Emblems, badges and raiders

Gather round for a story without novelty or shock value. It is by no means news to anybody that all the various badges and emblems will be turned into just one currency. Which will then be exchangeable for other currencies, to access the buyable loot from the old vendors. So effectively, we get the best badges and we will be able to downgrade them into the earlier versions, to access the earlier loot.

Statement the first: The change will make 5-man dungeon heroics viable again, and it will ease the gearing for the more casual of raiders

Statement the second: The change will water down the achievements of raiders, and will give people undeserved of the endgame gear a source of welfare epics.

These are essentially the two camps that we will find when looking at various fora and boards dealing with WoW. Whichever camp you belong to, there are many good reasons pro and contra, on either side. Most vocal are the hardcore raiders, who feel like Blizz have gone ahead and watered down their achievements as raiders. In other words…their hard won gear will now be every mans possession. So whats the point of even raiding, if you can sleep your way through heroics instead?

To that I say: Quit your self righteous drivel and get with the program.

Sound harsh? It possibly is, but so is your opinion that only the “true and worthy” deserve to own the nicest gear and see the nicest places. Essentially, you are advocating a tiered online community, where we have the “haves” and “have nots”. Oversimplified? It’s not as if the raiders who populate world first guilds are exactly sleeping their way through instances. While a very good point, it is an antiquated way of thinking in the current world of Achievements. You arent defined by gear anymore (and havent been since the Sunwell badge frenzy)…you are defined by the date on your achievement. If anything.

Back in the days of Vanilla, a full tier set was a status symbol, just like the rare mounts are today, and you’d see people in the capitals parading their armour for hours. And this tradition is still prevalent, even if it is on the decline. The emblems changes is a further nail in the coffin of the status-gear.

In its purest form: Blizzard have made a boatload of content, and a further boatload of gear in the content. What many people seem to fail to realise is, that gear is a means to an end, not the sole end itself. There’s no denying that we all want to be decked in epics, but epic gear should be a “cosmetic” status symbol rather than the status symbol.

Furthermore, the changes to emblems will resurrect the venerable 5-man dungeon as a worthwhile use of limited WoW time. They have been sidelined in Wrath, to a point where you currently only find alts in these, the most classic of WoW dungeons.

This has probably veered way off track by now, so congratulations if you’ve made it this far. As a conclusion, I shall return to the story promised in the intro to this post:

Once upon a time, there was a level 1 character. This was a young world, where the elementals below Blackrock, and the dragons above, were the biggest threat to the land. But even these creatures seemed far off and distant, mere  rumours and legends. But there were more immediate threats to be fought, communities to be saved, caves to be explored, cultists and criminals to be fought. And the call soon went out to the heroes across the land:

“Gather ye 4 companions, and venture forth into the dark places of this world, to bring justice and safety back to our lands.”


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