep getting an error message when I try to post a comment from the mobile version of the site.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I just tested that, and it errored out for me too.

      We just migrated servers last weekend, so I bet we freaking broke something. Of course.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Okay, tested it out, turned out to be a setting in my Bad Behavior plugin that was preventing my Jetpack for WordPress addon from letting forms come in.

      All fixed! And thank you very much for letting me know about the problem. :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      OMG, it gets even better!

      Yes, the API is updated, and WoWUpdate now also shows you that what has already been upgraded and to what level as it ranks improvements!

      And it shows that it wasn’t my shoulders I upgraded after all… it was my cloak! And it turns out, that was an even worse choice than the shoulders!

      KHAAAAANNNNN!!!!!!!!

  7. Kemonojin says:

    A niftiness. I didn’t realize you can upgrade stuff with justice points. (boosts zen alchemist stone)

  8. Bristal says:

    That’s cool. I just made a new list of the top gear upgrades I need and realized that now that I have more BIS pieces than not, the valor upgrades need to be thrown into the mix for valor point budgeting.

    I was thinking, “How am I going to figure that out?” is a 1250 vp ring upgrade from 483 to 496 better than upgrading my sha-touched weapon for 1500?

    BBB to the rescue once again.

  9. Nick says:

    This made me chuckle as it all sounds so familiar! I am definitely a valor point hoarder as I want to be as efficient as I can with my gear gathering. I only ever spend valor points if I’m about to cap in case I get good drops from LFR in the meanwhile. I even have a spreadsheet with every valor point item and every LFR drop with equivalence point scores calculated for each. That way I can plan which gear is best for me and where best to spend my points when I have to so as to minimise the chances of getting a LFR item in a slot I’ve just bought a valor point item! Also when you look at the 483 LFR hunter gear there are quite a few instances of them being better than the equivalent 489 valor gear due to itemization and gem sockets/bonuses so it’s worth taking into account.

    My goals for the first round of raids were to get full epic and the Sha gun out of the last LFR raid. I’m not gonna bother with upgrading items as I would like a good long break before 5.2 but I think I will upgrade my Relic of Xuen and Sha gun when it drops as they seem to be quite significant DPS upgrades.

    Cheers for the website link, that looks really useful.

  10. [...] The Big Bear Butt: The Point Hoarders Dilemma [...]

  11. Keep in mind that upgrading via Valor an item that will be replaced is a loss – just saying as that upgrade website recommends spending Valor on upgrading a 476 leg item for me, which I am better off replacing with a 489.

  12. Oh, and if you’re interested to find out which is better SimulationCraft is a great tool for that. I was able to confirm that a 483 which gave me my T14 2 set bonus was a better Dps gain that using a 489 in the same position.

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