EDIT #2: Just found out yesterday (7/28/09) that the NORMAL daily dungeon will no longer award an Emblem of Triumph, it will now award an Emblem of Conquest.
OK, every one is on the bandwagon talking about the emblem changes.
Before I get too far into this, I want to say I don’t have a very strong opinion about the whole mess. I’m a little irked about it and have a couple beefs, but I can also see how this will benefit me. I’m trying to find the silver lining here.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what Blizz has up their sleeve:
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 Emblem of Conquest (updated per blue post).
- 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.
- Heroic 5-man = EoH
- Daily Heroic = EoH
- VoA 10 = EoH (Archavon only)
- VoA 10 = EoV (Emalon only)
- Naxx 10 = EoH
- Naxx 25 = EoV
- Uld 10 = EoV
- VoA 25 = EoV (Archavon only)
- VoA 25 = EoC (Emalon only)
- Uld 25 = EoC
Current emblem exchange is roughly like:
- EoH = Tier 7/ilevel 200/heirloom items
- EoV = Tier 7.5/ilevel 213
- EoC = Tier 8/ilevel 226
And in the possible future:
- Heroic 5-man = EoC
- Daily Normal = EoT EoC
- Daily Heroic = EoT
- VoA 10 = EoC
- Naxx 10 = EoC
- Naxx 25 = EoC
- Uld 10 = EoC
- VoA 25 = EoC
- Uld 25 = EoC
- Coliseum 10 = EoT
- Coliseum 25 = EoT
Emblem exchange should look like:
- EoC = Tier 7 – Tier 8/ilevel 200 – 226/heirloom items
- EoT = Tier 9/ilevel 232+
I think Blizz’s intention is to remove gear as the obstacle for people seeing content. Mind you, Naxx and Uld are going to be old content by the time this happens. (And let’s face it, this is from the PTR notes, this may never see the light of day.)
Beef #1: Why have the dailies give EoT? I feel those should be EoC. When the content is older, say the next patch after this, then I probably wouldn’t care,but it seems like a bit of a jump to go from Heroic to Tier 9. (Edt: Normal daily will no longer give EoT.)
What seems to be the problem?
The problem is that a fresh 80 can run heroics until his fingers bleed (or be carried through them) and purchase some snazzy Tier 8 and possibly Tier 9 gear, without having to bother with that pesky Tier 7 or even ilevel 200 crap.
This not-quite-so-fresh anymore 80 (it will take many, many runs to get enough emblems to gear this way) could then enter LFG for the Coliseum.
A quick armory shows that he’s Ulduar-level geared, so he gets invited.
He then causes a massive wipe because he’s never cleared Naxx but he’s run Heroic Nexus every day for 3 months.
What is the real problem?
Evaluating a player’s gear will no longer be an effective method of determining skill.
But you know what?
It’s not effective today.
I’ve been in plenty of PuGs where people meet the gear requirements set by the raid leader and still die in the fire. Other players in greens and blues are blowing them out of the water.
As I said several posts back,
Gear makes a player prettier. It does not automatically make a player better.
Euripedes said it another way in one of his comments:
I mean, if someone who’s never been outside of a heroic instance rolls into Ulduar with all his new shinies, he’s not going to magically apparate the skill needed to raid there.
He’s just going to look cool when he wipes.
So if we can’t use gear to exclude people, what do we use?
Comparing achievements is probably going to be the smarter way to go about weeding out baddies.
Beef #2: On my server at least, about 2 days after content hits all the LFG looks like: “LFM for InstanceX, link stats and achievement.”
This could make it even harder to get around the achievement requirements.
Are there any other problems?
Well yeah, the people that have Tier 8 now won’t be special snowflakes because all these other scrubs also have Tier 8.
Except those players that were cutting edge to Tier 8 are now going to be cutting edge to Tier 9. They shouldn’t care about Tier 8 anymore.
Will scrubs be able to get Tier 9?
Yes, it looks like they can slowly accrue enough EoT through the dailies to get a few Tier 9 pieces.
So we’ll call those “welfare nines” and we’ll look for the BoP items that prove you were there and did that.
If a baddy slips through the cracks, he gets booted. Keep note of who did well and who didn’t. Ya know, same as we do today when we pick up someone that has been carried through content.
I don’t have a beef with this. Well, I have a beef with them getting Tier 9 out of heroics, but I don’t have a problem with players having to use 4 brain cells instead of blindly trusting ilevel.
So where’s that silver lining?
I’m leveling an alt. Other people are leveling alts.
Ever had a situation like, “Oh noes, so and so (top healer or tank) is going away foreva and we need someone to fill their place. Quick! Everyone level a healing/tanking alt!”?
And everyone groans because this means that the Ulduar-raiding guild now has to slog through Naxx again to get the gear for the alt to progress. O worse, they leave the player to his own devices to gear up at the mercy of PuGs.
Or… now you can bust out some chain heroics, run a raid or two, and fill in the missing pieces with badges.
The alts won’t be top-of-the-line geared, but it will be good enough to get them back into a raid and let the player show that skill can make up for some discrepancy in gear.
I don’t see this change benefiting BRAND NEW players that are making the climb from 1 to 80. The really good players will steamroll through everything, just as they would have before, maybe faster. The mediocre players may see a little benefit since they have decent, tangible goals to shoot for in gear. This may keep them in the game long enough to pick up the missing piece in play or mechanics and become a decent raider. The baddies… will still be bad. They’ll have gear, but they won’t have titles and achievements. At least, no more than they do now.
For ALTS, I see this as a massive benefit. My guild won’t have to grind Naxx repeatedly just to get me geared enough to run in Ulduar on my priest. I’ll be able to PuG heroics (much less painful than raids) and get caught up. I will still have to run some content to get the badges, so I will still have the opportunity to learn the nuances of my new class. Blizz is not just mailing epics to people – you still have to have the time/patience/skill to run enough of something to get the badges. Or sucker enough people into carrying you through, but how is that different from now?
For people that BUY ACCOUNTS, this will come back to bite them in the ass, like it does now.
Drop the daily reward from EoT to EoC to avoid that huge ilevel jump and remove “welfare nines”.
Add something like a Raid Weekly that would reward EoT for things like taking down specific bosses in Naxx/Uld/VoA/EoE/OS. The 10 and 25 versions can reward different amounts of emblems. Maybe toss in a couple EoC or an extra EoT if the kill was made on a hard mode or within a certain amount of time. Maybe even have a collection of daily/weekly quests that focus around earning achievements in the heroics that award EoT.
If we can’t already, add in the ability to compare statistics between characters in game. Seeing that someone has completed Naxx once via an achievement posting isn’t quite the same as seeing that they’ve downed every wing 30+ times.
Instead of screwing around with the emblems, keep them the same and add BoA gear to purchase with them – level 80 BoA stuff, not the heirloom items. Equip an 80 alt with level 80 gear.
I won’t go as far as to say I think this is a “good” thing, there are a few points that I think need to be tweaked. I think new gear is being made too easily available, even with the amount of time it will take to “earn” that gear. I also think that with gear being even less of an indicator of skill, it will be harder for small guilds to see the new content in anything resembling a timely fashion since everyone will want achievements posted for invites.
Personally, I plan on abusing the hell out of this to make gearing my alt as painless as possible for me and my guild.
[Edit: added the EoV from Emalon in 10-man.]
[Edit: updated information regarding normal daily reward dropping to EoC from EoT.]