Bornakk and the boys addressed several topics in their recent Twitter Chat held last Friday. Most interesting was their response to the badge system in Wrath of the Lich King.
From the Blizzard:
Q. What have you learned from this expansion’s emblem system?
A. Having that many different kind of emblems is overwhelming. In hindsight, we wish we had done maybe 2 emblems: the current tier and the previous tier (Frost and Triumph at the moment). They also felt a tad too grindy when 3.3 first came out before all of the sources of emblems were available.
It would seem to me that a person doing some simple math could have thought of this before they released this new badge system. Before the weekly Icecrown Raids and later wings became available, the maximum number of badges one could obtain in a week was about 35 (14+16+5 I believe) if you did both the 10 and 25 man versions of the first wing. That means if you logged in every day and raided both of those instances (10 and 25 man) you would have enough badges for one item. Barely.
Compounding this, those that would have access (and the desire) to run both modes and a daily every day, are those that more than likely had gear from Trial of the Grand Crusader. Therefore, you would be spending two weeks worth of badges for a probable downgrade. This isn’t counting the various cloaks, belts, saronite for craftables, rings, relics, and trinkets. Many raiders in our guild were saving up badges and not spending them on anything, waiting on tier tokens so that they could upgrade their gear. Basically, they were holding off their gear progression completely instead of supplementing it with the badges.
Releasing some of the Icecrown weekly quests as their wings were opened could have added an additional 5 badges a week, but that hardly would have been enough to stop the grind. Capping badges and doing all sorts of other badge tricks end up just being a math game comparing badge intake to how long you have left. Removing the need for 25 man raiders to even acquire the 251 iLevel Tier 10…now that would have helped.
The question remains: Why not stick with Naxx/Ulduar Model? A few off-set items that can fill a gear hole here and there, but also 4 of the tier tokens on the badge vendors as well as on later bosses. This way, if you get a bad streak of RNG for your token, you can fall back on badges, not require your raid to farm every possible frost badge they can gobble up.
The real problem with the above question/answer is really a reflection of this entire expansion. Please, Blizzard, pick a badge, loot, and hard mode system for Cataclysm and stick with it. Even if it’s the Tier 10 or Tier 9 version. Throwing raid leaders for a loop on how they should manage their raids every single tier is not fun or interesting.