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Thoughts on Valor Points for Shadowlands Mythic+ Gearing - Is it Enough?
13/2/2021 em 12:51
Blizzard recently announced the return of Valor Points to help players gear up through Shadowlands Mythic+. We wanted to give our thoughts on the announced system so far, and discuss whether or not we think adding Valor Points is enough for Mythic+ players.
Valor Points in Patch 9.0.5
The Valor Point system hasn't been implemented on the PTR yet, but here's a recap of what we know so far about the system.
Valor Points are obtained from
There is a
on the amount of Valor Points that you can obtain.
Mythic+ gear obtained after Patch 9.0.5 can be upgraded using Valor Points, assuming you have the pre-requisites.
Upgrade to Item Level 207 - All +5 Dungeons Timed
Upgrade to Item level 213 - All +10 Dungeons Timed
Upgrade to Item Level 220 - All +15 Dungeons Timed
We’ve seen a lot of feedback about the pros and cons of the various sources of gear in the Shadowlands endgame. After a rewarding first few weeks, we know that many dungeon-focused players reached a point where the only relevant rewards from the system come from the Great Vault. While the Vault should represent a major goal and the source of the best rewards the endgame has to offer, we want to find a way for the loot from the chest at the end of a challenging Mythic Keystone run to feel relevant, without bringing back random upgrade systems such as Warforging, which partially solved this problem in the past. We also want to provide a more consistent reward for the effort for players who do not receive an item at all.
The framework for a system that attempts to address these goals should be present in this first PTR update, subject to ongoing tuning and refinement. Gear from Mythic Keystone Dungeons is now upgradeable, initially with a cap of item level 200, which players can raise to item level 207 by completing all eight Shadowlands dungeons at Mythic 5 or higher. This will award a new “Keystone Explorer” achievement, while the existing “Keystone Conqueror” achievement (for all +10s or higher) will increase the cap to item level 213, and then to item level 220 by completing the “Keystone Master” achievement for all +15s in time. The currency used to upgrade Mythic Keystone gear is Valor, which is earned from completing Mythic Keystone dungeons, or by doing covenant Callings, with a weekly cap. Upgrade costs will vary by item slot and will be consistent across all item levels.
Thoughts on Valor Points
Overall, I think this implementation is a step in the right direction.
Currently, I think the community's major problems with Mythic+ loot is the fact that their only source of relevant rewards is from the Great Vault and the Great Vault has a massive loot table.
Unlike Raiding and PvP, there is no way for players to get any item above Item Level 210 from Mythic+, other than from the Great Vault.
There is no way for Mythic+ players to get Item Level 233 weapons, which are rewarded from showing your mastery in Raiding or PvP by killing Mythic Denathrius and or achieving 2400 rating.
The Great Vault has 50+ items for each spec, and even with 3 choices, the chances that you get the item that you're looking for are low and random.
The solution of Valor Points that has been proposed so far does seem like it addresses some of the above issues. Mythic+ers will now be able to farm loot from dungeon until they get the item that they want and upgrade it to Item Level 220. The difference between Item Level 220 and 226 is a much smaller gap than 210 and 226. As Valor Points are weekly capped, you will likely be only able to upgrade a piece every week or two. Valor Points also offer more control at getting a higher item level piece that you want, rather than just hoping it shows up in your vault. While it isn't choosing the piece of a vendor, you can at least partially target the item that you're looking for by choosing a dungeon, which limits the dungeon pool.
Valor Points were compared to Conquest and PvP vendors, and while the system isn't exact, it is similar. For PvP, you buy the item with weekly capped Conquest and upgrade it using farmable Honor Points. For Mythic+, you will have to farm the item that you want, and upgrade it using weekly capped Valor Points.
There are two differences that have make this system have some drawbacks:
In order to get the item you want from end-of-dungeon rewards, the drop chance of the item varies wildly depending on how many people in the group can get and trade the item to you. This can be frustrating to players who only pug, compared to PvP which you can easily see yourself working towards your end goal of X amount of Honor.
Compared to PvP, Mythic+ers have to use a capped currency to upgrade items. This means that if you get a lower item piece in your Vault, PvPers can use their farmable currency to raise it's item level, while Mythic+ers can't.
