Riding the Chariot of the Sun

I guess a lot has been said recently about the whole Valor Point/Justice Point drop rate.

I won’t quote various sources, but there seems to be a bunch of folks that are pretty hot that normal raiding, BWD/BoT raiding, no longer yields Valor. Instead, it’s all about the Troll dungeons and the Firelands. Well, and Baradin Hold.

I’ve even heard that some folks are in guilds that require raiding members to ‘cap’ their weekly potential Valor points by running Troll dungeons, and other folks resent the heck out of feeling they have to run Trolls if they are going to stay competitive.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that World of Warcraft represents a wide open landscape for you to pursue your goals, and the freedom to make your own choices. Nobody is forcing you to do anything, including pay a monthly subscription.

Aside from the break between European and US/Oceana servers, WoW has no borders or passports. If you want to move to a different server, do it. There are no locks to bar your way. Nobody holds up a sign sayin,g “Must have 359+ gear level to ride this server.”

If you choose to raid at a pace that competes for first kills with other guilds, then that’s your choice. If the guild you choose to be in to meet that goal sets expectations for what you have to do, including meeting a weekly Valor Point cap, then again, your choice; stay or go.

I’m in a guild that has three raid teams. One of those teams is destroying Firelands and having a great time. Maybe one of the expectations among the members of that team is that they cap Valor Points each week. I wouldn’t know, nobody has said anything that I’ve heard, and it’s sure as hell not an expectation for the team I’m in. Because that’s not one of my goals, so I’m not even trying to be in that team, so I don’t have to meet that expectation.

If I wanted to be at that level of play? Then I’d expect to have to pay… with my time and energy and determination.

Is the raid team I’m a part of doing Firelands? Not yet. Cleared trash, sure, killed the new BH boss. Mostly, they’ve focused on clearing the last of the original raids and getting the Defender of a Shattered World closure first. 

Goal met. Bigbearbutt, Defender of a Shattered World says hello.  

Are they full up on hard modes? No, no they’re not.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? If they wanted to make the commitment in terms of time, if they wanted to set hard modes and race to server first kills as team goals… then the rules for the team would be different.

Look, it’s all about what you want to set as a goal for yourself, finding other like-minded people to play with to pursue that goal, and then doing what you feel is necessary and beyond to achieve success.

If you want to get all the Valor Points that you can in a given week, then you’ll use whatever method that you’re given. If you don’t, you won’t.

If your team feels that it is necessary to cap Valor Points each week, and you resent it, then your goals might match the rest of your raid team, but your level of personal commitment does not. Might be time to find a different raid team that has your same level of commitment, or lack thereof.

If you feel that the method Blizzard put in place isn’t fair, that’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it, but don’t expect me to share it. I clearly don’t have the same goals that you do.

From the outside, this is how the whole discussion sounds.

A player wants to raid, and be one of the first to see and do the new content. At the same time as the new content is released to challenge raid teams, wonderful, powerful new gear upgrades are made available through Valor Points.

These Valor Point gear upgrades would clearly make completing the existing content a little easier, but they’re not absolutely necessary to complete normal mode Firelands, as shown by other top notch raid teams that have already done it with existing gear from the old raiding Hard modes. The Valor Point gear makes it easier, but are not strictly required, and do not block progression.

With that being the case, Valor Point gear seems to occupy a place as an optional luxury to help raid teams that have not been doing Hard modes narrow the gap.

If the Valor Point gear is an optional luxury meant to help raid teams that have not been doing Hard modes get caught up, then yes, it would make sense to have Valor Points drop from old raids like BWD and BoT.

What Blizzard did makes sense to me, though, as it allows players to get those optional luxury points on their own time, outside of scheduled Firelands raids, without having to deal with a weekly lockout or by dividing their raid time between Firelands and BWD/BoT/Tot4W.

Their move also has one further benefit from Blizzards’ point of view; it encourages raid geared players to re-enter the LFD random mix in Troll dungeons, potentially shortening the queue times and increasing the possibility that at least one or two players in an LFD troll dungeon has been there before and is truly geared and capable of leading a team to victory.

So, what is the down side?

Well, I see a whole lot of QQing that people who aren’t raiding are able to get the Valor Point gear just as fast as raiders.

