Will play for valor?

My topic for today was going to be how short-lived the whole new valor rush was. I had most of the post written, detailing how not only was I no longer really interested in running LFR for more valor, but it seemed many others were feeling the same.

And then last night Blizz announced a new enticement

Crystalized Fel Now Sold For Valor
Players who have acquired the legendary ring may now purchase Crystallized Fel from Zooti Fizzlefury in Talador or Dawn-Seeker Krisek in Tanaan Jungle for 1250 Valor.

Although this was bad news for my almost-written post, it is good news, I suppose, for players still interested in upping their ilevel. It certainly makes ring upgrades available to a wider audience than previously, when the only path for that was farm kills of Archimonde at normal or higher level. (And of course there have been the predictable forum screams of “NO FAAAAAAAIIIIIIRRRRR!”) But the move raises a lot of questions for me.

The first is, was I correct in my earlier anecdotally-based assessment that many players had stopped caring about valor and therefore stopped doing valor-earning activities? I know in my own case I have considered earning valor for the last 2-3 weeks to be just not worth the bother. This is true not only on my main but also on my alts which have not done any valor gear upgrades at all. Since I am no longer on an active raid team, and since I have zero desire to go the pug route, why do I need to increase my gear level? Certainly not to prep for Legion, as almost certainly the new green gear will be better than the current epics.

I am not saying I won’t do some valor activities, it’s just that they are not high priority for me. Honestly, they are of more interest to me on my alts now than on my main, just for the challenge of seeing how far I can go on classes I don’t usually play. I have been completely underwhelmed by the whole legendary ring mechanic and I can’t see myself grubbing away for weeks to increase its level. If I were doing organized raiding it would be different, because I would feel a responsibility to the team, but as it is? Meh.

So so back to my earlier question: Was Blizz seeing the same dropoff in player activity that I was? If so, is this move calculated to stretch out player engagement for a few more weeks?

Which brings up my second question: Does Blizz have a plan to add little valor enticements every few weeks all the way up to Legion (or at least the Legion pre-event)? If so, it’s interesting to speculate about what these might be. Will we eventually see The Moose offered for a few thousand valor points? How about tier gear tokens? Rare mats such as felblight?

And the third, bigger, question: If Legion does not go live until the end of the summer, will these minor enticements be enough to keep subscriptions from plummeting like a garage sale parachute? I doubt it, and such an outlook may be at least part of the reason Blizz announced they will no longer publish subscription rates as part of their quarterly reports. Their new metric to measure success is player engagement — active time per player. In theory, then, even if subscriptions drop by millions, if the remaining players increase their daily minutes of play time, WoW is succeeding. (Thus, valor enticements.)

One wonders how far this could theoretically go. If WoW eventually lost all subs except for a couple of elite raiding guilds, and the game had a total of maybe 100 very hardcore players, would it be deemed a fantastic success? Certainly there is a profit-feasibility point, in that 100 players would not come close to sustaining any semblance of company profit, but really how important is the European and North American monthly subscription rate for profits now? Revenue sources for the game have multiplied greatly since its inception, with the Asian pay-per-play-time model, retail store sales, and the burgeoning eSports endorsements and sales, so my suspicion is that conventional monthly subs count for less and less of the game’s profit.

So, is valor the sole mechanism Blizz has planned for sustaining game interest until Legion? And will you play for valor?

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

3 Responses to Will play for valor?

  1. For me, two words: Mythic Dungeons.
    I was Valor Capped and so now have a reason. I am impressed and delighted by the three-layer mythic dungeon experience. We get decent VP, we can get our five heirloom trinkets and we have a chance for a high-level weapon. Bonus: they are fun to do in a small guild group.
    I only have the L-Ring on two of my toons, no more: nevermore.
    Still, I just did some LFR runs on Reset Tuesday and the queue was quick!

    • Grumsta says:

      Yep that’s my experience too. If I wasn’t still raiding I certainly wouldn’t bother, but it’s nice to have a reason to do mythics with guildies and help gear their alts up.

    • Fiannor says:

      I definitely agree that Mythics are fun — because of the slight challenge they present as well as the opportunity for some small group cooperation, decent rewards, and short time commitment. I feel the same about the Timewalker dungeons. I hope these activities will not vanish in Legion.

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