Hey all, it’s Ana back with some more commentary regarding Mists of Grindaria.
Now that we are four weeks into the expansion, some of the excitement has worn off, and we’ve certainly all gone back to work and in some rare cases, to non-video-game related activities. We are all asking ourselves, “how do I fit WOW into my real life,” and the answer still seems to be, “with great difficulty.”
Let’s talk about an issue that very suddenly kicked into seriously high gear for anyone who raids: the Valor Point grind and how it translates into dailies.
Raiders and VP: We need to cap each week.
Valor Point gear is extremely relevant, with MSV missing quite a few slots of gear for most of us. I am planning to pick up anywhere from 4 to 6 pieces. We definitely want to be capping VP every week.
Unfortunately this is a much, much harder task once you have begun to raid than it was before raids kicked into gear. Why? Because Blizzard has chosen to reward us with only 150 points — 15% of our VP — for raiding.
For the record, I am NOT asking for raiding to completely cap VP. This is a very important point, because I know the devs are quite tired of hearing from raiders who want their VP handed to them on a silver platter. I don’t think raiders should get a completely free pass. I accept that as someone who desires to cap VP, I have to put in a fair amount of effort.
But 150 VP is stupidly low.
Think about what someone who is not raiding would do, when logged in for those 12 hours a week which I spent in MSV. They will almost certainly be earning more than 150 VP.
As with many MOP activities, the effort/reward ratio here is completely off.
MOP is designed to provide and encourage variety. Players are encouraged to log in more often and do a wider range of stuff, from the return to daily activities to the double-bonus on your “first” whatever of the day (heroic, scenario, etc).
I don’t have an issue with this design– it’s really rather interesting, to be honest, once I take a breath and try to appreciate the variety of things I do. I am just really unhappy that the rewards they provide seem in some cases, very…. poorly tuned.
Let’s discuss strategies for capping VP
Here is the VP you can expect to gain as a raider. Ignoring all options except raiding & dailies:
- 6/6 MSV = 150 VP
- LFR = 180 VP
- 134 Dailies
Let’s consider this in terms of hours. I’m already tossing 12 hours at MSV, and 2 or 3 hours at LFR with terrible pugs… and yeah, it can take 3 hours to do all 6 bosses depending on how many people fall through the floor on LFR Elegon. Having done all of this, I need to do 134 dailies or daily-equivalent activites to cap.
Huh. That is… a lot.
So we all want to actually keep playing WOW without going fucking crazy and breaking into Blizzard HQ screaming about bloody murder and Klaxxi dailies. I’m sure Blizzard wants us to fill that VP cap with a variety of things. Let’s consider a different mix of activities.
Daily Heroics: 60 VP for the first each day.
- 6/6 MSV = 150 VP
- LFR = 180 VP
- 5 daily heroics = 300 VP
- 74 dailies
I’m not going to say 7 daily heroics because I have to balance, somehow, work + raiding + life. I thought that estimating 5 per week was reasonable.
Right. So if you manage 5 daily heroics this brings your required Daily Quest total down to 74. This is still a really scary number of dailies to do, and the hour total for grinding here is still very high.
What if we want to cap VP entirely with raiding and heroics?
This is possible, but massively annoying. You would have to run all 7 daily heroics and then fit 9 more heroics in there. This means if you hated dailes, you’d have to do a whole 16 heroics / week, on top of your raiding and your LFR to cap.
Wow. Sounds like you can’t really avoid dailies entirely.
Scenarios : 30 VP for the first each day.
Ugh. This is not my target content and I don’t really enjoy running them. The first one does reward 30 VP, though. Worth 6 dailies. You can select which you hate more.
Challenge Modes: 60 VP for Gold, 50 for Silver, 40 for Bronze
Challenge Modes represent another VP option. I can tell you right now that Challenge Modes are really cool! And… they require a fair amount of dedication. First of all, they are really not an option unless you have 4 friends and voicechat. Secondly, while Bronze is supposedly “not too hard,” I have a feeling that even Bronze will challenge a lot of people. I have dipped my toes into CM’s with a group composed of really intelligent people and experienced HM raiders. We worked through three instances without trying for a time, just to see what challenge modes were like, and received: a Silver, a Bronze, and a hilarious hour-plus no-reward clear. I had a blast and I want to do more, but it certainly required committed an evening.
You really do have to commit, and sit down to do that Challenge Mode; it’s not like just queuing up for something or doing dailies while you hang out with people in vent.
You will certainly gain VP if you put a group together for these and start to clear them, but I hesitate to say that they are an effective method of gaining it.
Daily Challenge Mode: 100 VP ( worth 20 dailies!)
Now, depending on what it is, this can be very useful, if it’s one of the shorter or easier ones. This rewards 60 VP plus 40 for Bronze (which you can reasonably expect to get even with wiping). Even if it takes an hour, well, I think 100 VP is a very good trade off for an hour. That translates into 20 dailies to skip. It’ll never happen on a raid night for me, but it’s an effective 100 VP if I find a group on the weekend.
Anyways, I could go on.
My point here is to show how much higher the VP cap feels, this expansion, than it ever has before. It’s really pretty difficult to get to, especially for raiders, when you realize what a fart’s worth of VP comes out of MSV and how very little it will contribute to your journey towards the cap.
Oh, and… this massive, massive pile of dailies prevents us all from slowing down our rep grinds.
We’ve all been complaining about rep grinds and how required they feel. You know, those people saying chill out, they really do have a point.
All of us really need to have a look at our VP purchase plans, think about how fast we will be acquiring VP, and compare that to our opened reps. In my case, I don’t actually need to buy anything from Shado Pan and August Celestials for weeks and weeks. There’s really no reason for me to stress out about opening these reps.
So I gave a sigh of relief, told myself to stop being so hysterical, and realized I could just do those at my leisure instead of every day. In fact, if Blizzard hadn’t completely fucked up and put 489 ilvl exalted items (the thought still makes me want to cry) on Klaxxi and GL, rep grinders would be able to tone down their post-expansion launch daily play time and return perhaps to the realm of normal people who occasionally go a day or two without logging into WOW.
But. The VP grind makes this very, very difficult.
Suggested solution: Please significantly raise the VP provided from raiding.
We raiders really will all go crazy and all at once if this much time and effort remains tacked onto our weekly activity checklist in addition to raiding, which, by the way, we are really enjoying. Please give us reasonable grinds. Not insane ones.
I wish the VP from raiding + LFR accounted for half my total.
Half. Half is all I ask.
Anyways, I should end with a joke or something, but I’m tired. It’s been a long week and I still have 10 days worth of Klaxxi dailies. You’ll get a more cheerful post when I finally have that fucking exalted reward ring.