I hate the valor point cap

| Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Back in the summer of 2011 I tried to explain the concept of the "sanity deadzone".  In this area possibilities are not entirely unreasonable, but are enough of a stretch as to be unsustainable for the typical player.  This area is bracketed on two sides.  One one side is a really trivial set of expectations, such as "log in" and on the other a blatantly absurd set of expectations "complete every heroic instance in a day. (back when they took well over half an hour)"

In the middle is the area in which we might expect players to complete it, but many will not be able to.  For example, daily quests sound quite reasonable; surely players can log in for a half hour each day to do a bit of crop planting and kill some mogu.  Each day?  But it's still not all that much time, so let's allow each day to stand.  But there are more than just Tillers and Golden Lotus.  There are nice bugs, wind serpents, other pandas, more pandas, fishing, rare fishing, PvP, and of course your daily bonus random heroic loot.  And LFR.  And that's a good thing!  These dailies have become so overused, so common, so numerous and time-consuming, that we'd never expect people to complete them all every day.

But valor...  It is a mere 1000 points per week.  I despise this limit.

On one hand, it is, at 5 valor per daily, a whopping 200 dailies per week, or 28 per day (and 4 extra to finish it off).  Granted, many of those dailies can be as easy as a bit of cooking, but even still, we're looking at 20 or so each day.  That's not reasonable.  And yet, if you're not capping valor, you're slowing yourself down by a lot and that cap is taunting you.  NOOOOOOOOB!

We can hasten this process by doing some randoms.  First of the day is 80 points.  That's 8 dailies worth, and we can wait in the queue while we do dailies.  It's a bonus bonus!  With bonus on top, unless you're a tank or healer in which case your queue is very short and you develop games such as Jump Out the Dalaran Sewer, in which you jump out the sewer in Dalaran while queuing and see if you get in before splattering.  This is why we hate DPS who don't hit ready.  Overall, a single daily random will get you over half the cap.

Throw in a couple LFR.  Those are only once a week, so they can be bunched up in time-rich times of the week, such as weekends and 2am Tuesday morning.  That's another 180 and now we're at 740.  Suddenly we're down to 52 dailies per week or about 7 per day.  And that's where the problem begins.  That's a single faction's hub.  So run your dailies for the rep you need to buy valor gear, but you're going to already be capped on valor.  Wee.  It would be nice if the valor at least showed up as justice points or gold, rather than just vanishing into the nether (and without even the nice letter from the mages who collect such things).  If you do any raiding, then you're going to cap even sooner.

Relative to the gear cost, it gets worse.  Nothing costs less than 1000.  So hop on out and grind for a  week, you have nothing to show for it.  There is the count, the progress, but that's far less satisfying than actually having an item.  Next week you jump on and grind and buy an item, before capping again.  Next week you can cap again and get another piece.  So far we're at two pieces in three weeks.  Next week you can start the cycle over again and in six weeks you'll have two rings, a belt, and some boots.  If you want a chest, head, or legs, you're looking at over two weeks per item.  Good luck in LFR!

So what would I do?

I'd raise the weekly cap to 3000.  Doing all 48 dailies (according to wowhead) would yield a bit over half the weekly cap.  No sane person is going to be doing every single daily.  That means that there is no expectation of capping for a soloist.  Even throwing in a daily heroic won't get you to the cap.  Adding in LFR won't get you there.  The overall effect is to make the cap so high that no reasonable, or even slightly unreasonable, person expects to get to it.  This is liberating.  It removes the point of reference, so that players can choose to get as many points as they want, and no more, without any sense that they are falling short.  On the other hand, for those players who really want an item, they can go for it and get it.  A higher cap allows players to play as they wish, not as an arbitrary round number tells them to.


Ephemeron said...

So run your dailies for the rep you need to buy valor gear, but you're going to already be capped on valor. Wee.

When you hit the level cap, did you stop killing mobs until the next expansion, since they no longer granted XP?

If not, why should you refrain from doing VP-granting activities when you're already valor capped for the week?

Dàchéng said...

Really, 3000VP? Then this just becomes the new target instead of 1000VP. No sane person is going to do it? No sane person ever got 1000VP in a week, either, though plenty of us were insane enough to do it.

