So a Conquest badge can be downgraded to others, but that means they have a 1 to 1 value on the lower ilevel gear, so why would you? Getting a small upgrade from a 213 item that costs tokens that can buy 226 is rough. And sooner or later the patch 3.3 will be released and we’ll see Triumph badges instead of Conquest from heroic runs. The heroic badge gear is basically dead now, and it will become even more dead soon. That lower gear might actually still be usable though, which means you’re spending expensive badges to get lower gear.
For the casuals (like myself) this means that the time I spent grinding out Conquest badges is somewhat wasted when the Triumph badges replace them. I know this is a leg up for raiding, and it also facilitates content for more people – but I think its flawed at the moment.
It does not make total sense to me, as the effort involved in getting to a nice set of 226 gear in many gear locations is not a small task. You really have to work at it and run heroics a lot. Then when the switch to 3.3 happens the casuals go back to running the same content for slightly better gear. Opportune moments will see them in the new content now and then, but nothing changes really. Perhaps they might be well geared enough to then try ToC’s last few bosses, and some of the end of Ulduar. So casuals don’t actually see much in the way of new content, instead they spend longer in the same old runs. Any way you look at it the fast track to upgrades will involve grinding heoric 5 mans, and that content is not even close to new.
There has to be a better way to get more folks into the later content. I know it is not fair to just boost these players up too quickly, as it slaps the more serious players in the face, and sends a bad message. I also know that Blizzard wants us to keep playing, and a prime driver for playing is seeing new places, bosses, content, etc. Its a Catch-22, and I have no 100% solution.
The degree to which this makes sense to you as a player probably relates to where you are in the content. Folks already clearing Uld 25 and ToC 25 probably don’t care what happens to the old heroic runs, except the daily. Folks who don’t care what they run, or are leveling new toons are not affected either. The middle ground is where this takes affect, and they are a very hard area to design a challenge for, especially when everyone else can also make use of any perks/nurfs placed on these mid range players. You can’t offer too much without upsetting everything.
An idea would be if badges are more valuable as they get rarer, then perhaps the items that are purchasable with heroism, should also have a purchase value in the other badges too. In this way a badge of Conquest would buy a few Heroism, getting the lower items faster – and that seems to be the goal here: to get folks with average or low gear to the point where they can compete in the new content. eg, 1 Conquest buys 5 Heroism, 1 Triumph buys 5 Conquest. and so on as they are upgraded (so 1 Tri = 25 Hero, but do you really care if somebody has 25 H-badges quickly when you compare iLevel 213 to 232-245). This way the really old gear gets used quickly, but only for a short period of time, and the grind is still the same for the really nice badge reward items. Sustain the grind at the top end of the badge reward system, but make the lower end faster to gear through.
Consider that we we’re getting badges from 5 mans anyway now, so spending the time to get an item which takes 10-12 runs to get, should not matter if that is any type of badge. Its still a major upgrade for 10-12 runs of a basic instance, and possibly a minor upgrade too, but not to gear that is going to break the system by being devalued, as it is already devalued by the better gear.
I’m torn between the view that this is making the gear too accessible, and the opinion that this will help reset the playing field.