Saturday, June 20, 2009

WTB Emblems of Conquest, LF1M Nexus

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I don't know if you all have noticed, but I rarely QQ about how the game is getting too easy. It most likely stems from the fact that I never played vanilla wow. I didn't even raid in TBC. Yup, that's right - I hit level 70 on Averna about a year ago, at the tail end of TBC. So I don't really feel like I can talk about how it used to be, when you all had to walk uphill both ways in the snow while getting pelted by fireballs from horde mages or something. I never actually experienced it. The best I can do is be like HAY GUYS REMEMBER WHEN WE DIDNT HAVE WILDGROTH LOL.

I know a lot of people are a little upset or concerned about the new mount changes. Some say it's just one more step away from "the good old days", whereas others are quite pleased. I'm not sure how I feel - I certainly don't think leveling by foot until level 40 like in Vanilla wow is the way it should be now, since at 40, we still have 40 more levels to go, not 20, and I think that most people would agree with me. So the level requirement for mounts got dropped to level 30. Now, it will be level 20. Perhaps eventually, you will start with a mount. Who knows?

My boyfriend's roommate, Cat, plays on a different server in a hardcore raiding guild. Last night, she was talking about how the game is frustrating to her, because Blizzard has essentially removed hardcore raiding from the game. Almost everyone and anyone has access to T8.5 gear, whether you raid 4 nights a week with your guild, or if you pug Ulduar one day a week. I saw someone spamming trade, looking for 2 ranged DPS for a 25 man pug that was - get this - on MIMIRON.

Have you guys noticed this little gem in the patch notes?

Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas of Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead.


Cat's pissed off, and I can understand why (LOL see wut I did thurr? Cat like Pete's roommate Cat but then also, cat like Wutcat cat! Bwuahahahhalolllll). Why should new 80s in blue quest-reward gear be able to run the Nexus in 40 minutes and get the same number of badges as our guild did after beating our heads against Ulduar for an entire week? I can almost understand having Naxx10 drop Conquest badges. But 5 man heroics? It's ludicrous. People might say that we're focusing too much on what OTHER people are doing. That Cat and I are being elitist. That them getting T8.5 badge gear so easily doesn't cheapen our guild's achievements - but I disagree. In fact, I think it completely invalidates all the hard work everyone put into Ulduar. I know that Blizz probably doesn't want to mean it like this, but what they're essentially saying is, "The work you did means nothing. Now, go along onto the next tier and beat your heads against that - although it will mean nothing in due time, just like this tier." It's kind of like, what's the point? I know that eventually ALL content is trivialized, due to better gear and higher levels. Most of us can solo Onyxia at this point. There will always be a curve there, which will slowly "invalidate" our accomplishments - it's unavoidable. But letting inexperienced players acquire the same gear that we spent a LONG time to get, mere months after we've gotten it, is a delibrate and acute steepening of that curve. And I don't think it's necessary.

Imagine you get a new job. You're a hard worker. You do your homework. You come to work prepared and give your all. Your boss starts to consider you for a promotion, but tells you you have to do a few months more of good work before he'll give it to you. So you work even harder. You hand in reports that you've slaved over, only to have them thrown back into your face, with a sneer of "They're not good enough. Do 'em again." You redo them. You redo them AGAIN. After months of hard work, you finally, finally, get that promotion, and man does it feel good. People are congratulating you left and right. You're known as that "awesome hard working guy" in your company, or whatever.

Now fastforward a few months. You're enjoying your hard-earned rewards, and you've actually got your eye on another promotion. Now, enter Bill. Hi Bill! Bill is a complete slob and a douche bag, and suddenly, he's got the same job as you. He's working on the other side of the company, so you don't see him often, but he's in a mirror position of yours. The difference between you and Billyboy, however, is that Bill came into the company about 2 weeks ago. He did no work, his reports are shit, he's never even seen the kind of problems that you've had to solve for this company, and yet - the boss just DECIDES to promote him. Why the hell not. WTF?! What about all the hard work YOU did?

I think I'd be pretty pissed.

Why is Blizzard doing this? Let me copy-paste what my guildmate Poggrid so eloquently said on our forums:

"1. Lessen gear gaps.
2. More attractive to roll alts.
3. More attractive to people coming back after some time off from the game.
4. Farming the hell out of each tier no longer necessary before moving on to the next. Blizzard wants all their content to be experienced."

And I can understand ALL of these reasons. I might not agree with all of them, but from a business standpoint, I can understand them.

