Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Badges and Elitism

Sometimes I raid. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, raiding for me isn’t about clearing content, seeing new dungeons or watching my DPS meter. I could really care less and think that raiding isn’t nearly as difficult as PvP is. It takes a lot of practice and preparation to be successful, but it’s nowhere near as instinctual as a good 2v2 match. When I do raid, it’s to help my friends and my guild. That’s why I don’t mind switching between healer and DPS. It’s one of the benefits of being a hybrid class (paladin) and having dual spec. I can change to fit the needs of the group. Sometimes, it’s pretty fun too, like last night when we decided to try Sarth 10 with one drake up. It was fun not because we got great loot or we felt “l33t” because we downed a boss. It was fun because we used teamwork to overcome an obstacle and everyone was on the same page. We did Vault 10 earlier with the same group and again, great teamwork all around and didn’t wipe on Emalon.

In that 10 man traveling raid we had several freshly minted 80’s. Was their DPS great? Not really. Did they do anything that endangered the group? Nope. It’s a testament to their competence that we were able to do Sarth 10 +1. If we had been a group of elitist raiding asshats, I’m sure we would have kicked both of them for substandard DPS after finishing Vault 10. We didn’t, because we aren’t like that, sometimes to a fault. Would we have invited them to do an Ulduar run? Probably not because they just aren’t geared for it yet.

So what does this have to do with badges? Well, there’s been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the proposed changes to the badge system in 3.2. Anything that dropped an Emblem of Heroism or Emblem of Valor will now drop an Emblem of Conquest. Why did Blizzard do this? Well, it’s not because they want to reward “noobs” with great gear. It’s to keep players interested in the PvE game. We did Vault and OS 10 to get these two new level 80 characters geared up. There is absolutely nothing that is dropped in OS 10 or from Archavon 10 that I need. I’d be willing to bet that getting an OS 10 run is fairly difficult because most players are in the same boat. When these bosses start dropping Emblems of Conquest, it will benefit the entire raid in addition to getting the new 80’s geared up. It will motivate more guilds to do the starter raids and heroics to help gear up their alts and new members and make it much easier for everyone to get the prerequisite gear to do Ulduar and beyond. We’ve all done Naxx WAY too many times already, why should we keep going just to gear up a new alt or new off spec? The players who don’t care enough to figure out when and where to stand will still show their true colors and they will continue to not be invited to raids where as those of us who don’t have the time or desire to run Ulduar 25 ad nauseam will slowly accumulate badges to supplement their gear to the point where they can do Ulduar when the opportunity presents itself. As an added bonus to us PvPers, Emblems of Conquest can be used to gear up with Deadly Gladiator set items, which will greatly reduce the amount of time spent grinding in battlegrounds.

The Emblem of Conquest change is a good one for everyone. If you don’t agree, then maybe you need to turn off Recount and stop taking the game so seriously.

(this post partially inspired by a post on Holy Sh---ock )

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