With patch 6.2.3, Blizzard announced that valor points would be making a return in order to upgrade gear. It will cost 250 VP for one upgrade (+5 ilvls) with two available upgrades per piece of gear. In other words, for 500 VP you can add 10 ilvls and boost the stats of all your gear. Valor points come from a variety of sources- heroic (100 VP each) and mythic dungeons (300 VP each), weekly bonus events (500 VP), and LFR (150 for HFC, 75 for the others). There is no valor cap anymore, but all the sources are once per week.
This change is probably my favorite from the patch. The way that I am interpreting it, there are two major positives that this will bring.
The first and most obvious positive is this will provide yet another alternative gearing method, and one that is without RNG. Instead of being at the whim of the Random Number Gods, players will now be able to run a number of dungeons or LFR and earn points towards a guaranteed upgrade. For the raiders, this means that their gear can be supplemented and improved upon while waiting for that BiS piece to drop. If the bosses don’t drop anything for you, you can still advance your character’s power. As someone who has been sitting at ilvl 695 for a while with no good gear dropping, this is a godsend. I can bring a better and better geared toon each time I play.
Even for those who don’t raid but also want decent gear, this is also very helpful. Valor points will allow players to augment the gear that they do have. Let’s say your thing is soloing old raids. With the +10 ilvl gear, you might finally be able to get a boss down that you previously couldn’t have. Or maybe that +10 will make running around Tanaan, or dungeons, or hunting for achievements easier. Valor points can help all sorts of players.
Another great thing about the new valor system is that there is no cap. So if you run a few dungeons and a bonus weekend in one week, and then just one wing of LFR the next, you aren’t behind because you ‘didn’t cap’ your valor. The lack of a cap will make valor points less mandatory. (Yes, I understand that for the more elite players, there will still be a drive to run every source of valor every week, but many players will most likely not follow this path).
The other huge positive that this change brings is that it will get more people into LFR.
This next part comes from the perspective of a progression raider. An LFR raider or someone who does not raid at all would have a different opinion and I by no means pretend to express all those viewpoints, just my own.
As it currently stands, I do not run LFR ever anymore. For Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry, it’s much more worth my time to pug the raids that I need. I can get the stones/runes that I need and I also have a chance to upgrade my gear. While not everyone pugs, there is a pretty big population of puggers who actively avoid LFR. For Hellfire Citadel, there is really no point in me running it because my guild raids the normal version. I already get the tomes I need and the gear in LFR is not any better. Even on alts, the queue time and reputation of HFC is enough to deter myself (and most other raiders that I have talked to). The crux of the matter is that most raiders do not run HFC LFR anymore.
With the introduction of valor points, there is now an incentive for raiders to run LFR. Maybe the gear and tomes are of no use, but the valor points it drops are now highly valuable to us. I know that I will start running it once the patch drops for those valor points. This change will bring more people into LFR, hopefully alleviating queue times. It will also bring more players who know the fights well and/or are pretty well geared. With an influx of players who want to get down their LFRs for their valor points quickly, the speed of LFR HFC runs also will improve.
Now unfortunately, this also could bring a few negatives. I can already see raiders joining in LFRs and seeing themselves as better than everyone else. I see potential fights between LFRraiders and leet hardcore raiders as the hardcore raider gets angry at real or perceived failures of boss mechanics. But this has always be the case. Blizzard should still put the valor point system in place, regardless of a few bad eggs. Overall, I do believe it will improve the quality of life in LFR. Most raiders will want to get the job done quickly, not get involved in protracted fights.
And then there are dungeons! With the valor point system, Blizzard is also another step closer to making dungeons valid once more. Players will return to heroics that they have months abandoned. There will definitely be an uptick in mythic dungeons. While dungeons aren’t my favorite type of content, I do appreciate that they are being made relevant for those who do love them.
Valor points will get people to return or try out a variety of content. Especially considering that Warlords is moving into the end portion of the expansion, this addition will help to keep the game fresh for a little while longer. People love feeling overpowered, and all those ilvl 700+ folks are going to love steamrolling through Heroic Auchindoun and getting something out of the deal. In Mists, Valor points were a big drive for me to run my LFRs and I’m excited to see it return in Warlords. And also, I can also improve my gear even when I don’t get the drops I desire. Its a win win situation!