Valor is Back

Color me surprised. Blizz is brining back Valor points.

Recall Valor tokens is a system that every other MMO has, and that Blizz has spent 10 years trying to avoid with more RNG (see the advent of coins way back in MoP) to provide ‘bad luck protection’. Tokens provide a focused bad luck protection system, but really made no sense once ‘-forging’ took place. While there’s no RNG in the rolls on the gear, the nature of M+ means that the maximum level of an item will depend on an achievement related to M+ runs. That system is sound, and since it’s variable based, it can be tweaked with a hotfix if need be. Plus, it can scale as more dungeons are released (???) and the general ilvl of the game goes up.

I am really trying to avoid being a cynic here. Blizz’s pattern for system design has been rough to say the least these past years. Few of them ever seem to survive a content patch, let alone an expansion. The mechanics of M+ and Raids have been relatively stable, but those are not power/reward based systems. I cannot think of the last time that Blizz actually deployed something that worked out the gate – there’s always a massive balance change downstream (if not outright removal).

That said, conceptually this design appears to be as complex as a lay-up. One where everyone expects this to be easy, and if you mess up, that comes with ridicule. Blizz is not inventing something new here. They’ve done this before, and there are dozens of WORKING models on which to refer. A roundabout way of saying that I have hopes this works.

Covenant Abilities

9.05 will also come with Covenant ability balancing. Size is relevant. It’s hard to properly articulate what large patch notes mean as a development team. These aren’t flat passes like we’ve seen of ‘all Rogue damage is increased 5%’. These are clearly thought out and have been on the lines for some time. It will impact simulations, certainly. But I doubt this would be enough to actually have people change covenants as mechanically few changes are taking place. Single target skills are staying single target. Kyrian is still going to own tanking, Night Fae on AE, and Venthyr for single target.

Well, Fleshcraft is the outlier. The most useless skill in the game now has a larger damage shield and reduces damage taken by 30% while channelling. Changes like these are somewhat worrysome, as any tank worth their salt is not going to take 2 GCD to stand somewhere and facetank. Maybe as a prep to a large pull in M+ with a 40% shield?

Legendary Abilities

There are no details on the tuning pass, so this is just assumptions here. Multiple specs have a clear best-in-slot legendary. A few have options, but only in regards to some weird variables. BM Hunters are a good example, the trap legendary is the best one by far but it’s a horribly complex/painful one to use, so quite a few folks opted for the passive legendary instead. Curious as to if this is a mechanical pass or just balance. Hope it’s both!

Swapping legendaries is a weird process, given the method of which you acquire Soul Ash. I’d expect a catch up mechanic to accompany any tuning phase.

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