Seems like everyone is talking about the fact that players can now purchase Crystallized Fel with valor. Wowhead have done a write about up about this which you can read here: http://www.wowhead.com/news=250679/crystallized-fel-now-available-for-valor-points
Crystallized Fel are used to upgrade the Legendary Ring +3 items levels each time (up to a total ilvl of 795 for your ring). And interestingly, you are able to purchase multiple of these, allowing you to make significant upgrades to your ring each week. i.e. if you earn maximum valor each week, you will be able to purchase 7 upgrades every 2 weeks (the wowhead article shows you the maths!)
Initially, I was excited about this. I raided as healer so I always upgraded the healing ring, which meant that my dps ring has been neglected. This way, I now have the option of upgrading that ring, too. Excellent news for dual spec players! And I get get multiple rings
But then I got to thinking about it. Why are Blizzard doing this? What’s the motivation? And what are the consequences going to be?
My first thought has been whether or not this is a “nerf” of sorts by giving players stronger gear. Maybe some groups are still struggling to get the Heroic Archimonde kill for the moose, and these upgrades are an attempt to help people in that situation. (Especially given you can upgrade multiple times a week).
It’s an interesting thought. It’s not uncommon for there to be nerfs made to the raid content, especially towards the end of the expansion. This option will give a bit more of a nerf without having to change the difficulty of the fights themselves which isn’t so “insulting”. I’m just curious about whether or not this is needed? Are teams still struggling with Heroic Archimonde? (Genuine question – I’m not trying to be a smart ass.) I suppose outside of the moose, there are teams still raiding just for fun who may have hit a brick wall in their progression, so these upgrades may be that extra little push they need.
Get more people in to end game content
My next thought was perhaps this was a way to get people more involved in end game content. As wowhead points out, you can make 4875 valor per week by running all of the end game content – Hellfire raids (LFR included), Heroic dungeons, Mythic dungeons and completing the weekly bonus quest. Maybe this is a way to get more people involved in those activities.
But is an upgrade to your legendary ring enough of a motivation to run all of that content? Probably not. People who weren’t motivated by valor upgrades to gear are unlikely to be moved to upgrade their rings. I personally haven’t given 2 hoots about actively farming valor and upgrading my gear. And whilst upgrading my Legendary Ring would be nice, it’s not a priority for me. I’d much rather run the end game content for my alts who still need to get their rings and who need gear. Running all of that content (where no gear is an upgrade for me) just for +3 on one item honestly doesn’t appeal to me.
What does this mean for guild runs?
Crystallized Fel only drop from Archimonde on a Normal or higher difficulty level raid. i.e. anything but LFR. Which means that until now, an organised raid team has been required to get the Fel. In addition, we were limited to 1 per week. With the new system you can get at least 3 Fel per week without having to step foot in to a normal+ raid. If you and your raid team were at the point of just farming HFC for ring upgrades, will this system replace that and cause the team to stop raiding?
Or has the collapsing of guild teams contributed to this decision? There are a lot of guilds not raiding at the moment because of end of expasion burn out. At least this way, if your guild team has fallen apart/taken a break you can still get better gear without them, which is nice. It makes me sad, though, if this is the case.
I can’t help but still come away from this asking ‘why’ it’s been done. I’m not saying it’s a good or bad move, I’m just curious about the motivation behind it. I know of some people who will be very happy at being able to get some better gear without having to focus on difficult raid content, and I am really happy for them! I also know some people who will be disappointed with the decision and see it as a bit of an insult to those who raid harder content for better gear.
Either way, the option is there. Will you be farming valor for ring upgrades? And why do you think Blizzard did this?