I suppose Cat and I are getting mad at the wrong people. It's not the alts or new players that get those Emblems of Conquest from Violet Hold that are at fault, really. It's more of the entire WotLK Blizz mentality that's getting us riled up - that all content should be available to all players. While I think that it's great that many players can see many instances, it's actually alienating the hardcore raider base, and catering more to casuals (omg who hasn't heard that phrase before).

They need to find a happy medium, and I'm not really sure how best they can achieve this. They've been striving for it with "normal modes" and "hard modes", but it doesn't seem to ring true for most hardcore raiding guilds. A quote from Keeva, from this post (a great post, btw, you should check it out):

"As a hardcore raider though, I have lost most of my interest in hard mode fights because I do see them as the same old content with an extra gimmick or two thrown in to keep us occupied for a little longer. Of course they're challenging, but it's still the same boss, just made more annoying."
And it's true. And what do you get from Hard Modes, anyhow? A sense of accomplishment, true, which is nice (I know that once we get I Choose You, Steelbreaker in our 10 man, we're going to be ecstatic =D). An achievement that no one will really notice unless they look you up. A shot at some better gear, that odds are you won't be able to even wear (ohay guys moar plate dropped lol). And the gear isn't going to visibly look much different than what everyone else has, either. The only real distinguishable thing in the game right now is Val'anyr, which, even if you're worthy of it, most likely won't go to you, because there are lots of worthy healers in any given guild, and only one can really receive it, unless you're clearing Ulda on mostly hard modes every single week. That was very much a run on sentence.

And now I feel like I've rambled a bit here. I wanna know how you guys feel about this change to Emblems of Conquest.

PS: I'd sell all your Runed Orbs soon, because after the patch, their cost is going to plummet on the Auction House. =P

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26 remarks:

Sylveria said...

I've raided both in vanilla wow and TBC. I had the spare time back then to dedicate to raiding. At this point in my life I don't have the spare time anymore due to school. The new badges would help me out a lot since I don't have the time.

There was a post in /hug about this topic and I agree with it 100%
http://www.slashhug.net/3-2-is-stealin-mah-epics/

pantalaimon06 said...

I'd probably be more annoyed if badge gear wasn't complete garbage for clothies - after buying both tier pieces with Badges of Conquest, I literally have nothing else to use them for. And no chance of seeing some random idiot in Dalaran tricked out in gear to match mine :P

Yup, definitely elitist here!

Averna said...

@Sylveria: Thanks for the pointing out that link! It was a good read, although I'm inclined to disagree with /hug, actually. I know you don't have the time, which is totally understandable, but I think you should have to put in a LITTLE more effort than just 5 man heroics (which I think most will agree are pretty easy and not very time consuming - even for someone in lvl 77 gear) to get to the same level as guilds that have been raiding for months and months, multiple times a week.

@Pant: Sure, the badge loot isn't AS good as some of the drops in Ulda, but it's certainly more than enough to get them ready for T9.5 raiding without ever having to step into a raiding instance.

spinksville said...

It's all a bit 'huh?' here. I can see what they're trying to do, and it'll be great for alts or new 80s. I do totally get you with the "So what was the point again?" vibes though, even though we're not in any way a hardcore raid group. And Ulduar-10 giving the same badges as heroics? (I repeat, "Huh?")

All I can think now is that Blizzard have been making it very very clear right from the beginning of Wrath what they intended to do with raids. They will start being tuned hard(ish), they will be nerfed so that less hardcore people can complete them. There will be special hard modes for more hardcore challenges. That's how it's going to be.

If anyone failed to see that or thought they didn't really mean it, you only have yourself to blame. And yes, hardcore raiding now just means that you cleared an instance a few months before the rest of us. People are going to have to decide if they're cool with that or not.

Thing is, I still enjoy Ulduar. I like raiding there. None of this really affects that for me.

Burlapen said...

There will always be a curve there, which will slowly "invalidate" our accomplishments - it's unavoidable.

I don't know about you, but my sense of accomplishment isn't diminished when someone else achieves the same thing, months later, with assistance. I remember my hard work, I remember the feeling of accomplishment, and if I wanted to walk around smugly waving my epeen down at the baddies beneath me, I'd join a hardcore raiding guild.

Kudos to the terribles who finally get a chance to see my sloppy seconds when I'm making progress in the next big instance. I wish them the best of luck.

More importantly, though, is the fact that my alt can get some ok gear without me having to run that old content that I already cleared through the first time (back when it mattered). I give thanks to Bliz for it.

