Badges suck, Draenai confuse, and Pandas (presumably) Kung their Fu – the roundup

Lots of good posts today, and I’ve already selfishly taken up one spot talking about people getting their legs broken for Diablo III swords. So, it’s that time again – time for an awesome post roundup!

  • Pandas. Srsly. The Dead Good Tanking Guide has an, erm, dead good piece on the “Mists of Pandaria” possible expansion. “The gloom that has wrapped around me with Cataclysm has lifted, just a little, since thinking about what “Mists of Pandaria” could imply.” They actually make it sound good!
  • Cynwise continues the new trend of “playing WoW with your kids”, talking about just how confusing Azuremist Isle actually is, all the major time boo-boos, and what could be done about it“Dad, what do you mean they changed some parts of the story but not others? How can a story work like that? Why didn’t they change it to all fit? What are development resources? Why? Why?”
  • Big Bear Butt achieves the impossible – he actually makes the Firelands daily quests sound fun “And they’ve got this blazing phoenix flight form too, it makes me swoon with desire. Have you seen them flying around in that form, leaving blazing contrails across the sky?”. (Bonus points for making one quest sound absolutely filthy.)
  • Kurn is having an absolutely fascinating dilemma – she’s starting to think that voice chat actually makes her a worse player. “I still feel as though my play is lacking and although I have all this other stuff to take into consideration (raid leader stuff, etc), I’m not convinced that it’s not just pure laziness stemming from voice communication being available to me.”
  • And finally, Procrastination Amplification makes me facepalm with the news that in SWTOR, all loot will be purchasable with badges – “All items that bosses can drop will also be available in stores for badges? This is the epitome of boring loot. Do you know how people say that if you never take any risks you never get the chance of good things happening to you? “

Do you love badges? Understand Azuremist Isle? Still hate the idea of pandas? Find voice makes you smarter? Or just not want spiders to spew their sticky fluid on you? Comment below.

All quotes taken directly from their respective articles.

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A Brief History Of Badges

Well, OK, not that brief. But very, very interesting.

Shintar of Priest With A Cause has been looking over the history of badges in WoW, from the very start with Badgers, sorry, Badges of Justice in TBC, all the way to the Valor/Justice point musical chairs in 4.2, and discussing the gameplay and game balance effects of each change Blizzard made.

And it’s a lot of changes.

By 3.2 everyone could tell that non-raiders were starved for some sort of progression and that it was getting hard to gear up new players for raiding, but when 3.3 gave them even better gear so soon afterwards, it might have seemed too soon for many. The shift in emblem rewards being geared towards raiders and becoming more important than actual raid drops also made it look like dungeon runners were effectively being given raid rewards without raiding.

This is interesting when we compare it to the situation back when the tier six equivalent badge rewards were introduced at the end of Burning Crusade. As I mentioned above, there was some QQ from raiders back then as well, but it wasn’t nearly as bad. I think the important difference is that even though both raiders and dungeon runners used the same badges to buy items, the overall loot focus for raiders was still on drops, and those were strictly separate. A raider might scoff at the idea of a non-raider having access to an item that was as good as raid gear, but it still wasn’t the same as raid gear.

It’s a long and very complete telling, and I certainly found it a major trip down memory lane – I remember the excitement I felt when, as a non-raider, I learned that I could start to pick up raid-level gear in new dungeons like Magister’s Terrace.

It’s also a really interesting overview of the design decisions Blizzard have made all the way through WoW’s history. Have they learned a Better Way to do badges? Or are they just adapting to whatever pushes players through content the most efficiently? It’s hard to tell.

A great and thought-provoking read. Check it out.

_Quotes taken directly from Shintar’s post.

Find Priest With A Cause’s homepage at http://priestwithacause.blogspot.com/_

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