Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Updated WoW Cataclysm Justice Point Costs

Update 9/30: Blizzard has made the higher conversions official - emblems of Triumph and Frost will now be worth 11.58 Justice Points each.  Either my math is wrong or I got an extra emblem from somewhere after starting the PTR character copy.  This does not change any of my analysis, but I'm scratching out a paragraph of the below.  

Also, MMO-Champion believes that the patch will go live next Tuesday, October 5th.


Original Post

Two weeks back, Blizzard announced plans for a currency revamp in the 4.0 patch.  Though they did release enough numbers for MMO-Champion to make a currency converter, this was only half of the story - how many honor or justice points would we receive for our existing currencies.

The other question, if you're sitting on large piles of tokens currently, is what will happen to prices on existing items.  Do you cash out now for things like mounts and heirlooms?  Is your current stuff worth so little that you might as well burn it on soon to be obsolete level 80 gear?

I went on the PTR's today (9/28) to take a look.  Here's the bottom line up front:

If you are SURE want CURRENT Frost or PVP rewards now, spend your Frost Emblems and Honor Points before the patch.
If you're on the fence, though, you might be better off waiting and taking your chances that you might end up paying slightly more later.


Emblem Conversion

My first surprise was to log in and see that I had over 2400 Justice Points.   The currency converter told me to expect a quarter of that number.  I had to copy over a second character, compare justice point totals with emblem totals on live, and attempt some high school algebra I haven't thought about in years.  Where the previously announced conversion valued both Emblems of Triumph and Frost at 2.75 JP, the new totals are 11.58 JP per emblem.
, my possibly fuzzy math says that the new totals are:
Triumph: 12.05 JP

Frost: 11.34 JP

This does not make a lot of sense, as Frost Emblems are more difficult to obtain and yet appear to have converted into smaller numbers of JP.  If this remains true, it would actually be more efficient to downgrade your frost emblems into triumph emblems before the patch.   Either way,
the payout in JP per existing emblem appears to have gone up by nearly 5-fold.  This makes sense if you look at prices.

On the live servers, the Khadgar's items (T9 set) cost 30 or 50 Emblems of Triumph, which works out to 15.93 or 15.94 JP per Emblem.  (Presumably, the costs were set to deal with rounding.)  The Bloodmage (T10) gear costs 60 or 95 Emblems of Frost, which works out to 11.6 JP per Emblem.  Again, strangely, the Triumph stuff seems to be valued more highly than its higher quality counterparts. 


My advice here is this: If you have frost emblems that you are planning to spend on a frost item ASAP, try to do so before the patch.  Otherwise, wait.  Though Triumph items will cost more emblems per item, I'd be less inclined to liquidate them simply because, at current exchange rates, they are worth better than 1:1 for Frost emblems.


It's also worth noting that, in the current beta build, level 85 JP reward gear is costing about twice what T10 gear costs.  Would you rather have two pieces of T10 that you will replace with quest rewards, or one new piece of entry level dungeon gear waiting for you when you reach level 85?  There's no right or wrong answer, it's your call based on your playstyle, and whether you expect to be over the 4000 JP cap (mid 300's total emblems of Triumph and Frost) after the patch, assuming no changes to that number.


Heirlooms

I was too impatient to wait for the item names to load, so you'll have to take my word for it that these are the existing PVE heirlooms


The PVE heirlooms are coming in at 10.88 JP per emblem in their existing cost.  Any low quality (heroism, valor, or conquest) emblems you still have will be turned into gold, so you should probably turn those into heirlooms ASAP.  Triumph and Frost emblems should NOT be turned into heirlooms unless exchange rates change again.


Stone Keeper shards appear to be converting at the previously announced rate of 1.6 New Honor Points per shard, and prices on these heirlooms appear to have scaled by the same factor.  I.e. your shards will buy exactly as many heirlooms after the patch as they do now.  In fact, these heirlooms will arguably be easier to obtain because you can use honor from ANY source, not just shards. 


New Honor Points

Because there are so many things that turn into the New Honor Points, I was not that inclined to double check the math - the number that the MMO Champion calculator reported was the number that I had on my main after the copy.  This means that Honor will convert at a rate of:
1000 Old Honor Points = 24 New Honor Points

Level 80 PVP vendors were not available, so I checked some of the older vendors. 

Guardian's Dreadweave Belt (S4 PVP gear)

18000 old HP = 3113 NHP (0.173 per)

Mounts

50,000 old HP = 8601 NHP (0.172 per)

We can't be sure if these numbers are final, but this is a potentially staggering increase in prices.  For perspective, 50,000 OHP = 1200 NHP (more than seven-fold below the adjusted mount cost!)


My advice on honor points is simple - spend now or hold them until level 85.  Also note that any old battleground marks you still have should be converted into honor points up to the cap (75000) because this offers a more favorable exchange rate.


Uncertainty

Though I hope that this post has answered some questions, it all counts as currency speculation.  As we have already seen, rates can and might change without notice.  (In fact, a new build went live while I was writing this post - the 2H heirloom weapons seem to have dropped in price from 707 JP to 700 JP.)  Moreover, we have no idea when the patch itself will go live, at which point it will be too late to make any exchanges.


This type of uncertainty is precisely why I argued and continued to believe that converting these legacy currencies retroactively was more trouble than it's worth.  Blizzard had to approximately preserve the relative purchasing power of these emblems to avoid screwing someone who was short by a single emblem on the night before the patch (especially since only the most attentive of players will even know this change is coming in advance).  Was all this really worth a slightly cleaner currency panel?

5 comments:

Carina said...

Yes. Yes it is.

Oooh, yes, a cleaner currency panel is worth the hassle.

See, this conversion only happens once and then the new system's in place. And even *if* you get screwed over, it won't make any difference in half a year anymore.

Plus I know quite a few people with heaps and heaps of unused frost/triumph badges, and for them the conversions actually an *initial* advantage. But once again, it won't make any difference in half a year.

So, all in all I'm in the camp of "this is a good thing" and "man, I'm glad they decided to clean that up" even if I initially might lose buying power.

Suicidal Zebra said...

Thanks for this GA. Are Champion Seals still in use as currency on the Beta/PTR servers to your knowledge, and can they still be used to purchase Hierlooms?

Green Armadillo said...

@Carina: People with "heaps and heaps" of badges are going to end up being paid out in gold given the current exchange rates. As I said in the post, you're going to hit the soft cap for patch 4.0 with somewhere around 300-350 emblems (depending on what flavor), and you'll have to spend those points down below 4000 or lose them to gold.

@SZ: Confirmed that Champion Seals were not converted into anything else, and that the vendors are still offering what they have on live.

Indy said...

I was about to say that somebody at MMO-Champion went insane, but I'll go with 'is severely uninformed' instead. Blizzard has announced that the current arena season could end as early as Oct 12 (or later) -- and thus the patch CANNOT come before then.

Carina said...

@Green Armadillo

Yeah, but in order to have heaps and heaps of badges you do not have to care about making them to gold by buying saronite or gems.

Basically they get money for something they'd never bother to touch again. The gold for emblem's over cap's a good for them!

Most WoW players I know do not worry in the least if they get screwed over by the system or not, because they simply do not care. If they need a heirloom, they grind it up, if they don't they let the badges just sit there.