As I have posted before, 5-man content is probably my favorite content. Give me a good guild group, and heroics are the most awesome fun that you can have. Hell, even Suckulus was fun, if really frustrating. WotLK did a lot of great things with 5-mans. The length is ideal, they’re fast-paced, they’re diverse. Good job. On the other hand, I personally find it too easy to get into heroics, people diving on the first day at 80 is common, and for a casual player it takes away some of my personal sense of progression. The latter might just be me.
The reward ratio for running heroics is great. You get Emblems of Heroism, and the gear drops are clearly superior to normal instances, and sometimes on-par with 10-man raid drops. The emblem gear offers a relatively small selection of great items to gear up with, including T7 tokens for the perpetually unlucky or those who’d rather not count on RNG to get their bonuses. I personally was never concerned about the low number of things you could buy for your emblems, I reckoned the emblem vendors would receive fresh gear sometime. It’s here where I was completely wrong apparently.
In 3.1, Blizzard is introducing the Emblem of Conquest. Said emblems will drop in the new 25-mans, that is Ulduar and whoever that new Wintergrasp boss is going to be eventually. People who run Ulduar-10 will get Emblems of Valor off every boss, the currency that’s currently used in all existing 25-mans. Ulduar-10 raiders are supposed to gear up with the Valor reward gear that current 25-man raiders are already wearing. There will be no gear on either the Valor and the Heroism vendors.
What does this mean for the crowd that likes to run heroics? It means that you will sit on a large pile of emblems that you can only use to buy heirloom items for twinks, blue gems (which will likely go worthless when epic gems are released), or frozen orbs. I’m already at a point where I have spent emblems on everything that I wanted and am now only pondering offspec gear. I understand the reason, I do. It’s to fight the battle of complaints from the raiding hardcore, how casuals were able to get gear on par with T5 without ever setting foot into SSC or Tempest Keep. Badge-farming in Kara was hip back then, easy content rushed through for badges. I mean, when WotLK hit I was wearing all the Sunwell badge gear, some pretty great pieces of gear. I am not crying because I want uber-awesome epics for my heroics fun-time. I just want something more, something new for people who primarily run heroics. Fun-toys, non-combat pets, something.
The emblem change has already taken the wind out of my sails in regards to running heroics. I just got the Northrend Dungeon Hero achievement. I could try the heroic achievements for the proto-drake, but that’s about it. I won’t be the only one feeling like that. The raiders certainly won’t want to run heroics at all, why bother? For me it makes heroics pointless, until they add more 5-mans, if that’s in the books at all.
Will you continue to run heroics when 3.1 hits the live realms?