I'd type more, but I have to go run Naxx25 with my alt on a saturday afternoon because it's the only way I can currently hope to be useful to my guild with it. *sigh*

Icedragon said...

Welcome back, Badge of Justice! We have missed your failure so much.

pantalaimon06 said...

@Averna's @Pant: Thing is, the gear *is* still subpar. If they couldn't beat T8.5 with Naxx gear, they won't be able to stand a chance at anything in 9.5 with badge gear, because Naxx gear was frankly, way too good.

As a previous commentor mentioned, what's wrong with nerfing the *content* so the baddies can see old raids, instead of buffing their gear so they can still get owned by a skillcheck in said old raids? There was absolutely nothing wrong, in my view, with 2.4's SWP nerfs.

Brian said...

The way I look at gear, unless they start making items with "+10 moving out of the fire", making the gear itself more accessible doesn't cheapen the accomplishment of people who raid well...because gear ISN'T the accomplishment.

If someone is too crummy of a raider to get Ulduar drops, allowing them to farm heroic 5-mans for Ulduar level gear won't make them any less of a crappy raider. They'll just be a crappy raider without the excuse of having bad gear. The gear itself may have been cheapened, but the skill required to use it well has not.

As more and more content is introduced, the higher tier content will become inaccessible to someone who hasn't been raiding all along. If they are new to the game, or roll an alt, or whatever, it is very difficult to "catch" the gear level of people who have been gearing up their toons for months. Not everyone who has bad gear is a bad player, which is exactly the point here, I think.

When Blizzard says they want raiding more "accessible", THIS is the best way they could be going about it. By making the gear requirements easier to meet, it can be more about skill and less about having farmed the previous tier of content to death.

And that's why I don't see this change as a bad thing, because the skill component is still there. This is MUCH better than yet another nerf to difficulty, because good gear doesn't make you a good player. If people suck with the gear they have access to now, handing them easier upgrades won't make them any better. But a good player who just hit 80 a few weeks ago has a chance to see (and do well in!) higher end content instead of begging for Naxx runs to gear up first.

At the end of the day, this means that WoW can be a game less about gear obsession and more about whether or not you can play. And that is just fine by me.

Brian said...

@spinksville:

Except this isn't really a difficulty nerf. There are certain parts of raiding that are gear checks, but the vast majority of what makes raids easy or difficult has to do with something other than gear.

Being able to understand complex fights, following instructions, reacting quickly to changing situations, and paying attention to not standing in the fire are all vital skills you need for raiding that no amount of gear is going to give you.

Jong said...

"I wanna know how you guys feel about this change to Emblems of Conquest."

it's stu00p1d!! I hate it! make them stop.

Averna said...

@Brian: I agree that crappy players will still be crappy players, no matter what gear they wear and how they got it. I guess that I still think even the GOOD players should have to work a little to get those emblems. I'm not talking full fledged Naxx 25 --> Ulduar 10 --> Ulduar 25 --> FINALLY the 3.2 instance type progression here when I say "work". I'm just saying it would make sense to have them run a raid, Naxx10, say, rather than ridiculously easy 5 man heroics. Even if they're good players.

@Jong: /pat.

Anonymous said...

@ Averna:

I guess that I still think even the GOOD players should have to work a little to get those emblems. I'm just saying it would make sense to have them run a raid, Naxx10, say, rather than ridiculously easy 5 man heroics. Even if they're good players.

But... they've done that already, on their mains. And if they're brand new, what is the difference between following directions in, say, H HoS vs. following directions in Naxx10? Why the line? You've agreed that the gear isn't going to change whether they're skilled or not; why the arbitrary hoop-jumping through old content just to participate in the current?

The thing is, I understand wanting people to work for it; I even understand feeling a little snubbed that YOU had to work harder for something that someone else can get easier now. The thing is, it's trivial now; they don't get to experience the accomplishment rush you did, because it was handed to them. And the stuff you'll be working on when this goes through? If they're bad, you're gonna beat that before them, too. If they're good, they'll be right there with you, the only difference being that they made a new toon and/or started the game later than you. Why should they be punished for that?

Remember when you started playing - think about that feeling of inferiority as you scrambled to play "catch up" with the raider core that was several tiers ahead of you. It wasn't possible for you to raid with your guild in a progression sense not because you weren't skilled enough, but simply based on when you started playing. You had to wait for a level cap increase and a gear reset to have a shot. This eases that boundary from future players.

