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Posts with tag emblems

The evolution of zerg dungeon farming

When one considers how dungeons and heroic dungeons will work in Cataclysm, one of the first elements to consider is the way that dungeons have functioned since World of Warcraft's release. I find it illuminating to consider that one of the most complained-about aspects of dungeon running in Wrath of the Lich King seems to my eyes to be a consequence of a successful series of design changes.

We've all heard the complaints about groups treating the dungeons and heroics of the Wrath era as chores, five- to 15-minute frenzied runs through the place, annihilating everything in the path of five silent, grim harbingers of death. No nuance, no subtlety, and no strategy. Crowd control? Crowds are controlled by their own grim, horrible demises. When considered in this light, these dungeons seem less like adventures and more like unfortunate victims of beings who invade and despoil.

However, the reason for this is fairly simple. In Wrath, dungeons have been wildly successful at two very difficult tasks.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Addon Spotlight: Grab bag 2

Addon Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, raaaaaaandom addons!

You are cordially invited to another wonderful Addon Spotlight Grab bag extravaganza! Next week, I'll be talking about the Cataclysm in-game ability notification system that Blizzard is working on. That would have been this week, if my beta wasn't screwing up and I didn't get all the pictures and potentially video required for a proper post for you fine readers. Instead, you get a grab bag of fun, useful and downright crucial addons that might not be the biggest guys of the bunch, but they definitely do ... something. Plus, "grab bag" is fun to say.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

WoW Rookie: Emblem gear for the fresh level 80

New around here? We've got your back! See all our collected tips, tricks and how-to's for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

Emblems of this, emblems of that ... What are all these emblems that everyone swears you simply must have once you hit level 80? WoW Rookie's got your back with the basics. An advanced, comprehensive path to the best gear for your class and spec to raid in? No, not really. A down-and-dirty orientation to which of these currencies matters most to you as a new level 80? Absolutely.

First, understand this: There's more to gearing at level 80 than emblem gear. Questing, instance drops, reputation gear, BoEs from the auction house and crafted pieces all play a role in your evolving gear set. Get your feet wet with our fresh 80's guide to getting started in 5-mans. If you especially enjoy digging your way through and savoring all the content, if you're a completist or if you're making your way toward raiding at something less than today's typically breakneck pace, you'll want to explore all of these options as you build your character.

If you're headed straight for end-game raiding, you'll want to focus on emblem gear. Emblems are probably the single most important tool for vaulting yourself to raid readiness. That's not to say that the other options are without merit; you'll definitely want to shore up your kit with non-emblem items. But emblem gear offers a clear, reliable, seamless path from level 80 right into raiding. Let's see how it all comes together.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Totem Talk: Enhancement trinkets


Currently Stoneybaby is trying to come up with witty article titles and failing miserably due to a splitting headache, so "Enhancement X" will have to suffice for this week. And yes Rich Maloy lives and loves enhancement. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 4 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Since last week's weapons column went off with slightly less trolling than normal, I'm going to push my luck with another article about gearing. Today's topic: trinkets.

Trinkets are not nearly as hard to acquire as weapons. Unless of course the RNG gods hate you and Death's Choice/Verdict drops only once in your guild in all of the god-forsaken months you spend in ToC and the first time it dropped you passed to a hunter who really needed the upgrade and you thought to yourself I'll be a good leader and let someone else win because it will drop again and I'll get it next time only it doesn't drop again ever and you're convinced the RNG gods do in fact hate you so you wrap yourself in your towel and rock yourself gently to sleep.

Thinking back on that, maybe trinkets are a bit hard to acquire. Thankfully for us, one of enhancement's best-in-slot trinkets is very easy to come by.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Queue: Elephants


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.


Re: the title -- unlike them, I do forget. To write The Queue.


Wil asked...

"Is Blizzard considering making emblems bind-to-account? For someone who's got multiple alts (and intends to level more), this would be a godsend. What would be the pros and cons of such a change?"

Blizzard has said that they intend for emblems to be an endgame, character-specific reward. Heirlooms, purchasable with said emblems, are a secondary reward to help your alts get to the point of being able to get their own badges.

Will this change for Cataclysm, though? Do we ever really know the answer to that?


