Thursday, June 18, 2009

So Much For Tiered Badge Loot?

And we have a game-changer in the PTR notes for Patch 3.2:
Emblem System Changes
Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders' Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.

Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.

The Heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.

I'm guessing that tiered badge levels haven't worked out so well for continued use of the 12 - soon to be 13 - level 80 5-man dungeons in the expansion.

That said, it seems bizarre that you could knock off a 5-man boss that drops ilvl 200 rare loot and walk off with an [Emblem of Conquest] good for ilvl 226 epic loot - effectively three loot tiers above the content you just tackled. It's especially odd because the Conquest vendor prices range from 19 emblems (necklaces) to 58 emblems (two pieces of the Ulduar ilvl 226 class sets), prices that were presumably based on an expectation that players would not be downing that many bosses in Ulduar.

Again, I don't disagree with the motive, I'm just saying that this sounds a bit like overkill. I could see bumping every content tier's badge quality by a single tier, but jumping by two tiers in a single patch feels excessive. Then again, I guess even semi-serious raiders have long since run out of stuff to do with Valor emblems.

Also, one might expect to see very high prices on the new Triumph reward vendor if we're allowing players to obtain 3 of the new badges per day from daily 5-man quests.

It'll be interesting to see if this major change in design philosophy stands, and/or if we get any explanation that goes beyond my speculation on why they might have made this call.

Edit to add: Here's the staggering part of this change - with Conquest emblems (which can be traded down to lower tiers) a mage can get ilvl 226 items in 5 of the 8 armor slots, with ilvl 213 for the other three, along with an ilvl 226 neck, ilvl 213 cloak, and 2 ilvl 213 rings. Some of those items aren't exactly best in slot, and you'd still need to look elsewhere for trinkets (or live with the old ilvl 200 ones for Heroism), and your weapon/offhand/ranged stuff.

Still, we're not talking about a few isolated gear slots, the way we were with the Badge loot in patch 2.4. That's a complete gear set. Basically everything on any reputation vendor or 5-man dungeon loot table in the game would be turned into a placeholder that you wear while you work to farm up hundreds of badges from whatever content offers the best emblem/time returns.


  1. This is a huge step towards returning to all that was wrong about the heroic badges in TBC. Adding more varied options that could be exchanged for emblems of valor/heroism would have been a far wiser choice, IMO.

  2. This will get people back into the heroics, but as Andrew said, it will bring back a lot of the bad. How long before people are farming Naxx like they farmed Karazhan and people expect Ulduar gear for heroic Nexus?

    I can understand the desire to keep heroics relevant. After all, I don't want to feel like 95% of the game is a waste of time because only the current one or two new raids give anything good. But this is more than a little extreme. At most I'd have bumped up to valor, but better would have been some type of conversion, maybe a 5:1 conversion along both tiers. That would allow heroics to give new gear, but at a fairly slow rate, in contrast to BC badge farming which was usually much faster than trying to do raids with comparable gear.

  3. Exactly. The bottom line to these changes will be for players who do not need anything whatsoever from the local loot tables to continue farming the content, which they now outgear, for badges. Potentially hundreds of badges. Time will tell what the optimal badge/time ratio is (maybe Naxx-25, maybe the easiest 5-mans), but either way reduces the game to a lengthy grind of trivial content.

  4. From my perspective this is great... but for some reason there is this nagging feeling at the back of my head that says this shouldn't be so good.

  5. This is bonkers if it goes live.

    If I run Naxx 10 and 25 each week im going to end up with ~30 badges of conquest a week. if I do the daily heroic every day thats about another 40 odd.

    Give it a month or two months of this nonsense and every single raider in the game is going to be looking at having almost max level gear without every to do anything silly like, oh, step foot inside a max level instance. And how much fun is nax10 going to be with an average raid gear level of 220?

    You might as well get a giftwrapped set of max level tier kit from Rhonin along with your fireworks when you hit 80.

    My suggestion has been (for a good while now) to keep emblem drops the same but open up each slot of the tier sets at the vendor for an appropriate amount of emblems. That way people can fill in the gaps and complete tier sets whilst still being geared appropriately for the content they are clearing.

  6. A few things. This will help rapidly gear up alts which is the most obvious point. This will help people get PvP gear from badge rewards quickly.

    With Blizzard making this change it could mean that they will be releasing raid content faster then previously which means we need the boost to stay on par.

    Think of 3.2 as a mid expansion gear reset to help tackle the lich king.

    Naxx 10 has been really easy for a long time now so I don't see how getting gear faster will trivialzie this anymore then it allready is.

    Finally rep and Heroic gear has allways been a place holder. I think it was pretty stupid to put heroic gear on the same par as naxx gear but with this change that kind of makes sense.

  7. The more things change, the more things stay the same. Guilds farming heroics & Karazhan to get gear for Sunwell, anyone?

  8. Don't forget that these emblems are only rewarded if your faction owns WG (or did they change that too? I didn't see anything in the patch notes about it).

    Doing this, *really* adds some weight to the WG battles.

  9. @Gnome: The issue is that this change reduces the entire pre-Ulduar game into an exercise in maximizing your emblem/time ratio. Players who actually need loot from 5-mans are undergeared, potentially slowing players progress, and therefore won't be welcome in groups. You can't entirely blame elitist players for this - the way RaidID's currently work, you don't get to form a second group and try again if your first group downs at least one boss in the daily dungeon but fails to finish the zone.

    @Simon: Convincing raiders to run trivial 5-man content appears to be the point, not an unintended consequence. Opening up a broader distribution of ilvl 200 epics won't accomplish that goal.

    @Whatsmymain: Yes, it is basically a mid-expansion gear reset. Like I said, it's on a much grander scale than 2.4 was because it covers a much wider loot table.

    @Smaken: You're thinking of Stone Keeper Shards, which are independent of emblems. Shards drop in any 5-man for the faction that owns Wintergrasp, and the vendor is only available when you own the keep. Independently of whom owns the keep, Heroic 5-mans currently drop Emblems of Heroism, which can be used at vendors in Dalaran. After the patch, Heroic 5-mans will instead drop the Emblems of Conquest. The only real change is that both forms of Archavon, and 10-man Emalon, will now drop Conquest emblems instead of lesser ones.


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