It doesn't take away the accomplishments of those who did it first, when it was relevant, but it does enable those "late bloomers", if you will, to participate in their guild events without having to wait for the next xpac first.

Brian said...

@Averna:

Yeah, while I like the general idea Blizzard had here...I think they may have taken it too far. Bumping up the emblems you get ONE level would have helped make it easier to gear up without making it TOO easy. If 5-man instances dropped Valor emblems, and the raids dropped all conquest, that would be a reasonable compromise, I think.

Even with my argument before, I admit I'm a little peeved that pretty soon ridiculously easy 5-man dungeons like Nexus and UK will give BETTER emblems than what I've been getting from Ulduar-10.

Ankt said...

@ Brian - It won't give better emblems until that same Ulda10 is "old content" and you're working on a new tier. They *are* compromising, because this change isn't going through until the next tier is released.

Think of it like an arena season - when the new tier comes out, the old tier becomes easier to obtain, because it's not the best anymore. That's exactly what's happening here.

Averna said...

@Anon - sure, I don't think they should have to play catch up. And yes, when I was a new 70, it WAS a bitch trying to meet reqs - and I think it should be easier now to meet those T9.5 reqs - but not by running 5 man heroics. Also, the different between running in a 10 man raid and a 5 man instance for new people are is pretty huge. In a 10 (or 25) man raid, you typically take directions from a raid leader, and you have 9 (or 24) other people to keep track of (thinking from a healy perspective here). In a 5 man, you have one tank and 3 dps to keep track of, and there's less formal instruction that goes out.

@Brian: "If 5-man instances dropped Valor emblems, and the raids dropped all conquest, that would be a reasonable compromise, I think."

Totally agree with you there.

Ankt said...

@ Averna - Oh, I understand the numerical and tactical difference between a 5m and a 10m; that's not what I mean. When I said what is the difference, I guess I'm trying to understand *how it affects you at all* if someone gets a shot at something you've already done three months after you, or four months after you? How does that month difference, which is already so far past the fact as to be a dim memory (do you remember your first Ulda run in stunning HD detail? I know I don't), affect your own accomplishments? Especially so far from when YOU made said accomplishments?

They're not gonna be in the same gear as you, they're gonna be in badge loot - the LK equiv. of TBC's AH raider.

If they don't suck, they'll replace it quickly with better gear, and be running side by side with you in no time (I know you can come up with at least a few old guildies who might be back by then). If they do suck, they'll still suck, regardless of the iLvl on their gear, and everyone will know it.

Meanwhile, you'll be in dope Yogg gear and wielding a legendary mace. How does that "invalidate" your experience? How does that cheapen your past victories?

Brian said...

One other thing that occurred to me about this change that's a big help to druids in particular is the ability to use the newly plentiful emblems to gear up for an off-spec. Right now I have good tree gear and good cat gear, but pretty blah moonkin gear and virtually no bear gear. If I want to switch roles, it will be a lot easier to get the right gear for it with these changes.

Bell said...

I'm inclined to agree with you, Averna. It doesn't make sense that someone who is farming heroics will suddenly outgear my druid who is beating their head against the progression wall.

I don't -want- another reason to go into Naxx. But if they start dropping conquest badges I may have to for progression's sake...

Two said...

I'm only a very casual player and have never even been in Ulduar so maybe this will give me a chance to get some amazing gear, but at the same time I agree that it is far to soon to take credit away from those that got it the hard way, if these changes had happened in a year I could understand as hard core raiders would have moved on to higher things.

SuicidalPriest said...

I've been a raider in top guilds on my server (always top 5, if not 3 I think). And it has become easier for casual players to raid. Gear wise and time consuming wise. The other day I was running a heroic and this paladin said "ow, my priest main has almost the same gear as you" I looked him up and WTF? He's in the most crappy guild on the server and indeed wearing similar gear... What's up with that? Well... I guess they won't say that anymore with Val'anyr huh? But it's insane, new people can get gear so easily it's insane. We gear up alts in a week and they're so nicely geared it's crazy!

Faulsey said...

Oh, Bell made a great point there - given that Emblems of Conquest will drop from Heroics, couldn't people who don't really like doing them end up feeling forced they have to, if they are stuck on a boss, and need the gear?

There's also the "people who only do five man content don't -need- 25 man Ulduar gear," which whilst slightly elitist, is -true.-

Like others have said, I'd be happier with it if they instead bumped everything up a tier, if they really have to - Valor from Heroics/Naxx10, Conquest from Naxx25/Uld10 etc.

