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Starym

Valor Points and Mythic+ Gearing: A Critique by a Top M+ Player

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Valor Points are coming this week and are supposed to save/improve Mythic+ gearing but, as our own Seliathan goes into in-depth, it's not quite a good enough improvement on the already pretty messy Mythic+ loot system.

Seliathan is an Icy Veins Rogue class guide writer, completed several World First Mythic+ clears, including the +20, and he wrote a big piece for Raider.IO, analyzing the M+ gear and the way the Valor Point system will affect it, the flaws in both, and how to improve them. And while Blizzard are removing the 1500 cap on Valor, exactly as the article suggests, there are many more problems and potential solutions presented there. He goes over many topics, including how M+ gearing compares to PvP and raiding, what the actual purpose of M+ is and where it fits in the overall gearing scheme, the lack of other rewards in M+, the need for higher Keystone Master-type achievement tiers and a lot more. Here are some highlights, but head straight on to the full (and huge) analysis post on Raider.IO if you want all the details:

Quote

The [Valor Point] system proposed, with its current tuning, serves to narrow the gap, but does little to actually close it. A few key decisions are somewhat mind-boggling and beg the question what exactly the purpose of the new system is. These issues join in with the echo of questions past as to what exactly Mythic+ is supposed to do and where it is supposed to go in terms of its reward structure, especially at the higher end

The currently proposed system lacks almost all of the marks of what make the PvP system so rewarding and why people are flocking towards PvP for character progression:

  • You are reliant on dungeon drops to get the item you want to upgrade first, and items need to be re-acquired after the patch, with most dungeons having 7-10 items and a 40% chance per dungeon to get one of these many options.
  • Awkward catch-up mechanic. Hoarding Valor Points is not an option, as you can only hold up to 1500 Valor at any time. [This has changed since the article was written and the cap is removed.]
  • Maximum item-level rewards are not equivalent to PvP or raiding, with the cap being item-level 220 compared to PvP and Raiding with their 233 weapons, and 226 gear.
  • Upgrade costs seem to be quite high, with it taking multiple weeks to upgrade an item from item-level 200 all the way to 220, in particular weapons.
  • Even a fully upgraded BiS trinket or weapon is something you will still want to see in your Great Vault, as it will always be better due to the higher item-level.

Difficulty Vs. Reward

My main concern, personally, is that the rewarded item level and its link to achieving a certain proficiency within the content-type, is not adequate at all. Being limited to upgrading items to item-level 213 until you manage to time all Mythic dungeons at +15 difficulty is nigh impossible. Most of us have seen how high the requirements are for using a Pick-Up-Group to do a dungeon through the Looking for Dungeon tool, and its prohibitive requirements in both Raider.IO score as well as item-level—not to mention the community perception of which classes are most viable. You will need 8 of these. Assuming no other major gear improvements, someone with item-level ~215 from a mix of end-of-dungeon loot and previously upgraded items + the Great Vault, will be unable to find a group to push for that Keystone Master achievement they need to further improve their gear. Due to the difficulty, it is in fact very unlikely that a group of similarly geared people will be able to do so, unless they increase in item-level. You will need to improve your gear by getting raid loot, buying BoEs or doing PvP, before tackling +15s will be reasonable. The point at which these upgrades are achievable are reached when you no longer need those upgrades, except for potentially a specific dungeon trinket.

The same issue arises at the beginning of a new tier, as the proposed system awards the same ability to upgrade items to people achieving Keystone Master and people achieving a 1800 PvP rating.

M4.png

Potential fixes

There are a few things, however, that could be done to remedy the situation and bring parity to the three pillars of game content.

  • Increase the 1500 Valor cap (or simply remove it). There is no need to have a general Valor cap, when the amount you can get each week is capped already. [This has changed since the article was written and the cap is removed.]
  • Lower the requirements for upgrading items, and introduce new upgrade-tiers to mirror that of PvP and raiding. Not being able to upgrade beyond 213 until you time all dungeons at +15 is too prohibitive, and once you achieve that Keystone Master you will be unlikely to require the upgrades anyway.
  • Introduce new tiers beyond +15. As we have seen already, teams are capable of pushing to +20 and even +25, yet there are no increased rewards planned for people achieving such high proficiency in Mythic+. These rewards may not even have to be gear-related, but could be purely cosmetic. More on that later.