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Filed under: The Queue, Cataclysm

Have emblems ruined heroics? (Hint: no)

Ardol has made a compelling post at World of Warcraft Philosophized, a blog which I can't remember adding to my feed reader, but which I'm now glad I (evidently) did, arguing that the current emblem system has ruined heroic instances. You should go read the whole post if you can, because it's well written, but here's his argument in a nutshell, as I understand it:
  • A player who mainly runs heroics will quickly amass many Emblems of Triumph, thereby becoming easily overgeared for all but the most challenging heroics (i.e. Halls of Reflection). This makes them much less fun.
  • Raid-oriented players who are running heroics just for the two Emblems of Frost at the end are not very fun to run with.
He also proposes a solution: five-man instances should be ordered into tiers, like raids, and should award emblems on the same schedule as raids do. The first part of this suggestion is already partially implemented: Trial of the Crusader already came with Trial of the Champion, and Icecrown Citadel with the Frozen Halls trio of instances. But Ulduar did not have any attendant five-mans, and the same quality of emblems drop in every heroic (although the loot quality is differentiated).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Queue: Now or later


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

It's been awhile since I've done listening music for The Queue. It's a lot of fun to do, but we do it so often here on WoW.com that it's starting to get a little stale. I've started to miss doing it though, so here you go. Today's listening music is some fantastic Rhett and Link, who you probably have never heard on the radio. Which is a shame.

YimmyZ asked...

"Is there any lore related to Emblems/badges? Something like the people need so many badges to draw magic from to imbue items or some such?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

Time Is Money: Putting your emblems to work


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply). After all, Time Is Money.

If you're like me, you have a lot of excess emblems sitting around. Maybe you never got around to spending them before the next tier came out, or maybe the badge gear just never quite compared to your raid drops. Whatever the case, there is no sense letting them go to waste when you could put them to work and earn some gold!

First, here is a quick breakdown of the current badge system, from most recent and difficult to acquire on down:
  1. Emblem of Frost: These can be acquired primarily by raiding Icecrown, completing the Raid Boss Per Week "weekly," or by completing one WotLK heroic dungeon per day using the Random tool.
  2. Emblem of Triumph: Most raids now drop these badges, as well as heroics. You will also be awarded these for doing any number of WotLK heroic dungeons past your first one per day using the Random tool. You will also get some by completing your first normal WotLK dungeon per day using the Random tool, as well as completing the Raid Boss Per Week "weekly." Also of note: If you get Heroic Oculus using the random tool, don't drop group! Not only has it been nerfed like crazy, but when you defeat the end boss, every player will receive a loot bag that will contain these badges and more, plus a chance at getting the super rare Reigns of the Blue Drake, which used to be available only by killing Malygos, who now drops his 25-man version (Azure) in both 10 and 25-man.
  3. Emblem of Conquest: Originally, these were acquired by running 10-man Coliseum, or 25-man Ulduar.
  4. Emblem of Valor: Originally these dropped from Ulduar 10-man and Naxxramas 25-man.
  5. Emblem of Heroism: These were among the first WotLK badges, and dropped from Naxxramas 10-man and heroic dungeons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Economy, Features, Guides, Making money, Time Is Money

Peter Molyneux on WoW's reward system

You probably know Peter Molyneux's name if you've been playing video games for any significant amount of time -- he's the mind behind such classics as Populous and Dungeon Keeper, all the way up to Black and White and the current Fable series. He recently gave a talk to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and early on his talk (part 1 is here, part 2 and part 3 are also online), he speaks out about our favorite game, World of Warcraft. Specifically, he mentions it as an influence on his game design, and says the most brilliant thing about the game are "the steeds," or the mounts you could pick up at level 40 (nowadays, of course, they're available at level 20). He says that in his own games, he tries to give everything out to the player as soon as possible, but the fact that Blizzard made you wait to ride a mount around, made you work up a few levels for it, really stuck with him.

Now, of course, he's taking away his own lessons here -- Blizzard's philosophy with the game as a whole seems to reward the player as much as possible, and especially lately, with emblems and the different modes and all of the other daily and weekly quests they've come up with, they're making you do less waiting for prizes than they ever have before (in fact, compared to MMOs when they first started, much, much less waiting). And Molyneux's own games are very "rewarding" -- I don't think more than two minutes went by in Fable without me getting a level or a new spell or a new item to play around with. But his point is still good, even after all that: anticipation of a reward can be just as strong a motivator as the reward itself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Mounts

[1.Local]: PUGgin' for money and emblems for free


Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

ElderDruid doesn't think we'll be working too hard for our gold and our emblems in 3.3.

ElderDruid:
Look at them yo-yo's, that's the way you do it
You PUG for money on the 3.3
That ain't workin', that's the way you do it
PUGgin for money and emblems for free

Now that's just profit, that's the way you do it
Let me tell you, them guys ain't dumb
Gonna keep subscribers with the epic carrot
Keep 'em till the launch of Cataclysm.

