Lots of Ch-ch-ch-changes coming to the game in Patch 5.2, yessiree.

There are a few quirky things changing in the next patch, whenever it comes, that have tickled my funny bone.

Bye bye item upgrades, I’ll miss you!

No more item upgrades for the duration of 5.2 (and maybe ever? Ya never know).

The item upgrade vendor is going bye-bye, but the assumption is, he’ll be back.

Boy, did I get THAT call wrong, huh? I figured they had finally added the perfect system to give us continuous room for gear improvement. You reach a plateau on what you can win in LFR and raids, bad rolls, bad luck, hey at least you could still improve your gear with Valor and Justice points, and not feel cockblocked by Lady Luck.

Sounded reasonable to me.

Seriously, I was way off.

The vendor is being taken out in patch 5.2, to “encourage us to spend our Valor on new items instead of upgrading old ones”.

Umm, can’t I be trusted to decide what is best to do with my own damn Valor points? Lord knows, if I have ‘em, I earned ‘em.

This my friends is a beautiful opportunity to see the results of government interference in the marketplace.

We have a currency, Valor points.

In an unregulated market, we would have goods and services available for us to choose from that we could spend our currency on however we wished.

The stuff that was in demand would see the most purchases, the stuff that people didn’t want would gather dust.

Since in all cases, all the currency goes to the same seller, regardless of what goods or services were purchased, and everything is digital, nobody is losing money or market share.

So, if we earned the Valor, and we like the system… why do we need to have the vendor forcibly removed to limit our choices? If we didn’t want to upgrade gear, if we didn’t have a desire to do it or see any benefit from it, then we wouldn’t. There are too many other things we could spend Valor on.

So, why not let the market decide what we value enough to spend Valor on?

No clue.

But this isn’t a simple thing, who cares, no worries, etc etc.

If the market remained free, I could, purely as an example, level a new character to 90, and at that time craft or buy a Darkmoon Faire inscription trinket which is extremely good for most classes, and then spend Valor points to upgrade it very near to being a best in slot contender. A great trinket, continued market for Inscription trinkets on the AH, and I can lessen how it might hold me back from iLevel gating in LFR queues.

Sure, I might also want to have a trinket from the new faction that will be an iLevel 520 or whatever. But, as a new 90, I can have a darkmoon Faire trinket waiting for the ding, and only have to earn 750 to make an upgrade.

The new stuff, no matter what you do you can’t have right away, you need to grind heroics and earn reputation before you can buy it, and you need a lot more Valor than a single upgrade would cost.

These are choices I like to be able to make for myself, balancing my time investment against the expected reward. Having the choice taken away from me for my own good doesn’t really thrill me.

Each of us has our own idea what we’re willing to pay for upgrades in terms of time, money and daily questing/reputation grinding.

Buff the player, AND Nerf the raid?

The other change that I think is funny is that the existing content is going to see a 10% nerf.

Where the heck did that come from?

I was certainly wrong about this one, although I’m not sure I said what I thought in a blog post before.

I was sure, and I mean positive, that Blizzard was going with buffing players as their way to get us past raid choke points.

With the announced increased drop rates from existing LFR, increased spawn rate of Galleon to match Sha of Gold, AND the new LFR that would give us big upgrades over existing content, AND new Valor items in the 520+ range, I thought we were going the ‘buff the player’ route.

Of course, that would require players who were stuck and wanted to progress to, you know, run all that other content to get the upgrades, and there would still be some RNG involved. I don’t care how high they increase the drop rates, SOMEONE ain’t getting their Sha-touched weapon for a few weeks. Because, you know, bosses with 4 or more drops you can use to compete for, damnit.

And yet here we are, existing raids to be nerfed by 10%.

Not only that, but did you hear about the progressive LFR nerf?

If you are in LFR, and you wipe on a boss, the entire raid will get a 10% buff for the next attempt on the boss. STACKING.

I know for a fact I am not the only person sitting here thinking how cool it would be to take a team of 25 premade, queue for LFR, and intentionally wipe 9 times JUST to take a 100% power buff for a spin.

You know DAMN WELL you’re thinking it, too.

The goal we’re talking about is how to catch players and raiders up when brand new tasty raids are released.

If the new hotness comes out, and you’ve got two raids yet to clear before you ever get to see it, it’s disheartening. So, how to catch you up?

There are two different attitudes involved when choosing between nerfs and buffs.

It doesn’t matter what your true situation is.

