Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Problem with Emblems

Back in The Burning Crusade, we had Badges of Justice which dropped in all heroics and raids, and were used to purchase all sorts of "endgame" gear.

The scenario worked out pretty well, allowing new 70s to run a few heroics to help get geared for raiding, and towards the latter stages of TBC, allowed the purchase of some pretty awesome gear, stuff that was close to the same level as Sunwell loot. For us casual raiders, this meant that (some, not all!) close-to-best-in-slot gear was within grasp if we worked hard enough for it. This was a good thing, as it kept raiders involved with random guild heroics as well as raiding.

Nostalgic moment: I remember working for a looong time to get my dual Vanir's fists, 150 badges total. It's a shame they look so ridiculous, because they're badass. Still have 'em in my bank!

In Wrath of the Lich King, we've got multiple levels of badges... err emblems:
The Problem
I understand the goal of tiered emblems was to appropriately reward raiders with purchasable gear of matching level, but in practical use, for players in casual raiding guilds (which I believe makes up the vast population of WoW players), it causes several problems:

For one, I've completely lost interest in running heroics with my main, as EoH are basically useless for Exelus, who already has two four-piece sets of T7/T7.5 (healing and DPS). I believe this has a negative effect on casual guilds, as the incentive for geared players to participate in heroics diminishes over time.

Blizzards stated goal is to allow even casual guilds to see all endgame content, which is great, but along the way we'll end up with little piles of emblems that just won't be useful for the next/current level of raiding. This is just kinda annoying, since emblems are meant for level 80 players but can lose practical value rather quickly.

  • Add a few next-gear-level items to be purchasable with many lower-level emblems (like Vanir's in TBC!), or an equivalent emblem trade-up program (3 for 1).
  • Make emblems (and Stone Keeper's Shards!) account-bound to help gear-up alts.
  • Make emblems vendor-able for some non-trivial amount of gold (to help with raiding consumables, repairs)
  • Some professions (like Jewelcrafting) use a token or other currency system to buy patterns and mats, so make emblems tradable for these tokens.
  • Allow PVP gear to be purchasable with PVE emblems.
  • Make emblems the currency for Scrolls of Level-Granting!
OK some ideas are a stretch, but we did see some of these types of solutions implemented towards the end of The Burning Crusade, hopefully we'll see similar adjustments as we move through Wrath.


John Mani said...

I can see a lot of the "leet" players crying foul over your ideas. But speaking as a member of a fairly high level raiding guild (on my main) and a fairly low level guild (still haven't cleared 10 man nax, on my alt). I see no down side to any of your ideas in bullet points.

Would love to send some of the 200 or so emblems on my main that are useless to my alt, I'd have a full set of t7 stuff.

And the vendor emblems is an even better idea. Make them worth the same as a Daily Quest. the 7-13 gold range.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with, "I've completely lost interest in running heroics with my main, as EoH are basically useless for Exelus, who already has two four-piece sets of T7/T7.5 (healing and DPS). I believe this has a negative effect on casual guilds, as the incentive for geared players to participate in heroics diminishes over time."

I like helping guildies so I do heal heroics from time to time, but all i've got left to buy with them is some BoA items for classes I don't plan to play anytime soon.

Shame you can't upgrade them at like 10 EoH for 1EoV, etc.

Gobble gobble.

PS vendering them isn't a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

i think you're right that they need to do something. i really thought they would add more gear and sell it for 100+ tokens or something to give people something to work for. but other than that, i basically posted the same thing awhile back on my blog, wondering why i even need them anymore!

Chris said...

Allow PVP gear to be purchasable with PVE emblems.This is already in game by the way. The last few pages of a vendors' *catalog* is PVP gear. =)

Merlot said...

I totally agree there's a problem. I'm a self-confessed casual raider and there's still nothing to spend my tokens on for raiding.

I think part of the problem is the quality and range of token gear available. In BC you could still be farming Kara and be able to buy T5-quality items. Rather than invent new ways to dispose of tokens, I'd simply like to see a broader range of token gear and some of it at better quality.

And account-bound tokens would be awesome!

drug said...

For once, I think blizzard is doing a good job with different tiers of Emblems.

For me, the Badges of Justice system was kind of stupid. I raided and I ran heroic instance after heroic instance to get better gear.

Now I run heroics to gear up. Then I raid Naxx, then I raid Ulduar. And I'm pretty happy that now I get some more offline time, time that in T5/6 content was filled with farming heroics.

Where I absolutely agree is, that for a casual who just does some heroics and maybe a pug raid every 2-3 weeks, you really quickly get to the point where those emblems just pile up.

But then again, blizzard wants as many people raiding as possible and in the end raiding should be the way to get quality gear. And until then, Heroics, Argent tournament and Professions offer tons of fun ways to gear up.

Shamrockgirl said...

I actually like the way it is set up now. There are several things you can get with the Emblems to keep them from just piling up... the main thing i use them for is the frozen orbs, but i have also purchased some of the PvP gear and the Legacy gear. I do like the "account bound" idea for the emblems as it would be nice to be able to buy the BoP items for alts though.