Ankt said...

@ Bell - but they won't outgear you. This won't happen for months. If you're pushing progression right now, think of where you'll be in two months.

Now, maybe you're in a 10m guild, and don't have access to 25m stuff. THAT is something about which to get upset. THAT is what is screwing you, not this badge change. TBC was the same way - if you wanted a serious raid experience, well, you had to have a 25m raiding guild. Do I think that 10m runs should be just as challenging? Yes. Do I understand that, for the most part, 25m runs will have better gear? Yes.

@ Two: The changes aren't happening until the next Tier comes out, and the hardcores will be downing that content while the slow/bad/new/alts have access to gear that will allow them ENTRY into Ulduar, which will still be old content at that point. It doesn't even the field, it gives them a chance to see content that the elite guilds aren't running anymore.

In a year we'll be gearing up for the next xpac which, if the past is anything to show, is gonna include a level cap increase and a gear reset - now THAT is what I call invalidating.

Sacrovir said...

Hi,

A lot of interesting points. Maybe i missed it somewhere but nobody has mentioned the paralled with PVP gear. This becomes increasingly better over time for essentially the same work - invalidating all work the hard core (dare i say "more skilled"? :) ) arena teams did too.

I dont know if it means anything but its an interesting parallel which throws a different light on us PVE'ers when we react in this way to something which is quite normal to the PVP crowd.

thanners said...

My main interest in the game is being able to see content, go up against these challenges with my friends, and try to overcome them. So, for me, the actual doing is the part I enjoy, and the loot is secondary. I want loot merely so I can get a chance at the next challenge, to experience more encounters.

So, I tend not to be irritated when things become simplified, whether it's being able to travel quicker, sooner, or nerfing defias in westfall, or reducing the volume of trolls in Zul'Farak, or better gear being more easily attainable. If anything, I only feel pity that other (new, non-alt) people won't get the chance to feel the same experience and sense of accomplishment that I did, when I did it "the hard way".

This also works the other way. When I'm behind the curve, and things get nerfed before I get a chance to do them, I do feel disappointed that I will never get the chance to experience a raid in quite the same way as the hardcore raiders did. Oh sure, I'll get through it, get my loots, whatever, but I'll have missed my chance to do it that way. But then I just say, "fine. I missed out on doing (whatever) while it was still a challenge. Let's get it done, and try to catch up so I can be closer to the 'cutting edge' for when the next challenge comes along"

The issue, then, is whether they nerf things too much, too soon. And I think that varies from player to player. I do think personally they are making things a little too easy too quick, but I guess more casual (or bad) players than I might think it's great. Or heck, not enough. And obviously the more skilled/hardcore players than I will think the opposite.

Anonymous said...

The "emblem of Conquest in heroics" deal is typical of Blizzard and not surprising to me.

There were many similar scenarios in the 70 endgame, where something you worked your tail off for, was suddenly a lot easier to acquire after a patch. Instance attunement was one example. Also look at PvP gear... as a new set of items come out, the requirements for the old set are reduced. This happens every arena season. Or how about when Blizz made PvP gear available for purchase with PvE raid tokens. Something a lot of us might recall is the INSANE quest chain back in BC that we had to go through to get epic flight form. With WotLK you can now just buy it from the trainer.

You'll notice that the way they set things up is that those who want the cool stuff FIRST, will need to work harder than those who wait. Be prepared for more of this, especially when level 90 endgame comes out and all that hard-earned epic level 80 gear gets replaced by 83 greens.

Individually, I am thrilled at this because I don't raid much except for an occasional PUG. I can be saved the trouble, but still get l33t gearz running heroics. I think basically this change will upset the relatively small number of hardcore raiders, and please the masses of heroic-runners or more casual players.
-Aden

Max Grave said...

If your argument is that Heroic dungeons like UK,Nexus are faster than 3 bosses in Ulduar then that depends on the player.

The fastest I've done either (chain pulling) is just under 30 minutes. That's roughly how long it takes to do a wing in Naxxramas if your group or guild aren't distracted ('focused') and being lazy.

But for the average player that pulls cautiously, doesn't go ka pow at 3k dps then it will take 1 hour for 3 conquest badges, no different from doing a raid.

The difference is the function Warcraft performs for the two player base. One playerbase is purely playing the game to relax and have fun, the other is using the game as a replacement for something that's lacking in their life outside of the game.