I’m a casual player in a casual PvE guild (around 70-ish server rank in 10-man progression), so the way raid progression and badge gear interact in WLK is designed to suit me, right? Still, I don’t like it much. Here’s a little story: When I hit 70 back in TBC, shortly before the Kara nerf, I met this guy who was gearing up his 5th alt, and he had geared them all up starting from Kara, through Gruul and Maggi, ZA, etc. up to BT. Good players were still running these raids on their alts, and everyone had to go through raid progression in order to gear up.
The way badge rewards for 5-man heroics are upgraded with each patch in WLK kills this progression. It not only makes the scrubs who never even survived the Heigan dance flood into PuGs for ToC and ICC with their badge gear, making all ya pros whine. It also makes it impossible for a casual like myself to properly experience the progression. I missed out on half of Ulduar when it still made sense to run it, because my guild had some scheduling problems and I was having other things to do. Even with the 2T8 and 226 badge gear plus 219 Coliseum loot in 3.2, there wasn’t much of a point in Ulduar 10 for gearing up any more, and now come 3.3, it’s simply no longer eligible. Which means that I’ll never see any of the 8 bosses I didn’t see in 3.1 / early 3.2, at least not in a normal raid situation. Maybe I’ll join a “tourist run” at some point but that’s not the same as beating the content (which I’m ridiculously overgeared for now anyway).
Yeah I know, most of you don’t even consider normal modes as beating the content (or at least so they claim), but my point is: The badge gear upgrades are not good for casuals either. What I propose Blizzard should have done:
- Let standard 5-man heroics keep rewarding heroism badges.
- Let ToC 5-man heroic reward conquest badges.
- Let the ICC 5-mans heroic reward triumph badges.
- Only sell T8.0 for badges (like they did with T7 and T9)
- Only sell two pieces of T9 for badges (like they did with T7 and T8)
That way, it would still make sense to run Naxx 10 and Ulduar 10, instead of just shortcutting via random heroics. Still, casuals who are unable to do Ulduar 10 in Naxx 10 gear could use ToC 5-man and ICC 5-mans to gear up a little before hitting Ulduar. But they can’t just run random heroics for two days straight and emerge in 4T9 + 245 item level gear, which strips away any motivation to still do the lower raids.