Badge Non-Change

The announced change to the badge system could be a non-factor or a vast improvement depending on what is available for purchase (PvE wise) with the points.

But first, in case you missed it:

“We’re continuing to refine the badge/emblem and PvP point systems in Cataclysm and we’d like to share some of those changes with you today. Please enjoy!

Our primary goal when approaching badges in Cataclysm is to address a lot of the confusion that comes with these currency systems. To that end we’re changing badges to a more straightforward point system, similar to the ones we’ve used for a while for Arenas and Battlegrounds. There will be a total of four types of points you can earn in Cataclysm (two for PvE and two for PvP), and these will remain the same even as we introduce new content.

Here’s the breakdown:

PvE

  • Hero Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most dungeons. (most like the current Emblem of Triumph)
  • Valor Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, as well as a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from Dungeon Finder daily Heroic and from raids. (most like the current Emblem of Frost)


PvP

  • Honor Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most PvP activities.
  • Conquest Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, and a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from winning Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas. (currently called Arena Points)


When a new tier of raiding gear is released or a new PvP season begins, your higher tier of points will be converted into the lower tier. For instance, if a new tier of raid gear is released, your Valor points will be converted to Hero points, and similarly if a new PvP season begins your Conquest points will be converted to Honor points. Of course that means with these new releases you’ll always begin without any of the higher tier of points, and thus be unable to stockpile them.

As noted for Conquest points, the Rated Battlegrounds and Arenas will be sharing this same point type. Because of that, it will in fact be possible to get the best PvP items without setting foot in Arena; however, more powerful armor and weapons will of course require more Conquest points, so players who win their matches more often will still gear up faster. We’re removing personal rating requirements on almost all items; they’re definitely removed for weapons. We might offer a few items to the absolute best players based on personal rating, largely as cosmetic or ‘bragging rights’ type items. And you’ll have the option of purchasing the previous season’s gear with the more readily available Honor points.

We do plan to have a way to convert Honor points (PvP) into Hero points (PvE), and vice versa, at a loss. The conversions will be possible, but it won’t be a 1:1 rate, and you’ll have fewer points after the conversion process. We won’t allow the higher tiers to be exchanged for each other, however.

To explain the reasoning for the weekly cap on points for the higher tiers, this is to provide flexibility in how players choose to earn the points without feeling like they have to do all of the content as often as it is available. If your Valor income from raiding is sufficient, you may not feel the need to run Dungeon Finder every night, or perhaps even at all. Likewise, a PvP player could choose to participate in a lot of Rated Battlegrounds but no Arenas, or focus on both, and still be able to earn the points they want.

We realize that with any changes to progression pathways there are going to be questions. We’re eagerly awaiting any that we may have left unanswered. To the comments!” — Bashiok

My thoughts after the break:

First off, for PvP this isn’t much of a change in regards to honor or arena points; it’s just a different name.  What is different is that you no longer have to do arena, or even high level rated BGs, in order to get current season gear.  This is a very good thing that will greatly help new players get into PvP.  Part of the reason why PvP makes up such a limited number of players in the WoW community is that in Wrath it is just too difficult (compared to PvE) to get gear in order to feel competitive.  (An interesting thing to note is that TBC suffered the exact opposite problem).  Anything to help smooth out that transition is a good thing for the game and for WoW PvP.

Moving onto the changes on the PvE side of things.  The obvious thing to note is that badges as we know them are gone.  The multiple sets of badges have been converted into points much like PvP system has been since TBC.  At the start of Cataclysm the point system will work in the same way that the two tiers of badges did at the start of Wrath.  Where it changes is when a new raiding tier is added.  At that point any top level (Valor Points) remaining will be converted into the lower level points (Hero Points).  The same process goes for PvP points as well but, that isn’t too big of a change over the current system. In fact, it is a clear improvement.  The aim of this system is to prevent players from ‘stock piling’ top level points to immediately spend on the brand new gear. I don’t think much else needs to be said, as it is obvious that not being able to purchase 2-3 pieces of gear first day is a good thing.

Where this becomes interesting is if you consider what types of gear will be available for points.  If they keep the current system where all gear can (must) be purchased with badges/points then this is a non-change.  What I am hoping for is a return to the first few tiers of Wrath where only select pieces could be purchased with badges.  This will help eliminate the problem of old tiers of content becoming completely obsolete.

Now to the ‘Hot Topic’ of this news. Which is that this system will limit the number of Top-Tier points a player can earn in a week.  Many people are complaining about this change and can’t understand why it is needed.  However, the reason why this is a good change is because it will help to alleviate the ‘badge grind’. There won’t be as much need to log in every single day and do your random heroic in order to get your points.  This is not penalizing those who have a lot of time to play each day; it is simply not punishing those who don’t.  My biggest complaint about the late Wrath (3.3 and 3.2) badge/gear system was it turned gearing up into a grind for badges. Simply put, it isn’t fun. Granted, it is fun to get gear and to have a guarantee that you will eventually get it, but having to go through a massive grind sucked.  I would love to see Blizzard move away from that model but, even if they don’t, the point limit will help alleviate it at the very least.

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One Response to “Badge Non-Change”

  1. Pinnick Says:

    Great editorial over the new change, Korzik.

    It’s going to be interesting and although I don’t think it will change much the technical aspect should be a bit simpler.

    All in all, I think I’m going to try to PVP a bit more on my Shaman when the time comes so the idea of PVP gear being more available is something I’m rooting for.

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