Thursday, June 25, 2009
I delved into WoW's PTR's last night to check out the new heirloom items. As the screenshot shows, the chest pieces were found on a separate vendor from the Heroism quartermaster, do not have armor values (see MMO-champion for stats and pictures), and have seemingly random cash costs tacked on in addition to their emblem cost (currently 40x heroism). In short, these things scream "placeholder".
Caveat out of the way, I was very surprized to see these things offered for Emblems of Heroism instead of Champion's Seals from the Argent Tournament. One of my first comments on the heirloom item system was how it did not make sense to me that items for leveling alts come from endgame group PVE content. The planned expansion of the Argent Tournament seemed like a good opportunity to make solo PVE rewards available through solo PVE daily quests. Instead, it looks like Blizzard is going in a different direction.
Daily Quests for Emblems of Heroism In Patch 3.3?
Having gotten over the initial shock from Blizzard's decision to blow up the tiered emblem loot structure, I'm wondering if Blizzard has a longer term plan for Emblems of Heroism.
Back in February, I speculated that we might see "Emblems of Valor in 5-man content and solo daily quests with some chance of rewarding Emblems of Heroism" in patch 3.3. That was before massive badge inflation hit. (I got one thing right - I'd also predicted that "Blizzard will have to consider some means of making ilvl 213 loot available to the non-raid populace".)
I'd now revise my prediction for patch 3.3 to:
- New solo daily quests will offer a guaranteed Emblem of Heroism.
- These quests also offer some sort of purse or loot bag, like those seen in other daily quests, that has a chance of containing additional Emblems of Heroism, or even an Emblem of Valor.
- There might also be some harder, small group daily quests (like Threat from Above) that offer a guaranteed Emblem of Valor.
Before last week, I would not have expected Blizzard to go that far. After all, the loot bags in the Quel'Danis daily quests offered Badges of Justice at a painfully slow rate, somewhere around 10% for a SINGLE badge.
After patch 3.2, though, Emblems of Heroism from solo content would barely make a ripple in the itemization pool. Blizzard has clearly made a conscious decision NOT to simply wipe out the old emblems and simply replace them with the new baseline Emblem of Conquest. That would seem to leave them an opening to reintroduce Emblems of Heroism down the line.
P.S., RE: Heirlooms
Interestingly, the Emblem heirloom chests are deliberately chosen to match their shoulder counterparts. I flew out to Wintergrasp and did NOT see any new PVP chest pieces on the shard vendor (or, indeed, any new items). It will be interesting to see whether Wintergrasp gets new rewards, including the heirloom chests, and whether patch 3.3 will add a third piece to the heirloom armor "sets".