A few days ago, I was reading WoW Insider, and I came across an article that actually got me pretty steamed. While I think it’s an important question to ask, for folks who are doing endgame content: Does the Rise of the Zandalari dungeon tier serve a purpose? I personally don’t like the answer the author, Matt Rossi, puts forth. And since I don’t have anything tiny guild related to talk about today, I’m going to talk about endgame perceptions because I think at its core, the concepts the community hold are incredibly broken. But first, I’m going to quote Mr. Rossi, and try to explain why I don’t like his answer. And what I would recommend to Blizzard instead.
“At this point, the Zandalari heroics are used to grind out valor points, then grind out justice points for supplemental items or heirlooms for alts. Yet the Zandalari heroics still give twice as many VPs, and when you’re capped on VPs, reward twice as many JPs as the launch heroics. With the recent announcement of patch 4.3 coming with three new 5-man dungeons, we’re moved to ask: Why not open up the heroics we have to more people?” This is a true statement. And an important point – you get more points when you run these heroics, so people who care about capping those points are probably going to be inclined to run those heroics. For those not in the know, it’s also important to note that you only get VP/JP for running random dungeons, and only for the first 7 per week. There’s a cap of 980 VP, which is reachable using the Zandalari heroics, but not using the others without supplementing raiding.
Matt talks about the issues around maxing your VP/JP some more, and then says “Another difficulty here is one not everyone will agree with, but here it is: When the Cataclysm dungeons launched, their heroics were often very hard to pug. Months later, that’s not the case — so why not let groups that can finally stop and look at all that gorgeous scenery go in and do so? Dungeons like Halls of Origination, Throne of the Tides, Lost City of the Tol’vir and Vortex Pinnacle are magnificent dungeons in terms of art and layout. Their inclusion in the Rise of the Zandalari tier of reward would greatly break up what potential art and music we were going to be exposed to while farming for points.”
And that’s where I begin to have issue. If it’s about farming your points, then having a limited group of options isn’t all that big of a deal. You want to get through the dungeons quickly, and be on to the things you enjoy in WoW, whether it be raiding or buying your next shiny purple. If it’s about seeing content, then bloody well go see the content, and deal with the fact that you won’t get more points for doing it!
Now, what I would recommend to Blizzard is not as Matt suggests, which is to raise the other dungeons to the level of the Zandalari dungeons, but to drop the Zandalari dungeons down to the level of the others! Blasphemous? Maybe. But if it’s easier now to get the points than it used to be, doesn’t it essentially drop the intrinsic value of the points? We’re not talking about inflation here, because there’s still limits on how many points of each type you can have and get, there’s still limits on what you can buy with them, and you can’t trade your points around, even among your own characters. So making the now easier content reward fewer points would mean people don’t get as many points.
The problem with Blizzard doing this is that it’ll only be acceptable when patch 4.3 drops, with its new dungeons. They could roll the Zandalari heroics down into the previous tier, and make the new heroics the new shiny. But that doesn’t get people back into the old content to grind out their points. People get bored with the same old content, and I get that, I really do. But the solution is not to make it easier to get the points. The solution is to make it not matter which content you do.