A week into the Mists of Pandaria, and most players are enjoying the content very much. Having a new continent to explore, as well as many new features, players for the most part have been extremely pleased with how this expansion has turned out so far. However, one major complaint from players was how Justice and Valor point gear were tied to reputation. Blizzard quickly added a hot fix to change how the system work, but this week I wanted to look at why they made these changes and how I feel about them.
So, first of all what exactly was changed? At launch, in order to buy Justice point gear, players had to earn an Honored reputation with certain factions, while Valor point required a Revered reputation. Also, in order to start doing dailies and earning Reputation with the Sha-do Pan and the Celestial Augusts, they needed to earn Revered with the Golden Lotus. This is a unique idea, and at first does not sound too bad because it would in a way expand the amount of time players spent trying to get reputation.
However, the issue with this sort of “gating” was that Justice point gear from those two factions were completely useless, while even the Justice point gear from factions available right away were rarely needed. This is because by the time players would be Honored, they would already have found better in the Heroic dungeons. To fix this, Blizzard removed the requirements for all Justice point gear, allowing players to purchase items that they had not yet found in Heroics. They also reduced the requirements some Valor point gear that required Revered to only needing armor.
This change definitely helps fix the issue, but it still “gates” the amount of gear that players have access to. Personally, I like this idea. My first reaction to finding that I needed to grind Reputation in order to use Justice points was that it was something new, and it definitely made these items seem more prestigious since players had to actually put a little bit of time into earning them. However, the changes were definitely needed for the Justice point gear. There is no point in having items that most players will never need to use, right? I am glad, that they did keep Reputation requirements for Valor gear though, as it makes these items feel more rewarding, since they require more work then just a couple of dungeon runs. It gives PvE a feeling of progression, something that many players say they have been missing.
Concluding, the Justice/Valor system is currently works quite well. Justice Point gear is accessible quite easily for players who get unlucky with drops from Heroics, while Valor gear can still be earned in a way that makes the item feel more prestigious. This is something completely new to the Justice/Valor system, and it is quite a pleasant addition to the game.