If Blizzard raise the cap to 3000VP, they would have people grinding to that limit instead of giving them a break at 1000. 3000VP =

48 dailies x 7/week x 5VP = 1680VP
first HC/day x 7/week x 80VP = 560VP
first of each 6 LFRS/week x 90VP = 540VP
first scenario/day x 7/week x 40 VP = 280VP

for a grand total of 3060VP

But you knew that already. That's why you suggested a limit of 3000VP rather than suggesting there should be no cap.

Klepsacovic said...

@Ephemeron: The xp gets converted to gold.

@Dàchéng: I left the cap in place as an upper, upper, upper limit on the potential insanity. For 99.99% of players it would never even enter the picture.

I don't see how 1000 is particularly insane, at least within the context of gaming, where of course anything can be insane if you're willing to spin it enough.

But that really just supports my point: it's so middle of the road that there are going to be a lot of people wanting to be higher or lower, but all are pulled toward it, as an unhappy medium.

typhoonandrew said...

The disparity I have is that the cost of items is very high compared to the reward for doing the quests. Yes the difficulty might be easy, but it is just a timesink with no challenge.
I don't think 3000 point cap would make any difference - in fact I think those who burn out will burn regardless of whatever is done, and those who cant play a lot will always struggle.

Coreus said...

For someone who does not enjoy dailies or raid finder [me], 1000 VP is outside the sanity deadzone. I think I've capped Valor twice the whole time this expansion has been out.

I have, however bumped against the 3000 maximum Valor [uh, cap?] that they allow you to have at once due to having insufficient rep to spend it all. Had to buy a 4 ilevel upgrade instead. Sigh.

Klepsacovic said...

@typhoonandrew: It does become rather overwhelming to think that the cheapest item is a month's worth of a hub (I'm calling it 8 quests). Reducing the cost/increasing the valor reward doesn't work for me, since it's still just time->gear.

@Coreus: If you don't enjoy dailies then the entire system is a mess for you. I wish there were alternatives to dailies, such as tabards.

Bernard said...

"players can choose to get as many points as they want, and no more, without any sense that they are falling short"

This is where you are wrong.

There is a vocal proportion of the community that has been railing against Blizzard for taking away the 25 daily quest cap.

Blizzard thought as you do: take away the barriers and let players regulate themselves.

Unfortunately, for many 'optimal' means 'necessary'. Inviting players to farm out 3000 VP per week would increase the onset of burnout exponentially.

A VP item every 2-3 weeks seems like a fair speed of progression to me, particularly when there's also world bosses, LFR, normal and heroic mode raids.

Klepsacovic said...

@Bernard: What if there were a million dailies, literally a million possible dailies? Surely the community in general would not expect players to complete the million, or even the few hundred that would be possible given the 24 hour cycle of a day. Instead they'd pick some lower number, based not on the cap of a million, but on available time, required speed of gearing, aspects that are either individual or guild-based. There would truly be no guidance from Blizzard, rather than the current cap that looks tempting to demand and reach for, despite being too high for many players and too low for many others.

I dare say heroic raids are not applicable when we're talking about someone still buying their valor gear.

Bernard said...


I see what you're saying: a crazy number would mean players would have to decide how much they want/are able to play.
You are annoyed because you have more time to play but your progression related-benefits stop.

But history suggests that you will play for longer if there is a low cap on your progress.

Once you have all of that valor gear, you will likely abandon valor-generating activities (and possibly therefore the game).

Dàchéng said...

If you set 3000 VP as the cap, then my competitors for my raid place will try to reach it, in order to improve their gear and thus their performance. In order to counter this, I must take the same action. I must try to reach 3000VP/week so as to maintain my current advantage over them. I don't relish the idea. Surely this is how you burn out your player base?

Klepsacovic said...

@Bernard: Once we factor in the valor upgrade system, I don't think I'll be done with valor for a very long time, even if I was getting 1200 or so. (I'm not sure how many I'd get each week, but certainly not 3000) Beside the valor gear, there are other activities: PvP, transmog, archaeology, and so on.

@Dàchéng: If you're competing for raid slots with people who would farm 3000 and you don't want to farm 3000, then you may be in the wrong raid.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Coreus. I can't spend the valor points I earn raiding since I have no interest in dailies. That being the case, there's no reason to run heroics and LFR is about as interesting as a pinata covered in fire ants. I still play as I like but valor points are totally irrelevant to me.

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