So it was with interest that I saw this forum thread detailing one player's issues with valor, which were interesting to me precisely because they weren't a problem I was having - instead, the argument seemed to be that the player was wasting effort and doing enough in a week to generate over 2000 valor, but the cap meant that more than half of that weekly play was meaningless. That kind of surprised me, because I only cap valor when I clear all the raid content, but I could see it after thinking about the issue. What was even more interesting to me was the idea presented that the valor cap served as a punitive measure punishing players who were running enough dailies, doing the daily scenario and heroic, and hitting each LFR in a week.
Vaneras responded, and those responses are worth discussing I think.
On the one hand, I am aware of the pressures to gear up as fast as possible that have in the past led people to run as many dungeons as they could as fast as they could - I remember the Wrath of the Lich King dungeon gorges I ended up running to gear up a friend faster. One day I think I ran LFD for ten hours. Very few activities keep their luster after being overindulged in to that degree, and tanking Halls of Reflection sure as heck isn't one of them. And I do understand that Blizzard very clearly wanted to move away from the idea of gearing your character exclusively, or even primarily, through valor purchases. I even understand why they did this - putting players firmly back on the gear treadmill reintroduces the carrot and stick mentality that keeps people engaged in running dungeons and raids.
The problem I have is that I don't believe the 1000 valor a week/3000 valor total cap is a good number for what Vaneras is saying they want valor to do. Right now, valor points don't feel like they supplement gearing all that much - even on my alt who reached level 90 over a month after Mists dropped, valor purchases haven't done much at all for me. I don't think I've spent any valor yet on him, except to upgrade some items. In short, since it takes over two weeks to buy anything and you're constantly feeling constrained, valor points don't feel good. They're not something you really care if you acquire, you cap them (if you even do) out of a sense of obligation or with the goal of upgrading a piece of gear down the road. In the struggle to make getting gear from dungeons and raids the priority (one that I would argue has been successful) valor points have been thrown under a bus, and I'd argue that was too extreme a reduction in their desirability. I agree that they shouldn't be the primary means to gear up, but neither should they feel burdensome to acquire and use.
That being said, I absolutely do not like this idea that a valor cap is punishing us for doing our best. There's no skill in capping out valor in and of itself. You can cap valor by running all the hard mode raid content, or by judicious running of dailies and scenarios - the skill threshold for capping valor is wildly variant depending on how you choose to pursue that goal. You're not necessarily doing your best to cap valor.
As for the choice of how to use them, Vaneras makes some more points.
Before the valor point system existed, people in fact could gear their characters via heroic dungeons (using the then current Emblems of Frost and the LFD tool) in full epic gear in a day, if they were willing to spend the six or seven hours it would take them. I repeatedly helped friends chain run alts through the dungeons that came out with the Fall of the Lich King patch, not because the gear inside them was that great (there were some nice trinkets) but because there was new gear on the Emblem of Frost quartermaster that was as good as ICC-25 gear.
Valor point caps exist because players will consume content like a six year old with an ice cream cake. You'll come back a couple of hours later and the players have dungeon all over their face and are complaining that they feel ooky, and what can you do? You can admonish them not to eat their content so fast, but they're not going to listen - in the end, a point cap system is the best of a series of alternatives that gate players. The intent isn't punitive, but rather the inverse - it exists because some players, if given any possible means to gear faster, will pursue it even while they complain that its very existence forces them to use it. Blizzard's effort here is to ensure that the main reason you run the content is for the direct rewards of that content instead of for the consolation prize - whether or not we agree that they've achieved that, or if they've devalued the consolation prize too greatly in the process, it's not to punish us but rather to address the complaints that we feel forced to do things.
Frankly, I'd argue that with the creation of the gear upgrade system, and the pricing of a full upgrade for an epic item at 1500 valor points (two upgrades at 750 valor apiece) that the weekly cap should have gone up to 1500, just for convenience sake. I think it should be possible to completely upgrade a new item in a week if you're willing to. It would also make valor points feel less irrelevant, since at present they've moved to almost being an inconvenience rather than a consolation prize. But the idea of the valor cap is clearly not to punish us, but to prevent us from punishing ourselves, since we simply refuse to restrain ourselves if given the option. I don't particularly like it, but I understand it.
It's not punishment, it's babysitting.
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