Err. Umm.

Yeah, not really feeling your pain, there.

If you don’t want to do Troll dungeons, don’t do them. If your guild is telling you that you have to, then guess what, sparky? You’ve got one of them whatchamacallems… dilemmas. Only you can decide if you want it bad enough. 

You know that determination and sacrifice and hard work you hear Michelle Kwan talk about? How she worked her ass off to do what she had to do to succeed and win, but she stayed the course and pushed herself, because she had a personal desire and drive to be the best, and she refused to give in or give up?

Yeah, about your desire for those server first kills and speed of progression? Turns out, you might have to work for it a little bit. I know that comes as somewhat of a surprise, but there you have it.

Anything worth having doesn’t come cheap. If you want it, earn it. If you don’t want it, then stop bitching about it, and do your normal raids and take your time. It’ll still be there a year from now, waiting for you.

Is it worth the price you’re expected to pay?

Your call.

I just know I’m tired of hearing about it.

23 thoughts on “Riding the Chariot of the Sun

  1. I was never bothered much either way. Blizzard reasons sort of made sense, On the other hand Valor for heroics but not for raids did’nt really. Plus all the content being reduced down to zx if you want valor.

    Our alt nef run took 1 hour exactly, Even on my main I would not say no to a teir helm(4/7 firelands zero drops so far) and 175 valor.


  2. Couple of thoughts about the following quotes

    from BBB Comment:
    “Yeah, Cassie came down to my office laughing at my timing…”

    EXACTLY, it’s a biach when non-reality smacks us in the face.
    The only reason that anything is easy/hard in MMOs is due to fallible human manipulation of numbers in a computer SIMULATING a real endeavor.

    I myself am “tired of hearing about” people either being more EJ _OR_ more whinny about this dynamic.

    Unlike a real life sport performed at a high level where the rewards/difficulty/gravity/competition are not changeable parameters in a server room.

    WOW and ALL MMOs _ARE NOT REAL_ any “price you’re expected to pay” is nothing but an ego driven illusion of advancement.
    An ego driven Illusion that can be taken from you AT ANY MOMENT by said fallible humans changing the numbers.

    Just like all the “gotta do Trolls to be IN DA Club” illusions of superiority that just got shattered HARD.

    IT”S A GAME folks … and even more importantly it is not a game based in objective reality. You cannot take this thing any more seriously than a pleasant dream. One day we will all wake up and not play this game anymore… any angst we feel about easy/hard today WILL NOT MATTER in a painfully brief time period.


  3. I r badman – I’ve been playing a rogue for a bit now, nearly decked out in season 10 PvP gear, and every 250 valor is converted to conquest… This hotfix makes me giddy – my rogue’s guild isn’t a raiding guild, but there are raiders with alts in it, so we sometimes organize enough to do some… even at 35 a kill, the easymode normal bosses of BoT and BWD will add up faster than a heroic, or heaven forbid, the trolls – which pugs still have trouble with (tends to be a damned if you do: run a full guild run, and you’re missing the Luck of the Draw bonus. And damned if you don’t: run pugs, and half the group doesn’t understand the mechanics – the LotD can’t compensate for morons).

    Still working towards Defender on my druid… but it’s slow going, our guild had another collapse… so back to advertising for raiders – again. sigh. WoW certainly takes more work than my job… at least it’s fun, right?


  4. Besides the point of this post, but for info, Wow Insider article today says: Tier 11 normal mode raid bosses to give valor points again.


    • Yeah, Cassie came down to my office laughing at my timing…

      To which I replied that I love Blizzard even more for this.

      Yes, they are hotfixing it so boss kills in 10 and 25 player BoT, BWD and Tot4W will give Valor Points. So all those complaining will feel vindicated. I said in my post I thought that having those bosses drop Valor Points made sense to me, this certainly doesn’t bother me at all.

      At the same time… the AMOUNT of Valor each boss is worth makes me laugh my ass off. It feels like a token, a pittance, pity Valor. It’s like, dare I say it, a slap in the face.

      As though Blizzard is saying, “Okay, you insist that Trolls are beneath you serious raiders, and you want Valor from your raids. Fine. Then go out and do full clears of all three raids and get your Valor Points. Go for it. Oh yeah, and then have fun adding Firelands raiding onto it.”

