Episode 32: DON’T Upgrade Your Gear (not with valor points, anyway)

25 Jan


Click the play arrow above to hear the audio segment!

Upgrade vendors are going away with patch 5.2, and many players think that you should upgrade your gear before the patch hits. This sounds reasonable at first, but I took a deeper look into the numbers and the efficiency of this strategy, and with an exception, I believe you should NOT upgrade your gear.

Ok, nerd-alert!

It costs 750 valor points for a 4 item level upgrade, which equals the benchmark value of 187.5 valor points per item level. This is not a good exchange rate compared to most of the vendor gear you can purchase. I recommend you rep up with Operation Shieldwall or Dominance Offensive to get ilevel 496 gear for 4 different slots: a ring, trinket, waist and feet. Even at this rate (before patch 5.2), it would take amassing 6,500 valor points to purchase these 4 items, which would take you no less than 7 weeks with the 1,000 VP/week cap. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this advice: 1) if you have a best-in-slot piece that you are confident that you won’t be replacing for 6+ months, then you may want to upgrade. 2) If you have capped at 3,000 valor points and don’t have the rep anywhere to purchase gear, then you may want to burn 750 to bump your best piece 4 item levels (but sheesh, get going on some rep!!). 3) If you refuse to do ANY dailies, well then, yes, upgrade your gear I suppose, but it better be 476 or higher from LFR and regular raiding (You can upgrade blue gear with justice points).

All of my spreadsheet magic can be found here:

Bottom line: The math says that until you have only item level 483 equipment or higher left to replace, replace it with vendor reputation gear, UNLESS you have a best in slot item that you know that you won’t replace in the next 6 months. Additionally, in patch 5.2, 5.0 vendor gear, which is ilevel 489, will cost 50% less, and 5.1 gear will cost 25% less. Knowing this, you may only want to spend valor points when you reach the 3,000 VP cap and use whatever you save to immediately purchase discounted gear once 5.2 drops.



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