Monday, June 29, 2009

The Emblem Debate

  • 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.
  • The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
  • New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.

  1. It will be easier to gear up alts or new 80s.

  2. More people will be running the heroic daily, making it easier to find a group.

  3. Lower raid guilds get a bit of a gear advantage, which could push them to catch up to current content.

  4. Acts as a soft gear reset, hopefully putting everyone into a good position for Icecrown and Arthas.

  5. Simplifies the emblem system into "best" and "everything else". This is very similar to the PvP setup, and should keep PvP from becoming the best way to gear up (for PvE purposes).

  6. Gives people who don't raid or PvP--but who can do 5-mans--a path for gear progression.

  1. Edge raiders will be required to do heroic dailies--content which they've already done a lot--to maximize progression.

  2. Will cause some guilds to keep farming Naxxramas, instead of pushing on into new content. Old content needs to be dropped. Choosing to farm Naxx over wiping in Ulduar is the wrong choice, if you want your guild to progress. But many people over-inflate the importance of gear and may choose to farm for emblems. We saw this happen with Badges of Justice and Karazhan in the last expansion.


If guilds keep moving forward, using the new badge system to push themselves, then this new system will be a success. The playerbase will be in a solid position for Icecrown.

What's more likely to happen is lower-tier guilds farm Naxxramas incessantly, in the belief that they need gear to progress. Then they will start to lose their best players to the higher tier guilds and fall into decline and stagnation.

I wonder if this system would have been better if it had been introduced in 3.1 with Ulduar. Heroics and 10-man Naxx could have been boosted to Emblems of Valor. The jump wouldn't have been that extreme, and would have gotten everyone used to the idea.


  1. "What's more likely to happen is lower-tier guilds farm Naxxramas incessantly, in the belief that they need gear to progress. Then they will start to lose their best players to the higher tier guilds and fall into decline and stagnation."

    long time reader; first time poster.

    the above happened to my guild. as soon as we mastered naxx25 (be4 ulduar) ppl started dropping. soon as ulduar came out 1/2 the guild went on to the higher tiered guild, but i stayed. now, my guild is no more. i can only see this happening a lot more now with this implementation. shame really. i don't raid anymore. 12am central is a bad time to log in apparently. pugging seems a waste of time and had enough of the honor grind.

    i have 2 80s. 1 @ t7.5 and the other @ 1/2 t8. i miss the raid grinding for it gave me sumthing to do in game. now? leveling up my other 8 toons. boring. time to move on? :'(

  2. Farming Karazhan happened in my guild too, but on off-nights, and wasn't an official raid. It was just something a few people ran in a couple of hours for a lot of easy badges. If this happens again, that may be the way many guilds implement it, just an optional 10-man that doesn't need the officers or raid leaders to run.

  3. While I can see what you mean, I don't know if it will be quite like that.

    See, in BC, you could basically get an entire set of gear from badges, especially the top level Sunwell type gear, so for that reason people would keep grinding Kara or Heroics in order to get a complete set. But in Wrath, you can only get 3 pieces per tier level, with overlap, as well as only 2 pieces of Tier gear.

    While there might be some badge farming, I don't think it will be quite as prevalient as it was before.

    Though I do still find this decision a little weird, but agree that it's great for helping alts get geared.

  4. If the guild won't move forward, maybe it is best that the person examine why they are in it? Friends or gear?

    I can't wait for this change. I don't think it's right that Ulduar 10 only drops emblems of valor. They messed up the badge dropping from the Ulduar 10/25 split.

  5. You are absolutely right that the lower tier guilds will farm naxx over and over. Just like tBC & kara - but they'll never get much further.

    I think this is a good thing for a lot of guilds - it give them something to do.

    But this isn't the reason players leave guilds....

    Most guilds have a base of around 10-15 strong raiders - and the rest are less skilled/get carried. I knew this when I was responsible for 40% of total heals on Razorscale in Uld25 as a holy pally..:)

    The bleeding of your better players to better guilds is because people get sick of carrying other players and/or can't progress overall. Don't blame badges - blame guild makeup and if the leaders would rather farm naxx than go do CC, why stay if you are ready for it?

    PS - gear does help lesser skilled players in "mid-level" progression a bit - if that mage has 25k health vs 20k, it gives him an extra 1/2 second to get out of fire or the healer to finally do something about other words, now they can do ignis..:)

  6. The other thing to realize is that some people are late to the raiding game. When i started raiding BT was already out and I was stuck in a kara fail guild. I transfered to a guild who wanted to see the rest of the game, and we quickly got kara on farm and burned through T5. We pretty much only did T5 for a month then flew to T6, because of the fact that we continued to farm kara every week for the T6 badge gear. At the time we hit T6, we already had half of our gear in T6 level, and we were able to progress pretty rapidly, getting illidan down just after the big nerf of 3.0 (we were on him for a few weeks before the patch hit). I attribute my raiding success, if you would, due to the fact that the gear was easily obtainable and we could get into the higher tier raids without attunement (we still did the bloody BT neck though, and still had everyone in SR gear for mother, which means we were in BT for quite a while).

