The Valor Dance: Dailies, Reputation, Upgrades, Trouble

Mists of Pandaria has brought us a bit of a roller coaster when it comes to our valor points and how we acquire and speed them. In Cataclysm, there were very few changes (just the move from 1 dungeon per day awarding valor to 7 per week) and we essentially just did a few heroic dungeons, killed a few raid bosses, and spent our points when we had enough. In MoP, however, the valor gear was gated behind reputation which was gated behind dailies. Valor being unspendable before doing enough dailies has been much lamented by the player base. Of course, since launch, each patch has brought a new curve ball in terms of valor. Continue to see the different valor changes so far, the problems with those changes, and what’s coming up in patch 5.3!

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Wild Speculation About the Future

Occasionally, we all get the urge to speculate about how the future will turn out. It’s practically a compulsion that’s part of the human condition. Everything from end of the world prophecies that get people in an uproar to gambling show people’s desire to see what’s coming. Us Warcraft players are no different but unlike in the real world scenarios that don’t seem likely (I’m looking at you 2011 raptures) – there is pretty much no end to what Blizzard could bring us. Looking back at Mists of Pandaria, I doubt many people saw the Pandaren coming but finding out there is a new titan facility that we’d yet to discover wasn’t a big shock. Continue after the break for some (potentially) crazy ideas about what I predict is in the pipeline and some stuff that just isn’t going to happen (move on demon hunter dreamers!).

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Transfer Gold Cross Realm

Ever want to start a character on a new server but don’t want to do it without the power of your gold? Transfer to a different server but hampered by pesky limits on gold transfer limits? Something recently occurred to me, it may have been obvious to others, but I’d yet to hear about it. The new pet system in 5.2 is a perfect way to send gold between characters on different servers. Continue to see how and why this works.

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Valor Upgrades and Why I Hope They Stay Gone

Patch 5.1 brought forth a fantastic (or so I may have seemed at first) new feature – gear upgrades with points. This feature allowed a player to take their piece of gear (as long as it met item level requirements) and upgrade it up to 8 item levels with justice points for blues or valor points for epic pieces. This gave players the ability to continue to use their valor points long after they had already purchased or surpassed the valor gear available. In this way, players could keep gaining more power for their characters even if they have incredibly bad luck with drops. Heck, I’ve been able to upgrade my Raid Finder Sha Touched weapon to be nearly the item level of getting a normal drop and above the Mogu’Shan Vaults two-hander that I’ve had no luck on. So why, when I heard that patch 5.2 would remove the valor upgrade vendor, was I happy to hear about it? And why on earth would I hope they stay gone? (more…)

Daily Thoughts: When Does Accessible Become Too Easy

I participated something last night that made me wonder if perhaps making content accessible to the masses can have an adverse side effect of making that content far too easy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those who hails back to the “harder” old days that let only an elite few actually see all of a raids bosses. I really like that there are normal modes to bosses that don’t require dozens of attempts to kill. I love the relative ease of blowing through a MoP heroic dungeon without much worry that I might be wiping to this boss for the next 45 minutes. I even enjoy the concept of the Looking for Raid feature. Particularly on nights where we’re short guildies online to do a normal raid or just so I can take an alt through the content without having to make a second raid / join a second raiding guild. So, keep in mind that I think it’s okay that the LFR bosses and trash pulls can be a low stress, easy-going, fun way to get some sub-par raiding gear. But after doing the first 3 bosses of Mogu’shan Vaults, perhaps we should consider that content that has been made so accessible that there’s no challenge left might not be worthwhile content after all. There may be some spoilers to raid content after the break, so be warned!

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Daily Thoughts: Mists of Pandaria First Impressions

I wanted to give a few days of being max level before attempting to post my commentary on the expansion. My opinion, however, has not changed since I reached level 86 to level 90 and to now. Mists of Pandaria is a solid upgrade and addition to World of Warcraft. If you read my last post, or feel like going to read it now, you’d have seen that I was indecisive regarding what character to make my ‘main’ for MoP. In the end, my Death Knight won out over the rest. I leveled from 85-86 as Unholy, but quickly switched to Frost. Howling Blast, hitting all targets for decent damage and applying dots, is simply one of the most superior AoE options available right now – particularly for questing, given the heavy movement that comes from running to and from mobs/nodes/etc. Questing was easily the most enjoyable that it has ever been to me, possibly with the exception of when I started playing back in The Burning Crusade. I wouldn’t think this is because TBC quests were better (they weren’t), but just for the new factor at the time. The zones were amazing. It’s been quite sometime since some visage in WoW made me think, “Damn, that’s pretty awesome looking.”

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What to Play in Mists of Pandaria?

With World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, only 3 days and 10 hours away (as of the time of this writing), I’m finding myself in a bit of a pickle – I’ve yet to choose a class and spec that I intend to play. For some, this choice may be simple. Perhaps you only have one character at the Cataclysm max level of 85, making it the most sensible choice to level. I’ve managed to get every class leveled to max which completely exacerbates my indecision. Should I stay on my Death Knight to keep dishing out the diseases and protecting my face with blood shields? Should I revert to my previous main and lay down some holy wrath or healing on my Paladin? Any other class is also an option, except my poor abandoned rogue. I don’t much care to pay for a server transfer to get him on the same server as my guild. Maybe I should make a list:

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