The aforementioned suggestions would improve on the current framework, but do not manage to fix a few other issues. This is why I, personally, would be much more in favor of a rework of the currency system entirely:

  • Valor Points will only be gained from Mythic+ and raid bosses, have a weekly cap, and a cumulative one depending on when the season started. They would be an exact mirror of Conquest Points. They are no longer used to upgrade items.
  • Reintroduce Valor vendors that offer a selection of items for each slot that can be bought directly with Valor Points, similar to how Conquest works. These could be new items entirely, or a selection of popular items from Shadowlands dungeons. While I’m not a big fan of vendors, as gear should be gained from killing bosses, I still prefer this approach to bring parity to PvP and Mythic+.
  • Reintroduce Justice Points. These are used as the currency to upgrade items. They are gained from all kinds of PvE activities, whether it is World Quests, Callings, dungeons or raids.
  • There is one last optional change that I would advocate for, and that is a combination of Valor and Conquest Points, to allow players to pick and choose the content they’d like to engage with, without needing to do both


With all that said, I ultimately do not think that vendors are the best solution, but they’re a necessary one to bring parity to the reward systems. While gear vendors are a nice quality of life improvement and greatly increase the player agency in progressing each character's gear, the game becomes less and less about killing the big bad evil guy and looting his treasures, and instead becomes a shopping experience. As such, I would prefer lowering the efficiency of gearing through PvP, instead of trying to elevate Mythic+ to the same level.

There's a LOT more to read over in the full article on Raider.IO, with many excellent points and insights into Mythic+ and how it could be improved, so make sure to read the whole thing!

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Another and main issue is that pvp gear can be chosen by player while m+ item is random and not obvious. +15 is nothing hard to achieve with random team. People would like to have everything for free or without engagement. I think that if dungeon is not timed there should be no item reward for it and weekly bonus is also deplated to lower tier. We had so many nerfs to dungeons that 15 should not be a problem. Regarding above ideas most od them are quiet interesting and should be considered by dev team or at least community. Maybe pvp gear should be harder to obtain and that would be fair enough for pve players. 

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1 hour ago, req0 said:

Another and main issue is that pvp gear can be chosen by player while m+ item is random and not obvious. +15 is nothing hard to achieve with random team. People would like to have everything for free or without engagement. I think that if dungeon is not timed there should be no item reward for it and weekly bonus is also deplated to lower tier. We had so many nerfs to dungeons that 15 should not be a problem. Regarding above ideas most od them are quiet interesting and should be considered by dev team or at least community. Maybe pvp gear should be harder to obtain and that would be fair enough for pve players. 

well, if it wouldnt drop loot for failing the timer, that will most likely increase the amount of leavers, if not the requirements in group finder will go through the roof.

i do prefer to see pvp gearing being tuned down, rather then forcing m+ up there, this might be a issue at a later stage. but will see how it rides out eitherway.

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14 hours ago, req0 said:

Another and main issue is that pvp gear can be chosen by player while m+ item is random and not obvious. +15 is nothing hard to achieve with random team. People would like to have everything for free or without engagement. I think that if dungeon is not timed there should be no item reward for it and weekly bonus is also deplated to lower tier. We had so many nerfs to dungeons that 15 should not be a problem. Regarding above ideas most od them are quiet interesting and should be considered by dev team or at least community. Maybe pvp gear should be harder to obtain and that would be fair enough for pve players. 

Depends on the scenario.  I've seen pug groups turn down Feral Druids and Survival Hunters out of spite because it was considered 'non meta'.  Players that choose non meta builds tend to have a harder time being accepted as a Pug for select keys.  That was the very case when the Keystone season kicked off.  

Due to the Nerfs to Mythic+ in SL (on loot) the risk and reward was just not feasible for players that really don't care to Raid or even PvP for alternative forms of gearing. This nerf to loot was pushed by Blizzard to keep the World First Raiders from overgearing CN on Mythic difficulty.  Alot of the top Guilds did more split runs and bought more BoE's for the World First Race than spam Mythic+ for "possible" upgrades.  Also earlier in the Season alot of Dungeons were overally tuned and made it problematic even for the most seasoned veterans to traverse and time accordingly.

But if Blizzard would potentially keep the difficulties in place and adopt your ideas of loot and 'progression' alot of players would simply adhere to the following: unsub for 'lack of content' of end game or vicariously Raid or PvP but not be as highly active through the week or even on a daily basis.  And that's a thing about MMO's you don't want the content to be overly out of reach (nearly impossible for even the top 10% skilled players) with a steep/high learning curve to dissuade players to even not attempting said content to begin with.

 

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Look what happened after update. I wanted to go +15 14 or 12. 1700 balance druid Rio. Rejected. Another caste. Same quantity of point for every m+ run... They fu... it up even more than it was without points. They made game even more casual for pugs... 

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