I'd argue that there the community has a 4th major problem in Shadowlands Mythic+ with the reduced loot quantities -- the end-of-dungeon loot tables are very large with an average of 7 to 8 pieces of loot per dungeon and getting the exact trinket or item you want from an end-of-dungeon chest can be frustrating, especially with no funnelers to help get you the item. First you have to be one of the 1 or 2 players to get an item at the end of the dungeon, then you have to get the item you want from the dungeon. However, this is usually countered by the fact that Mythic+ has no weekly lockout and you can farm the dungeons until you get the item that you want. But even then, if you don't have party members that are trading you gear or you aren't timing your runs, the chance that you're going to get the piece of loot that you're looking for drops dramatically. I don't believe this can be solved using a Valor Points system, and is part of the nature of trading gear.
However, as good as this system is, I do think Blizzard could take Valor Points one step further to improve Mythic+ and make it a standalone end-game experience for players that want it. The fact that Mythic+ upgrades stop at 220, compared to PvP and Raids which scale to 226 and 233 has been questioned by many Mythic+ players in the community, suggesting a new achievement of all dungeons at a +18 in time for 226 upgrades and all dungeons at a +20 in time for 233 weapons. I personally don't see a problem with that as it gives more longevity to end-game Mythic+ and a way for Mythic+ers to maintain closer parity with the other systems.
Many Mythic+ players have expressed frustrations when comparing Mythic+ to Raid and PvP systems for the last few years, wondering why Mythic+ hasn't gotten more high-end rewards and pursuits.
Mythic+, the 3rd Pillar of WoW's Endgame
I think overall it's important that remember that Mythic+ has been expanding and evolving from when it was first implemented in Legion. From
PandaTV's interview with Ion Hazzikostas
before Shadowlands launched, Ion called Mythic+ as a 3rd pillar of the WoW endgame.
It's been amazing to see the evolution of the whole Mythic+ system. It came in as an experiment in Legion as a new type of dungeon gameplay and it's quickly grown into a 3rd pillar of the WoW endgame, alongside Rated PvP and Raids. We are fully supporting it and continue doing that forever.
Raids and PvP have been around for a lot longer than Mythic+, so their reward structures have been more polished and fine-tuned than Mythic+. Mythic+ has been evolving, as Ion Hazzikostas mentioned, with Keystone Master for BFA Season 4 awarding a Mount for the first time, but if Blizzard is still on track to support Mythic+ as a 3rd Pillar of WoW's endgame, I feel like there needs to be a closer parity of the Mythic+ system to the Raiding and PvP systems in Shadowlands.
Mythic+ players do not have access to non-Great Vault Item level 226 loot.
Mythic+ players do not have access to Item Level 233 weapons.
Mythic+ players have a lack of high-end pursuits.
Pandatv's Interview with Ion Hazzikostas
, they talked about how much more beneficial it would be for a player to participant in all 3 forms of endgame content, rather than just one:
Someone who just does PvP should be very competitive and should feel like they should have like 90 - 95% of the available power theoretically but WoW is a large game with a bunch of different types of activities that test different skills and there's something to be said for giving some extra edge to someone who is truly well rounded and is achieving at the highest levels in multiple spheres of gameplay. To be clear, that goes both ways and I don't see anything necessarily flawed with a raider incentivized in some small way to also dip their toes in PvP and if you're someone who can play at a Gladiator level in PvP and you're doing Mythic raiding, having small advantages, to be clear, small incremental advantages, not the sort of thing that feels mandatory to reflect on that shared mandatory, I don't think if that's the worst thing in the world.
Now, while gearing up through multiple forms of content is definitely a larger advantage, I believe them to be talking about when players are reaching the end state of their character in their content. A player that does raid only versus a player that does Raid and PvP may be slightly behind in their throughput due to a lack of a high item level
Distintivo de Ferocidade do Gladiador Pecaminoso
but there are raid trinkets that can fill in the same. However, with this Valor Point change stopping at Item Level 220 for a Mythic+ only player, does participating in Raids or PvP at this point offer small incremental advantages? The biggest advantage is mostly time as you can get 226 in slot from Mythic+ only but you're at the mercy of RNG and time, but don't forget the lack of a 233 weapon from Mythic+.
