Monday, December 5, 2011

The Time Gamble for 4.3 Heroic Valor

I've had a bit of time to play around with the dungeon finder, where I've noticed something unusual about the new Heroic dungeons. 

When patch 4.1 added the two troll instances to WoW's heroic pool, the newer, more challenging instances were separated in a different tier, with separate Valor point awards (much to the chagrin of people who wanted to get their weekly valor cap but who got tired of running those two zones repeatedly).  Patch 4.3 adds three new instances, and these are indeed available as a separate category in the dungeon finder.  What is gone is the additional Valor award.

You can now get seven VP grants per week (the last of which will be reduced from 150 to 100 due to the weekly cap), regardless of whether you take the option that only includes the new zones, or the other option (which includes all of the Cataclysm heroics you are eligible for, including the 4.1 and 4.3 instances).  This makes for an interesting gamble on players' time versus reward ratios. 
  • The newer zones seem to be reasonably quick, drop better loot (until you have something better yet anyway) and have a higher starting item level requirement, which means that you're not going to be added to a group with people who have not done at least some dungeons in Cataclysm.  However, the 4.3 zones are still a bit tougher than what you see in the old zones, so the chances - or at least the fear - of failure is potentially higher.  
  • If you go the unrestricted random route, the basic Cataclysm Heroics are going to be even quicker because players grossly outgear them, resulting in a high speed, low risk clear if those are chosen.  However, you run the risk of drawing one of the new zones, or, worst of all, one of the time consuming and challenging troll heroics, which now no longer has any additional reward.  I've seen a lot of people immediately drop groups upon zone-in, and I assume these folks were hoping for the easy win.  
I suppose it's a good compromise solution - players like myself who are behind the gear curve looking to meet the requirements for the EZ-auto-raid-finder mode of Deathwing can self-select into the new content without losing the weekly VP bonuses.  Other players are available to fill in groups for anything, even the rare person (like myself, having not had a subscription for most of the time since 4.1) who actually still wanted to sightsee in the old zones.

This is one of those times when I wish we could actually see the numbers.  It would be fascinating to see which of the options players end up picking. 


Matt Weiland said...

It could have been made clearer that you only need to down two of the za/zg 'outer' bosses in order to unlock the final ones.

Helistar said...

It's a good solution:
- for pure VP capping you go rushing the old ones
- for gearing up you bite the bullet and take more time clearing the newer ones.

BTW as things are set up, raiding guilds will need very little in heroics farming, since you can get quite abit of VP cap using Dragon Soul (same was with FL).

Xintia said...

So this will encourage yet another obnoxious behavior from the denizens of the LFD system? Now there's a statistic I would be curious to see. All over the web we see the defenders and critics of LFD lining up and claiming they either had wonderful experiences, or it is a hive of scum and villiany. Well, which is closer to the truth? How many groups run well? How many are dysfunctional? How many never speak a word to each other? The truth lies in between, obviously. But design decisions like this one bring the question to my mind.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't consider the new heroics hard, and this from someone who avoided ALL heroics in cata due to difficulty. I geared up with JP from normal instances.

I've run it as DPS on 2 chars, both using blue Ilvl 333 weapons. I think the new instances are the way to go.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, I've run the new heroics several times in the last week, and I think my average per instance is down to about 15-20 minutes now. I don't think I've had a bad group yet.