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Patch 5.2 valor gear not tied to dailies

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street recently tweeted the following:

This announcement will be music to the ears of many players who were not overly enamored with the gearing system at the start of Mists of Pandaria. Its focus on daily quests in order to purchase valor gear was a big change from Cataclysm, and not always popular, although it has many fans.

Ghostcrawler is likely, though not certainly, referring to the Shado-Pan Assault faction. The patch 5.2 PTR notes had the following to say about this new faction:

Join the Shado-Pan Assault in their singular drive to see Lei Shen, The Thunder King, defeated once and for all, and gain access to impressive Valor reward items. Reputation with this faction can be earned only within the Throne of Thunder raid dungeon.

From this patch note excerpt and Ghostcrawler's tweet, it seems fairly likely that the reputation for the Shado-Pan Assault will be earned, not from carrying out quests within the raid, but simply from killing bosses and progressing. This is very similar to Firelands' Avengers of Hyjal, but the rewards earned from it will hopefully not purely be rings, trinkets, cloaks and belts.

While it could be seen by some as a positive change that this reputation is earned purely through tasks carried out in the raid, it removes yet another means for players to overcome gear hurdles that present barriers to entry. Given that valor upgrades will be removed, and some valor gear, if not all, tied to progress in the new raid, how will players, particularly those with alts, gear up? At the moment it is not 100% clear, but it seems fair to assume that reputation will be earned from LFR progression as well as normal mode, which will definitely help. It seems that Blizzard's answer on how to get into the new LFR and raid is by gearing via the previous raid tier, but there are also two new factions which do offer daily quests.

Those two factions are the Kirin-Tor Offensive, and the Sunreaver Onslaught. Their factions bases are Violet Rise and Dawnseeker's Promentory respectively, and this is where their daily quests commence. There are also Silver Covenant quest givers, and a quartermaster, for the Alliance, while the Horde are joined by a few representatives of Silvermoon City. All of these factions currently have at least a few quests and daily quests.

At the moment, while a few quartermasters exist on the PTR, there's no visible wares for them to sell, so it's impossible to tell just exactly what can be purchased where. It's definitely possible that some valor gear might be available via the daily quests, but the patch 5.2 PTR patch notes only mention valor items in the section covering the Shado-Pan Offensive. We'll just have to wait and see exactly what these guys are selling, although it definitely includes "items" and a mount.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

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