World of Warcraft spills details about its March patch, including the return of Valor points (kinda)

    
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You won’t have to wait until BlizzConline to find out what’s next in store for World of Warcraft. While Patch 9.1 is still hiding under the veil of secrecy, Blizzard posted details of what’s coming in a smaller March patch for the MMO.

Patch 9.0.5 began testing this week and will bring some quality-of-life improvements to Shadowlands. Blizzard is bringing back the Valor Point system to provide another path to relevant gear rewards, tuning legendary items and covenant class abilities, and tossing a marker on your map to let you know when you have Great Vault loot to collect.

“This update will be a bit different from our usual patches,” the studio said. “It’s focused almost entirely on systems, responding to community feedback about rewards, doing tuning that requires the sort of notice and iteration that a PTR allows, and fixing a range of bugs that are beyond the scope of our ability to hotfix. We know everyone is eager to hear about the next chapter in the Shadowlands saga and what new adventures and rewards it will bring, and we’ll have a lot more information on that in the very near future. In the meantime, we’ll use this patch to get changes into your hands faster than a large content patch would allow.”

Note that the return of Valor points sounds a lot better until you actually look at the details.

“We’ve seen a lot of feedback about the pros and cons of the various sources of gear in the Shadowlands endgame. After a rewarding first few weeks, we know that many dungeon-focused players reached a point where the only relevant rewards from the system come from the Great Vault. While the Vault should represent a major goal and the source of the best rewards the endgame has to offer, we want to find a way for the loot from the chest at the end of a challenging Mythic Keystone run to feel relevant, without bringing back random upgrade systems such as Warforging, which partially solved this problem in the past. We also want to provide a more consistent reward for the effort for players who do not receive an item at all.

“The framework for a system that attempts to address these goals should be present in this first PTR update, subject to ongoing tuning and refinement. Gear from Mythic Keystone Dungeons is now upgradeable, initially with a cap of item level 200, which players can raise to item level 207 by completing all eight Shadowlands dungeons at Mythic 5 or higher. This will award a new Keystone Explorer achievement, while the existing Keystone Conqueror achievement (for all +10s or higher) will increase the cap to item level 213, and then to item level 220 by completing the Keystone Master achievement for all +15s in time. The currency used to upgrade Mythic Keystone gear is Valor, which is earned from completing Mythic Keystone dungeons, or by doing covenant Callings, with a weekly cap. Upgrade costs will vary by item slot and will be consistent across all item levels.”

Source: Blizzard, Wowhead
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Raap
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Raap

Shadowlands is the expansion that made me admit that the game is no longer for me.

While in terms of launch-day content it was a step up from BfA, I kept bumping my head against awful content and class design (not balance) decisions, the latter being made worse by Blizzard simply not patching any of those issues (and still haven’t, AFAIK).

That WoW’s next major patch is literally just a hyped ‘bug fix’ patch, sort of speaks volumes about the level of interest the developers have in this expansion. Something tells me this is going to end up being a Warlords of Draenor-type expansion where they just want to move away to the next ‘better this time we promise’ expansion… It has become a cycle at this point.

Edit: What probably also doesn’t help is that the story around this expansion, is literally the worst it has been in throughout the history of the game. It simply doesn’t make sense and fails to catch my interest, and for a PvE-centric MMORPG, story isn’t insignificant.

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Nathan Aldana

well, I dont do mythic+, so the Valor system still doesnt exist for me.

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Lucky Jinx

Valor points for Mythic+ .. yeah because that’s the sole point of pain where gear was hard to get. What about all the other aspects of the game? :) How about make that gear rain like it once did and about two million alts of mine will all cheer happily.

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Ben Stone

You can get up to normal raid level gear super easy right now with any casual alt without even touching group content.

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Nathan Aldana

you do however, have to farm a bunch of anima and use it for nothing else.

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Deadrites

Played Shadowlands for a month and while we were playing all we did was bitch about dumb design choices and how boring it has become. That’s when we realized that this was probably the end of the line for us in wow.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

A valor system that doesn’t reward any gear.

The design leadership is in such a state the game isn’t even worth ranting about.

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Rick Mills

Since I neither do mythics or PvP, it’s moot.
And the only things that are not “borrowed” are the tranmogrifies (and pets, mounts, etc…), which can be gotten with the campaign, so I’m good for the next release…

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Ironwu

No. Not just no, but HELL NO!

‘Nuff said.

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Eliandal

You tell us every topic, that you no longer play, so, why? Obviously, not ’nuff said!

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traja

Basically gearing in WoW is about rated PvP and Mythic+ after this. If you don’t like that content you are sol unfortunately. Very easy unsub for me.

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Lucky Jinx

This is true for anyone wanting any kind of progression. Personally, as an ultra casual stroller, I’m gearing through the covenant story campaign (upgradeable pieces up to 197) and unrated pvp (upgradeable up to 197 with honor, 200+ with conquest points). It works— sorta, but the time and effort to do all that is insane for someone who wants to get their alt just enough to become “smooth”. I’d be happy if I could get ilvl 185 stuff from the WQ’s, but they scale extremely poorly and the gear rewards are scarce.

I’m thinking about something that could solve this problem. Umm.. uh.. so close right there at the back of my hazy mind— BfA WQ system. That’s it! :P

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Ben Stone

World quests give 194 gear if you’ve caught your covenant story and renown level up, which takes like 1-2 days after you’ve reached max level.

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Ben Stone

Or Mythic raiding. Which actually has higher level gear than either.

But those have been the three options for gearing up for the past 3 expansions so that shouldn’t really be a shock to you.

In terms of casual gearing, its more generous than ever. You can get to normal raid level gear without even touching group content.

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traja

You don’t go from heroic raids to mythic raids anymore. You have to do M+ and a lot of it because the ilvl cap is huge. Also raids give a pitiful amount of drops so gearing through mythic raiding is not a realistic way to progress in the mythic raid. To actually kill bosses you have to do M+ or rated PvP.

In Legion and BfA it was just that one m+ every week and you were done. I still didn’t like it but it was at least tolerable. This system though is pure torture for someone who enjoys mythic raiding but loathes doing M+ or arena.

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jealouspirate

This is a great change, and 100% expected based on community feedback and Ion’s recent comments talking about their desire to improve PvE loot progression. I’m glad to see they’re doing this in 9.05 instead of 9.1 because the game needs it.

I’d still like to see a vendor to buy specific pieces instead of only using valor to upgrade, but this is a great start. Raid loot also needs a fix, which is a separate thing, but Ion said yesterday they’ll be announcing something else for that.

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Dug From The Earth

It will be nice to have valor points back again. Another non-RNG element that is useful for planning gear progression.

Eliot Lefebvre
Staff
Eliot Lefebvre

Assuming, of course, you get the RNG element of the drops to actually upgrade in the first place.