Maybe your raid team plays two hours a week, you’re having bad loot luck in the Vaults, so you keep clearing MSV over and over each week trying to get those few critical pieces before moving on. You’re not pushing the ID or moving on, because damnit you need better drops.

Maybe you really aren’t good at coordinating as a team on some bosses, or have an imbalance between melee and ranged that make Garalon or Elegon tough to handle. And is it just me, or are those names easy to swap at times?

Hell, maybe the enrage timer on Garalon is just a real bitch, and it’s frustrating knowing you just need to eke out a little more DPS to get past it.

It doesn’t matter.

If you decide to accelerate the pace by nerfing existing content, and especially giving those that completed it before the nerf a Feat of Strength, what you’re doing is saying to all those still on earlier raids, “You needed an easy setting to go on”.

True or not, it’s how you feel.

If, however, you add more powerful items in the game that players can get if they run all of the alternative content, like LFR, Daily Quests and Valor vendors, then you’re not nerfing content or adding an easy mode as much as you’re giving the players a chance to become powerful enough to overcome the obstacles faster on their own.

I know it has the exact same effect of making the content at it’s existing settnig easier, but one is someone is lowering the bar for you, adn the other one is you taking action to improve yourself to overcome the existing obstacle.

To buff yourself feels more positive, proactive.

I was following along so well… buff the player, don’t nerf the content… and then they went and said they’re going to do both, and confused the heck out of me.

Ah well. I’m still having tons of fun, so don’t mind me. I’m just puzzled by the whole thing.

Have a great weekend!

11 Responses to “David Bowie Song Title Goes here”
  1. Askevar says:

    Well on top of this, reputation with the raid faction where you get your new valor gear will be heavily gated because as I understand it, from the beginning reputation will only be available via boss kills… and only once per week per boss… which means if someone continues to cap, I certainly hope we’ll hit a range with something to buy by the third week…

    And that presumes it’s an item worth buying…

  2. Grimmtooth says:

    I have to confess that the upgrade vendors annoyed me to an unreasonable extent. First three’s gear, then gems, then enchants, then reforges … what’s next? Enchants for our gems? How crowded does that room have to get before someone just busts out laughing?

    I realize that’s probably not a popular outlook, but it just seemed … silly.

    • Thunderspank says:

      I agree. Its a bit annoying to have to do 4 things before an item is “as good as it can be”. :)

      • Jem says:

        I like the concept, that once you have run out of new gear options there’s still something to do with your VP, but overall yeah, it becomes a cumbersome process combined with gems, chants and reforging.

    • Ngita says:

      Well right now BS’ gem their enchants(sockets)

      Let alone when you upgrade your Sha touched, 4k for a new enchant, 10k for a new Sha touched gem, 2.5k for a new socket and a measly 50g for a new gem for that socket. Oh well its all gold sinks.

  3. Darand says:

    I agree that removing the item upgrade vendor is a mistake. I am still hoping for a better weapon to drop before 5.2 comes out so I can upgrade it (11 Lei Shi kills so far plus coin rolls and nada). I feel that the vendor enhances\augments the standard system, and as a non-PvPer I’m getting tired of them forcing changes on the PvE side to balance PvP.

  4. Ngita says:

    I have to say your not in agreement with the majority of D&R here, most of us feel its old content. When your killing heroic sha @ 95 in ilvl 700 gear do you really feel the that the optional nerf is lessening your experience? The reality is the day you wear 1 item of ilvl inflated 5.2 lfr gear the content is nerfed. If you choose you can wear gear from prior to 5.2 and if you choose you can turn the nerf off. Some of us don’t distinguish between exactly how the content is nerfed, because its nerfed either way. The 10% nerf just breaths a little life into it so people don’t need to wait for the ilvl to nerf it.

    In 5,2 if you want gear you should be running lfr for gear not HoF, if your a raiding guild you should be wiping on new bosse in t15 s not wiping on old bosses. Blizzard inflated ilvl and removed any “need” to run t14 beyond fun.

    Indeed Garalon and Elegon are generally the only 2 bosses where a nerf actually makes a difference long term, the rest are all mechanics checks. If you wipe at 10% then next time you pull or the time after that you will kill the boss, you almost always wipe because someone made a mistake.

    Not sure about the upgrade vendors going, I feel its a good system, but on the other hand i feel a certain relief knowing their is an eventual end to valor capping my main.

  5. Tonori says:

    Actually, I think its government interference in an individuals choices W’out the right of appeal, public oversight & scrutiny, adherence to best practice or facilitated public debate let alone regular elections which is usually needed to make that strategy work.

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