28 April 2010

About badges and the death of Naxxramas.

The new badges system for Cataclysm has been revealed. It'll be a lot like the current badges system, except that there will always be only 2 different "badges". It's simplier than our current emblems, but in my opinion it's still faulty...

If you didn't read the blue post about the new badges system, here is how it'll look like. We won't have emblems anymore, but only points. There will be 2 type of points:

  • Valor points, that you'll get from higher tier of content and daily/weekly quests
  • Hero points, that you'll get from all the lower content, including heroic instances
Each time a new tier of content is released, your Valor points will be converted to Hero points.

This system has many advantage compared to the current one. First you won't have to change you're emblems of Triumph into Conquest into Valor into Heroic so you can buy a new heirloom for your baby hunter. But, most importantly, your Hero points will never be lost! At the moment, you probably have a few of lower tier emblems, and until you're an altoholic and often buy heirloom you'll certainly have them forever, without being able to use them on something usefull.

But it's still faulty. Look at the current content you could raid: Naxxramas, Malygos, Sartharion, Ulduar, Trial of the Crusader, and of course Icecrow. Which one are you doing more than once every 3 months? I mean, which one do you REALLY do. Doing only the "BigBadBoss must die" quest doesn't count. I suppose you're often doing ICC, and sometimes ToC. Did you try to do Naxxramas raid since ToC is out? I did try. After a few evenings spamming trade channel and convincing my hubby to come and heal, I finally manage to have 10 people ready to go. Well. This wasn't glorious.We didn't pass Gluth. Kiting zombies is apparently too hard. Of course, at the first wipe, half of the raid leaved. And this was before the new random dungeon tool.

Poor lonely Sapphiron!
Poor lonely Sapphiron!

Why would people bother doing a raid, where you could wipe, when you can get better gear by just doing a few heroics? Especially now that you just have to hit a button to be insta ported into an instance with 4 other people.

I'm not saying Naxxramas is the best raid ever (Ulduar is a great raid!), but it is actually nice to do something else than always the same bosses, in the same monotonous decor. Back in TBC, I remember doing Karazhan very often. With my alts, to gear them, but sometimes with my main too, to help friends gearing their alts. And I loved it.

It would be great if the Cataclysm badge system would encourage people doing old raids, and not just the higher tier raid and the fast random heroic. The current system make the older raids deserted. I'd like to do Ulduar with my shaman, but I know it'll be almost impossible to find 9 people with adequate gear and experience wishing to go past the weekly quest.

There could be something simple to have players still wishing to do older raids : make 3 type of badges instead of 2. Heroic instances would give you poor badges, Higher tier raid would give you great badges, and all the other raids would give you medium badges. Imagine that today : if you'd want some T9, you'd have to do some raid, be it Sarthartion, Ulduar or ToC. I know most people would choose ToC but still, it'd be better than nothing. If you'd only want to do random heroics, you could still get T8 gear with your poor badges. And really, with the Citadel zone buff updated to 15%, T8 is enough to do some pick up ICC 10.