Diminishing returns on valor instead of a cap?

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Diminishing returns on valor instead of a cap
Ghostcrawler tossed out a tweet last night that raised my eyebrow:

The design of valor (and the emblems before points) has been an interesting progression. We've gone from many types of emblems to a point system, and then to a system where you could do a week's worth of points in a day, and then to a system where you had weekly caps but to hit them in the most efficient way you had to log in every day, and now (likely and as to be expected) more changes in the future. What exactly theses change will be is up for debate, but diminishing returns is a popular option.

As a simplified example, the way the system would work is as follows:
  • Heroic #1 for the day: 200 valor points
  • Heroic #2 for the day: 100 valor points
  • Heroic #3 for the day: 66 valor points
  • Heroic #4 for the day: 50 valor points
  • Heroic #5 for the day: 40 valor points
The idea is that after each heroic (or after some number of heroics), the amount of valor you'll get continues to decrease to the point of not making it worthwhile at all to run them. This concept could also be applied to raids and other systems that distribute any kind of currency. In the example above the rate of change is linear (200 valor/number of runs), however in practice the rate of change would likely be piecewise (the rate not determined by a function, but by set values the designers choose that are loosely based on a function), and also it'd probably have minimums so running heroics would never return virtually zero valor.

It's an interesting exercise to write numbers down on paper and see what the best way to reward valor for yourself would be. For me a 1/x curve with a lower-bound limit of 33% feels about right (ie: the lowest valor you'd get for running a heroic would be 33% of normal valor).

As with most things Ghostcrawler, please be aware that his insights should often be taken as an academic discussion of WoW's design. Don't try to suss out truths and what the future of WoW will hold. Instead use them as interesting bits into the minds of the designers, realizing that the final product of WoW comes from hundreds of ideas from hundreds of people.
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