Badge gear (Part 2)

The bad


In Badge gear (Part 1), I did outline some very good things about badge gear, especially from a guild/raid leader standpoint.  But I have to admit, as a whole, I hate badge gear.  I truely despise it.  It’s fine when an expansion first comes out.  But then they beat the crap out of it like a sequal that should have quit years ago (Saw VI anyone?).   I honestly don’t fully understand the badge loot system the way Blizzard implements it in the mid-late expansion.

Early Expansion

You get Heroic badges from doing Heroic 5 man or 10 man instances, and Valor badges from doing any 25 man .  Makes perfect sense to me.  Although I wasn’t exactly happy that the gear dropping in 10 man raids was of the same item level as that in Heroic 5 man  instances – at least the badge system made sense.  Badges drop to buy gear equal to that tier, in case of crappy RNG or whatever (as I said in the part 1 post).  You can’t buy the 25 man badge gear, unless you do the 25 man instance.  Then Ulduar is released.  Ulduar25 – new badge, new tier.  Ulduar10 – basically Naxx25 as far as gear goes – same badges as Naxx25.  Perfect.  Logical.  Sensible.  So far, so good.

Mid Expansion

Which is pretty much were are now with the Coliseum release.  Blizzard announces their design team just got a group discount on lobotomies.  No?  They didn’t?  Oh…  Well at least that would have explained the reasoning behind their madness…

Badges that were only available from Ulduar25 now drop from any instance except the new Tier9 Coliseum.  Do the Heroic Daily enough times and you can buy Tier 9 gear!!!  Aroo??  This is where I think they lost it.  I think there are 2 undesired and (possibly??) unintended consequences from this.

I has epix

There is some fallacy among the WoW community that gear = experience = skill.  This was 100% true at level 60, where you could only get BWL gear, by doing BWL.  There was no badge system back then.  Granted you still had the occasional player that got carried to their gear, but that was few and far between in my eyes.  But I think that’s where the mindset comes from – level 60.  Players for some reason think that if they are wearing a certain specific set of items, that their skill increases accordingly and automatically.  Suddenly by equipping an item, they can now move out of fires, dispel diseases, top damage charts and leap tall buildings in a single bound.  This is so far from the truth I don’t even know where to begin (although with proper hax, I’m sure one could leap over buildings).

Players that have never raided before, should “go through the ranks” of raiding. Do Naxx first.  I don’t care that you have item level 226 gear and Naxx only drops item level 213.  Naxx teaches you how to DPS correctly (Gargoyle trash), how to move (Heigan the Dance Dance Revolution), how to heal in burst (Loatheb, KT), how to tank while moving (Grobbulus), how to deal with adds efficiently during a boss encounter (Gluth), and how to watch your freaking debufffs (Thaddius).  All of these bosses teach you raid essentials – 1 at a time – so that you know how to deal with them when they all come at you at once later.  The first tier raid instance eases you into raid mechanics and expectations slowly as it’s assumed you don’t have raid experience.

Even one of the first bosses in Ulduar has at least 3 of the above elements that you should have learned in Naxx – and it’s only the 2nd raid tier of 4.  Naxx is fairly lax when teaching players these.  Can’t move out of fire quick enough?  5k dmg penalty.  Can’t DPS correctly to kill the Gargoyles – heal up a lil bit and try again.

Ulduar is much more penalizing for players that don’t know the basics of raiding.  It’s supposed to be.  You should have all ready taken Raiding-101 (A.K.A. Naxxramas) and are now ready for Raiding-201.  Don’t know how to move out of fire?  Razorscale welcomes your death.  Don’t know how to kill adds?  XT will heal all of his 22.5 million HP to full.  And that’s just the 2nd and 3rd boss out of 14.  Some bosses even penalize you for DPSing the wrong thing – no more face rolling.  You can’t ignore these mechanics in Ulduar – you WILL die.

So please, remove the one thing that gives players the notion the are ready to pitch in the World Series when they haven’t even been to training camp yet.  I’m tired of seeing, “Wow heroes gives me an uber leet gear score, I’m ready for T9 hard mode,”  then when you look at their armory, they haven’t got past Flame Leviathan in Ulduar.

Hunting for rabbits with a Howitzer

Another thing I don’t understand is the need for non-raiders to have raid level gear.  Don’t get that confused with me saying, “I don’t understand why some people don’t/can’t raid”.  I totally understand why some people don’t have either the desire or availability to play.  One guy in my guild works until midnight EST, and just isn’t able to be online when we raid.  I also understand that some just don’t want that added level of stress or commitment that raiding brings.

So if you’re not raiding, why do you need raid level gear?  If all you do are Heroic 5 mans, why do you need Ulduar level gear?  Or Coliseum level gear for that matter? (Granted it would take something like 160 days to acquire all pieces – but the point is, it’s still completely possible.)  As far as I know, these players are all ready doing the 5 mans in their current gear pretty successfully.  If Blizzard thinks that the majority of the population is not raiding because of lack of gear, I think they are in for a serious reality check.  I have my own ideas as to why certain players are not raiding, but that’s probably for another post.  But I wholeheartedly believe it has nothing to do with gear, or it’s availability.

Death to Badge Gear!!!!


~ by Andenthal on September 7, 2009.

2 Responses to “Badge gear (Part 2)”

  1. While I do appreciate what Blizzard’s goal was with badge gear (to alleviate the RNG factor by helping you get a few “guaranteed” pieces regardless of what has dropped for you) I think that the 3.2 badge changes (Conquest from Heroics, Triumph from Heroic Daily) were a mistake, for many of the same reasons that you mention. Plus, it just ends up feeling like another grind everybody has to do, much like the badge gear from 2.4 in TBC.

  2. It definitely feels like a grind. Although I do like that people want to run heroics again, if only for my alts. It’s all about me, you see…

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