Thursday, March 27, 2008

Clueless about badges

The patch is happily downloaded and by now I'm pondering about my badges. That will be the subject for today's reflection.

For the time being I have about 150 badges, and I hope to get more in a decent pace. But if I should buy everything I would need about 560 badges, so I have to wrestle my mind, considering how to make the best out of my assets. What would give the best dividend per badge? Where are the bargains?

Unfortunately I don't see any obvious answers. Most of the items won't give me an upgrade on all of the stats, there's always one or another drawback (I guess they've done it intentionally, those cleaver game developers). And one thing is for sure: whatever I chose I'll have to look over all of my gear, to make sure it's got the right composition and the best gems for the new circumstances. I'll need new enchants for sure. So the upgrades won't just cost me badges, but also quite a lot of gold. But of course it's nice looking forward to certain gear upgrades!
The badges loot is debated on some forums. The veterans whine, finding it disturbing that casuals like us will be able to put our hands on gear with almost the same stats as the items that drop in the highest raid instances. They have worked so hard for their drops, and here we come, getting them "almost for free".

Here I've got an objection: the gear is far from free. Of course, if you're a member of a guild that has Kara on farm, giving you the possibility to run the daily heroic three times a week, you'll get about 50 badges a week without any problem. But that's not the way things are for a majority of the players! There are still loads of players that have never put their foot into Karazhan and that are happy if they manage to complete even one single heroic instance in a week.

For these people getting even 60 badges for a ring will be a huge project. And once they get it I think they deserve it just as well as any hardcore raider.

Another thing to remember is that there's a difference in what you feel for a piece of gear that you've had as a drop and something that has been crafted or bought for badges. At least when it comes to me. The drops have always a memory connected to them. Like the Prince dagger. I'll never forget the night I got that one, it was the first time we downed him at all. One of the happiest nights I've had in the game. Now there will be the Scryer's Blade of Focus with slightly better stats to buy for 150 badges. It will hardly be topping my wish list, it's simply a bit too expensive in comparison to the quite small upgrade. But let's say that I eventually will be literary bathing in badges, and actually will buy it. The stats will be better, but something will be missing. The nostalgia. The fact that it's equivalent to about 50 heroic instances won't help, there's nothing to hang up your memories on.

It's the same thing when I inspect others. If I see someone dressed up in badges loot it doesn't tell me anything, except for that he or she has been hard-working. Specific drops from raid bosses is a completely different thing. Aha! You've taken down the xx-boss in the x-instace. Cool!

So even though I guess it will be more common to see players in full epic gear with great stats, I don't think it will diminish the value or feeling of the gear that has been acquired by hard work in raid instances.

The badge loot is only a threat for players with very low self esteem. It gives more guilds the possibility to come a little further in the game before the expansion than they would have else. And why should you not let them do that?

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