Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cataclysm Badge and Point Changes Preview

In a day full of Cataclysm news, we get more delicious Cataclysm goodness from the blue posters at Blizzard.

We're continuing to refine the badge/emblem and PvP point systems in Cataclysm and we'd like to share some of those changes with you today. Please enjoy!

Our primary goal when approaching badges in Cataclysm is to address a lot of the confusion that comes with these currency systems. To that end we're changing badges to a more straightforward point system, similar to the ones we've used for a while for Arenas and Battlegrounds. There will be a total of four types of points you can earn in Cataclysm (two for PvE and two for PvP), and these will remain the same even as we introduce new content.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Hero Points -- Low-tier, easier-to-get PVE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most dungeons. (most like the current Emblem of Triumph)
  • Valor Points -- High-tier, harder-to-get PvE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, as well as a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from Dungeon Finder daily Heroic and from raids. (most like the current Emblem of Frost)

  • Honor Points -- Low-tier, easier-to-get PVP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most PvP activities.
  • Conquest Points -- High-tier, harder-to-get PvP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, and a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from winning Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas. (currently called Arena Points)

When a new tier of raiding gear is released or a new PvP season begins, your higher tier of points will be converted into the lower tier. For instance, if a new tier of raid gear is released, your Valor points will be converted to Hero points, and similarly if a new PvP season begins your Conquest points will be converted to Honor points. Of course that means with these new releases you'll always begin without any of the higher tier of points, and thus be unable to stockpile them.

As noted for Conquest points, the Rated Battlegrounds and Arenas will be sharing this same point type. Because of that, it will in fact be possible to get the best PvP items without setting foot in Arena; however, more powerful armor and weapons will of course require more Conquest points, so players who win their matches more often will still gear up faster. We're removing personal rating requirements on almost all items; they're definitely removed for weapons. We might offer a few items to the absolute best players based on personal rating, largely as cosmetic or 'bragging rights' type items. And you'll have the option of purchasing the previous season’s gear with the more readily available Honor points.
have a way to convert Honor points (PvP) into Hero points (PvE), and vice versa, at a loss. The conversions will be possible, but it won't be a 1:1 rate, and you'll have fewer points after the conversion process. We won't allow the higher tiers to be exchanged for each other, however
We do plan to .

To explain the reasoning for the weekly cap on points for the higher tiers, this is to provide flexibility in how players choose to earn the points without feeling like they have to do all of the content as often as it is available. If your Valor income from raiding is sufficient, you may not feel the need to run Dungeon Finder every night, or perhaps even at all. Likewise, a PvP player could choose to participate in a lot of Rated Battlegrounds but no Arenas, or focus on both, and still be able to earn the points they want.

We realize that with any changes to progression pathways there are going to be questions. We're eagerly awaiting any that we may have left unanswered. To the comments!

Here are just a few of my random thoughts on this, specifically how this relates to the raid progression news we heard yesterday.

1)  This will be a step up from the current system of having to have a new badge for every level.  It seems like it will be a much easier transition now when new Tiers come out.  It also gives a reason to spend valor points instead of hording them since they get down converted in the next tier up.  Use it for your tier gear, then your offspec tier gear, then get everything you can from the mats for new items, etc.

2) This makes the 10/25 man raid change more understandable.  If you just got one extra emblem for downing a boss on 25 mans, it would not make it worth it to run 25 mans.  However, since each boss will drop valor points, they can at least make the number much higher, which is awesome.  This could also play a bigger role when it comes to pricing items that can be bought with hero/valor points.

3)  Blizzard may be making a push to bring back pre-raid Tier gear (think back to original WoW).  Currently, you can buy one tier back in gear with Triumph badges.  At level 85, what would you be able to purchase with hero points?  I think we can say safely that you will be able to buy level 85 gems and some PvP gear with hero points.  However, I could also see Blizzard introducing a pre-raid Tier of gear that you get by running random heroics, etc.  The other reason I'm thinking this is they have put a cap on what you can get.  If it was just going to be random gear, why not let there be no maximum and people just earn all they can.

4)  Blizzard has been trying to find a way to get PvPers to experience PvE content and vice versa.  I think it is safe to say that there will be a Wintergrasp-esque zone in Cataclysm.  However, now there is a second reason to PvP.  If we can convert honor points to hero points, even at a loss, we would have more of a reason to PvP.  I also would not expect conquest points to convert to valor points, it will convert to hero points at a potentially higher rate.   

5) Goodbye requirements on Arena weapons.  Now, as a moonkin, I could care less about arena weapons unless I add them to my PvP set.  However, for feral druids, some of the best tanking weapons in the game are Arena weapons with their incredibly high stamina.  Either one of two things have to happen, they have to adjust stats on PvP weapons to prevent tanks from picking them up as BiS weapons or they have to adjust stats on PvE drops to be more in line with some of the high end PvP weapons.

6) Hello Rated Battlegrounds.  This may be one of the first post where they discuss rated battlegrounds.  I'm terrible at arenas, however, rated battlegrounds would be awesome.  Especially considering our battlegroup has a group (Hello QQ Premades, if you read this) that run battlegrounds, like AV, for maximum honor.  Now, they can run rated battlegrounds for maximum conquest points.

7) This gives more credence to what I said about one tier token for heroic raids in each tier.  If all raids are going to drop valor points, this means there has to be some way to upgrade tier gear to heroic tier.  This means that heroic tier gear has to have a specific tier token.  My current guess is that you may be able to buy pre-tier raiding set with hero points, tier gear with valor points, and then heroic tier gear with tokens.  When the next tier opens up, you will able to buy one tier back with hero points and current tier with valor points and heroic current tier with tokens.

8) What is going to be the price of items in hero points and valor points?  If you are going by PvP gear, we can guess that gear is going to be costing thousands of hero/valor points if they try to draw a correlation between the two.  Of course, they may just come out with something new entirely.

9) Cataclysm is closer than we think.  They are starting to release loads of information about the expansion.  My prediction right now is either late August or early September.

So what are  you thoughts on the badge and point changes.  Overall, I'm very optimistic about this one and I do not see a whole bunch of negatives coming from it.

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