I want my ... I want my ... I want my emblems free ...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, [1.Local]

How the 3.2 Emblems changes will affect the game

As we've heard, patch 3.2 will seriously streamline the Emblems system, allowing players to pick up Ulduar-level Emblems even just by running Heroics. Though lots of the other patch 3.2 changes have taken the spotlight lately, the Emblems change is definitely still a big deal, and while lots of "hardcore" players are up in arms about the changes (they had to raid for the same gear that people will now be able to get just by running Heroics, and even the brand new Emblems of Triumph gear will be attainable through Heroic dailies), other players are just confused by the whole thing. Fortunately, if you haven't yet wrapped your head around what all the changes mean, Clearcasting has a really excellent, thorough writeup about the Emblems changes, both explaining what you'll be able to get from where, and why Blizzard has decided to do things this way.

The biggest fear seems to be that players who have never raided before will start walking around in Ulduar- or even Coliseum-level gear, and they'll get invited to raids based on their gear, only to find that they're clueless about what to do. But I like Arioch's point there: does that mean we don't have clueless raiders now? Of course we do -- the gear you're wearing doesn't say anything about what you've done now, and it'll say even less after the patch. Players are already requiring achievements, and even that doesn't necessarily guarantee you're a good player.

Will there be bad PuGs after the patch? Of course, and there are bad PuGs now, too. But this is definitely a helpful change for anyone with alts, and while yes, it will allow non-raiders to get better gear, and it will probably bring raiders back into Heroics more often, it still won't affect those who are raiding at the highest levels. They'll still get the best gear earlier than everyone else, so if that's what's important to them, they've got nothing to complain about.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses

The Queue: Nice Crown! edition

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Queue, queue, queue. Everyone must be really excited for the eventual 3.3 patch, because we've got a ton of questions about Arthas and Icecrown today. What the heck, guys! BUT YEA, I SHALL ANSWER THINE PLEAS.


m_rydelis asked:
I have a question here, so as I remember from Warcraft TFT, Lich King was left to freeze on Frozen Throne, and in WotLK cinematic we see him on it, so did it just melt down, or something happend, because there is no such thing as Warcraft as Frozen throne now.

Icecrown Citadel was built over the Frozen Throne, and Arthas has apparently done a lot of construction on Icecrown Glacier since TFT and especially since the opening cinematic. The Frozen Throne likely still remains inside of the fully-constructed Icecrown Citadel, but we'll definitely see when 3.3 launches.

Cyrus asked:
Do we even know if there's going to be a 3.4? Has Blizzard announced it, or are people assuming it just based on the number of content patches in BC? Maybe progression will just go OS, Naxx, EoE, Ulduar, Argent Coliseum and Icecrown.

The plan is for there not to be a 3.4. Blizzard has stated time and time again that the plan is for Arthas to be the final boss of the Wrath cycle and for Icecrown Citadel to be the final content patch of the Wrath cycle. The next expansion should be approaching much sooner than the wait between vanilla and BC (and BC and Wrath) as well, so this timeline could work out fine provided that the 4.0 train keeps rolling as it should. Blizzcon should clue us in as to how things are progressing in that regard, so keep your eyes open.

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Filed under: Patches, Expansions, The Queue

Officers' Quarters: Patch 3.2 -- An officer's perspective


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

The last time I did an officers' patch perspective, the numbers were reversed (2.3). In that column, I talked about mage tables, spell damage being added to healing gear, and the Horde finally getting Fear Ward. It was October of 2007. Yep, a lot has changed in the past two years of WoW!

Patch 3.2 isn't yet up on the PTRs, but it's never too early to anticipate issues or plan for future success. Here are a few interesting changes to the game that might have an impact on guilds as we head into the late summer.

1 Raid, 4 Lockout Timers: That's right, the Crusaders' Coliseum will have four different versions with four different lockouts. The kneejerk reaction to this bit of news on the official forums (is there any other kind?) was generally not one of celebration. The most common complaint was, "Great. Now I have to farm the same five bosses four times a week."

Many players would balk at the thought of "have to" in this context. After all, just because you can, doesn't mean it's mandatory. But in hardcore guilds, the drive to be competitive (and keep your raid slot) can lead you down some strange roads. In some guilds, it is expected that you attend every scheduled raid you can. Some players are getting burned out just at the idea of running the same content four times in a single week.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Patch 3.2 changes the tiered Emblem system

There are a lot of things in the patch 3.2 test realm notes that jumped out at me, but the changes to the Emblem system seem like an especially big deal. The developers made it quite clear that they wanted a tiered token system in Wrath of the Lich King, they didn't want players just farming Heroics all day and night to get the best possible gear. In patch 3.2, it looks like they're backing off on that pretty heavily, likely an attempt to reignite interest in running Heroics. If you haven't seen the patch notes, here are the points I'm referring to:
  • Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
  • Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders' Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
  • The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
  • The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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