I’m pleased that Blizzard have introduced a new tier to 5 man instances. The traditional two tiers of normal and heroic level instances have been joined by a top tier of heroics offering a higher reward, 140, twice the Valor points, per completed run,, and better gear, ilvl 353 ‘epic’ gear. The re-tooled as 5 man instances, Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman, offer a greater challenge and reward for those of us not raiding in this expansion.

The main reason for my pleasure at this development is the effect it has had on the atmosphere in 5 mans now. The nadir that pugging reached around the time of the introduction of the Call to Arms rewards for needed roles (well, tanks then) has passed and I find myself ranting in 5 mans less a less. If I want to get annoyed with ignorance, rudeness and stupidity I can queue for a Zandalari instance for twenty-five minutes, have random people insta-quit and watch morons overreach themselves, cause tirades and scorn and /ragequits. I can wait for my dungeon cooldown to expire for thirty minutes and then queue for twenty odd minutes all over again to repeat my last Zandalar experience.

If I want to have a good fun 5 man run with four total strangers I drop half a tier, shard all the loot and take half the Valor points. Why is this better? Well that’s really simple: I can complete four non-Zandalari heroic 5 mans, for 280 Valour points, in the time it takes to fail to complete several idiot infested ZA/ZG runs, for zero Valor points. OK, I do miss out on the chance of pretty ilvl 353 purple gear, but I increase my chances of completing a run and earning Valor points exponentially.

The reason for this is simple. The elitists, the arrogant, the smug and the meter chasers are all in Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman trying to power, as rapidly as possible, to the end of the instance for their 140 Valor points. As I’ve complained about so often in this blog, these people are interested in nothing but their outcome and getting to it as quickly as possible. They don’t tolerate people who actually need loot from these instances and consequently have low health and mana pools, lower DPS will get you a swift kick, if you’re doing less than 15K on trash (my current boss fight output).

In the non-Zandalari heroics people are less concerned with speed and elite DPS, healing or tanking slowly and often very productively (completing all bosses) progress through their dungeons. If they don’t actually need the gear they’ve learnt that this more measured pace makes for a better and more fun run. Plus they can squeeze in two runs for 140 Valor points. All in the time that it takes the tank who has the best gear in the game, the largest health pool on his server and doesn’t need any DPS just to find a healer that will actually stay in the group with him for more than two packs.

While the morons slug it out (with each other, not the mobs) in the Zandalari instances, I will be slowly but surely accumulating more points with the more patient, friendly and fun players at 70 Valor points a time.