Friday, June 26, 2009

Next Generation Emblems

The next 3.2 patch continues to raise a lot of emotion and debate about its new features and most notably, changes. I have already given my personal and quite hot opinion on the changes to my favorite class, the death knights. If you wish to read on it, check the article Latest on Death Knights. This time, I am going to briefly touch on the changes to the emblem system, as it has generated a lot of discussion in my own guild.

The main conclusion was that the patch is very much an update for the benefit of casual players and I have to agree. This is true especially when you read the blue post on the emblem system. In simplest terms, the various emblems become mostly worthless. The only emblem that continues to have significance, is the emblem of conquest. To accompany this, Blizzard is releasing a new emblem, called Emblem of Triumph.

Any instance that now drops emblems of heroism or valor, will in the future drop emblems of conquest instead. Emblems of triumph will be available from the daily dungeon quests, both heroic and normal, and from the new instances in the upcoming Crusaders' Coliseum. Exactly what you can buy with the new EoT, nobody knows but all and all, this is a welcome update.

To me, the idea of having 3-4 different emblems is not practical by any stretch of the imagination. It creates a long road of progression, where people have to climb through all three to get to the latest gear and content. While many point out that we all had to do it, it is not quite that simple.

Yes, for anyone in a quality raiding guild, getting through the ladder is not a big issue but it is most difficult for players inhabiting the casual guilds. We have to remember, not all of us play this game like a second job and some just cannot keep up with the demands of a hard core raiding guild. Instead, they will be stuck doing the same instances over and over again, trying to get the emblems and gear to advance into the next tier and usually will be sabotaged by rest of their guild. After all, progression is a team effort and many casual guild will never advance beyond Naxx10 and perhaps Eye of Eternity.

True, it is not very fair to those who actually made that journey but life is not always fair and I would point out, the game has changed quite a bit since WotLK first came out. Those who started progression then, had it, in my eyes, easier than those who are only now getting into the raid scene and playing catch up.

In the end, I feel advanced players are only complaining about this because they feel casual gamers are getting off easy, preferring if they would be put through the same hoops as themselves when they made their progression. But me, I still continue to support my matra that the more people that experience all the content, the better. It does not burst any of my bubbles that someone will less game time gets through the same content as I did.

And also, I would remind everyone, the gear that you can get with emblems barely touches the surface of what you need to successfully navigate encounters like the last bosses of ulduar. It will still require as much dedication, practice and skill to finish them off.

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