With all the talk of the dailies and LFR being required to get anywhere in mop for gear for casuals, and after adding my own thoughts onto the subject, i wanted to start a discussion from a different perspective, from a personal observation i have had lately.
Here is the problem i have with the current ways to get gear is in mop. My main (hunter) has gotten most of the LFR gear, done most of the faction grind, i don't play hardcore, but i do play enough to get most of the rewards i want. With ONLY LFR gear, and a few valor pieces, i am sitting at 476 average ilvl. My ilvl is fine to do most content, and dailies and even LFR efficiently, no problems there, but if i ever want to get a higher Ilvl than 476...the time to get the gear is far far to long for casual/semi-hardcore people to obtain (from valor/upgrade system)
In my situation, doing all 3 LFR each week, not doing normals yet (i work at night, and my guild is just kinda putting around for progression) i basically only have gear that is available by LFR and maybe sha each week (but that's 1 time per week, and galleon's spawn timer is terrible i cant even count on even seeing him each week)
So essentially this tier my max item level is 483 on most pieces, a few 489's (which i have already bought..the cape and chest) all the rest of my gear simply cant get any better, because nothing better drops for me if i don't do normal or heroic raids, and i believe the gap between the 3 is pretty skewed.
and then in comes the upgrade system, which is great, until you realize the main issue behind what i have listed so far: valor income. The amount of valor per week is 1000, the cap is 3000. Ok so looking at first tier of raiding, and knowing the next tier wont be here for a long time yet, blizzard expects us to grind 1k a week to get our upgrades out of our 483 gear if we don't raid. This is an ok idea in theory, it would allow us that don't raid normals be able to have better gear, and keep progressing.
Then you add it up though, and to upgrade your gear @ 1500 valor each...i quickly realized the amount of valor needed to do most/all pieces of gear simply would take far to long to even be worth it, if the cap is 1k a week, that is 4k a month. I added up all valor gear upgrades and i would need a total of 17000(!) to make all 483's into 490's etc, and that's not even upgrading the 489's and 496's (from 5.1 faction).
So what i am concerned about is this: taking all the valor each week to upgrade all this gear, and getting the 496 gear from the new faction vendor, and not raiding normals, just only doing LFR and such, will take basically 6+ months from today going forward....by the time we aucutally got all of it upgraded, a new raid tier will be out, probably a lot sooner than 6 months, so we might get HALF of it upgraded, and then raids come out, making all of it useless once again...so its a decision to even bother doing it...they have the option there, and don't give us the means (reasonably) to get there anytime soon.
Yes i know this is how it has been in cata, but in cata the first 3 raids were there from the start, and i was fine with having lesser gear, and there wasn't a LFR option. You may also be thinking well why do you need the best gear if you don't raid, what do you need the gear for? well it would be nice to have better gear, and keep progressing, better gear is better for soloing, my style of play and being able to dps faster, and get through content so that can move on to other things (like leveling alts, and repping up again...) i play to be efficient, and having gear out there, but knowing you cant get it because you dont do normal/heroic raid content, with no other means of getting better than what you are currently doing, is my problem.
i am not the only one that loves to play wow efficiently, and with the current caps and gates, i feel that blizzard is holding us back more than ever on gear and rewards to feel like its even worth my time, its become more of a game that says if you don't raid you don't get anywhere near the best gear, they give us some decent 483's, but normal gear starts at 489, 496 in terrace, and beyond.
With the way it currently is, its not possible to even get to 490 ilvl even with 6 months of valor upgrades maybe its possible...but by then a new raid tier.
I think they should give us more valor per week, and up the cap, overall so that we have at least some chance to even get the gear and upgrades, with 17k in valor just to reach the gear level of those who cleared normals/heroics, is a bit extreme, if it was about half of that, it would be a substantial boost in overall gear happiness, allow more people to access and raid normals/heroics, and make people feel they are aucutally progressing, rather than knowing you have 17 weeks of saving valor, just to reach where people are right NOW in gear. Not 6 months from now...the gear people are wearing right now!
It would make more sense to require about 8k in valor atm currently to get the gear/upgrades to 490 because by the time 3+ months rolls around there will be a new raid tier, so it would at least allow us to get us geared to 485+ or even 490 by then, if its 17k we can forget it pretty much.
2 items upgraded to 490 a month....with 8 ish items i need to get 483 to 490, that's a very long time invested to be at the gear level of normal/heroic raiders
I understand raids take time and effort, and are challenging, i understand not everyone should be in 490+ ilvl gear, or be doing heroic raiding, but those of us like myself who are kinda stuck in the middle, it feels like we wont ever get there or be like those at the top, and we aren't at the bottom either, we are just kinda waiting around for new content/raids because our gear cant get any better, there is no options, its all set in stone you get x gear and that's it for now. Come back in 6 months. (i guess that's how heroic raiders feel maybe too though)
and lastly the problem is to get the 17k valor needed for everything, requires dailies every day, every single day to even reach the cap each week, so not only do you have to be active every single day, doing dailies, dungeons, scenarios, something (after you finish 3 LFR each week) the cap some weeks gets harder to reach, because if you miss a few days, catching up on coins and rep gets tedious, i used to have a stockpile of coins of at least 3-4 weeks out, by missing nearly a week of dailies, i now only have enough per week to get them.
the rep/valor/coins are directly proportional to dailies done per day, if you fall behind then you have to play even more, doesn't feel some weeks you will ever get ahead again...there's no catch up mechanism for alts, or if you missed a few days, and yet they say its all optional...not if its going to take 17k valor to get to the end! you miss 1k of valor and that's basically a whole WEEK extra at the end.
so add me to the list of people who still believe dailies and LFR aren't optional...because now we have 6 more months of grinding to do for "upgrades"....yay...