      So the leet raiding guilds who can blow through normal mode raids in 1 hour will immediately do so, so they can max Valor Points without lowering themselves to do Trolls. BUt at the same time, those same leet guilds are saying, “We’re nowhere near leet enough to do Firelands without getting the pity Valor epics.”

      The subtext to all this just makes me roll. Are you leet, or do you need your hand held? The rationalizations make my eyes spin. 🙂


      • I don’t really think 3 pieces of T12, the only relic, most of spirit cloth options or one of two rings for your spec should be considered “pity epics”. 😛

        Although I have to admit the T11 raids (normal, not heroic) make sense to me, if I was an ungeared player getting ready to start raiding, I would rather want to get some okay gear fairly quickly than to spend the time getting 2pc T12 with avg ilvl < 340 in the other slots.


      • From the inside, as a player, I agree with you. For this post, I wanted to step back for a minute and look at it from a game master perspective. You design a challenge, and you determine what you have to give the players as far as tools to overcome it. Once they have that minimum level of equipment provided or easily available, technically your work is done. Players can overcome the obstacle by playing the game at the highest level.

        From that point on, providing more powerful equipment and tools to the players directly lessens the challenge you intended. When new equipment is added, you are reducing the skill or coordination or preperation needed to overcome the challenge.

        My point in all this was to intentionally use inflammatory language to state that, for people who call themselves hardcore progression raiders, if they are not limiting themselves to using the gear they acquired from existing hard modes and drops in Firelands to defeat the Firelands, IF they are telling their members that they MUST get the Valor Point gear in order to progress, they are flat out saying that they need the challenge to be made easier for them to succeed.

        The raid teams that have already cleared all of Firelands, and the Firelands hard modes, and they are out there, did not wait until they had the 3 pieces of Tier 12, plus accessories, plus vendor items from the Firelands dailies, plus new 378 crafted items.

        Now, I’ll be the first to say that I am not as skilled as those leading raiders, and even if I were paid to do it, and had the time to spend trying my hardest, I don’t think I would be capable of it. I am getting old, and my reflexes are losing that hair-trigger responsiveness with the smooth control. Just a little, but sure as hell enough. This isn’t me saying I’m better than anyone else.

        But it’s a mixed message. People want to boast about how hardcore they are at raiding, how many of what they killed and how fast. That’s great, but if you’re going to do that, then be aware of what people like me think of you boasting your accomplishments with the same mouth you’re using to tell your people that they have to get gear to succeed that other, REAL hardcore raiders, didn’t need.


  5. Superb writeup, wholeheartedly agree with your points! Special amen to:
    “Anything worth having doesn’t come cheap. If you want it, earn it. ”
    and if you think you ‘need’ it, then go for it – but don’t think everyone has to!


  6. There are two seperate streams to cap valor, either clear all of firelands + BH boss, or do all the random daily troll heroics.

    I think the fact that you can cap valor in heroics is what has caused this problem. Prior 4.1, you would cap out roughly 40% of your valor if you only did heroics. I would’ve have thought the reason for increased valor on trollroics was to speed up gearing for raids, and get people ready before firelands was launched. Maybe 140VP for trollroics isn’t valid anymore. I think people are mainly upset at either needing have blown through all the new raid content, or grind through dungeons they may have already done a million times. I don’t think it makes a lot sense.

    If you could only aquire 40% of your valor cap from trolls, would anyone bother? Most of everyone I know is quite happy to run normal heroics because the risk-return ratio is better than pugging into some horror ZA/ZG pug nightmare.


  7. Completely agree BBB – a similar discussion happened in our guild this week – over doing Firelands trash runs versus buying the BoEs from the auction house. For me – I’ve bought everything I can that is relevant to my bear, one of the other guildies said she wouldn’t ever buy them (while ironically she is the gold maker of the guild) – but completely understands that I do because I don’t have the time for it (but the remote auction house means I can make money even with limited play time). It’s about perspective… and finding like minded people.