Lack of High-End Rewards and Pursuits
Many players have expressed frustration in the lack of high-end rewards and pursuits for Mythic+, which would give them a good reason to push higher keystones. Mythic+ didn't even reward any cosmetic rewards from achievements at all until BFA Season 4 with the
and title. Even after this addition, Mythic+ players have been interested in even more high-end rewards to show they are at the top of their chosen content for a while, similar to how Mythic raiders can enter the Hall of Fame and get a title, or PvPers get Gladiator mounts and titles. Raiders and PvPers have a leaderboard system that is supported by the game that other players can look in order to show their mastery.
Mestre da Pedra-chave de Battle for Azeroth: Série 4
The other reasons that players have been looking for high-end rewards is being they just like doing dungeons and Mythic+ and don't want to Raid or PvP. For these players, they have felt and will continue to feel forced to Raid and/or PvP as Mythic+ will continue to not have a method of providing 226 loot from anything but the Great Vault which is RNG. There are many differences in the gearing systems of Raid, Mythic+ and PvP, but the one that many players are forcing on at the moment are the Item Level caps, as players tend to focus on the Best-in-Slot (BiS) gear that lets them know when their character is "done" or when an item is very hard to replace.
Gear is obviously a reason to push Mythic+, but this incentive and pursuit mostly stops at +15 Keystones, and it doesn't get even get dungeons to the regular Item Level cap of 226. Thus, the only reasons for pushing Mythic+ at this point in Shadowlands is for fun and
, a number on a 3rd party website, which supplements the lack of a Blizzard-official leaderboard for Mythic+.
Ion Hazzikostas touched on this topic in
his Shadowlands interview with TonTon
, where he admits that Ego and Name Recognition is part of the reward as they're hesitant to push an in-game reward structure too high. Raiders have the Hall of Fame and Mythic+ players have all 15s in time -- and that's a bar that they draw at the top 1% or fraction of a percent because they're confident that it's a balanced system, as all classes can achieve 15s. Ion does admit that really all classes can achieve 20s in time and all classes can achieve 2400 and get Gladiator in PvP, but at the very very high end of content like the MDI and key pushing, the game isn't balanced and only some specs can do those extreme achievements. When you formalize rewards around that, it can put extra expectations and pressure for everyone, as they can access those things.
Now, this interview was released on July 10th, so his comment about all specs being able to achieve 20s in time was probably in reference to BFA Season 4. However, I think this statement is still true on live servers and all specs are able to achieve 20s in time. All specs are able to clear Mythic Raid, all specs are able to achieve Gladiator and these have upgraded rewards, so what's the reason that Blizzard haven't provided a +18 or +20 pursuit for Mythic+ players?
I've seen many comments that have suggested a +18 for 226 upgrades and +20 for 233 weapon upgrades, which I personally think is fair. I think if Blizzard wants Mythic+ to grow, they should really let players have a long-term pursuit in Mythic+, and allow players to upgrade their gear to 226 and weapons to 233 using Valor Points by adding more achievements above +15. There are Mythic+ players that just want to Mythic+ and feel forced to Raid or PvP and if Blizzard wants to support Mythic+, Mythic+ should have a way to get their gear to the item level caps (outside of the Great Vault), alongside the other pillars of WoW's endgame.
Mestre da Pedra-chave de Shadowlands: Série 1
I think Valor Points are a step in the right direction, but I think Blizzard can and should go farther to solidify Mythic+ as the 3rd form of Endgame in WoW. Make it official and give the system the pursuits and rewards that it needs to succeed as a standalone content. I think it would go a long way with the Mythic+ community to give them the option of upgrading their gear to 226, and weapons to 233 to give some parity with the other systems of WoW.
Now, going forward into Patch 9.1 and onwards, there is a concern that the difference between a player who only engages in one form of content and players who engage in all forms of content may be too stark, with regards to how fast players can gear up. That is something that Blizzard will definitely have to look at going forwards, and I personally think we might see a replacement currency that is shared between Raids, Mythic+ and PvP in order to curb the "mandatory" feeling of doing all 3 forms of content at the start of the tier to gear up.
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