  7. @ Chris:

    "I knew this when I was responsible for 40% of total heals on Razorscale in Uld25 as a holy pally..:) "

    Post overheal numbers or it didn't happen.

  8. My guild is already farming Naxx, not for badges, but because we recognize that not everyone had the best luck ever when progressing, so while Ulduar has the best gear, Naxx is a second shot at second best. It should be noted though that only the three night that we run Ulduar 25 are required for those of raider status, the Naxx runs are on off nights and are entirely optional and first come first serve in order to encourage people to go who aren't ready for Naxx (such as my secondary spec). Those are also when we do VoA and Sarth.

    Overall I think this will help to moderate the effect of randomness, so if Ulduar is cheap with gear, the second shot at Naxx and third shot with badges from Naxx will help even things out.

  9. I think the guild system is going to evolve.

    I think soon there will be levelling guilds covering 1-79, raid starter guilds getting people their baby steps in Naxx, pugs (based on the Link Achievement system) for more advanced players farming Naxx and Ulduar/new 3.2 raid progression guilds.

    I don't think Naxx guilds will keep players and after a while I think they will stop expecting to.

    I think it will actually be more healthy for leaders and officers. Rather than work really hard for a guild and you keep seeing people leaving, work hard till you personally are where you need to be then move up.

    Fusion, a bleeding edge guild, is composed mainly of people who were raid leaders and guild leaders or officers in previous guilds. It will become fairly natural to drop your responsibilities as an officer in return for progression.

  10. This really isn't much of a surprise, as something similar occurred with Burning Crusade (and even earlier content). Blizzard wants to preserve the bleeding edge content for hardcore raiders, but doesn't want the rest of their players to suffer at the same time.

    The people it really helps are skilled players in bad guilds. These are the folks who know the game well enough and have enough discipline to actually grind out the emblems on their own - and then end up with a set of gear that enables them to actually do advanced content rather than sit through an endless series of wipes with Noob Guild A just so they can see the guildmaster's girlfriend get the drop.

  11. What I really like is that it will bring new life into off-nights - right now heroics and Naxx are dead in a lot of servers!
    I do agree though that they should have made the transition a bit better. Back when Ulduar came out, this system could've been put in place and the gap wouldnt have been so shocking.

  12. Choosing to farm Naxx over wiping Ulduar is WRONG? No argument about experience being the best teacher, but wiping lowers group morale and willingness to do said encounter again.

    Wipe = No Rewards, lowers motivation
    Farm = Gear, Emblem, raises motivation.

    As I read your article, you put this new change through a negative angle. My guild is a lower-tier guild who is still doing Naxx 25 and waded into the shallow end of Ulduar 10.

    Our runs have dropped the same gear, gear that would help a class not present in the current raid, or too much gear for one spec/class. The chances and loot rules of the raid are against us. This seems to be the perfect opportunity to take a step back and evaluate our goals.

    We will still raid Naxx 10/25 for emblems go to EVERYONE. Gear is nice, but Emblems are better.

    All it takes is calculation: The chance the coveted gear will drop (15%-24% usually). If that drops, the number of people who roll for said gear (2 Tanks,3-4 Healers,or 4-5 DPS for 10-man) / 100 possible numbers on a roll. Then after the drop is won, apply when said gear will drop again.

    See it takes too long for any specific gear to drop. This is why I think the Emblem Change is GOOD.

  13. Personally I think instead of making Conquest badges drop from early instances/raids they should just nerf Uld 10/25 some when Colosseum comes out. That way there's still natural progression through the raids gear wise. I would personally like to see all of Ulduar and not have to start doing Heroics again.

    The changes blizz has made will send most of my guild back to farming Naxx and Heroics... gay! :(

  14. > "Wipe = No Rewards, lowers motivation"

    @Baldagrim, It depends on the form of wiping. If you're wiping over and over on farm bosses and people simply don't learn the tactics or repeat stupid mistakes, then perhaps you need to replace some raiders. Or you personally need to change your guild...

    However if you're wiping while learning a progression fight, this is expected, normal and no cause for loss of morale/motivation. Fights are sometimes a gear check (3min Hodir) complex (Yogg) or just annoying (Vezax ;p) and people need personal experience to learn how to handle them.

    In my opinion it is a lot more damaging to morale to say "these bosses are too hard for us, let's go farm Naxx" since people want to see new content. Plus, since now Naxx is set up as a low barrier, even a chance wipe due to bad luck, lag or human error will depress moral even more ("we're not even good enough for *Naxx*?").

    Like Rohan said, the lure of easy gear (from badges) might pull some guilds back to Naxx in 3.2 but I personally think guilds doing that will be making a mistake. You can't go forward by going back.