I’m generally an optimist, but a grumpy one at that. I’d like to think it’s endearing grumpiness. So while players rejoiced the announcement of two additional Valor upgrades on gear in patch 5.4.8, I grumped in a corner.

“This just creates a feeling of progression without really adding anything to the game at all,” I thought.

I am Grumpycat

After a bit of reflection, I wasn’t as grumpy and accepted the fact that Valor upgrades could smooth out a few kinks in my guild’s current H Garrosh progression. That little boost of power could help close the gap for us; it’s so easy for everything to go to shit on that fight.

We have quite a wait before WoD. Introducing a path to progress characters without the burden of adding new content makes sense for Blizzard right now. But it doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it! Anyone can tell me that I’m not required to cap my Valor every week. True enough, I don’t have to do anything. In order to maximize my contribution to raid, I do have to. Being able to trade Timeless Coins for Valor should take some of the sting out of the grind though.

At this point in the expansion it’d be nice to see a removal or raise of the weekly VP cap, but that would defeat the point of a gradual buff. Personal progress that’s supposed to keep us busy until WoD. But hey, it beats the alternative.

Let me take you back: It’s early 2012 and many guilds are working their way through Dragon Soul. The guild I was a member of wasn’t bleeding edge, but we were moving along at a decent clip through Heroic progression. The encounters didn’t feel like they needed to be nerfed, to be honest. Not only did Blizzard nerf the entire instance through a direct debuff on bosses, but they increasingly nerfed the place as Cataclysm stretched on.

It was absolutely painful. We could give zero fucks about encounter mechanics – the nerfs trivialized everything. So, things could be worse.

Should you bother?

Yes. You should care that Blizzard chose the VP route over the Dragon Soul route. VP upgrades are a roundabout way of nerfing content through our gear. It doesn’t punish raiders and it won’t diminish our sense of accomplishment when SoO is completed (sorry, Garry, you suck at your job). And for folks not on a regular raid schedule, it offers a sense of character progression at a time when there’s not much else in the game to look forward to.