The Badge Cap

So over the past couple of weeks WoW community has been swimming in the flooding of information caused by the Cataclysm beta test. And while many blogs, fan sites and forum posters have been expressing their opinions over the new spells, zones, talents etc, I find that one of my favorite features has been almost forgotten.

The weekly point/badge cap. Simply put, the good people at Blizzard will implement a hard cap on the number of top-tier badges (or as they will be called in Cataclysm – points) you can earn per week. How this mechanic plays out during Cataclysm raiding I don’t know, nobody does. But lets look at present situation.Currently such a cap doesn’t exist. The full inventory of Frost badges you can get per week is pretty mind-blowing once you do the math. For every level 80 toon you have there is:
– An ICC10 lockout, full to the brim with 11 bosses each worth 2 badges, the big baddie Lich king worth staggering 3 badges plus an extra ICC weekly quest worth 5 badges
– An ICC25 lockout, again sporting 11 bosses each worth 2 badges plus LK worth 3 and the 5 badge ICC weekly quest
– The weekly raid quest picked up in Dalaran worth 5 badges
– Toravon on 10man and 25man difficulty – 2 badges each
– The LFD tool’s Random Daily Heroic – 2 badges per day
– And now we got Ruby Sanctum as well sporting the chance to get 5 badges on each difficulty.

That’s a grand total of 93 frost emblems per week per character. Now if you think that should make gearing a fresh 80  a breeze, well think again. To min/max the frost badge gain that’s 7 raid groups and 7 5man groups each week.  If tou don’t actually live in Azeroth that might be a little excessive.

The big problem with this is that the ones suffering from this are the hardcore players, the I-dinged-80-and-in-2-weeks-I-am-doing-ICC-hardmodes types, those that feel the need to get geared ASAP. I myself for several months was using every opportunity to get every frost I could get just to complete my shadow T10 and then my discipline T10. And boy did it burn. It burned a lot.

The main culprit for me was the Random Heroic. It’s unrestrictive nature simply lures me into doing it on every 80 I have every day. Otherwise it’s 2 frost badges wasted right? Well yes but it’s also an almost-forced participation in an event I did not like in the first place. If you want to have an 80 decked in raiding gear, then you’ll just have to spend 15-25 minutes each day on each 80 you have slaving in Heroics.

And this is where we return to the weekly badge cap. It’s not meant to be restrictive or to pace out the speed at which players get the new gear to keep new raids relevant for longer. It’s meant to give a break for those of us compulsive enough to feel the need to use every opportunity possible to get better gear. For example, if currently there was a, lets say, 60-frosts-per-week cap, the to-do-list of a compulsive player becomes much shorter and most importantly he can pick and choose what to do. One could get away by showing up just on raid nights for ICC25 and then clearing ICC10 on a weekend and nobody needn’t feel like missing out on anything or falling behind on gear-race.

This cap puts the choice back into the hardcore players hands. Just as the casual player can choose what he wants to do to improve his gear, so can the hardcore player. You don’t need to log in every day just to do Random Heroic. Just do what you like best and if that’s not enough – well you’ve done a 1000 randoms already, 1 more won’t kill you.

The name of the game with this change seems to be freedom. Both casual players and hardcore raiders get to choose how to gear up and at the end of the day that’s a good thing.


~ by Shale on July 16, 2010.

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