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As of 1.0.5:

Major in-game events will now grant one stack of Nephalem Valor when completed by a level 60 character in Inferno difficulty

What counts as a major event?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

A major event is anything that causes a yellow dot to appear on your minimap.

Most (maybe all?) of these events also has a corresponding achievement tied to them.

I believe this list is a comprehensive list of events.

c/p from the link:

Act I Events

  • Jar of Souls (Confirmed)
  • The Matriarch’s Bones (Confirmed)
  • Carrion Farm (Confirmed)
  • Last Stand of the Ancients (Confirmed)
  • Eternal War (Confirmed)
  • Revenge of Gharbad

Act II Events

  • A Miner’s Gold
  • Lair of the Lacuni
  • The Rygnar Idol
  • The Restless Sands
  • Guardian Spirits
  • The Crumbling Vault
  • Prisoners of Kamyr
  • Lost Treasure of Khan Dakab (Confirmed)

Act III Events

  • Waiting for Reinforcements
  • Forged in Battle (Confirmed)
  • Blood Ties
  • Tide of Battle
  • Crazy Climber
  • Blaze of Glory

The link also goes into more detail about each event.

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What about Feats of Strength such as Development Hell? – user9983 Oct 17 '12 at 15:49
    
@OrigamiRobot I don't think so. And I think its not every item in that list. I just did a jar of souls (which doesn't have a minimap icon), and it didn't give me a stack. – l I Oct 17 '12 at 18:07
1  
Weird, I got a stack of NV from Jar of Souls. Also, I'm not sure about the yellow dot being an indicator of a major event. I found the guy tied to the post in Act II - when you free him a few normal mobs spawn and then he gives you a trash item. He had a yellow dot, but didn't give me a stack and it definitely wasn't a major event. – dpatchery Oct 18 '12 at 12:12
    
@dpatchery weird. Maybe my event glitched out for some reason. I thought the skeletons were supposed to all die when the timer ran out, but in my game they stuck around, but the jar dropped a bunch of loot. I was playing on mp5 if that makes any difference. – l I Oct 18 '12 at 12:13
1  
@SabreWolfy nope, only optional events and elite kills grant stacks of valor. Storyline events do not. – l I Jun 8 '13 at 23:47

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