What is Worth Upgrading?

All throughout the expansion the Pandaren have been asking us “what is worth fighting for?” Now that patch 5.1 has arrived, the more pressing question is what is worth upgrading?

In the perfect scenario one would have started patch 5.1 at the 3000 point valor cap allowing for two full upgrades. I’m not so lucky and will start with around 1,600 VP; enough for one full upgrade or two half upgrades with another 1000 VP to be earned this week.

Regardless of how optimized you were in you valor acquisition, the question still remains what to upgrade? With the ability to earn a half upgrade each week it is unlikely that one will be able to upgrade all of their gear before the next tier arrives. Even less so when you take into account that most people are still acquiring LFR and normal mode gear, nevermind heroic gear. Some valor will be used to upgrade items that may well get replaced.

Most tools like Femaledwarf aren’t fully modified to handle the new system, and there is no definitive list of upgrade this, but not this. If you happen to be loaded up with full BiS then it’s easy, just upgrade all of that starting with pieces that give you most bang for the buck. Chances are you are not part of the WoW 1%, and don’t have all the BiS gear, so you have tougher decisions to make.

Weapons and trinkets will be obvious choices followed by tier pieces to give the set bonuses some longevity. It really comes down to you where you are with your progression, how fast you are progressing and when might you get your desired upgrades. If you started out with 3000 VP, then you’ll have three full raid lockouts before you hit the cap again which is a decent amount of time get some items and plan things out.

As for myself, I’ll probably do a full upgrade on my Relic of Xuen. If I get Taoren, the Soul Burner I’ll likely upgrade that even though I probably don’t have long to wait until Fang Kung, Spark of the Titans drops. Then I’ll have to consider an upgraded Fang Kung versus an upgraded Taoren. I think Taoren comes out slightly ahead. From there I’ll just have to wait and see how the progress grows. We’ve now defeated heroic Stoneguard and are working on Garalon normal.

No matter what you choose to upgrade I think this is a great system that Blizzard introduced to the game. Sure it keeps us on the dailies treadmill, but I never felt like I was getting off of that thing anyway.

So what is worth upgrading to you?

Always on the Move

Patch 5.1 testing continues and Blizzard is now starting to release some of the class balance changes that are inevitable once players migrate into end-game raiding and PvP. Hunters are getting a huge buff to their mobility in patch 5.1. According to MMO-C, Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Barrage will be useable while moving. I’ll say it again, Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Barrage will be useable WHILE MOVING.

There’s no mention of Aspect of the Fox in the patch notes, but one would assume that it will be redesigned or removed all together. I suspect the the latter myself.

If this is indeed the direction that Blizzard is going with these abilities then it’s a very nice change. The benefit for PvP is that Hunters can now be in Aspect of the Hawk 100% of the time, rather than Fox 100%. For PvE this means no more aspect dancing. Ultimately Hunters gain more from this change in PvP than PvE, but it’s fantastic for both.

It was pretty well known that Blizzard wasn’t happy with Aspect Dancing. During the MoP beta they tried to address it by putting Aspects on the GCD, but this was unpopular and they reverted it.

In Episode 141 of the Hunting Party Podcast we talked to Zumio who had a pretty negative opinion on Hunter aspects in general. He even went so far to suggest that Blizzard change Steady and Cobra to fire on the move. It appears that Blizzard agrees with that assessment – for now.