    I’d love to be downing firelands bosses – heck I’d be happy downing Tier 11 bosses with more consistency, but I have other priorities (my family) and can only raid one night a week. The main trouble I’ve had is finding others that are looking for the same thing – which is largely a playing in the minority of the minority situation (oceanic realm playing in the lowest population timezone for the oceanic region – further compounded by being on the lowest population oceanic pve realm) – there have been some that are a close fit but not close enough. So I have been trying to organise it within my guild and there are a few that are supportive and joining – but finding enough for a 10 man is proving difficult. Thankfully Tier 11 is now puggable so that is the path we are taking – but it does get tiring since I’ve been organising partial pug raids since ICC and it’d be nice to have a consitent regular group without resorting to pugging (particularly with the new guild achievements and fancy mounts!).


    • I feel your pain. I organized a half-guild, half-pug “alt” raid in Wrath because I too could only raid once a week, and still wanted to kill Arthas. It was a great learning experience for me, though quite frustrating at times – often, our progress would be limited by the variable quality of our puggers, and the mechanics of Professor Putiricide, or the ninja-logging demon would prove too much.

      Fortunately for me, my fellow guildies were always kind, fun people who were easy going when it came to wipes or loot, and so gradually, we found puggers who were interested in sticking around from week to week, fit in well with us, and eventually became full-fledged guild members. We finished off Arthas just after 4.0 dropped (with me freaking out about paladin changes) with what had become a full guild alt raid, and just before my first child was born! Since then, of course, I’ve lost my night a week for this. It was a great experience though, to be sure.

      So I guess I’d say that, if this is something you want to do, go for it. It can be painful, it can be frustrating; puggers and often your own guild members will let you down. But if you want to see this content, I know that doing so as a raid leader is very, very satisfying.


      • Also, BBB, just wanted to say that I love your blog, and have been remiss that the Websense filters at work have determined it fits into the banned category of games. This blog is so much more! 🙂


  8. My guild is doing alright in Firelands 25 man raids, though hardly blasting through it at warp speed (3/7, hopefully will get Baleroc down tomorrow). That being said, I do feel compelled to cap my VP weekly, though it’s not a guild requirement. And that means running a few troll dungeons on days that aren’t Tues/Thu raid nights. Is it a pain? Yes, at times. Why do I do it then, rather than bitch about it on the forums? Same reason I show up with top enchants, food, flasks, and potions for two specs every raid night. Same reason I respec during the raid break if I think it’ll help down a boss. Same reason I sit around in my spare time and try to figure out goofy ways around a mechanic that’s stopping the raid. I like killing Internet dragons.

    Guess what. Every minute I spend farming for gold or mats or VP … totally worth it whenever we kill a new boss for the first time.

    Deaths, raid nights spent wiping, prep work, and yes, even capping VP are just the price to enjoy those battles.

    Totally 100% agree with what you wrote, BBB. Great post!


  9. I like it when people paint their compulsions (collecting this and that in game) as obligations that have been externally imposed. It’s like….um…ok…. your obsessed and totally unaccountable. Oh well, anger is a gift.


  10. Preach it! This is easily one of my favorite posts ever on this blog. Bravo!

    I haven’t played WoW in eight months now, but if I ever get back into it and found another guild, I’m going to emblazon (with your permission) “Yeah, about your desire for those server first kills and speed of progression? Turns out, you might have to work for it a little bit. I know that comes as somewhat of a surprise, but there you have it.” across the front page in the biggest, brightest, reddest font I can find.


    • “I think the $25 fee to move to another server defines a border pretty well.”

      Level a new character? Again – a choice.

      I’m not playing any more but I think getting out of the *rat race* was a good choice for me 🙂 I’ve never been one to farm badges, and I would get pretty pissed off with anyone who told me I _had_ to. I think it’s easy to get caught up in it all though. It’s good to take a step back. I liked your post.


    • There’s also the option of finding another guild on your server or founding one of your own. In the end, if you’re unhappy with your guild experience, there’s nothing stopping you from leaving but yourself.


    • Yeah, I wasn’t thinking in terms of moving your character, I was thinking of moving you. As a person. You can reroll anywhere you’d like, and you can even make a Death knight if you are averse to starting from level 1 all over again.

      Point taken that whatever simile that can be made, can be stretched until it breaks. The thing that is like the thing ain’t the thing itself.


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